A thorough exploration of how the boy became the bat...
Issue #0: The Premonition
A dream lost in time. Bruce awakes to find he has fallen down a well on the Manor's property.
The Wayne Family History
Darius and his brother were the first of the Wayne name to step foot on the coastal region that would one day be Gotham City. They were both large and brave men, as most were in their bloodline. Most of all they were proud patriots, and were quite instrumental in the war of 1812. In fact, for Darius' valiant efforts he received the plot of land unto which Wayne Manor was built. On this land he settled down and managed to father two sons before the Civil War erupted. Due to the conflict, Darius and his family attempted to escape through underground caves beneath the manor. They managed to head North with their slaves and in doing so abandoned the place they called home. In their absence the area became known as Gotham Town, a bustling port on the Eastern coast.
In the North, one of Darius' sons managed to amass a large fortune which allowed him a lucrative life of ease. Despite his large wealth, his greatest success was his own son, Alan. Alan Wayne was a young man with cunning and ingenuity like no other. Alone, he returned to his family's abandoned Manor and with his father's money established Wayne Shipping and Chemicals. Some say Alan Wayne help spawn the Industrial Revolution. Now these rumors may not have been completely true, but it certainly felt like it in the dark harbors of Gotham Town. With the addition of Wayne Manufacturing Alan had gained complete control over production and distribution in Gotham. Together, these three subsidiaries formed Wayne Industries; a conglomerate responsible for not only giving birth to a city, but a shining metropolis. Gotham Town became Gotham City, and soon that name was all but forgotten.
Wayne Industries was passed from Alan to his son Kenneth, and from Kenneth to his son Patrick and as the company grew so did the city. It expanded faster than anyone could have predicted. Unfortunately the Gotham grew beyond its own reaches. As the population skyrocketed, slums began to form in the more derelict regions and crime began to steadily rise. The wealthiest men in Gotham saw a storm on the horizon and grew worried. They were few in number, but together, these rich men swayed politics in their favor. Foolishly believing Gotham was a city only for the wealthy.
A new plutocracy formed and legislation was now merely bribed into law. The middle class was quickly dismantled and the poorer end of the spectrum fell to a welfare system that was slowly being eroded away. Urban crime became rampant and the streets were unsafe. The young quickly flocked into gangs for protection, turning Gotham at times into a warzone. Wayne Industries attempted to donate and stifle the chaos, but the city wouldn't allow it, blaming them for the rapid expansion.
A new candidate running for mayor armed himself with an aggressive political campaign supporting alcohol prohibition and suppressing criminal delinquency. It also pushed for the removal of the supposed 'monopolization of Gotham' by Wayne Industries. Propaganda compared it to socialism, most simply agreed that it was against the nature of the free market. Everyone was desperate and needed something to believe in, and so that mayor won his campaign with a landslide victory. He was put into office and as a result a major portion of Wayne Industries' business was forced out of Gotham and it broke Patrick's heart. This was his family's city, they built it from the ground up and they would never do anything to harm it. Of course the company didn't see this as the end, it was much too large to fail. For Wayne Industries it was nothing but a new beginning as it became Wayne Enterprises and expanded successfully into the global market.
As Wayne Enterprise was reborn a new, Gotham faced nothing but the monotony of rich greed and failed hopes. Prohibitions and new legislation criminalizing the poor attempted to cull crime and poverty. Yet with every attempt to remedy the situation the politicians and lawmen only dug themselves a deeper grave, seeded with dirty money. The City became heavily divided in class, sending it in a downward spiral of chaos. Riots were rampant and the criminal underworld had gained a large financial foothold through rum running and large scale heists. Worst of all that same criminal underworld was the only sign of control and order in the city. Citizens flocked to them for safety, because the cops were no better. Corruption was rampant, and morality was a thing of the past. You couldn't turn down a corner without finding a murder or at the least a mugging. The city was overrun with a new breed of Gothamite, individuals with nothing but instinct, that would do what ever it takes to survive...
...but there was still hope, not everyone had given up on Gotham.
Mainly ensuring his Wayne Enterprises subsidiaries were running accordingly in Europe, Patrick Wayne had not returned to his family's city for many years. Though he was pushed out of Gotham, truthfully he would have taken anything to escape that symbol of defeat. To him it stood only as a proof of his failure. His failure to continue the Wayne legacy, but more importantly, his failure to protect Gotham. With his greatest achievements behind him, the business world grew dull and he sought other ventures and investments. He was especially keen on getting lost for months at a time in South Africa. Amidst a 6 month exploratory excursion through Peru, in the dark jungles of the Amazon, Patrick received a letter. This letter made him long for a place he once feared. For a place, he once called home.
Not for just any reason, but a reason five generations in the making. It was the greatest gift he'd ever received. It was a chance to redeem himself and a legacy long given up on. It was a chance to save Gotham, but greatest of all these reasons, Patrick finally went home because that gift was a son.
Thomas Wayne was born in 1910, and his wife, Martha Kane in 1915. They married and on their wedding night, Thomas, though a trained Doctor and Surgeon, became CEO of Wayne Enterprises. Martha Wayne, his partner in life would also represent his partner in business, becoming his secretary and assistant. Considered the most ambitious philanthropists in the Western Hemisphere, Thomas did not go unnoticed. Unfortunately it was the worst of times in America, the largest depression to ever hit the country had turned people into animals, they were desperate. Worst of all, Gotham was known to be a city run by crime, and business was booming. Thomas initiated a project entitled The Wayne Foundation in an attempt to stifle corruption in Gotham and return it to its once noble heights. The Foundation's primary goals targeted funding charitable efforts; mainly social programs and the rebuilding of infrastructure. When Thomas took over his family's company, Gotham once again became the focus of Wayne Enterprises, but it still wasn't enough.
The weeds had overgrown the flowers in the garden of Gotham.
A good heart was an oddity in Gotham and the Waynes were thought of as a nearly extinct breed rich. Though rare the Waynes were still by far the most lucrative, and yet, the city was too far gone. Thomas feared it was not possible, for one single man, and a business, no matter how big... to affect change necessary to rescue Gotham. At least not through legitimate and legal ways, at least not without losing his soul in the process. The city seemed to swallow people, how could it not? There wasn't a single clean dollar left in Gotham, it's blood ran black, and yours simply did too, if you let it. Crime had seeped deep into the roots of the city, and a stain of corruption lead all the way to the top. As Thomas and Marth grew older, they began to accept that truth.
The last good family in a city lost to corruption.
Time was running out. They could sense it.
Returning peace to Gotham was not achievable in their life time...
....and so, they sought to continue the Wayne Legacy in a single heir.
Martha and Thomas finally had their child in 1953.
...They named him Bruce.
First Story Arc: To Escape Death
Issue #1: The Birth (Updated)
A new Prince of Gotham is born. The Wayne family has delivered their first baby boy into the world. His name, Bruce Wayne.
Issue #2: The Child Prodigy - Chapter I -part 1 & part 2 (Updated)
At daycare Bruce Wayne has proven to be more than just any other child. He has surpassed his class and his teacher's expectations, granting him undesired special attention.
Issue #3: The Child Prodigy - Chapter II-part 1 & part 2 (Updated)
Bruce's teacher believes he is capable of more. With her recommendations Bruce's intellect may finally be challenged.
Issue #4: The Element of Disguise - part 1, part 2 and part 3 (Updated)
Alfred has an important lesson to teach on Hamlet, but Bruce can't seem to focus.
Issue #5: A Dark Reflection (Updated)
Bruce struggles to understand the point of tragedy in stories.
Issue #6: The Break In Pencils and Coloring
Intruders at Wayne Manor! Being the richest family in America has its consequences after all.
Issue #8: A Legacy Scripted
It's Bruce's sixth birthday and his father has promised him a trip into Gotham and a tour of Wayne Tower. The headquarters of the global enterprise Bruce will one day run.
Issue #9: The Ball Conceptualized
Issue #10: Studying Abroad Conceptualized
Issue #11: A Return to Gotham Conceptualized
Issue #12: The Day -The Night Conceptualized
Issue #13: Requiem Conceptualized
Second Story Arc: A Sleight of Hands
Alfred was born in 1925, and as a boy he grew up in England. He joined the army at 16 and was soon off to fight in the Second World War. He was a born marksman, but shooting his fellow human was not the reason he enlisted. He soon came to realize that he wanted to save lives, not take them.
He became a skilled field medic and for the next two years of his life, found himself in various conflicts all over the world. When he turned 18, he joined the British Guard and spent 3 years as a soldier in their ranks. It wasn't long before he was honored with various medals and several courageous actions. For these reasons, he was contacted by associates representing MI-5. They insisted that he have a more permanent career with her majesty's finest and so he was recruited by UK's secret security service. He worked mostly as an asset in the middle East, but occasionally found himself in Asia. For 2 years he disappeared, losing himself in his career, but after those two years of dedicated field work, Alfred couldn't handle it anymore. All the killing he saw, he became numb. The death, and more importantly the inability to stop death... was too much, he decided it was enough.
Having already survived longer than most agents, he retired early to his true passion, the performing arts. In 1948 Alfred was only 23 and he was living his dream, performing all over the United Kingdom in the most prestigious theaters and halls. Unfortunately this dream was quickly dismantled with a single phone call.
He had not spoke to Thomas Wayne in several years, but Alfred could recognize that chiseled, warm voice anywhere. Only a year into his prolific acting career, Alfred was informed of his father's passing and of the responsibility now awaiting him. Alfred Pennyworth knew of his family's tradition, he knew he once again had a duty to fulfill... a noble cause to serve.
He packed his bags and said goodbye to the stage.
Alfred agreed to become the Waynes' butler not only to honor his father's dying wish but to continue the Pennyworth legacy.
Setting: Gotham City, Early Twentieth Century
Due to the Wayne Family's industrious efforts, Gotham City, New Jersey was once a shinning metropolis, an epicenter of East Coast North American business. Thomas' forefathers took the coal that was Gotham and sculpted it into the diamond it deserved to be. Thanks to Wayne Industries alone, America is approximately ten to twenty years more advanced than it would be otherwise in the nineteenth century.
Thomas and Martha Wayne have recently had their first child, in an effort to ensure the Wayne legacy does not end with them. With their newborn baby boy, the Waynes are now known as the Richest Family in America and are essentially held to a status of Royalty in Gotham.
Whats to Come...