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Top 10 Alternate Reality Versions of Batman

VO: AS WRITTEN BY: Craig Butler
Written Craig Butler When you’re a superhero, sometimes one reality just isn’t enough. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Alternate Reality Versions of Batman. For this list, we’re looking at some of the coolest and most interesting Batmen across alternate realities, parallel universes, and Elseworlds stories. But we’re excluding stories set in possible future versions of Batman’s reality, so sorry, Terry McGinnis. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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When you’re a superhero, sometimes one reality just isn’t enough. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Alternate Reality Versions of Batman.

For this list, we’re looking at some of the coolest and most interesting Batmen across alternate realities, parallel universes, and Elseworlds stories. But we’re excluding stories set in possible future versions of Batman’s reality, so sorry, Terry McGinnis.

#10: Dark Claw

In 1996, Marvel and DC engaged in a major crossover story between the two companies, which saw some long-awaited fights between the likes of Superman and Hulk and Batman and Captain America. But it also saw the temporary creation of the Amalgam Universe, in which heroes were created who were a composite of heroes. Dark Claw was a merging of Batman and Wolverine. In this universe, after 5-year-old Logan Wayne saw his parents killed, he was sent with his policeman uncle in Canada. Dark Claw eventually fell prey to the same Weapon X program that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton. A Wolverine version of Batman is about as badass as they come.

#9: Steampunk Batman

DC inaugurated its Elseworlds series, where characters are imagined in very different settings, with 1989’s “Gotham By Gaslight.” The premise was simple: Jack the Ripper pops up in Victorian-era Gotham, and Bruce Wayne becomes Batman to stop him? Mike Mignola’s atmospheric artwork captured the story’s mood beautifully, and the character designs were in line with steampunk fashions of the period. Batman seemed comfortably at home in the Victorian era, even if the story perhaps had a few flaws. However, writer Brian Augustyn did a nice job of tying in the main mystery with the origin of Batman.

#8: Bat-Ninja

Some alternate reality Batmen appear in several stories or issues; others get a single tale – or part of a tale, as here. Not to be confused with the upcoming “Batman Ninja” anime, what fans call the Bat-Ninja is included in a longer tale that features a version of Robin from 19th century Japan. Bat-Ninja is the sole protector of the house of Hideyoshi, whose young master many sought to assassinate. Robin was his protégé, training to become his successor. Honor was of primary concern to the Bat-Ninja, who passed that sense of honor to his assistant. Batman’s codes and beliefs fit neatly into the ninja lifestyle, and the modifications to his costume give him a visual appeal that is hard to resist.

#7: Soviet Batman

In “Superman: Red Son,” the DC Universe was looked at under the supposition that Kal-El’s rocket landed in Russia, not the heartland of the United States. Raised under Communist rule, Superman believes strongly in the Marxist philosophy. With his superpowers, Russia had conquered most of the world. But a young boy whose parents were murdered for espousing anti-Superman views grew up to become a Superman-hating version of Batman. Heading up effective terrorist activities, this Batman even almost succeeded in destroying the Man of Steel. Almost, of course, isn’t enough, and the Soviet Batman sacrificed his life instead.

#6: Civil War Batman

In this Elseworlds story, Bruce Wayne was sent a message by Abraham Lincoln – on the very night that a bat flew in his window. Assuming this to be an omen, Wayne, a Colonel in the Union army, disguised himself in a somewhat familiar bat suit to complete his mission – protecting a vital shipment of gold out west. Along the way, he gets assistance from a Native American who goes by the name Red Bird – rings a bell, doesn’t it? Throw in other historical figures like Mark Twain and Wild Bill Hickok and the result is a Civil War Batman with plenty of Wild West trappings.

#5: The Batman Who Laughs

What would happen if Batman became the Joker? That’s apparently what happened on Earth Negative-22. The Joker of that Earth succeeded in infecting Batman was a toxin which essentially turned him into an embodiment of evil. The Batman who Laughs killed almost all his friends and colleagues and eventually conquered the world. At which point he was contacted by a being from another universe who convinced him to lead a group of evil Batmen from other worlds. Their mission was basically to bring about the total destruction of - well, everything. The Batman who Laughs is a chilling, gruesome, and horrifying version of the Dark Knight.

#4: Green Lantern Batman

Batman is awesome without them, but did you ever wonder what would happen if he had actual superpowers? “Batman: In Darkest Knight” provides one answer to that question, working under the assumption that Bruce Wayne rather than Hal Jordan should have become the Green Lantern. Naturally, Batman was a more than capable heir to the Lantern mantel; though inexperienced, he learned how to handle the ring quickly. A bigger problem was that his own moral compass and personal beliefs came in conflict with those of the Guardians of Oa. In the end, Batman ended up becoming the kind of galactic policemen the Guardians need – and also helped Earth field help from some new superheroes.

#3: Superman Batman

Batman as Green Lantern is one thing – but as Superman?! In this alternate reality, Thomas and Martha Wayne are the ones who found baby Kal-El’s rocket and raised him as their son Bruce. When they were murdered, Bruce retaliated by using his uncontrolled heat-vision on Joe Chill, leading to his death. Shut away for years with the horror of this memory, his guilt, shame, and anger threatened to drive him insane. He emerged from years of solitude and began a career fighting criminals – but doing so in a manner which verged on the psychopathic. Lex Luthor became this world’s Joker, and Lois Lane became the moderating force that toned Bruce’s rage to an acceptable level.

#2: Vampire Batman

Batman’s fearsome appearance can’t help but bring to mind images of a vampire – so it’s only natural that one alternate reality Batman would indeed be one of the living dead. When Dracula and a brood of vampires came to Gotham, Batman collaborated with one of the vampires to defeat the Count. This required him to be bitten and drained of almost all his blood, thus keeping him human but giving him vampire powers. He succeeded in killing Dracula, but in doing so lost the last of his blood and thus became a vampire himself. And even Batman wasn’t able to resist the bloodlust that wracked his being.

#1: Flashpoint Batman

The Flashpoint storyline created a world in which Barry Allen had never been the Flash – but also one in which Thomas Wayne had to watch his son be murdered. This caused Thomas to become the avenging Batman of that Earth – and his wife to become the Joker. The Flashpoint Batman was even angrier than the regular Batman; he had no mercy for criminal scum and killed with ease. But that ended up being very important. It was his killing of the Reverse-Flash that enabled Barry to reset the timeline. Sure, this wiped out Flashpoint Batman’s existence. But since he knew it would bring back his son, the “real” Batman, he was happy to do it.
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