So declared millionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne, orphaned as a boy by a murderous thug and driven as a man to battle the scourge of crime by becoming Batman. Batman swooped into popular culture in 1939. Prowling the darkened rooftops of Gotham City, roaring through the teeming streets in the sleek, high-powered Batmobile, and leaping into action when the iconic Bat-Signal pierces the night sky, the Caped Crusader is a larger-than-life legend. 'The essential batman encyclopedia' is a sourcebook. More than 500 pages of entries and illustrations include - details and the complete background on Batman’s origins; biographies of every major character in the Batman universe - including his closest allies, from Robin the Boy Wonder and faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth to Commissioner Gordon; and his countless enemies, from the Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, and the Riddler to Scarecrow, Two-Face, Ra’s al Ghul and Poison Ivy; classic black-and-white comic book artwork throughout; two sixteen-page full-color artwork inserts.