Batman (or The Batman) was first created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). One of DC Comics most famous heroes, it is testimony to the success of the character in transferring to the mainstream that few need to be told that Batman is secretly Bruce Wayne, wealthy playboy and philanthropist. However, although many will remember the spoof TV series (1966-68), few will be aware of the original premise. The murder of his parents as a child, and his subsequent transformation into a masked vigilante clearly shows that Bruce himself has 'issues'. Remember, unlike other heroes in this fictitious world, the Dark Knight does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of his intellect and detective skills to overcome - as well as a collection of neat gadgets. The 1986 comic book mini-series 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns' by Frank Miller eventually led to Tim Burton's 1989 'Batman' film, and Christopher Nolan's films 'Batman Begins' and 'The Dark Knight' have continued with this.