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Updated: April 18, 2022

Villain Activity - Secret Identity:

Over the years, knowledge of Batman's secret identity has been one of the most both coveted and controversial desires of his rogues gallery. Many have tried, and a number have actually succeeded in discovering his secret identity.

•Golden Age, many two-bit crooks actually learned of Bruce Wayne. However, they were each predictably murdered by an external factor before they could make use of the information. This included, along with others, both Joe Chill and Lew Moxon, each of whom Batman revealed his identity to shortly before he intended to exact dire revenge. Joe Chill ran to tell his fellow thugs, but after he explained to them he was responsible for the Batman's creation, they murdered him for that; only realizing their folly once it was too late. Lew Moxon believed Bruce to be the ghost of Thomas Wayne (who Moxon had murdered), and crazed, ran out into the middle of the street where he was hit by a truck.

•Ra's al Ghul deduced Batman's identity with almost no trouble. He had determined that whoever Batman was would make the perfect husband for his daughter, Talia, and embarked to find out for himself. Al Ghul simply figured out what equipment exactly would be required to live as Batman, and then deduced that Bruce Wayne was the only person on Earth regularly buying these. Ra's has used this information to make his attacks against Batman more personal, but does not fraternize with the regular villain community, and as such has never shared it.

•During the events of "Strange Apparitions," Hugo Strange was able to capture Batman through a complex feint scheme with an illegitimate hospital, and numerous trained venomous snakes. Although many other villains have undergone controversy in this situation, Hugo Strange simply removed his mask without hesitation, and then actually usurped his identity, and became Bruce Wayne himself. Strange also auctioned his identity on the black market, although he would later retract his offer; an act for which boss Rupert Thorne was believed to have killed him for. However, it was later revealed that Strange had simply faked his own death, as he often does.

•The Riddler, seeking the answer to all of life's questions, yearned to learn Batman's secret identity perhaps more than any other villain. At one point when he was near death, he sunk himself into a Lazarus Pit to save his own life. In the ensuing bout of insanity, he simply realized Batman was Bruce Wayne. Later, he met Thomas Elliot, the man who would become "Hush." As Elliot had a massive grudge on Bruce Wayne, and the means to act upon it, the Riddler confided in him, and the two worked together launching a multi-pronged attack on various aspects of Batman's psyche during the events of "Batman: Hush", utilizing many other villains as their pawns. Although Hush remains aware of Bruce Wayne's alter ego, the Riddler devastatingly realized upon Batman's telling him that he couldn't actually really use the information to his advantage, as "a riddle everybody knows the answer to is worthless", which he wouldn't be able to stand. Later, the Riddler would undergo mental trauma, and it is unclear whether or not he currently remembers at all.

•Catwoman has long been aware of Batman's identity, as she is no longer an enemy, but a functioning ally of his.

•Perhaps most controversial with Batman's identity is the Joker himself. The Joker, despite numerous opportunities to uncover it for himself, has expressed numerous desires not to know who he really is. As if he feels it would sort of cheapen or ruin their unusally relationship, as Batman is the only other person he actually seems to consider real. Perhaps most notably, in "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge," he has Batman unconscious and completely at his mercy, but elects to leave him alone as he feels it was only on a technicality, and he had always envisioned his victory against Batman as "at the end of a bitter struggle."

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