Top 10 Other Heroes Who Became Batman

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Top 10 Other Heroes Who Became Batman

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: David Foster
There have been plenty of Caped Crusaders over the years. For this list, we'll be looking at various media in which someone other than Bruce Wayne was under the Bat Cape and Cowl. Our countdown includes Jason Todd, Alfred Pennyworth, Terry McGinnis AKA Batman Beyond, and more!
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Top 10 Other Heroes Who Became Batman


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Other Heroes Who Became Batman.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various media in which someone other than Bruce Wayne was under the Bat Cape and Cowl.

Are our picks all worthy successors to Bruce Wayne? Sound off in the comments.

#10: Jason Todd

“Batman: Battle for the Cowl” (2009)

In the aftermath of Bruce Wayne’s supposed death, a battle for the next Batman begins. Though he was expected to take it up, Knightwing chooses to turn away from the mantle of the Bat, thus allowing an imposter Batman to invade Gotham City’s criminal underworld. It isn’t long before the false Batman is revealed to be the second Robin, Jason Todd. Temporarily giving up the Red Hood, he armors up his own Batsuit and goes to work destroying the mob – dishing out violence with no rules and two pistols – breaking the fundamental “no guns” rule that is synonymous with the Dark Knight.

#9: Clark Kent

“Superman: The Animated Series” (1996-2000)

Although Earth-3839’s Knight-Wing (AKA Clark Wayne) is already a somewhat Kryptonian version of Batman – being the grandson of that world’s Superman – it remains the case that even the original Man of Steel can’t avoid wearing the Cape and Cowl at times. During a fun episode of “Superman: The Animated Series,” Clark Kent suits up as Batman and works with Robin to find the original Caped Crusader. In the instances where the Dark Knight’s dark tones have to be heard, Superman is able to completely emulate Bruce Wayne’s Batvoice by fine use of his larynx… thus debuting a new power in “super voice-control.”

#8: Commissioner Gordon

“Batman: Superheavy” (2016)

In the aftermath of “Endgame,” the original Batman is seemingly dead. James Gordon, no longer a cop, feels even more desperate without the Dark Knight to protect a wounded Gotham, but has no idea what to do to help. Until, that is, he’s given a behemoth of a mechanised Batsuit, which he nicknames “Rookie,” to help fight back against crime in the same way as his predecessor. Endorsed by both the City Council and the GCPD, the temporary Batman shaves off his trademark mustache and his hair into a mohawk, and dons either the Superheavy armor or a black and gold suit to protect Gotham.

#7: Alfred Pennyworth

“Batman” (1966-68) & “Batman Vol. 3 #5” (2016)

After over seven decades caring for and assisting Bruce Wayne in the comic books, the butler / armorer / adopted father of Batman finally becomes one himself. In the “Rebirth” storyline, Bruce Wayne is unavailable to don the cape and cowl. Thus, it falls to ex-SAS operative Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth to suit up and stall for time. And whilst it is an… interesting image that depicts a pencil mustache poking out underneath the ill-fitting cowl, it was actually the second time this has happened. The “Alfred Batman” also appears in the ‘60s “Batman” TV series as a decoy, and manages to rescue the Dynamic Duo from the Joker.

#6: Damian Wayne

“Batman Vol. 1 #666” (2007) “DCeased” (2019)

Though it makes perfect sense as he’s the biological son of Batman, his background as a trained assassin and difficulty in following orders means Damian Wayne is seemingly unlikely to inherit the cape and cowl any time soon. That said, in one possible future (explored in “Batman in Bethlehem”), he takes on the mantle for himself to find Dick Grayson’s killer. Modifying the Batsuit, this version of the Dark Knight is colder, but still seems to have picked up a thing or two from his old man. Similarly, in “DCeased,” another alternate story, Damian is asked by Alfred to take up his inherited Batman persona when Bruce Wayne dies.

#5: Tim “Jace” Fox

“Future State: The Next Batman” (2021) & “I Am Batman” (2021-)

Batman quartermaster Lucius Fox’s eldest son Timothy “Jace” Fox is the “Next Batman.” After Bruce Wayne is supposedly killed, Jace inadvertently stumbles across a Batsuit and realises his father was working for Batman all along. Written by Oscar-winner John Ridley, the story of this new Caped Crusader is nothing like his billionaire playboy predecessor’s. Jace Fox is a flawed character, whose checkered past having escaped a hit-and-run charge on a technicality ruined his relationship with his father. He also lacks the training that Bruce had, yet these characteristics make him even more relatable and interesting.

#4: Jean-Paul Valley AKA Azrael

“Batman: Knightfall” (1993-94)

During the “Knightfall” story arc, Jean-Paul Valley – the vigilante known as Azrael – takes over as Batman after the original’s back is broken by Bane. He starts by updating the armor on the Batsuit, and then throws out the self-imposed limitations that Bruce Wayne used to keep himself from going too far. After he defeats Bane, the Az-Bat’s propensity for violence has him taking criminals a little too much to task – and his use of weapons effectively dooms him as Batman. But Valley refuses to give up the mantle that easily, instead continuing to enhance the suit. When Bruce Wayne returns, he has to fight for his own cape and cowl.

#3: Thomas Wayne AKA Flashpoint Batman

“Flashpoint” (2011)

After Barry Allen goes back in time to prevent his mother’s death, the world around him changes. Alternative outcomes spread out through time from that single event. In Gotham City, it’s Bruce Wayne – not his parents – who are shot dead in a mugging gone south. The incident forces Dr. Thomas Wayne to become a vicious, alternative Batman, a man who never fashioned a “no killing” rule to begin with. Worse still, Martha Wayne becomes the Joker instead. Yet despite the differences, Thomas Wayne feels duty bound to help Flash fix the timeline, even managing to get a message from one Batman to the other.

#2: Terry McGinnis AKA Batman Beyond

“Batman Beyond” (1999-2001)

Debuting as part of an original television series, Terry McGinnis is the Batman of Neo Gotham City. The teenager takes over from Bruce Wayne, who retired after suffering a heart attack during a rescue. It’s later revealed that Terry McGinnis becoming Batman was not accidental, but had been planned out by Amanda Waller. Having injected Bruce’s DNA into Terry’s father – effectively overwriting his genes with Batman’s – she hired the Phantasm to kill Terry’s parents and give the boy a similar origin as the original Dark Knight. Though Phantasm and Waller didn’t go through with the assassination, fate took a dark turn regardless: McGinnis Sr. is killed and the Batman of the future is born.

#1: Dick Grayson AKA Nightwing and Original Robin

“Batman: Prodigal” (1994-95) & “Batman: Battle for the Cowl” (2009)

It makes sense that Bruce Wayne’s eldest adopted son would inherit the mantle of the Bat. Dick Grayson first takes over Batman duties whilst the original is recovering from Bane’s “Knightfall” attack. With Jean Paul Valley’s Batman defeated, Knightwing wears the cape and cowl until Bruce Wayne is fully healed. Grayson would next don the Batsuit nearly twenty years later – when Bruce Wayne is mistakenly presumed dead in the aftermath of “Batman R.I.P.,” although he initially rejects it. For many fans, Grayson is considered on par with Wayne’s Batman, and, for some, even surpasses him in terms of the lighter-hearted storytelling and stricter moral code the character naturally brings to the pages.
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