Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane back in 1939 - debuting in Detective Comics #27, to be precise - few comic book characters remain as forever popular as Batman.
For over 80 years, the World's Greatest Detective has proven to be the go-to hero of choice for generation after generation of readers, with Batman and his extended Bat-family having regularly provided must-read stories across those decades. But while there are plentiful bona fide classic tales such as The Long Halloween, The Dark Knight Returns, A Death in the Family, Year One, Hush, and The Court of Owls, the Caped Crusader also has numerous offerings that are, at best, questionable or, at worst, outright offensive.
Some of these worrisome stories may be able to fall on the 'it was a different time' excuse, yet there are other more recent offerings which likewise stand out in all the wrong ways for their content - and it's those such reads that are in under the spotlight here.
With that in mind, then, here are ten of the most inappropriate, baffling, distasteful Batman stories from the Dark Knight's 83-year history.
10. Mocking The Blind - Operation: Blindfold!
Batman beating up the blind? Yeah, that's certainly something when it comes to concepts for the Bat-tale you want to tell.
Featured in 1968's Batman #204 and #205, that was exactly what readers were 'treated' to in a two-part story titled Operation: Blindfold! and Blind As a... Bat? from writer Frank Robbins.
While Stan Lee and Bill Everett had created blind superhero Daredevil for Marvel Comics four years prior, DC opted to use the blind as the villains of their '68 Bat-tale. Here, the Schemer brought in a group of nefarious sorts and had them pretend to be part of the U.S. Sightless Society in order to hopefully hijack a truckload of gold.
In amongst this, several innocent, genuinely blind citizens end up murdered, Batman and Robin are locked up in jail after Jim Gordon suspects them of not being the real Dynamic Duo, and Schemer and his goons cause utter chaos. Once the rogues are finally brought to justice, it's revealed they aren't actually blind, and that this was all merely an act.
Adding further to the bad taste element of this questionable two-issue tale, is the final page that sees Batman, Robin and Gordon donning glasses and making 'blind jokes'.