The Batman character's history begins when, as a young boy, Bruce Wayne witnessed the robbery and murder of his parents. He swore to avenge them by fighting crime and promoting justice. Preparing to fulfil that vow, at age 14 Wayne, who became Batman, studied forensics, criminology and psychology, and various forms of martial arts. The Batman character first appeared in the lead story of Detective Comics #27 in 1939.
Bruce Wayne began his vigilante career as a plainclothes fighter. As he was considering the wisdom of this and seeking a way to terrorize his enemies, a bat crashed through the window and inspired him to become Batman, the Dark Knight. He established his headquarters in the caves beneath his wealthy family mansion, where his butler Alfred tended him.
Batman has numerous foes. The demented Joker, known as the Clown Prince of Crime, and Catwoman, a burglar, were both introduced in Batman #1 and are his main rivals.
Batman's original sidekick was Dick Grayson, a young acrobat whose parents were also murdered. Grayson became Robin, the Boy Wonder, and was Batman's ally until he outgrew the role. Since then, Batman has had a series of sidekicks. His current sidekick as of 2015 is Damian Wayne, Bruce's son, who is also Robin.