What is Batman afraid of?
Batman (Christian Bale)
Behind the mask of Batman lies the billionaire Bruce Wayne, the protector of Gotham City, who fights criminals to maintain order and justice in the city.
Biography Edit source]
Life before time as Batman Edit source]
At the age of 8, the young Bruce Wayne fell into a cave where he was attacked by a flock of enraged bats. His father was able to save him, but he developed a strong fear of bats. His father later told him that people fall to get up again ("Why do we fall, Bruce? To get us up again!"). Late one evening he and his parents attended a theater performance that featured bat-like creatures. He persuades his parents to leave the theater. Outside, his parents are both murdered by a robber named Joe Chill, the last thing Bruce's father tells him before he dies is not to be afraid. When the police later find Bruce, James Gordon takes care of him, and Commissioner Loeb tells him they caught Joe Chill. Bruce blames himself for the death of his parents because they would not have left the theater and would not have met Chill if he hadn't been so scared. Butler Alfred Pennyworth assures him that no one would be to blame for this except Joe Chill.
Years later, after attending Princeton University, Bruce returns to Gotham City. His goal is to kill Joe Chill after his sentence was suspended for testifying against mob boss Carmine Falcone. However, Chill has already been killed by a Falcones henchman. Bruce tells his old friend Rachel Dawes about his plans, whereupon she expresses her disgust for Bruce's blind lust for Rachel. Bruce confronts Falcone, who tells him he is ignorant of the nature of crime, and decides to travel the world to understand the way criminals think. After almost seven years, he is arrested for theft in Bhutan, where he meets Henri Ducard. Ducard invites him to join a group of law enforcement officers, the Society of Shadows, led by Ra's al Ghul. Batman is freed and taken to a mountaintop where he does his combat training for the Society of Shadows. Little does he know that society wants to use him to destroy Gotham City. He passes the training, during which he can also overcome his childhood phobia of bats. However, when he is assigned to execute a criminal and learns of the Society's plans to destroy Gotham, he turns against the Shadow Society and destroys their headquarters, with Ra's al Ghul dying and Bruce saving the life of the unconscious Henri Durcard.
The change to the bat [edit | Edit source]
"You have to shake people up with dramatic events, but I can't do that as Bruce Wayne. As a flesh and blood person, I am ignored or killed. But as a symbol - as a symbol I can be incorruptible and immortal."
-Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins
Bruce returns to Gotham City, the city is now almost entirely controlled by Falcone. Bruce plans a one-man war against the corrupt system. He seeks help from Rachel, who is now a lawyer, and from Police Sergeant Jim Gordon, who comforted him after the death of his parents. After reconnecting with his father's company -Wayne Enterprises- Bruce is able, with the help of Lucius Fox, to obtain the prototype of an armored vehicle and an experimental armored suit. He's also setting up a secret base in a cave below Wayne Manor. In his new Batman costume, he smashes a drug delivery from Falcone and leaves the Mafia boss tied to a spotlight so that the light casts a makeshift bat shape. He also thwarted an attempt to kill Rachel Dawes and left her evidence against a judge on Falcone's payroll. While examining the "unusual" drugs from the shipment, Dr. Jonathan Crane is stunned, who sprays him with a strong hallucinogenic substance. He is saved by Alfred, who gives him an antidote developed by Fox. Crane later poisons Rachel Dawes after showing her that the poison, which only works when it evaporates, is dumped into Gotham's groundwater supply. Batman rescues her while the police arrest Crane. After giving Rachel the antidote, he gives her 2 vials of the antidote, one for Gordon so that he can vaccinate himself, and one for mass production for the Gotham population.
During his birthday party at Wayne Manor, a group of Shadow Society ninjas emerge, led by Ducard, who turns out to be the real Ra's al Ghul, the man who was killed was just a decoy. Ra's, who has teamed up with Crane, plans to use a microwave emitter stolen from Wayne Enterprises to vaporize the water in Gotham after the poison has been adequately distributed. Bruce uses a trick to get his guests to leave the party. A brief battle ensues with Ra's while his ninjas set Wayne Manor on fire. With the help of Alfred Bruce manages to escape, the property is destroyed by the fire. Batman helps the police fight some crazy criminals, including Crane, who freed society from the Arkham madhouse. Rachel Dawes is also there, she is rescued by Batman when several criminals pursue her. Batman reveals his true identity to her as he leaves the Batmobile to Gordon to stop an elevated train that is supposed to bring the evaporator to the main groundwater junction. When Batman reaches the train he fights against Ra's, but escapes when Gordon fires rockets from the Batmobile at the train, whereupon Ra's dies. Batman becomes a folk hero and takes control of Wayne Enterprises as Bruce Wayne, where he hires Lucius Fox as CEO. Gordon is promoted to lieutenant and introduces a signal to call Batman, the bat signal. Gordon mentions that there is another criminal, one with a penchant for the theatrical, who always leaves a Joker playing card at the crime scene. Batman says he would investigate.
The Terror of the Joker Edit source]
The Joker robs a mafia bank, disguised as a clown and systematically pits his accomplices against each other, who gradually eliminate each other in the hope of getting a larger share of the loot. At the end of the robbery, the only thing left is the Joker himself, who can escape in a school bus just before the police arrive. While Batman and Gordon decide to work with the very successful prosecutor Harvey Dent, who is in a relationship with Bruce Wayne's childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes, the Joker "meets" with the Gotham City Mafia bosses to offer them to kill Batman, if in return they leave him half of their entire fortune, which they reject at first, but later accept.
The Joker announces to the public to murder people every day until Batman unmasks himself in public and turns himself in to the police. After he fulfills his threat and kills a judge and a police officer, Harvey Dent pretends to be Batman and allows himself to be arrested in order to feast the Joker. The Joker then tries to attack the prisoner transport in which Dent is located in order to murder Dent. Batman and Gordon succeed in confronting and arresting him, for which Gordon is promoted to commissioner. When the Joker is interrogated, he gives Batman 2 addresses where Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent are to be held hostage, but swaps the addresses to fool Batman and tells Batman that he can only save one of the two. Batman tries to save Rachel, but drives to Dent and saves his life, with Dent's left half of his face being disfigured by the fire. Rachel Dawes dies.
The Joker, on the other hand, escapes from prison, blows up a hospital and causes a mass panic in Gotham. Thereupon he places explosives in 2 ferries and provides the passengers with the detonator for the explosives in the other ship with the requirement that the other ferry must be blown up within the next 30 minutes, only in this way can your own ferry - and with it your own life - be saved. If his request is not complied with, he would blow up both ships. There are civilians in one of the ships and convicts from the Gotham prison in the other. None of the passengers set off the bomb.
In the meantime, Batman manages to find the Joker, who is upstairs in a building that is also home to the police who are now taking action against Batman. However, Batman manages to fight his way to the Joker and confront him again to prevent the ferries from being blown up. The Joker tells him that Dent would now call himself Two-Face and seek revenge because he would blame Batman and everyone else who saved him for Rachel's death. Dent holds Gordon's family hostage at the location where Rachel died. Batman just manages to prevent Dent from murdering Gordon's son, and Dent dies in the process. Batman takes on the murders committed by Harvey Dent in order to preserve his reputation as one of the few saviors of Gotham. Gordon destroys the bat signal, from now on Batman will be hunted by the humans.
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