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10 surprising Batman team-ups you didn’t know happened

Batman/Elmer Fudd
Batman vs Elmer Fudd. Pic credit: DC Comics

As one of the most popular superheroes on the planet, it’s no surprise Batman has seen more than his share of fantastic team-ups. 

It’s not just with the usual DC heroes like Superman or Wonder Woman either. DC and Marvel have worked together for crossovers where Batman has met Captain America and Spider-Man for adventures.

There are also intercompany crossovers that paired the Dark Knight up with Spawn, Hellboy, and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Yet some fascinating Batman crossovers have occurred that have fallen under the radar for any fans.

A few are with characters that make sense and work well with the Caped Crusader, but it’s more interesting to see him with characters one wouldn’t expect him to pair with. 

From some fun superheroes to cosmic threats to even cartoon characters, these are ten of the most unusual Batman team-ups most may not know happened, showing the Dark Knight can truly work with anyone. 

Tarzan

Batman/Tarzan
Batman/Tarzan Claws of the Cat-Woman. Pic credit: DC Comics/Marvel Comics

Gotham City is an “urban jungle,” so what happens when the Lord of the Apes shows up?

Set in an alternate 1930s world, Bruce Wayne meets Lord John Greystoke at a party. Later, Batman finds the loincloth-clad Tarzan on a roof who recognizes him since “you can’t hide your scent.”

The pair are soon out to stop a “two-faced woman” named Finnigan Dent from getting her hands on an ancient treasure. 

It’s a fun tale as, at first, Tarzan is out of his element in Gotham. However, he takes the lead when they headed to Africa to help the queen of a cat-cult defend her land. 

It’s an unusual pairing that oddly makes total sense in this tale. 

Judge Dredd

Batman Judge Dredd
Batman vs Judge Dredd. Pic credit: DC Comics

With one film (1995) a flop and another (2012’s Dredd) a favored sleeper, Judge Dredd has seen his ups and downs with the public.

A 1991 story has Batman sent into the dystopian future of Mega-City One and quickly clashing with Dredd.

Obviously, the vigilante and the order-obsessed Judge have a huge beef with Batman ready to be sent to prison but escapes.

Dredd’s rival, Judge Death, teamed with Scarecrow in a twisted scheme to cause chaos to both eras, forcing Batman and Dredd to pair up. 

A second special continued the teaming as, despite mutual hate, there’s also odd respect between these men who uphold the law differently. 

Dark Claw

Dark Claw
Batman and Wolverine mashup Dark Claw. Pic credit: DC Comics/Marvel Comics

This is less a pure team-up than a unique crossover, but it should still count as an overlooked gem.

In 1995, DC vs. Marvel had the epic clash of the two universes fans had dreamed of for years. A major turn was the realities briefly merged into Amalgam Comics. 

Among the mingled characters was Dark Claw, a mix of Batman and Wolverine. Orphaned as a child, Logan Wayne was selected for a secret government program giving him an adamantium skeleton and claws. 

Posing as a playboy artist, Logan fights crime as Dark Claw, aided by sidekick Sparrow (a mix of Robin and Jubilee). His main foe is Hyena, a cross of the Joker and Sabretooth. 

While the character only popped up a couple of times, it’s a fun look at two famous dark figures thrown together. 

Sherlock Holmes

Batman Sherlock Holmes
Batman and Sherlock Holmes Detective Comics. Pic credit: DC Comics

Batman is “The World’s Greatest Detective,” but a special case had him meeting the original. 

In 1986’s Detective Comics #572, Batman and Robin head to London, tracking a case tied into one Holmes solved in the late 19th century. 

It leads to the pair stopping an attempted assassination of the Royal Family where a mysterious figure gives both clues and some judo fighting to stop the villain.

Batman and his allies are shocked to find the figure is none other than a still alive and spry Sherlock Holmes, who credits Batman for his sharp mind.

An episode of the Brave and the Bold animated series had Batman traveling to the past to meet Holmes and show how this combination of deductive minds is brilliant. 

Steed and Peel

Batman 1960s Avengers
1960s Batman and Avengers. Pic credit: DC Comics

Before Marvel Comics came along, the Avengers was the title of a beloved cult British TV show.

Fans adored watching the antics of the umbrella-toting Steed (Patrick Macnee) and the leather-bound Mrs. Peel (Diana Rigg) going on fantastic spy adventures. 

A mini-series links them with the 1966 Batman TV show as the Dynamic Duo’s foe Lord Fogg is working with the Cybernauts, the robotic enemies of Steed and Peel.

It’s a great clash of styles as the British agents mix with the Dynamic Duo in a campy story with some unique turns in the plot. 

It’s not the Batman/Avengers crossover most would think of, but it’s still a fun read. 

Elmer Fudd

Batman Elmer Fudd
Batman meets Elmer Fudd. Pic credit: DC Comics

No, this is not some fevered dream of an animation fan, this really happened. 

Part of a series of unique DC Comics/Warner Bros crossovers, this 2017 special reimagines the dim-witted hunter as a hired gun in Gotham City.

It starts with Elmer finding low-level crook “Bugs” at Porky’s Bar, which is filled with takes on other Looney Tunes characters. 

Bugs claims that Bruce Wayne killed Elmer’s love to declare, “It’s Wayne-hunting season.” He goes after Wayne which, of course, sends Batman after him. 

The comic was actually nominated for an Eisner Award and hailed as one of the most wonderfully weird stories ever published. 

Aliens/Predator

Batman/Aliens
Batman vs Xenomorph. Pic credit: DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics

Batman has often complained about getting involved with other-worldly adventures, so imagine him clashing with the two famous movie properties.

A trio of mini-series involved Batman discovering one of the alien Predators was turning Gotham into a hunting ground, donning his own armor to fight it. Another story had Batman and Robin hunted by a father-son Predator pair.

Two mini-series had Batman tangling with the acid-blood Xenomorphs, relying on his wits against a monstrous force.

It all paid off in a story of Batman and Superman taking on Xenomorphs and Predators in a wild battle royal. 

As much as he hates getting off Earth, Batman proved he can take on alien foes and street crooks. 

The Mask

Joker Mask
Joker and the Mask. Pic credit: DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics

Famous for the 1994 Jim Carrey movie, the Mask is an object that turns anyone who wears it into a super-powered figure and drives them insane. So imagine what happens when the most insane man on Earth gets it.

Yes, the Joker dons the Mask, making him even crazier than he usually is and backed by super-powers to boot. Even Batman cannot stop him. 

Soon, the Joker is running roughshod over Gotham, but a battle of wills occurs as the Joker’s ego doesn’t want the Mask taking credit for his crimes.

It’s a challenge for Batman to handle this double-dose of madness with a surprising outcome to the conflict. 

Power Rangers

Batman Power Rangers
Batman vs the Power Rangers. Pic credit: DC Comics/Boom Studios

It’s not only Batman involved, but this still counts as a wild event when the Justice League met the Power Rangers.

A transporter accident sends the Black Ranger, Zack, into Gotham City, where he mistakes Batman for one of Lord Zedd’s monsters to attack. When the other Rangers show up, Batman has to call in the JLA for help. 

Meanwhile, Zedd forges an alliance with Superman’s old enemy Brainiac, to steal the Rangers’ coins and shrink Angel Grove into a bottle.

This leads to a fun team-up that includes Red Ranger Jason dressing up as the Red Hood with Azrael’s flaming sword and Batman getting in a crack about the Rangers’ robot dinosaurs.

It makes sense Robin’s teacher ends up respecting these teen heroes.

The Incredible Hulk

Batman Hulk
Batman vs the Hulk. Pic credit: DC Comics/Marvel Comics

If there’s a total mismatch, Batman and the Incredible Hulk would be it. 

This crossover has Bruce Banner working at a lab when the Joker robs it and the struggle turns Banner into the Hulk.

Batman shows up and, amazingly, holds his own against a monster capable of tossing tanks like toys.

The Joker is trying to help the cosmic Shaper of Worlds maintain his sanity (as he doesn’t want everyone on Earth as crazy as he is) and soon tricks Batman and Hulk into helping.

It builds to Joker briefly getting cosmic power to make his warped dreams a reality, and it’s offbeat watching the brilliant Dark Knight and the thick-headed Hulk as a truly mixed-up team. 

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