Batman has always had an ethereal presence in the DC Universe. He may be a superhero strictly focused on delivering justice through non-lethal means but his personality as well as his usual, Wayne-self, enjoys an arching presence over Gotham and its nearby vicinities. The identity of Batman, however, hasn’t always been restricted to Bruce Wayne as there have been many supporting characters jumping into the Caped Crusader’s boots for a variety of reasons. Most of these people are the ones closest to Bruce but a few exceptions have popped up along the way. We’re here to share our list of who these characters are and how they found their way into owning up to the title of Batman.
Before we get into the juicy details, we’d like to acknowledge that you’d probably want to have a look at the movies that showcase these characters and the events that led them to call themselves Batman. Luckily for you, said movies can be streamed online or downloaded from their respective sources.
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Now, without further ado, let’s get into our exalted DC characters.
Popularly known as the third Robin, Tim Drake is one of the handful of heroes who’ve been lucky enough to identify as Batman. Albeit for a short time. Drake is so good and nimble with his detective skills that he’s the first Robin to figure out Batman’s real identity himself. And because he’s a goody-two-shoes at heart, he went to him with his CV for a shot at becoming Robin.
Tim becomes Batman in a timeline where Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Tim Drake operate collectively to bring justice to their city. After the former decides to give up his mantle, both Todd and Drake have a gruesome fight where Todd is left without an eye and a leg. Naturally, this leaves the title of Batman to Drake. Quite a story, huh?
Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne, is left alive in an alternate reality that is explored by the Flash in Flashpoint. Basically, Flash decides to make use of his Speed Force and go back in time to reverse catastrophic damage done to his city. Things don’t exactly go according to plan and he instead stumbles upon a universe where Bruce Wayne has been dead since he was a kid and his father, instead, is Batman.
This grizzly, unforgiving take on Batman has a more intimidating appearance; red eyes, a more pointy bat logo, and guns. Yes, this Batman could shoot you in the face in the name of justice. Bruce’s mom on the other hand, driven crazy by the death of her son, becomes Joker.
The Batman of 2040 and the go-to detective for Neo-Gotham. McGinnis gets his Batman role when he was hiding from a criminal gang known as the Jokerz in Wayne Manor. An aged Bruce Wayne helps Terry in fending off the goons but in doing so exhausts himself too much. As Terry helps Bruce regain his strength, he finds out about his secret identity.
Terry is then schooled by the OG on what Batman stands for. Eventually, McGinnis becomes a futuristic, uber-cool Batman with retractable wings, jet boots, and loads of tech embedded in his slender suit. Even the introduction song for Batman Beyond can’t be topped for its coolness.
Bruce went a bit too far in his dealings with Talia and eventually fathered his only son, Damian. Or at least tried to. Damian, from the comics to the TV, is a brat who believes justice can only be served with the tip of his sword. Batman does his best to help curb his kid’s inner assassin but that effort is mostly wasted.
However, a future version of Damian has him coming to terms with his inner demons and taking on the mantle of Batman. Some comics depict him as becoming the leader of the League of Assassins but most of them side with him realizing all that his father stood for and continuing his legacy as the Caped Crusader.
The first and very original sidekick that Batman had. Dick belonged to the circus, no really, he was an acrobat and along with his family, consisting of his mom and dad, was known as the Flying Graysons. Unfortunately, Dick saw his parents murdered in front of his very eyes and himself, not long after, got taken under Batman’s wing.
Since he’s the oldest sidekick in the series, it only makes sense that he’d get the title of Batman first. Dick was often reluctant to put the cape on but when he did, he made sure he did a splendid job at delivering justice.
That’s a wrap on our selection of sidekicks and characters that went on to don the bat logo. Batman has done an amazing job at inspiring multiple generations over the decades and we only hope his legacy lives on in the hearts of fans and critics alike.