Batman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, and first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Originally named "the Bat-Man", the character is also referred to by such epithets as "the Caped Crusader", "the Dark Knight", and "the World's Greatest Detective".
Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, an American billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, and owner of Wayne Enterprises. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered with a sense of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his butler Alfred, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of his genius intellect, physical prowess, martial arts skills, detective skills, science and technology, vast wealth, provocation of fear and intimidation, and an indomitable will in his continuous war on crime. A large assortment of villains make up Batman's rogues gallery, including his archenemy the Joker.
Batman became popular soon after his introduction and gained his own comic book title, Batman, in 1940. As the decades progressed, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in 1986 with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, followed by Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison. The success of Warner Bros.' live-action Batman feature films have helped maintain public interest in the character.