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The Best Portrayals of Batman Outside of Comic Books

Batman is an iconic character who was first brought to public attention in 1939 when he featured in Detective Comics, number 27. For some, he was an instant hit, but for others, he proved more of a slow burner. It wouldn’t be until the Spring of 1940 that Batman would be given his very own comic in what might be one of the greatest comic book-related decisions of the 20th century. Fast forward to the present day and Batman has not only a slew of comic books devoted entirely to him, but also a handful of video games, plenty of films, and an absolute ton of merchandise. Comic books aside, these are some of the best portrayals there have ever been of Batman.

Lego Batman: The Videogame (2008)

Books inspire many things, but often it takes a really great film to inspire a new video game. The makers of games are after big sales numbers so it makes sense that the intersection between the two industries is so vast. There have been more than a couple of Batman video games, but one of the best remains Lego Batman. This game was so well received that the developers, Traveller’s Tales, ended up releasing two further sequels: the imaginatively named Lego Batman 2 and Lego Batman 3. They also released a spin-off with a devilish twist: it only contained villains, which they named Lego DC Super-Villains. All of the games were great in their own way, but playing as Batman in the original is hard to beat. The game is always viewed from a third-person perspective, meaning you have an eagle-eye view on the action. The player traverses Gotham City either on foot, or in the Batmobile on land, the Batboat over water, or Batwing if you’re traveling by air. Although the intense peril of the Batman comics is lacking from this game, it makes up for it in ingenuity and endless playable-ness.

Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995)

There have been plenty of brilliant Batman movies and choosing a favorite can be a hard task. There tend to be groups that are fanatical about one movie above all others so it would be impossible for this choice not to be divisive. However, Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Batman in Batman Forever is really hard to beat. Batman Forever was already a standout amongst the other films because it was produced by Tim Burton, a guy who is known for his love of the creepy and kooky. Together with Joel Schumacher as director, the pair created a slightly dystopian world for Batman to inhabit, giving a lot of attention to the character of Bruce Wayne over Batman, which brought a sense of realness to the film. Kilmer replaced Michael Keaton, who was always going to leave difficult shoes to fill, but by taking on the suaveness of James Bond and the relatability of the Bruce Wayne from yesteryear, Kilmer made the character entirely his own. As well as this, the actors working alongside Kilmer were quite an incredible list. Tommy Lee Jones plays Harvey Dent or Two Face with a menace that really would give anybody chills, whereas Jim Carrey brings both some humor and something a little more villainous to proceedings with his role as The Riddler. It’s up to Batman to go up against the two of them to stop their evil scheme and protect Gotham City. It’s also in this film that he adopts his famous sidekick Robin, so it really is one to watch.

DC Collectibles’ Batman Expressions Pack Action Figure

Finally, there are some people who just love make-believe and/or collecting dolls and, for them, there are hundreds of Batman toys to choose from. It’s difficult to pick an out-and-out best doll because they vary so enormously, but DC Collectible’s Batman Expressions doll is a cut above the rest. This doll is so special because it’s unusually customizable. Batman comes with an array of holdable items including a Batarang, a remote, a knife, a baseball bat, and a grapnel gun, but more than this you can customize his look too. He can wear a gas mask or goggles and, if you choose to keep his face exposed, then you can even change his expression. Better still, they’ve not strayed too far in terms of outfit and looks from the Batman of the original comics, making this a true classic collectible piece.

 

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Tom Smith

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