Batman is such an iconic pop culture figure. It is no wonder that Warner Brothers is trying to refocus its DCEU to include more Batman stories. The character has been reinvented so many times throughout his expansive comic book, live-action (both on television and in film), video game and animated career, yet his character never gets stale or feels old. Each take on the character attempts to bring something new to the table. Although this might not always succeed in the ways we all hope it would, it has kept the character fresh and exciting despite the fact that he's been around for almost 80 years at this point.
There aren't many other characters that have been around for so long and still manage to resonate as powerfully with fans of all ages. The beautiful thing about art is that you can be inspired by others and create your own work based on what has come before. Of course, some fans love to get in on the action and create their own interpretations of their favorite characters. Let's take a look at some fantastic fan art of Batman that we wish made its way into DC's many takes on the character.
15 WINGED BATMAN
Andy Fairhurst is a digital artist from North Wales. He has made a name for himself make alternative posters for films and art prints for big name brands like Lucasfilm, the BBC, 20th Century Fox, Pixar and Disney. A quick look at his website will prove that he has a lot of fantastic work ranging from Sherlock to the Alien series to children's movies.
His take on Batman is pretty awesome. He is depicted standing over his parents' graves holding two roses. This looks like a mournful Batman, completely destroyed over the loss of his parents. This gothic Batman sports massive bat wings which are damaged in places. He may be an angel but we don't think he's the kind that pardons people of their sins.
14 TEDESCHI'S DARK KNIGHT
Furio Tedeschi is a CG artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. He has worked for big name companies like Warner Brothers Games, BioWare and Alliance Studio. He is currently working on an undisclosed project for Paramount Pictures. If his resume doesn't impress you, just take a look at his art. He has rendered some of the most beautiful 3D models we have ever seen, among them is his Dark Knight.
His Batman suit is so detailed and menacing looking that you really wouldn't want to cross paths with this guy in a dark alley. Batman is all about striking fear in the hearts of criminals and one look at this thing would make any villain run the other way. Be sure to check out the breakdown of the character design here.
13 HARD KNIGHT
Kailyze A.K.A. Thibault Girard is a digital artist from the United Kingdom who creates breathtaking sci-fi cityscapes, ships and armor designs. We highly recommend checking out his work, because it's quite a sight to behold and his take on the Dark Knight is a vert inspired piece of art.
His Batman's suit almost looks like its made out of rocks, much like the Thing from Marvel's Fantastic Four is. Although we can't quite make out what it's made of, it appears that Batman is bleeding straight through the suit, so it can't be that thick. In any case, it's a really cool look. We also really like the look of Batman's motorcycle which is reminiscent of the design in The Dark Knight, with its big, bulky wheels and military-ready aesthetic.
Rodrigo Sanches de Avila is a Brazilian artist who is only 19 years old. That's right. It wasn't a typo. He's only 19. His work is inspired by the works of Alex Ross, Mario Freire, Adam Hughes and Renato Guedes, and you can tell just by taking a look around the pieces he's produced.
His Batman features thin, long ears and blue detail throughout the suit. What we like in particular about this suit is the look of the cowl, which resembles the face of a bat. This is a look you don't see often in Batman designs -- a more organic approach to the suit despite the fact that the suit itself is made of cold, lifeless materials like metal plating. It's an interesting juxtaposition that makes for a really cool design.
11 FACELESS BATMAN
There's something very eerie about this Batman design by Anthony Jones. This is most likely due to the fact that he is completely faceless, and his body is entirely hidden under a sleek, awesome cape. The mystery hidden behind all of these layers reminds us of the Dementors in the Harry Potter series. The mysterious nature of this Batman design is one is that certainly intended to strike fear in evildoers, but that cape also makes it one of the more fashionable looks on this list.
If you are at all interested in learning about what it takes to become a concept artist, we highly recommend checking out Jones' YouTube page which gives viewers countless lessons about character design and tips about breaking into the industry. He updates his page quite frequently, with long, comprehensive videos so make sure to take a look.
Shannon Lee Guy Brocas also known as Lee99 on DeviantArt, is an artist from New Zealand that specializes in sci-fi and fantasy illustrations as well as character and creature designs, which really come out when browsing through his work.
Bio-Batman is a mashup of two of the artist's passions: Batman and Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor, an anime show based on the manga series illustrated by Yoshiki Takaya. The artist even has a backstory to the creation of this suit: "Bruce Wayne stumbles across a Guyver unit, an alien biological suit, it transforms Wayne's bat suit into this super powered suit of destruction." The piece took 2 weeks to complete, and the attention to detail is astounding, from the texture of the suit to the way the water beads on it.
9 SONAR BATMAN
Luke Maddox does a lot of creepy imagery. One look at his Tumblr page, and you'll see that a lot of his art is rather dark and twisted. His Sonar Batman falls perfectly under that umbrella, which is no surprise considering the nature of the Dark Knight.
The helmet of this Batman looks like it's actually fused with the face of a bat: part metal, part blood-sucking creature of the night. It's a really freaky look that would surely scare any of his victims. Maddox also provides a neat description of the design:"His helmet uses a sonar function to map 3D space and see through walls. His gauntlets include grapnels, tasers, mace and all Bruce's favorite MP3s which stream via bluetooth to his cowl." Pretty handy stuff.
8 ANIMATED BATMAN
This Batman is really cool because it replicates the iconic shot from the ultra-popular Batman: The Animated Series. The Swedish artist, Ilker Esen, is currently working at Gamesare Studios in California. His Batman kind of resembles a knight, with elongated ears that look like horns and a cowl that is thick and wide like a knight's helmet. The rugged texture of his suit gives us the impression that he has his fair share of battle.
Interestingly, he produced another version of this illustration much earlier, which is much more faithful to the aforementioned Animated Series shot we spoke about earlier. We really like the new and improved version, because he took much more creative freedom with his take on the suit. This is one Batman we would love to see on our TVs or in our comic books.
7 GRIM REAPER BATMAN
Russian Sergey Svistunov also known as fear-sAs on DeviantArt does a lot of beautiful, brightly colored landscape images, however he also does some pretty disturbing imagery like the one entitled "Rotten Candidate". It is very interesting to see such dissimilar work from an artist, proving that he has an incredible amount of talent and versatility. Just don't show any small children his page, because they might get nightmares!
His Batman falls in the disturbing category, but it is also extremely cool. It looks like a cross between Batman, the grim reaper and Spawn, or it's what we imagine criminals might see when infected with Scarecrow's Fear Toxin. Take a look at this video of his drawing process. Did we mention it only took him 6 hours to complete? Pure talent.
6 BLACK PANTHER BATMAN
This design might be a little more simplistic looking than the other Batman fan art in this article, but that doesn't make it any less cool. This illustration by Italian artist DomEddi, or Domenico as he's also known as, is slick and cool. We really like the helmet, which reminds us a lot of Black Panther's look, due to the short ears and because there is no opening for his mouth.
We also like that this suit features a duster jacket which also acts as the cape that Batman is famous for. We think this is a really neat addition which gives a western flair to the suit. Be sure to check out his DeviantArt page (link provided above) for more illustrations of popular gaming and comic book characters.
5 BATMAN BEYOND
Mark Vick does a lot of incredible 3D character designs. His work is often very creepy but always extremely detailed and professional. His take on Batman is based on the beloved Terry McGinnis version, created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini in the Batman Beyond series. The suit features the bright red found in the animated series, but adds a lot more red details throughout the suit, which makes it look a lot more high-tech than the minimalistic version of the series.
The show's cyberpunk and sci-fi themes are ever present in Vick's design. This suit appears to be completely meshed with McGinnis' skin, just like in the series. Be sure to check out the sculpt of the character before Vick colored it, which shows off a lot more suit details.
4 DRAGON SLAYER BATMAN
Jason Kang is a freelance illustrator who has worked on Hearthstone, Magic the Gathering, and Legend of the Cryptids. He specializes in fantasy art, but he has done quite a few superhero paintings in his time and all are very impressive works of art. One of his best digital superhero paintings is his redesign of Batman as a fantasy character, an actual dark knight.
His sword-wielding Batman features a heavily armored suit full of spikes that are both functional and quite fashionable. You wouldn't want to get tackled by this Batman. Another cool feature of this painting is his giant flying companion in the background which looks like a huge, giant blue bat. On his Deviantart page, Kang reveals that the little bird on his shoulder is actually Robin! So awesome.
3 RED EMBLEM BATMAN
Ryan Hong is a concept artist that currently lives in Los Angeles. He does a lot of fantastic environment art for video games. His Batman features hits of red, including a holographic red emblem that appears in front of his mouth. We're not exactly sure what the purpose of it is, but it looks pretty damn cool. Although it is not explicitly stated, this would make for a great Batman Beyond suit.
We really appreciate the attention to detail here, like different textures used for the different metal parts and the fabric of the suit, the minuscule scratches on the suit, and the honeycomb pattern on the breast plate. This Batman looks very much like he's part-man and part-machine, which makes us think that Bruce Wayne would build something like this in his old age.
2 H.R. GIGER BATMAN
French artist Paul Chadeisson's DeviantArt page is filled with a lot of dystopian cityscapes, and gorgeous sci-fi spectacle. His level of detail is breathtaking, and we can't even imagine the amount of patience and time it took for him to create some of his pieces.
His Batman has a pretty standard cowl design. In fact, he actually looks remarkably like the one that Michael Keaton wore in the 1989 Batman film. But that's not what interests us here. What we really like about his illustration is the look of the body of the suit. It has an H.R. Giger vibe, in that it looks very similar to Giger's conceptual art for the Alien film series, with its dark, bony construction. This is one mash-up that we would love to see anywhere but in our dreams.
1 METAL BATMAN
Ironconquest86, or Raul as he's also known by, is a Mexican artist that does a lot of 2D and 3D designs of famous popular culture characters. He does a lot of sci-fi and fantasy characters, but he has also dabbled in comic book territory. He has a truly terrifying illustration of Doomsday in his portfolio that will make you gasp.
His Batman is very unique in that his suits looks like it's entirely made of metal. Our favorite part is the design of the cowl, which features a red eye (which is reminiscent of Suicide Squad's Deadshot), and a disfigured, melting jawline which looks incredibly badass. We're not sure how that happened to him, but we'd love to find out in a comic book someday. Make it happen, DC!
Which look would you like to see the most in a Batman comic? Let us know in the comments section!