This year, Batman turned 80. Considering the fickleness of fandom and how quickly the great wheel of fortune can tumble a once beloved character into the murky depths of obscurity and apathy, that's simply astounding. That the caped crusader has managed it over so many decades without reboots that fundamentally changed everything about him is even more impressive.
Sure, there have been dips in quality over the years as rogue writers and artists came in across all sorts of mediums to experiment with tone, new characters and bold ideas, but fundamentally, the core is still our Dark Knight. The hero we all deserve. The coolest superhero in the history of superheroes who challenges what it means to be a superhero, what it means to be good and what it means to be right. And who once had shark repellant. Obviously.
As we continue to celebrate the 80th Year of The Bat, we're looking back at the world built around Bruce Wayne. So, behold, a labour of Bat-love - WhatCulture's countdown of the greatest ever Batman moments...
80. Flipping Out - The Dark Knight
Bat-vehicles are just as much a part of the Bat Family as Robin, the giant T-Rex in the Bat-Cave and severe abandonment issues, so it's a little unfair that we've not really had that many to cheer on the big screen. Yes, the Batwing in front of the moon was great, but that's for show rather than anything of real substance.
It took until The Dark Knight and the death of the Tumbler for us to get a real spine-tingling moment from a vehicle as Batman unveiled the Batpod and proved himself a Biker Bat to be reckoned with. And for something so small, it packs a hell of a punch, blowing parked cars away as Batman confronts the Joker. This wasn't just a cool bike moment, though, it was Batman proving he'd do whatever he needed to to take down his enemy.
And the money-shot, of course, is the flipped 18-wheeler that Mr J has stolen and then Joker daring Batman to hit him. To lose control. It's almost as good as the interrogation scene...
79. An Unconventional Team-Up - Punisher/Batman: Deadly Knights
Pairing the one superhero who is most against killing, and the one anti-hero who is most supportive of killing was always sure to make for a monumental comic.
Both of the two Punisher/batman crossovers take these expectations and go above and beyond them. This said, Lake of Fire is by far the superior, as it focuses more on the ideological divides between the two characters instead of any overarching plot.
This serves to be supremely effective, as both characters seem all the more dramatic for having their polar opposite fighting mere metres away alongside them - or against them, as the badass duel between the two proves exactly as cool as it sounds.