Best of 2014: Video Games – Best Console Game

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
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Best Console Game

  • Far Cry 4
  • LEGO Batman 3
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes
  • Shadow of Mordor
  • Watch Dogs

WINNER – Watch Dogs

There are a few things you need to know about me.  Let’s start with the fact that I rarely play video games (other than Diablo) because I get dizzy from the graphics, I’m no good with the vast amounts of controls, and in general, the content doesn’t interest me. Another fact is my slight obsession with being nosy about other people.  Ok, saying I’m nosy was an understatement; I am an internet stalker.  Chances are, I can stay up until 3 in the morning “researching” someone who has piqued my interest, even if I have never met them.  The types of things that pique my interest can range from sex offenders in my neighborhood to some chick who had a cool hairstyle idea on Pinterest.  Lastly, if it weren’t for the fact that I have never had money, I would be in Gambler’s Anonymous.  I find gambling, and particularly poker, exhilarating.  Plus, I’m good at it.  But, alas, I don’t have money to gamble, so I don’t.  What does any of this have to do with the video game of the year?  Everything.  Watch Dogs gives people like me a certain kind of high.  You get to butt into people’s lives via their phone.  And the added perk?  You can silently judge them.  I love silently judging people.  But the best part of Watchdogs is the side games.  There are different poker games going on around the city of Chicago, ranging from low stakes to super stakes.  And who doesn’t love to gamble fake money for the chance to win big in a super stakes game while you sit in your underwear and have your mom order you a pizza?  Everyone loves that shit.  The games are literally all over the city, so you have to find a way there.  Most gamers drive, I’m sure, but remember how I don’t play games or understand the controls?  Let’s be honest, I run to poker.  It’s laughable sure, but I work hard for my fake money. – Adrian

Second Place – Shadows of Mordor

Shadow of Morder Best of 2014 Video Game Runner Up

Finally, a Lord of the Rings game done right. Mix Assassins Creed with Arkham City and you get Mordor. It is infinitely bloodier than both and if you like the LOTR lore, then this will only expand on that. The great thing about this game is that even though it is firmly rooted in that lore, you don’t need to know any of it to enjoy the game or story. Even a basic knowledge of the ring itself and Smeagol will help to enhance the story. This game also looks great on the newer systems, so you finally have an excuse to break out the PS4 or X-Box One. – Robert

Third Place – LEGO Batman 3

Lego Batman 3 Best of 2014 Video Games Runner Up

I honestly can’t see how you would dislike LEGO Batman 3 as it tries to cater to everyone and most of the time succeeds. It has such a massive cast of characters that is still expanding via DLC. The game has a lot of the same game play as past LEGO games, but adds the aspect of the Lantern Planets where it is one globe you usually fly around and do missions outside of the main plot. This game offers up such gems as Polka Dot Man, Green Loontern (Daffy Duck as Green Lantern) and Conan O’Brien even guides you through the game. As far as replayability, this game has a lot; LEGO games always offer a lot to fans of whatever they are covering as they throw in little jokes only comic fans will get but new fans will enjoy on top of little references like Weeping Angels from Doctor Who. LEGO Batman 3 made me nerd out so much every single time a new level came up or I would unlock a new character. – Jacob

RUNNER UP – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid 5 Best of 2014 Video Games Runner Up

Solid Snake is back with a new numbered sequel, at least the intro to a new numbered. But even if it’s not the true Metal Gear Solid V, which comes out in 2015, it’s still a strong game with the usual unique and creative story and unmatched game play mechanics. MGS5 is surprisingly like another game in the past, like Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. You take over as Big Boss again but in another surprising variation this first part of a numbered sequel is more of a sequel to Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, originally released on the PSP. For the first time in the series, David Hayter isn’t the voice Solid Snake; instead Kojima Productions went after a big name and picked up Keifer Sutherland to voice the iconic character. Sutherland does more than an adequate job brings some different life to Snake. Ground Zeroes isn’t as lengthy as the other games in the series, but it’s used primarily has an introduction to the full fledged MGS5: The Phantom Pain. The stealth gameplay is what we know and love and the graphics are more outstanding than any previous entry. Kojima took an interesting turn by adding in a little more action than previous titles also. Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is a great mix of stealth and action with fun side missions for a little extra flavor. Maybe shorten the name though. – Scott

RUNNER UP – Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 Best of 2014 Video Games Runner Up

Think about the best open-world FPS game you’ve ever played. Now, imagine yourself in that game, riding an elephant into battle while shooting enemies in with flaming (or exploding, whatever floats your boat) arrows. Ladies and gentlemen, Far Cry 4. Expanding upon the formula of Far Cry 3, this installment has more dangerous wildlife and more deadly enemies. To boot, the co-op campaign is lots of fun, as are the quick matches and user-created Map Browser ensure hours of fun. Liberate a country? Suuure. Save the people? Whatever. Just give me a freaking flamethrower and point me in the direction of the nearest rhino. – Sherif

 

Next Category: Best Network Game/DLC

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Review

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Review

Genre: Open world exploration, Multi-player Co-op,

Released for/Reviewed on: Released on PS4/X-Box One, PS3/XB360, Vita/3DS, WiiU, iOS, Mac/PC & reviewed on PS4

Publisher/Developer: Warnes Bros Interactive Entertainment (Mortal Kombat franchise, Batman: Arkham series, Scribblenauts franchise)/Traveller’s Tales (LEGO… everything)

Notable Voice Actors or Writers: Troy Baker (The Joker in Arkham Origins, Delsin Rowe in inFamous: Second Son), Travis Willingham (Reggie Rowe in inFamous: Second Son), Nolan North (Deadpool in Deadpool, Cole McGrath in inFamous, Pagan Min in Far Cry 4), tons of celebrity guest spots like: Kevin Smith (Clerks), Adam West, Conan O’Brien, Gilbert Gottfried, Geoff Johns and Stephen Amell (DLC coming soon)

Alluring Element: The winning formula of a LEGO game, this time expanded to include the scope of the entire DCU

Check it out if you liked: LEGO BatmanLEGO anything

Rated: RP/E

 

SCORECARD (each category ranked on a 10-point scale):

Storyline – 7
Gameplay – 8
Animation – 9
Replay Value – 9
Entertainment Value – 9
Captivity – 7
Variety – 6
Originality/Creativity – 9
Soundtrack – 8
Overall awesomeness – 7

When it comes to games that the whole family can enjoy, there’s nothing quite on the level of LEGO games. From Star WarsHarry Potter and Lord of the Rings to the recently-released Marvel title, there isn’t any fandom that Telltate won’t touch. Where the franchise has succeeded is in its ability to bridge adults and children together. While the games and their mechanics are fairly simple – two attack buttons, a jump button and two character/costume changes, there is an undeniable level of complexity to the completion of the highly detailed levels. There are tons of characters to unlock, and with a ludicrous amount of goodies to uncover, you’ll find yourself smushing your child in the face to push them out of the way and complete the game 100%. Unlike traditional kids game, there is an added effort in trying to appease to the hardcore fan-base. If you are trying to brainwash your kid into getting into comic books, or you yourself enjoys a thorough Easter Egg hunt, this is the game for you. If you don’t git into either category, though, you might be hard-pressed to find a reason to drop cash on this game. It’s the type of game that really depends on who you play with, or the type of gamer you are altogether. LEGO games are ideal for the treasure-hunting, methodical players who take their time and enjoy unearthing all the well-thought secrets that go into the game. If replaying a game five times over doesn’t appeal to you, then the price of admission isn’t really justifiable. Luckily, as somebody who is still just levels into Diablo III with his loving wife, I am all about 100% completion on my games.

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All that in mind, I still want to enjoy the game as I endogenously play through it, and LEGO Batman 3 is noticeably less entertaining than the game that came before it. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was great in the sense that the story (stopping Lex and Joker from taking over the world) was so dynamic that WB actually re-purposed the cut scenes into a full-length animated movie that was released separately on DVD. LEGO Batman 3, however, did not impress me – and my standards are pretty low as far as LEGO-inspired entertainment goes. The plot, which was some kind of convoluted version of Geoff John’s Brainiac and Green Lantern: Blackest Night, took Batman and Co. around the galaxy to… actually, I have no idea what the purpose was, I just knew that early on, I figured out that I had to travel to each Lantern planet and do stuff before defeating Brainiac with feelings. Yes, the thing that Batman hates more than Robin’s Superman pajamas. It’s a large scope to tackle, and this being a next-gen game, it was expected that we would see an expanded DCU, but I can’t help but feel like time would have been better spent coming up with a more creative way to incorporate different characters into the game. Instead of just boasting a cast of over 150 characters (it will take a WHILE to unlock them all), it would have been nice to actually give each of them a little more attention instead of just skin swaps. Really, only the core cast of Batman, Robin, Cyborg, Lex Luthor and The Joker have multiple uses.

lego-batman-3-full-roster

That being said, the fine-tuned attention to detail is as impressive as it is heartwarming. The Danny Elfman-inspired Bat-tunes are still there, and the custom sound bytes add a bit of flavor to each character’s situation. For example, when entering the character selection screen, hovering over certain characters spawn their very own Batman theme song – Na na na na na na na na, CYBORG! Can you guess which hero this one belongs to: Na na na na na na na na, MEEE! Also, along with Superman’s John Williams theme during flight, Wonder Woman also has her classic Linda Carter theme play while she flies. All the way to down to the most obscure characters in the DC Universe , the sheer amount of geek packed into one game is extraordinary, and will keep dedicated fans combing through each level with increased vigor to unlock all their secrets. You can even mix and match parts and powers to create your own weird-looking LEGO superhero. On the other side of the coin, the allure of having Conan O’Brien, the friendly janitor, tour you around the Justice League Watchtower or saving a pleading Adam West is really fun the first time, but can get severely grating after they repeatedly chime in with the same monologue until you run away screaming or mute the television.

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With all the high performance games out there, expectations for a LEGO game can be a little skewed. Make no mistake, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is just as much fun as Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, but just like those games, need to be enjoyed by the right person. You can choose to spend hours teaching your kids about each hero’s powers (or learning them yourself), or you can go all Orange Lantern on this bad boy and reap all the buried treasure within the levels. The gameplay won’t blow you away, but it’s as complex as it needs to be, and makes the game accessible for all ages of gamers. The story isn’t all that spectacular, but at the very least, it is a love letter to DC fans; you can really tell that Traveller’s Tales put a lot of thought and research into this game, making it one of the most thoughtful Batman experiences I’ve had in a video game.

 

 

All media credited to Sony Entertainment and Sucker Punch Productions

Batman Day – Best Batsuits

DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making us into the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! And click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles. 

batman day logo

 

 

Top 35 Batsuits

Batman’s duds are one of the most iconic in comic books, and yet his appearance changes over and over. The Batsuit protects not only his internal organs, but his secret identity. Giving so much as Batman, it’s a common psychological evaluation to say that Batman is his main personality, who he really is, and not the reckless playboy that he gives himself off as being. The Batsuit, like everything else in fashion, has been changed many times to fit the times and the different circumstances that Batman has found himself in. Not all of them are suited for frequent use; some are great for a special occasion, and others defined a generation. Let us know what some of your favorite Batsuits are in the comments!

 

35.) Rainbow and Zebra-Striped Batman

Batman may be a hardcore vigilante hell-bent on serving foolish villains with a steaming plate of justice, but there is no denying that this man is fancy as fuck. Years ahead of his time, Batman was donning zebra print years before it would make its way to the discount section of Walmart’s snazzy lingerie section. Like most fashion revelations, this was completely by accident. While Batman and Robin tangle with Zebra-Man (Detective Comics #275 in 1960), a magnetically-powered villain, Batman accidentally triggers Zebra-Man’s device, becoming Zebra-Batman and gaining powers he cannot control. A few years earlier, Batman stupefied criminals in Detective Comics #241 (1957) by wearing a brightly colored Batsuit every night he was on patrol. That’s a diva attitude if I’ve ever seen one. The story goes that he was trying to distract crooks from knowing that Robin had a broken arm, but we know the truth – Batman just can’t stand not being in the spotlight.

zebra batsuit

Rainbow-Batman

 

34.) Zur-En-Arrh

Batman has enough back-up plans to fill the Chinese alphabet. He always has an answer for every tough situation he finds himself in, whether it be an expected betrayal or outsmarting his most cerebral villains. What happens when the hard drive is wiped clean? What happens when Bruce Wayne has been injured so badly that he has no idea who he is? There’s a plan for that! In Grant Morrison’s Batman R.I.P., Bruce finds himself in that exact situation. He calls on his inner psyche to bring out Zur-En-Arrh, a chaotically-colored outfit of a brutally-insane version of Batman. Those familiar with Morrison’s arc may not know that Zur-En-Arrh was inspired by a visit from the alien Tlano of planet Zur-En-Arrh in Batman #113 (1958). I guess you never know what you’ll pick up along the way.

Zurenarrh

 

33.) Two-Face Batman

When Batman “died” at the end of Final Crisis in 2008, it shook the comic book world. While the Bat-family grieved, Dick was begrudgingly convinced that Gotham needed a Batman, and that he was the right man for the job. However, allies and villains alike noticed something amiss with Dick in charge. The interim Batman was a decent substitute for them, but he was decidedly not the original. This led Two-Face to do some reconnaissance (Batman #690) to find out just who this impostor Batman was. Dent infiltrated the Batcave, following Dick home from a night of patrol, and beat the ever-living crap out of Batman. The Two-Face Batsuit Dick saw was nothing more than a hallucination, thanks to needles laced with Scarecrow’s fear toxin, but it was a rude wake-up call that Dick needed to be more than Nightwing in a Batsuit, and commit to becoming The Batman.

two face batman

 

32.) Batman One Million

Batman is not a man, but a symbol. It should come to know surprise that the Dark Knight’s legacy lives on in the future – and not just Batman Beyond future; we’re talking about over 80,000 years away here. As you can assume, any future in need of a Batman probably isn’t a great place to be. A mass kidnapping and massacre of thousands of families led to one of those children making the choice to become the Batman. It was kind of a crappy time period, but at least in that future, Pluto was still a planet. This minor Batman from the much too distant future, where Hero Worship is more literal than figurative. Check out 1998’s JLA #23 for more on this mysterious Batman of the future.

Batman-One-Million

 

31.) Gotham by Gaslight

I’m a sucker for historically-involved books, so this 1800’s adaptation of Batman hit the spot. The story focuses on Jack the Ripper, and is just as much horror as it is mystery. I love the high-tech gadgets he uses now, but there’s something refreshing about just a guy with no armor running around catching dangerous criminals with just his mind and fists at his disposal. The suit itself isn’t anything special – just a petticoat and a homemade utility belt, but there is a noticeable steampunk vibe to the costume.

Batman_Gotham_by_Gaslight_001

 

30.) Batman Inc.

To take a page out of Jay-Z’s book, Bruce way is not a businessman; he is a business, man. When Bruce returns to life, he decides to spill the beans that he has been privately funding Batman for years. Nobody seems to care about this, or worry about the millions of embezzled funds, or look into the fact that he has privatized military protection with no sanction or permission because he’s the GD Batman. The suit isn’t too much different from the New 52 look or the classic look, but it effectively bridged the past and present together. To boot, the emblem design in the middle looks like something a car company would put on their luxury lines.

Batman Inc

 

29.) Adam West

Back before a six-pack was mandatory for an actor to play Batman, there was Adam West. Don’t get me wrong, thanks to some onomatopoeic wordplay, I still believed Adam West to be a highly capable crime fighter. This classic Batman TV series was the first place people really got to see Batman as a real live person – and don’t even talk about the 1940’s serial; that “costume” was an insult to mothers who sew everywhere. No, this high-budgeted series defined what Batman looked like in real life at an early age, influencing comic books and future Batsuits to come. Pay homage to the Bright Knight.

adam west batman

 

28.) First Appearance

When Bob Kane and Bill Finger first thought up The Bat Man, he had no idea the colossal movement of fans he would start. The playboy-by-day, vigilante-by-night was just as terrifying 75 years ago as he is today. The original design had a ridiculously-shaped head with long, pointy ears, and PURPLE GLOVES! They don’t make any sense, but they have become canon all the same. Legend has it that DC was in a rush to publish and had meant to come back to re-color the gloves blue, but it never happened. Regardless, the purple gloves command fans’ respect, as they were the gloves that started it all. You can find the purple gloves adorning action figures, reprints and currently in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman: Zero Year.

Batman First

 

27.) Batzarro

Could you imagine an anti-Batman who is literally the opposite of Batman? Wayne Bruce, the World’s Worst Detective from Superman/Batman #20, is from the same world as Bizarro (Superman’s er… twin). He is easily recognized by the upside-down Bat symbol on the front of his chest. While he tries to help Batman and Superman, his backwards strategy always seems to get in the way… like the way he guns down married couples in Crime Alley, or the fact that he can’t make a complete sentence. Batzarro is cut from the same cloth as Batman and Bizarro, and watching him try to do good is adorable when he fails at it. His costume, albeit just a simple twist from the original, is rare enough that few people know it exists and knowing about it adds a feather to your Batman nerd cap now.

Batzarro

 

26.) Kingdom Come

Everybody ages; there’s no secret there. So how does the Dark Knight continue to instill fear in his enemies when he’s barely strong enough to open a jar of pickles, let alone put the smack down on some rowdy punks in Kingdom Come? Well, some high-tech gadgets (duh?), a group of punk superheroes called The Outsiders and a rehabilitation suit. Even underneath the actual Batsuit, Bruce needs mechanical assistance to stay mobile; years of taking damage have left him with the face and body of Clint Eastwood. Batman stays through most of the battle as a general, making moves from the inside, but thanks to this armored Batsuit, he’s able to kick ass some whipper-snapper booty off his proverbial lawn.

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25.) Justice Lord Batman

Batman is all about his business, but Justice Lord Batman really don’t play. In an alternate timeline, the Justice League (Episode 37-38 of Justice League “A Better World”) of a parallel universe stopped being so lenient when the most warm-hearted member of the team, Flash, is murdered by Lex Luthor. An enraged Superman kills the President and the Justice League Lords become overseers of the Earth. All the personality is sucked from the Batsuit, making it solid black with a shiny silver emblem on the front. The change was meant to symbolize a more regal Batman, and it looked dope.

batman justice lord

 

24.) Alex Ross’ Justice

If you’re a middle-aged Batman, and you want your enemies know you’ve been thoroughly pissed off, then Justice #9’s armor is the outfit for you. After being brain-washed to fight against the home team, Batman comes to filled with guilt, embarrassment and rage. This futuristic suit is inspired from the Adam West Batmobile, which I’m not sure whether it is a compliment to the suit or the car. This baby can shoot rockets and fly, which makes it a shame that it’s only used for one attack; most of its display involved just being aesthetically appealing.

Justice Batsuit

 

23.) Blackest Night & Brightest Day

Batman has gone through a lot of costume changes, but few come with the aid of an intergalactic Lantern ring. In Blackest Night, following the death of Batman, he was resurrected by the Black Hand as an agent of death. For fans still mourning from the death of Bruce Wayne, this was unspeakably cruel… but incredibly cool! Zombie Batman was the closest thing we had to the real thing. The whole Blackest Night arc was a nightmare for the entire DC Universe, so imagine our delight when DC announces that Batman will be The White Lantern, the key to ending the war on the Black Lanterns. Things become a bit more complicated than that, as Batman isn’t the chosen one, but you never really doubted that we could be. Batman would play with with other rings in his time, but the significance of serving as guardian of Life (White) and Death (Black) is not overlooked.

White_Lantern_Batman_002

 

22.) Tim Burton movies

Michael Keaton was my introduction to Batman. All black suit, glowing yellow symbol on the chest, this is what I imagined Batman looked like for the first years of my life. I would later learn that the suit’s head and neck was one complete piece, which made turning Keaton’s head nearly impossible. This led to the inadvertent creation of “The Hero Turn,” where a hero will turn her/his entire body instead of just craning the neck. Prosthetic issues aside, there’s no denying that this Batsuit is classic. Burton’s final product was basically a blacked out, metallic version of the comic books at the time. The suit has served as a cornerstone of Batsuit innovation, and served the film perfectly.

michael-keaton-as-batman-in-batman-returns

 

21.) Knightfall‘s Mask of Tengu

When Bane broke Batman’s back in Knightfall: Volume 1, he took away more than his mobility. Bruce’s confidence was completely shattered. Following a miraculously-short rehab stint, Batman set out to find Lady Shiva to help train him to be at his peak. Shiva, being one of the world’s deadliest assassins, puts Batman through multiple tests, including killing a man, which he does to her satisfaction (…or does he??). To inspire Batman, she makes him wear the Mask of Tengu in the form of the Bat. Tengu masks are of Japanese folklore, representing legendary animals, and often referred to in Buddhist lore as demons, harbingers of war. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, but the Mask of Tengu marked the moment when Batman got his groove back.

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20.) Dark Knight of the Round Table

According to history, Batman isn’t exactly the most chivalrous superhero. He does not mind striking a lady and he will not be there in the morning when you wake up, but that doesn’t mean he won’t stomp a mudhole in your ass and walk it dry. In this Elseworld mini-series, Bruce Waynesmoor takes up the sword to protect his house. Batman is one of the few heroes to really make his story work in the Dark Ages, and the Batsuit chosen in the story is easily one of the most creative costumes to date. Renaissance Festival patrons, eat your heart out.

knight-of-the-round-table

 

19.) The New52 Batman

The New52 relaunch was a scary, scary time in the comic book world. Batman had just started an incredible new journey with Batman Inc., and Superman had just renounced his American citizenship. The reboot came swiftly, and most notable in the debut issue of Justice League #1 was a group of classic heroes with NO UNDERWEAR on the outside. Say what you want about the excessive line work, which was applicably toned down in Capullo’s Batman version, but after 70+ years, it was time for these heroes to grow up and wear their briefs on the inside.

New52 Batman

 

18.) Neal Adams’ 1970’s Batsuit

If you’re searching for a time to mark the modernized Batman design, look at Neal Adams’ design. Known popularly as the “1970’s Batman design,” Adams, along with writer Denny O’Neil, created some great moments with Batman. The blue and grey outfit might be considered old now, but it has still universally inspired the designs that are still used today. Adams also gave Bruce Wayne some much-needed chest hair, which was the picture of manliness as can be when he is swashbuckling shirtless with Ra’s al Ghul in the desert. It’s time we bring back the rugged Batman and the classic suit that symbolized one of the best eras Batman has had in the past 50 years.

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17.) Jason Todd as Batman

Batman’s disappearance had left quite a void in the Bat-family, and Dick Grayson stepped up to fill the void. While the immediate family supported him taking over, Jason Todd felt entitled to part of the inheritance. This led to the Battle for the Cowl arc, in which everybody lost their damn minds vying for the mantle of the Batman. Jason, who had been the Red Hood to that point, fanciest himself a new Batsuit, a frightening costume equipped with several guns and a mouthguard that looked much more like a muzzle for a rabid dog. And that’s exactly what he was at that point. Thankfully, Dick Grayson prevailed and Gotham wasn’t protected by a sociopath who murdered thugs, leaving behind passive aggressive sticky notes that just said “I AM BATMAN.”

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16.) The Dark Knight Returns

While the slightly-armored Batman is a popular choice in comic book lore, there’s something innately appealing about an insane, bulking old man who is willing to risk getting shot and stabbed just to get close enough to sock you in the face. The Batman in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns was just that man. His suit is sewn, not bolted. There is no insane tech to pull out and save the day with. It may not be realistic, but it made it that much cooler to be the Dark Knight. Miller’s signature giant bat emblem was also on display, which has become the flag for old-man strength, and looks to be the inspiration for the upcoming Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice film.

DC Comics Batman Superman The Dark Knight Strikes Back you work for me

 

15.) High Seas Batman

Pirate Batman may have only lasted one glorious issue, but by golly, it was awesome. When Bruce Wayne travels through time in the highly-illogical-but-what-the-hell-he’s-back The Return of Bruce Wayne, he takes the role of several time-stamped characters, including a caveman, a pilgrim and a cowboy. None of them can touch the grace of High Seas Batman and his glorious beard, which translates surprisingly well to an action figure. The Return of Bruce Wayne is one of the zaniest canon stories in the last decade. It’s an adaptation that would work if given his own series, but with DC taking their franchise titles so seriously, I don’t expect anything this outrageous will ever happen, so enjoy Pirate Batman for the national treasure that it is.

high-seas-batman

 

14.) Flashpoint Batman

Flashpoint was a Flash-centric storyline, but that doesn’t mean he has to the only one getting a cool makeover. The Batman in this story is not the Wayne we know. Instead, Bruce’s father Thomas has taken over duties, and he is one frightening S.O.B. Using torture techniques and war tactics to interrogate his enemies, this Batman is always angry, highlighted by his red-tinted suit and unseemly facial hair. He doesn’t have nearly the amount of gadgetry Bruce does, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous and those glowing red eyes support the opinion that Bruce’s dad is ten times scarier than he is.

500px-Thomas-Wayne-Flashpoint

 

13.) The Suit of Sorrows

Speaking of an angry Batman, the mystical Suit of Sorrows was created during the Crusades, given to a knight deemed Pure of Heart. Well, not so much it turns out, as the suit drives him crazy, causing him to slaughter hundreds of people. So, what better present to bestow upon your baby daddy than the genocide-inducing Suit of Sorrows in Detective Comics #842? This wretched garb with chain mail and a flowing, ragged scarf makes Batman stronger, and faster, but also gives him quite the temper. The suit wasn’t around for more than one issue, since it was stolen from the Batcave and wound up on Azrael.

suit of sorrows

 

12.) Batman Inc. partners

Batman has gone global! After announcing his plan for global protection in Batman Inc., Bruce travels the world, recruiting Agents of the Bat. Some of them are more prominently featured than others, with Africa’s Batwing (whose mantle is now being carried by Lucius Fox’s son), England’s Knight and Squire, and Argentina’s Gaucho taking up most of the spotlight. There’s also the Native American Man of Bats, France’s Nightrunner and Japan’s Mr. Unknown. All of the characters have outfits inspired by their native lands, and they’re all really cool. Even if most of them haven’t gotten their due in a story, they all added flavor and diversity to the Bat-team.

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11.) Nolan’s Batsuit

The Dark Knight trilogy gave Batman the justice on screen he deserved, and it started with this highly advanced Batsuit. It’s as close to Iron Man’s suit as Bruce can get, spending a fortune in the Wayne Enterprises R&D department to optimize it for kicking bad guys in the face. It’s too bad it couldn’t buy Christian Bale a better Bat-voice, but the suit was a work of art. Batman looked truly invincible in it (except for that time he got stabbed, but who’s counting). It took the armored, blacked out Burton version and took it up a notch, with only the utility belt having any color to it at all. It wasn’t just for looks, either. The suit and cape also served many practical purposes throughout the trilogy. I dare the BVS Batsuit to hold up to this masterpiece.

Nolan Batsuit

 

10.) Greg Capullo’s Zero Year Batsuit

The current artist of Batman is rewriting history. The Zero Year arc is telling the story of the year Bruce Wayne became Batman, and the makeshift costume that Bruce puts together is an instant classic. It’s inherently realistic and easily cosplayable, with a survivalist twist. At his best, Batman can improvise vital supplies and gadgets with whatever he can fashion. He was MacGyver before MacGyver was MacGyver. Plus, I have to mention the purple gloves, a callback to the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics #27, 75 years ago – a personal touch we found out from an interview with Greg Capullo himself was Snyder’s idea

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9.) The Animated Series

Thanks to the insanely talented Bruce Timm, TAS had one of the most iconic Batsuits in history. Simple, sleek, and easily replicated, there wasn’t a lot of detail visually: black cape and cowl, grey suit, and shining yellow emblem on the chest with a black Bat symbol. The beauty was in the eyes, where pure white lenses covered his baby blue eyes, yet still managed to capture all of Batman’s expressions. TAS is also famous for using the full repertoire of bells and whistles that the utility belt can handle, making for some resourceful and entertaining moments.

BTAS batsuit

 

8.) Insider Suit

Leave it to Bruce Wayne to make a dramatic entrance. After returning from the dead in The Return of Bruce Wayne, you would think he would come home, and that his cohorts would put together an intimate Welcome Home party upon his arrival. Not this guy! In Bruce Wayne: The Road Home #1, Batman dons this super secret spy suit, likened to one from Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, hacks into the JLA Watchtower, spies on the city and inexplicably beats the crap out of Batgirl. There was an upside to the fact that Bruce is a complete jerk. The suit’s powers included abilities inspired by the entire Justice League: Martian Manhunter’s camoflauge, a synthetic Green Lantern Ring, the ability to tap into the speed force, a built-in polygraph and a ninja setting. The only thing left to wonder is why the hell he never incorporated these abilities into any of the Batsuits that came later.

Batman Insider Suit

 

7.) Batman Hush Batsuit

The actual Batsuit in Jim Lee‘s Hush model gets a high mark no matter how you put it. DC Comics frequently uses his rendition in almost any large-scale graphic of the Batman. The detail and shading of the suit makes it a shoe-in for the top ten. Lee’s idea to show ears on Batman’s head was one that, in hindsight, missing from almost everybody else’s version. Bottom line, when I think of Batman, I think of Jim Lee’s Hush, down to the coloring, short pointy ears and perfectly-shaped Bat symbol. The Batsuit in Hush also stays perpetually dry, even though there are several rainstorms throughout the book. So there’s that.

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6.) Azrael Batsuit

When Bane put the Batman an indefinite time out, he sought out a successor to temporarily take over while he left to rehabilitate himself. At the time, the two logical options were Dick Grayson and Jean-Paul Valley, who had spent years as Azrael, the Angel of Death for a religious group of nuts before rejecting them and training under Batman. Valley was chosen as the fill-in, which seemed an adequate replacement – until he began alienating himself from known allies. Soon, Azrael, adorned in a newly designed suit of death, was murdering villains and allowing collateral damage. Before Batman came back to reclaim his title, Azrael had managed to put Bane down – and decidedly left him alive.

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5.) Damian as Batman

At the current point in time, Damian is dead (ish?), but he once the heir to Batman’s empire. In the flash-forward issue Batman #666, Damian is featured as a future Batman. The years have grown the son of Batman into a jaded, yet concise and highly intelligent crime-fighter. His signature look was capped by a large grey trench coat with a popped collar sporting the bottom of the Bat symbol, in essence giving his whole head and shoulders the appearance of a curled up bat. To boot, the trench coat he sported contains a variety of pockets for weapons to use in addition to the utility belt. The thought of Damian taking over the family business is a tantalizing one. Who wouldn’t want to see this former League of Assassins trainee put the hurt on some of his dad’s enemies?

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4.) Batman Beyond

Kids these days have no idea how much work we had to put in to solve crimes. Nowadays they have the whole world at their fingertips. Terry McGinnis reaped the benefits of Bruce Wayne’s hard work by having the Batman Beyond suit bestowed upon him. This baby had everything a person could want in an outfit: chameleon-style camouflage, rocket boosters, and a list worthy of its own Wikia page. Terry was indeed worthy of the suit, but he had a heck of a lot easier of a time with his vigilante-style justice than Bruce did initially.

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3.) Batman’s Heavy-Duty Armor Suit

What does Batman do when the foe he’s up against just simply can’t be taken down by normal means? He builds himself a giant suit of armor – ya know, just in case. In Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Batman prepares himself for a one on one battle with Superman by hopping into a giant suit of armor. Even recently, in the Court of Owls arc, Batman prepares for the slew of Talons by jumping in his Thrasher suit. The best part about him being in these gigantic wrecking balls is that it is only a distraction while another part of his plan formulates, cementing the brains to go with the brawn. Although, part of me just wishes he would smash things from time to time.

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2.) Red Son Batman

You can take Batman out of the freest country in the world, but you can’t take the freedom out of Batman. In the Elseworld story Superman: Red Son, which begs the question, “What if Superman had landed in Soviet Russia instead of Smallville?,” we find a very patriotic Superman drinking the Kool-Aid of Soviet Russia, following her every command, not realizing the oppression he is leading. Leave it to Batman to take on Soviet Superman and Wonder Woman all by himself, and holds his own for a fair amount of time. He does this all while wearing an Ushanka and heavy coat. No matter where he lives or who he is, Batman is defined by his actions.

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1.) Green Lantern Batman

We mentioned earlier that Batman had been the hand of both life and death when he wore the White and Black Lantern rings, respectively, but the greatest power in the universe, crafted by the Guardians of Oa, was once at his mercy. When Hal Jordan returned from his hiatus, he practically begged Batman to have a go at using the Green Lantern ring in 2006’s Green Lantern #9. The result was a flurry of power that actually took Batman aback. He turned down any further use of the ring, which was disappointing because just the taste of seeing Batman holding one of the galaxy’s most powerful weapons was enough to secure a top spot in the list of Batsuits.

GL Batman

Batman Day – Best Batmobile

DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making us into the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! And click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles. 

batman day logo

 

 

Top 20 Batmobiles

When I was a teenager, there was no feeling like driving the coolest car in the neighborhood, taking it for a stroll to meeting up with friends and get into trouble. I would frequently imagine that my 1989 BMW was the Batmobile. Not only is Batman’s personal automobile his most important mode of transportation, but it’s one of his most trusted resources. Usually outfitted with gadgets and loaded with Bat-tech, these babies don’t come cheap. The models have changed and the accessories have been modernized through the years, but the Batmobile was always a reflection of the best in its time. Batman can’t fly, but these hot rides are not a bad consolation prize. Check out the many Batmobiles that gave the world car envy.

 

20.) Batman Reborn

Damian’s first stab at a Batmobile is kind of ugly, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful. At just ten years old, the son of Batman created a Batmobile that can fly and work underwater for himself while dad was out busy being dead/traveling through time or whatever. The gigantic red bat on the top looks like a kid designed it, but its functionality lets us know that a genius built it.

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19.) The First Batmobile

Back in the day, before the gadgets and flying and stealth mode, Batman drove around Bruce Wayne’s car. It was a 1939 Cord 812, and the only distinction it had as a Batmobile was the subtle hood ornament of the Bat-symbol. Years into the legacy of the Batman, the Batmobile first appeared in Detective Comics #48. It served its purpose well enough, even though Bruce Wayne could only afford a model that was three years old. Pfft.


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18.) Gotham’s Strangest Race

Nothing shows its age quite like the Batmobile from the 1955 Detective Comics #219. Batman and Robin get themselves involved in Gotham’s Strangest Race, where he takes the helm of a 1905 Marmon, favoring a throwback look for a classic car convention. Whether or not the Batmobile in this issue ran off steam or gasoline is unknown, and it’s an odd choice for a racecar in the mid-1950’s, but you can’t deny there is some charm to it.

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17.) Batman and Robin movie

Joel Schumacher may be responsible for the worst Batman movie ever made, but that doesn’t mean his Batmobiles weren’t totally awesome. Inspired by the Jaguar D Type. The last movie to feature a classic-style Batmobile, Batman and Robin‘s vehicle had much more pizzazz, equipped with a bladed grill and sharper fins at the rear. It might be a bit gaudy – at 30 feet long, it remains the largest Batmobile thus far. The big kicker here is that it’s only a one-seater.

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16.) Batman: The Brave and the Bold

The Brave and the Bold‘s version of the Batmobile is a conglomeration of past designs. It has the body shape of the modern sports car, the grille of the 1960’s style Batmobiles, and the detailing of Adam West’s Batmobile. Not only did it look rad, but it had the ability to transform into a plane and a submarine, as well as a Stealth mode. This animated follow-up to The Batman was a neo-retro show that had a completely appropriate Batmobile.

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15.) Batman Beyond

This thing looks like it belonged to an alien overlord much more than it did the Batman. The near future, according to the show, has flying cars, and although Bruce Wayne may have retired from crime-fighting, we sure didn’t stop working. This monstrous Batmobile acts as a mobile Bat-computer, and has all the features of a high-tech military aircraft. Even though Batman Beyond’s suit has rocket boosters on the bottom of his feet, eliminating much of the need for a Batmobile in this world, it doesn’t make this incarnation any less awesome.

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14.) The Dark Knight Returns Tank

An curmudgeonly man named Bruce Wayne gets so angry at the youth and the pit of despair Gotham has become that he decides to take up his old hobby of breaking the bones of bad guys. It’s only fitting that an old bat like Bruce would have a freaking tank as a Batmobile. Intimidation factor: 100. As he rides up on the mutants with this bad boy, all but their leader cower in fear. This tank is not a looker; in fact, it’s likely the the ugliest Batmobile of the lot. Maybe a built-in medic bay and a nearly-indestructible exterior will change your mind.

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13.) Detective Comics #601

Not to be one-upped by Back to the Future, the late 80’s marked a time of change in the Batmobile’s technology. This sporty little number, and the various versions it inspired, was used in comic books throughout the mid-90’s. The large wheel covers give off the illusion that the car is hovering above the ground, while the gnarly spoiler compliments a body shaped like the Lamborghini Diablo of that time. It wasn’t just its looks, though. This Batmobile was one of the first to integrate the Bat-computer technology into the dash, as well as a few other useful resources.

DC 601 Batmobile

 

12.) Christian Nolan’s The Bat

I know, technically this isn’t a Batmobile, but if you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises, you know that this vehicle had to make the list. No, this isn’t Star Wars; this was Wayne Enterprises R&D dollars hard at work. Adjusting the concept of the Batwing for a modern approach, it’s easy to get awe-struck by the new jet. Aside from having enough firepower to take out his own Tumblers, word on the street is that it even saved Batman’s life when he installed an auto-pilot feature. And yes, it comes in black.

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11.) The Batman series first Batmobile

With Batman Beyond ending in 2001, the animated world had to search elsewhere for their Batman solo stories. Enter ..er… The Batman. This 2004 show boasted a car that looked straight out of Fast and the Furious, which might have been due to the craze of the Need for Speed: Underground series. Everything on it was custom-bought, to “protect his identity.” Something tells me Brucey got into the import business, as well. Like most racers at the time, it looked far better than in performed, evident when Gearhead (voiced by Terry McGinnis himself, Will Friedle) was able to leave him in the dust in S3E5, “RPM.” With enough cash, it’s very feasible to dress a Honda Civic SI as this Batmobile. Just don’t try fighting crime in it.

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10.) Hanna Barbera’s Batmobile

This design is heavily based of the 1960’s TV series and adapted for the animated series and Super Friends. It had a very chic design, with the blue took a lot of the flash out of it, but it translated very well to the the small screen. This simple design took Batman on numerous adventures with the Super Friends, and Scooby Doo, too. Before all the doo dads and technical add-ons, the Batmobile was just a really cool looking car that Batman drove around. When the Super Friends ended in 1977 (becoming the Challenge of the Super Friends), they switched to a more sporty look, but nothing can take the place of the Futura model.

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9.) The Tumbler

Speaking of the Tumbler, the tank-like Batmobile from the Christopher Nolan reboots was a behemoth compared to the more petite versions of the past. This initially was met with conflict – that is, until it started steam-rolling squad cars in Batman Begins. It has been the biggest departure from the traditional Batmobiles, strong enough to withstand gunfire and small explosions, but agile enough to speed through Gotham. One of the neatest features was the ability to lock in a target using ballistics in some type of fighter-pilot mode. Also, when preparing to self-destruct, the Tumbler could split apart and essentially give birth to the BatPod.

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8.) Arkham Asylum

The award-winning video game series didn’t give players a whole lot of exposure to Batmobiles, but when we did get to check it out, it was quite the beauty. Inspiration from Batman: The Animated Series was all over the place. Even the cast was basically a nostalgic nod to the 90’s cartoon. Unlike the B:TAS series, this Batmobile had much more detail, giving it the vibe of a bulky hot rod – and a build that looked like somebody could actually drive it. You likely won’t get to see this version again, as Rocksteady plans on going with a more Tumbler-like vehicle in Arkham Knight that will be drivable.

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7.) Capullo’s Zero Year Batmobile

The New52 has been home to some hit or miss comics, but Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman has hit the bullseye every month since the relaunch. After Joker ruined everything in Death of the Family, they dove deeper into Batman’s past, exploring when Bruce Wayne first became the Batman. Batman’s first Batmobile via the relaunch debuted in Batman #25, and is inexplicably a Plymouth Prowler with a vintage Batmobile feel to it. This Batmobile doesn’t just run, it can also hide. With some assistance from the Batcave, it can launch itself into the air, and drive along the ceiling. Goodbye, traffic.

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6.) BatPod

Batman’s car fetish doesn’t just stop at planes, boats and hot rods; he also has a thing for motorbikes. There’s the classic two-seater, which I’m sure Robin loved, the Tron-like one in the relaunch, and the BatPod from The Dark Knight trilogy – my favorite. Batman had this sucker tucked away inside the Tumbler, and blasted out on the magnificent bike when Joker disabled the Tumbler. Also, not that I need to remind you, he also let Catwoman borrow it in The Dark Knight Rises, leading to a great view of the horizon as she left. The revolutionary feature on the BatPod was the use of a gyroscope axle, allowing Batman to take dangerously fast turns with ease.

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5.) New52 Batmobile

We’ve only got a glimpse of the Batmobile that Greg Capullo cooked up for us, and that was in Batman #9. This design from the former Spawn artist had a good deal of inspiration from the Hellspawn. There are some callbacks to the old designs, like the Bat-face on the grill of the car, also acting as headlights, but this design is highly futuristic, and thanks to the fact that it looks like Spawn’s cape flowing over the Batmobile, it’s even more frightening than usual. Once Zero Year is over, we will see if Capullo continues with this design or favors the Tumbler version that was used in Jason Fabok’s Detective Comics #20 a year later.

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4.) Burton’s Batmobile

Have you ever wanted a car that took care of you instead of the other way around? Tim Burton’s Batmobile did just that. Gone was the Bat-face on the front, replaced with a jet turbine engine! When Batman fired it up at full blast, it exuded flames from the exhaust, leading to some not-so-fun times for thugs trying to sneak up on him. When in danger, the Batmobile could form a complete set of armor around the body. Other neat gadgetry included the ability to completely rotate itself 180 degrees by use of grappling hooks and a heavy-duty platform that dropped to the ground and rotated the car, as well as other neat tricks pertinent to the story.

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3.) Adam West’s Batmobile

If I had one of these, I don’t think I would go about 10 mph. I would need to make sure that everybody saw me driving one of the classiest Batmobiles in history. Unlike the other movie vehicles, this car is already street legal. The 1955 Ford Futura, a concept car with a powerful V8 engine inside, was the model of choice. The fact that it is drivable makes it seem that much cooler, especially when you take into account that it had a phone in the car, along with sonar detection and a plethora of other tech familiar with the likes of James Bond at the time. You can find various replicas at comic book conventions, where people (suckers like me) will pay good money just to stand next to it and take a picture.

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2.) Batman Forever

The first of Joel Schumacher’s babies, the Batmobile from Batman: Forever, is as unique and flamboyant as it is incredible to look at. The entire chasis lights up as it rolls along, and the long fins make it looks like a punked out Burton-mobile with a giant mohawk. An instant classic with Hush, neither the movie nor the Batmobile lasted too long, as it was destroyed less than half-way through the movie.

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1.) Batman: The Animated Series

Nothing embodies the spirit of vengeance, the night, and Batman more than The Animated Series. People have tried to replicate this beast in real life and failed. It is not meant to be a real-life model. The fact that the front of the car is three times the size of the rest of it isn’t a design flaw. The perspective of animation used makes the Batmobile look like it goes on forever, like a specter watching over the streets of Gotham. Not much detail is needed to create the perfect Batmobile, which has lasted over twenty years as the Best Batmobile.

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Batman Day – Best Batman Theme Songs

DC Comics has dubbed today Batman Day. The Dark Knight has been fighting crime and serving justice for his 75th year since the 1939 debut of Detective Comics #27. Batman has been a big part of our lives, and was responsible for making us into the comic book fanatics we are today, whether it be through comic books and toys or television and movies. To show our appreciation for the man, the myth and the legend, we have compiled a plethora of Bat-themed lists. We hope that we can inspire you to read more about Batman and his legacy, or even give us some feedback if you agree or disagree with the lists. Sound off below! And click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles.

batman day logo

 

Top 10 Batman Theme Songs

You can usually tell a person’s age depending on the Batman theme song they identify most. The tunes may have altered throughout the year, but the spirit of them is still the same. You could be at at your daughter’s recital, or giving a presentation to your boss, when that Batman ringtone goes off, people smile. Aside from Superman and a few Marvel characters, Batman is part of a select few that have gotten even one theme song, let alone enough to do a top ten. So rejoice in the sound of the Bat, and let us know which ones you liked the best.

 

10.) Batman Forever

This theme, composed by Elliot Goldenthal, was a distinct departure from the Danny Elfman-produced themes of the Tim Burton films. It’s one of the few good things to come out of Batman Forever. We wish we could count Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose” on here, because that would have instantly shot this up the charts. The use of big, brass instruments gives the theme that epic Batman feeling.

 

9.) Batman Begins/The Dark Knight, “Molossus”

Composed by Hans Zimmer, this theme was actually slightly introduced towards the end of Batman Begins, and expanded upon in The Dark Knight. The harsh drums and cello is the call to action Batman deserves. In fact, the entire scores to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are worth a listen if you need to get pumped up for that job interview or test.

 

8.) Batman: The Brave and the Bold

When The Brave and the Bold first aired in 2008, I was skeptical. All I needed to see was the opening credits to know that this was going to be a clear homage to the Adam West days with a modern twist to it. The upbeat and very short theme song got its point across without much variation or flare, but it was all Batman.

 

7.) Adam West’s Batman series

Speaking of Adam West, the classic theme from the TV series, which was also used in the Hanna Barbera animated version, is full of butt-kicking goodness, punching sound effects strewn within. The shrill “Batman!” cry heard throughout is the work of an eight-member chorus. It’s the reason the we all sing “Na na na na na na na na…. Batman!” – a true classic theme song in American history.

 

6.) Arkham City

The 2011 video game, which is heralded as the best Batman game yet, had its own score and “Music Inspired By” soundtrack, headlined by this main theme. It was a blend of Zimmer’s The Dark Knight and Elfman’s whimsical woodwinds, creating a truly awesome mixture for us to glide through Gotham to. Good job by Nick Arundel in using the best elements from two of the greatest theme songs in Bat-history to create something new and exciting.

 

5.) The Dark Knight Rises

When Christopher Nolan closed out his trilogy, he left us with a lot of questions – and a lot more unexplainable plot holes. That wasn’t the case for Hans Zimmer, who gave audiences the definitive theme song worthy of ending the epic journey. The theme goes through multiple uplifting phases of the heroes journey. Like The Dark Knight before it, Zimmer’s score is a complete package, one that you can listen to the whole way through, with enough variation to feel like a complete experience.

 

4.) Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Mask of the Phantasm was a 1993 animated film about Batman’s tangle with a villain who took justice into their own hands, often leading to death for their targets. The theme has a more dynamic feel than the usual animated series theme song, using gospel themes, and more prominent orchestral tones. It may have been a bit too dramatic to be the best theme, but Shirley Walker’s theme fit this film perfectly.

 

3.) Batman Beyond

Ushering in a new generation, the theme song to Batman Beyond was just as futuristic as Terry McGinnis himself. It’s a far departure from the theme used in Batman: The Animated Series, and that’s what made it work so well. Most people can’t even tell that this Kristopher Carter track is Batman-related at all, but fans raised on the series instantly jam out to the theme. This was certainly not their father’s Batman; he belonged to them.

 

2.) Batman Returns

The year was 1992 and Danny Elfman was beginning to make a name for himself in the film score circles with great work on movies like Dick Tracy and Beetlejuice. Elfman’s sound was distinctly gothic, fitting the terrifying story of Batman Returns to a tee. As the opening credits roll, we are treated to a look at the sad journey of Oswald Cobblepot that Burton had created for us, amplified by the frantic pace of the theme song in the background. Since then, Elfman’s has reproduced the same style in almost every theme song he’s done, turning it into more of a cliché over the years, but after twenty years, his Batman theme is still practically untouchable.

 

1.) Batman: The Animated Series

The famous theme song, accompanied by one of the best introduction sequences of all time, of Batman: The Animated Series takes the title of Best Batman Theme Song. Taking clear inspiration from the aforementioned Burton films, TAS theme song was created by Shirley Walker – who, coincidentally enough was Burton’s conductor for the films. The student definitely became the master, and together, the two perfected the Burton theme. The brass is more pronounced, and the subtleties of the film theme were lost in favor of a more crisp overall sound.

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Batman 75th with Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar

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Panel Name: Batman 75th

Topic: Q&A with the main characters from the 1960’s TV Batman series

Featured Guests: Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman)

 

It’s safe to say that a lot of 80’s babies and beyond don’t have the same appreciation for Adam West and company that our parents did. Most twenty-somethings know Adam West as Mayor West of Quahog from Family Guy, and that’s great, but I think the world needs to be reminded of just how vital Adam West’s portrayal of Batman was to the legacy of Bruce Wayne. The show spanned 120 episodes over a three-year period and had it’s own spin-off movie; it was great fun for the whole family – something that Batman titles have since moved away from.

The Dark Knight, as he is today, is a brutal and melancholy figure. He’s seen multiple close friends die – including his own son. He’s terrifying to his opponents, and off-putting to his colleagues. Oh, and his rogues gallery is filled with sick, twisted freaks that murder children and blow up hospitals. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t love every stinkin’ second that I read Batman, but there’s no denying he’s become more of an adult figure than the one I’ve grown up with in the slightly-dark Batman: The Animated Series, let alone the Batman that my parents grew up with in the 60’s.

This has all been changing. Ever since the Batman 66 series launched last July, adults and children alike have been gravitating back to this light-hearted Batman, which grabs at the nostalgic crowd, and puts Batman back on a relatable plane for children to connect with a character that’s celebrating his 75th birthday this year. The idea of solving riddles and catching the bad guys is a universal concept; not every child needs to see their parents murdered in front of them to relate to the Batman.

Batman 66 Panel

Let’s get to the panel, shall we? As Burt Ward, then Julie Newmar, and finally Adam West made their ways to the stage, they were met with possibly one of the warmest welcomes that I had seen at a panel all weekend. Fans from 7-70 years old were so grateful for their chance to meet the cast of Batman. Burt Ward ran out like a contestant on The Price is Right, hands in the air and looking like the most excited person in the world to be there. After Ward comes Julie Newmar, who looked just fantastic! How Newmar manages to stay so fabulous is beyond me, she even smooched the two volunteers that helped her to her seat on the cheek; it was adorable. The real roar happened when Batman himself, Adam West, came strolling up the ramp and onto the stage.

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Mee-oww

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We went straight into the Q&A here, which led to some pretty thoughtful questions right off the bat. When one of the audience members asked the cast if anybody ever felt the show was too campy or silly, West broke the silence with, “No, we’re terribly serious crime fighters!” The show was designed as family entertainment and it was nailed to the history books as such. There was no need to pretend to be more dire than it had to be. When compared to modern Batman, West said that Christian Bale “may be the Dark Knight, but I was the Bright Knight.” Batman ruled the 60’s in pop culture. West said that in the 1960’s, there were 3 B’s: Bond, The Beatles… and Batman.

Julie Newmar was an absolute diva at the panel, which was very reminiscent of her days at Catwoman. She commanded attention, and often became animated when talking about how to be sexy. If you’ve never seen an 80 year old woman take control of her sexuality, all you need is five minutes with Julie Newmar. When asked how her milkshake managed to get all the boys to the yard – I’m paraphrasing here – she says that all you need to do if pour licorice all over your body (dress in all black, not actual licorice for those of you at home trying this) and walk down the street; it’s all in your mind, she says. Somewhere along the line, at this family-friendly panel, she pretended to go down on Adam West, which is shocking only if you don’t know who Julie Newmar is.

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It was Burt Ward, who was quiet for a duration of the panel, that had the funniest story to tell. There was a stunt being performed that involved the Batmobile speeding out of the BatCave, then taking a sharp, 90 degree turn at 55 miles per hour. So Burt hops into the Batmobile in costume and turns to see somebody who isn’t Adam West sitting next to him. When asking who is he and where Adam is, the stuntman explains that they are about to do a dangerous driving stunt, and that Adam is over at the break station, drinking coffee. Burt says, “If this is a dangerous stunt, where is my stuntman?”… “Oh, he’s over there drinking coffee with Adam.” When Burt asked why his stunt double isn’t performing the stunt, the response was a flabbergasting, “Well, he doesn’t look like you.” They proceeded to make Burt do the stunt, and when the turn was made, the Batmobile door flung open. The only thing keeping him in the car was one little finger, which dislocated. Burt told us how, over the span of the next week, there were multiple trips made to the ER due to various explosions and other stunts. He laughed it off though, saying that it was the producers’ attempt to make good on his hefty life insurance policy.

The panel was full of nostalgia, just as you would expect from the fan favorite Batman show. The chemistry that the three have is still apparent after nearly fifty years of being off the air. You almost have to remind yourself that these faces of American television are that old, because their faces still light up with life, their voices still bring joy to anybody still breathing. Never take yourself too seriously and always enjoy new experiences. And never be afraid to charge $80 for an autograph – right, Adam?

 

Denver Comic Con 2014 – Beware the Walkers Walking Dead

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Panel Name: Beyond the Walkers! – Walking Dead

Topic: Rooker being Rooker, Interaction between walkers and cast, Q&A

Featured Guests: Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon), Michael Koske (walker), William Hart (walker), Vincent Gonzales (Assistant Director)

 

Ah, back at it at the 3rd Annual Denver Comic Con. Friday’s programming began, for us, with a panel featuring The Walking Dead‘s Merle Dixon, Michael Rooker. After writing a “Respect My Craft” on him, we learned how much fun he is at panels, and how much he loves his fans. This was our first taste of Michael Rooker and, accompanied by two of the show’s long-time walkers and former Assistant Director Vincent Gonzales, they put on an entertaining and informative show for the us.

The convention was Rooker’s first time in Denver, and he had good things to say about the Mile High City. The first thing Rooker commented on was that this city has a whole lot of tattoos, and was impressed that we get around 300 days of sunshine a year (this is a debatable claim, but let’s just say that we get a butt-load of sunny days here). However, Rooker believes that, as a city, we have poor eyesight when he heard chants of “Rooker!” when asked who was the better looking star, he or cast-mate Norman Reedus.

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This was the type of rhetoric Rooker had throughout the panel. From the get-go, he wrestled the spotlight away from the moderator (poor guy), introducing guests, asking the other guests questions and leading the overall discussion. It was awesome to watch, and even though the panel really became about him, he did a great job of interacting with the other panelists. Rooker and Co. go into detail about exactly how hard these actors work – all day long in over 100 degree weather, caked with “sexy dirt.” Nothing was more grueling or rewarding than the fight scenes.

Guest walker Michael Koske has played 43 different zombies on the show, more than any other walker on the show. His favorite scene was at Woodbury, when Merle and Martinez were putting on a show in the zombie pit. Rooker made more of a joke about the situation, but long story short, when they were choreographing the fight, Rooker got caught up in the moment and accidentally clocked Koske in the face with his metal stump of an arm. It wasn’t the first time either. Koske mentioned that actors will regularly get in a good lick or two, trying to make the stuntwork as realistic as possible. Did he complain? No, his biggest complaint is that he never gets the famous Death Dinner all his posthumous cast-mates did – a privilege that Rooker says gets revoked when you die 43 times.

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The Q&A section of the panel was a lot of fun, but there weren’t a whole lot straight answers, just a whole lot of smart-ass answers to generic questions – true Rooker style. Who is your favorite actor on the show? Michael Rooker. Who from the show would you pick to be in your group of the zombie apocalypse? The fattest, slowest people – so all of them. How do you have your hand back now after you lost it in the show? I’m part lizard. Alarmingly, a lot of parents sent their little children up to ask questions. Who is letting their young children watch this show? Sickos – like the parents of this sweet little girl who asked what went through Rooker’s mind when he was murdering people. Perhaps the best question, or answer, rather, was the response to what the actors took away from the veteran presence of Scott Wilson (Herschel). William Hart, who had been quiet up to that point said, “I got his leg.”

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TOO SOON!

At the end of the panel, we were in love with Michael Rooker and his ability to not take himself seriously, but still recognize his position as a total rockstar at the con. He’s a swell guy with a deep respect for his work and the hard work of others. Continue to follow us as we cover Denver Comic Con!