In the DC universe (whether it's post Infinite Crisis Multiverse or New 52) Batman is not a metahuman. However despite that, Batman has almost always been described as the world's greatest detective who has a Genius Level Intellect.

Has it ever been described by DC, in any comic, how Batman developed genius level intellect?

IIRC, they talk about how he developed his other talents but they don't talk about how he developed his intellect.

For example (we learn from The Dark Knight) Ra's al Gul trained Bruce Wayne in every aspect of Ninjutsu. Similarly Batman was trained by Zatara, a stage magician to give the illusion of disappearing.

So, did Batman/Bruce Wayne receive similar training from any individual/s that helped him to develop his intellect,did he acquire genius level intellect all by himself or was he just born with it?

  • 8
    Isn't intellect often considered to have a strong genetic component? Why shouldn't we assume he was just born with it?
    – Adamant
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 20:42
  • Fair Point. Added it. But has DC ever mentioned that Bruce Wayne was a child prodigy who had matchless intellect and amazing power of deductions?
    – DSarkar
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 20:47
  • I don't know. You'll have to wait for the Batman experts to answer. :)
    – Adamant
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 20:48
  • 3
    You want a nature versus nurture argument here? Because that's what it looks like to me.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 22:52
  • 1
    @Broklynite - because Batman used Emacs instead of Vi. DVK throws a whole set of incendiary balloons on the fire and runs away Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 0:36

2 Answers 2


Batman is the smartest human. The two immediately beneath him are Mister Terrific and Lex Luthor.

It is often overlooked that Bruce is naturally intelligent to begin with. He went to the top colleges where he took classes in a number of areas under various faux identities. At some point in canon, Bruce was went through CIA/NSA training, leaving after he realized it wasn't a good way to accomplish his goals. He graduated from Yale. You can see diplomas in some issues (as shown below), but I think the whole CIA/NSA thing was stricken as possibly was the graduating from a university, but I'm not sure.

Image on Bruce's presumed Diploma

On top of that and more concretely, Bruce studied in Nanda Parbat which trained him to have an eidetic memory as well as other mental training.

In other words: He studied a lot, has an eidetic memory, and is naturally gifted. On top of all this, you have to remember he started training for this since he was ten and had the best education that money could buy.

  • 3
    A reference would be nice. What Batman continuity are we talking about here?
    – tilley31
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 1:01
  • @tilley31 I agree, but references with regard to this would be spread across several comics, in the background, and referenced in issues in like maybe 1 line or picked up on from info not directly stated. Further this more or less changes every time its mentioned so its fairly worthless for sourcing. The summation is the important part... Lots of Study + learned to have an eidetic memory + Naturally gifted. Extra detail stuff is prone to changing even within the same canon universe.
    – Durakken
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 1:06
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    This answer definitely needs sources. There are several continuities and in each of them the details behind Batman's origin and training are re-written and changed countless times. I can think of a few stories off the top of my head that contradict some of the things you're saying. That isn't to say you're wrong because Lord knows comics contradict each other all the time. We just need to know what authority your answer comes from. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 14:18
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    @D_S It changes what he learns from Nanda Parbat, but you could argue he learned all the various things and he just doesn't mention them cuz that's not what he's talking about at the time. The 1 thing I can remember his saying that he learned there (or maybe it's Dick saying he learned it from Bruce who learned it from there) The ability to slow his heart rate, meditate, and enter a near death state. There are also plenty of scenes where he's topless climbing snowy mountains. That's Nanda Parbat training.
    – Durakken
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 15:05
  • 3
    @Durakken - If you Google "smartest characters in dc universe" or "where did batman go to college", for example, you'll get a million unsourced, conflicting answers. Asserting your answer is correct and the only correct answer does nothing to provide clarity to the question. Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 15:53

This may be of interest: First the link to DC Wikia notes the first origin is Detective Comics #33 and "Batman has had his origin story retold differently several times over his many years of publication, with significant variations in continuity."

Synopsis for "The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom"

"Fifteen years ago, Bruce Wayne is walking home from a movie with his father Thomas Wayne and his mother. They are approached by a mugger who tries to grab his mother's necklace. Thomas Wayne shouts for the mugger to leave her alone, and menaces him. The mugger shoots Thomas Wayne dead, saying that he asked for it. Bruce's mother is horrified and calls for the police. The mugger shoots and kills her also so she'll stop screaming. The young Bruce is horrified. Several days later, he kneels next to his bed by candlelight and makes a solemn vow. He swears by the spirit of his parents to avenge their deaths, by spending the rest of his life warring on all criminals. Years pass and Bruce Wayne prepares for this career. He becomes a master scientist, and trains his body to physical perfection. ...... Just then a huge bat flies through the open window, like an answer to his question. Bruce Wayne declares that this is an omen, and he shall become a bat. Thus was born this weird figure of the dark... this avenger of evil... The Batman."

I've found these images that may help, where Bruce Wayne talks of "I have studied"

enter image description here

(I believe it is from the above story)

Another image:

enter image description here

  • 1
    You will notice that the author states He becomes a master scientist. But he does not explain how he became a master scientist.This is basically true for almost all Batman comics. How Batman/Bruce Wayne developed his physical prowess is vividly explained but how he developed his intellect is not that well explained.
    – DSarkar
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 21:35
  • For me, the implication is that he studied.
    – user66716
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 8:08
  • 1
    I've added two images I've found, where Bruce Wayne points out "I have studied, I have trained". The images are in different styles and I'm not too sure of the origin of these images, particularly the second one.
    – user66716
    Commented Jul 16, 2016 at 9:03

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