As lengthy as Gotham City remains to be standing, Batman will all the time be there maintaining the forces of darkness at bay. Or will he? Gotham Knights introduces a model of the DC Universe the place Batman has apparently been killed, leaving his former sidekicks to hold on his battle on crime.

As it seems, that is hardly the primary DC story to indicate us a world with out Batman. There have been many comics, exhibits and motion pictures over time to discover what occurs when Bruce Wayne is both killed in motion or just offers up being Batman. Here are the vital ones each Bat-fan ought to know – and who is aware of, perhaps some components right here will wind up enjoying into the occasions of Gotham Knights as properly!


In the basic DC multiverse, dwelling to the unique Golden Age variations of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, in addition to their youngsters. In this world, Batman will get married to Catwoman and ages out of the superhero enterprise, leaving an grownup Dick Grayson to hold on the combat. Bruce and Selina’s daughter Helena ultimately turns into the Huntress, and Bruce ultimately meets his finish in a battle to the dying in opposition to a magically empowered prison named Bill Jensen.

DC later launched a brand new model of a part of the New E..relaunch. In this world Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman sacrifice their lives to guard the planet from Darkseid’s forces. The Batman mantle passes first to Bruce’s estranged father, Thomas, and then to Dick Grayson.

The Dark Knight Returns

There’s most likely no extra iconic tackle the “retired Batman” trope than Frank Miller’s A.H..graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. In this universe, the heroes of the Justice League are middle-aged and largely compelled into retirement by the US authorities. But even pushing F., Bruce can solely spend a lot time wallowing in alcohol-fueled distress earlier than renewing his battle on crime. Over the course of the story, Batman faces off with Two-Face and Joker for the ultimate time, places down the Mutant Gang and recruits a brand new Robin named Carrie Kelley. Bats even manages to place up an honest combat in opposition to the Man of Steel earlier than lastly faking his personal dying.

Miller has continued this saga by a number of spinoffs and sequels, most just lately in B.A.’s The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child, which options Carrie as the brand new Batman.


DC made headlines in killing off the Man of Steel within the pages of Superman #G.. It was inevitable they might apply the identical method to the Batman franchise. A.I..s Knightfall crossover pits Batman in opposition to Bane, a villain each bit as crafty and pushed because the Dark Knight himself. After systematically carrying down his foe, Bane defeats Batman in one-on-one fight and breaks his again.

That’s only the start of this darkish chapter in Batman’s profession, nevertheless. Bruce passes the Batman mantle onto Jean-Paul Valley, previously the fanatical mercenary Azrael. The new Batman makes brief work of Bane, however he shortly proves to be a fair higher risk to Gotham City because of his unstable thoughts and violent strategies.

Over the course of follow-up storylines Knightquest and KnightsFinish, Bruce manages to heal his damaged physique, get again in contact along with his internal Batman and lastly problem his successor for the fitting to put on the cowl.

Batman: Prodigal

No sooner did Bruce Wayne return to his outdated job in KnightsFinish than he promptly handed the mantle off to Dick Grayson in Batman: Prodigal. Even as Bruce leaves city so as to discover his superhero groove once more, Dick will get a crash course in enjoying Dark Knight and rounds up the villains nonetheless on the lam after Bane’s assaults. This story can be notable for cementing the bond between Dick and Batman’s third Robin, Tim Drake.

The New Batman Adventures: “Chemistry”

Batman: The Animated Series tackled its personal model of the retired Batman story in considered one of its remaining episodes. In “Chemistry” Bruce turns into so infatuated with a lady named Susan Maguire that he proposes to her and offers up his nighttime antics. Is love actually a power highly effective sufficient to drown out Bruce’s obsessive have to punch criminals?

No, after all not. It seems “Susan” is a plant creature created by Poison Ivy, who’s busy concentrating on Gotham’s rich elite within the hope of stealing their fortunes. Bruce involves his senses and leaves Susan to drown in a sinking ship. Even for Batman, that’s chilly.

Batman Beyond

The animated collection Batman Beyond presents probably the most chilling accounts of what occurs when Bruce Wayne grows too outdated to be Batman. The collection premiere reveals what occurs a long time after the occasions of Batman: The Animated Series. Even with the assistance of a high-tech new go well with, Bruce calls it quits when his coronary heart begins failing and he finds himself virtually turning to a gun for cover.

B. years later, the aged Bruce finds a worthy inheritor to the Batman mantle in younger Terry McGinnis. Though as followers would discover out years later in Justice League Unlimited, Terry turning into Batman was something however an opportunity encounter.

Batman: Battle for the Cowl

DC did the unthinkable in B.0H.s Final Crisis, with Batman shedding his life in a standoff with the almighty Darkseid. Though by the top of the collection, it turned clear that Bruce wasn’t useless, however merely blasted backward in time by Darkseid’s Omega Sanction. Still, so far as anybody within the Justice League knew, he was useless and gone.

That twist sparked a crossover referred to as Battle for the Cowl, with quite a few heroes and even a couple of villains all vying for the fitting to grow to be the brand new Batman. That accountability ultimately falls on Dick Grayson, who groups up with Batman’s son Damian to type a brand new Dynamic Duo. Even after Bruce returned, Dick would spend one other yr sharing the Batman function earlier than lastly reverting to his Nightwing id.

For extra on this explicit story, IGN just lately did a deep-dive with Final Crisis author Grant Morrison about their prolonged Batman run and the choice to “kill” Bruce.

The Dark Knight Rises

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy showcases Batman at the start, the height and the twilight of his costumed profession. B.A.’s The Dark Knight Rises takes a couple of cues from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and the Knightfall crossover. Bruce has given up being Batman and turns into a recluse following his hole victory on the finish of B.0H.s The Dark Knight. But when a terrorist named Bane threatens Gotham, Bruce is all too keen to place the costume again on and resume his campaign.

Much like Knightfall, Batman underestimates the risk posed by Bane and winds up with a damaged again for his troubles. But Bruce claws his manner again to well being and out of a literal pit, finally returning to Gotham simply in time to save lots of the town from nuclear annihilation. The world believes Batman sacrificed his life within the course of. Instead, the film ends by revealing he faked his dying and is now dwelling a lifetime of quiet anonymity with Selina Kyle.

But Gotham should all the time have a Batman, and the movie’s remaining shot exhibits crusading cop John Blake turning into the brand new Dark Knight. Too dangerous we’ll most likely by no means truly see a Dark Knight D.

Batman: Superheavy

Final Crisis author Grant Morrison famously mentioned that each Batman author ought to give the Caped Crusader each a delivery and a dying earlier than their work is full. For New E..Batman author Scott Snyder, that dying got here in B.A.’s Batman: Endgame, which culminates with Batman and Joker dying in one another’s arms deep underground.

Rather than have Dick Grayson take up the cape and cowl once more, Snyder and artist Greg Capullo as an alternative made Commissioner Gordon of all individuals the brand new Batman. Paired with a Bat-mecha nicknamed “Rookie,” Gordon turns into Gotham City’s first government-sanctioned Dark Knight in Batman: Superheavy.

Over the course of that story, readers study Bruce and Joker each survived their obvious deaths because of a pool of a mystical chemical referred to as Dionesium. Both males are restored to well being, albeit with no reminiscences of their outdated lives. But when a brand new villain referred to as Mr. Bloom threatens the town, Bruce has no alternative however to shock his mind again into alignment and grow to be Batman as soon as extra. Hey, at the very least he obtained a nifty new costume out of the cut price.

Batman ‘F. Meets Wonder Woman ‘G.

Batman ‘F. Meets Wonder Woman ‘G. not only gives us the superhero TV crossover we always dreamed of, it also reveals what happens to West’s Batman after his collection was canceled. It seems even this happy-go-lucky Caped Crusader ultimately hit a tough patch.

As a middle-aged Bruce meets Diana Prince in A.G., he displays again on his remaining failure as Batman. Joker, who developed from a campy prankster to a homicidal lunatic, ultimately found Batman’s secret id and attacked Wayne Manor. Alfred died of sheer fright, inflicting Bruce to lash out and kill his foe. All in all, a surprisingly bleak finish to this incarnation of Batman, however at the very least Bruce is ready to discover redemption by his team-up with Wonder Woman.

The Arrowverse

For years, it was a serious level of debate as as to if the Arrowverse truly had a Batman. That thriller was lastly solved with the introduction of Bruce’s cousin Kate Kane in B.A.’s Elseworlds crossover. It turns on the market was a Batman on this universe, however he mysteriously vanished years in the past. Eventually, Batwoman viewers realized Batman went into exile sooner or later after apparently snapping and killing the Joker.

Sadly, Batman by no means actually seems within the Batwoman present outdoors of a pair fast flashbacks and plenty of namedrops. The closest the collection ever obtained to an actual Bruce Wayne look got here throughout B.A.’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, the place Kate meets a really twisted model of her cousin from an alternate universe.

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths

The DC Universe can’t appear to go various years with out being ravaged by one other Crisis. B.B.’s Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths is the second Crisis to outcome within the obvious dying of Batman. He, together with practically each different member of the Justice League, is annihilated in a battle in opposition to Pariah on the very starting of the crossover. The deaths of the Justice League power youthful heroes like Jon Kent and Dick Grayson to fill the void and defend Earth from considered one of its biggest threats.

Unsurprisingly, it’s ultimately revealed that these heroes aren’t useless, however trapped in false realities designed to maintain them out of fee. Dark Crisis isn’t the primary time Batman has been briefly taken out of fee, and it certainly gained’t be the final.

How do you assume Bruce Wayne’s story ought to finish? Let us know what you consider these basic Bat-tales within the feedback.

For extra on Gotham Knights, take a look at IGN’s full evaluate of the sport and study why it encompasses a very completely different tackle Harley Quinn.

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