While DC villains may wonder who's under the cowl, readers likely want to know who has been Batman in the comics. But answering the question, "Who has been Batman besides Bruce Wayne?" is a tough one. After all, Elseworlds and other "what if" stories have included all sorts of tales where people other than Bruce Wayne become the Dark Knight.
When it comes to the main DC continuity, however, only a select few have been deemed worthy of protecting Gotham - or causing chaos in the Caped Crusader's costume. Heroes and villains alike have donned the cape and cowl, so here's a rundown of who has been Batman in comics continuity.
When Did They Become Batman?: Forever Evil: Arkham War #3
Why Did They Become Batman?: With the world controlled by villains, Gotham City is in shambles and Batman is missing. Shockingly, Bane dons his own Batsuit and decides to take control of the city and calm the chaos using the symbol he hates but knows will bring everyone in line.
How Well Did They Batman?: Batman and Bane may be enemies, but they're cut from the same cloth. While Bane may despise Batman, he knows the hero's power as a symbol. Using the same fear Batman traffics in, Bane is able to become a sort of hero and restore some order. All told, he does a better job as Batman than some heroes have.641250Did they do justice to the cowl?
When Did They Become Batman?: Superman/Batman #55
Why Did They Become Batman?: Batman and Superman have switched costumes a number of times, often to hide their respective identities - or just to have some fun. But 2009's Superman/Batman #55 allows Clark Kent to properly become the Dark Knight when his powers as given to Bruce - and the Dark Knight goes berserk.
How Well Did They Batman?: With Bruce drunk on Superman's power, Clark is fitted with his own version of a Batsuit and goes after his friend. While it's only for one mission, Clark - with the help of Zatanna - is able to save the day and prove he's a hero no matter what suit he wears.647255Did they do justice to the cowl?
When Did They Become Batman?: Batman #666, Justice League: Generation Lost #14
Why Did They Become Batman?: Damian Wayne has yet to become Batman in the current continuity, but two tales of the future see him taking on his dad's mantle. In both, Bruce is long gone and his progeny steps up.
How Well Did They Batman?: Damian is a lot like his father and mother. As one is a relentless vigilante with a questionable moral compass and the other is the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, it's no surprise that Damian has trouble following the hero rulebook. In the future of Batman #666, he literally sells his soul to the devil to gain healing powers and serve as Batman following the passing of his father - and his tactics are incredibly malicious. We learn less about the future Damian/Batman of Generation Lost, but his mech suit and Lazarus Pit access certainly make him formidable.419323Did they do justice to the cowl?
When Did They Become Batman?: Battle for the Cowl #1
Why Did They Become Batman?: After Batman is apparently slain by Darkseid, there's a mad dash for someone to take over as Batman. All agree, however, that it shouldn't be Jason Todd, AKA the Red Hood. That doesn't stop him from making his own Batsuit and going after people, claiming, "I am Batman!" all the while.
How Well Did They Batman?: Jason may have started out as a Robin, but his life since that time has been horrific. As a result, he becomes the vicious vigilante called the Red Hood (a name borrowed from the Joker's early days). While fans love the antihero, he's a far cry from Batman and relishes in doling out punishment. Luckily, Dick Grayson steps up and takes down Jason to become the proper Batman replacement.392415Did they do justice to the cowl?