Alternative versions of Batman
|Alternate versions of Batman|
|First appearance||Detective Comics #27 (May 1939)|
|Created by||Bob Kane
|See also||Batman franchise media|
- 1 Comics
- 2 Film and television
- 3 Video games
- 4 References
- Bruce Wayne is the original Batman. This is Batman's secret identity in almost all representations in other media.
- The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh was an uninhibited alter ego that Bruce Wayne had constructed to protect himself in the event that his base psyche was under attack. This Batman claimed "I'm what you get when you take Bruce out of the equation..."
- Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley, becomes Batman (albeit a far more brutal version) after Bane breaks Bruce's back during 1993's Knightfall story. This identity is held by numerous characters within continuity, and for a time after Valley's death it was taken up by a man named Michael Washington Lane.
- Dick Grayson assumes the Batman identity after Azrael is forced to relinquish the mantle, prior to Bruce Wayne's return. He became the new Batman after Bruce's apparent death. With Bruce's return, Dick went back to being Nightwing.
- Bane donned the cape and cowl and became the Batman of criminals during the Forever Evil storyline when the Justice League went missing. He led the inmates of Blackgate against the forces of Arkham in what is known as Forever Evil : Arkham War. Later Bruce Wayne returned and reclaimed his place. Bane ended up being locked up in Arkham ironically.
- Jason Todd reappeared in the Battle for the Cowl series. Dressed in a version of a Batman costume, he started to fight the expanding crime wave with little morality. Pinning a note to his criminal victims that he was the true and only Batman. He even built his own Batcave where he starved and tortured criminals to death.
- Tim Drake has been depicted as a possible future Batman on several occasions: in JLA #8 and #9; in Teen Titans (vol. 3) #17-19 and #51-54 as part of the Titans of Tomorow; and in Superman/Batman #22 and #23, as well as donning the costume in Sins of Youth: Robin & Batboy. In the Battle for the Cowl series he is dressed in a version of a Batman costume. The Titans of Tomorrow version of Tim Drake reappeared in the Lonely Place of Living and Super Sons of Tomorrow arcs during DC Rebirth
- Damian Wayne has also been shown as Batman in a possible future in Batman #666. He is shown mentioning Bruce and Dick as previous holders of the title and has a pet cat he affectionately named Alfred. The #666 timeline has been revisted multiple times since then. This Damian showed up in Batman #700, Batman Incorporated #5, Damian : Son of Batman mini series, Super Sons #10 ,Superman #25 and Superman/Batman #75 and #80. He will also be the lead star in the upcoming Arkham Asylum 2 graphic novel. Another different version of Damian as Batman in Multiversity: The Just and a third incarnation in Justice League: Generation Lost #14. The child version of Damian also donned his adult counterparts costume from the 666 timeline in Batman and Robin Annual # 1.
- Terry McGinnis is shown to be the successor of the mantle in Batman #700. Damian Wayne rescued him as Batman from Two-Face-Two when he was held hostage as an infant. Two-Face-Two believed Terry McGinnis was one of a pair of twin boys who were the sons of billionaires rather than Warren and Mary McGinnis. Two-Face-Two transformed Terry into a miniature duplicate of the Joker with the deceased Clown Prince of Crime's Joker venom. Damian administers the antidote after he rescues Terry. Decades after the event, an elder Damian Wayne becomes the mentor of McGinnis, who became the new Dark Knight.
- Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne features five historical reincarnations of Bruce Wayne's consciousness, each wearing their era's version of the Batman costume.
- Following Bruce Wayne's apparent death in battle with the Joker during the events of Batman #40, James Gordon took up the mantle of Batman using a mecha-style suit to fight crime in Gotham City.
Alternative universes in modern continuity
The DC Multiverse consists of worlds outside DC's main continuity allowing writers the creative freedom to explore alternative versions of characters and their histories without contradicting and/or permanently altering the official continuity.
- Batman (Earth-Two) is shown to be the Golden Age Batman, with a life that parallels the modern Batman but with some significant differences. Born in the 1910s, Bruce Wayne eventually retires as Batman and becomes Police Commissioner. He marries Selina Kyle and the two have a daughter, the original Huntress, Helena Wayne. Finally, goaded out of retirement by a villain demanding Bruce Wayne (whom he mistakenly believes has framed him), he confronts the villain as Batman and dies in the line of duty. The Earth-Two Bruce Wayne's father Thomas Wayne is shown to have worn something similar to the modern Batman costume while Bruce was young, to entertain trick-or-treaters on Halloween, ultimately influencing Bruce's choice of alter ego.
- Owlman is the Anti-Matter Universe Earth's supervillain counterpart to Batman. In this incarnation, Owlman's secret identity is Thomas Wayne Jr., the son of Gotham City Police Commissioner Thomas Wayne. Another version of Owlman resides on the new Earth-3 and is a member of the Crime Syndicate of America. This Owlman and his team are analogues for the Earth-2 Batman and the Justice Society of America respectively.
- On Earth-8, a version of Batman called "Bat-Soldier" is shown working for Monarch.
- The Tangent Comics version of the Batman is a knight who once fought King Arthur and was forced to atone for his sins, seeking justice through an empty suit of armor for all eternity. This version currently resides on Earth-9.
- On Earth-10, Bruce Wayne is part of the "JL-Axis" and is a fervent Nazi enforcer. He is named Leatherwing, and is a part of Overman's Justice League.
- On Earth-11, which is inhabited gender-reversed superheroes, an alternative version of Batwoman exists in place of Batman. Her real name is Helena Wayne, akin to that of the Huntress, the Earth-2 daughter of the Batman and Catwoman.
- On Earth-12, a futuristic Batman resembles the Terry McGinnis Batman of the Batman Beyond television series.
- On Earth-15, it is shown that Bruce Wayne has died and that Jason Todd has replaced him as Batman. He was recently killed by Superboy-Prime in Countdown #24, and all human life is now extinct on that alternate Earth, given its destruction by the aforementioned Superboy-Prime.
- On New 52 DC Multiverse Earth-16, Bruce Wayne has either retired or died, and has been replaced by Batman II (Damian Wayne)
- On New 52 DC Multiverse Earth-17, civilization was nearly destroyed by a nuclear war in 1963. Residing in the domed city of Novamerika's East Gotham rad-pit, Batman is armour-clad and radiation-suited to resist the radioactive environment outside the dome. He is a member of that world's Atomic Knights of Justice 
- The Batman: Gotham by Gaslight one shot depicts a Batman who started his crimefighting career in 1889. This alternative Batman resides on Earth-19.
- The Kingdom Come limited series depicts a Batman who, ravaged by years of fighting crime, uses an exoskeleton to keep himself together and keeps the peace on the streets of Gotham using remote-controlled robots. He is late middle-aged and wears an eerie grin. It is no longer a secret that he is Bruce Wayne and is referred to as the "Batman" even when he appears in civilian guise. This alternative Batman resides on Earth-22
- Superman: Red Son depicts a Russian anarchist Batman, whose parents were killed by the KGB and who subsequently dies in resistance against Earth-30's Soviet Premier Superman. His actual name is not mentioned in the story. Penciller Dave Johnson jokingly refers to him as 'Batmankoff' in his character design sketches. This alternative Batman resides on Earth-30.
- The Batman from Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and its spin-offs, Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder is a tired vigilante in a much darker, edgier setting home to Miller's own new interpretations of various DC characters. This alternative Batman resided on Earth-31.
- The Batman: In Darkest Knight limited series shows an alternative Bruce Wayne who assumes the mantle of Green Lantern instead of Batman. This alternative Batman resides on Earth-32 is known as Bat-Lantern and is a member of the Justice Titans of America.
- On Earth-23, Batman is apparently the only Caucasian member of its African-American-dominated Justice League besides Zatara and the Guardian.
- On New 52 DC Multiverse world Earth-29, Bizarro-Batman resides on the cube, ring-encircled planet Earth-29, otherwise known as Htrae.
- On New 52 DC Multiverse world Earth-31, apocalyptic climate change has caused runaway sea level rises, tsunami inundation and other calamities, which have turned the planet into a water world. As a consequence, Batman is known as Captain Leatherwing, who controls the vessel Flying Fox.
- The Batmage of Earth-33 was from a world of magic. His parents were murdered by the sorcerer Cobblepot who cursed him into his world of darkness, from which he made himself a master of the dark arts and an avenger of justice. However, the events of Flashpoint erased this prior iteration of Earth-33 from existence. No such individual now exists on that Earth.
- Stingray (Earth-34), The Owl (Earth-35) and Iron Knight (Earth-36) all appear to be analogues of Batman, although little is known about these characters apart from their names and homeworlds. They are members of the Light Brigade (Earth-34), Super-Americans (Earth-35) and Justice-9 (Earth-36), respectively. Similarly, Shooting Star appears to be the alternate-universe Batman analogue on the psychedelic Earth-47, influenced by the youth subcultures of the sixties and seventies, within the Love Syndicate of Dreamworld 
- The JSA: The Liberty Files limited series shows an alternative Batman who is a covert operative of the government known as the Bat during World War II. This alternative Batman resides on Earth-40. While fighting against the vampire Batman of Earth-43 in Countdown: Arena #1, he is bitten and supposedly killed. Arena #2 reveals that he has turned into a vampire as well. He is killed in Arena #4 by Monarch. However, the events of Flashpoint erased this prior iteration of Earth-40 from existence. No such individual now exists on that Earth, nor does that Earth's former continuity exist.
- On New 52 DC Multiverse Earth-42, a chibi ("little") Batman exists as a member of the Little League of that world, childlike metahumans who play, rather than fight evil. However, the Little League members are actually robots under the control of the mysterious "Unseen Hand" 
- The Batman & Dracula: Red Rain limited series shows an alternative Batman who becomes a vampire after fighting Dracula, with sequels showing the destruction of the remaining members of Dracula's family and Batman's descent into insanity and bloodlust as he destroys his old enemies; this reality was designated as Earth-1191 in the Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths hardcover. Following the creation of the new multiverse, a similar vampire Batman exists on Earth-43. While the Red Rain Batman resisted his vampiric urges long enough to kill himself, the Earth-43 version has fully devolved into his bloodlust, plaguing the streets of Gotham City and killing and draining innocents as well as criminals. In the current New 52 continuity, vampire Batman seems to have spread his contagion to his colleagues in the renamed Blood League, as Earth-43's Superman, Cyborg, Flash, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman are now also vampires.
- On New 52 DC Multiverse Earth-44, Dr. Will Tornado invented a sentient artificial intelligence "Metal League," with an "Iron Batman" robot analogue 
- On Earth-51, after the death of Jason Todd, this version of Batman killed the Joker and then proceeded to kill the remaining DC supervillains and usher in a golden age of peace. This Batman was later killed by Ultraman. However, the events of Flashpoint erased the existence of that prior iteration of Earth-51 and no such individual currently exists on that Earth.
- On the pre-Flashpoint Earth-50, The Midnighter is Batman's analogue. The Midnighter is a product of genetic engineering which granted him advanced speed, reflexes, strength, endurance and the mental capacity to calculate various outcomes of the opponents he fights before they even throw the first punch. Midnighter is openly gay and is married to his universe's Superman analogue: Apollo. After the events of Flashpoint both him and Apollo were set in the main DC Universe.
- On New 52 DC Multiverse Earth-50, the corrupted Justice Lords have imposed totalitarian rule over that alternate Earth after President Lex Luthor murdered The Flash. Batman was one of the aforementioned, under Superman's leadership 
- The 1980s series Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew presented the parallel Earth of Earth-C-Minus, a world populated by funny animal superheroes that paralleled the mainstream DC Universe. Earth-C-Minus is the home of the Batmouse, a mouse hero with a personality similar to the mainstream DC Universe's Batman.
- Thomas Wayne is shown to have become Batman in the altered reality of the Flashpoint series, after his young son was murdered in front of him. The world of Flashpoint is an altered reality of the primary Earth in the DC Multiverse. Brian Azzarello, writer of the Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance mini-series, says of this version, "This Batman is older, and he's much more angry. He's not the brilliant detective. He's still a brilliant tactician. I think he's even called that in Flashpoint. But he's much more of a pragmatic individual. His motivations come from a different place, and how he acts on them. It's not what you'd expect from Batman."
- Li'l Batman appeared in Superman/Batman #51-52 (October to November 2008). He is from an alternative universe inhabited by childlike versions of the main DC Earth. In this universe, Bruce Wayne becomes Li'l Batman after his parents are pushed down by a bully (instead of being killed). Li'l Batman and the rest of the Li'l Justice League is brought to the main DC universe by Mister Mxyzptlk, who felt that the main Superman and Batman had experienced too many dark teams, and needed to "lighten up". After Li'l Superman is killed fighting Li'l Doomsday, Mister Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite return the tiny dopelgangers to their home universe, now known as Earth-42.
- Batman appears in Max Landis' Superman: American Alien, showcasing a different version of Batman's first meeting with the Man of Steel. Clark won a contest to go to the Bahamas but his plane crashed near a yacht party meant to celebrate Bruce's 21st birthday held by other young billionaires in the DC Universe such as Oliver Queen and Barbara Minerva. They treat Clark as if he's Bruce Wayne (As Bruce has never gone to his parties since the death of his parents) and Clark decides to embrace the mix-up and party with them. At the time this is happening, Bruce is training with Ra's Al Ghul and first sees footage of Clark on the yacht impersonating him and easily defeating Deathstroke, who was sent to kill Bruce. Years later, after Clark's gotten interviews from Queen, Lex Luthor, and Dick Grayson, Batman attacks Clark in his apartment to demand some answers. Clark easily resists Batman's attacks and rips off his mask and cape, discovering his identity. Batman escapes using a flash batarang while Clark is left to ponder with Batman's cape. In his first outings as Superman, Clark wears Batman's cape before donning his iconic red one.
- Detective Chimp is a metasimian Batman analogue on Earth 52, which appears dominated by sapient apes 
The Dark Multiverse
In the 2017 Dark Nights event, it is revealed that a Dark Multiverse exists alongside the main DC Multiverse. Each reality in the Dark Multiverse is negative and transient reflection of its existing counterpart. the Dark Multiverse contains evil versions of Batman known as the Dark Knights, led by a God-like Batman, Barbatos, described by the Batman Who Laughs as being created based on Batman's dark imaginations of what he could do if he possessed the powers of his colleagues.
- Barbatos is a hooded, God-like being in the Dark Multiverse. Barbatos had previously visited Prime-Earth in the DC Multiverse and founded the Tribe of Judas, which would later become the Court of Owls. Sometime before returning (either willingly or not) to the Dark Multiverse, Barbatos encountered Hawkman/Carter Hall, and was hit by his mace. Barbatos tried to return to the Multiverse but the events of Final Crisis prevented him from doing so. However, after witnessing Bruce Wayne/Batman being sent back in time by Darkseid's Omega Beams, Barbatos realised the similarities between his and Bruce's Bat emblems and believed he could use him as a doorway. Barbatos' followers manipulated events in order for Bruce to be injected with four out of the five metals needed to create the doorway, and after the fifth was injected in the present day, Barbatos was able to transport himself and the Dark Knights to Prime-Earth to conquer it.
- The Batman Who Laughs is a version of Batman from Earth -22, a dark reflection of the Earth-22. In that reality, the Earth -22 Joker learned of Batman's identity as Bruce Wayne and killed most of Batman's other rogues along with Commissioner Gordon. He then subjected a sizeable population of Gotham's populace to the chemicals that transformed him, subsequently killing several parents in front of their children with the goal of creating a gathering of children that were essentially a combination of himself and Batman. When Batman grappled with the Joker, it resulted in the latter's death as Batman is exposed to a purified form of the chemical that gradually turned him into a new Joker with the process irreversible. The Batman who Laughs proceeded to take over Earth-22, killing off most of his allies and turning Damian into a mini-Joker. The Batman Who Laughs seems to be the de facto leader or second-in-command of Barbatos' Dark Knights and recruited the other members. After arriving on Prime-Earth, the Batman Who Laughs takes control of Gotham and oversees events at the Challenger's mountain. He distributes joker cards to the Batman's Rogues, giving them the ability to alter reality and take over sections of the city. Accompanying him are Damian and three other youths whom he also calls his sons, all four being twisted versions of Robin.
- The Red Death is a version of Batman from Earth -52, originally an aged man who broke after the deaths of Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damian. Believing he has a chance to prevent the loss of more loved ones, Bruce decides he needs the Flash's Speed Force to achieve this and equipped himself with the Rogues' equipment of capture the Flash. He is able to knock Barry out and ties him to the Batmobile which has a machine created from reverse-engineering the Cosmic Treadmill attached to it. Using this machine against Barry's wishes, Bruce drove straight into the Speed Force while absorbing Barry in the process. Horribly scarred and now suffering from a split-personality created from residual traces of the Earth -52 Barry's mind, the newly born Red Death tests his new powers but realises he cannot stop his Earth from its destruction until he is recruited by The Batman Who Laughs, who promises him a new Earth to live upon. After entering Prime-Earth, the Red Death arrives in Central City and is confronted by Iris West and Wally West, in which he uses his powers to slow Wally and age them both. The Flash confronts the Red Death and before the latter can attack, Doctor Fate saves Barry. The Red Death proclaims that he will save Central City and make it his new home. After Barry is transported to a 'sand'-filled cave beneath Central City, the Red Death arrives and reveals several Flashmobiles and chases after Barry. During the events of the Wild Hunt, the Red Death ceased when exposed by an energy wave from the release of a newly born universe with the restored -52 Barry eventually destroyed from the energy consuming him.
- The Murder Machine is a version of Batman from Earth -44, a dark reflection of the Earth-44. Distraught from having lost Alfred, Batman requested Cyborg to help him finish the Alfred Protocol, an A.I. version of Alfred. But the Alfred Protocol malfunctioned upon activation and began to multiply and kill all of Batman's Rogues Gallery. Bruce pleaded with Cyborg to help find a way to fix it but the latter refused. The Alfred Protocol began to merge with Bruce and the two became the Murder Machine, and his first act as this new entity was to kill Cyborg. After being recruited by the Batman Who Laughs, the Murder Machine arrives on Prime-Earth with the other Dark Knights. He proceeds to the Justice League's Watchtower and confronts Cyborg. After Cyborg is incapacitated by the other Dark Knights, the Murder Machine infects and converts the Watchtower as the Dark Knights' new base of operations.
- The Dawnbreaker is a version of Batman from Earth -32, a dark reflection of the Earth-32 where Batman became a Green Lantern. When Earth -32 Bruce lost his parents to Joe Chill, he is chosen a Green Power Ring to become a Green Lantern. But Bruce's will overrides the ring's ban on lethal force and corrupts it, enabling him to use it to kill Chill and various criminals. After Bruce killed Gordon when eventually confronted, he wipes out the Green Lantern Corp and the Guardians of the Universe when they confront him. Bruce then entered his giant Green Lantern Power Battery and exits with a new outfit and moniker, the Dawnbreaker. However, he finds that his Earth has begun to collapse and he is met by the Batman Who Laughs who, after recruiting the Red Death and the Murder Machine, recruits the Dawnbreaker, promising him a new world to shroud in darkness. After arriving on Earth-0, Dawnbreaker heads to Coast City where he is confronted by Hal Jordan. Dawnbreaker tries to consume Hal Jordan in a 'blackout' but the latter is rescued by Doctor Fate. With Green Lantern gone, Dawnbreaker takes control of Coast City. The Dawnbreaker confronts Hal Jordan in a blacked out cave underneath Coast City, claiming that the Green Lantern oath is worthless in his cave.
- The Drowned is a version of Batman from Earth -11, a dark reflection of the reversed-gender Earth-11. Originally known as Batwoman, Bryce Wayne was in a relationship with Sylvester Kyle (Earth-11's male version of Selina Kyle) until he was killed by a metahuman. A revenge-driven Bryce spent 18 months hunting down every rogue metahuman before Aquawoman and the Atlanteans emerged from their self-imposed exile. While Aquawoman claimed her people came in peace, a skeptical Bryce declared war on Atlantis with the Atlanteans flooding Gotham in retaliation when their queen was killed. Bryce survived the disaster by performing auto-surgery on herself by introducing mutated hybrid DNA into her body, giving Bryce the ability to breath underwater, accelerated healing, and aquakinesis. She also created an army of Dead Waters to fight for her. Donning a new attire, Bryce called herself The Drowned and successfully conquered Atlantis at the cost of flooding every city. After seeing her signal being lit, the Drowned met the Batman Who Laughs and recruits her as a Dark Knight. After arriving on Earth-0, the Drowned headed to Amnesty Bay, where she was confronted by Aquaman and Mera. The two were unable to combat the Drowned and her army of Dead Waters, with Mera becoming infected and controlled by the Drowned while Aquaman was saved by Doctor Fate. The Drowned proceeded to take control of Amnesty Bay. When Aquaman is transported fathoms below Amnesty Bay, the Drowned attacks him, revealing that the infected Mera has mutated into a gargantuan shark/crab/octopus creature.
- The Merciless is a version of Batman from Earth -12, a dark reflection of Earth-12 where Batman is in a relationship with Wonder Woman. Having killed Ares to avenge Wonder Woman when he assumed she died, the Earth -12 Batman acquired Ares's helmet and assumed that he can channel its power to war with justice and mercy rather than ruthless brutality. But it corrupted him and the 'Merciless' Batman ended up killing Wonder Woman while eliminating all his enemies. The Merciless is later depicted as destroying the Valhalla Mountain when Sam Lane, Amanda Waller, Steve Trevor and Mister Bones attempt a counter-attack against the Dark Batmen after the regular heroes have apparently failed. The Merciless confronts Wonder Woman after she is transported under the foundation of A.R.G.U.S Headquarters in Washington D.C., revealing his armory filled with the divine arsenal of the Gods he killed on his Earth. He reveals to her that his Diana taught him to fight and after he destroyed the Gods, the Merciless found Themyscria and fought them for three days. The Merciless also reveals that he ordered the Ferryman at the River Styx to gather every coin from every dead Amazon seeking passage into the afterlife which he melted into a giant golden drachma, which he strikes with hammer, summoning the undead Amazons.
- The Devastator is a version of Batman from Earth -1, a dark reflection of Earth-1. When Superman turned evil and kills friend and foe alike along with Lois, the Earth-1 Batman injected himself with an engineered version of the Doomsday virus to stop the Kryptonian at the cost of his humanity as he transformed into a Doomsday-like monster. Despite his victory, the Devastator still feels remorse for not being able to protect Metropolis from Superman's wrath. The Batman Who Laughs offers The Devastator a second chance at saving those whom he feels are blindly inspired by Superman. Bruce infects the Earth-0 Lois Lane, Supergirl, and all of Metropolis with the Doomsday virus as he views it as the only way to protect them from Superman's strength and false prophecies. Along with the Murder Machine, the Devastator was sent to retrieve the Cosmic Tuning Tower, ripping it out of its foundation and throwing it outside the Fortress of Solitude. He is then confronted by the two Green Lanterns of Earth (Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz), The Flash/Wally West, Firestorm, and Lobo and he proceeds to incapacitate all except Lobo who he throws into the Sun. Grabbing the Cosmic Tuning Tower, the Devastator leaps into space and lands on the Challenger's Mountain, planting the tower on top of it.
Elseworlds and other versions
These depictions are set outside of the 52 canonical universes in the DC continuity.
- Batman #26 (Dec 1944/Jan 1945) featured the story "In the Year 3000". Earth had long had peace and prosperity when they were attacked by Saturnians. Earth no longer knew how to fight back and submitted to injustices, like being disintegrated for being out after curfew. Eventually an outspoken rebel, Brane and his ward, Ricky discovers a time capsule from 1939. Learning about Batman from newsreels and combat techniques from books in the time capsule, the pair go into action as the new Dynamic Duo and inspire humanity to fight back and eventually drive the invaders back. At the end it is revealed that it is custom for people to abbreviate their names, and that "Brane" is a contraction of "Bruce Wayne XX".
- In JLA/Avengers, Batman appears along with his teammates in the Justice League, when they are made to fight the Avengers in the Grandmaster's cosmic game. While touring the Marvel Universe for the first time, Batman witnesses the Punisher killing a gang of drug dealers, and attacks him (the fight takes place off-panel). He later forms an alliance with Captain America after engaging in a brief fistfight to test his opponent's skills. Due to this alliance, he realizes the stakes of the game and loses it for the JLA. When the two universes are merged by Krona, the heroes are left confused as to what actually occurred in their reality; the Grandmaster clarifies by showing them the various tragedies that befell the heroes in their lifetimes. Batman, for his part, witnesses Jason Todd's death and his injury at the hands of Bane. In the final battle, Krona defeats the JLA with minor difficulty, but is defeated when the Flash and Hawkeye disrupt his control of his power source.
- In Batman: Book of the Dead, Bruce Wayne's parents were archaeologists who were on the verge of cracking open a major conspiracy involving an Egyptian bat-god who was erased from history. They are murdered before Bruce's eyes due to their discovery, and Bruce becomes Batman when he is inspired by the bat cartouche that the assassin was really after.
- In Detective Comics #500: "To Kill a Legend!", the Phantom Stranger gives Batman a chance to save his parents by taking the mainstream Batman and Robin into a world where the Wayne Murders are about to happen again. Robin is skeptical of the consequences of this act, fearing that the new Bruce Wayne, with no tragic catalyst, will grow up to be a bored playboy with no aspirations, but his fears prove wrong. Batman does stop the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, but this act simply shifts the reasons the new Bruce Wayne will become Batman; while his previous self began his training to avenge their murders, here he begins his training out of gratitude and admiration for his mysterious bat-winged savior, to eventually become Batman in defense of the innocent.
- In Batman: Castle of the Bat, scientist Bruce Wayne creates and brings to life a patchwork corpse containing bat DNA and the brain of his father, Thomas Wayne. This Bat-Man escapes from Wayne's castle and starts attacking highwaymen due to the vague memories of Thomas Wayne's death. Wayne also patrols the highways, stopping thieves. Through the course of the story, the Bat-Man starts becoming more bat than man as the bat DNA starts to overcome the body.
- In Batman: Citizen Wayne, the role of Batman is taken on by Harvey Dent after his whole face has been destroyed by an enemy. Bruce Wayne is a newspaper publisher who is highly critical of Batman and his brutal methods and goes after him when he actually kills the enemy in question, both men dying in the final battle.
- In Batman: Digital Justice (1990), set in a futuristic Gotham City, the persona of Batman is taken on by James Gordon, the grandson of Jim Gordon. Following the death of his partner, Officer Lena Schwartz, James became motivated by the old newspaper clippings about Batman that his grandfather kept, and finds a Batman suit that Bruce had given to Jim as a souvenir.
- In Batman: Golden Streets of Gotham (2003), Batman is Bruno Vanekow, a railroad worker whose parents die in a fire similar to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. He dons a bat costume and becomes a self-styled Robin Hood, stealing from the city's rich and powerful and donating to charity.
- In Batman: Haunted Gotham (Feb-May 2000), Gotham City was taken over by the Dark Lords of Hell centuries ago. Bruce Wayne is raised by his parents to strike against them, and is joined in his quest by a skeleton named Cal and a sorceress named Cat Majik.
- In Batman: Holy Terror (1991), Gotham City resides in a commonwealth of England, with Bruce Wayne a priest of the state church. He takes on the identity of Batman using a demon costume that resembles the classic bat costume, after learning that the church's Privy Council had engineered the murder of his parents.
- In Batman: I, Joker (1998), the Gotham City of the future is ruled by a cult who worships Batman and his descendant, the Bruce. Once every year, there are challengers who try to usurp the rule of Batman, but even worse, this Bruce has people taken off the street and has them turned into Batman's old enemies complete with their memories. The newest Joker, Joe Collins, kept his original memories due to the efforts of the Bruce's surgeon, Doc Klibon, as a way of annoying him. Joe, along with his friend Marya, are freedom fighters trying to stop the Bruce until a friend of theirs turn on them. Joe finds the original Batcave, and taking a Batman outfit and the original Joker's gun, confronts the Bruce at his citadel. He spares the Bruce's life, but Marya, after being muted by the Bruce, kills him herself. Months later, the two are protecting Gotham City as the new Batman and Robin.
- In The Batman of Arkham (2000), set in the year 1900, Bruce Wayne is a noted psychiatrist who runs Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Batman fills the Asylum's cells with criminals and as Bruce Wayne, he uses compassion in order to cure its residents.
- In Batman: Scar of the Bat (1996), Bruce Wayne does not exist. Instead, Eliot Ness, inspired by the film characters Zorro and the Bat, dons a Batman-esque outfit and begins shaking down gangsters for information on the locations of illegal stills run by Al Capone. He is called Batman not only for his appearance, but for his use of a baseball bat in his first appearance, a nod to how Capone once beat one of his unfaithful underlings with a bat.
- In Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #2 (1994), a corrupt Batman, under the influence of Jonathan Crane, takes control of Gotham City and turns it into a police state. He then drugs Gotham's water supply as a means to decrease criminal activity. However, Anarky forms a secret resistance against Batman and Crane with an army composed of most of Batman's villains. When Anarky uncovers a secret plan to pump tranquilizer gas into the city water supply, drugging the populace to prevent crime, he unites the city's remaining villains to storm the centers of Batman's power and overthrow his tyranny. After Crane's manipulations are exposed, Batman confesses his crimes to the people of Gotham City, who then burn him alive inside Wayne Manor. The story ends with a quote by Mikhail Bakunin: "(For reasons of the state) black becomes white and white becomes black, the horrible becomes humane and the most dastardly felonies and atrocious crimes become meritorious acts."
- In the Batman: Year 100 (2006) limited series, a story which takes place in the Gotham City of 2039, there is a mysterious Bat-Man running around Gotham. This Batman has been around since 1939, and it is never revealed who it is behind the mask.
- In the Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham (Aug-Sep 1999) limited series, the roles of Catwoman and Batman are reversed, with Selena Kyle as a rich businesswoman who is really the superheroine Catwoman, and Bruce Wayne as the psychopathic murderer, Batman, who kills the rest of Catwoman's rogues' gallery just to eliminate the competition.
- In JLA: The Nail, Batman operates in a world where Superman never existed, and as a consequence, superheroes are mistrusted and feared. As part of a plot by a corrupted Jimmy Olsen, the Joker kills Robin and Batgirl, driving Batman to murder him in full view of the public, discrediting him. Traumatized by the death of his partners, Batman is convinced by Alfred and Selina Kyle to aid the League against Olsen, after which he quits from the Justice League. In the sequel JLA: Another Nail, Batman is besieged by a demonic Joker who returns from beyond the grave to taunt him. With the help from the spirits of his deceased partners, Batman is able to defeat the Clown Prince of Crime once and for all.
- In the Stan Lee's Just Imagine continuity, Wayne Williams is framed for a crime he did not commit who becomes Batman in a combination of Batman and Spider-Man's origin stories.
- In Superman: Speeding Bullets, Thomas and Martha Wayne discover baby Kal-El's rocket ship and adopt him as Bruce Wayne. When he witnesses their death, he becomes Batman when he grows up. He gains an adversary in Lex Luthor, who becomes the Joker when he is disfigured in an accident.
- In Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty, Bruce Wayne grows up with his parents, doing much of the training because he is uncertain what he wants to do with his life. His parents were saved from the robber by Vandal Savage alias Valentin St. Claire, who has developed a fondness for the Waynes ever since the Wayne ancestor Sir Joshua of Wainewright successfully defeated him, impressed by their courage even as their defiance angers him. Vandal has a minion of his called Scarecrone to use fear to kill Thomas and Martha Wayne by scaring them into jumping off from their apartment. Bruce Wayne tries to find out who's responsible and why, but in order to protect his wife, Julie Madison, he decides to use a disguise, becoming Batman based on the bat-like armor worn by Joshua of Wainewright. Eventually he tracks down Vandal, fighting him in space. The two plummet to Earth, burning up on reentry, although Vandal, being immortal, is able to regenerate. This confrontation marks one of many confrontations between Vandal and the Wayne family, all of the confrontations ending with the Waynes dying young and violently after spending their last few days wearing a bat-themed costume, culminating in the twenty-fifth century when Brenda Wayne is able to leave Vandal drifting on the meteor that gave him his powers, which Vandal has been searching for ever since.
- In Justice League of America (vol. 2) #25, the trickster god Anansi creates an alternative timeline. On the fateful night, the movie Bruce had intended to see, The Mark of Zorro, was sold out, so they had seen a violent western. This had enthralled him. When the mugging occurs, the killer gets a glimpse of Bruce's enraged face and is stunned. Bruce grabs the gun and kills the man with it. The boy then grew up to become Paladin, a gunman who uses deadly force against criminals, and is hounded by the authorities because of it. Anansi later brings Paladin into the actual timeline, having him assist Vixen and the Justice League against Starbreaker.
- Multiple versions of Batman appeared in Superman/Batman issue #25 "Supermen/Batmen", whom come to aid the mainstream Batman. Among them are Man-Bat; the vampire Batman; a shadowy, grim Batman; the 50's/'60s Batman; the Dark Knight Returns Batman; the Golden Age Batman; the O'Neil/Adams Batman; the Zebra Batman; and one resembling Batman from Batman Beyond (though he's not fully shown).
- In the Superman/Batman story arc "Absolute Power", the timeline of events is altered by the Legion of Super-Villains, who abduct Superman and Batman as children and raise them to be despotic rulers of Earth. Batman is eventually killed by Wonder Woman, who is a member of the Freedom Fighters in this reality. When the timeline shifts again, Batman is forced to witness the murders of his parents and opts to save them instead, erasing himself from continuity. Thus, Bruce Wayne grows up to be a contented man, although the absence of Batman has allowed Ra's al Ghul to take over the planet. Superman eventually convinces Bruce of his destiny, and they defeat Ra's and the Legion of Super-Villains.
- While Batman does not exist in the Gotham City of the Planetary universe, several alternative versions appear in the Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth crossover, including the 1966 television version (as portrayed by Adam West), the Neal Adams version, Frank Miller's Dark Knight version, and a futuristic-style Batman designed by Alex Ross.
- In the 1980s limited series Hex, where Jonah Hex was propelled into a post-apocalyptic future, there is a Batman operating in New York City, enforcing a strict "no guns" policy throughout the entire city.
- Batman appears in the fifth issue of the comic book continuation of the televisions series Smallville, the first part of the story arc entitled "Detective" of Smallville Season Eleven. He came to Metropolis to locate Joe Chill, who worked as Gotham criminal underworld's Intergang contact as well as Bruce Wayne's parents' killer before being killed by Mr. Freeze. The Wayne family also has a history with the Luthors, as Lionel Luthor attempted to recruit Thomas Wayne into the secret society Veritas at some point before his and Martha Wayne's death. Batman works alongside Barbara Gordon, also known as Nightwing. Bruce befriends Clark and later becomes a member of the Justice League.
- In Joker, Batman is an omnipresent figure who makes several "blink and you miss it" appearances throughout most of the graphic novel. Batman ambiguously does not intervene in the Joker's gang-war with Two-Face. Towards the end of the graphic novel Two-Face begs Batman to stop the Joker, at which point all of the Joker's allies are quickly defeated. In a final confrontation the Joker criticizes Batman for ruining the illusion of being a monster with the show of his mouth which demonstrates a handsome man. Batman coldly replies that he does it to mock the Joker.
- In Whom Gods Destroy, Nazis have never fallen. Bruce Wayne, inspired by the murders of his parents, is softened by attitudes of Superman. He puts away his dark costume and dedicates his life to public service. His path takes him from Mayor of Gotham all the way to the White House. Even after he retires he is a trusted ally and consulted for his skill and tactics.
- Injustice: Gods Among Us, Batman was originally close friends with Superman (with Superman even asking him to be godfather to his child with Lois Lane) but when Superman was tricked by the Joker into killing Lois and destroying Metropolis, their relationship slowly went from estranged to antagonistic to enemies. Superman begins a new world order where he and the Justice League use brute force and fear to coerce people into following the law, but Batman sees the tyranny in this and opposes Superman's Regime with his Insurgency. He suffers a few losses, notably of Dick Grayson by the hands of his biological son Damian (albeit by accident), who sided with Superman. By the end of Year One Superman breaks Batman's back in an attempt to delay any future defiance. During most of Year Two Batman is out of commission, relying on his allies to stop the Regime when the Green Lantern Corps gets involved. In Year Three Batman allies himself with magic-users, notably John Constantine, though this ends with Constantine revealed to have been using Batman to further his own goals. Year Four has Batman look to the Greek gods to stop Superman. However, he comes to regret this when the gods decide to overpower humanity themselves, leading him to enlist the New God Highfather to stop them. He evades a trap set up by Superman when the fallen hero tries to make a meeting to discuss their problems. By the game's events Batman has suffered many losses by the hands of the Regime and in a last-ditch effort summons the counterparts of Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Aquaman from the mainstream universe, needing them to help him retrieve a shard of kryptonite from his now abandoned Batcave; the kryptonite was meant to be a last resort for if Superman went rogue, but Batman made it he could only access it if key members of the League agreed. Since most of them allied with Superman who are dead (Green Arrow) he needed duplicates. When this plan fails, he is reluctant to bring over the mainstream Superman, convinced that any version of Superman is corruptible. However, his prime counterpart convinces him to have faith and he does so, with the mainstream Superman defeating his counterpart and ending the Regime's influence.
- In the opening of the DC Bombshells continuity set during World War II, Bruce's parents are saved from Joe Chill's attack thanks to the baseball superheroine known as Batwoman. While Batman doesn't exist in this continuity, Kate Kane does borrow a number of elements from the main version, such as inspiring younger heroines to follow in her steps as Batgirls and losing a child named Jason.
- In the reality of Nightwing: The New Order, Batman was present at the Battle of Metropolis that practically destroyed the city and caused the deaths of thousands of people. Wayne was among the heroes killed in the fight, causing Nightwing to react drastically and use a device that nullified 90% of the world's superpowers. It's later revealed that the device Dick used was Apokolips technology that he talked Batman out of using, but changed his mind after Bruce was murdered by a Black Kryptonite infected Superman. After Bruce and Dick's secret identities are exposed to the public, Wayne Industries turns the Batcave into a private museum, though there are still secret locations only close members like Dick can access to.
- In Superman: American Alien, a 2016 comic that shows an alternate retelling of Superman's origin, Bruce Wayne is training under Ra's al Ghul when he is told about someone posing as him at a birthday party thrown for him, causing Bruce to become interested in this person. Years later, having been Batman for awhile, he finds out that the same person, revealed to be Clark Kent, is a reporter who spoke to Bruce's new ward Dick Grayson. Donning his costume, Bruce confronts Clark but is quickly overpowered, and is socked when none of his equipment harms Clark. Clark finds out Bruce's identity by taking his mask and cape, and Bruce escapes. He seemingly leaves behind Clark's recording of his conversation with Dick, and Clark doesn't reveal Bruce's double life to the public. Bruce's cape later becomes part of Clark's prototype costume as he first begins his crime fighting career.
Film and television
Batman and the Justice League make a cameo in the tie-in comic Teen Titans Go #45. He narrates Robin's origin in #47 and views Titans Tower at the end of the story.
- The Batman features a new animated Batman set outside DCAU continuity. This series features very different versions of most characters and antagonists previously unseen in or outside of comics.
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold features a lighter Batman, teaming up with other heroes. This show even has various references to 1960s TV series, including a flashback of Thomas Wayne voiced by Adam West.
- In the Birds of Prey television series, Batman is viewed as a myth or urban legend, having mysteriously disappeared from New Gotham, leaving his daughter Helena Kyle and Barbara Gordon to defend the city.
- Young Justice (TV series) features Batman in Season 1 as sending the Young Justice team on covert missions and in Season 2 left Earth with the Justice League to answer crimes against the galaxy while being under the control of Vandal Savage.
- Justice League: Gods and Monsters portrays a vampire-esque Batman impersonated by Kirk Langstrom (known as the canon Man-Bat).
The Batman Anthology
- The Batman television series and 1966 film, starring Adam West, featured a campy version of Batman and associated characters, similar to the style of the DC Batman comics at the time of production.
- Tim Burton's Batman was a combination of Burton's own unique film stylings and the gritty, darker interpretation presented in DC continuity at the time. After two films, Burton continued to produce the films, but was replaced as director by Joel Schumacher. The films became known for their over-the-top production design and their dependence on star-power casting to draw audiences. Batman was characterised as incrementally more sardonic and frivolous throughout the series.
DC Animated Universe
- The DC animated universe, starting with Batman: The Animated Series, featured a newly dark and more serious Batman voiced by Kevin Conroy. In-story information indicates Bruce Wayne's birth as being circa 1960.
- Batman: The Animated Series
- Superman: The Animated Series
- The New Batman Adventures
- Batman Beyond is set roughly 50 years after Batman: The Animated Series, and features an 80-year-old Bruce Wayne acting as mentor to Terry McGinnis, the new Batman.
- Justice League, which in turn features two animated, alternative Batmen:
- In "The Savage Time", Bruce Wayne's parents stand up to Vandal Savage's totalitarian regime and are killed, prompting Bruce to become a freedom fighter also named Batman.
- In "A Better World", Batman is a member of the Justice Lords, who themselves have near-totalitarian rulership of Earth.
- Justice League Unlimited
- Teen Titans - Batman himself would not directly appear in the series, but there are a few references to him:
- "Apprentice Part 2": After Robin tells Slade that he has a father, a swarm of bats fly across the screen. One particular building that Robin steals from is Wayne Enterprises (revealed after a fight scene).
- "Go": Upon arriving in Jump City, a bank robber whom Robin pursues says "Hey, this isn't your town. Aren't you supposed to be with...", but is cutoff before saying Batman.
- "Haunted": When Raven goes into Robin's mind, one of the images she sees is Robin swearing an oath in a cave next to a shadowed figure, which nearly replicates the scene where Dick swore to fight crime with Batman in Detective Comics #38.
- Teen Titans Go! - Batman made cameo appearances in the series, usually accompanied by James Gordon.
The Dark Knight Trilogy
- Christopher Nolan's films are a reboot in the Warner Brothers franchise starring Christian Bale. Bruce Wayne is depicted as a confused and frustrated young man, incapable of dealing with the murders of his parents or the injustices of Gotham City. He spends seven years in self-imposed exile from Gotham, during which time he lives on the streets and steals (albeit from his own company). He is incarcerated in a Chinese prison before being approached by Ra's al Ghul. Wayne receives the League of Shadows training which allows him to become the Batman. Batman is an idea used by Wayne to "spread fear amongst those who would prey on the fearful" (i.e. the criminals); he is not entirely able to separate the Batman persona from his own personality. Accordingly, Bale is only listed as "Bruce Wayne" in the credits of The Dark Knight. Wayne is dependent on Lucius Fox for supplying him with the fundamental tools, armor, weapons and vehicles needed to be Batman. The continuity includes:
DC Extended Universe
- Batman is portrayed by Ben Affleck in the DC Extended Universe. Debuting in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, this version is older, more experienced, and extremely brutal (even killing criminals and branding others with his bat symbol) than other live-action versions.
Within the history of this universe, Batman is in his mid 40s, has had multiple encounters with the Joker, and has lost a Robin at one point in his career. Due to an undisclosed catastrophic event that lead to Wayne Manor's ruin, as Bruce Wayne, he lives in "The Glasshouse" with Alfred and seems to actually be a playboy as opposed to simply pretending to be one, as he was shown in bed with an unknown woman after awakening from a nightmare.
Batman also has his first-ever encounter with Superman, whom he blames for the destruction caused in Man of Steel and whom he considers a potential threat to mankind; a belief fueled by two alleged visions he has of the future; one where he leads a resistance group against an evil Superman, who rules the world with an iron fist, and one where a young man travels back in time to tell Bruce to find "us". He is subtly manipulated by Lex Luthor to steal kryptonite and invent weapons (three grenades and a spear) to fight and kill Superman with, believing the Man of Steel to have gone rogue when a congressional hearing he attended is bombed and killed all but him. Batman's kryptonite weapons and a powered exoskeleton (in addition to Superman's reluctance to fight him) gives him the upper hand and before he could kill Superman, the latter asks him to save his mother Martha, a name that his own mother shared. Seeing Superman's humanity and realizing his own mistakes, Batman vows to Superman that he will rescue his mother and accomplishes just that. Later, Batman participates in the final confrontation with Doomsday alongside Superman and Wonder Woman, managing to weaken it with his last kryptonite grenade before Superman sacrificed himself to kill the beast using Batman's spear. Visibly disturbed and even saddened, Batman carefully envelops Superman's body in his own cape and delivers him to Lois Lane. Enraged by Luthor's actions, Batman confronts him in prison and vows to keep an eye on him, also, as a sign of change, managing to refrain from branding the malevolent genius (possibly meaning that Superman has restored more good and faith in him).
As Bruce, he attends Clark Kent's funeral in Smallville alongside Diana Prince and, believing himself to have failed Superman in life, aims to honor his example in death by seeking out other metahumans alongside Diana in order to defend the world from any future global threats.
Affleck reprised his role as Batman in the third installment of the DCEU, Suicide Squad, which is set after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In this film, Batman is said to be the one responsible for many of the namesake characters' imprisonment at Belle Reve. He appears in several flashback sequences in which he captures both Deadshot and Harley Quinn.
Affleck reprised his role as Batman in the fifth installment of the DCEU, Justice League, in which he and Wonder Woman recruit and lead a group of heroes including Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg to prevent Steppenwolf, the uncle of Darkseid and general of his Parademon army, from finding the three mother boxes. After Steppenwolf claims the Mother Boxes held by Atlantis and Thermyscira, Batman suggests that the League use the third box to restore Superman to life, but this plan nearly results in disaster as Steppenwolf claims the box while the heroes are distracted calming Superman down. Superman collects himself in time to join the League in the final battle, where they drive Steppenwolf back. With the heroes victorious, Wayne is shown in Wayne Manor with Diana and Alfred, intending to convert the manor into a base for the new team.
- A young Bruce Wayne, portrayed by David Mazouz appears in the series Gotham, a prequel set within an alternate continuity, which showcases James Gordon's rise to prominence and the origin stories behind several Batman villains before Bruce dons the cape and cowl. At the end of the third season, he begins operating as a vigilante and during the fourth season suffers a hallucination of a future version of himself, which resembles Batman. During the run of the series he also undertakes training overseen by his butler/guardian Alfred Pennyworth, and operates on the streets of Gotham in order to study the criminal element. Bruce also comes into contact and sometimes conflict with future members of his rogues gallery, such as Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin, Edward Nygma/Riddler and Ivy Pepper/Poison Ivy. He also shares a romantic interest with Selina Kyle/the future Catwoman, and she helps him out on some of his adventures.
- Lego Dimensions/Lego Batman Batman/Bruce Wayne, a DC Comics superhero who is a Master Builder. Lego Dimensions establishes that the Lego Batman from the video games and the one from The Lego Movie and the Lego Batman Movie are two different characters.
- Batman: Arkham: Bruce Wayne from the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham video games, who draws inspiration from the comics and animated series in terms of backstory and personality. His appearances include:
- Batman: Arkham Asylum- Focuses on Batman stopping the Joker when the villain takes over Arkham Asylum.
- Batman: Arkham City- Features Batman stopping multiple villains when the Asylum is expanded into a small portion of the city. At the end of the game, Batman becomes distant from his allies following the Joker's death.
- Batman: Arkham Origins- A prequel that focuses on Batman's earlier missions and his first meeting with the Joker.
- Batman: Assault on Arkham- This direct to DVD film featured Bruce Wayne trying to stop Joker's bomb from engulfing the city while dealing with the Suicide Squad.
- Batman: Arkham Knight- The final installment in the main series pits Batman against Scarecrow and a mysterious new foe named the Arkham Knight (who turns out to be this version's Jason Todd). During the game, Batman fights with the Joker for control of his body. In the conclusion, Batman supposedly dies after getting unmasked on live television by Scarecrow, but someone dressed as Batman is seen in the game's ending.
Batman: The Telltale Series
- Batman: The Telltale Series: Despite differences in continuity, the Batman featured in Telltale's episodic video game series fits closely with the comics. However, his personality and actions are determent by the player's decisions throughout the series. Additionally, the gameplay is mostly split between both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
- Batman: The Telltale Series- The first season focuses on Batman as he battles against a terrorist cell called the Children of Arkham, whilst his parent's legacy is tarnished with allegations of corruption.
- Batman: The Enemy Within- The second season focuses on Batman as he battles a group of criminals called the Pact. The season also features his first encounter with the Joker.
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