23rd Sept is Batman Day, a day when Batman fans all over the world pay homage their favourite superhero – The Dark Knight, The Caped Crusader and the world’s greatest detective.
An ongoing run of DC Comics focuses on DC Dark Nights (DC Metal), in which we learn about the darkest secrets of the DC Multiverse and fans are going mad by the crazy evil Batman designs.
We have seen the exploits of The Batman who laughs and the Red Death, and eagerly waiting for The Murder Machine next week.
Let’s take a moment to look back at the Best Alternate Batmen we have seen in the past. For this list, I am excluding the wonderful (not always!) actors and their live-action portrayals with the cowl. I have considered only the multiple iterations in the DCAU movies/animation, DC Elseworlds and have explored the depths of the Multiverse.
The criteria for featuring in this list are craziness of the character design and deviation from the mainstream canon.
In Earth C-Minus, Batmouse is a superhero and member of the Just’a Lotta Animals (JLA).
In this hilarious take on the JLA, our favourite superheroes are all animals that fight enemies to keep peace. This iteration is a prized possession on the hilarious side of the DC Multiverse.
6. Green Lantern Batman
In Batman: In Darkest Night, Bruce Wayne is visited by Abin Sur in his batcave and is given the Green Lantern ring. This leads to a complete badass Bat-Lantern who keeps Joker from being born, defeats Catwoman and Two-Face. The greatest villain in this storyline is Sinestro who has mind-melded with the corpse of Joe Chill.
The story is fun and it almost paves the way for Dawnbreaker, coming later in this year’s DC Metal.
Thomas Wayne Jr is the eldest son of Thomas Wayne Sr and Martha Wayne. He killed his own parents (and even his brother, Bruce) because he thought they were managing their wealth poorly.
With his acrobatic sidekick Talon (Richard Grayson), Owlman unleashes terror and dominance over Gotham City. Owlman is a part of the Crime Syndicate comprising of supervillians in Earth-3.
4. Kirk Langstorm Batman
Batman faithfuls know Kirk Langstorm as the creepy villain Man-Bat from the main DC canon. But when the fangs end up on the caped crusader, it becomes super creepy.
In the 2015 animated movie Gods and Monsters, Kirk is a brilliant student who works on creating a cure for lymphoma. Unfortunately this transforms Kirk into a superhuman pseudo-vampire himself, who is dependent on blood to stay alive. Kirk joins with Bekka (Wonder Woman) and Hernan Guerra (Superman) to form the Justice League in this alternate universe.
3. Bat Priest
Holy Terror depicts America as a theocratic state, where religion is law. State and Church are the same. Bruce Wayne is on the path of becoming a priest when Commissioner Gordon tells him the truth about his parent’s murder – government assassinations.
This makes Bruce Wayne the demon Bat Priest, who teaches scripture by the day and kills bureaucrats by night.
Part of a group of enforcers formed by Adolf Hitler to bring Nazi control over Earth-10, Leatherwing is a ruthless general.
Having the belief that “weak” must be weeded from “humanity’, he kills inferiors as an agent of the Nazi Party.
A terrorist Batman in communist Russia is stuff of legend. Superman: Red Son written by Mark Millar provides just that.
When his parents got killed by the communists, Batmankoff swore vengeance on the government. The action between Batmankoff and the Comrade of Steel – Superman is thrilling. The iconic design has Batman wearing an ushanka and using a Kalashnikov. Batman fans love this version and Batmankoff remains one of the top choices for cosplay around the world.
Which other versions of Batman do you like?
How did you celebrate Batman Day (and week)?
Tell us in the comments below.
Also 25 years of Harley Quinn. Happy Birthday Harls!