He may be best known as a lone figure who stalks the nights of Gotham City, striking fear into the hearts of anyone who dares cross his path, but Batman is also something of a social butterfly! Over his many, many years of fighting crime both at home and abroad, Batman has found himself teaming up with all kinds of heroes and villains…and everything in between. Sure, he may be most famous for being one half of the World's Finest alongside Superman, or a member of the Trinity with Wonder Woman, but Bruce's adventures have brought him side-by-side with so many more characters who deserve some time in the spotlight as well.
We've gathered a list of some of Batman's greatest team-ups, from the completely absurd, to the deeply foundational. Take a look and maybe find some new stories to read along the way!
While many of Gotham's rogues are empowered with any number of bizarre and supernatural abilities, Batman's bread and butter has always been the detective story. He may fly through space and fight all kinds of cosmic threats when he's with a team like the Justice League, but at home, he's a boots-on-the-ground kind of guy. That makes his occasional team-ups with characters like Etrigan, a literal demon from Hell, all the more special.
Etrigan, or his alter ego Jason Blood, occasionally comes stomping through Gotham's streets to speak in rhyme and add some brimstone to Gotham's grime. You can find these two matching up with one another dating all the way back to the 1970s, and we recommend checking out stories like Batman: The Doom That Came to Gotham.
Love and romance can be difficult for superheroes, no matter who you are, but when you’re Batman, it seems almost impossible. Good thing Catwoman has never been afraid to hold her ground against impossible odds.
Batman and Catwoman have been teaming up off and on for years and years—decades, even—and they very nearly tied the knot! We recommend checking out the two-issue Rooftops story arc for one of their very best stories together as well as this month’s “The Gotham War” crossover for a brutal illustration of just how perilous their on-again-off-again relationship truly is.
3) Green Arrow
The Justice League is full of big personalities that frequently clash, so it's no surprise that Batman has had some issues seeing eye-to-eye with people like Green Arrow and Green Lantern in the past—and to make things worse, Hal and Ollie frequently have issues seeing eye-to-eye with each other. But the three of them have regularly had to set their differences aside for the good of the League and each other. In Batman: The Ring, the Arrow and the Bat, we get to see a collected edition of issues featuring Batman teaming up with Green Arrow for the first time, with some bonus issues featuring Hal and Ollie's first meeting as well!
4) The Outsiders
Batman has had no shortage of teams over his many years in the field, but one of his best and most underappreciated have got to be the Outsiders, a team of misfit superheroes he brought together when his own ties to the League became difficult and strained.
The Outsiders have shifted around leadership and rosters throughout their existence, but Batman's fingerprints are on them for good. But just so there’s no getting confused about that, we'd suggest starting with the original Batman and the Outsiders run.
5) Joe Chill
Next to the Joker, it's difficult to find a villain with a more formative impact on Batman than Joe Chill, the man who murdered his parents. So, as you might imagine, teaming up with Chill has always been pretty low on the Dark Knight's to-do list. But that's exactly what happened in Batman: Year Two, where Batman has to infiltrate the mob and actually work together with Chill to stop an even bigger threat.
6) Elmer Fudd
One of the reasons we love Batman so much is his versatility. It's pretty difficult to take the Dark Knight truly out of his element and the Batman/Elmer Fudd Special showcases that in spades.
This is the team up if you're looking for something that is simultaneously gritty and totally absurd. How could it be anything but? It's Elmer Fudd prowling around Gotham with Batman. It works way better than it has any right to and will keep you both guessing and laughing. Just trust us.
We all know that Batman is, at his core, a dad. Nobody adopts that many strays and orphans if they're not. But usually the kids Bruce finds in his care are, well, human kids. This was not the case with Jarro, who, and we are not kidding about this at all, was a tiny version of Starro kept in a jar. Hence the name. Get it?
Batman and Jarro developed a special relationship over their time together throughout Justice League Vol. 4 and, while this may not be a Looney Tunes crossover event level of absurdity, it's pretty close. Also, it's just too dang cute.
Batman Day is Saturday, September 16th! Be sure to visit our Batman Day hub page for videos, news and activities to help you celebrate the Dark Knight’s big day.
Mason Downey writes about comics, movies and superhero history for DC.com. Look for more of his work on GameSpot, IGN and Polygon and follow him on Twitter at @rustypolished.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Mason Downey and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.