Great article. This is only a portion of it. Read the whole thing at the link above!
When the Bat-Man first appeared, he did so from the shadows, clad in a vampiric cowl with slits for eyes, long, sharp ears and a cape with bat-like wings. That was in 1939, in the pages of Detective Comics No. 27. Six months later, when Batman’s creators realized they had a hit on their hands, they revealed his traumatic childhood. As a boy, the story goes, Bruce Wayne watched a criminal gun down his parents in a street robbery. Alone and orphaned, with tears streaming down his pink face, he resolved to spend his life fighting violent crime. “Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot,” he famously declared, as he vowed to “strike terror in their hearts.”
It was a time of global unease. The economy had not yet recovered from the Great Depression, and Hitler was amassing power in Germany. Meanwhile, in the comic books, it was the dawn of the Superhero age. In many ways, the shadow Batman emerged from belonged to the enormously powerful Superman. But this was no Superman. Batman had no superpowers, no alien origins and no foster parents who inspired him to use powers for good.