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A Sketch of 40 Amazing Batmen: Sharks, Bears, Ballerinas and Pancakes

Last weekend, the creators the webcomic of Johnny Wander spent three days at Big Apple Con in New York City, and apparently the super-hero-centric atmosphere prompted artist Yuko Ota to fill three pages of her sketchbook with forty amazing drawings of Batman.

But what sets Ota’s Batmen apart is that for the most part, they’re not engaging in the Dark Knight’s typical vengeance- and/or night-related activities. Instead, as Johnny Wander writer Ananth put it, these are pictures of Batman’s off-hours, when he’s “just kicking back and taking a break from being the Batmen we all know and love.” And that means Ninja Turtle Batman, Wizard Batman, Pancake Breakfast Batman, Ballerina Batman, Shark-Surfing Batman, and my personal favorite, Bear-Fighting And Befriending Batman! Check out the full thing, and examples of just how shockingly accurate they are, below!

One of the most amazing things about this piece is how incredibly plausible every single drawing is. There’s no reason upper-right corner’s Showertime Batman — which amazingly was not one of the Mattel figures in the early ’90s — could not appear in a DC comic. After all, Batman has to be ready to battle the forces of evil at any and all times, including while he’s getting his clean on.

I also have no trouble believing that Batman would unwind by surfing on a shark, or train himself to be the best Hopscotch player in the world, or that he would be super-excited about riding on a giraffe. Who wouldn’t be?

But even more than those, what’s amazing is that some of these things have actually happened. Batman was on the moon every month when the Justice League had their headquarters up there, and the Wolverine-Batman mashup?

It happened during DC and Marvel’s “Amalgam Comics” crossover way back in 1997. And while the official version of Cowboy Batman’s horse did not wear a mask — a glaring oversight on the part of DC comics — he was definitely a big part of The Return of Bruce Wayne:

They’ve even managed to work in Wizard Batman in the pages of Superman Batman‘s recent “Sorcerer Kings” arc, although I have to admit that I definitely prefer Ota’s classic design:

So what have we learned today? First, that Batman contains multitudes, and second, that Yuko Ota is awesome. But we probably already knew both of those.

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