Batman is the alias of Bruce Wayne, the protector of Gotham city fighting to uphold justice and order.
Life Before Becoming BatmanEdit
Eight-year-old Bruce Wayne falls into a cave where he encounters a swarm of bats. His father rescues him though Bruce develops a fear of bats, and later urges his parents to leave an opera featuring bat-like creatures. Outside the theater, Bruce Wayne's parents are both killed in a robbery by mugger Joe Chill. Bruce blames himself for his parents' murder: had he not been frightened, the Waynes would not have encountered Chill.
After coming of age, Bruce returns to Gotham City from Princeton University intent on killing Chill, whose prison sentence is being suspended in exchange for testifying against mob boss Carmine Falcone. One of Falcone's henchmen kills Chill. Bruce tells his childhood friend Rachel Dawes about his foiled plan, and she expresses disgust for his blind vengeance without regard for justice. Bruce confronts Falcone, who tells him that he is ignorant of the nature of crime, so Bruce decides to travel the world to understand the criminal mind. After nearly seven years, he is eventually detained in Bhutan for theft (ironically of Wayne Enterprises cargo), where he meets Henri Ducard. He invites Bruce to join an elite vigilante group, the League of Shadows, led by Ra's al Ghul. Bruce is freed and travels to a mountaintop to begin his combat training with the League, who intend to use him to destroy Gotham. Bruce passes all the League's training, overcoming his childhood phobia in the process, but when ordered to execute a criminal and learning of their plan to destroy Gotham, he turns on the League, destroying their headquarters. Ra's al Ghul dies and Bruce rescues an unconscious Ducard from the wreckage and leaves his mentor at a nearby village.
Becoming the BatEdit
Bruce Wayne returns to a Gotham City that is mostly ruled by Falcone and begins plotting a one-man war against the corrupt system. He seeks the help of Rachel, now an assistant district attorney, and police sergeant Jim Gordon, who consoled him in the aftermath of his parents' murder. After reestablishing his connections to his father's company, Wayne Enterprises, Bruce is able to acquire, with the help of former board member Lucius Fox, a prototype armored car and an experimental armored suit. In his new Batman costume, he disrupts a drug shipment by Falcone and leaves the mob boss tied to a searchlight, forming a makeshift Bat-Signal. He also disrupts an assassination attempt on Dawes, leaving her with evidence against a judge on Falcone's payroll. While investigating the "unusual" drugs in the shipment, Batman is stunned by sinister psychopharmacologist Dr. Jonathan Crane, who sprays him with a powerful hallucinogen. Bruce's butler Alfred Pennyworth rescues Bruce, who receives an anti-toxin developed by Fox. Crane later poisons Rachel after showing her that the toxin, which is harmful only in vapor form, is being piped into Gotham's water supply. Batman saves her. The police enter Arkham Asylum and arrest Crane while Batman escapes with Rachel. After administering the antidote to Rachel in the Batcave, he gives her two vials of it for Gordon – one for the detective to inoculate himself, and another to mass produce for the city's population.
During his birthday party in Wayne Manor, Bruce is confronted by a group of League of Shadows ninjas led by Ducard, who reveals himself to be the real Ra's al Ghul, and that the man killed earlier was a decoy. Ra's, who had been conspiring with Crane, plans to destroy Gotham by distributing the toxin undetected via Gotham's water supply and then vaporizing it with a microwave emitter stolen from Wayne Enterprises. Bruce, tricking his guests into leaving, fights briefly with Ra's while the League of Shadows set fire to Wayne Manor. Bruce escapes the inferno with Alfred's help just as the manor is destroyed. Batman arrives at the "Narrows" section of Gotham to aid the police in battling psychotic criminals, including Crane, who the League set free from the asylum. Rachel is confronted by but wards off Crane; Batman rescues Rachel when more criminals go after her. Batman reveals his identity to her while leaving Gordon in control of the Batmobile to stop the elevated train that is being used to transport the vaporizer to the city's central water hub. Batman battles Ra's aboard the train, then escapes just as Gordon topples the elevated line using the Batmobile's missiles, leaving Ra's to crash to the ground with the train.
Following the battle, Batman becomes a public hero. Bruce gains control of Wayne Enterprises and installs Fox as CEO, firing Earle. However, he is unable to hold onto Rachel, who cannot reconcile her love for Bruce Wayne with his dual life as Batman. Gordon, newly promoted to lieutenant, unveils a Bat-Signal for Batman. Gordon mentions a criminal who, like Batman, has "a taste for the theatrical", leaving a Joker playing card at his crime scenes. Batman promises to investigate it. As Batman is leaving, Gordon mentions that he hasn't thanked Batman for what he has done. Batman replies that Gordon will never have to, and flies off into the night.
Tracking Down Killer Croc and DeadshotEdit
Bruce Wayne continued to serve justice as the Batman. There had been reports of people being attacked by an 8-foot-tall reptilian creature. Batman was certain that the Scarecrow's fear toxin was connected with these incidents and began an investigation in the sewers. Batman was suddenly attacked by the monster, Killer Croc, who had been injected with Scarecrow's fear toxin, thus infecting Batman with it. He defeated Croc and made his way deeper into the sewers where he encountered and confronted Scarecrow. He flooded Scarecrow's chamber and escaped with Cardinal O'Fallon, and Scarecrow just barely escaped.
An assassin named Deadshot, who took great pride in his work, was hired to assassinate James Gordon in an attempt to take out Batman. Batman managed to outsmart the assassin, and he realized that there are some criminals he may never understand, and whose lines he would never cross.
The Joker's Reign of TerrorEdit
The film begins with the Joker robbing a mob-owned bank, and systematically double crossing his accomplices so he can have all the money. That night, multiple Batman impersonators interrupt a meeting between mobsters and the Scarecrow. The real Batman shows up and subdues everyone, but injuries suffered during the confrontation lead him to design a new, more versatile suit of armor. Batman and Lieutenant James Gordon contemplate bringing new district attorney Harvey Dent in on their plan to eradicate the mob, and the possibility that Dent will become the hero to the people that Batman cannot be. At the same time, Bruce Wayne and Harvey are both competing for the love of Rachel Dawes. The mob bosses meet to discuss how to handle Batman, Gordon, and Dent, while a Chinese mobster accountant, Lau, lets the gang leaders know he has taken their money to Hong Kong to prevent the police and the district attorney from seizing it in an imminent bank raid. The Joker arrives and proposes to kill Batman for them, and also tries to convince them that Lau will give them all up to the police if he is caught.
After Batman successfully abducts Lau in Hong Kong and delivers him to the Gotham City police, the mobsters agree to pay the Joker half of their money in return for killing Batman. The Joker tells all of Gotham that if the Batman does not turn himself in to the police, that more people will die each day. When the Joker begins killing off public officials, including Commissioner Loeb, despite the best efforts of the police and Batman to stop him, Wayne decides to turn himself in to the police. Before he can do so, Dent publicly admits to being the Batman to draw the Joker out of hiding. The Joker attempts to kill Dent during transport, but Gordon and Batman intervene in time to stop and arrest him. With the Joker in custody, Batman interrogates the Joker until he reveals that Rachel and Dent have been taken to opposite sides of the city, far enough apart that Batman does not have time to save both of them. Batman speeds off to save Rachel, while Gordon and the police head after Dent. Unknown to them, the Joker has switched the locations, sending Batman after Dent and Gordon after Rachel. With the help of a pre-planted phone bomb, the Joker escapes with Lau in tow. Batman arrives and rescues Dent just as both buildings explode, although the left side of Dent's face is burned during the explosion. Gordon does not reach Rachel in time and she dies in the explosion. In the hospital, Dent is driven to madness over the loss of Rachel, which he blames on Batman, Gordon and the Joker. The Joker frees Harvey from the hospital and convinces him to exact revenge on the cops, mobsters, Gordon and Batman.
While "Harvey Two-Face" confronts the corrupt cops and the mobsters one by one, flipping a coin to decide their fates, the Joker burns Lau along with the mob's money. The Joker then declares that he will rule the streets and that anyone left in Gotham at nightfall will be subject to his rule. The Joker plants explosives on two ferries of evacuees and gives the passengers on board the chance to destroy the opposing vessel, one full of prison convicts and another with civilians, in order to save their own lives. Batman tracks the Joker to an uncompleted skyscraper. Batman prevents the Joker from blowing up the ferries when both vessels' occupants decide they would rather not sacrifice the lives of the passengers in the other vessel for their own.
Following a brief hand-to-hand fight which ends when the Joker pins Batman in a scaffold, Batman throws Joker off of the scaffold but saves him by grappling him. the Joker acknowledges that Batman really is incorruptible, but that Dent was not, and that he has unleashed Harvey's madness upon the city. The Joker loses the fist fight, but wins "the battle for Gotham's soul". Batman finds Gordon and his family with Dent at the building where Rachel died. Two-Face proceeds to judge Batman, himself, and Gordon's son through the chance of a coin flip, which he sees as the only fairness left in the world. Two-Face shoots Batman in the stomach and judges himself innocent, but before he can determine the boy's fate, Batman tackles him over the side of the building, saving Gordon's son. As Dent lies motionless on the ground, Batman and Gordon decide that the Joker would win if anyone found out about Dent's corruption and madness. Batman convinces Gordon to let him take all the blame for Dent's murders in order to preserve the former district attorney's image as Gotham's hero and give the city hope. As Gordon destroys the Bat-Signal, a manhunt is issued for Batman.