Top 5: Elseworlds Variations of Batman

One of the best things about Elseworlds books is that the creators get to tweek the characters we know and love and often the results are a lot of fun.


Batman in Batman: In Darkest Night

5. Batman: In Darkest Night

Ever wonder what would happen if Abin Sur appeared before Bruce Wayne instead of Hal Jordan? An awkward cape and (Green Lantern mask-infused) cowl/Green Lantern uniform mash-up for starters.


Batman in Batman: Holy Terror

4. Batman: Holy Terror

In a world where the American Revolution failed and America remained a British colony, Bruce Wayne is an ordained minster by day, and a 90s-ified scourge of evil and oppressive British rule by night.


Batman in Batman: Gotham by Gaslight & Batman: Master of the Future

3. Batman: Master of the Future & Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

In both the original (Gotham By Gaslight) and the sequel (Master of the Future), a turn of the century Batman is looking badass with his high-collared cape, knee high boots and double knife belt.


Batman in Superman: Red Son

2. Superman: Red Son

Hey Comrade, the crazed anarchist Batman who fights against the brutal Soviet regime led by Stalin and his "son" Superman features the best character design in the book. I think it all comes down to the hat/cowl, which is so simple, yet so brilliant.


Batman in JSA: The Liberty Files

1. JSA: The Liberty Files

In this World War II (and beyond) epic that casts the familiar faces of the Justic Society (plus Batman) as covert government spies, Batman (here codenamed The Bat) goes through many costume changes depending on the kind of mission he's on and all of them are inspired, design-wise.


  1. Gotham by Gaslight is the first DC comic i can ever remember buying with my own money. such a great story

  2. GL Batman YES!!! I just read In Darkest Night not long ago and I loved it.  Up next I want to read the Elseworlds story Speeding Bullet that has Superman raised by the Wayne’s and becoming Batman.

  3. My favorite was definitely “The Doom That Came To Gotham”. Nothing better than Batman and HP Lovecraft coming together!

  4. I’ve heard of Holy Terror before but I never knew that was the plot. Interesting. That costume is so wonderfully 90’s. That belt would stab him in the gut every time he crouched. 

    I’m surprised Red Son wasn’t first, but then I’ve never read Liberty Files. Is it worth hunting down?

  5. Favorite would probably be The Doom That Came To Gotham (Cthulhu Batman?  Forget about it!).  First Runner-up: Gotham By Gaslight.  I believe it was one of – if not – the first Batman Elseworlds tale ever told and the artwork – including that bad-ass deerstalker cape – still works for me now.

  6. I’ve only read two of these.  Looks like I have some interlibrary loans apps to fill out.

  7. Theres a  Samurai Batman from a 90’s Robin annual that is badass

  8. Ah, Holy Terror. That was a great one. Actually, this is a nice list of some of the best Elseworlds stories, period.

    Although: I’m also partial to Kelley Jones’ vampire Batman. Rib bones!

  9. The Liberty Files has great Elseworlds characters. Loved the variations on the JSA characters.

  10. This just fuels my desire to see Elseworlds resurrected.

  11. @RapidEyeMovement there is a new Elseworld book coming out "Superman: The Last Family of Krypton" in August

  12. I like the Vampire Batman myself, although the Red Son version is a close second. That’s an ugly costume for the GL version…

  13. That hat/cowl is the definition of awesomeness.

  14. I only read #5 & #2 but thanks for the others! They sound like great reads to add to my backissue list.

  15. Gotham by Baslight?

    My favourite elseworlds Batman is MoonKnight but i also enjoyed speeding bullets. That was a good one

  16. When I was like 12, and saw Gotham By Gaslight, I LOVED the idea and story, but couldn’t deal with the art.

    Because 12 year old Josh was an idiot and didn’t know how to appreciate Mike Mignola.

  17. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    @Josh – Your story is also my story. I feel like we just shared a moment.

    It is funny that I used to dislike Mignola’s art so much when I was younger. Now that I see GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT had a sequel and the art wasn’t done by Mignola, I can’t help but feel it’s inferior based on that fact and nothing else.

  18. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    This is me frowning with acute disdain. 

  19. Here’s my story with Gotham By Gaslight. it’s not great but what are you going to do.

    as a youngster in rural australian, i could only get comics from newsagents. I was literally hundreds of kilometres from the nearest comic book store. The choice of comics wasn’t fantastic, a lot of x-men if i remember correctly. anyway, out of nowhere a prestige re-printed issue of Gotham by Gaslight made it’s way to the local comic rack.

    I snapped that sucker up. went home read and re-read the issue. it was my first experience with mignola and elseworlds in general. GOOD TIMES

  20. I haven’t read Red Son – is it as good as it’s reputation?

  21. @mickmac

    Best thing Millar has done.

    Essential Superman story.

    Not a boring page.

    So I dunno, is it?

  22. Mignola’s style… his covers drew me to Gotham By Gaslight and Cosmic Odyssey.  and it was good, ….different and very good.  It really opened a door.

  23. ditto for Kelly Jones

  24. Does everyone have a "Gotham by Gaslight story" except me?

  25. Thanks @NamidA – I’ll have to pick it up.