by Ryan Rigley
If Batman wasn't already your favorite superhero, we're guessing he's climbed up a few notches since last weekend. With the thrilling conclusion to Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy now in theaters, audiences all across the country have got Batman on the brain. And rightfully so! After all, Batman is without a doubt the most badass superhero of all time. Despite his obvious lack of superpowers, Bruce Wayne has become the definition of a superhuman. With his strength, speed, endurance, agility, and intelligence all at their peak, Batman is the only hero willing to go that extra mile to protect the innocent. Even if it means sacrificing his own life!
In honor of the Caped Crusader, and the immense success of "The Dark Knight Rises," we've compiled a list of the five most badass Batman stories ever told. Check 'em out after the jump!
"Batman: Year 100"
Taking place in the not-so-distant future of 2039, Gotham City has become a dystopian society overrun by crooked businessmen and corrupt cops. After being framed for murder, Batman is forced to outrun and outsmart an entire city's worth of police, some of which possess telepathic abilities. If you think Christian Bale had it bad in the first half of "The Dark Knight Rises," just imagine how much worse it could have been if those cops had telepathy!
"The Dark Knight Returns"
Also taking place in the future, an elderly Bruce Wayne is forced to put on the Batman costume once more as an old enemy resurfaces. Written by Frank Miller, "The Dark Knight Returns" is chock-full of badass Batman moments; but there is one moment that will forever be remembered as the most badass thing that Batman has ever done. With the help of a Kryptonite arrow and a full suit of armor, Batman beats the ever-loving crap out of Superman.
"The Return of Bruce Wayne"
After being struck by Darkseid's Omega Beams at the end of "Final Crisis," Bruce Wayne is thrown back in time all the way to the dawn of history. With no memory of his former self, Bruce must now fight his way through several centuries in order to get back to the present and become the Bat that he was always meant to be. In this story, you get to see Batman as a caveman, a Puritan, a pirate, a cowboy, and a private investigator, each incarnation being more badass than the last.
"Batman & Dracula: Red Rain"
Whilst investigating a series of murders, Batman discovers that a family of vampires, led by Dracula himself, has moved into Gotham. In order to defeat these vampires, Batman is also bitten by a vampire which in turn allows him the strength necessary to defeat Dracula and his minions. So instead of giving in to the insatiable blood lust that comes with the vampiric disease, Batman utilizes his newfound powers for good and never once feasts on a single living soul. Talk about self-control!
"JLA: Tower of Babel"
The Justice League of America is comprised of some of Earth's strongest and deadliest heroes. Obviously, there needs to be some sort of contingency plan set up in case one of them goes rogue or is subjected to mind control. Batman, being the brilliant detective that he is, has created a very long list of his allies' strengths and weaknesses in order to neutralize them if need be. And you thought free, self-sustaining energy was a good idea!
Tell us some of your favorite badass Batman stories in the comments section below or hit us up on Twitter with your recommendations!