Comic Book Power Rankings – February 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine, although it is influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Saga Image 25
  There is a whole new danger afoot. I like the direction that this already-stellar series is taking our protagonists, even if it is head-first into danger.
2 Batman DC 39 1 -1
  Joker has been playing with his food up to this point. With Batman up against the ropes, the Caped Crusader is getting desperate, and the Clown Prince of Crime is getting brutal.
3 Spider-Gwen Marvel 1
  Who would have thought that one issue of a mini-series would launch such a cult following? Marvel really Hit the Jackpot with this one.
4 The Walking Dead Image 137 4
  I’m as enthralled as I am disgusting with the eyeball-licking love session at the end of the last issue. I’m excited to see Carl grow, no matter the nasty cost.
5 Deadly Class Image 11 6 +1
  Marcus isn’t out of the doghouse just yet. The last thrill-ride of an issue keeps the adrenaline flowing.
6 Suiciders Vertigo 1
  There’s no better way to spend your time in a post-apocalyptic world than to see drugged up gladiators with cybernetic enhancements pummel each other to death.
7 Batman and Robin DC 39 5 -2
  While it wasn’t as emotionally pleasing as the last issue, Robin getting a spot at the table with Batman and Superman is a big deal.
8 Superman DC 38 16 +8
  The end of the last issue was so explosive that I’m surprised I was able to hold onto the page. In just six issues, Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr created history.
9 Amazing Spider-Man Marvel 15
  Even though Spider-Verse winded down this month, Spider-Man has left behind a wake of Spider-lore that will continue to effect the Marvel U… until they reboot it all, anyway.
10 Bitch Planet Image 3
  This book is extremely polarizing, but it has resonated with women in ways that no super-powered chick has. It’s very real and very original.
11 Postal Top Cow 1
  I’ve got a fever for creepy mystery books, and this Norman Bates-ish post boy is the cowbell of creepers. After one issue, this is already among my favorites.
12 Detective Comics DC 39 14 +2
  Anarky is afoot in Gotham, bringing an aspect to Bat-books that has been sorely missing. Add in amazing artwork and a Harvey Bullock back-story, and I’m sold.
13 Mortal Kombat X DC 3 10 -3
  MKX is trying to build a cohesive backstory to the upcoming video game, and its doing a commendable job. Due to it being a digital first, the issues are a bit short, though.
14 TMNT: Mutanimals IDW 1
  How can one mutant be on the same level of wicked awesomeness as Mikey? Mondo Gecko, along with Hob and the gang, are just as interesting as the TMNT – if not more.
15 Wonder Woman DC 39
  David and Meredith Finch have done a fine job with Wonder Woman since taking over, but what has me geeked out is an inevitable showdown between Diana and Donna Troy.
16 Nailbiter Image 10 18 +2
  Like this series could get any creepier… Finch is done doing the Hannibal Lecter dance with Nailbiter, and we are going to have quite an interesting arc coming up.
17 EI8HT Dark Horse 1
  Time travel and dinosaurs have never NOT been a winning combination, and this new series is no exception. I haven’t enjoyed a new sci-fi series this much since Black Science.
18 TMNT IDW 43 8 -10
  Everything is coming to a head with Shredder and Krang, but the confrontation between the two factions left more to be desired. A great book, but I wish it would stop teasing us.
19 Shutter Image 10 17 -2
  Kate’s world has practically exploded in the last few episodes, and the epiphanies just keep on coming. I could do with some more Alarm Cat, but I’m still enjoying the ride.
20 Magneto Marvel 15
  The Master of Magnetism got his mojo back, and he has a new scary focus that is all about his business. I bet Sabretooth is wishing he got the memo earlier.

 

Notably absent:

Birthright: Daaad! There’s something weird going on with Mikey! This fantasy book about a long-lost brother is really just now getting juicy, but there’s a dark secret lurking in here somewhere, and I’m not sure I like the path that Birthright is taking just yet.

Nameless: This book almost made the list this month if not just for the fact that two of my favorite creators are working on it (Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham). That being said, I have no idea what the hell is going on. Not even a little bit

Hawkeye: Bittersweet that one of the most underrated books in the whole industry is moving on after this month, but Matt Fraction and David Aja had such great chemistry. I can only hope we will be that lucky again.

Deathstroke: The Expendables of comic books, right here. I mean, maybe not really at all. The explosions and punny retorts are there, but this isn’t your father’s Slade Wilson. Beautiful panels by Tony Daniels don’t hurt, either.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: The first book swallowed me up so wholly that I was feeling let down by the second book. There weren’t nearly as many jokes, and the set-up for the next arc felt kind of boring. I don’t expect that to last.

 

 

Comic Book Power Rankings – January 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine, although it is influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Batman DC 38
  There just isn’t a better book out there, and starting off Joker’s 75th birthday with Endgame is a great way to ensure the top spot.
2 Sex Criminals Image 10
  Unabashed sexuality and humor make this the most honest book on the shelves. And the freezing time with orgasms thing is great, too.
3 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Marvel 1
  Plenty of silly to go around, Squirrel Girl isn’t just a great new book, but has potential to bridge gaps between comic book readers of all creeds.
4 The Walking Dead Image 136
  Carl is both a lover AND a fighter, as new dangers loom on the horizon (as always). Kudos for making this small world into a bigger, scarier place.
5 Batman and Robin DC 38
  Damian is back from the dead – with superpowers; he may be bulletproof, but he is not immune to the human condition as he deals with his own mortality. Beautifully done.
6 Deadly Class Image 10
  Sure, there’s the teenage angst of the 80’s, the murder, drug trips and the love triangles. But really, “That was no fart” is why this book is so high on the list.
7 Justice League DC 38
  How could Lex Luthor create more havoc as a good guy than as a villain… In any case, a zombie Batman JL vs. Supes and WW? Get the popcorn.
8 TMNT IDW 42
  Mutanimals attack! There is so much going on in TMNT right now, but the mounting war with Hob and Splinter interests me most.
9 Superior Iron Man Marvel 4
  Ever think to yourself, “self, Tony Stark sure straddles the line between good guy a-hole and bad guy a-hole.” Well, self, you’re right, and this book is why.
10 Mortal Kombat DC 4
  I’ve been waiting for a legitimate MK comic book for years. This is just as bloody and fun as the game, and will get me over til its April release.
11 SHIELD Marvel 2
  It’s like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but worth the time investment. We still get the strategic genius of Agent Coulson, now with superheroes!
12 Star Wars Marvel 1
  Who would I be if this on the list? In what was the most anticipated book this month, I’m already more into this run than I ever was with Dark Horse’s.
13 Multiversity DC ?
  Seemlessly poking fun at the Multiverse while creating a cohesive story, Grant Morrison does what Grant Morrison wants. Good for us.
14 Detective Comics DC 38
  I would never have guessed that Anarky would be the next great Batman villain. This book puts the “detective” back in Detective Comics.
15 Birthright Image 4
  What child doesn’t wish they could go on a Jumanji-style demon-slaying adventure with their family? A really lame one, that’s for sure.
16 Superman DC 38
  A new creative team introduced a new character, and really revived a series which has since been oerwhemingly underwhelming.
17 Shutter Image 8
  Shutter has been suffering recently from the necessary lull of storytelling, but it’s so unique and gorgeous that I won’t dare remove it from the Top 20.
18 Nailbiter Image 9
  Each issue has increasingly given me the heeby-jeebies. In a good way. I am not a horror comic fan but I am most definitely a fan of this book.
19 Moon Knight Marvel 11
  Shuffle around the creative team, take away his armor, Mark Spector is still one BAMF. Moon Knight is my new underground favorite at Marvel.
20 Tooth and Claw Image 3
  Making the list solely on the principle of curiosity, Tooth & Claw is a fantastical book of magic, anthropomorphic animals, and other ill s***.

 

Notably absent:

Saga: “What have you done for me lately” is the name of the game here. Expect Saga to knock one of these series off its high horse when the series returns from its three-month hiatus this week.

Wonder Woman: Barely missed the cut. Great panels and intriguing characters keep me coming back each month.

Spider-Verse: Another Marvel “event” has worn out its welcome and left me pining for the end. I’m done buying six books to understand one story.

Powers: Brian Michael Bendis’ soon-to-be streaming series is a whole new world (to me), but I think I need to learn more before I can really dive in.

Shaft: I expected this to read more like the comic book embodiment of Public Enemy, but it’s got more bark than bite at this point.

Injustice: Gods Among Us: I love this book, even more so since Brian Buccaletto took over, but there is just too much emphasis on “The Dark” recently for my taste.

 

 

Comic Book Reviews 07-30-14

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

 

Pick of the Week:

super secret pick of week 7.30

Super Secret Crisis War #2 – A

We are now on the third issue of this series but the second of the main series. Earlier this month, we had the one off special with Johnny Bravo and we see the connection to that in this issue which has me excited for future one offs from other series. The art in these issues are great as every character has their style and yet all of them mix together perfectly and almost demand this or something similar in animated form for a Cartoon Network reunion party. Definitely grab this issue if you are a 90’s kid, or just enjoy massive crossovers. – Jacob

 

Other Reviews: 

DC/Vertigo:

Detective Comics Annual #3 A-

The best part about this annual is the fact that we get to see Batman doing what he does best, solving crimes and beating the crap outta the bad guy. I loved this issue for that part alone, but the plot with the boy had me wondering if we were going to be welcoming a new addition to the Bat-family. It seems like we won’t but it could be used in the future to add another character or maybe even villain if the writers desired to. We did get an introduction to Matches Malone, a popular alias that Batman has used since the early 1970’s but is appearing in the New52 for the first time. There isn’t much more to say about this issue other than it was awesome and I found it very enjoyable to read, which seems to be a rarity these days. Definitely worth checking out. – Robert

Sinestro #4 B

Finally having asserted his dominance over his crew, Thaal Sinestro is back to kicking ass. This issue covers a battle with a religious cult of anti-emotion weirdos. Sinestro’s daughter, the Green Lantern Soranik, has reluctantly agreed to help him on his mission to save their people. However, she doesn’t agree with the way her dad handles business, and calls on Hal Jordan. This will spice things up going forward, as Hal hasn’t seem Sinestro since the end of the Trinity War (Green Lantern #18). Jordan and Sinestro have a lot of history, and it will be interesting to see how they’ve both changed since their last encounter. – Sherif

Justice League #32 B-

Geoff Johns’ Justice League continues to be one of the most consistently good books on the shelves right now. The time after Forever Evil hasn’t really progressed as much as I hoped it would, but it has still been captivating. Lex Luthor has discovered Batman’s secret identity, and has hired Captain Cold for a mystery job. Issue #32 introduces us to the DOOM Patrol, a group of misfits that follow the guidance of “Chief” Niles Caulder. The Doom Patrol has been around since the late 1960’s, and has gone through several incarnations throughout the years before returning to the classic team in the New52. I’m not a big fan of them, but they could add an interesting element to how they deal with the new Power Ring. Sherif

Batman Eternal #17 C-

This book has taken a stiff nosedive for me in the past couple months. While I appreciate the Easter Egg characters that have been popping up in this exasperated love letter to Batman, they just don’t fit fluidly within the story. As a reader, I still have no idea what the purpose of the story actually is. I know that Carmine Falcone is the ultimate villain (or is he?), but shelling out four bucks a week to be led on this wild goose chase just isn’t turning out to be worth it anymore. I think something that has turned me off is the amount of supernatural activity that takes place; Batman has never been a fan of magic, nor I a fan of reading it in his books. Hope isn’t completely lost, though. I still really enjoy anything with Tim Drake and Harper Rowe in it, and the Pennyworth father-daughter scenes are pretty juicy. The book has substance, but there is just too much filler material to satisfy me lately. – Sherif

What seems to have started off strong and well intentioned has seemingly turned into something that is moving along at a snail’s pace with what appears to be little direction. I don’t really see where this is going anymore and I would almost prefer that they move it to a biweekly a book and have them pick up the pace. There is too little going on each issue too hold my interest. I want to know where things are going but it seems like they want to draw things out as long as possible to drive the sales as low as possible to get it canned before they ever finish the story. Only time will tell where this is going but, the end can’t come fast enough. – Robert

Bodies #1 – C-

I’M SO CONFUSED, kinda. I’m not really sure what’s happening in this book, but I do understand one thing. There are dead bodies lying in the street, there is a secret organization where everybody is loved, both the bodies and organization have been going on for centuries, and I’m sure they are connected in some fashion or another. Other than that, all I got to say is, “What? Ummm Okay.” In my opinion it’s important for any new series to make it clear to the reader the jist of what is happening, otherwise I become frustrated and don’t really find an interest to come back. However, if the new story brings a great cliff hanger and suspense, then I will want to return. Sadly, Bodies did not do this for me. I’ll admit there were some cool elements to the book such as the view points from various different time periods, and I’m slightly interested to know more about those time periods, but the bodies themselves, eh. I’m sure it’s really cool, I just wish more was presented for a first issue. – Evan

 

IDW Comics:

Samurai Jack #10 – B+

I absolutely love this series. Samurai Jack has always been a favorite of mine, and this month we get a new artist, who although stay true to the classic Tartakovsky-style, he also adds a grittiness to it which goes great with the mind invasion storyline in this issue. We get some great flashback shots from the first episode and get to see again how Jack is truly the best warrior of the animated and comic universe. Definitely check this issue out, as it is a great story and could be a great introduction to the series in general. – Jacob

 

Image Comics:

Black Science #7 A-

The second chapter of Black Science begins a lot like the second season of a television show would. The characters have all grown, there are larger-scale obstacles in their way, and the readers have no idea what is going on. In many ways, it’s business as usual. The team is trying their best to find their way back home, but find themselves deeper in doo doo than before. The biggest difference comes in the form of the narrator. This time around, the story is told through the eyes of Kadir, the a-hole turned savior warrior after the events of the end of issue #6. The story still moves at breakneck speeds, and can be hard to follow, but I’m so enveloped in the world of Black Science that I would read it no matter what was going on in the grand scheme of things. – Sherif

Low #1 – B

Ah snap, things are about to get crazy – as if they aren’t already crazy enough. This story is interesting especially with its mix of syfy and drama. With Stel and Helmsman Caine taking their children out on their first hunt things were supposed to be fun and adventurous. However, IT’S A TRAP! I’m not going to spoil much but, things escalate quite quickly, and all I know is that this story has a long way from being over. With the fate of the Caine family, and Earth at risk, the only thing that anyone can have at this point is hope…and badassness. Yes, there are a lot of badass things in this book including the city, the Helm Suit, the the Scurvy Hoard and all the mess that’s about to go down. So basically if you are looking for what appears to be the start of a really cool science fiction series, Low may be for you. – Evan

 

Marvel:

Cyclops #3 B

I haven’t seen a father-son road trip this bad since A Goofy Movie. Not only have Corsair and Scott been repeated chased down by bounty hunters, but now their ship has crash-landed on an unidentified planet. The two finally end up getting some bonding time, though, as Scott learns some dark secrets about his father. I can’t help but feel for Scott, who is still bitter about his dad abandoning him at such a young age, but still manages to take the situation in with such maturity. Thanks to a dwindling supply of nano-bytes, Corsair only has about a month to live. I feel like this is a good move because it brings a certainty that this series won’t drag on forever, yet still keep its poignancy. – Sherif

They finally answered one of the major early questions readers were asking, but nothing really happened that is worth mentioning. Marvel recently seems to be in the habit of announcing people’s deaths well in advance and is making a similar move here. Cyclops’ time with his father is apparently fleeting and will need to be taken advantage of to the fullest, or it probably won’t and things will continue on as usual… who the hell knows anymore? This book started out as an interesting idea to me but I honestly can’t see this book lasting that long. This version of Cyclops isn’t nearly as interesting as the one he is trying to avoid becoming and like half of the new Marvel roster getting their own books, isn’t a strong enough character to be worth maintaining an entire series for. Hopefully that changes but if this book is going to continue with the intergalactic pirate theme, they need to make it more interesting. – Robert

Deadpool Dracula’s Gauntlet # 4 – C+

Ok so this series has gone from weird t just about as crazy as I would be to live in Deadpool’s mind. As crazy as it has gotten, it has now gotten to a Sharknado 2: The Second One level where it actually become enjoyable to see where the story is going now matter whether a werewolf and other classic monsters show up with Deadpool or whether Al Roker will survive the New York Sharknado. But the series is almost over here and surely we will see Deadpool and Shiklah fall in love as we know they get married, but with a succubus, maybe love is not why they get married. – Jacob

Guardians of the Galaxy #17 C

After being individually captured, Star Lord has freed himself with the help of Captain Marvel and is on the way to free the rest of his crew. Seeing the team work well together even though they are so different is what makes me love this book. All in all, though, nothing really happens in issue #17. It was a fun read, but the story was a scattered mess of one-two page summaries and the Nick Bradshaw’s pencil work was not very appealing. There’s really no issue that will hold a candle to the fact that the movie is coming out today, but it’s nice to see that the team’s spirit is still alive. – Sherif

All-New Ghost Rider #5 A-

We’ve been waiting for five issues, but Robbie Reyes is finally ready to accept his position as the Spirit of Vengeance. This issue caps off his encounter with Mr. Hyde, and the battle here is one of the most artistically displayed fight scenes I’ve seen lately. I haven’t wanted to root for Ghost Rider this much since before Nicholas Cage ruined it for everybody. However, little by little we can see the suit eating away at his consciousness, tempting him to take more brutal action as Ghost Rider, and do so without impunity. I wish the book was longer, however, as each issue is cut short and I am always left wishing I had gotten more out of it. All-New Ghost Rider is easily one of the books I look forward to reading the most. – Sherif

 

Funniest Panel:

cyclops 3 funny 7.30

Panel with the Most Awesomeness:

ghost rider 5 badass 7.30w

 

That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to IDW Comics, image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, DC and Marvel for putting out great books.

 

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 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.

 

batman day logo

 

 

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 Batsuits

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

batman day logo

 

 

Top 35 Batsuits

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

 

35.) Rainbow and Zebra-Striped Batman

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

zebra batsuit

Rainbow-Batman

 

34.) Zur-En-Arrh

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

Zurenarrh

 

33.) Two-Face Batman

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

two face batman

 

32.) Batman One Million

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

Batman-One-Million

 

31.) Gotham by Gaslight

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

Batman_Gotham_by_Gaslight_001

 

30.) Batman Inc.

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

Batman Inc

 

29.) Adam West

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

adam west batman

 

28.) First Appearance

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

Batman First

 

27.) Batzarro

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

Batzarro

 

26.) Kingdom Come

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

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25.) Justice Lord Batman

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

batman justice lord

 

24.) Alex Ross’ Justice

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

Justice Batsuit

 

23.) Blackest Night & Brightest Day

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

White_Lantern_Batman_002

 

22.) Tim Burton movies

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

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

 

21.) Knightfall‘s Mask of Tengu

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

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.

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17.) Jason Todd as Batman

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

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

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9.) The Animated Series

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

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8.) Insider Suit

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

Batman Insider Suit

 

7.) Batman Hush Batsuit

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

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6.) Azrael Batsuit

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

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5.) Damian as Batman

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

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4.) Batman Beyond

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

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3.) Batman’s Heavy-Duty Armor Suit

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

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2.) Red Son Batman

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

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1.) Green Lantern Batman

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

GL Batman

Batman Day – Best Batmobile

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

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Top 20 Batmobiles

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

 

20.) Batman Reborn

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

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19.) The First Batmobile

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


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18.) Gotham’s Strangest Race

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

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17.) Batman and Robin movie

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

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16.) Batman: The Brave and the Bold

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

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15.) Batman Beyond

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

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14.) The Dark Knight Returns Tank

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

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13.) Detective Comics #601

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

DC 601 Batmobile

 

12.) Christian Nolan’s The Bat

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

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11.) The Batman series first Batmobile

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

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10.) Hanna Barbera’s Batmobile

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

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.

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7.) Capullo’s Zero Year Batmobile

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

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6.) BatPod

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

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5.) New52 Batmobile

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

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4.) Burton’s Batmobile

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

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3.) Adam West’s Batmobile

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

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2.) Batman Forever

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

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1.) Batman: The Animated Series

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

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