10 Best Batman Analogues

They may not have pointy ears, but they all owe their existence to the Dark Knight.

Nighthawk Marvel
Marvel Comics

Everyone knows the tragic tale of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, from witnessing the murder of his parents to a life spent becoming the Dark Knight of Gotham City. It's a tale of sacrifice, pain, drive and justice that has resonated with readers for over 80 years.

Batman is a pop-culture icon who became a comic book archetype like his red and blue-clad counterpart Superman. With the Dark Knight being so prolific - and so debated - numerous comic book writers and artists have gone on to create their own analogues of the character, posing questions that could never be answered in a traditional DC book.

From the simple, "what if Batman was evil?" to more pressing quandaries such as, "what kind of man adopts a child only to put their lives in mortal danger?", various comic book creators have taken to dissecting the World's Greatest Detective in a manner of different ways, whether that be for the purposes of having fun, to engage in a little bit of satire, or literally just because they wanted a version of Batman in their comic.

Not every Bat-analogue works, but they're often memorable...

10. Nite Owl

Nighthawk Marvel
DC Comics

Frequently imitated, but never outclassed, Watchmen is a cornerstone of modern comics. Alan Moore and David Gibbons' beautiful meta deconstruction of the history of the superhero genre is arguably DC's finest ever work, and at its core is a cast of various superhero analogues.

Although the characters in Alan Moore's original proposal would have been from Charlton Comics, which DC had recently acquired, then-editor Dick Giordano convinced the writer to create his own heroes instead.

One such hero is Nite Owl, a legacy character with multiple men operating under the guise in the Watchmen universe. The first is police officer Hollis T. Mason, a man inspired by comics like Superman to train his body, don a costume and battle all manner of colourful golden age villains. Mason would give up the mask when his mission stopped being fun, due to the world growing darker and his age catching up with him.

Daniel Dreiberg would be the next man to take up the Nite Owl mantle, although his version was closer to the Ted Kord incarnation of Blue Beetle. Dreiberg would use his considerable intellect and way with machines to battle crime in a much darker world.


Kevin McHugh is a code-monkey by day and a purveyor of the unpleasant by night. Having had several comics published by Future Quake Press he is now moving into prose. An avid fan of punk rock, cheap horror movies and even cheaper fast-food Kevin can be found pontificating either on Twitter or over at WhatCulture Comics where he is a regular contributor. He lives in Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters.