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Batman is a superhero in the mortal world, and he protects Gotham City from all manner of crime. He has no powers or superhuman abilities but relies on his genius level intellect, training, stamina, inventiveness, detective skills, martial arts skills and physical prowess to fight crime.
Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne. After seeing the murder of his parents as a child he swore revenge on all criminals to create justice for others by punishing criminals himself.
In Batman's fictional universe (DC comics) Batman operates in Gotham City alongside other superheroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. His enemies are typically super-villains such as Penguin or The Joker who often use elaborate schemes to distract the hero from their real plan. Batman is also in competition with Superman for supremacy of the world. In recent incarnations, he has taken on a Robin (Robin: Year One) as his sidekick and it is uncertain if he still has any other companions.
The Batman series of books was written by various writers over a several year period and focuses mainly on the original Batman's early days as Bruce Wayne. During this time, he disguises himself as a playboy billionaire in order to lure assassins to him, often hiring them for research or surveillance.
The popularity of the Batman series has led to the creation of multiple television series, several films and a large number of tie-in novels. The most noted feature are the first two films based on the comic book character: Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
Batman was originally a relatively obscure character, though in recent years his status has risen to superstar status. The character's popularity is associated with his enduring longevity in various forms of media. However, over time his status has changed; he got more popular as he started getting older in comics publications. From the late 1930s to the early 1950s, Batman was not a major character in the comics. Comic book sales declined and Batman was not featured on any of covers of Detective Comics during this time. This led to Batman's editor Whitney Ellsworth suggesting a radical change for both Batman and his alter ego.
The editors at DC Comics decided that they needed'a new kind of hero' to keep up with other popular heroes such as Superman and Captain Marvel. They decided to make Batman a superhero who could attract both young children and adults alike, introducing the campy character in the 1960s television show, which shared his name. In addition, they began publishing stories of Robin his teenage sidekick in order to attract younger readers.
Over time in both comic books and television his popularity continued to increase due to his attractive alter ego as Bruce Wayne and the added "camp" elements that were introduced. Comic book sales increased dramatically after Dick Grayson was introduced into storylines. Overall, comic sales rose from 27 million comics sold in 1956 to 80 million in 1967.
In addition to sales rising, the Batman series won over many new fans. The television show that was based on Batman began airing in 1966 and won over an entirely new audience for the character.