Batman is more than just one of the most popular comic book, film, and television characters of the last 100 years - he's also an inspiration to creators across the spectrum of entertainment. You don't have to go far to find characters like Batman and Batman knockoffs who are both in and out of costume.
Characters similar to Batman share a few different crossover traits on the Venn diagram of origin stories. Many of them were orphaned at a young age, they fight crime as a vigilante, and they're super rich and protective of their hometown. Some of them are just powerless tough guys out for revenge in cool outfits that come equipped with tons of gear.
The following characters are all like Batman in some way. This isn't to say that they're total rip-offs who don't deserve your fandom. They're all super cool in their own way, it's just that they owe a debt of gratitude to the Dark Knight. Remember to vote up your favorites.
- Photo: Iron Man / Paramount Pictures
How He Is Like Batman: This billionaire playboy might as well be Batman from an alternate universe - one where the Dark Knight's parents weren't slain in front of him after a screening of Zorro. Tony Stark uses his near-infinite amount of money to fund weapons research that he then uses to take down supervillains. Like the most blown-out version of Batman, Stark has an insane amount of problem-solving gadgets that no person could actually have - decoy Iron Men, armor for fighting Hulks, etc.
How He Is Different: Iron Man eschews the whole "blending into the darkness" thing that Batman is obsessed with. Stark throws on bright colors to let everyone know he's around, and that goes double for how chatty he is. Batman prefers to quietly skulk through the shadows while investigating the underbelly of Gotham City. Stark? He hears about a supervillain and he busts into their lair and starts wrecking shop.188Batman-esque?
- Photo: The Green Hornet / ABC
How He Is Like Batman: Secret identity? Check. Super wealthy? Check. Fights crime at night while pretending to run a business by day? Check, check, check. In every way other than popularity, the Green Hornet is basically Batman. Aside from everything that's already been listed, they both work as detectives, and they both have sidekicks and cool cars. Outfit-wise, Green Hornet takes his title as a detective a bit more literally, but he still has that whole Dark Knight vibe.
How He Is Different: The Green Hornet was created in 1936, three years before the Dark Knight started roaming the streets of Gotham. So in that sense, the Green Hornet isn't a Batman rip-off. Even though they both have sidekicks, Hornet's companion Kato is much more adept at hand-to-hand combat than he is. You can't really say that about Batman and Robin.104Batman-esque?
- Photo: John Wick/ / Summit Entertainment
How He Is Like Batman: Dripped out in solid black and with an urge for revenge... seriously, how much more like Batman can John Wick get? So much more! Not only are both Wick and Wayne trained in martial arts, but they also have grudges to pick with the various underworld figures - and they both have cool black cars.
How He Is Different: While Batman at least tries to put his rogue's gallery behind bars, John Wick has no problems putting his in the ground. And even though Wick is by no means broke (he has a ton of money from being an international assassin), he's far from being a billionaire with generational wealth.104Batman-esque?
Big DaddyPhoto: Kick-Ass / Lionsgate
How He Is Like Batman: Big Daddy doesn't just look like Batman; he talks like him, too. He and Adam West's Batman both have a faux debonair thing going on that's hard to miss. Aside from having similar voices and costume designs, Big Daddy is also out for revenge. After the mob framed him for a crime, his wife took her own life and left their daughter to fend for herself. Out of prison, Big Daddy seeks revenge on the mob while teaching his young ward to fend for herself.
Big Daddy and Hit Girl are full-on vigilantes who operate outside of the jurisdiction of the police. They use any means necessary to take down their enemies. With no superpowers to speak of, Big Daddy uses his wits and hand-to-hand combat abilities when he's backed into a corner.
How He Is Different: He may look like Batman, but Big Daddy is far from Bruce Wayne. Before he was a vigilante crimefighter, Big Daddy was a street cop, which is pretty far away from a billionaire. Big Daddy has no problem slaying his targets, while Batman at least attempts to put them behind bars.82Batman-esque?