This Spring sees the upcoming release of DC Films’ “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves. This will be the next in a long line of big screen adaptations of Gotham City’s caped crusader. This got us thinking: What are some of the other great alternative versions of Batman in various forms of media? Let’s take a deep dive into that question right now!
One thing that makes a great alternate version of a popular character is when the new character differs greatly from his counterpart. Our first alternate Batman is one who is willing to go to great lengths to meet his goals. In this alternate timeline, Batman saw his parents murdered by Stalin’s police force. This leads him to become the Soviet Union’s most wanted war criminal, and the archenemy of their Soviet Superman. Batman is a vicious anarchist who will do anything to avenge his parents’ deaths, including torture and acts of terror. He goes out quite literally with a bang, detonating a bomb within his own body in order to complete his mission.
Terry Mcginnis, Batman Beyond
“Batman Beyond” started as an animated series. Several years in the future, an elderly Bruce Wayne trains a new Batman named Terry Mcginnis to take his place. Before heading into retirement, Bruce designed a futuristic Bat-armor, which he provides to the wise cracking McGinnis. As the New Batman, McGinnis faces a host of new villains, along with some familiar faces. The series went over so well, that it would eventually be given its own comic book adaptation.
Earth-Three is one of the infinite Earths that exist in DC’s vast multiverse. In this Earth, the Crime Syndicate of America rules with an iron fist. They are mob boss versions of some of Earth’s greatest heroes, and the brains behind them is Owlman. Thomas Wayne Jr. Is the older brother of Bruce Wayne on this Earth, and he is the one responsible for murdering Bruce’s parents, as well as Bruce himself. Once he discovers that Earth-Three is merely a small part of the large multiverse, Owlman decides that the only thing left to do is destroy everything.
Thomas Wayne, Flashpoint Batman
What happens when you mess with the timeline? Apparently, a number of different things. After the flash decides to go back in time to stop the murder of his mother at the hands of Reverse-Flash, the Butterfly Effect changes everything. One of the major changes in this Flashpoint timeline was that instead of Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered, Bruce is the one who is killed. This sets off a chain reaction, causing his mother Martha to go insane with grief and become the timeline’s Joker. Meanwhile, Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father, becomes a much darker and ruthless version of Batman.
The Batman Who Laughs
One of the most terrifying versions of the Dark Knight is the Batman Who Laughs. Imagine combining aspects of Batman and the Joker all into one twisted being, and that’s what you get here. In this alternate timeline, Bruce Wayne is finally pushed too far by the Joker, and kills him. In the most warped and twisted of ways, this makes the Joker the true winner. As the Joker dies, he infects Bruce with a special gas that slowly transforms him into a new Joker. The Batman Who Laughs goes on a ruthless killing spree, even murdering his own allies. This is truly the most demented and terrifying Batman of them all.