Batman Day – Best Graphic Novels

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 me in 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! Or click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles.

batman day logo

 

 

Top 20 Batman Graphic Novels

The legacy of Batman isn’t dependent on the video games, movies or toys. Batman’s mythos is based on his greatest comic book tales. Whether canon or not, each story we chose here added to the collective representation of who we have built the Batman to be. Whether or not they are the “best” is not what we aim to debate, but these are the stories that define the Batman to us.

 

20.) Batman and Robin: Reborn

After Batman was “killed” by Darkseid in Final Crisis, I was almost ready to throw in the towel for reading comics. How could DC get away with killing off Bruce Wayne? By putting Dick Grayson in the cowl, that’s how. Grant Morrison’s idea to make the former Nightwing into Batman helped fill the part of the void left by Bruce’s departure. It was like reading a completely new book, as the dynamic between Dick and Damian Wayne was a far cry from the father and son one that Robin shared with Bruce. There was also a noticeable amount of humor that just hadn’t existed between Batman and Robin, the two taking on a big brother-little brother relationship. Dick tried to assume the fatherly rol, but it was often shoved back in his face by the prodigal Damian, often too smart for his own good.

 

19.) Batman: Zero Year

The mega-arc from Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo just ended today, and it has already secured a place among my favorite books of all time. The time period prior to Frank Miller’s Year One is one of great mystery, so for us to get a complete detail of his rise to becoming the Batman. Bruce’s journey is full of tidbits that had never made it into other comics; thanks to the fact there was no canon material to prove Snyder right or wrong, he could really do what he wanted with the story. A show-down with the Red Hood Gang and the introduction of the Riddler, as well as a different take on the origin of James Gordon were just some of the twists that made the arc feel familiar, yet brand new. Greg Capullo’s art is on point. His model of the first Batsuit is incredible, complete with purple gloves and all. This book is a love letter to Batman, and you don’t need any previous knowledge to enjoy and understand it.

 

18.) Death in the Family

When Jason Todd learns that his biological mom is still out there somewhere, the stubborn Robin runs away from home to track her down. His hunt leads him to the Middle East. He does end up meeting his mom, but hits a patch of bad luck when she ends up being on the Joker’s payroll. Yikes. Long story short, the Joker beats Robin senseless with a crowbar before leaving him and his mother in a warehouse with a bomb. There’s no happy ending here, as Jason Todd blows up just before Batman can save the day. This wasn’t all bad news for fans though, as DC had actually released a survey asking people whether or not Robin should be murdered. His death was a particularly brutal one, like something you’d see on Goodfellas, and considering Jason was just a kid, a lot of people felt it was too much. The largest impact Jason’s death had was on Batman’s psyche, haunting him for years. He considered Jason’s death the worst failure he’s ever had.

 

17.) Mad Love

Vroom! Vroom! Harley Quinn tries so hard just to impress her man in this story, but she just can’t win. After putting on a special outfit and enticing the Joker, he shrugs her off, brooding over his failed attempts at catching and killing the Bat. So Harley does what any loving woman would; she captures Batman all on her own. As she brags to Batman about how proud Joker will be, Batman tells her that he only cares about himself, but Harley shrugs it off (Note: If Batman is telling you your relationship is toxic, you know something is wrong) Excited to share the news with Mistah Jay, he becomes infuriated, telling Harley that he had to be the one to do it or it didn’t matter. That’s when things stop being funny. Joker continues to beat Harley, pushing her out of the window and into the trash. Coming from an abusive home as a child, this was really the final straw for Harley, as she renounces the Joker… for a little while anyway. Relationship woes aside, I gained  lot of respect for Harley after Mad Love.

 

16.) Under the Hood

Jason Todd, like most superheroes, couldn’t stay dead for long. However, the way that he came back was very unique from the rest of the comic book world. Taking on the moniker of the Red Hood, named after a gang Joker ran with when he turned into the white-skinned psycho he is today, Todd returns in a big way, sweeping the crime world by taking it over, and annihilating anybody who opposes. Bitter from what he considered Batman letting him die, Jason turned to more extreme measures in dealing with the bad guys. It takes Batman a while, but he finally figures out that the Red Hood is somehow Jason Todd. Cutting into his action, Black Mask joins with other super-villains to put a hit out on Red Hood. The Joker ends up captive in a room with Red Hood, who savagely beats Joker and prepares to kill him. In the end, Batman is forced to make the choice of stopping Jason from killing Joker, driving a wedge further between them.

 

15.) No Man’s Land

Gotham has suffered an earthquake of catastrophic proportions, resulting in a city-wide blackout. Civilization as we know it has ceased to exist, and random gangs have began vying for territory all over the city. Meanwhile, Batman is nowhere to be found as Bruce Wayne in in DC, fighting for national aid to Gotham. What makes the story great is that all the minor characters who never get the spotlight deserve play a major part in the resurrection of Gotham. The story feels very real and everybody acts how you would imagine they would in that kind of situation. Citizens’ fears are felt just as much as the police’s bravery. James Gordon is just the bit of hero that Batman was, proving that you don’t need to be Batman to make a difference. This huge event spanned nearly 15 series and six months, making it one of Batman’s largest-scale stories of all time.

 

14.) All-Star Batman and Robin

For some reason, this Batman is really pissed off. All-Star Batman and Robin isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s one of the most entertaining stories I’ve read. Not only does Batman get laid, say “Goddamn” a lot and defeats the Green Lantern by literally using the color yellow. The books chronicles the recruitment of Dick Grayson as Robin and Batman’s introduction to the Justice League, as well as a few other minor events. The Batman in this book is a raging asshole; he puts his hands on Alfred, constantly belittles Robin and shows little value in the life of criminals – notably by hurling a Molotov cocktail at a group of them as them erupt in flames. The real take-away are the beautiful full-page spreads by Jim Lee, who manages to calm down the rage-aholic writing of Frank Miller.

 

13.) Dark Victory

The sequel to Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s The Long HalloweenDark Victory continues along the lines of a mystery story that just happens to have Batman characters in it. We get an introduction to Robin, and a brand new villain with a new shtick, The Hangman. Many of the corrupt politicians from Year One are found hanged to death by this mystery murderer. We also get to see the complications of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship, but Batman feels perpetually alone, refusing help from Catwoman and Gordon on numerous occasions.

 

12.) Knightfall

Bane gets overlooked a lot of the time for being a hulking beast, but he’s one of the smartest villains in Gotham. In Knightfall, he strategically breaks out all the villains from Arkham, wearing Batman out as he tried to contain the situation. Bane deduced Batman’s secret identity, meeting him in the Batcave for a super-sized beat-down, ending in Bane shattering Batman’s spine and his confidence. It was an eye-opener for fans that realized defeating the Batman was, in fact, possible. Batman began a rigorous training regiment with Lady Shiva to get his mojo back, and charged Jean Paul Valley (Azrael) to take over as Batman in his stead. JPV let the role go to his head, and before we knew it, he had modified the Batsuit to become a nightmarish Azrael suit. The first volume of the arc was the best, but there were still enough interesting events in the rest of it to warrant reading.

 

11.) Battle for the Cowl

Bruce Wayne is gone, and Dick Grayson must take up the mantle of the Bat, but is reluctant. Sensing that Batman is gone, an impostor show up to take the gig over. That impostor ends up being a sociopathic Jason Todd. In an attempt to stop Jason Todd, both Damian and Tim Drake are shot and severely wounded. At this point, Dick realized that only he can inherit the mantle of the Bat. The story isn’t that long, but the repercussions of it echo all the way into Bruce’s return.

 

10.) Joker

Batman’s number one villain gets his own mini-series in this story by 100 Bullets‘ Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo. The story is told through the eyes of a common criminal looking to join the ranks of Joker’s gang. This perspective, unlike the first-person perspective of the supplementary Luthor book, enhances the perspective that nobody really knows what the Joker is thinking. Reading the book, you get lost in the madness, but sober right up as you realize just how frightening Joker is. In a confrontation with Harvey Dent, Joker glues shards of broken glass to his fists in preparation for the fight. This is right after blackmailing him and right before raping Dent’s wife. Joker also commits other unspeakable acts such as: skinning a man alive, shooting over a dozen people (not all in anger) and stabbing one of his own men in the eye with a glass bottle. This book is a clear example of digging beneath the surface and realizing you probably shouldn’t have.

 

9.) The Black Mirror

Before Scott Snyder was awarded Batman in the New52, he wrote The Black Mirror, a creepy story about the dark reflection in Gotham that stares back at our protagonists. Commissioner Gordon, Gotham’s hero on the police force, beloved by the people, is hiding something, or rather someone, when it turns out that his estranged son is a complete deviant. Dick Grayson, meanwhile, who was still Batman at the time, infiltrates an auction held by The Dealer, where items used by villains were used – the item for bid was the crowbar The Joker used on Jason Todd before murdering him. It’s all pretty gruesome stuff, and would set the tone for the dark material in the New52 relaunch.

 

8.) The Killing Joke

Alan Moore’s stand-alone story is commonly thought of as the greatest Joker story ever told. There are plot points in this book that would remain canon and have repercussions that lasted decades. We get a good glimpse into the Joker’s twisted psyche, as he visits the home of Barbara Gordon and shoots her point blank, paralyzing her. The Joker then kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, takes him to an abandoned amusement park (I think Gothan has one too many of those) and shows Gordon pictures of his daughter, all to prove that even the most upstanding citizen can lose their mind after one bad day. The ending to The Killing Joke is very artistic, and many believe resulted in the death of the Joker.

 

7.) Flashpoint Batman: Knight of Vengeance

Flash might have been the headliner here, but the alternate timeline that Batman was set on was as clever as it was tragic. When Flash altered reality by way of the Speed Force, Batman’s origin changed with it. Instead of Martha and Thomas Wayne taking the bullet, it had been Bruce. Engrossed in guilt, Thomas dealt with the situation by becoming Batman. This Batman was much more lethal with his methods, and operated a casino in town where he oversaw all the crime in town. Meanwhile, Martha developed another coping mechanism – laughter. My mind was blown. The Waynes, who were once the Jay-Z and Beyonce power couple of Gotham City, were now bitter enemies. The story ends in tragedy (as most Batman stories do), and all I could do is thank the stars that Flash was able to set the timeline straight again.

 

6.) Batman: Year One

Frank Miller’s Batman wasn’t always insane. The quintessential origin story, Year One took us through Bruce Wayne’s first attempt at fighting crime. In short, he kind of sucked at it. Gotham was a city where the rich got fat at the poor’s expense. While Batman was making his introduction on the streets, James Gordon had transferred from Chicago to be met by a very corrupt police force. Bruce and Gordon’s stories paralleled each other very well, adding to the feeling they would work well together. This is as good as any place to start in the Batman mythology if you don’t know where to start reading.

 

5.) JLA: Tower of Babel

Batman has a contingency plan for everything – even his friends. When Justice Leaguers start dropping like flies, with methods specifically designed to eliminate them, everybody is completely lost as to the mastermind who came up with these designed traps. Everybody, that is, except for Batman, who had kept a file detailing the Justice League’s weaknesses in case they got out of control. Ra’s al Ghul, who had a habit of being able to sneak into the Batcave whenever he wanted, sneaked in and stole the files, intending to use them to immobilize the heroes while he did his global domination thing. As Batman is the only one left to defend the world, he must undo the damage that his files wrought on the League. Tower of Babel was great commentary on whether or not that much control over a situation is a good thing, especially when the information wasn’t secure.

 

4.) The Dark Knight Returns

A retired Bruce Wayne has watched his city fall apart without a Dark Knight to protect it. It would seem, though, that the world is not ready for his reemergence, as Superman, who has pretty much become the President’s bitch, must make an example of this vigilante. That’s really the least of Batman’s worries, as he takes on Two-Face, a revitalized Joker, and a gang of punks called the Mutants. The story is chock-full of socio-political commentary that has stayed relevant throughout the decades.

 

3.) Batman: The Long Halloween

The Long Halloween was the first comic book I’ve ever read, and I was instantly hooked right in. Armed with Jeph Loeb, one of the greatest comic book storytellers in recent history, and the unique art style of Tim Sale, this book was enthralling. Part mystery, part action, Batman had to solve murders around town that were committed on holidays. He even enlisted the help of Calendar Man. The story takes place early in the Batman timeline, chronicling the transformation of Harvey Dent into Two-Face and before Jim Gordon was Commissioner. The story included a plethora of villains, and when the headlining Holiday is finally found out, it’s a big Aha! moment you just don’t get in comic books anymore.

 

2.) The Court of Owls

Scott Snyder kicked The New52 off with a bang, as a brand new series with a brand new villain emerged. The Court of Owls are an underground society of Gotham’s oldest and wealthiest families. They control everything going on in the city, and have decided that Bruce Wayne and the Batman have got to go. With an army of trained, slightly-undead soldiers called Talons at their disposal, they are an instant force to be reckoned. The owl-like masks, as well as the detailed Talon design added to the Courts intrigue, and the way Capullo arranged the panels when Batman tangles with the Owls in their maze echoes the insanity Batman feels. While the reboot allowed for tinkering to the mythology, Court of Owls actually added a lot of interesting gadgets and tidbits to it. At a whopping twelve issues, this book won’t fail to hold your interest.

 

1.) Hush

Call us biased, but Hush is the best Batman graphic novel of all time. In no other book are you introduced to so many beautifully drawn villains. Jim Lee’s art in Hush will go down in history as legendary, with a mixture of regular pencils and even taking a stab at water colors. Hush also marks the return of Jason Todd from the dead and introduces Thomas Elliott, Bruce’s childhood friend. Like other great mysteries by Jeph Loeb (The Long HalloweenDark Victory), you don’t find out who the villain is until the end of the book. In Hush Batman finally lets Catwoman into his heart, giving her a big smooch and revealing his identity to her. This has since been undone in The New52, but it has remained canon in my heart. Hush is the book that made me officially fall in love with comic books, and it’s one any Bat-fan will enjoy.

Batman Day – Best Batman Movies

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 Movies

Batman has been around for 75 years, but is movies are his newest form of media.  How well do you know the movies? Check out our list!

10.) Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

BB Return of the Joker

One of the biggest questions throughout Batman Beyond was, “What happened to the Joker?” There are so many clowns running around who want to carry on the Joker image, but those punks don’t know what the Clown Prince of Crime was really like. Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Joker, who is just as terrifying as ever. We also get a scene of the animated series that had not previous been released. Years ago, when Tim Drake was Robin, he was kidnapped by Harley and the Joker, and molded into the image of their child. Traumatized, Robin was able to turn the tables on the Joker, electrocuting him to death. It was horrifying and twisted, but that was the end of the Joker. Or was it? The Joker somehow lived on, and was reeking havok on Gotham. Terry McGinnis learns what a real villain can do.

 

9.) LEGO Batman: The Movie

Lego Batman

When Batman and Superman decide to switch costumes, and there is a scene of Batman holding Superman’s legs while he stands in his own underwear, we knew this movie was instant gold.  The story is a lot of crossover for all the Justice League members.  When Lex Luthor runs for President and realizes his numbers are low, he breaks The Joker out of Arkham Asylum to help.  As you can imagine, chaos ensues.  Batman and Superman have their hilarious usual banter about who is the better hero.  Even better, there is some very clever use of the LEGO pieces, including a piece of fried chicken LEGO that falls in some debris.  The plot is believable and the dialogue makes for an enjoyable flick for Batman fans of all ages.

 

8.) The Dark Knight Rises

TDKR

The Christopher Nolan trilogy goes out with a dang in this giant production. Tom Hardy plays Bane, who in the comic books was one of Batman’s most dangerous and cerebral villains. Bane uses Batman’s own carelessness against him, robbing him of his fortune, stealing all his Tumblers and taking over the city. Bane also critically injures Batman by breaking his back over his knee, forcing him to watch from a cell as Bane takes over Gotham city by rudely interrupting Hines Ward’s touchdown celebration. Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman is extremely sexy, and she plays the fence until she sees a way out. The movie is full of plot holes, but what the hell – this is the Dark Knight on the grandest scale he’s ever been on.

 

7.) Batman: Year One

Batman Year One

Based on Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s graphic novel of the same name, Batman: Year One is the gritty story of the parallels of Commissioner James Gordon and Bruce Wayne, both in their first year of their defining life path.  Commissioner Gordon is fresh to Gotham after being transferred from Chicago; Bruce has returned to Gotham after training for 12 years.  Both men want to see a change in the crime-ridden city and plan on changing that, but in their own ways.  The movie is honestly one of the best animated features, and one we highly recommend to anyone.  It also doesn’t hurt that Bryan Cranston is the voice of Commissioner Gordon and Eliza Dushku is the voice of Catwoman.

 

6.) Batman Begins

Batman Begins

When the world was still trying to forget about Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies, Christopher Nolan stepped up to the plate and delivered a home run with Batman Begins. Starting out with villains Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow, the story was much more introspective and displayed the transformation of Bruce becoming the Batman the best of any movie. We got to see Bruce: deal with his parents death, train oversees wit hthe League of Shadows, create the gadgets that he so famously uses. Exploring his defunct R&D department with Lucius Fox was even more exciting. It’s also the film that spawned people screaming “WHERE IS HE?” for no apparent reason. After the success of The Dark Knight, a lot of people forget just how good this film was.

 

5.) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

The Dark Knight Returns

Based strictly off the Frank Miller graphic novel of the same name, The Dark Knight Returns was one of the best translations that DC Animated has done. Clocking in at nearly 2-1/2 hours long, the story has been the only film to be broken down into two separate parts in its animated version. The movie packs a surprising amount of content and story-telling into it, especially considering the original story was based off a four-issue run in 1986. The animated film is just as gritty as the book, and anybody who is unfamiliar with the classic book will have their mind blown when they watch this. Where else can you see Batman pummel Superman with Kyrptonite gauntlets?

 

4.) Batman

Batman

Trying their hand at Batman for the first time since the Adam West series, Warner Bros. recruited Tim Burton after the success of Beetlejuice. Batman got off on the right foot by casting an All-Star cast: Michael Keaton as Batman, Jack Nicholson as The Joker, Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent and Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale. The film took on a much more Gothic theme, which was perfectly complimented by Danny Elfman’s theme song. Batman’s suit and Batmobile were outfitted with an industrial look, illustrating the change of the times. Jack Nicholson’s Joker is classic, especially when outfit with the patented top hat. Batman is a pure Batman vs. Joker encounter, and a great way to kick off this generation of Batman movies.

 

3.) Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Batman Mask of the Phantasm

The year is 1993 and Batman: The Animated Series is just a baby. Mask of the Phantasm was essentially a made-for-DVDVHS film that Warner Bros. decided to release as a box office movie. Lack of foresight and an 8 month release schedule meant pretty much no marketing, and it was a commercial failure. Critically, though, it was widely acclaimed. The story centers around Andrea Beaumont, a long lost love of Bruce’s that returns to Gotham. Bruce was ready to end his career as Batman to marry Andrea, but she broke off the engagement and vanished. Around the same time she reappears in Gotham, a hooded figure starts murdering thugs around town. It’s a thrilling ride the whole way through, and showed the potential of The Animated Series.

 

2.) Batman Returns

Batman Returns

Batman Returns (1992) is the direct sequel to Batman (1989).  Batman battles two of his nemeses, Penguin and Catwoman.  Set during Christmas, it could be argues that Returns is the second best Christmas movie of all time (the first is Die Hard, duh).  The movie takes a twist on Selina Kyle’s origins in Catwoman, making her somewhat of a real cat; she even has nine lives.  Michelle Pfeiffer plays Catwoman and Selina to purrfection (see what I did there?), giving her the perfect mixture of sexy and evil, yet the audiences don’t exactly dislike her.  She redeems herself a little at the end of the film.  And let’s not forget Batman.  His most heroic moment in the films happens in Returns because he saves all the first born sons of Gotham from The Penguin.  That’s right, Batman saves all the babies.  Batman FTW!

 

1.) The Dark Knight

TDK

Hands down, the best Batman movie is The Dark Knight. The tremendous acting by the late Heath Ledger accounted for a new, grimy version of the Joker. Watching him do his thing on screen was as pleasant as it was terrifying. TDK is all about transformation and chaos. While Gotham’s rising star, Harvey Dent, is on the verge of eliminating police corruption and putting hundreds of criminals in jail, the Joker aims to make a mess out of everything. He isn’t just crazy; he’s extremely cunning, managing to fool the police and even Batman. The Joker is such a force in the movie, that a majority of The Dark Knight consists of others reacting to him, and Batman is constantly stretched and unable to overcome the Joker for most of the movie. Thanks to some amazing story-telling, acting and ingenuity, The Dark Knight is a timeless film that you can enjoy no matter how many times you see it.

all photos belong to DC Comics

Batman Day – Best TV Episodes

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 me in 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! Or click on the picture below to take you to all of our Batman Day articles.

 

batman day logo

 

 

Top 10 Episodes

If you’re like us, you grew up watching Batman in animated form take over the TV in animated form on Saturday mornings, or syndicated after school. For almost a full decade, Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and a complete cast of supporting characters set a new standard for cartoons with Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, headlining an already-phenomenal decade of classic cartoons. Since the original spin-off Batman Beyond ended in 2001, DC has had years of success in the animated world riding the wave of B:TAS. In fact, Batman has been the only superhero to carry a solo series for over a season since (minus Green Lantern, but shhh) Superman: The Animated Series aired alongside Batman’s. The newer incarnations never lived up to the quality of the 90’s, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t special in their own way. We go through ten – and yes it was hard to limit it to ten – of our favorite episodes from the animated series.

 

10.) Batman: The Brave and the Bold S1 E24, “Mayhem of the Music Meister”

Anytime a show’s episode is compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s “Once More With Feeling,” the show is doing a good job. BATB was a silly show, but there were still enough serious moments to keep the show believable. It was great at straddling the line between corny and serious crime fighting every episode. There was just enough wiggle room for an episode like “Mayhem of the Music Meister to sneak through. Thanks to the talents of Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible‘s Sing-A-Long Blog), the episode is full of hilarious ditties, capped by the heroic performance of Batman and his voice of justice. “Music Meister” proved that Batman series don’t always need to take themselves so seriously.

 

9.) The New Batman Adventures S1E12, “Over the Edge”

Watching this episode as a kid, I had my jaw open the whole time. Batgirl, in a struggle with Scarecrow, had been knocked off a building, falling to her death. In a fit of rage, Commissioner Gordon’s reaction to discovering that his own daughter was the Batgirl was one of I couldn’t quite comprehend. What came next was the complete annihilation of the trust they have worked so hard to build, the invasion of Wayne Manor by the GCPD. I though I was watching the end of the show, when suddenly, it turns out that none of it was real. It had all been a hallucination caused by Scarecrow’s fear toxin. I can safely say that I have never felt as fooled by a plot twist as when watching “Over the Edge.”

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8.) Batman: The Animated Series S1E30, “Perchance to Dream”

Another hallucination-based episode, “Perchance to Dream” dangles Batman’s greatest desires in front of him. Waking up after a hard hit knocks him unconscious, both his parents are alive, but there is no sign anywhere that he is the Batman. On the plus side, he is engaged to Selina Kyle, living the life of a boring rich kid. As more memories flood in of his time as Batman, he begins to think he’s going insane, haunted by the shadow of a Batman. It turns out the Mad Hatter had Batman under his control, ripping the would-be great life away from Batman. Kevin Conroy, a student of Shakespeare, says that this is favorite episode of all. With the deep exploration of Batman’s psyche, it took B:TAS beyond the status quo for Saturday morning cartoon.

Wayne_and_Batman_fight

 

7.) Batman: The Animated Series S1E60-61, “The Demon’s Quest”

This Ra’s al Ghul-centric arc is based on the story written by Dennis O’Neil, who created the character with Neal Adams in 1971’s Batman #232. O’Neil actually wrote the first episode of the two-part arc. Ra’s al Ghul’s proper introduction into the show was so appropriate for him. He is a villain unlike any other. Immediately, Ra’s knows Batman’s secret identity, but doesn’t much seem to care. The great thing about Ra’s is that he doesn’t want Batman dead, but rather to take over the family business of global domination. There’s also a really fun swash-buckling scene where Batman and Ra’s engage in combat. The whole thing feels very Lawrence of Arabia; bringing this classic comic book story to animated form was a great call and a pleasure to watch.

demons03

 

6.) Batman: The Animated Series, S1E2 “Christmas With the Joker”

Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg. Batmobile lost its wheels, and Joker got away! “Christmas With the Joker” is one of the funnest episodes of the series. Just hand Mark Hamill the microphone and let him go wild. Joker kidnaps Gordon, Harvey Bullock and Summer Gleason, putting on a Christmas special for Gotham, drawing the Batman out and sending him and Robin on a wild goose chase around town. After finally catching up with the Joker and foiling his plan, he gives Batman a Christmas present – a big ol’ pie right in the face! He went through all that trouble, kidnapping law enforcement, riggin toy soldiers to kill, all to give Batman a pie in the face. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce and Dick watch It’s A Wonderful Life, to which Bruce comments, “it has its moments.”

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5.) The New Batman Adventures S1E19 “Legends of the Dark Knight”

There’s nothing like a good tribute episode to really get the fans into it. The episode follows three kids as they argue back and forth about what they think the Batman is like. The children featured are actually tributes to famous kids in the DC Animated lore. Matt is the brother of Batman Beyond‘s Terry McGinnis, Carrie is the Robin from The Dark Knight Returns, and Nick is from the “I’ve Got Batman in My Basement,” where he and two other children hide Batman in their house when they find him injured and in danger. Each account of the Batman is a callback to a famous time period in Batman’s history. Matt’s version is a tribute to the Dick Sprang style Batman, which inspired the Brave and the Bold cartoon. Carrie’s version is a callback to The Dark Knight Returns, which was unique because Frank Miller’s TDKR is one of the most adult versions of the Batman created, so to see it toned down for a cartoon was really neat. As they continue walking around the block, they run into Firefly, who is quickly dispatched by the Batman himself. The episode is hero worship in the purest sense.

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4.) The New Batman Adventures S1E21 “Mad Love”

Harley Quinn has always been down for her man, even if Mistah Jay treats her like crap. However, this episode – based off the 1994 Batman Adventures: Mad Love book – is where Harley draws the line. After trying to get Joker in the mood he abusively shrugs Harley off, focused on his many failed attempts at taking  Batman down. Just to make him happy, Harley devises a plan to capture the Dark Knight on her own, and it works! Expecting Joker would be happy about her accomplishment, he was furious that Harley did a better job than he did – that Joker had to be the one to do it. Joker then proceeds to beat the crap out of Harley, and not in a comical way, but rather in a domestic violence kind of way. The issue opened my eyes to the topic of domestic violence, and even then I knew it was wrong.

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3.) Batman Beyond, S1E1-2 “Rebirth”

The year was 1999 and Batman: The Animated Series as we knew it was over. Sure, there was still Justice League, but sharing screen time with the other Leaguers left me pining for more Batman. Enter Batman Beyond. It was Batman… from the future! Reprising his role of Bruce Wayne, Kevin Conroy was a link to the show we loved so much. What made this story so great was that it was a completely new world, with futuristic characters and gadgets, as well as adaptations of villains years in the future. Terry’s character was also completely relatable: single parent home, sibling rivalry, high school relationships. This show rejuvenated the Batman animated world, and became an instant fan favorite. Schway.

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2.) Batman: The Animated Series S1E14, “Heart of Ice”

“Heart of Ice” was the first episode of the series directed by creators Bruce Timm and Paul Dini. Victor Fries is one of the most tragic villains in Batman’s rogues gallery. Sure he blasts innocent people to death with his freeze ray, but he’s got a good reason to be upset with the world. Working at GothCorp, Fries had been working tirelessly to find a cure for his cryogenically frozen wife, Nora, when company CEO Ferris Boyle coldly shut down operations. When Fries tried to stop Boyle, Boyle threw Fries into the a table of chemicals, essentially turning him into the monster he is today. Mr. Freeze’s goal is simple revenge – and who could blame him? The issue itself was poetic, as Batman and viewers alike could feel Freeze’s pain.

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1.) Batman: The Animated Series, S1E46 “Almost Got ‘Im”

If you want one episode to represent Batman in the animated world, “Almost Got ‘Im” is your show. Joker, Ivy, Penguin, Killer Croc and Two-Face play a high stakes game of poker as they share stories about the time they came so close to killing the Batman, each coming up with one excuse or another as to why their plan didn’t fall through. Their recollections are brief, but still intriguing. The best story had to be Killer Croc, who said that he once threw a rock at Batman. When the rest of the rogues looked unimpressed, he insisted “it was a big rock.” After Joker spills the beans about his and Harley’s plans to ground Catwoman into cat food (kind of morbid, but whatever), Croc reveals himself to be Batman in disguise, with GCPD hiding in wait. The whole thing had been a setup. After rescuing Catwoman, she proposes that they run away together, and after seemingly giving this consideration, he pulls his signature disappearing act, to which Catwoman says, “Almost Got ‘Im.”

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Batman Day – Best Collectibles

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.

 

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Top 20 Collectibles

Not only does Batman have the best gadgets, but he also is the driving force behind the best collection of action figures, statues and replicas out. Whether it’s an affordable item that you add to your display case or just something to ogle at because nobody in their right mind would spend money on it, there are some great collectibles out there. There was absolutely no way to complete this list without missing a fair share of great items, so here are 20 of what I consider the coolest collectibles to add to your collection. Are there any toys, replicas or eye that I’m missing? Let me know in the comments below.

 

20.) The Dark Knight Rises Bane vs. Batman Statue

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19.) Tim Burton’s Batman Mime Joker

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18.) New52 Box Set of Court of Owls and Death of the Family

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17.) Sideshow Collectibles Harley Quinn statue

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16.) Batman Hush Action Figure – DC Artist Signature Series

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15.) Life-size Batman Statue

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14.) The Dark Knight Rises Cowl BD Set

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13.) Lifesize Bat-Signal

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12.) Capullo Designer Series Figures

 

 

11.) Harley Quinn-Joker Mad Love Two-Pack

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10.) Eagle Moss Batman Chess Set

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9.) Green Lantern Batman

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8.) Arkham City Riddler Trophy

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7.) Kotobukiya ART FX+ Statue

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6.) Batman vs. Killer Croc Statue

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5.) Nightwing Arsenal Set from Arkham City

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4.) Batman vs. Superman: The Dark Knight Returns statue

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3.) Batman: A Call to Arms from The Dark Knight Returns

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2.) Batman and Catwoman: Kissing the Knight Statue

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1.) Batman: Black and White Statues

Batman Day – Best Batman Girlfriends

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

So who are Batman’s best girlfriends?  Do you know the name of his first girlfriend?  Or that he hooked up with Lois Lane?  Read our countdown of the top 15 women in Bruce Wayne’s life to find out more!

15: Pamela Isley

Poison Ivy and Batman get hot 'n heavy in The Animated Series.
Poison Ivy and Batman get hot ‘n heavy in The Animated Series.

Let’s face it, Pamela Isley AKA Poison Ivy and Batman have never been… together.  Poison Ivy has had a strong physical attraction to Batman for a long, long time.  This attraction has only recently been requited by Batman.    Ivy has even saved Batman a few times, granted an antidote for her own poison, delivered by kisses.  While the two have flirted, their relationship has never gone beyond coquettishness.

14: Lois Lane

Batman and Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated Series.
Batman and Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated Series.

I know what you are thinking.  Lane and Wayne rhyme, so of course their relationship would never work out.  Rhyming names is just silly.  Oh!  How could I forget!  Yeah, Lois is actually Superman’s girl.  How douchey of Batman!  In Superman: The Animated Series, Bruce meets Lois Lane while making a deal with LexCorp.  The two immediately fall for one another and briefly date, much to the chagrin of Clark Kent.  In just a few days, they get so close that Lois tells Clark that she will be moving to Gotham, and she and Bruce are practically engaged.  After getting his cowl pulled off as Batman in front of Lois by a robot in the copy room of the Daily Planet (yeah), she finds out Bruce’s true identity, and Lois decides she can’t be with the Batman.

13: Jezebel Jet

Batman and Jezebel Jet share a kiss in the comics.
Batman and Jezebel Jet share a kiss in the comics.

Jezebel Jet is the sexy model who Bruce dated right before Batman: RIP.  They both are rich, they both lost their parents, and they both have their secrets.  After some crazy tabloid rumors about a tryst in the mountains, the pair start dating.  After they both get kidnapped by one of Dr. Hurt’s Bat Men, Jezebel deduces Bruce’s secret.  He tell her the truth and takes her to his cave.  Ooh, la la!  But then it turns out she is a spy for the Black Glove, you know, the same guys who drive Batman crazy and buried him alive. As Jezebel is on her flight back to the African country she owns, her plane is ambushed by Talia Al-Ghul’s Man-Bat ninjas and murdered.  Talia then gives Jezebel’s severed head to Batman during a battle.  If it wasn’t for the fact she was an evil spy, ahem, and Bruce’s ex was slightly crazy, Jezebel Jet would have been a great gal for Bats.

12: Lorna Shore

Batman and Lorna Shore in the comics.
Batman and Lorna Shore in the comics.

In the Lovers and Madmen arc of Batman: Confidential, Bruce meets museum curator Lorna Shore.  This happens during his second year as Batman.  She happens to be the first person to make him happy since the murder of his parents.  Because this is early in Batman’s career, he has yet to make many of his most famous enemies.  When a man named Jack, soon to be The Joker, decides he wants to draw out the Batman, he kidnaps Lorna and slashes her stomach, leaving her in critical condition.  She eventually recovers, but both she and Batman decide it is too dangerous for her to stay in Gotham City and she skips town, and their relationship.

11: Julie Madison

Batman and Julie Madison in Detective Comics during the 1940's.
Batman and Julie Madison in Detective Comics during the 1940’s.

Julie Madison.  She ranks so high on this list because she is the first girlfriend of Batman.  Debuting in 1939 in Detective Comics 31 (aficionados will know this is only 4 issues after Batman’s debut), Julie Madison is Bruce Wayne’s fiancé and chief damsel in distress.  Julie is a wealthy socialite and actress.  She also loves Bruce more than he seems to love her.  Bruce can’t keep his second life out of his billionaire life, and often leaves Julie to fight crime as Batman.  Eventually, Julie breaks off their engagement, claiming that Bruce isn’t ambitious enough.  If she only knew.  Julie Madison has made appearances since then, even once as an old woman recounting her time with Bruce Wayne.  Even though they didn’t work out, Julie Madison will always be remembered as Batman’s first girlfriend.

10: Wonder Woman

Batman and Wonder Woman in the comics.
Batman and Wonder Woman in the comics.

The Amazonian Princess did have a thing for The Dark Knight.  It’s true that the two haven’t always liked each other.  They have had many a fight, but in the Justice League of America comic series, the two had a flirtatious relationship.  At one point, they even shared a kiss before saving Aquaman.  In JLA #90, Wonder Woman uses Martian Manhunter’s Transconsciousness Articulator and finds herself in a dream state of different scenarios of her life with Batman.  To put it lightly, none of them end well.  The couple decide to stay friends and nothing more, even though Wonder Woman still feels something for Batman.  The two also had a relationship in the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited TV Series, leading to an infinite about of fan-fiction.  This pair is really controversial, causing some awesome rifts on many a message board, but we personally think the duo are so strong, they are hard to beat.

9: Vesper Fairchild

Batman and Vesper Fairchild
Batman and Vesper Fairchild in a flashback in the comics.

Vesper Fairchild wasn’t Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend for long, but their relationship caused a major story arc in the Batman comic series.  Vesper was a late night radio host in Gotham.  After some prodding from Alfred, Bruce agreed to go to the radio show to boost his appearance as Bruce Wayne in Gotham.  Vesper and Bruce form a romantic relationship.  After the earthquake in No Man’s Land, Vesper leaves town.  She returns and begins investigating Batman. At this point, Bruce feels she may find out who he really is and breaks ties with her.  Unfortunately, Vesper is murdered in his home.  Bruce is set up for the murder and sent to jail, the story of Batman: Murderer? and Batman: Fugitive.  It turns out that Vesper was killed by David Cain, a prominent member of the League of Assassins.  While it seems that Vesper and Bruce would never have worked out, their relationship perfectly explains Batman’s relationship patterns.

8: Rachel Caspian

Bruce and Rachel Caspian get in engaged in the comics.
Bruce and Rachel Caspian get in engaged in the comics.

Many a woman has been modeled off of Rachel Caspian, including other list-makers Rachel Dawes and Andrea Beaumont.  Caspian was featured in the 4 issue arc Batman: Year Two, the daughter of Judson Caspian.  Rachel and Bruce become very close, and he even proposes marriage and considers dropping his vigilante ways.  But Rachel’s father turns out to be The Reaper, the original vigilante of Gotham.  When Batman decides to go after the murderous Reaper, he enlists the help of the crime lords of Gotham, needing help against the man who used weapons to defeat his opponents.  The crime lords comply, but only if Batman works with Joe Chill.  Batman decides to kill Chill with the gun he used to kill Bruce’s parents in the same alley they were killed in, but The Reaper shoots Chill first.  In a final battle, Batman realizes The Reaper is also Rachel’s father.  He falls off a rooftop to his death and Batman swears off ever using guns. Rachel is so distraught she breaks it of with Bruce and becomes a nun.  Ouch.

7: Rachel Dawes

Bruce played by Christian Bale and Rachel Dawes Played by Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight.
Bruce (played by Christian Bale) and Rachel Dawes (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) in The Dark Knight.

Rachel Dawes is Bruce’s childhood friend, the daughter of one of the house servant’s for the Wayne family.  Rachel’s character only appears in the Christopher Nolan movie franchise in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  Even though Rachel only appears in two films, she made an impact on many Batman fans.  Rachel and Bruce used to play around Wayne Manor, but when his parents were murdered, Rachel and her mother left.  As an adult, Rachel goes to law school and gets an internship at the Gotham District Attorney’s office.  After talking to Bruce about Joe Chill and Bruce’s intention to murder Chill, Rachel tells him that his parent’s would be disappointed in him.  It is this conversation that leads Bruce to travel the world and learn about the world of criminals.  Upon his return, it is clear the two share a mutual love, but don’t act on it.  At the end of Batman Begins, Bruce hints at his true identity.  Rachel and he kiss, but she decides they can’t be together while he is the Batman.  In The Dark Knight, Rachel is the girlfriend of District Attorney Harvey Dent.  Rachel is eventually killed when The Joker makes Batman decided to save Dent or Rachel.  Batman picks Rachel, but The Joker deceived Batman by switching the addresses where each victim is located.  It is later revealed through a letter that Rachel never planned on choosing Bruce over Harvey Dent because Bruce would always choose to be Batman.

6: Silver St. Cloud

Bruce and Silver St. Cloud share a moment in the comics.
Bruce and Silver St. Cloud share a moment in the comics.

Silver St. Cloud not only has a really cool name, but she is also a really important piece to Bruce Wayne’s insanely complex puzzle.  Silver was a rich socialite who dated Bruce.  That’s not really why she is important.  Bruce Wayne has a way with the ladies, especially rich ones.  What set Silver apart (and it wasn’t her hair), was that she figured out his secret.  It may not sound that hard, but Silver is one of few who figured out that her boyfriend was also Batman.  Also, she is the first woman in the comics shown to bed the Bat.  That may seem odd, but considering she was his 1970’s flame, it was a really big deal.  Silver leaves Bruce because she couldn’t bear losing her lover while he was saving Gotham.  In Justice League of America #159, Batman says he wanted a family with Silver. Awww.

5: Vicki Vale

Batman (played by Michael Keaton) and Vicki Vale (played by Kim Basinger) get ready to fly in Tim Burton's Batman.
Batman (played by Michael Keaton) and Vicki Vale (played by Kim Basinger) get ready to fly in Tim Burton’s Batman.

Face it, Vicki Vale is Batman‘s answer to Lois Lane.  Introduced in 1948, Vicki Vale was a photojournalist for The Gotham Gazette.  In the comics, Vale was a minor character and sometime love interest of Bruce Wayne until 1963.  Throughout her run in the series, Vicki often suspects that Bruce and Batman are one in the same, but Bruce always fools her into thinking otherwise.  She never finds out his true identity.  Vicki is perhaps most famous for being Bruce’s girlfriend in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film, portrayed by Kim Basinger.  She and Bruce get hot and heavy quickly, but The Joker takes an interest in the blonde beauty.  After a horrific night at an art museum in which everyone is killed by The Joker except Vicki, Bruce decides to tell Vicki the truth.  At the end of the film, Vicki waits at Wayne Manor for Batman to return home.  While Vicki has never had a lasting impression on audiences, most fans know of her because of her portrayal on the big screen.

4: Andrea Beaumont

Picture Perfect couple Bruce Wayne and Andrea Beaumont.
Picture Perfect couple Bruce Wayne and Andrea Beaumont.

Although Andrea Beaumont was introduced in a Batman animated film and only made a few cameos in other mediums afterwards, her legacy lives on over 20 years later.  You may remember a little movie called Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm.  Ok, it really is the most famous and popular Batman animated film in existence.  Andrea Beaumont was Bruce Wayne’s first true love.  They met while both visiting graves; her mother’s and his parents’.    After having a serious relationship, Bruce proposes to Andrea and even decides not to go through with his plan to become a vigilante.  When Andrea’s mobster father finds out he will be killed soon, he takes Andrea and goes into hiding.  Bruce’s loss is what pushes him into becoming Batman.  After some years later, and the death of Andrea’s father, she returns to Gotham to avenge his death, even donning a masked costume.  The similarities between Andrea and Bruce are countless, but their difference is what sets them apart; Andrea is ok with killing people in order to gain peace.  Eventually, Andrea figures out that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but it is too late for them to reconcile.

3: Talia Al-Ghul

Batman and Talia share a very steamy moment.
Batman and Talia share a very steamy moment.

O.K.  Here’s the deal.  I am not going to sugar coat this one for you folks.  Talia Al-Ghul is bat-shit crazy.  In case you were wondering, the pun was totally intended, but I do use it in my every day vocabulary.  To put it in a nutshell, Talia is the quintessential girlfriend who you never take home.  When you break up, you may want to go into hiding, or even change your name because she will find you and you new lover and destroy you both.  Also, don’t ever let her drug you.  Talia is the daughter of Ra’s Al-Ghul, leader of the League of Assassin’s.  Ra’s gets it in his head that he wants Batman to become his heir and tries to marry him to Talia.  Even though Batman isn’t too down with the idea of going to the dark side, he still finds Talia attractive.  This turns out to be a huge mistake.  Talia and Batman have sex, and then she uses his goods to make a test tube baby, Damian Wayne.  She is always on the fence about who to follow, Batman or her father, but in the end it turns out that her father always wins in her eyes.  And let’s not forget that she plotted Jezebel Jet’s murder and brought her head back for Batman to see.  C-R-A-Z-Y.  So why is she number 3?  Well, she is the mother of Batman’s child, so we have to give her some credit for that.

2: Justice, Itself

Batman and Justice

Justice.  No, that isn’t the name of a girlfriend, but the actual idea itself.  Batman loves Justice.  It is what he lives for.  In the 75 years that Batman has existed, only one lady has stayed close to his heart.  Many of his lady lovers choose not to be with him because of his alter-ego, and the others he decides not to be with them for the same reason.  It’s true that he really could give up the cowl.  But women are not what Bruce Wayne lives for; justice is what Batman lives for.  Sorry women of Gotham City, but the most handsome and richest bachelor in town will never love you as much as he loves the smell of Justice.

1: Selena Kyle

The Kiss by Jim Lee in Hush.  Batman and Catwoman 4eva!
The Kiss by Jim Lee in Hush. Batman and Catwoman 4eva!

So maybe Batman does love Justice more than he loves Selina Kyle.  But he really does love her alter ego, Catwoman.  Unlike all the other lover’s Batman has had, Catwoman really understands him.  And even though she has had her times of being the villain, the two have always had a thing for each other.  From the original comics, to Julie Newmar, to Batman Returns, and to Batman: Heart of Hush, these two have been off and on for decades.  There are even universes and parallels that suggest Bruce and Selina had a daughter together, who grew up to be Huntress.  Perhaps Batman and Catwoman’s love affair works because they really get each other.  It has  long been known that Bruce Wayne considers his alter ego to be Bruce Wayne, and Batman is who he really is.  Catwoman knows that, and feels that way about herself, too.  Plus, their kiss in Hush is just too hot to deny.  These two creatures of the night were absolutely meant for each other.  Meow!

all photos are credit to DC Comics.

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.

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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.

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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.

Mask_of_Tengu_002

 

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.

nealadamsbatman

 

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.”

BattleForTheCowl1_-_jasontoddisbatman

 

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

original

 

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.

JimLeeHush_mini

 

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.

azrael

 

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.

batman-beyond-from-batman-new-52-issue-20

 

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.

batman-armor-batman-v-superman-a-very-different-batsuit-teasedthrasher

 

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.

red son batman

 

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.


first appearance batmobile

 

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.

dc 219 batmobile

 

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.

batmobile_from_batman_and_robin_by_gottabekittenme-d57arps

 

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.

Batmobile_BATB

 

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.

BeyondBatmobile

 

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.

TDKR Tank

 

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.

tdkr-the-bat

 

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.

The batman batmobile

 

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.

Super Friends batmobile

 

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.

arkham batmobile

 

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.

batmobile-25

 

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.

batpod

 

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.

capullo batmobile

 

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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