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Number 10. Nazi Batman.
Quite possibly one of the most insane Batman incarnations of all time is Leatherwing, and he’s a real scumbag. On Earth 10, the Nazis won World War 2 and decided to take over the world with the Fuhrer in charge. In this world the JLA exists as the Justice League Axis, a force put together to protect Hitler and the Nazi Party.
In one now famous scene, Leatherwing says that he was so impressed watching the alien Forerunner beat the living shit out of someone, that he would be willing to put aside his prejudices for ‘interracial relationships’ to have dinner with her.
Number 9. Vampire Batman.
Do you remember that time Batman turned into a vampire, fought Dracula to death and then killed everyone in the Batman Universe? Neither do we…
In this bizarre story, Batman is ‘given’ his vampire abilities from Tanya in order to have enough power to kill Dracula, who is the leader of the vampires. Batman gains some cool powers, and has all the strengths and perks of being a vampire while avoiding any of the bloodlust. But after he kills Dracula, Joker takes over the minions. Batman kills Joker and feasts on his corpse.
Batman tells Alfred to stake him and the story seems finished. That is until Alfred removes the stake and Batman, now full of blood lust turns to kill every villain he ever fought and even poor Alfred.
Number 8. Owl Batman.
On Earth-3, the major conceit is that the heroes on Earth-1 are the villains and vice versa. Instead of the Justice League of America there is the Crime Syndicate of America. Batman’s counterpart is Owlman.
Owlman is actually Bruce Wayne’s older brother Thomas Wayne Jr. In the alternate reality Bruce and his mother were killed by a police officer and he is taken under the wing of Joe Chill, the man who killed Bruce’s parents in the normal continuity.
Owlman has a pretty ropey relationship with the CSA as he often has ideological clashes with the group’s leader Ultraman, who is a counterpart of Superman. On top of that, he also has an affair with Ultraman’s wife Superwoman, a counterpart to Wonder Woman.
Number 7. 1889 Batman.
Taking place in 1889, ‘Gotham by Gaslight’ is the first Elseworlds comic. The story features many characters we know and love, including Inspector Gordon, but set in 1889. And there is of course only one fitting villain who Batman could face during this time period. Jack the Ripper.
The story pits the world’s greatest detective against the world’s most notorious uncaught murderer. Things don’t go incredibly smoothly though as Bruce is pegged for the killings. He is forced to solve the case and beak out the prison before he is executed, which he does (obviously, he is Batman) and confronts the Ripper himself.
Number 6. Russia Batman.
Superman: Red Son is a ‘what if’ story which asks what would have happened if Superman had landed in the Soviet Union instead of America. With the global threat shifted from the nuclear arms race to super people, America is understandably unsettled by the Red Son’s presence and ask Lex Luthor to find a way to fight the new superpower.
Batman comes into this on the side of Lex Luthor. Orphaned in Russia by Stalin’s estranged son, Luthor plans to enlist Batman’s help to steal Superman’s comrade, Wonder Woman, in order to weaken his powers.
Number 5. Green Lantern Batman.
Over on Earth-32, DC asked an interesting question. What would have happened if Abin Sur had never given his ring to Hal Jordon? What if he had crash landed in Gotham and given the ring to Bruce Wayne instead? This is the premise for Batman: In Darkest Knight.
In the story, Bruce is given the ring after a failed first attempt at crime fighting and is inducted into the Green Lantern Corp. When the Guardians of the Universe question Bruce’s role as a Lantern, he gets beaten up by Sinestro before letting him escape, and both Commissioner Gordon and Alfred die. One thing is for certain, Batman does not make a good Green Lantern.
Number 4. Frankenstein Batman.
In Batman: Castle of the Bat, after his parents are killed, Bruce decides to become a doctor like his father. But unlike his father he has an obsession with death and reanimation. After numerous genetic experiments which includes splicing together a ‘bat-hound’, Bruce and Alfredo come across his father’s brain.
Wanting to be reunited with his father, he places the brain in a body, builds a suit to cover the scars and infuses it with Bat DNA. Needless to say the Bat-man, which is more bat than man, escapes and causes havoc amongst criminals.