Batman (Earth-Two)

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Batman
Adventure462.jpg
Adventure Comics #462. Cover Art by Jim Aparo, Story art by Joe Staton.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance

Justice League of America #82 (1970)

(retroactively stated to have originally appeared in Detective Comics #27, 1939)
Created by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Dillin
Based on Batman, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger
In-story information
Alter ego Bruce Wayne
Team affiliations Batman Family
Justice Society of America
All-Star Squadron
Gotham City Police Department
Abilities Genius-level intelligence, master detective, peak human physical condition, martial arts master, escapologist, expert ventriloquist, access to high tech equipment.

The Batman of Earth-Two is a parallel version of the DC Comics superhero, who was introduced after DC Comics created Earth-Two, a parallel world that was retroactively established as the home of characters whose adventures had been published in the Golden Age of comic books. This allowed creators to publish Batman comic books while being able to disregard Golden Age stories, solving an incongruity, as Batman had been published as a single ongoing incarnation since inception.

The character history of the Earth-Two Batman accordingly adopts all of the earliest stories featuring the character from the 1930s and 1940s, while the adventures of the then-mainstream Silver Age Batman (who lived on "Earth-One") begin later in time and with certain elements of his origin retold. Each were depicted as separate, though parallel, individuals living in their respective universes, with the "older" Earth-Two character eventually reaching his retirement and death.

A parallel to this character is introduced in Justice Society of America Annual #1 (2008) entitled "Earth-2" where the Post Crisis Earth-2 is fully introduced. The most notable difference between Pre-Crisis Earth-Two Wayne and his newer Post-Crisis Earth-2 incarnation is that the Post-Crisis Earth-2 Joker is suggested to have killed Wayne which led the Joker to learn the real identities of Robin and the Huntress.

A new parallel to this character was introduced in the 2012 Earth-2 series who remains alive and is out "to protect his only surviving family" at any cost.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Childhood and early history[edit]

Main article: Batman

Batman's origin and history is essentially similar to the Earth-One version of the character, but events unfold in more of a real-time fashion. For example, the Batman makes his debut in 1939, meets Robin, the Joker, Catwoman and Clayface at various points in 1940, the Penguin in 1941, Two-Face in 1942, etc. These dates reflect the publishing dates of the original stories, rather than taking the Earth-One and Modern Age approach of keeping the characters eternally youthful.

  • Bruce Wayne was born in Gotham City circa 1915-1916.[1]
  • Bruce's parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, were killed when he was eight years old by Joe Chill, in 1924.[1] This is different from the later Earth-One history where Martha dies from a heart attack soon after Thomas is shot to death.
  • As on Earth-One, Earth-Two Wayne is raised by his father's brother, Phillip Wayne, though never recovers from his parent's murder which is further retconned in the Post-Crisis history established by Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, where Phillip is eliminated and Alfred the butler largely raises Bruce. In the Golden Age and Earth-Two reality, Wayne and Alfred meet for the first time in 1943, after Batman has already met Robin (and in fact, this version of Alfred is Alfred Beagle - his originally published name which was kept for the Earth-Two distinction).
  • After a period of training, a young Bruce Wayne becomes Batman. His first printed story is "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate",[2] although story content implies that this was not his first mission.
  • Bruce Wayne meets eight-year-old Dick Grayson, following the murder of his parents by a gangster who he overheard. Grayson eventually takes the identity of Robin.[3]
  • Superman and Batman become lifelong friends. Unlike the antagonistic friendship of their Post-Crisis incarnations, they get along right away and often team up. Along with Kal-L, Batman participates in the Justice Society and the war-time only All-Star Squadron.
  • Batman dies in 1979.[4]

Divergence with Earth-One[edit]

At the dawn of the Silver Age of comics, DC Comics decided to reintroduce several of their Golden Age superheroes, all of whom had ceased publication several years earlier. Flash and Green Lantern were reimagined as Barry Allen[5] and Hal Jordan.[6] Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, having been continuously published since their Golden Age introductions, were not given any reimaginings (although much about the mythos of each had evolved slowly over the years). It was later revealed that the current heroes live on a parallel world to the Golden Age heroes: The newer Silver Age heroes are on "Earth One", while the older Golden Age characters reside on "Earth Two" (the numbering does not indicate any hierarchy of parallel Earths, only the number by which they were discovered). When Barry Allen met Jay Garrick,[7] it meant there were two Flashes, two Green Lanterns, two Supermen, and two Batmen. Unlike the Silver Age versions of the Flash and Green Lantern, who had entirely different secret identities from their Golden Age counterparts, the Batman and Superman of each world were both Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent, respectively. There is no clear demarcation between when the stories of one Batman ends and the other begins; some tales from the mid-1950s fit comfortably onto Earth One, while some stories as late as the early-1960s seem more appropriate for the Earth Two version. DC has mandated that only the Earth One Batman wore a yellow oval around the bat symbol on his chest, making 1964 the fixed year in which all Batman stories were set on Earth-One, although there are several instances where this is contradicted in-story.[8]

The Earth-Two Wayne made several different character evolutions from the mainstream Batman, as the Earth-Two Bruce accepts his one-time adversary Catwoman as his true love and shares his secret identity with her after her memory is restored of her real life. The Earth-Two Wayne and Catwoman, Selina Kyle later marry, after she had voluntarily served prison time for her crimes. They have a daughter, Helena Wayne, the Huntress.,[9] and the family resides at Wayne Manor, where Bruce devotes himself and his fortune to philanthropy. By the early 1960s Wayne has retired as Batman, with Robin taking over crimefighting in Gotham City, even accepting Wayne's position in the reformed Justice Society.[10] Wayne is later called out of retirement by the ancient god Mercury to help defeat King Kull along with other superheroes of Pre-Crisis Earth-Two, Earth-One, and Earth-S. Several years after that he again dons his costume to answer the Batsignal when Robin is away from Gotham City, but this adventure ends in tragedy as Batman's kick causes a criminal to fire his gun wildly, striking and killing Selina Wayne. Bruce burned his cape and cowl that night, swearing to never wear it again. His years of civic volunteerism results in his being named to replace the retiring James Gordon as Police Commissioner. In this capacity, Wayne is soon mind-controlled by the Psycho Pirate, resulting in his declaring the current roster of the Justice Society of America to be outlaws, and he attempts to arrest them. Once freed from the Psycho Pirate's control, Wayne clears the JSA of all trumped-up charges.

The elder Earth-Two Wayne is eventually coaxed out of retirement for one last mission as Batman when a thief, Bill Jensen, is magically empowered by a sorcerer, Frederick Vaux (possibly the Earth-Two analogue to Felix Faust), and attacks Gotham City. As when he was eight, Earth-Two Wayne faces an overpowering criminal with a weapon that is greater than himself, though this time it is magical bolts, rather than bullets. Already dying of cancer from his years of pipe smoking (as stated in Brave and the Bold #197), Wayne decides to fight to the death against Jensen, who bears a furious grudge against Wayne, stopping his threat at the cost of his own life.[4] In the aftermath of the battle, the public learns that Wayne was Batman's secret identity. The Earth-Two Doctor Fate later removes the memory of the battle from the consciousness of the general public, so as to protect the secret identities of Robin and the Huntress, which were also thus exposed, and causing everyone to believe instead that Wayne died of cancer at home on the same day that Batman died.

Several years after Bruce Wayne's death, Batman's diary was discovered and made public (as described in the limited series America vs. the Justice Society). In it, he charged the JSA with treason, being spies for Hitler, resulting in the team being put on trial. It is ultimately revealed that this was a hoax on Batman's part, designed to set a trap for a longtime Justice Society foe, Per Degaton. Knowing he was dying and would not be alive to combat Degaton's as yet unrevealed scheme, Wayne fabricated the treason charges so as to bring about a reexamination of the JSA's history, giving them clues as how to defeat the time traveling villain. It would prove to be the Earth Two Batman's final case, solved from the grave. Professor Zee, the scientist who had invented the Time Machine and had been shot by Degaton, appeared from the Time Machine which he had used to transport himself 40 years into the Future, and accused Degaton of murder. Degaton then shot himself in the head.

As a tribute to this version of the character, his final formal 'appearance' was in Secret Origins vol. 2, #6 (Sept. 1986) in the story "Secret Origins Starring the Golden Age Batman" by writer Roy Thomas and artists Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin, a retelling of the Earth-Two Batman's origin.

In the limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Anti-Monitor destroys most universes, reducing the universe to the anti-matter universe and a single positive matter universe. Earth-Two "never existed" in this new universe's history, which retroactively removes the Earth-Two Batman from history, blending elements of his past with that the Earth-One Batman's, effectively creating a Batman with a new modern continuity.[11][12]

One Year Later[edit]

During Infinite Crisis, senior members of the Justice Society regain some memories of Earth-Two's previous existence. One year later, when the Gentleman Ghost attacks the JSA using powers of limited control over the spirits of the dead, Jakeem Thunder and the Thunderbolt are assisted in battle by the spirits of various deceased JSA members and allies, including the Batman of Earth-Two. Although Jakeem is confused by his presence, noting that Batman is not dead, the Thunderbolt tells him not to worry about it.[13]

The New 52[edit]

Earth 2 writer James Robinson has stated The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe) Earth 2 series is set on a new, "reimagined" version of Pre Crisis Earth-Two with the elder originally "Golden Age" heroes of Jay Garrick, Alan Scott and Al Pratt now starting in modern day, instead of World War 2 era and Earth-2 Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman first appearing in the last five years.[14] The New 52 Earth-2 Batman sacrifices himself alongside his Earth's Superman and Wonder Woman against the invasion forces of Apokolips.

The new Earth-2 Batman is now Thomas Wayne (father to Bruce Wayne). This corrupt doctor was working for the Mafia in Gotham City, until a rigged killing enabled him to go undercover at the Crime Alley. The original Batman (Bruce Wayne) discovered his father's imposture and disassociated himself with Thomas. Following Bruce Wayne's death, Thomas Wayne became the second Batman. As Batman, Thomas Wayne uses Hourman's Miraclo pills.

Series editor Pat McCallum states of the new Earth-2 Batman's personality "Who will Batman kill to save his own daughter?” "Right out of the gate that should tell you we’re dealing with a different kind of Dark Knight here. More ruthless, dangerous…the costume is familiar and yeah, there is a Wayne under the mask, but we’re looking at a man desperate to save the only family he has left. 'Earth' 2 is about to become a very bad place to be a bad guy.”

In other media[edit]

Video games[edit]

  • Two Batman Earth-Two skins will be downloadable content for the newly released game Batman: Arkham Origins, one based on the current comic line, and one pre-New 52. Both will be available in the Infinite Earths skin pack.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Secret Origins Starring the Golden Age Batman" Secret Origins v2, 6 ((Sept 1986)), DC Comics
  2. ^ "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" Detective Comics 27 ((May 1939)), DC Comics
  3. ^ "Robin the Boy Wonder" Detective Comics 38 ((Apr 1940)), DC Comics
  4. ^ a b "Only Legends Live Forever!" Adventure Comics 462 ((Mar 1979)), DC Comics
  5. ^ "Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt!" Showcase 4 ((Sept/Oct 1956)), DC Comics
  6. ^ "SOS Green Lantern!" Showcase 22 ((Sept/Oct 1959)), DC Comics
  7. ^ "Flash of Two Worlds!" The Flash 123 ((Sept 1961)), DC Comics
  8. ^ ""The Dividing Line Between Earth-1 and Earth-2" (Part 7)". Tfaw.com. 2002-12-02. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  9. ^ First appearance: "Divided We Stand!" All Star Comics 68 ((Sept/Oct 1977)), DC Comics
  10. ^ Justice Society (Vol 1) #55
  11. ^ "Final Crisis" Crisis on Infinite Earths 12 ((Mar 1986)), DC Comics
  12. ^ "The End of the Beginning" All-Star Squadron 60 ((Aug 1986)), DC Comics
  13. ^ "...The Living Must Answer" JSA 85 ((Jul 2006)), DC Comics
  14. ^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=37207

External links[edit]