In the world of comic book heroes, where death and revival go hand-in-hand, it’s no wonder that someone like Batman has had his fair share of dying, resurrections, and alternative versions. And when you add all the other media, like the movies, animation and games, you get even more Bat-men (?). During his entire 75 years, Bats has been seen wearing the wildest costumes imaginable, fighting countless street scum, super villains and god-level threats with his buddies from the Justice League.
People love Batman for one reason or another, and recently with all the Nolan movies getting the status of “iconic”, it became clear to me that the Dark Knight of Gotham is not going anywhere anytime soon, which is great. And I’m personally equally pumped for the upcoming Justice League movie, as well as his current shenanigans in the comics. Of course, if you think about it, the more things change, the more they stay the same, but things did change at some point, giving us these 10 badass iterations of Batman (in no particular order).
DCCU, BvS/Justice League Batman
Let’s start off with the most obvious entry on this list – Ben Affleck’s Batman in the DC cinematic universe. I mean, a mere mortal man wearing a tactical suit, challenged Superman to a fight and almost won! Can you get any more badass than this? … Well, turns out you can!
Power Ring/Green Lantern Batman
There were a few times in the comics where a non-canon Batman got a hold of the Power Ring, which virtually made him a Lantern. Batman has worn a Black Ring, White Ring, Green Ring, and a Yellow Ring on various occasions, changing his suit and adding unique quirks to it every time. The Full Spectrum Batmen, or Rainbow Bats, as I like to call them, became so visually distinct that DC ordered a whole toy line of them, so you know they mean business.
Bruce Timm Batman
The classic Bruce Timm’s Batman will live on forever in my heart as one of the most memorable Caped Crusaders of all time. This iteration became the definitive rendition of the character for many fans, even beyond what the movies or comics portrayed. Not to mention that this series gave us the best Joker voice as well as the lovable Harley Quinn. Yeah, if you didn’t know, Harley was created specifically for this show, and now she’s probably more popular than Batman himself!
If you were a nearly-all-powerful being, how would you kill Batman? Well, in the Final Crisis storyline, Darkseid decided to shoot Batman with the laser beams that incidentally sent the Dark Knight back through time! This is how we end up with the pre-historic Batman, fighting Vandal Savage, while wearing the pelt of a giant dead bat to strike fear in the hearts of his enemies and inspire fellow cavemen to revolt.
Dark Knight trilogy
As I’ve previously mentioned, this trilogy has become a staple for the comic book movies and every time a new Batman movie will come out it’s gonna get compared to the Nolan trilogy. It’s kind of bad in a way, but could’ve been worse. Besides, Christian Bale’s Batman was actually phenomenal, apart from his “Batman voice”. That was just bad.
Another animated Batman version here, and it’s probably even better than the previous one! This time Bruce Wayne is way too old to be the Batman, so he recruits Terry McGinnis, gives him all the fancy futuristic gear, including rocket boots for flight, retractable wings, various batarangs and magnetic boots, and tells him to kick ass. This show was way darker than the BtAS, and explored much more mature subjects and themes, and we, as viewers, really appreciated it.
Arkham Games Batman
What can be cooler than reading your favorite Batman run or watching a badass Batman movie? Being Batman and doing the things Batman does! Of course, there have been countless Bats games in the 80-90’s that offered a taste of what it’s like to fight crime in Gotham, but the recent Arkham games blew all of them out of water with the story and the unparalleled gameplay mechanics. If you like Batman stuff but still haven’t played any of the Arkham games – what is wrong with you?
Injustice: Gods Among Us Batman
What do you do when your arch-nemesis kills your best friend’s girl? Talk it out? No, you run! Because you’re Batman, he’s Joker, and that’s a raging Kryptonian killing villains and heroes left and right, trying to install a global regime! That would be pretty much the end of justice on Earth-2, if someone didn’t open the portals to Earth-1 and sucked in various heroes and villains. Sounds complicated? Yeah, it’s an amazing story that should be experienced as a whole, but what makes the Batmen of those worlds so badass is that neither of them are scared of Superman’s Terror Regime and keep resisting it, while some of their best friends die by his hand. Utterly brutal.
And for my last entry, it’s not as much of a badass Batman, but it just feels right to include the little dude here. I’m of course talking about the LEGO Batman. It’s a perfect combination of games, movies, and toys, with all 3 media showing pretty much the same characters and demonstrating the same sense of humor. So far we’ve seen only a handful of animated shorts but the actual “LEGO Batman: The Movie” is coming in 2017 and judging by the trailer, it’s gonna be crazy good!