In 1939, the world was introduced to Batman and he’s been pretty busy ever since. Beginning with his debut in Detective Comics #27 (which has been commemorated with a special 85th Anniversary Edition), the Dark Knight has given us countless moments that have helped to shape who he is and make him into one of the most popular superheroes on the planet.

When I say countless, I mean it. It would be impossible to list off every one of them—so we’re not going to even try. Rather, in the spirit of this year’s celebration, we’ll limit the list to a humble eighty-five. This isn’t a ranking and we’re not going to go in chronological order. Rather, think of this as a grab bag of so much of what makes the Dark Knight so great. But enough from me, it’s time to light the Bat-Signal! Here are 85 unforgettable moments from Batman’s history…

1) The intro sequence for Batman: The Animated Series. Pure perfection.

2) Batman defeating a shark with shark repellent bat-spray (1966’s Batman).

3) Batman teaming up with EVERY SINGLE Batman throughout the DC Multiverse (2023’s Batman #135).

4) Bruce Wayne having his own secret slide that takes him from his office in downtown Gotham to the Batcave under Wayne Manor (Batman Forever).

5) Batman becomes a mermaid, because why not (1949’s Batman #53).

6) Batman defeating a certain flag-wearing soldier from another company. (DC vs. Marvel #3)

7) Batman falling to Earth from outer space…and surviving (2022’s Batman #130)!

8) That epic shot of Ben Affleck’s Batman standing on a gargoyle as lightning crackles in the background (Zack Snyder’s Justice League).

9) Young Bruce Wayne is frightened by a bat after falling through a hole into a dark cave (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns).

10) The moment where Robert Pattinson’s Batman reveals himself as Michael Giacchino’s score blares (Matt Reeves’ The Batman).

11) Batman comforting a young villain named Ace during her final moments (Justice League Unlimited, “Epilogue”).

12) Adam West faking a telephone conversation between Batman and Bruce Wayne (Batman, “Ice Spy”).

13) Batman and Robin escaping from Mr. Freeze’s exploding rocket by using the doors as sky-surfboards. Admit it, that looked cool (Batman and Robin).

14) Bruce Wayne running through downtown Metropolis during Zod’s attack. He’s not dressed as Batman, and he has no hope for survival. He just wants to help and save as many people as possible (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

15) That moment where Michael Keaton says “I’m Batman” for the first time (1989’s Batman).

16) The absolutely intense car chase between Batman and the Penguin (Matt Reeves’ The Batman).

17) The moment the DCAU version of Bruce Wayne puts the Batman suit on for the first time in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Shirley Walker’s score and Alfred’s reaction add so much to the moment.

18) Batman singing the song “Who’s the (Bat)Man” as he defeats Joker and his goons (The Lego Batman Movie).

19) Knocking Guy Gardner out in one punch (1987’s Justice League #5).

20) Teenage Bruce Wayne summoning a swarm of bats to take down Bane (Gotham, “They Did What?”).

21) Batman defeats the Mutant leader and takes over his gang (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns).

22) A bloodied and defeated Bruce Wayne wonders how he could strike fear into the hearts of criminals when all of a sudden, a bat breaks through the window of his study. “Yes, father. I shall become a bat.”  (Batman #404)

23) Danny Elfman’s Batman score in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns.

24) Batman sits in the Mobius Chair, gaining infinite knowledge and becoming a god (2015’s Justice League #42).

25) The entire Bat-Family posing for a group photo in Detective Comics #1000. I just love seeing them all together.

26) Teenage Bruce Wayne fighting Jerome Valeska in a carnival funhouse (Gotham, “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”).

27) Christian Bale’s Batman interrogating Heath Ledger’s Joker. Goosebumps every time (The Dark Knight).

28) Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson bonding over the loss of their parents (Batman: The Animated Series, “Robin’s Reckoning, Part 1”).

29) Adam West’s Batman desperately trying to get rid of a bomb (1966’s Batman).

30) Bruce Wayne rebuilding his fractured body and escaping from the Pit in The Dark Knight Rises.

31) Any page drawn by Tim Sale in Batman: The Long Halloween or Batman: Dark Victory. They’re all masterpieces.

32) Batman turning into a baby and deciding to fight crime anyway. Enter Bat-Baby (1962’s Batman #147)!

33) Batman turning into a baby (AGAIN!), but this time the Joker decides to raise him, resulting in one of the wildest DC stories of 2023 (Joker: One Operation Joker).

34) Every single frame of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold series finale “Mitefall!” A wonderful tribute to the legacy of Batman.

35) The first time Batman takes the Tumbler out for a spin (Batman Begins).

36) The Dark Knight journeys to the depths of Apokolips to retrieve Damian Wayne’s corpse and bring him back from the dead (Batman: Robin Rises).

37) Norm Breyfogle’s cover for Detective Comics #587. One of the best images anyone has ever drawn of the Dark Knight.

38) Batman is trapped in a coffin and buried alive. Against all odds, he escapes (Batman R.I.P.).

39) Have you ever wanted to see Batman ride a dinosaur? Check out Dark Nights: Metal #1!

40) Batman blowing up a wall, interrupting a dinner filled with Gotham’s corrupt elite. “You have eaten well. You’ve eaten Gotham’s wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over. From this moment on…none of you are safe.” (Batman #405)

41) Bruce Wayne tries to babysit two young boys and finds himself overwhelmed (Batman: Black and White Vol 2).

42) Seeing Michael Keaton in the batsuit again for the first time since 1992 in The Flash.

43) Kevin Conroy showing up on the CW’s Batwoman, wearing Batman’s Kingdom Come armor.

44) Batman surviving the Court of Owls’ labyrinth, one of the hardest death traps he’s ever faced (Batman: The Court of Owls).

45) Batman is given Hal Jordan’s Power Ring, which briefly turns him into a Green Lantern (2006’s Green Lantern #9).

46) Teaming up with Scooby-Doo…twice! (Scooby-Doo Team-Up).

47) Breaking both of his legs and being confined to a wheelchair—BUT STILL GOING OUT TO FIGHT CRIME EVERY NIGHT (1950’s Batman #61).

48) That moment where we learn that Killer Croc was actually Batman in disguise for the entire episode in Batman: The Animated Series “Almost Got ‘Im.” The way his shadow changes to reveal Batman’s silhouette is chilling.

49) Experiencing Batman: The Ride at Six Flags. Those twists, those turns, and those drops are exhilarating!

50) Those silent takedowns in Batman: Arkham Asylum and its two sequels.

51) Batman’s reunion with Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents. The Dark Knight takes off his mask, telling Chill that he was the son of the couple he killed all those years ago and vows to make him pay (1948’s Batman #47).

52) That moment in the 1989 Batman film where the Batwing flies in front of the moon. Now that’s cinema!

53) Batman being chased by the police, who are seconds away from capturing and unmasking him, in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. In the end, the Dark Knight barely escapes.

54) The moment Batman taps into magic by mastering Zatanna’s backwards-speaking spells (2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow #19).

55) The way Christian Bale’s Batman interrogates those crooks in Batman Begins. “SWEAR TO ME!” Serious shivers.

56) Batman debuts his rainbow costume in Detective Comics #241. Why wear one color, when you could wear them all? It’s daring and he should wear it more often.

57) Batman revealing that he uses multiple fake social media accounts to troll people and create fake rumors about himself (2011’s Batman Incorporated #6).

58) Batman freeing the entire Justice League when they were trapped behind bars. Even Superman and Wonder Woman couldn’t bend the bars, but Batman figures out a way how (1963’s Justice League of America #18).

59) The Dark Knight using fire to defeat a group of White Martians (1997’s JLA #3).

60) All of the goofy fun Batman had with Robin and Superman in those early World’s Finest covers. Every cover was just the Dark Knight just having a good time with his best pals. It’s refreshing.

61) Bruce trying out married life with Talia and discovering that he’s actually happy (Batman: Son of the Demon).

62) Batman allowing himself to get captured by a Parademon so he could be taken to Apokolips. Once there, the Dark Knight fought through the hellscape (BY HIMSELF) to rescue Superman (2012’s Justice League #5-6).

63) Batman comforting Baby Doll after the villain has an emotional breakdown (Batman: The Animated Series, “Baby-Doll”).

64) That time Batman gives a low-level criminal a business card, encouraging her to apply at Wayne Enterprises. Using his influence as Bruce Wayne, he ensures she gets the job, rescuing her from a life of crime (Batman #664).

65) Bruce settling an argument between Nightwing and Batgirl by telling them he was officially pronouncing them man and wife. By whose authority? By the authority of Batman! (Dark Knights: Death Metal: Last Stories of the DC Universe #1)

66) While visiting an alternate Earth, Batman saves that reality’s Thomas and Martha Wayne, bringing him a sense of closure (Detective Comics #500).

67) Bruce Wayne buying the Daily Planet because he “thought it would be fun.” (2001’s Superman #168)

68) That infamous moment in The Dark Knight Returns where Batman beats Superman and taunts him. “I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come, in your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat, I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”

69) Batman and Robin combine a group of monkeys and a swarm of bats to form a giant Batgod, which defeats Joker’s giant robot in the absolutely bonkers Batman Ninja.

70) Batman finally listens to his heart and proposes to Catwoman (2017’s Batman #24).

71) Anytime we see the BIFF, POW and ZOCK during the 1966 Batman television series’ fight scenes.

72) That time Batman survived the vacuum of space for 24 seconds (JLA: Welcome to the Working Week).

73) Batman’s shirtless sword fight against Ra’s al Ghul. Moments like this remind us why Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams are considered one of the greatest writer/artist pairings in the comic book medium (Batman #244).

74) When Batman became Zebra-Batman in Detective Comics #275. He’s like regular Batman, except he repels all solid matter. Oh, and he has a black-and-white costume.

75) Bruce Wayne being named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” two years in a row (Batman Confidential #52).

76) Finding out that Batman carries lollipops in his utility belt (Batman: Urban Legends #3).

77) The night Batman discovered that the only way to stop a bomb from exploding was to make sure a 700-pound gorilla never touched the ground. What’s a Dark Knight to do besides LIFTING THE GORILLA? No superpowers were involved (Detective Comics #339).

78) The entire “No Man’s Land” saga. Seeing Batman bring Gotham back after it had become a post-apocalyptic wasteland is breathtaking.

79) Batman saves himself after being infected with Joker’s deadly venom (The Batman, “The Laughing Bat”).

80) Hans Zimmer’s score for Christpher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Simply epic.

81) The way Batman completely throws himself into his Matches Malone persona. The disguise, the clothes, and the swagger (Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “The Mask of Matches Malone”).

82) Batman battling Dracula and his army of night creatures (The Batman vs. Dracula).

83) Batman and the Joker’s intense battle in Gotham’s World of the Future Fair (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm).

84) When the Justice League refuses to go on a mission to save Lucius Fox, so Batman quits the team and forms his own group (1983’s Batman and the Outsiders #1).

85) 1939’s Detective Comics #27. This single comic book launched a pop culture phenomenon, which has spawned box office hits, groundbreaking video games, a diverse array of TV shows, and so much more. And to think, it all began with one ten-cent comic book.

And that’s 85! But let’s be honest, we could’ve easily listed off another 850. After all, this is only a small sample of the many moments Batman has brought us over the years. I’m sure we missed many of your favorites, so if you have any Bat-moments we left off the list that you’d like to share with fellow fans, feel free to post them in the DC Community, where we’ll be celebrating Batman’s anniversary all year long. Happy 85th, Batman!

For much more on Batman and his year-long anniversary celebration, visit our official Batman anniversary hub page.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.