"I am Batman" and its variants like "I am Batman, bitch" are quite popular. Using this, Bruce Wayne has revealed his secret to his girls.

However, I am interested in the dialogue when it isn't intended to reveal his secret identity (when he is Bruce) or it isn't intended for introduction (when he is Batman).

When (and in which comics) did he (Batman; not Bruce) use it to boast his iconic figure for the first time (when everyone already knows who he is)?


4 Answers 4


Detective Comics Vol 1 #38 (1940) seems to be the first time that he needs to introduce himself (to Robin, incidentally). Prior to that, everyone just seems to know who he is.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Wait. Was it intro? Did Robin know his name or not? I have clarified the question.
    – user931
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 7:58
  • @SachinShekhar - Based on the fact that everyone seems to know who he is, I'm going to say that it was both an intro and an explanation. It's not definitive though.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 17:39
  • Please wait until I read that comic.. :)
    – user931
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 18:14
  • @Richard given that he answers "Who?", I'd expect him to having never heard of him before.
    – o0'.
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 11:35
  • @Lohoris - It's not clear whether he's responding or merely surprised. He also asks "wha.."
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 11:36

While looking, I found a blog post that attempts to catalog the people who know Batman's true identity. Dick Grayson/Robin was the first to be told, in April 1940 (Detective Comics # 38), but the actual telling was not shown. There is simply a panel with Dick Grayson swearing an oath to Batman to fight crime together.

A likely candidate for the first time the revelation was actually depicted in the comic, is when Batman revealed his identity to Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents. This was in Batman # 47 from June/July 1948. But as seen in the image, the line was "I am Bruce Wayne".

Batman reveals his identity to Joe Chill, Batman #47 (June-July 1948)

  • 6
    Presumably Alfred was the first one to know, after Bruce Wayne. Also, this doesn't answer the question, which was when did he first declare himself to someone else to be 'The Batman.' Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 21:14
  • 1
    @Richard You submitted your answer while I was writing mine, so I wasn't ignoring yours. In the original question, sachin shekhar said "Using this, Batman/ Bruce Wayne has revealed his secret to his girls and scared villains." In the use of the phrase in your answer, Batman is not revealing his secret identity of Bruce Wayne, but is identifying his superhero name to Dick Grayson, who did not yet know it. I assumed the question was when the phrase was used to reveal that Batman = Bruce Wayne, not just to announce his superhero title. Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 22:57
  • 24
    Is it just me or does Bruce Wayne look like Superman?
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 4:22
  • 1
    Clarified the question...
    – user931
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 9:07
  • 1
    @CJDennis well their mothers do have the same first name.... Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 15:18

Like many things that are now great about Batman, we have TAS to thank for this.

While Batman has stated his identity many times before, it was never really a catchphrase for him, nor did he say it in a specific, recognizable way that we'd notice today.

The first time he stated this line in a meaningful way was in the TAS episode Nothing to Fear, during a hallucination brought on by the Scarecrow while confronting the fear of his father's disappointment.

Thomas Wayne vision: You are a disgrace!

Batman: No! No! You are not my father! I am not a disgrace! I am vengeance! I am the night! I am BATMAN!

The line was popular enough that it became the tagline for the show's bumper on Cartoon Network.


The pop culture claim to fame of the line seems to be from 'Batman Begins'. The words "I'm Batman" in a hoarse voice (in order to disguise the sound of his actual voice), were first spoken by Christian Bale to his victim hanging upside down.

Since then, it has been spoken by everyone from Sheldon Cooper to the folks at HISHE.

If you're looking for a comic-book reference, I'd refer you to All-Star Batman and Robin, a series by Frank Miller

enter image description here

In case the font is small, here's the dialog:

Robin: Who the hell are you anyway, giving out orders like this?

Batman: What, are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I’m the Goddamn Batman.

It's not the exact phrase you asked for, nor am I sure if it was the first time he used it, but it was hugely popular and controversial when it came out.

  • 22
    Regarding your first paragraph... Michael Keaton did say that back in 1989, and Adam West in the 60's TV series as well. So it basically depends on when you entered "pop culture". Personally, I haven't even seen any of the 21st century stuff and still remember the line. ;-)
    – DevSolar
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 12:21
  • 4
    I honestly don't see (hear) much of a difference.
    – DevSolar
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 12:58
  • 4
    Yes, Adam West did do the hoarse voice: youtube.com/watch?v=GnczjneqXYw
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 12:59
  • 6
    -1 first paragraph inaccurate and simply not correct. Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 15:53
  • 3
    I remember Keaton's "I am Batman" and remember it in a horse voice. Saw Batman Begins and Dark Knight, but don't remember Bale saying it. It's probably like watching 007 movies - eventually you mentally gloss over the "Bond, James Bond" line that is obligatory to appear once per movie. Incidentally, I'm old enough to have watched some of the Adam West shows in first run, but was young enough then that I don't remember lines like.
    – GreenMatt
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 21:08

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