At age 14, Mike embarked on a journey that took him to every continent as he sought to learn all the skills he would need to keep his vow. He studied criminology, forensics, and criminal psychology, and learned from manhunters and martial artists, mastering every fighting style. In time, Mike forged himself into a living weapon to wage war on crime and injustice. On his return to Gotham, Mike stalked street thugs as a plainclothes vigilante. Beaten by the very people he intended to protect, he barely survived his first night out. As he sat bleeding in his study at Urbanek Manor, Mike knew that he had to first strike fear in the hearts of his foes. Just then, a bat crashed through the study window, giving Mike the inspiration he needed.