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CSBG Archive

Lorendiac’s Lists: Who Knew Bruce Was Batman, Pre-Crisis? (2nd Draft)

Again, here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest list- BC.

A few months ago I posted my latest draft of a list of all the people who, in the years since 1986, have known Batman’s secret identity and in some cases have then “lost” the knowledge (by retcon or otherwise). It’s still available at Who Knows Batman is Bruce Wayne?

This list is something different; more suited for diehard fans of “the good old days” that ended over two decades ago. (If you couldn’t care less about Batman’s continuity from so long ago, then you might not be interested in reading the rest of this! I’m giving fair warning!) This is my second attempt to name all those who knew Bruce’s secret in the Silver and Bronze Ages, when his stories were set on Earth-1 in the Pre-Crisis Multiverse. Some of the people on this list, such as Dick Grayson and Alfred Pennyworth, definitely had their well-established knowledge of Bruce’s secret “carry over” from the Pre-COIE to Post-COIE continuity, with most of their previous appearances in Bat-titles still presumed (by default) to be part of the “new and improved” history. But many others on this list either had their knowledge “retcon-erased” or else simply have never been mentioned in the last 22 years or so of “modern continuity” and possibly don’t exist in the Post-COIE Batman’s world! (One example of that “never been mentioned in the last few decades, maybe he’s been erased?” status is Bruce’s Great-Uncle Silas Wayne, listed below under “S for Silas.”)

For my purposes, I’m counting the “Pre-Crisis, Earth-1″ era of Batman continuity as beginning in 1956 (the year that Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash of Earth-1, debuted) and ending in 1986, specifically in “Batman #400,” the final issue of Doug Moench’s mid-80s run as a Batman writer on two then-linked titles. (Moench later came back for a lengthy second run on the character in the 1990s, but those stories have no relevance to this list.)

Note: I’ve learned that in some cases, the “original discovery” of Batman’s secret by a certain party occurred in a story published pre-1956, but the person who discovered it was then used extensively in later Silver Age/Bronze Age stories, and it was either explicitly stated or heavily implied that the pre-1956 story had happened on Earth-1; not just involving Earth-2 analogs of the characters in question. For instance, Superman’s discovery of the secret happened in a story published in 1952 — but as near as I can tell, all subsequent Superman/Batman team-ups published over the next thirty-four years were written with the fundamental assumption that the Earth-1 Superman had, in fact, previously learned Batman’s secret the first time they worked together!

So if you think I missed anything — or got key details wrong in things I tried to cover here — just remember that I only care about tracking down characters who knew “Batman = Bruce Wayne” in any story published in that thirty-year range (or published earlier but eventually stated or implied to belong in Earth-1 continuity) – except, of course, we should still ignore any Batman story that specifically warned the reader it only featured the Golden Age Batman who lived and eventually died on Earth-2. (Although who knows? Someday I may get around to compiling a separate list for the al the times when the “original” Batman, who debuted in 1939, had his secrets put in jeopardy! But not right now!)

A Few Ground Rules (subject to change at any time):

1. In cases where someone has used multiple aliases over the years, Pre- and Post-Crisis, I’m generally listing them here under whatever alias they were using regularly in the early-to-mid 80s, just before the transition to Post-Crisis continuity. For instance, Donna Troy is listed under “Wonder Girl I” and Dick Grayson is listed under “Nightwing.” Or, if the character was long dead or otherwise had faded into limbo before the 1980s, then I mention whatever alias had been used frequently before dying or otherwise fading away.

2. If the person habitually just used his real name instead of a colorful alias, then I insert that person into the list in alphabetical order by first name. Example: “Alfred Pennyworth” is listed under “A for Alfred” instead of “P for Pennyworth,” because I believe most fans don’t think of him as “Pennyworth, Alfred” the way he would be listed in a phone book. (The fact that he used the alias “The Outsider” back in the 1960s isn’t very important; it didn’t become a lasting feature of the basic character concept.)

3. To make life a little easier on myself, I am – for the moment – ignoring many characters from the Pre-Crisis Earth-2 who knew for a fact that their world’s Batman was Bruce Wayne (the Golden Age version), and therefore knew or could very easily have figured out, if they cared to try, that the Earth-1 Batman was also “Bruce Wayne.” This saves me the trouble of typing out separate listings for two Supermen, two Catwomen, two Alfred Pennyworths . . . you get the idea. Therefore, I omit most of the membership of such Pre-Crisis Earth-2-based superhero teams as the JSA and Infinity Inc. I make exceptions for Black Canary II and Red Tornado II because both of them ended up as Earth-1 Batman’s trusted teammates in the Satellite Era JLA; i.e. they “immigrated” to Earth-1 instead of just staying on Earth-2 as lifelong residents.

4. The only inhabitant of Earth-Prime whom I’m bothering to list is Superboy-Prime. I don’t see how he could possibly fail to know the secret as he grew up (after all, he knew his name “Clark Kent” was identical to that of the Earth-1 Superman whom he read about in comic books). But he’s a purely fictional character; I’m leaving out lots of other Earth-Prime residents who “really existed” and just quickly visited Earth-1 at some point in the Pre-COIE continuity (including Julius Schwartz, Cary Bates, Marv Wolfman, George Perez, etc.).

THE MASTER LIST OF PEOPLE WHO KNEW, PRE-CRISIS

Ace the Bat-Hound (I am told that in at least one story, he had lots of thought balloons, which allegedly either showed or implied he was intelligent enough to appreciate such subtleties as the names and “secret identities” of human beings. I have not read the story, and I could be making a mistake about his comprehension of the basic concept of “secret identities.” If you have solid information, pro or con, please tell me!)

Alec Wyre (Criminal electronics genius who found the Batcave in “Batman #125,” and possibly figured out whose house it was directly under — I’m not clear on whether that last part was stated, or was only a possibility which Batman and Robin feared — but in any case, Wyre somehow got himself killed in an accident before he could do anything scary with whatever he had learned inside the Batcave. Upon finding Wyre’s fresh corpse down in the Cave, Bruce and Dick worried that someone else had killed the guy and then escaped with juicy information about them, but eventually they managed to reconstruct how the accident had occurred, and quit worrying)

Alfred Pennyworth (Pre-COIE, Alfred never even met Bruce until after Bruce was already Batman and Dick Grayson was already Robin. When Alfred first moved into the Manor to be the new butler, he didn’t know what he was really getting into — but he found out. It is worth mentioning that back in the 1960s there was a mysterious super-powered villain called “The Outsider” who demonstrated his knowledge of the secrets of Batman and Robin, and then turned out to be a temporarily deranged Alfred Pennyworth (previously thought dead and buried) — but that phase of his life didn’t last)

Aqualad (Garth. A founding member of the Teen Titans. Knew Dick’s secret identity; therefore probably knew Batman’s, although he wasn’t a “regular” in the early-1980s Titans, so I’m not sure if his knowledge about Bruce Wayne was ever explicitly declared, then or earlier?)

Aquaman (Arthur Curry. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

The Atom II (Ray Palmer. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Batgirl I (Barbara Gordon. In the Pre-Crisis days, she was never known as “Oracle.” She apparently learned who Dick and Bruce were, had the knowledge mindwiped away, and figured it out all over again later – or possibly the old mindwipe was retconned away very quietly; it’s unclear. I once wrote about this sequence of events in excruciating detail at Barbara Gordon: A Bad Mindwipe and a Later Retcon)

Bat-Mite (With his magical powers, it would have been just about impossible to keep him from learning)

Black Canary II (Dinah Lance, who – until a JLA/JSA crossover in 1983 retconned her origins – was supposed to be her own mother, the Golden Age Black Canary of Earth-2, who had (supposedly) immigrated to Earth-1 to join the JLA, without ever getting visibly older than she had been when she debuted toward the end of the Golden Age . . . look, just take my word for it, okay? She probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13.” Along with four other founding members of the Outsiders: Geo-Force, Halo, Katana, and Metamorpho, all listed below)

The Blockbuster I (Mark Desmond. Learned the secret in “Batman #194.” However, I’m also told that later on, Blockbuster reached the conclusion that Batman was actually Solomon Grundy, or at least someone who must be a dead ringer for Grundy. Don’t ask me what that’s all about!)

Catwoman (Selina Kyle. Her knowledge was established in “Batman #355″ when, for the first time in Earth-1 continuity, she clearly addressed Batman as “Bruce.” Apparently we never found out just when and how she had previously learned the secret.)

Changeling (Garfield Logan. The way Marv Wolfman wrote “The New Teen Titans” in the early-to-mid 80s, it appeared that everyone who was a bona fide member of the team ended up knowing that Robin I (later Nightwing) was Dick Grayson, and that he was the ward and protégé of Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. Thus you will also see listings here for Cyborg, Kid Flash I (Wally), Raven, Starfire II (Koriand’r), Terra I, and Wonder Girl I (Donna). Post-Zero Hour, Denny O’Neil frantically tried to retcon all this six ways from Sunday, but that has nothing to do with how things stood in the early-to-mid 80s in the Pre-Crisis continuity.)

Clayface II (Matt Hagen. Learned in “World’s Finest #140″ and then lost the knowledge. He later died during the COIE miniseries, although that didn’t stop him from being dragged back onstage in a Post-COIE story arc)

Composite Superman (Joseph Meach. Knew the secrets of Batman and Superman at the times when he had their special abilities and wore a blend of their costumes; sometimes lost the knowledge when restored to normal again. First appeared in “World’s Finest #142″)

The Crime Doctor (Bradford Thorne. Dead. Learned in his first appearance, in “Detective Comics #494.” One issue later, he went into a coma from mercury poisoning. He had no further appearances in the Pre-Crisis continuity, but in theory, the threat of his a) recovering, and b) still remembering, was constantly hanging over Batman’s head)

Cyborg (Victor Stone. See “Changeling” for the rationale)

Dala (Female vampire who learned the secret, in the Earth-1 continuity, in a story arc in 1982. She and her brother “The Monk” had no further appearances in Pre-Crisis continuity.)

Deathstroke the Terminator (Slade Wilson. This one is a bit iffy, but here’s what I think I know: In the Pre-Crisis era, Dick Grayson’s teammates in the Titans all knew he was the first Robin (later Nightwing). For awhile, newcomer Terra I (Tara Markov) was the exception to the rule, but eventually he decided she’d proved she was trustworthy, and he revealed his real name to her at the same time he announced he was abandoning the “Robin” identity for good. All the other Titans already seemed to know that Dick Grayson’s mentor was Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, with the Batcave being located beneath stately Wayne Manor. Terra was a spy and definitely shared Dick’s secret identity with Deathstroke the Terminator. I don’t remember Deathstroke, in any “Pre-Crisis” story, ever explicitly saying “I know Bruce Wayne is Batman” – Slade and Bruce never met in that era, so the subject simply never came up! — but the assumption Marv Wolfman seemed to be going on in that era was: “ANYBODY who knows Dick Grayson is Robin I/Nightwing also knows Bruce Wayne is Batman,” which makes a lot more sense than Denny O’Neil’s mid-90s retcons to the contrary!)

Denny Kale (Criminal. In “World’s Finest #132,” he and his partner Shorty Biggs impersonated Batman and Robin (Bruce and Dick), captured the real ones, unmasked them, and then conveniently lost their memories of that event thanks to a freak accident in an alchemist’s laboratory (most of this story was happening in Renaissance Italy, thanks to the miracle of time travel))

Douglas Dundee, M.D. (In Pre-Crisis continuity, he was the old doctor who had known Bruce all his life and was well aware of his secret identity. He could be trusted to treat Batman’s occasional bullet wounds and so forth without reporting them to the police)

The Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond merged with Martin Stein. Note: Last year, at least one reader cast doubt on whether Firestorm ever actually learned Batman’s secrets, even though he served with the JLA for much of their Satellite Era. I’m working on the theory that all the Satellite Era JLAers were trusted with one another’s secrets at some point, but I may be wrong — anyone care to offer evidence for or against Ronnie (and/or Martin) ever knowing?)

Flash (Barry Allen, the Silver Age Flash. He was the “first Flash” of Earth-1 in the Pre-COIE era, until the Post-COIE retcons turned him into “Flash II” of the modern DCU. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Frank Davis (Amateur Batman scholar who deduced the truth before being murdered in “Batman #108″)

Future Man (Rak Durr. A time-travelling criminal from the 21st Century — this was published 45 years ago, when being from the 21st Century still sounded like a big deal! — who learned Batman’s secret during his visit to 1963 in “World’s Finest #135,” but he was deported to his native era before he could cause any real trouble with his recent discovery)

Geo-Force (Brion Markov. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13″)

Green Arrow I (Oliver Queen. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Green Lantern #whatever (Hal Jordan. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Guerney (A criminal who learned Batman’s secret identity during a visit he made inadvertently — along with Batman and Robin (Dick) — to the world of Plaxius in another dimensional reality in “Batman #125.” However, when the three of them returned to Earth-1 via “time warp,” they all lost their knowledge of what had happened during their inter-dimensional jaunt, so no harm was done)

Halo (An energy being called an “Aurakle” which possessed the body of Violet Hunter. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13″)

Harbinger (Lyla, the former assistant to the Monitor. Had access to her boss’s files, which were chock full of information about everyone interesting)

Harvey Harris (Brilliant police detective who taught the juvenile Bruce Wayne (disguised as “Robin”) about investigative techniques. Harris figured out at the time who was behind the mask, but didn’t say so. Likewise, he later deduced the new “Batman” in Gotham must be that masked student from several years earlier, now grown up. Bruce only learned of Harris’s knowledge from a message delivered after the detective died)

Hawkman (Katar Hol of Thanagar, aka Carter Hall. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Hawkgirl (Shiera Hol of Thanagar, aka Shiera Hall. Presumably either learned from her husband after he found out, or possibly learned the secret later on when she was offered JLA membership in her own right)

Hugo Strange (Found out in the Steve Englehart run in the 70s that is collected in the “Batman: Strange Apparitions” TPB. Although I should add that in Hugo’s last “Pre-Crisis” appearance, in “Batman Annual #whatever,” Batman was doing his best to persuade Hugo that his recent memories of the details of his clashes with Bruce Wayne and with Batman might only be hypnotically implanted memories to blur the “true story” of Batman’s secret life. Whether or not this cover story would have kept Hugo fooled in the long run, we’ll never know; because the Post-Crisis Hugo seems to have been Totally Rebooted instead of having his old stories from the 70s and early-to-mid 80s carry over into the modern DCU continuity)

Jason Todd (Robin II. A very different character from the Post-Crisis Jason who was killed in “A Death in the Family” and more recently came back during Judd Winick’s run on the “Batman” title. This version of Jason independently discovered the secret passage behind a grandfather clock, and thus the Batcave and the spare costumes and so forth, in “Detective Comics #526.” By sheer coincidence, his parents (circus aerialists) were getting killed by Killer Croc right about then, so Jason ended up moving into Wayne Manor as Bruce’s new ward and protégé.)

Jimmy Olsen (For some reason, Silver Age Superman didn’t think it proper to trust Jimmy with his own secret identity, but felt it was perfectly all right to trust him with Batman’s secret identity. No, I don’t understand the logic either – but I haven’t actually read the story in question; I just heard about it online!)

Joe Chill (Batman revealed his true identity to Joe Chill to scare him. A few minutes later, Chill got himself killed by some fellow thugs who shot him full of holes after hearing him confess that he had just learned he had essentially “created” Batman, the guy who had made so much trouble for all of them over the last few years. A little bit too late, the thugs realized they should have extracted the name from Chill before gunning him down in their rage. Oops! Still, for about five or ten minutes, Joe Chillnew the secret)

Karko (An alien thief from the 26th Century who knew, as did just about everybody in his native culture, the secret identities of Batman and Robin (Bruce and Dick), according to a story published in “Detective Comics #257″)

Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13″)

Kid Flash (Wally West. See “Changeling” for the rationale)

Killer Moth (It appears that his “real name” in the Silver Age was never revealed, but he sometimes used the alias “Cameron van Cleer.” He kidnapped and impersonated Bruce Wayne in “Detective Comics #173,” and learned the secret during that story. Then he was shot in the head. The wound, and/or the surgery which saved his life, conveniently erased the short-term memories of what he had just learned — although he otherwise recovered well enough to let him to continue to function as a supervillain on several subsequent occasions)

The Legion of Super-Heroes (I’m told that, in at least one team-up in the original “The Brave and the Bold” title, it was made clear that they knew Batman was Bruce Wayne. After a little quick research, I think the person who told me that was probably referring to the team-up in “The Brave and the Bold #179,” but I can’t swear to the details of that story. It certainly makes sense that his identity would be known 1000 years after his heyday, though (see the entry for “Superwoman” for another person from the distant future who apparently knew from history books). At any rate, I figure it’s easier on everybody if I just list the “Legion” as a package deal instead of adding every single member they ever had in the Pre-Crisis era to this list individually. Call me lazy!)

Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onnz. I think he knew — he occasionally popped up during the Satellite Era — however, he was not active as a member through most of the 1970s, when “Justice League of America” made it clear the active members had decided to share identities as a general policy, so I’m not absolutely certain whether or not anyone was ever explicitly stated or heavily implied to have brought him up to speed on all the secrets they’d been sharing with each other during his long absences)

Metamorpho (Rex Mason. Learned in “Batman and the Outsiders #13″)

Mirror Man (Floyd Ventris. A supervillain who was able to use special technology to penetrate Batman’s cowl in “Detective Comics #217″ and see Bruce’s face. Batman was later able to pull a tricky stunt in “Batman #157″ to persuade Mirror Man he must have made a mistake the first time around, but I’m told that, during the gap between those two stories, the guy “really knew” the secret; not that it did him much good)

The Monitor (In anticipation of what became “the Crisis on Infinite Earths,” he had already compiled detailed dossiers on every costumed character who might possibly be useful to him when the time came)

The Monk (Vampire villain who learned the secrets of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson during a story arc in 1982. Then he and his sister Dala were taken into custody by a mysterious priest — and the Earth-1, Pre-Crisis versions of those characters have never been heard from since!)

Mrs. Chilton (first name unknown) (The housekeeper in the mansion of Philip Wayne, who was Bruce’s uncle and became his legal guardian after he was orphaned. In “Batman #208″ it was revealed that she was the mother of Joe Chill, and furthermore that somewhere along the line she had figured out that Bruce became Batman after he grew up. She never shared any of that with Bruce, however. There is some evidence that she might have talked it over with Alfred Pennyworth at some point – in the miniseries “Untold Legend of the Batman” Alfred thinks about how Master Bruce must never know she was Joe Chill’s mother, but I’m told that if Mrs. Chilton and Alfred previously had a heart-to-heart talk on the subject, then it apparently happened “behind the scenes”)

Nightwing I (Dick Grayson, formerly Robin I. I’m not going to bother citing an issue in which he “first learned” — just take my word for it that he found out, okay? :) )

Nocturna (Doug Moench’s scripts in the mid-80s sometimes called her “Natasha Knight” and sometimes called her “Natalia Knight” – apparently he lost track of what her first name was, even though he’d created her himself? But she definitely knew for awhile before the transition to Post-Crisis continuity. Near as I can recall, she simply figured it out on her own, offstage, at some point, and then alluded to it the next time she conversed with Bruce Wayne)

The Phantom Stranger (He seems virtually omniscient. In “Detective Comics #500″ he gave the Earth-1 Batman and Robin a chance to visit a previously unknown parallel world where the local versions of Thomas and Martha Wayne were almost due to be murdered by a crook in front of the horrified eyes of their little boy, Bruce, unless somebody intervened to prevent this tragedy – obviously he knew this opportunity would have special meaning for Batman)

The Plaxians (The inhabitants of Plaxius, a world in another dimensional reality. Batman’s identity was publicly revealed to them when it looked as if he were their new rightful king after he triumphed in a series of contests. However, that didn’t work out — Batman and Robin (along with the criminal Guerney, listed above) returned to Earth-1 and forgot the whole thing. As far as I know, the Plaxians and their world of Plaxius have never been seen or heard from in any other story since their debut in “Batman #125,” so their knowledge of Batman’s secrets never became a major security threat for him)

Ra’s al Ghul (Already knew the secret, from behind-the-scenes detective work, when he made his debut in “Batman #232.” He’d made up a hypothetical shopping list of every special piece of equipment Batman might need in order to operate as independently as he did, and then he had people do research to find out who in the Gotham City area had bought most or all of the things on that possible list, and the name “Bruce Wayne” kept popping up, in one category after another. At least some of Ra’s underlings (such as the occasional Ubu) have also known)

Raven (In the early 1980s, Dick Grayson was not uptight about letting his fellow Titans know that his mentor was Batman, aka Bruce Wayne. Besides, Raven had already used her mystic powers to find out Dick’s own secret ID before he ever met her face-to-face . . . it’s a pretty safe guess that she could have done the same thing to learn Batman’s secrets, if she cared to take the trouble)

Red Tornado II (“John Smith.” Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

The Shadow (Sometimes known by such names as “Kent Allard” and “Lamont Cranston.” His knowledge was established in “Batman #259.”)

Shorty Biggs (Criminal. In “World’s Finest #132,” he and his partner Denny Kale impersonated Batman and Robin (Bruce and Dick), captured the real ones, unmasked them, and then conveniently lost their memories of that event thanks to a freak accident in an alchemist’s laboratory (most of this story was happening in Renaissance Italy, thanks to the miracle of time travel))

Silas Wayne (An obscure great-uncle who believed the “millionaire playboy” act and thought Bruce was a disgrace to the family traditions of the Waynes. When Silas was on his deathbed in “Batman #120,” Bruce finally revealed the secret to him so he’d know the modern generation of the family wasn’t completely useless after all)

Silver St. Cloud (Learned during the Steve Englehart/Marshall Rogers run on “Detective Comics” that is reprinted in the TPB “Batman: Strange Apparitions.” Nobody told her; she had just gotten so well-acquainted with Bruce when they were dating that the next time she saw “Batman” in action she recognized his mouth and jaw at a glance)

Speedy (Roy Harper. A member of the first incarnation of the Teen Titans. Knew Dick’s secret identity; therefore probably knew Batman’s, although he wasn’t a “regular” in the early-1980s Titans, so I’m not sure if his knowledge about Bruce Wayne was ever explicitly declared, then or earlier?)

Starfire II (Koriand’r of Tamaran. See “Changeling” for the rationale)

Superboy-Prime (Clark Kent of Earth-Prime, which was supposed to be “our Earth.” Presumably he knew from a very early age, thanks to comic books, TV shows, etc. Just as he definitely knew that the Superman of Earth-1 also used the name “Clark Kent”)

Supergirl (Kara Zor-El, aka Linda Lee Danvers. As I recall: Earth-1 Superman maintained, in his Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic, a display of life-size replicas of many of his superhero buddies, each costumed figure standing alongside a replica of the matching secret identity. That included figures for “Bruce Wayne” and “Batman.” Since Kal-El completely trusted his cousin Kara (and she was worthy of it, too – ah, those were the good old days!), she had the full run of his Fortress and basically knew everything Superman knew about other heroes)

Superman (Clark Kent, Kal-El. The first “first meeting” of Batman and Superman was published in “Superman #76″ in 1952. By sheer coincidence, Clark and Bruce ended up as roommates on a cruise ship, and caught on to each other’s secret identities pretty darn quick. I’m not clear on whether that story was ever explicitly referred to again as a well-established part of the Earth-1, Silver Age continuity after the concepts of Earth-1 and Earth-2 were established almost a decade later, but at any rate, all through the Silver and Bronze Ages it was repeatedly made clear that Clark and Bruce knew each other’s secrets . . . presumably because of the groundwork laid in this story?)

Superwoman (Kristin Wells. Second character in Silver Age/Bronze Age continuity to use that alias, to the best of my knowledge. She was a history professor in the 29th Century who took a strong interest in those old-time superheroes. In “DC Comics Presents Annual #2″ she traveled back to the 1980s to learn the “last secret identity” of that era . . . therefore she already knew from textbooks that Bruce Wayne had been Batman, right?)

Talia (Definitely knew; probably learned from her father – Ra’s al Ghul — after he had researched the point)

Terry Long (Married Donna Troy; basically learned everything she knew about the other Titans and their mentors and so forth. I’m not sure on the timing, but well before the wedding, Terry already knew “Dick” was “Robin” – I’m not sure if he ever met Batman face-to-face or ever explicitly said he knew who Batman was (although Bruce was in the large crowd at the wedding), but as I said in an earlier entry, Marv Wolfman in those days seemed to work on the theory that anyone who knew Dick Grayson’s secret could and probably did easily figure out Bruce Wayne’s secret as well even if Dick didn’t spell it out for them right away — which makes a lot more sense to me than Denny O’Neil’s frantic attempt in the mid-90s to retcon it to say: “Anyone in Titans continuity who knows Dick Grayson’s secret is far too clueless to ever figure out who Batman really is”)

The Venusians (A civilized species living on the planet Venus; I’m guessing they were called “Venusians.” In “Detective Comics #260,” it was revealed that they knew all about Batman’s adventures and secrets, thanks to avidly watching him on some sort of “TV space scanners”)

Wonder Girl I (Donna Troy. See “Changeling” for the rationale)

Wonder Woman (Diana of Paradise Island. Probably learned right after “Justice League of America #122,” which ended with several members of the JLA resolving it was time for all active members to share secret identities, in preparation for a worst-case scenario)

Zatanna (Zatanna Zatara. Probably knew from her lengthy tenure as Batman’s teammate during the JLA’s Satellite Era, although — like Firestorm — she only became a member in good standing of the League well after the story (“Justice League of America #122″) which had ended with several members deciding it was time for everyone to share information about their secret identities in preparation for worst-case scenarios. If anyone can remember any evidence from a Pre-Crisis story which made it clear that Zatanna, after working with the JLA for awhile, definitely did or definitely didn’t know who Batman was, please say so!)

Doubtful Cases and Near-Misses

Kathy Kane, the Pre-COIE Batwoman, definitely had suspicions regarding Bruce Wayne at various times during her Silver Age career, but apparently never “knew” anything for sure. I’m not clear on whether or not she ever mentioned those suspicions to her niece, Betty Kane (Bat-Girl).

On a similar note: When I started buying the “Batman” and “Detective Comics” titles in 1982, I arrived just in time to see Vicki Vale showing Alfred Pennyworth a collection of photos she had taken of Bruce Wayne and of Batman. She had measured their chins and things from various angles and thought their jaws, the shapes and sizes of their skulls, etc., were incredibly similar. She was almost certain they were the same man. But she didn’t “know” in the sense of having fingerprints or DNA evidence. She didn’t “know” in the sense that she had ever seen Batman removing his mask to reveal the face of Bruce Wayne. She didn’t “know” in the sense that Batman (or anyone else who knew or claimed to know) had ever told her the secret. And she didn’t seem 100% sure of her own conclusions, since she was voluntarily offering Alfred the chance to disprove her hypothesis, if he could. (As indeed he did – with the help of Christopher Chance, the Human Target, who didn’t know what the real purpose of impersonating Bruce Wayne was supposed to be, however — he was led to believe that someone might be planning to assassinate Bruce in the near future — hence, Mr. Chance has no entry on this list.)

This carries over to Boss Thorne (Rupert Thorne, previously introduced in Englehart’s run that’s now collected as “Strange Apparitions”) and to Deadshot. After Thorne became aware of Vicki’s work, he hired Deadshot to kill Bruce Wayne, and evidently told him exactly why this seemed desirable, although Deadshot found it hard to believe the spoiled playboy could be the same tough guy who had beaten him fair and square in the past. Deadshot was about to shoot “Wayne” (Christopher Chance) when Batman hit him from behind, ruining his shot. As a result: Both Deadshot and Thorne evidently ended up deciding the whole “Bruce Wayne could be Batman” theory had just stemmed from one of those wild coincidental resemblances that didn’t mean a thing. So I don’t list them above as people who ever definitely “knew” the secret . . . I think of them more as people who tested Vicki’s theory and decided it didn’t hold up under scrutiny.

A few years later, there was a story in Doug Moench’s run in the mid-80s in which Anton Knight (variously called The Thief of Night, Night-Thief, The Slayer of Night, and Night-Slayer) found himself standing over the dazed body of Batman after the latter had suffered a scalp injury from a gunshot. Anton had a cute idea and removed and exchanged their costumes, posing as Batman for several issues thereafter and leaving Bruce (who seemed to be in such a bad state that he didn’t know who he was for awhile) as The Night-Slayer. In the process of switching costumes, Anton naturally got a good look at Bruce’s face, and reflected that it seemed somehow familiar – but as near as we could tell, in his other appearances over the next couple of years, he never did figure out just where he had seen that face before.

I would call this a borderline case. If Anton Knight ever again came face-to-face with Bruce Wayne, and heard someone say, “That’s Bruce Wayne,” then he would instantly know who Batman was. Or he could have seen the face in a TV broadcast or a newspaper photograph or whatever, at any time. So I’d say he was “teetering on the brink” of knowing, and could fall over the brink at the slightest push.

Beyond that, some other doubtful cases where I’m not sure what anyone knew or was implied to know:

Owlman of Earth-3. Did we ever learn if he was a member of the Wayne family of his native world, or was he just some random guy who happened to wear a costume very similar to the Earth-1 Batman’s?

I strongly suspect The Spectre (Jim Corrigan) knew, but I’ve never been an expert on his continuity. I don’t know if any story ever made it clear that he knew in the Pre-Crisis days.

P.S. Whew! When you look at all of the above, you can see why there was a certain editorial desire — after COIE (and again after Zero Hour, as I referred to earlier) to retcon like crazy so that Batman’s secret identity would come a little bit closer to plausibly being “secret!” For instance, I don’t think Jimmy Olsen has known the secret at any time since 1986 (thank goodness). Of course, that hasn’t stopped various writers from letting dozens of other people (and some of the same ones listed above) discover the “secret” over the last twenty-two years or so . . . as you will see if you scroll back to the top of this list and click on the link to my list of people in more “modern” continuity who know or “used to know” the secret!

39 Comments

Hush? The Riddler for a little while? I forget how those stories ended up.

And that’s not a slam against Loeb. I actually kind of enjoyed “Hush”.

There’s someone else I’m forgetting. Or not. Good list!

Occasional references were made over the years to Jimmy Olsen knowing Batman’s identity after the original story that established it — one I remember in particular was in the Super Friends comic of all things, which wasn’t quite in continuity but had a bit of give-and-take with it anyway (introducing the Global Guardians, for instance).

Huntress is a particularly glaring Earth-2 omission considering some of her conversations with her Earth-1 “Uncle Bruce” after her father’s death, but the rationale for not opening that can of worms seems pretty reasonable.

Hush and the Riddler only learned within the last few years. Here I’m sticking to people who knew in the “Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths” continuity, roughly from 1956 to 1986. Anyone who’s only learned since late 1986 is covered on the earlier list which I linked to at the very top of this.

Oh, duh. I glossed over the rules. My bad!

buttler — Yeah, I admit I went back and forth on the subject of including Helena Wayne (I’ve always liked the basic character concept of “the heroic daughter of Batman and Catwoman”), but finally decided if I wasn’t going to bother with separate entries for the Earth-2 versions of Alfred, Dick, Clark, Selina, etc., then it wasn’t really “fair” to them to let Helena get her own listing when her knowledge (like theirs) primarily came from her close association with the Golden Age Batman, her dear old dad.

I’m amazed with all the Batman and the Outsider references, somehow Kobra was missed out– Halo inadvertantly joined his cult and once her identity was found out, she was forced to give up the identity of all the Outsiders, beginning with Batman. There’s a whole whack of Kobra’s operatives and assassins who therefore know too– though many of them committed suicide when defeated.

It all takes place in Batman and the Outsiders 24-26

Dammit, I’ve got this information but not with me. The DC HEROES BATMAN sourcebook listed this, and was using the pre-Crisis timeline (the Crisis had happened but too recently for them to define the Post-Crisis environment.)

As I’ve said in response to your Ra’s al Ghul FAQ, Ubu in Pre-Crisis days was a distinct and singular character; he turned up as Ra’s henchman in Denny O’Neil’s stories, was caught in an explosion in a Marv Wolfman Ra’s tale, and returned as a mutated victim of said explosion on his own and tried to kill Bruce at the Mansion before dying in a fall. Thereaftr, Ra’s had new aides-de-camp like Lurk and Grind who did not go by the Ubu name. This held all the way through Mike W. Barr’s graphic novels featuring Ra’s, the last of which was published in 1990.

The idea that Ubu is a title and not the name of a specific person is an invention of Chuck Dixon’s that first appears in Detective Comics #700, meaning that the whole “Ubu as rank in Ra’s organization” idea is a post-Zero Hour element. Both pre-COIE and post-COEI, Ubu was the name of Ra’s original right-hand-man, and he had at least one solo appearance after Ra’s had left him for dead. Saying “the various Ubus” makes no sense in a pre-COIE list, because pre-COIE there was just the one.

IIRC, Batman revealed his identity to Jimmy Olsen as a sort of “consolation prize”. It was considered too dangerous for Jimmy to know Superman’s identity, since criminals might capture him and force him to reveal it. But since he wasn’t particularly associated with Batman, no one would ever think to try and squeeze that info out of him.

I may be mistaken (it’s been years), but in the “Untold Legends of the Batman” miniseries, when Batman is perusing a stack of mugshots of villains who know his identity, I believe the Gentleman Ghost is among them. I have no idea when he would’ve learned because I don’t have any issues with GG that are older than that.

How about Thomas Wayne Jr., Batman’s brother in pre-crisis continuity who was brain-damaged in an accident as a baby and sent to an asylum, only to be manipulated into becoming a supervillian?

Ritchard — near as I can recall (it’s probably been about a year and a half since I last read that scene), Batman is talking to Alfred about who might be out to get him by stealing and shredding his father’s old “Batman” costume from a party, and he spreads out a whole bunch of photos of the “usual suspects” (his villains) on a tabletop, but he doesn’t say that everybody in that collection of photos has learned his identity. I think he did say that in dialogue about a couple of them specifically — Hugo Strange (who was then believed dead) and Ra’s al Ghul (who may also have been believed dead at the time; I’d have to check — Ra’s dies a lot!). But I don’t remember him saying anything about the Gentleman Ghost. That guy may well have been represented in one of the mugshots, but that’s not the same thing.

Graeme Burk — believe it or not, for the last couple of years I’ve had a few dozen of the Outsiders comic books from the 80s that I haven’t bothered to read yet. I have read quite a bit of the first series, up through the revelations about Halo’s origins, and I own more of that series and I think a full run of the second “Outsiders” series from that same decade . . . but I guess I just didn’t like what I read enough to feel the burning necessity to keep reading what I had. I probably quit just before the Kobra storyline you mention, but I suspect I have some or all of it in my collection. I’ll check when I can.

Omar Karindu — one of these days I’ll prepare a “new and improved” version of my Ra’s al Ghul FAQ, now that he’s back from the dead. At which time I’ll naturally refresh my memory of comments others have made on the last one, and do further research . . . I seem to recall (vaguely) that I intended to nail down some points about Ubu, Lurk, etc., in the process, including tracking down a few relevant stories from the 70s (such as whatever it was that contained the death of Ubu) which I haven’t read before, but have heard about. In the meantime, I suspect that my entry for Ra’s in this timeline was probably more-or-less boilerplate swiped from one of my versions of a “Post-COIE” list of people who have definitely known Batman’s identity; that might explain why it refers to multiple users of the name Ubu. (Much of what you see above was written by me several months ago, and then saved and forgotten for awhile, so it’s hard to remember exactly what was going through my mind.)

Maybe this is just because I have such a personal dislike of how over-played secret identity subplots are, but is there any really good reason for superheroes not revealing their secret identities to friends of proven loyalty, like Jimmy Olsen? The dishonesty and the subtle poisoning of the relationship is the price paid. What is the benefit? Let’s suppose some criminals capture Jimmy to force him to reveal Superman’s secret. Jimmy doesn’t know. Isn’t that another reason for the criminals to get even more pissed and hurt Jimmy more? And if Superman is able to track the bad guys down and free Jimmy before they kill him, isn’t a stretch to suppose Superman also would be able to free Jimmy before he was forced to reveal a secret he knows?

I realize that this still leaves a weakness for telepathic villains to explore. The more people knowing, the more minds the villain can fish the secret from. Though the main problem with this is that a telepathic villain can also assume that Clark Kent is Superman’s pal, and try to read Clark’s mind as easily as he can try to read Jimmy, and if he finds mild-mannered Clark ‘s will is supernaturally strong, the villain could already get suspicious.

It seems to me that the best way for superheroes to shield his friends from villain’s attacks would be to avoid publicizing these relationships. If Superman is so worried about Jimmy being kidnapped to get to him, Superman should not do such a big show of advertizing how Jimmy is his best pal.

J. Kevin Carrier — I’m prepared to believe Jimmy learned Bruce’s secret the way you say, but it doesn’t make much sense to me that they said that giving him Batman’s secret would be perfectly safe. I’m reminded of a similar piece of silly reasoning in something I read not too long ago . . .

Sometime in the last couple of years, I bought “Showcase Presents: Green Lantern, Vol. 1.” Reading it, I learned some things I hadn’t known about Hal’s early days before. In at least one story, my experience as I was reading the early pages of that story went something like this:

1. Green Lantern, in his persona as Green Lantern, was “dating” Carol Ferris, to the extent of being seen having dinner with her in restaurants and things like that.

2. Carol did not know GL was one of the family company’s employees, test pilot Hal Jordan.

3. Carol wanted to know why GL wouldn’t share his secret identity with her when he seemed to like her quite a bit.

4. GL said with a straight face that knowing his secret would put her at too much risk of being abducted and interrogated by dangerous criminals who also wanted to know.

5. I briefly considered banging my head against the wall in protest against such painfully clueless behavior on Hal’s part!

I’ll explain that last point. The way I saw it, whether or not Carol actually knew Green Lantern’s secret was a triviality that would not perceptibly influence the odds of her being abducted and interrogated by bad guys, either way. What would definitely influence the odds would be the public perception of whether or not she seemed to be on very friendly — even affectionate — terms with Green Lantern, and thus might appear to be a very good candidate to know his secrets even if she occcasionally claimed she didn’t! For instance, if GL kept taking her out to dinner and walking around in the park with her and doing whatever it was they were doing when they both had free time, then this was bound to get mentioned in the local media and create the impression that Carol was his “girlfriend.” At that point, no matter what Hal or Carol said to the press about how little she knew about the name of the man behind the mask, I’d say there was a great chance that crooks would decide to ignore such protests in favor of kidnapping Carol and using strenuous methods of interrogation, just on the chance that they might get what they wanted!

So if Hal really cared about her physical well-being, he’d worry a lot more about not being seen socializing with her when in costume, instead of socializing like crazy while merely fussing over the trivial detail of keeping her ignorant of his secret identity!

On a similar note, it does seem to me that if someone kidnapped “Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen” and injected him with some sort of “truth serum,” it’s highly unlikely that the conversation would go like this:

CROOK: Do you know Superman’s secret identity?

JIMMY: No.

CROOK: Oh, well, sorry to have bothered you, then! I can’t think of anything else to ask you while I have you helpless, so I guess I’ll just untie you and let you walk out of here, free as a bird!

JIMMY: Thanks! Goodbye!

If I were the Crook in that scenario, I’d figure that as long as I had him, the dear pal of a superhero, tied up and drugged and basically at my mercy, I might as well ask a few dozen other questions to try to get a good return on my investment if the first question didn’t pan out. For instance: “Do you know Supergirl’s secret identity? Do you know any superhero’s secret identity? Do you know where I can get my hands on a piece of Gold Kryptonite?” Stuff like that. Sooner or later I’d hit paydirt, right?

While we’re talking Bob Haney, didn’t Bruce Wayne’s adopted and deceased ward from Brave and the Bold eighty-three (Punish Not My Evil Son!) know?

“Alfred Pennyworth (Pre-COIE, Alfred never even met Bruce until after Bruce was already Batman and Dick Grayson was already Robin. When Alfred first moved into the Manor to be the new butler, he didn’t know what he was really getting into — but he found out.”

Isn’t that the backstory for the Golden Age “Fat Alfred”? ISTR that, by the time UNTOLD LEGEND rolled around in the mid-Bronze Age, Alfred was already working for the Waynes at the time of the murder, and Alfred served in a role as close to a surrogate father figure as Bruce would ever again permit.

I’m pretty sure Deadman was shown to know.

Again how about Mxyzptlk? Did he and Bat-Mite hang around together much back then?
Would Clark Kent have told his parents at some point?

ykw — No, your memory must be playing tricks on you. The three-part “Untold Legend of the Batman” miniseries from 1980 has a lengthy flashback sequence (from Alfred’s point of view) that makes it crystal-clear how he inserted himself into the daily routine at Wayne Manor (I reread it about a year and a half ago, for the umpteenth time).

He fought in World War II. Then he spent a long time as a dramatic actor in England. Then, as his father, a former butler at Wayne Manor, was dying, Daddy Pennyworth extorted a promise from Alfred to continue the proud family tradition of each generation of Pennyworths having at least one member in domestic service. Very reluctantly, Alfred promised to keep the tradition alive. Deciding to pick up where his father had left off, he sailed across the Atlantic to Gotham and knocked on the door of Wayne Manor, totally unexpected, and informed Bruce and Dick that he was their new butler. Bruce tried to politely explain that Alfred must have the wrong address or something, because Bruce hadn’t been advertising for a new butler and didn’t really need one. Alfred firmly “corrected” him on that point — something like “My father served your father, and now I shall serve you. That’s the way of the world!” and headed off to find himself a vacant room to sleep in. They couldn’t get rid of him . . . or didn’t have the heart to use brute force to throw him out, or something . . . but the way it’s written, it’s clear that the writer (Len Wein) was working on the belief that Bruce never even laid eyes on Alfred Pennyworth until right then and there, well after he had already created the role of Batman; there was no sense of recognition; nothing like Alfred saying, “Young Master Bruce! You’ve grown considerably since I last saw you!”; nothing even remotely similar.

We then skip ahead to some weeks later. Alfred awoke in the middle of the night to hear someone yelling his name, and found the noise was coming from behind that old grandfather clock downstairs. When he moved the clock aside, he found Bruce and Dick — still dressed as Batman and Robin — with Batman suffering from a gunshot wound and Dick more or less dragging him up the stairs. Alfred had apparently learned emergency battlefield medicine during his time in uniform, so he was able to help. (Although looking back at my own list, you’d think they’d have called for Doctor Dundee. I don’t remember Dundee ever being mentioned in that miniseries, however.)

As far as I know — and I think I’ve read something very close to every issue of “Batman” and “Detective Comics” story ever published by DC throughout the decade of the 1980s — no “in continuity” story ever had Alfred as a butler who’d been around at the Manor ever since Bruce was just a wee slip of a lad until after the transition to Post-COIE continuity. I do seem to recall the Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns” had Alfred reminiscing at least once about what Bruce was like as a small boy, but that wasn’t even remotely “in continuity” for the regular Batman titles. Then Miller had Bruce in “Year One” thinking something to the effect that his father had left him with the services of a butler trained in battlefield medicine, and that story arc seems to have first established “in continuity” (the Post-COIE continuity, of course!) the idea that Alfred is an “old family retainer” who’s been hanging around the Manor ever since Bruce’s parents were alive.

(Although I believe at least one or two of the other Post-COIE writers have written things that stated or implied that Alfred only started working at the Manor after Bruce was a grown man, but in general that’s no longer the “conventional wisdom” on the subject.)

Mr. Pete — a few years ago I heard, for the first time in my life, about Bruce’s long-lost brain-damaged older brother, Thomas Wayne Jr. I learned that he apparently appeared in just two stories written by Bob Haney — at the end of the second, he died while taking a bullet (after having previously served as a “host body” for Deadman for awhile). But I’m not clear on whether or not Thomas Jr. ever knew “Batman” was his little brother “Bruce”? Since I’ve never read those stories, I know precious little about just how much of the world around him Thomas Jr. was capable of understanding.

MarkAndrew — on the other hand, I can honestly say I’d never even heard of Bruce Wayne’s “adopted and deceased ward” before! I’ll look into it, as best I can — probably via online databases, since I don’t feel too tempted to spend an arm and a leg to buy a copy of such an old issue of “Brave and the Bold.”

Jacob T. Levy — the comment about Deadman sounds familiar. I think someone may have told me once that the Pre-COIE Deadman knew in at least one story, but if so, I must have forgotten the details of whatever I was told. (Given that Deadman had been using the body of Thomas Wayne Jr. as his regular host for awhile, which I did hear about some time ago, that might be the same story in which Boston Brand learned Batman’s secrets? Or were you thinking of some other story that nailed the point down in the Bronze Age continuity?)

Lothor — Frankly, I have no idea whether the Pre-COIE Mxyzptlk ever showed signs of knowing who Batman really was. Heck, offhand I’m not too clear on whether he ever definitely knew who Superman really was! (He may have — I just wouldn’t know! I’ve read a few of his Pre-COIE stories, but not in ages, and I don’t have a photographic memory for whatever I read!)

About Clark’s parents — well, on the one hand, I’m pretty sure Bruce didn’t become Batman until after Clark’s parents died while Clark was in college. On the other hand, now that you’ve stirred my memory, I know I have read at least a few stories from the Pre-COIE era that worked on the theory that juvenile Clark and juvenile Bruce were pretty well-acquainted and sometimes worked on cases together (in sharp contradiction to the story I cited in my List, wherein they bumped into each other for the very first time as grown men on a cruise ship) . . . and I even seem to recall that Clark had some device that sometimes let him see into the future so that he, as Superboy, knew that someday Bruce would be Batman . . . so I guess he could have mentioned the “secret identity of Batman” to his parents before there even was a Batman!

On the other hand . . . in “World’s Finest #300″ Batman ends up traveling through time and manages to save Pa and Ma Kent from a gunman. Superboy pops up just after Bats has disappeared, and as I recall, Ma and Pa just say something like this about their rescuer: “It was a man — dressed all in black — he seemed to recognize us and then ran away.” That implies a certain failure to recognize “Batman,” although admittedly it was only a quick glimpse of him, and there’s nothing that would have prevented Clark from telling them all about the future Batman a year later . . .

I guess what it boils down to is that if anyone can show me a story in which Ma and Pa definitely knew, “in continuity,” all about Bruce Wayne’s future plans before he actually started wearing a Batman costume, then I’ll add them to the List — but at this moment, I don’t know of any solid reason to do so! :)

According to this Deadman index:

http://darkmark6.tripod.com/deadmanind.htm

Deadman learned The Secret in his very first Batman team-up, BB #79.

“Denny O’Neil’s frantic attempt in the mid-90s to retcon it to say: “Anyone in Titans continuity who knows Dick Grayson’s secret is far too clueless to ever figure out who Batman really is””

I realize that by the time Crisis came around, too many people knew his identity, and they had to trim the number of people knowing…but did they really have to make the Titans characters such morons just to do it? Really? ALL OF THEM where that clueless? I mean, I know Dick was the brains of the team, but still! lol

Bernard the Poet

May 2, 2008 at 3:12 am

Batman’s deceased ward was called Lance Bruner and appeared in the Brave and the Bold no. 83 – the Teen Titans (Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and Speedy) also appear and clearly know Bruce’s identity. Deadman discovers it in Brave and the Bold no. 79.

You also need to add Cain from the House of Mystery, who is shown to know it in Brave and the Bold no. 93.

On your Doubtful Cases list, you might want to add Sgt Rock and Man Bat. Rock parachuted into occupied France with Bruce Wayne, but before you know it, Batman is helping Easy Co. and Bruce isn’t anywhere to be seen (Brave and the Bold no. 84). Man Bat finds the Batcave in Detective Comics no. 402.

The Brave and the Bold were all written by Bob Haney, the Man Bat stories were written by Frank Robbins. I hope that’s helpful.

I remembered from Doug Moench’s run, over a hundred issues later (mid-80s) that Man-Bat could find his way into the Batcave any time he really felt the urge. Did he definitely know it was located directly beneath the stately home of millionaire Bruce Wayne and his youthful ward, Dick Grayson, though? You didn’t say he specifically was aware of a Bruce/Batman connection. (Other people, Pre-COIE or Post-COIE, have spent time in the Batcave without knowing it was basically Bruce Wayne’s sub-basement. Spoiler, for one!)

Pre-crisis Myx canonically didn’t know who Superman was. (In the bronze age story where Superman finds himself in a gender-reversed world, he deduced that Myx is involved by the fact that in that world, Superwoman and Clara Kent are two different people.) So it’s unlikely that he knows who Batman is.

Bernard the Poet

May 2, 2008 at 9:11 am

In the Senator’s Been Shot (Brave and the Bold no. 85), Batman reveals his secret identity to the psychiatrist, Dr Edmund Cathcart. The story ends with Cathcart vowing to undergo a series of self-hypnosis sessions to wipe the information from his memory, but we never see if he does this or not.

This story was also scripted by Bob Haney, who I think we can assume didn’t share Denny O’Neil’s hang-ups about people knowing Batman’s secret.

This may not be the place to write this, but whilst going through my old Brave and the Bold issues, I couldn’t help but notice thirteenth entry for your 12 Tricks for Keeping a Superhero Young. In B & B # 84, The Angel, the Rock and the Cowl, Batman teams up with Sgt Rock. The story is set in the present (1969) with flashbacks to June, 1944, but Batman remains ageless throughout while Rock and the evil von Stauffen are visibly older in the present-day section of the story.

Now I can see that Haney was trying to create a fable, but when I was a kid, it irritated the hell out of me.

Bernard the Poet

May 2, 2008 at 9:19 am

Jeff R. I loved that gender reversed world. Is my memory playing tricks on me, or did the male Black Canary continue to wear the fishnet stockings?

DC should definitely bring it back. It deserves its own series.

Omar Karindu

May 2, 2008 at 3:28 pm

This story was also scripted by Bob Haney, who I think we can assume didn’t share Denny O’Neil’s hang-ups about people knowing Batman’s secret.

At that point in time, there’s not much evidence that Denny had his later hang-ups about people knowing the identity. After all, O’Neil created Talia and Ra’s as recurring characters who specifically knew The Secret, had the Shadow know it, and probably one or two more examples I’m forgetting without looking back up at the list.

Jeff R. — yeah, I should have remembered about that gender-reversed world. A few years ago when I was working on my lengthy Timeline listing First (and sometimes Final) appearances of each of DC’s Supergirls (and Superwomen, etc.), someone called that story to my attention. Shortly after that, I found that issue in the bins of a local shop and paid a few bucks for it. But when I was reacting to the question about what Mxy knew or didn’t know, earlier today, Mxy’s telltale mistake in that old story just slipped my mind.

(Although looking back on it, I have to conclude that if Pre-COIE Mxy didn’t know who Superman was, it could only mean he didn’t really want to know!)

Bernard the Poet — about that gender-reversed world which you want to see again . . . did you see how Jeph Loeb gave us glimpses of something very similar in the last story arc he did for the “Superman/Batman” title? (I imagine he too has read that old Pre-COIE story, because his version also had Mxy involved in all the weirdness happening in that story arc.)

Michael Mayket

May 2, 2008 at 4:34 pm

The Aurakle that became Halo possessed the body of Violet Harper.

[…] this six ways from Sunday, but that has nothing to do with how things stood in the early-to-mid …http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/05/01/lorendiacs-lists-who-knew-bruce-was-batman/Clinton delegate candidatesThe complete list of eligible Clinton candidates, 3rd or 4th hand. […]

Adeline Kane and Steve Dayton.
Following the Wolfman/Titans logic, these two cast members would know. This is also quite dangerous, considering Addie’s involvement with HIVE and Dayton’s role as Crimemaster.

Alex — actually, even before I read your comment, it occurred to me that Brother Blood and at least some of his underlings in the 1980s probably knew . . . because Brother Blood definitely learned that Dick Grayson was the other identity of “Robin” (later Nightwing). And beyond that, I realized there were probably other people from Titans continuity who “implicitly” should have known, although the only ones I had thought to mention were Dick’s fellow Titans, and Donna’s husband Terry, and Deathstroke — who was Terra’s secret partner as she infiltrated them.

Come to think of it, I forgot to mention Slade and Addie’s kid who eventually became a Titan in good standing, Jericho, didn’t I? [i]Oops![/i]

That “oops” was supposed to be in italics, but HTML tags don’t come naturally to me these days. (Sigh.)

BTW, Lorendiac, came across your website and I loved your ‘version’ of ‘Sins Past’. It cracked me up. Now whenever I read a scene where a character is acting stupidly, I pretend they were going to the the right and smart thing, but then along came JQ/Didio/the writer and beating them senseless with a mallet. The ‘Hush’ parody you did was also good, but the ‘Sins Past’ was awesome. Can’t wait to see you version of, say, ‘One More Day’ ;)

[…] Grayson is listed under ???Nightwing.??? Or, if the character was long dead or otherwise had …http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/05/01/lorendiacs-lists-who-knew-bruce-was-batman/Monday Poem ,,, Before the Ink Dries Jim Culleny When suits enter the woods the animals flee. When […]

Duela Dent aka The Joker’s Daughter/Harlequin/& several other identities – figured it out in Batman Family #9.

The Elongated Man – Technically Batman told him in Detective Comics #331, but Bats only did that knowing that EM would lose his memory of everything he learned at that time.

Hawkman & Hawkgirl – Brave & The Bold #70 – This story showed that Batman did know Hawkman & Hawkgirl’s secret identities & I’d assume they knew his because of the Absorbascon when they came to Earth (they’d just have to concentrate about it to bring up the info.)

Ka-Thar – World’s Finest Comics #81 – a historian from 5956 knows who they are.

Lance Bruner – Brave & The Bold #83 (the “Punish not my Evil Son” story already mentioned) Lance discovered the Batcave & figured it out.

Mr. Jupiter – While not specifically stated, he had to know by Teen Titans #35. In that story the Titans & Mr. Jupiter are in Italy. Robin appears out of costume & Mr. Jupiter calls him Robin. Now in Teen Titans #25 when Mr. Jupiter first appeared Robin recognizes Mr. Jupiter as a friend of Bruce Wayne & would doubtless know who Dick is.

Doubtful Cases & Near Misses

Aunt Harriet – Detective Comics #351 – she found the elevator to the Batcave & believed Bruce & Dick were B&R, but by the end of the story they convinced her she was mistaken.

Balthazar T. Balthazar aka The Collector – Brave & The Bold #70 – his computer figured it out, but later Bats & Hawkman confused the heck out of him.

Commissioner Gordon – Batman Family #11 – while not explicitly stated the story has Gordon putting the clues together & ends implying that he knows the truth.

Governer Andrew Warner – Batman #165 – after being mutated into a future man he gave clues to a way that he could be defeated, clues that only his friend Bruce Wayne would have known so Bats suspected he had learned the secret telepathically, but didn’t know for sure. Warner was sent off in a rocket in suspended animation.

Elwood Pearson & Mr. Incognito – Batman #173 – Pearson had a special camera & mirror that could show what someone looked like under a mask. Both saw Bruce & Dick’s faces, but didn’t recognize them. B&R hoped they didn’t have time to commit their faces to memory.

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