We now live in a post ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ world. Thanks to director Zack Snyder and the DC Extended Universe we’ve now been granted two new versions of the classic characters. Let’s take a look at some of the best alternate versions of the both Batman and Superman.
In the Flashpoint alternate timeline created by Flash’s arch-enemy; Zoom, Batman is a different person altogether. In this timeline, Bruce Wayne died that night outside the theatre and his parents in turn survived. This saw Thomas Wayne become the Batman, a much more violent version who saw nothing wrong with murdering criminals. However what makes this take of the Caped Crusader so interesting is that it was Martha Wayne, Thomas’s wife and Bruce’s mother who went on to become the nefarious Joker.
After the end of the hugely successful Timm/Dini Batman animated series of the 90s, the same team created a completely new take on Batman, a teenage Batman set in the near-future. This Batman was Terry McGinnis, commonly known as Batman Beyond. He was later added to DC comics through various different runs due to the popularity of the show. This version of Batman sported a more technological suit and benefited from having Bruce Wayne himself in a mentor (or Alfred) type role and was regularly in the ear of this new Batman.
Frank Miller’s Batman
Frank Miller’s Batman or more commonly known at the Dark Knight Returns Batman was an older and initially retired Batman who is forced back in the cowl and cape to clean up Gotham City once again. A much more violent, grizzled and angry Batman who benefited from a whole career of fighting crime before coming back. Frank Miller’s take on Batman brought the dark back to the character and is often referred to as the definitive portrayal of the character. This alternate version went on to influence the mainstream DC continuity as well as every film performance since 1989.
Red Son Superman
In the Mark Millar scribed, Red Son, the infant Superman’s ship crashes in the Soviet Union rather the wholesome, Smallville, USA. Raised to champion communism rather than truth, justice and the American way, Red Son Superman becomes a ruler who leads by force. Red Son also provides a fascinating rebooted and modern look at Superman’s origin in the climax of the story.
A resident of Earth-3 and the leader of the Crime Syndicate, Ultraman is an exact mirror copy of the traditional Superman we all know. In this universe all the familiar heroes are in fact the villains and where Lex Luthor is the leader of the Justice League. Ultraman is such a compelling version of Superman as in every way that Superman is good, Ultraman is downright evil to the point that he is even a cold-blooded killer.
Kingdom Come Superman
Taking place in a future DC universe, Superman has retired due to the murder of Lois Lane at the hands of the Joker. Joker is later murdered himself by a new hero and Superman is disgusted at how he has been championed by humanity. In the years since his retirement he has grown darker and depressed yet even more powerful and greatly more resistant to the affects of Kryptonite. Superman is of course forced to return and reform his Justice League due to the acts of these new and radical heroes.
What are your favourite versions of both Batman and Superman?