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CSBG Archive

Lorendiac’s Lists: Who Knows Batman is Bruce Wayne?

Just over a year ago, I stumbled across a thread on DC’s boards in which a bunch of people were throwing out names of people who knew Batman’s secret identity. However, no one had bothered to try to compile all the suggestions into one neat, orderly list, to make life easier for those of us who were coming in late and wanted to make sure we weren’t duplicating previous suggestions.

My duty was clear! I started cutting-and-pasting, and sorting the names alphabetically, and inserting several more names from my own memory of Batman lore. Then I posted my “First Draft” on several forums, accepted constructive criticism, and offered a more detailed “Second Draft” the following day. Then I waited just over a year before going back and rereading the further criticisms I got at the time, and doing a little extra research, and modifying things until I had a “Third Draft” I was ready to show the world.

My mission statement in this list is very simple. I want to cover just about everyone who has clearly known Batman’s secret identity in at least one story that met the following criteria:

1. It was published after the transition to Post-COIE continuity (for my purposes, I figure “Batman #400″ in 1986, the final piece of Doug Moench’s first run as a Batman writer, was the last Pre-COIE Batman story).
2. It was supposedly set “in regular continuity” at the time it was published, even if it later got retconned to some degree (or totally erased from history?).

A few notes on whom those rules exclude:

A) I once compiled a separate list of people who definitely knew the secrets of the Pre-COIE Batman of Earth-1, in the days before the transition to Post-COIE continuity. I was toying with the idea of combining the two lists at some later date — but, upon reflection, I don’t intend to do that yet. I’ll post a revised version of that list at some other time, for the amusement of any fans who actually remember what Batman was like back in “the good old days,” more than 20 years ago now. Meanwhile, on this list you will several people who first learned Batman’s secret in Pre-COIE stories, but to qualify for this one, they either have “learned all over again” in Post-COIE continuity (Selina Kyle falls into this category) or else the Pre-COIE stories in which they learned were at some point confirmed as having still happened as part of the Post-COIE Batman’s “backstory.” (The five heroes who were Batman’s co-founders of the “Outsiders” team in the early 1980s fall into that latter category.)

B) The original concept behind the title “Legends of the Dark Knight” when it started, almost two decades ago, was that its story arcs were not guaranteed to be rigidly tied to “regular Batman continuity.” So I am ignoring some LOTDK stories that included someone learning Bruce’s secrets. A conspicuous exception to that is the issues of LOTDK that constituted the end of “Knightquest: The Search” in 1994, since they were explicitly tied to the “regular continuity” of what had been occurring lately in such titles as “Batman,” “Detective Comics,” and “Shadow of the Bat.”

About the organization of the list: I’ve arranged names in alphabetical order, as sorted by “main alias” or “first name.” For instance, “Alfred Pennyworth” is under “A for Alfred,” instead of “P for Pennyworth.” Then I list in parentheses any other relevant information, including the character’s real name (if he normally uses an alias) and, when I can find it, information on which story informed us that he knew the secret. If he subsequently lost the knowledge, I mention that too.

WHO KNOWS BATMAN IS BRUCE? (Third Draft)

Aaron Langstrom (Son of Man-Bat. His knowledge of the secret was established in “Gotham Knights #45″)

Alexander Luthor (Dead. Apparently learned during the long period when he had nothing better to do in the “paradise dimension” than play peeping tom, watching events in the Post-Crisis DCU)

Alfred Pennyworth (Different versions have been told of how he learned, but either he was already working for Bruce when the Batman identity was created, or else he was hired later and quickly found out. Post-COIE references to the subject have generally — but not invariably — favored the idea that Alfred was already at Wayne Manor before Bruce’s parents died.)

The Appelaxians (Were able to find and invade the Batcave and capture Batman in “JLA: Year One” based on information gleaned from the Martian Manhunter’s secret files. Of course, I don’t know if the general plot of “JLA: Year One” is still in continuity in the Post-IC DCU. The roster of founding members of the JLA has retroactively been changed again, after all)

Aquaman I (Orin. He was present when the JLAers were sharing identities in “JLA #50″ but I think he already knew Bruce’s secret.)

The Atom II (Ray Palmer. His ex-wife Jean Loring definitely knew in “Identity Crisis #7″ that Bruce is Batman; presumably she heard it from him.)

Azrael (Jean Paul Valley. Dead. Learned during the “Sword of Azrael” miniseries)

Bane (Figured it out very quickly in “Knightfall” after looking at Bruce Wayne’s body language)

Batgirl III (Cassandra Cain. Learned when, for the first time, she saw Batman in his role as Bruce Wayne during the “Bruce Wayne: Murderer?” event. She recognized his body language instantly)

Benedict Asp (Learned in “Legends of the Dark Knight #61.” Then he died)

Bird (Now believed dead. Bane told him in “Knightfall”)

Black Canary II (Dinah Lance. Her current knowledge was recently confirmed in the “JLA: Crisis of Conscience” story arc, although a few years earlier, in “Bruce Wayne: Murderer?” she clearly didn’t know Bruce was Batman)

Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13.” Still knew in a comic published in 1996, which means it was Post-Zero Hour. He had originally learned in a Pre-COIE story, along with the other original members of the Outsiders, so I’m figuring that they all know too, in Post-COIE, Post-Zero Hour continuity, unless someone can show me evidence that ome of them don’t)

Blue Beetle II (Ted Kord. Dead. I think he learned in “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” – at any rate, he promptly got himself killed)

Booster Gold I (Michael Carter. Called himself “Supernova” for awhile during “52.” I’m not clear on just when he learned, although I suppose coming from several hundred years in the future might give him an advantage in knowing things that will have become “matters of public record” by then?)

Cain (David Cain. I don’t remember just when he realized, but I believe it was clear that he knew by the time of “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive.”)

Carleton LeHah (Learned during the “Sword of Azrael” miniseries)

Catwoman I (Selina Kyle. Bruce voluntarily told her during “Hush” – we don’t know for sure if she already knew or suspected; we can fill in the blanks any way we please!)

Changeling (Garfield Logan. As a member of the Teen Titans in the early 80s, he learned the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. However, the part about his knowing Batman’s secret ID was reportedly erased by a retcon from Denny O’Neil at the time of Zero Hour. I don’t know if he’s learned all over again since then)

Chronos I (David Clinton. Found out the secret IDs of Batman and several other JLAers a long time ago, according to an “Identity Crisis” retcon. Then he got mindwiped by Zatanna. Then Despero recently helped him rediscover those memories in “JLA: Crisis of Conscience.” Then they got wiped out (or suppressed, or whatever) by Zatanna all over again . . . until further notice?)

The Crime Doctor (Bradford Thorne. Dead. Learned in his first appearance, in “Detective Comics #494″ – a Pre-Crisis story, incidentally. One issue later, he went into a coma from mercury poisoning. Years later, he recovered. Since that time, I gather that no Post-Crisis story has ever clearly told us that he does – or didn’t – remember Batman’s identity after he awoke.)

Cyborg (Vic Stone. As a member of the Teen Titans in the early 80s, he learned the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. However, the part about his knowing Batman’s secret ID was reportedly erased by a retcon from Denny O’Neil at the time of Zero Hour. I don’t know if he’s learned all over again since then)

Damian (Batman’s newly-introduced long-lost son. Presumably he has known all his life, thanks to his mommy, Talia.)

Deadman (Boston Brand. Since he is normally an invisible and intangible ghost who can go anywhere and spy on anyone, it would be very easy for him to learn any secret identity if he got interested enough to bother, and he demonstrated his knowledge of where to find the Batcave (right under Wayne Manor, natch!) in “Batman #530″)

Deathstroke the Terminator (Slade Wilson. He probably knew Pre-COIE because of the things he learned by having Terra infiltrate the Titans in preparation for “The Judas Contract.” He definitely learned Dick Grayson’s secrets at that time. Several years after COIE, in “Deathstroke the Terminator #8,” Slade entered Wayne Manor to ask Bruce Wayne for help. Bruce and Slade were both wearing tuxedoes instead of masks at the time Slade approached him, but in context, it was quite clear that Slade wanted — and eventually got –Batman’s help. However, that story was published in the early 90s, Pre-Zero Hour, and I’m not sure if there’s ever been a Post-Zero Hour story in which it was made clear to us that Slade still knows. [See the note at the end of this list about the Zero Hour Retcons.])

Deathwing (Comes from an alternate future timeline, now defunct, in which he had been brainwashed by the Time Trapper so he could pass himself off as Dick Grayson, the Nightwing of “ten years from now.” We were eventually told he wasn’t really a Dick Grayson from the future, but in that case he still must have been very well-briefed on all Titans lore and Dick Grayson’s biography in particular, including the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in his life, in order to carry the role with conviction)

Despero (Restored various suppressed memories to the Secret Society of Super-Villains in the “JLA: Crisis of Conscience” story arc . . . and as it turned out, those memories included the knowledge that Batman is Bruce Wayne (not to mention several other JLA secret IDs). In the process, Despero apparently learned this secret himself (if he didn’t already know? He is a telepath, after all). At the end of the arc, Despero was subdued by Zatanna’s magic and allegedly was going to be taken off to Oa for containment, but – as far as I can tell – he still had all that knowledge of secret IDs inside his head. The other villains whom he had helped to regain these memories included: Chronos, Felix Faust, Floronic Man, Matter Master, Star Sapphire, The Wizard)

Doc Creasey (Dead. Bought the secret of Batman’s identity from “The Nobody” in “Shadow of the Bat #13.” One of Joker’s henchmen killed Creasey before he could make any use of his new knowledge)

Donna Troy (Sometimes known as Wonder Girl I, Wonder Woman IV (I think she’d be the fourth user of the name), Troia, etc. I’ve completely lost track of what alias she might be using today, if any? As a founding member of the Teen Titans, she learned the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. However, the part about her knowing Batman’s secret ID was reportedly erased by a retcon from Denny O’Neil at the time of Zero Hour. I don’t know if she’s learned all over again since then)

The Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny. His knowledge was recently confirmed in the “JLA: Crisis of Conscience” arc)

Faith (She refers to Batman as “Bruce” during the “JLA Classified: Sacred Trust” story arc)

Felix Faust (Found out the secret IDs of Batman and several other JLAers a long time ago, according to an “Identity Crisis” retcon. Then he got mindwiped by Zatanna. Then Despero recently helped him rediscover those memories in “JLA: Crisis of Conscience.” Then they got wiped out (or suppressed, or whatever) by Zatanna all over again . . . until further notice?)

Flash III (Wally West)

The Floronic Man (Jason Woodrue. Found out the secret IDs of Batman and several other JLAers a long time ago, according to an “Identity Crisis” retcon. Then he got mindwiped by Zatanna. Then Despero recently helped him rediscover those memories in “JLA: Crisis of Conscience.” Then they got wiped out (or suppressed, or whatever) by Zatanna all over again . . . until further notice?)

Fritz (A thug who worked for Benedict Asp. Learned in “Legends of the Dark Knight #61.” Then he died)

Geo-Force (Brion Markov. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13.” See “Black Lightning” entry for my reasons for listing him as knowing “in modern continuity”)

Green Arrow I (Oliver Queen. Already knew by the time of a conversation with Batman in “Green Arrow #5″ (the third series of that name). I’m told that it is far from clear just when and how he found out in the modern continuity, however)

Green Lantern #whatever (Hal Jordan, formerly known as Parallax, and later as The Spectre II, before reverting back to “Green Lantern.” His knowledge was confirmed during the recent “JLA: Crisis of Conscience” story arc. I say “#whatever” because, strictly speaking, I think millions of other people across the universe must have been “Green Lanterns” in the eons before Hal Jordan ever met Abin Sur)

Halo (Violet Hunter. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13.” See “Black Lightning” entry for my reasons for listing her as knowing “in modern continuity”)

Harbinger (Lyla, the former assistant to the Monitor. Had access to information about everyone interesting)

Harold Allnut (Dead. Presumably found out shortly after Batman met him and took him home to the Batcave in “Batman #458.”)

Hawkman (Carter Hall. His knowledge was recently confirmed in the “JLA: Crisis of Conscience” arc)

Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders. In “Hawkgirl #51,” an OYL issue, she thinks of “Batman” as also being “Bruce” who can drive around in limos all the time)

Henri Ducard (One of Bruce’s old teachers; he deduced the secret in the “Blind Justice” story arc, which has allegedly been erased from continuity, which would certainly explain why I don’t remember ever seeing Ducard make any use of this knowledge in any subsequent appearances in other comics)

Hourman III, from the 853rd Century (Tyler. Dead. The secret was also known to a bunch of his friends from the Justice Legion who appeared in the “DC One Million” event, because the identities of modern-era heroes are all available in public records in the 853rd century)

Hugo Strange (A borderline case. Hugo kinda-sorta-sometimes thinks he knows, but – as far as I can tell in the modern continuity — has never actually proven it for sure. For instance, he’s never captured Batman and then ripped off his cowl to reveal the face of Bruce Wayne underneath. That exact scenario actually happened in Pre-COIE continuity, but that story seems to have been erased from history, many years ago. I have on my hard drive a rough draft of a post that examines the Weird Retcons of Hugo Strange’s Continuity in more detail; I’ll polish it up and post it someday)

Hush (Thomas “Tommy” Elliot. We learned at the end of “Hush” that he had learned it from Riddler in a conversation we never saw, before that story arc even started. I’m told that we have heard nothing of him thus far in any story following the OYL leap forward in DC’s titles; apparently it is not even known if he is currently alive or dead?)

Ion (Kyle Rayner, formerly a Green Lantern. Learned in “JLA #50.”)

Jack Drake (Dead)

Jason Todd (Formerly Robin II, later The Red Hood II. More recently a “Nightwing” — I’m not sure if he still uses that name today, and I’ve lost track of what the numbering would be, given that Power Girl and Cheyenne Freemont have also been using that name in OYL stories)

Jean Loring (Refers to Batman as “Bruce” in “Identity Crisis #7″)

Jeannie Bowen (In the “Blind Justice” story arc, which has allegedly been erased from continuity)

Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13.” See “Black Lightning” entry for my reasons for listing her as knowing “in modern
continuity”)

Kathy Sutton (Wife of Red Tornado II. Demonstrates her knowledge that Batman is also Bruce Wayne in “Justice League of America #1″ (the newest series)

Lady Shiva (Nightwing commented that she was on the list of enemies who definitely knew, in a conversation he had with Robin III (Tim Drake) in “Gotham Knights #8.” I don’t think we know just when or how she supposedly found out)

Leslie Thompkins (In the current continuity, she was an old friend of the Wayne family who found out soon after Bruce invented his new identity.)

Lois Lane (Probably learned from her husband Clark – she obviously knew at the time of her appearance in “Hush,” although a few years earlier, when she teamed up with Batman to steal the Green Kryptonite Ring from President Lex Luthor in the White House, she definitely didn’t know. Which surprised Batman, because he’d assumed her loving husband must have told her by then!)

Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom. His knowledge was established in “Gotham Knights #45″)

Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onnz. May have learned by telepathic prying in “JLA: Year One” if that is still in continuity)

Matches Malone (Dead. But he had somehow figured it out before he died, according to a letter column in “Detective Comics #765″)

Matter Master (Mark Mandrill. Found out the secret IDs of Batman and several other JLAers a long time ago, according to an “Identity Crisis” retcon. Then he got mindwiped by Zatanna. Then Despero recently helped him rediscover those memories in “JLA: Crisis of Conscience.” Then they got wiped out (or suppressed, or whatever) by Zatanna all over again . . . until further notice?)

Maxwell Lord (Dead. Apparently learned the secret from Brother Eye, or perhaps by telepathic prying?)

Metamorpho (Rex Mason. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13.” See “Black Lightning” entry for my reasons for listing him as knowing “in modern continuity”)

Neron (Can see anywhere. Visited the Batcave in “Underworld Unleashed
#2″)

Nightwing I (Dick Grayson, formerly Robin I and Batman III)

“The Nobody” (Dead. A convenient label for a homeless man, real name unknown, who learned Batman’s identity and then was killed by the man he sold it to (Doc Creasey), in Shadow of the Bat #13″)

Nomoz (Learned during the “Sword of Azrael” miniseries)

Nyssa Raatko (AKA Ra’s al Ghul II. Dead. Demonstrated her knowledge of Bruce’s secret in the “Death and the Maidens” miniseries. I don’t recall that we ever learned how she knew – she had been estranged from her father, the original Ra’s al Ghul, for decades before Ra’s (or anybody else) ever heard of “Batman,” so I doubt she heard it from her daddy)

Oracle (Barbara Gordon, formerly the first Batgirl. She’s known for a long, long time. Over the years, there’s been more than one explanation of just how and when she found out the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. The “Batgirl: Year One” mini showed one version of how she found out; as far as I know; it’s probably still the “official” version in modern continuity.)

Owlman (Thomas Wayne, member of the Crime Syndicate of America, on the Earth in the Antimatter Universe. Introduced in Grant Morrison’s “JLA: Earth-2.” Once he visited the regular DCU Earth, it was a foregone conclusion that he’d figure it out. In fact, he located and visited the graves of Bruce’s parents (analogs of his own parents in the other universe). I consider that adequate proof that he figured out that Batman is the sole survivor of the filthy rich Wayne family of Gotham in the “regular DCU” timeline)

The Phantom Stranger (He seems virtually omniscient. In “Batman/Phantom Stranger” he dropped in on Bruce Wayne and his conversation made it clear he knew)

Plastic Man (Eel O’Brian. Learned in “JLA #50″)

Ra’s al Ghul I, and various henchmen (Already knew the secret, from behind-the-scenes detective work, when he made his debut way back when in “Batman #232.” That carried over to Post-COIE continuity, unlike many other Pre-COIE stories wherein people learned Batman’s secret ID. At least some of Ra’s hirelings have also known, when it suited his purpose to let them know, but I don’t have an exact count of just how many have heard the secret from him)

Raven (Also calls herself “Rachel Roth,” although I believe that’s just an alias. As a member of the Teen Titans in the early 80s, she learned the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. However, the part about her knowing Batman’s secret ID was reportedly erased by a retcon from Denny O’Neil at the time of Zero Hour. I don’t know if she’s learned all over again since then)

Red Arrow (Roy Harper, previously Speedy I and Arsenal. As a founding member of the Teen Titans, he learned the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. However, the part about his knowing Batman’s secret ID was reportedly erased by a retcon from Denny O’Neil at the time of Zero Hour. I don’t know if he’s learned all over again since then)

Red Tornado II (Not sure when he learned in the latest version of modern continuity, but probably before “JLA: Crisis of Conscience” when Batman is working to repair him in the Batcave)

Riddler (Edward Nigma. At the very end of “Hush,”he revealed that he had already figured it all out, behind the scenes, before that 12-part story arc even started. Now, however, he appears to have totally forgotten during his long spell in a coma, as indicated (after he finally recovered) – in his appearances in Dini’s run on “Detective Comics.”)

Robin III (Tim Drake. Revealed that he had already known the secrets of Batman and the original Robin for several years before he ever got around to mentioning his knowledge to Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne in face-to-face conversations during the story arc “A Lonely Place of Dying” in 1989)

Roy Kane (Dead. Learned and died in the “Blind Justice” story arc, which has allegedly been erased from continuity)

Ruby (Apparently her real first name. Dead. A female criminal who broke into the Batcave in “Batman #577″ and learned Batman’s secret identity and then conveniently died by the end of the issue, as did her accomplices, “Ruby’s Brother” and “Sneaky Pete.”)

Ruby’s Brother (Dead. We never knew his real name. See entry for “Ruby”)

Sasha Bordeaux (Learned in “Detective Comics #756″ when she found some of Bruce’s Bat-equipment – we later were told he’d planned it that way)

Sentinel (Alan Scott, formerly the Golden Age Green Lantern. Showed that he knew in “Detective Comics #784″)

Sherlock Holmes (Showed that he had deduced it independently in “Detective Comics #572,” before he and Batman met face-to-face. As far as I know, there’s no reason to think that’s been retconned)

Shondra Kinsolving (Learned in “Legends of the Dark Knight #61.” Then she promptly regressed to early childhood, mentally, and was placed in a sanitarium. In “Hush” there was a very brief, very vague reference to the idea that eventually “she got better.” She may or may not remember anything about Batman’s secrets now; who knows?)

Silver St. Cloud (Learned during the Steve Englehart/Marshall Rogers run on “Detective Comics” that is reprinted in the TPB “Batman: Strange Apparitions.” Batman didn’t tell her; but after she’d been seriously dating Bruce Wayne for awhile, and then got a good look at Batman with the lower part of his face unprotected by his mask, she recognized his jaw in a heartbeat. That was a Pre-COIE story arc, but she’s had some more recent appearances that have established that in “modern” continuity she still knows the secret which she learned during their love affair, way back when)

Sneaky Pete (Dead. See entry for “Ruby”)

The Spectre I (Jim Corrigan. Dead and gone, now. Visited the Batcave in “Batman #541.”)

The Spectre III (Crispus Allen. Apparently learned in #1 of his own series)

Star Sapphire IV (Deborah Camille Darnell. Dead. Found out the secret IDs of Batman and several other JLAers a long time ago, according to an “Identity Crisis” retcon. Then she got mindwiped by Zatanna. Then Despero recently helped her rediscover those memories in “JLA: Crisis of Conscience.” Then they got wiped out (or suppressed, or whatever) by Zatanna all over again . . . until further notice?)

Starfire (Koriand’r. As a member of the Teen Titans in the early 80s, she learned the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. However, the part about her knowing Batman’s secret ID was reportedly erased by a retcon from Denny O’Neil at the time of Zero Hour. I don’t know if she’s learned all over again since then)

Sue Dibny (One fan claims that she knew in the old “Justice League International” series. If so, that knowledge may have been erased in a retcon after Zero Hour. And I’m pretty sure her husband knew more recently, in “Identity Crisis,” and it seems likely that she knew anything Ralph knew)

Superboy-Prime (Clark Kent of the Pre-COIE Earth-Prime. Presumably he knew “Batman = Bruce Wayne” from a very early age, thanks to comic books, TV shows, etc.)

Supergirl #whatever (Kara Zor-El, the Rebooted Version)

Superman (Clark Kent, Kal-El)

The Synaptic Kid (Only appeared in “Detective Comics #633.” Learned Batman’s identity telepathically, then – after a very confusing story – ended up in a comatose condition with a mental breakdown, as a result of the shocking experience of messing around inside the complexities of Batman’s head without an invitation to be there. Let this be a lesson to us all . . .)

Talia (In her first appearance, she saw the face under Batman’s mask when she was administering first aid after he’d been battered into unconsciousness, but she didn’t instantly recognize him. Or at least she said she didn’t! However, even if we take that claim at face value, it seems clear that her daddy, Ra’s al Ghul (who debuted in a later story) must have brought her up to speed on Batman’s secret ID soon after he discovered it, and so she’s consistently known Bruce’s secret since the early 1970s, in both Pre-COIE and Post-COIE material)

Terra I (Tara Markov. Dead. During her membership in the Titans in the early 1980s, she learned all their secret identities. At the time, and for many years thereafter, it appeared that this meant she (and her partner in crime, Deathstroke the Terminator) had thereby learned Batman’s secret identity as well. This was probably retconned after Zero Hour — see a note at the bottom of this post)

Trogg (Bane told him in “Knightfall”)

Tsunetomo (Dead. One of Bruce Wayne’s martial arts teachers. Recognized Batman’s fighting style in “Detective Comics Annual #3″)

Waverider (Learned all sorts of secrets, including Batman’s identity, when he was examining the possible futures of different heroes during the “Armageddon 2001″ event published in 1991)

White Martians (According to a statement made in the “JLA: New World Order” story arc, there were 78 of them. In the “JLA: Terror Incognita” story arc, it became clear that with their telepathy and all that, they definitely knew Batman’s secret identity, among others. However, in the later “JLA: Trial by Fire” arc, they all got skragged, as far as I can tell. At least, the 78 evil ones who’d tried to conquer the Earth got skragged. I am told that the character “Miss Martian” is allegedly a long-lost 79th White Martian with a much better moral code; if that’s true, then as far as I know, she is not aware of Batman’s secret identity, but I’ve been wrong before.)

William Randolph Wintergreen (Dead. Used to be Deathstroke the Terminator’s butler and friend. Wintergreen’s knowledge of Bruce Wayne’s double life was demonstrated in “Deathstroke the Terminator #9″ in the early 90s – but he and Deathstroke were very tight, so it’s logical to assume that he first found out at the same time his employer did, back in the Titans continuity of the early 1980s. As with Deathstroke, I don’t know of any story that’s clearly established that Wintergreen still knew Batman’s secrets in the Post-Zero Hour continuity (before he died, which made it something of a moot point))

The Wizard (William I. Zard. Found out the secret IDs of Batman and several other JLAers a long time ago, according to an “Identity Crisis” retcon. Then he got indwiped by Zatanna. Then Despero recently helped him rediscover those memories in “JLA: Crisis of Conscience.” Then they got wiped out (or suppressed, or whatever) by Zatanna all over again . . . until further notice?)

Wonder Woman I (Diana. Apparently it is not crystal-clear just when she learned, but these days she definitely knows)

Zatanna (Zatanna Zatara. Her knowledge of his identity was recently confirmed during the “JLA: Crisis of Conscience” story arc when she visited the Batcave and called him “Bruce” while trying to apologize for mindwiping him many years ago (as previously revealed in a retcon flashback in “Identity Crisis”). She offered to do anything she possibly could to make it up to him, and Batman listened to her speech and then simply told her to leave. (Considering that he didn’t hit her, file criminal charges or a civil lawsuit against her, scream obscenities at her, or suggest she go mindwipe herself and her former co-conspirators to balance the scales by removing their memories of his secrets this time around, I thought he handled it rather well.))

Zombie (Bane told him in “Knightfall”)

As always, I welcome constructive criticism – such as suggestions regarding people I’ve completely omitted from the list, or comments on what I got wrong in my brief summaries of who certain people are and why they know (or used to know) the secret. Before you start offering that criticism, however, you might want to read the rest of this post, where I explain a few of the decisions I made on what to leave off the list.

Stray Notes on Doubtful Cases

In the early 1980s, when I was buying monthly issues of the first Marv Wolfman/George Perez run on “The New Teen Titans,” it was clear that everybody in the group knew that Robin (later Nightwing) was Dick Grayson, and that Bruce Wayne was his mentor, Batman. I have heard that later, probably around the time of Zero Hour, Denny O’Neil retconned that to say that NONE of the other Titans had ever known who Batman was, even though they knew who his first Robin was. Period! So I’m not clear on how many current or former Titans are supposed to know who Batman is, right now, in modern continuity; but they definitely knew for awhile (the late 80s and early 90s) after COIE had come and gone. Something similar seems to have happened to some of the JLAers who knew Batman’s secrets in Pre-COIE and Post-COIE-but-Pre-Zero-Hour era, although some of those characters now seem to have had their knowledge of his real name retconned right back in again. (It’s hard to keep up. I suspect this is one area where this Draft could definitely stand some improvement, if anyone wants to cite specific stories in which one former JLAer or another seems to know all about Batman’s secrets, before or after Zero Hour.)

Likewise, when Tim Drake was with Young Justice, he was under strict orders not to reveal any of Batman’s secrets to his new teammates. A year ago, someone tried to tell me that Superboy (Kon-El) definitely knew Batman’s secret identity way back in the 1990s, but the story he cited was one I later bought and read, without finding any evidence of Kon-El’s knowledge in it. If anyone knows of any evidence that any former member of Young Justice (besides Tim) was ever brought up to speed on Batman’s secret identity, please tell me where that evidence may be found! :)

It has never been firmly established that Jim Gordon knows the secret. It’s been hinted — a few dozen times — that he may think he knows more about Batman than Batman has ever explicitly told him, and that he may think he knows more about Bruce Wayne than Bruce has ever explicitly told him, but I’ve never yet read a scene in “regular continuity” in which Gordon says: “There goes Batman, also known as Bruce Wayne!”

I didn’t bother listing all the people from Pre-COIE Earth-2 who would know (including the Golden Age versions of Lois and Clark, who both died in IC). It’s been pointed out to me that some of those characters appeared to be getting some of their memories of their “native” Pre-COIE Earth-2 suddenly restored to them near the end of the Infinite Crisis; I don’t know offhand if it’s ever been firmly nailed down that any of them now remember that there was an Earth-2 Batman whose real name was “Bruce Wayne.”

I listed Owlman from Grant Morrison’s “Earth-2″ — but I don’t know how many of his buddies in the Crime Syndicate of America know his secret identity. Any of them who did know could use that to deduce that Bruce Wayne is Batman in the main Earth of the DCU. (I think someone once told me — I believe it was in a post that’s no longer available online when I looked — that the Superwoman and Ultraman of that universe also know Owlman’s secret identity, but — as the fan pointed out at the time — Ultraman is far from being the sharpest knife in the drawer, so it might be a real stretch to assume that he could figure out who “Batman” was on that basis.)

I had Spoiler on the previous drafts of this list, because I remembered (vaguely) that in the stories collected in the “War Drums” TPB she knew how to get in and out of the Batcave on her own, at the time she became a Robin. I believe I had the impression that this meant she had to know that the Batcave was located squarely underneath Wayne Manor, which would imply that she knew Batman and Bruce Wayne were the same guy.

When I’m wrong, I’m wrong! I’ve removed her from the list this time around because I got enough criticism on that point, a year ago, that I finally went back and reread “War Drums” and came to agree with my critics. As near as I can tell: in the last months of her life, Stephanie Brown knew Tim’s secret identity, and knew Tim and Alfred Pennyworth were close, and knew Batman and Alfred Pennyworth were close, and knew how to find and enter the Batcave any time she wanted to visit, and knew how to log in to the computers in the Batcave and secretly study Batman’s contingency plans for worst-case scenarios . . . but she evidently did not know that “Bruce Wayne” is Batman’s real name, and implicitly did not know that the Batcave was located directly below Wayne Manor!

I don’t say that this makes any sense! I only say that this is, in fact, how she was being written, regarding what she knew and what she didn’t, during the stories reprinted in the “War Drums” and “War Games” TPBs!

(Although frankly, given that she knew about Alfred Pennyworth’s connection to Batman, it staggers my imagination to think that she never pursued that lead to find out where and for whom he normally worked as a butler.)

52 Comments

Batman’s really Bruce Wayne?!

Also, the Wrath from The Batman Special #1 story, “Player on the Other Side”. He led a parallel life, his crook parents being killed by patrolman Jim Gorden, dedicated his life to evil.

Duh, also Prometheus?

Incredible work, Brian..

…at depressing the shit out of me! Good god, how did this happen? Who Batman is should be the most important secret in the DCU! Fucking Metamorpho!?

Re: the New Teen Titans, post Zero Hour.

How the hell could someone know Dick Grayson was Robin and not even suspect that Bruce was Batman?

The secret isn’t so secret, uhm!? Great work.

That’s a lot of people, no wonder he’s so paranoid.

Reminds me of a line from, of all places, ‘Tiny Toon Adventures':

“First it was Vicki Vale, and now this! Geez, Alfred, why don’t you just tell the WHOLE WORLD we’re down here!”

When and why was “Blind Justice” retconned out of continuity? It seems rather stupid. Also, Jeannie Bowen’s brother knew it too (I checked the list twice and don’t see his name, but I forget what it is). I think someone from WayneTech discovered it in that story as well, but he died. That’s just weird if it’s been wiped out. Its final chapter was Detective #600, after all – a pretty important milestone.

Yeah, it seems like it would be a simpler task to list the people who DON’T know Bruce Wayne is Batman.

Matthew Lazorwitz

December 21, 2007 at 12:25 pm

In the “Doubtful Cases” section, it might bear mentioning Doctor Shiela Haywood and the Joker. Haywood is Jason Todd’s mother, and was killed shortly after learning Jason’s identity as Robin, so she might have put two and two together before Joker killed her. And there have been a few hints the Joker might know, again notably in A Death in the Family.

Also, Jimmy Olsen was shown to know at some point in Countdown, although how long lasting this knowledge will be remains to be seen.

Batman’s really Bruce Wayne?!

Also, I hear that Ben is Glory!

Probably, every time someone figures out (or gets outright told) that Bruce Wayne is Batman, they get a visit in the middle of the night, where they are confronted by a shadowy figure who knows all their secrets: affairs, cheating on the taxes, illegitimate kids, that big box of porno in the closet, and so on and so forth.

A lot of spouses know, huh? Is that a good idea?

There was a follow-up on the Bruce/Zatanna relationship in a recent 2-parter in Dini’s Detective Comics run. After taking down the Joker together, he finally forgives her for the whole mindwipe thing while the two are chilling later in the Batcave together with Alfred.

Also, Dini brought in the “Batman: The Animated Series” continuity which featured Bruce and Zatanna befriending each other as children. That is apparently ‘canon’ in the DCU now, though I’m still unsure of when she learned his secret identity.

Also, I hear that Ben is Glory!

Wait, wait. Do we suspect there may be some connection between Ben and Glory?

Greg: Jeannie Bowen’s brother was Roy Kane

Some more info…

Sue Dibny must know because Alfred helped her pick out a gift for Ralph in the first issue of Identity Crisis. Don’t see why she would know Alfred for any other reason.

Looker found out in the Detective Comics storyarc “The Mud Pack” (#604-608)

Harbinger (Lyla) died in Superman/Batman #10, and one should assume that if Donna didn’t know as a Titan, she would definitely know as the new Harbinger.

Tempest/Aqualad and Lilith, as original Titans, probably knows if the other originals do per the “Dick is Nightwing” connection. I can’t imagine any of the Titans who know Dick is Nightwing (which is most of the Wolfman generation) NOT knowing Bruce is also Batman.

In a flashback story in, Justice League of America #122 the then-current League shares identities: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, and Ray Palmer and also agree to share their IDs to all members in the future. While that was definitely retconed post-Crisis (Batman wasn’t even in the Silver-Age JLA), it seems with Brad Meltzer’s Green Arrow, ID Crisis, and JLA that in “New Earth” the *original* JLA always knew each other’s IDs. This would explain why Ollie, Ray Palmer, Hawkman, Hawgirl I, Dinah, Ralph, Red Tornado, Zatanna and probably even Firestorm would know. Motion to declare this back into continuity?

Let’s not forget that trio of villainesses from the Ressurection of Ra’s Al Ghul storyline. Tiger Moth, Silk Spider, and um, Sexy Chick? They seemed to figure it out while invading the Batcave… and then got poisoned and may or may not have brain damage or amnesia…

I don’t have the issue on hand to reference it, but it seemed awfully messy.

Oh, and how about the hundreds of ninjas sent with them to invade the Batcave? I wonder if they know. Hm.

(There was a brief bit in the new Batman and the Outsiders series where someone (Metamorpho, perhaps?) said “Batman – or whoever’s funding him- is majorly rich to afford all this.” I wondered if that meant they didn’t know his identity anymore, or if they were just being vague for the benefit of the members present who might not know. (I think Grace and Thunder.)

Now let’s ask ourselves who knows that Dick Grayson = Nightwing/Robin…

Are you saying that Batman and Glory are the same person?

RE: Jim Gordon – Perhaps by saying “in continuity” you disqualify the Miller/Mazzucelli Batman Year One books. I seem to recall it’s very strongly hinted in the final issue that Gordon sees Batman without his mask and recognizes Wayne. But he has decided by this point that his family and Gotham are both better off with Batman around, and his identity secret.

Yeah, it’s kind of crazy how many people know who he is. So much for the Batman = Urban Legand idea…

Incredible work, Brian..

These babies are all done by the poster Lorendiac. I just post them for him.

In the Lightning Saga, fanfic writer Brad Meltzer, the guy who loves having heroes use nothing but first names with each other, had a bunch of JSA’ers address Batman as “Bruce,” didn’t he? I’m pretty sure he at least had Power Girl call him Bruce and maybe a few more…

Lex Luthor?, he was with in the society with Talia and Deathstroke

Presumably Ubu would know too if we’re picking out random henchmen. No reason to believe he’s not part of modern continuity.

Also, the Wrath from The Batman Special #1 story, “Player on the Other Side”. He led a parallel life, his crook parents being killed by patrolman Jim Gorden, dedicated his life to evil.

Assuming I used the “blockquote” tag correctly, I just quoted something from Stefan Blitz.

I actually bought that Special when it first came out. Of course, it was Pre-COIE, so I didn’t mention the Wrath when I was drafting out most of this list a year ago. Recently I’ve heard — very vaguely — something about an intention to revive the character concept, but I don’t know any details (such as whether or not he’s being rebooted as a “new take” on the idea, or whatever).

Duh, also Prometheus?

Okay, I don’t know yet how to make the Blockquote mention the person’s name that I’m quoting, but I’ll pick it up eventually . . .

Meanwhile: If Prometheus learned Batman’s identity, I hadn’t heard about it. Would this have been during the long run on “Gotham Knights” that had Hush in every issue? I’ve read very little of that material, and heard the rest of it just dragged on . . . and on . . . and on . . .

I remember hearing Prometheus was in it somewhere, but that’s about all. Can you tell me which issue (of “Gotham Knights” or whatever) showed us that he had learned the secret? So I can mention it in a future draft of the list?

Conor E said:

Re: the New Teen Titans, post Zero Hour.

How the hell could someone know Dick Grayson was Robin and not even suspect that Bruce was Batman?

That was pretty much MY reaction, years ago, when I belatedly heard about Denny O’Neil’s Post-Zero Hour Retcons to his beloved Batman titles, back around late 1994. Remember, O’Neil was the Editor in charge of all of Batman’s stuff for many years, and I’ve heard that the general policy of Zero Hour was that editors were told they could use the event in the mid-90s as a Convenient Excuse for One Big Shameless Retcon Per Regular Title. With all the titles O’Neil edited that were set in and around Gotham City, featuring Batman and various associates, he figured he could go hog-wild!

It appears that O’Neil had decided that Batman had become far too public a figure, with too many people (both heroes and villains) even knowing his real name, home address, phone number, etc. (Looking at the size of my list, it’s EASY to sympathize with that basic complaint.) So he tried to introduce various retcons to make Batman more of an “urban legend” and less of a “well-known celebrity” in the DCU. This involved a declaration that Batman had never yet been captured on film by the media, and that his very existence had never been “officially established.” He was just a rumor emanating from Gotham City, but people outside of Gotham generally didn’t take the rumor too seriously.

This did not make any sense. It ripped to shreds all sorts of Batman stories that had already been published in the Post-COIE era. But Denny didn’t care. He also allegedly wanted to say “Modern Batman has NEVER, NEVER, NEVER been a member of any incarnation of the Justice League,” but apparently other people at DC managed to talk him out of that particularly bad idea. However, on a related note, I’ve heard that Denny also introduced the retcon I mentioned in this post — the idea that all those characters in Titans continuity (including many heroes and at least a few villains) who had learned Dick Grayson’s ID had NOT NECESSARILY learned Batman’s secret ID.

I agree that this was ridiculous! A long time ago I wrote that I prefer to imagine it working out like this, in practice:

[A TYPICAL TEEN TITANS MEETING, IN THE SILVER AGE, AS RETCONNED BY DENNY O’NEIL’S DUMB IDEAS FROM THE MID-90s]

DICK:
I’ve got to run, guys! My mentor needs me to help him run down leads on the Riddler’s latest scheme back home in Gotham! By the way, have I mentioned lately that my superhero mentor is ABSOLUTELY NOT the same guy as my legal guardian, Bruce Wayne?

ALL THE OTHER TITANS (rolling their eyes and speaking in chorus):
Yes, Dick. At every weekly meeting for the past two years. We think we’ve all grasped the point by now.

DICK:
Great! Just wanted to make sure you didn’t get the wrong idea!

[Now he leaves, while all the other Titans exchange glances and wonder if Batman, that legendary detective, is really so CLUELESS that he thinks you can have your sidekick and legal ward reveal his own identity to his friends WITHOUT compromising your own in the process?]

[Now he leaves, while all the other Titans exchange glances and wonder if Batman, that legendary detective, is really so CLUELESS that he thinks you can have your sidekick and legal ward reveal his own identity to his friends WITHOUT compromising your own in the process?]

No, but Marv Wolfman apparently was the clueless.

Greg Burgas asked:

When and why was “Blind Justice” retconned out of continuity? It seems rather stupid. Also, Jeannie Bowen’s brother knew it too (I checked the list twice and don’t see his name, but I forget what it is). I think someone from WayneTech discovered it in that story as well, but he died. That’s just weird if it’s been wiped out. Its final chapter was Detective #600, after all – a pretty important milestone.

I only vaguely recall that sometime in 2006 I ran across an online report, rumor, or whatever, to the effect that “Blind Justice” had “quietly” been retconned out at some previous date. But wherever I saw that report (and I’ve forgotten the source), it didn’t say anything so explicit as: “And this confirmed by so-and-so in an interview for Wizard, five years ago last March.” (I just mention that as one example of what I would have LIKED to see.)

That’s why I carefully said, in entries for Jeannie Bowen, Roy Kane, and Henri Ducard, that “Blind Justice” “has allegedly been erased from continuity.” I inserted “allegedly” a year ago because I wasn’t 100 percent sure of my ground.

Frankly, I HATED much of Bruce’s behavior in the last installment of “Blind Justice” when I bought it as it was first released in 1989, and I certainly hope it has been retconned away into oblivion by now . . . but I can’t “prove” it has been.

Offhand, I’m not sure if anyone from WayneTech definitely discovered Batman’s identity — although it’s possible. Henri Ducard shared his theory with some bad guys who had been part of a cabal that infiltrated WayneTech for their own nefarious purposes, but they just flat didn’t believe him (because “Batman” — actually Roy Kane’s body — had hit the streets again, the night before, when Wayne was still stuck in a wheelchair after suffering severe gunshot wounds).

Dr. Kenneth Harbinger was the main Mad Scientist in that story arc, using mind control like crazy on everybody and his brother, and he even tried to assassinate Bruce Wayne at one point (putting him in that wheelchair I mentioned), but did he learn Batman’s secret before he died?

T.: “No, but Marv Wolfman apparently was the clueless.”

What Wolfman WAS clueless about was having Dick reveal his identity to every single person who was in the Titans for more than two issues. Even after Terra betrayed the team. Obviously he wrote Deathstroke in his own series to show that ol’ Slade knew whom Batman was.

For what it’s worth, Denny O’Neil’s retcons were reportedly:
1) Son of the Demon is not in continuity (since re-retconned by Morrison)
2) The killer of his parents was never caught (since re-retconned by Infinite Crisis)
3) Batman was never in the Justice League (since re-retconned by Batman being a “part-time member”)
4) Batman is an Urban Legend (which went back and forth until War Games finally just put him on TV.)

rlsims said:

RE: Jim Gordon – Perhaps by saying “in continuity” you disqualify the Miller/Mazzucelli Batman Year One books. I seem to recall it’s very strongly hinted in the final issue that Gordon sees Batman without his mask and recognizes Wayne. But he has decided by this point that his family and Gotham are both better off with Batman around, and his identity secret.

I think it was sometime last year, in another thread where the question arose of what Jim Gordon and/or his wife Barbara “knew” about Batman after the final scenes of “Year One,” that I suddenly had an epiphany on this subject . . .

I realized that NOTHING in that big fight/chase/fight sequence in the last chapter of Year One actually “proved” to Mr. and Mrs. Gordon that Bruce Wayne was BATMAN! It might have proved that he had heroic virtues underneath that “frivolous zillionaire playboy” exterior, but lots of people are capable of being Good Samaritans from time to time, without having superhero costumes in their closets!

Let me run through my logic in a bit more detail. At one point in that parking garage sequence, as he was shooting vicious kidnappers right and left, Jim Gordon mistakenly ASSUMED that the mysterious guy on the motorcycle, wearing leather jacket and crash helmet with visor lowered, must be part of the same gang, and shot him in the chest. Then Jim hurried off in hot pursuit of the thug (the Roman’s nephew) who still had possession of Baby James.

Meanwhile, he’d left his wife back in the parking garage, and as Mysterious Motorcycle Rider (looking surprising healthy for a guy who’d just been shot dead center in his torso) started to get up, she said something like, “Don’t — I’ll kill you.” He quickly pulled off his helmet and said, “Mrs. Gordon, you have to trust me. I won’t let your little boy die.” Then he ran out of the garage and she didn’t shoot him to stop him. As I recall, his face was drawn as being very shadowed as he spoke to her, but the plain implication was that she had PROBABLY just recognized Bruce Wayne, although no one ever said so in dialogue.

A few minutes later, Bruce catches up with Gordon and the others and manages to catch Baby James in mid-air so he doesn’t drown or anything. Meanwhile, Jim has lost his glasses in the fracas, and the conversation goes something like this — (I’m working from memory, so I’ll probably mess up the exact wording, but work with me here!) :)

GORDON:
You must be wearing body armor under that jacket.

BRUCE:
Yes.

GORDON:
I’m practically blind without my glasses, you know. Sirens coming. You’d better get out of here.

I’ve read my “Year One” TPB several times, of course, but it was only last year that it suddenly dawned on me — Jim’s wife saw Bruce’s face clearly as he was being heroic, and Jim may have had some chance to recognize his face a few minutes later (because we don’t really KNOW just how bad his vision was, at that age, without those glasses), but both of them could TRUTHFULLY swear in court, with one hand on a stack of bibles, “No, we don’t know who BATMAN is. We’ve never seen BATMAN walk up to us, wearing his costume, and then take off his mask to reveal the face beneath.” If cross-examined by a lawyer who somehow had learned, from other sources, the bit of “Year One” that I just summarized, both Gordons could then say, “Batman? No, we didn’t see BATMAN’S face on that occasion, to the best of our knowledge. We did see BRUCE WAYNE being surprisingly heroic as he helped save the life of our baby boy, and he just happened to be wearing a leather jacket and a crash helmet that day, and he was modest enough that he never insisted on taking any public credit for lending a hand . . . but what on earth does that prove about the mysterious Batman? He never said he knew anything about Batman, and he wasn’t wearing anything that had bats on it!”

I can’t believe I went all the way to 2006 before I realized the huge LACK of any proof that the mysterious figure known as “Batman” was ever within a mile of that daring rescue of Baby James Gordon! Ah well, better late than never! :)

So EVEN IF we assume that every word of “Year One” is still in continuity, I feel safe in not granting Jim Gordon or his first wife any entries on the main list! They may have suspected that Bruce Wayne could secretly be Batman, but the mere fact that he helped save their baby didn’t prove anything about that, did it? (If I help save somebody’s baby, does that prove I’m secretly Batman?)

Wait, wait.
Batman is renting a room out to batman… Without telling us?

Is Bat-Mite still in continuity? ‘Cos he’d know, without having to be told at any specific moment. And Myxz..Myx…that other guy who used to piss off Superman. He & BM have hung around bedevilling Supes & Bats, so I’d imagine it’d come up even if only off-panel.

And here’s me thinking that alfred was batman all along!

Gordon’s definitely doubtful, and there shouldn’t really be debate about it. Year One reads like he’s pretty sure he knows, but gives the glasses line to give himself plausible deniability. But there’s a big difference between that kind of knowing and Bruce pulling off his mask for Selina.

I’ve always assumed Gordon knew, but was just too polite to tell Bruce that he knows. Gordon is a detective, after all, and it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out that Bruce=Batman. After all, there can’t be that many other athletic billionaires who hang out with dark-haired teenage boys in Gotham City, can there? (Okay, that came out a little creepier than I intended, but you know what I mean… )

Jimmy Olsen knew about Bruce back in the 1980s (obviously pre-Crisis). At one point Robin used a machine to mind-wipe Barbara Gordon of remembering his or Batman’s identity. Letter columns lit up that it was okay for Jimmy to know but not a member of the Batman family.

Barry Allen didn’t know?

Julie Madison (Bruce’s Golden Age Fiancee) found out in that mini-series published last year. I think Terry Long knows too…

“Batman was never in the Justice League (since re-retconned by Batman being a “part-time member”)”

Batman and Superman were both retconned out of being full-time founding members of the JLA into guys that just helped them out from time to time, but that actually represents their status in early JLA stories pretty accurately. A large number of them have Batman and Superman off on other cases, or getting sent off on wild goose chases that don’t have any impact on the plot. In the first Showcase Presents volume in particular, the number of stories that require their presence for the stories to work as written is fairly small.

Right, Doug, but the specific Zero Hour rumored retcon was that Batman NEVER was a League member. The Post-Crisis version of the JLA was that Batman and Superman just helped out the league, UNTIL Batman joined at the end of the Detroit League and stayed with JLI (and Superman then joined the League pre-Doomsday).

O’Neil’s alleged retcon would have served to eliminate ANY Justice League service for Batman, including the recent JLI stint (that Batman even references during the story when Jason Todd is killed).

Mark said:

Jimmy Olsen knew about Bruce back in the 1980s (obviously pre-Crisis). At one point Robin used a machine to mind-wipe Barbara Gordon of remembering his or Batman’s identity. Letter columns lit up that it was okay for Jimmy to know but not a member of the Batman family.

Almost two years ago now, I actually wrote a lengthy post about that miserable moment in Pre-COIE Bat-continuity, and I even quoted passages from some of those same letters you mention that were reacting to that awful excuse for a story. So I remember the story pretty well, and I have to take exception to your summary of it.

Robin (Dick Grayson in those days) did NOT take it upon himself to mindwipe Babs. The story WAS miserably written, and Dick certainly behaved badly and illogically in it, but he wasn’t quite THAT bad!

A typical mad scientist character did the mindwiping. In the process, he learned all about the secret IDs of Batman and Robin. Then he conveniently got himself killed, but left behind a stack of audiotapes that had Barbara’s old memories dictated onto them. The gimmick was that if she listened to all the tapes, hearing each thing she had previously dictated under the influence of the mad scientist’s techniques would cause all the related memories on each subject to be restored to her consciousness (or words to that effect). Robin helped her play back most of the tapes, but asked her not to mess around with the one that had the secrets of himself and Batman. Why he felt this way was not terribly clear. He did, however, leave the tape with her so she could make her own decision as he left. Then Babs burned that tape of her own free will. Why she felt any need to do this just to oblige Robin’s paranoia was not terribly clear. (Well, except in the sense that I’ve always assumed their clueless and out-of-character behavior was ordered by Editorial Fiat.)

About three years later, as he was wrapping up his own run on “Batman” and “Detective Comics,” Gerry Conway (who had nothing to do with that abominable story with the audiotapes) apparently saw fit to do a “very quiet retcon” of the details of what Babs knew, and what Bruce and Dick thought she knew or didn’t know, and why the two guys had thought that.

If you want to see my full discussion of how things developed in those old stories, you can look at the thread I started on our local CBR Batman Forum:

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=101626

Salamurai asked:

Barry Allen didn’t know?

Well, remember that I’m only talking here about people who definitely knew in stories published after the transition to Post-COIE continuity happened.

Barry Allen has had very few appearances in any DC stories published Post-COIE (since he died during that Crisis), so offhand I’m not sure if any of those very few appearances (flashbacks and such) have ever “nailed down” the idea that in the revised Post-COIE continuity, Barry had definitely known Batman’s secret ID for awhile, prior to his death. It’s possible that there has been an explicit reference to his having known in the revised continuity; I just don’t remember seeing it. (Of course, I was never a regular buyer of Wally’s “Flash” title, so my knowledge of Post-COIE continuity about the Flash’s is not all that it could be.)

Lorendiac: Great list. And a great dissection of the end of YEAR ONE. In fect, it led me to this thought… YEAR ONE started with Bruce being ineffective fighting crime in regular clothes. He becomes Batman. But the big conclusion has him back in the exact same outfit he started in (IIRC). I’ll have to give it some thought to figure out what Frank Miller is trying to say with that choice…

On the subject of your list, I’ve been advocating a different theory for years. Namely, I think most everyone in Gotham (and probably on Earth-1) assumes that Bruce Wayne is Batman. OK, there’s a guy with high-tech gear running around Gotham City beating up muggers.

Who could he be?

Could it be the rich guy who owns the military tech company? Weren’t his parents killed by muggers?

Why doesn’t anyone do anything about it? Why don’t YOU do something about O.J. Simpson? Doesn’t everyone know he killed two people?

We don’t because that’s not our job. That’s somebody else’s job. And “doing something” about Bruce Wayne and Batman is somebody else’s job, too…

And don’t get me started about the two best investigative reporters in Metropolis being unable to see past a pair of glasses. Super-hypnosis, my foot!

[…] Character Aliases That Marvel and DC Have Both Used Who Knows Batman is Bruce Wayne? […]

The issue Michael was recalling on Dec 21 was Batman #388 (Jan 2008), “The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, Part Three.” Besides Tiger Moth and Silken Spider, the third villainess was Dragonfly. All three date back to Batman #181 (June 1966), “Beware of — Poison Ivy!”

You didn’t mention when Superman learned Batman’s identity. It was shown in Man of Steel # 3 in 1986, when they officially met for the first time Post-Crisis, that he already knew Batman’s identity.

Mark Waid cleverly slipped JLA: Year One back into continuity during the Secret Origins piece in the 52 back-ups – while the league was founded with Batman / Superman / Wonder Woman, they took enough time off in the first year, with Black Canary hanging around, that Year One more or less happened as originally presented.

I still call complete and total b.s. on the Titans not knowing (I recall we had this conversation a long time ago), but I’ll go back and re-read Grayson’s Titans series to make sure because that’d be the most obvious connection.

Oh, wait, Roy Harper CLEARLY knows now (we have to assume a monumental level of stupidity for this not to be the case), as Dick figures out, in his presence, that Waynetech’s equipment is being used by the Outsiders, and therefore they’re being backed by Batman. Roy set up the deal. Roy doesn’t display any reaction to the connection, which is more than enough in my books to solidify it. Trust Winick to screw up background information.

(Unless you make the argument that Deathstroke was funding the operation the entire time in his guise as Batman, and made sure to buy all Waynetech equipment to screw with Dick, which I suppose is possible but almost senselessly convoluted. Again, Winick being Winick, I can’t rule that out as a possibility.)

Pietard — I’ve read Byrne’s “Man of Steel” mini several times, and I’m positive that the Batman issue did not include Superman saying or thinking anything about having discovered Batman’s secret identity. I think your memory is playing tricks on you (which certainly happens to me on a frequent basis).

You see, I do remember such a moment from some later story in the Byrne run, after he had already laid the foundations of his Superman Reboot with that “Man of Steel” mini to quickly bring readers up to speed on what sort of changes he was making. The way I remember it from the later story I vaguely remember rereading a few years ago: Superman makes it clear that he knows Batman’s other name is Bruce Wayne, and Batman thinks something like this: “Ouch. So much for all the time I spent inserting this layer of lead shielding into my cowl!” (That’s not word-for-word, but that was the general reaction he had.)

After doing a little quick searching through Google, I think I’ve pinned it down. “Adventures of Superman #440.”

According to http://www.supermanhomepage.com/comics/comics-index-lists/comics-slist-intro.php?topic=comics-slist-1988

the following things happened in that issue:
__________________________

Adventures of Superman #440 (May)
John Byrne/Jerry Ordway, Jerry Ordway, Dennis Janke
Superman tests another Superman robot with Emil, thinks of his upcoming date; Jerry White visits Jose; doctor tells Jose he won’t walk; in Gotham Batman hands Superman the Scrapbook and says he figured out he’s Clark Kent but hasn’t told Robin – Superman lets Batman know he knows Batman is Bruce Wayne; Luthor uncovers something to blackmail Maggie; Scientists are studying the Supergirl; Superman hands the scrapbook to Ma who confesses it’s hers, finds Wonder Woman (Diana) for their first date.

In the web-released “History of the DCU,” we see Donna Troy talking with Harbinger’s orb. It runs her (and the reader, obviously) through all kinds of DC history. I believe this was done as a part of the 52 event? Anyway, when it gets to Batman, the orb flat-out says “Opening Bruce Wayne’s personal file…” I’d say that even if she didn’t know as a Titan, she DEFINITELY knows now.

Superboy knows he found Tim, by Batman helping him figure it out, which would mean he has to know. I wanna say Robin unmasked for the Titans once, but they didn’t recognize him. At this point though almost all of them call him Tim, so I’d say the YJ group(atleast) know.

Stephanie Brown def knows that Bruce was Batman now – i’m sure he revealed his identity to her when she came back from the dead recently. Sorry I don’t know the issue name or number.

(also apologies if this has already been said)

Excellent work anyhows. Fancy doing one for Clark Lent too? ;)

The Joker knows. The Joker Suggested he knew in “A Death in the Family” & it was confirmed in “Batman RIP”, “Batman Confidential” & “Batman Cacophony.”

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