If you look into the history of DC comics, you will find that Bruce Wayne is not the only person who has donned the Batsuit. Sometimes just taking over the task for a sick or missing Bruce Wayne, or being his successor in the future storylines; Many men and even women have played the role of Batman. Though most of these characters come from the Elseworlds stories or in a different multiverse of DC. But in the DC comics universe, there have been quite a few Batmen. Check out this list of characters who have donned the Batman cape except for Bruce Wayne.
Over the years, both Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne have exchanged uniforms and taken each other’s place several times. The most memorable incident was in Superman/Batman #55. When somehow Superman‘s powers are transferred into Bruce. Alfred makes a Batsuit for Clack to save his now mortal body. Though the symbol was a little different and the cowl was absent.
After Bruce’s death and rebirth without his powers and memories, post the Joker calamity, Gotham needed a new Batman. As there was no successor available, the Gotham government decided to make a police-sanctioned Batman. With his knowledge of Gotham and his reputation, Jim Gordon was chosen. He wore a high-tech armor suit and fought crime.
A psychologist with a “strange” obsession with Batman. He is an extremely intelligent and dangerous villain. He is the only one who deduced Batman’s identity on his own. In Batman: Prey, Hugo does some research on Batman. During the research, he becomes obsessed with the hero and starts wearing the Batsuit.
After the death of his father, Jean-Paul Valley became the next Azrael. He met Batman soon after. Though the two did not get along at first, Valley liked Bruce’s ways and joined forces with him. When Bane came back and injured Bruce. Valley designed himself a more advanced and colorful Batsuit. But his methods were far brutal and were replaced by Dick Grayson.
Created first for an animated series, Terry McGinnis became a part of the comics based on his popularity. The series, Batman Beyond, was the tale of an old Bruce Wayne. He passes his batsuit to a much talented young man – Terry, who then takes over as his successor. His comic is the same too. It is even suggested that Terry is Bruce’s illegitimate son.
If you are a serious DC fan, you must already be aware that Thomas Wayne was the Batman of Flashpoint universe. He survived the night at the theatre and not Bruce. But were you aware that Thoms was the first Batman of DC Universe? In a masquerade party, Thomas Wayne wore a costume, he called Bat-Man and stopped criminals wearing the “Batsuit.” The suit was Bruce’s inspiration.
Though little Damian may seem like an unlikely one to wear the Batsuit, he considers himself the most worthy successor of the suit. In Batman #666, a possible future is presented where Damian is the next Batman. Damian makes a deal with the devil to give him the ability to heal himself and be immortal. Gotham in his future is darker but Damian isn’t afraid.
Related: 5 Comics To Read Before The Batman Arrives