Batman’s origin story gets a little more context in Batman the Dark Knight #12. The story dovetails the two most pivotal moments in Bruce Wayne’s life: falling into a bat cave and the murder of his parents.

The Scarecrow captures Batman and doses him with a new fear toxin. It’s revealed in a flashback that as a child the Dark Knight was a crybaby! His mother coddles him after his encounter with the bats. “It’s okay, Bruce. Everyone’s scared of something. It’s part of being human,” she assures him. His father is less understanding, particular when they have to leave the movie theater because Bruce gets scared. “It’s a big world out there, son. You have to learn not be afraid of everything,” says his father, moments before the infamous mugging gone wrong. Bruce blames himself for their deaths. He races to the bat cave with tears in his eyes and his mother’s words echoing in his ears. “What if I don’t want to be human?” he asks.

Scarecrow explains that Batman fears nothing, except fear itself. A collage of Batman’s rogues gallery is captioned with the mantra “Fear nothing.” The story emphasizes that Bruce Wayne is Batman for his own sake as well as others. His alter ego is his coping mechanism. Talk about catharsis, and it’s only part one!

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