Since 1939, fictional m(b)illionaire Bruce Wayne has been putting on a bat-like cape and mask in an effort to beat the snot out of every criminal in Gotham City (the thinly veiled dark caricature of New York that occupies the Detective Comics universe). The sometimes tragic, sometimes comic hero has seen endless adventures in comic books, cinema serials, television (both live-action and animated), and a broad spectrum of feature films. His IMDb resume not only includes one of the worst films of the genre (1997's Batman and Robin), but also the film that earned Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar (2008's The Dark Knight).
He is as recognized as his DC colleague, Superman. Unlikely to exist in the same universe, the polar opposite natures of the two characters have created a complimentary yin/yang existence, particularly with the postmodern (or post-Crisis) versions of the characters embraced by Gen X and Millennials.
I asked Facebook and twitter to share some of their favorite BAT memories. Here's just a few:
"When Bane broke Batman's back." Mike Getz
"Batman Beyond. Bruce Wayne has never been cooler." Alexander Cherry
If Batman had aged in real time, he'd be more than old enough to be the Batman Beyond version of Bruce.
"Being the Penguin." Tommy Cannon
See my article on Phoenix's Batkid for more on that.
"Batman taking out the white Martians after they didn't bother neutralizing him because he has no superpowers."
"Kingdom Come, when Bruce gives Clark a vital bit of information. He turns around, sees that he's alone in the room, and grins, 'So that's what that feels like.'" Shane Carey
"In the cartoon series, there was an episode when Scare Crow (?) induces Batman to have a nightmare. In one sequence, he runs down a long tunnel. When he exits, the camera pans around, revealing the tunnel to be the smoking barrel of a gun that just shot Bruce Wayne's parents. It was truly dark and frightening, and changed what I thought comics could do." Boris G.
"I am vengeance. I am the night. I. AM. BATMAN!"