Poll: Who Is The Best Alternate Batman?
If there's one thing I think we can all agree on, it's that there just isn't enough Batman to go around, and we clearly need a few dozen alternate universe versions of him just to keep up with demand. Unfortunately, that's where the agreement ends. Everyone has their own favorite, whether it's Grumpy Future Batman, Even Grumpier Future Batman, Sassy Teen Dance Party Future Batman, Frankenstein Batman, or even what is objectively the best choice, the Batman of 1966.
But now, the time has come to settle this hash once and for all, so once again, we turn it over to the time-honored tradition of Bat-Democracy. Check out the options below and vote for your favorite Alternate Universe Batman!
So here are the quick caveats: We're only including truly alternate Batmen, rather than fill-in substitutes like Dick Grayson, Jean-Paul Valley and Jim Gordon. Don't worry, they'll get their own poll eventually. Also, obviously, we can't include everyone on the list --- back in the '90s, there was an entire cottage industry of alternate Batman stories under the Elseworlds banner --- but after applying our rigorous test of, "Is there any conceivable way that this guy could get more votes than Vampire Batman," here's what we came up with!
All right, look: We all know that there's no way that Frank Miller's magnum opus isn't walking away with like 90% of the vote here. It's fine, and we've accepted it. And really, who doesn't love it when Grampa Batman decides to take on these kids and their "punk rock" music by beating them into paralysis in a mud pit? So relatable!
As the star of Doug Moench and Kelley Jones's Red Rain trilogy, in which the Dark Knight faces off with Dracula and ends up becoming one of the undead himself, Vampire Batman is known for two things: Thirsting for the blood of the living, and having a set of ears that are 100% out of control.
The most notable of the Legacy Batmen by far, Terry McGinnis inherits the identity of Batman in a future marked by corruption, apathy, and Teen Dance Parties. While he nominally battles crime in New Gotham City, he mostly just deals with the fact that literally everyone he knows (except Max) is a complete friggin' idiot.
Long before there was Terry McGinnis (or long after, depending on how you look at it), there was Brane Taylor, who was inspired by stories of the original Batman and Robin to take on the role himself and fight crime alongside his nephew. Amazingly, he decided not to change the costume, proving that a solid design can hold up for a thousand years.
In the far off future of the 853rd Century, Batman rules over Pluto, a planet-sized prison asylum for the worst criminals of the solar system. He is aided by a robotic Robin (the Toy Wonder), he knows telepathic octopus karate, and let's be real: If there was any justice in this world, he's the one who would be getting 90% of the vote right now.
In the alternate universe where Superman's rocket lands in Russia and the Man of Steel grows up to be a filthy, rotten commie, Batman is a revolutionary who ends up getting lobotomized. On the upside, though, he does have a pretty cool hat.
What he lacks in Batarang accuracy (and, you know, opposable thumbs), Lego Batman makes up for with a variety of buildable accessories and a pretty cool voice.
On the far-off planet of Zur-En-Arrh, a kindly scientist named Tlano fights crime in an amazingly garish costume as Batman. Depending on what year you're in, this is either a relatively standard sci-fi adventure, something that never happened, or something that did happen, but only as a hallucination that allowed Bruce Wayne to create an emergency backup personality in the event of brainwashing.
But how can it be a hallucination... for in my hand, I hold the Bat-Radia!
Objectively the best option here, the Batman of 1966 is the ultimate example of Batman's well-known philosophy: The victory is in the preparation. Able to fend off virtually any threat with the contents of his utility belt and the apophenia that allows him to solve virtually any clue, this Caped Crusader does battle with some of the most ruthless arch-criminals to ever plague the good people of a suspiciously Californian Gotham City.
In one weird little version of the DC Universe, Batman is actually a pirate captain known as Leatherwing. So, what kind of different new adventures does Leatherwing get up to in a setting so far removed from our modern Gotham City? Well, he, uh... He fights the Joker, makes out with Catwoman and has a butler named Alfredo. But it all happens on a boat, I guess?