So, did you guys hear the news that Ben Affleck is playing Batman? Oh, what is that? It's old news? Hmmm, you mean someone already defended his casting choice? Ok, then… Well, I was thinking about it some more and they described Batman in the casting as a character in his 40s, who is weary and tired. This means that, while Superman was a mysterious figure for the military to be looking for in Man of Steel, Batman had been working for years in Gotham, meaning that Superman was NOT the first superhero in this world.
It also means that Batman is a very different version than the one from the Chris Nolan movies.
He is a very different version from any movie so far.
So, I was thinking of other alternate versions of Batman and came up with this list.
The Top 5 Alternate Batman Stories
5. Red Rain
What if Batman was a vampire? That is the question that Elseworlds comic Red Rain asks. Batman and a young vampire named Tanya team up to battle Dracula. After much fighting, the two realize that Batman can't beat Dracula unless he becomes a vampire himself. This forces Bruce to have Tanya bite him and turn him into a vampire so he has the power of Dracula with the cunning skills of Batman. It hurts, and it was only at the expense of Batman surrendering his own soul. This was such a popular idea that two sequels followed: Bloodstorm and Crimson Mist.
4. Red Son
This was an Elseworlds comic book and supposed that Kal-el landed in Soviet Russia instead of Kansas. This, of course, led to the Soviet Union winning the Cold War and the entire world – other than the United States – realizing that life was better in a socialist environment. Superman, in this world, was still a great man – someone who only wanted to help people. And, in this world, socialism was not that bad of a thing, although no system is perfect. The U.S. in this world was antagonistic and used Lex Luthor to create super villains to try to bring down the Soviet Union and force the world to give in to their beliefs. It was brilliant, making America the bad guys in a way that was relatable. In this world, Batman was also Russian, and his goal was to use his brand of terrorism to "free" the Russian people. Together, in their battles, Batman and Superman completely destroyed Wonder Woman. While Batman was in no way a good guy in this story, he still stood for something and ended up committing suicide rather than conforming to a system he did not believe in.
I absolutely love the Flashpoint version of Batman, which was Thomas Wayne instead of Bruce. This was basically a giant "What If" in the DC Comics universe and asked "what if Bruce died instead of Thomas and Martha?" In the real world, Bruce Wayne grew up without his parents and wanted revenge, but he learned that he wanted to put away the criminals and help people following his parent's death. He became noble. Thomas Wayne because obsessed and violent and angry at the world. His Batman kills and his Batman wants nothing more than to exact vengeance on everyone and everything that he blames for his son's death. The kicker is that The Joker in this world is Martha Wayne, dealing with the loss in her own way as well. This was the best part of Barry Allen's alternate world story. It was also the catalyst that brought about the New DC 52, but the perfection of this story was seeing how Bruce Wayne became such a great hero in our world, and what could have happened if things had changed.
2. Batman Beyond
Let's switch over to another medium – television. In Batman Beyond, Bruce Wayne is an older Batman – tired and wanting to be left alone (sound familiar to an upcoming movie?). Well, a teenager named Terry McGinnis is a vigilante in his own right, standing up to the Joker gang when he happens upon Bruce Wayne's home, where Wayne saves him from imminent death and Terry learns that Bruce is the legendary Batman. After the death of his own father and some convincing, he convinces Bruce to train him to be his replacement in the new Gotham and a new Batman is born. It might be the best Batman TV show to ever air.
1. Dark Knight Returns
We will keep with the "old and tired" Batman here in Dark Knight Returns. Bruce Wayne is retired and living out his life when Two Face returns. He is forced to come out of retirement to confront Two Face but finds the world doesn't want him back and he is personally blamed for all the violence and death that follows. The public asks, if Batman ever existed, would the bad guys in Gotham exist? Of course, they would, but in typical style no one wants to believe what is looking them in the face. This, of course, concludes with the U.S. government sending in Superman to eliminate Batman – because I guess they would rather have criminal gangs rule the streets than a superhero to make them safe. It is a dark and morbid tale and one that shows how far Batman would go to bring justice to the streets.