Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne were born in the 1930s through the combined efforts of Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Since then, the Dark Knight has roamed the nights and rooftops of Gotham City, taking on the most colorful villain gallery in the superhero genre, still haunted by the traumatic childhood murder of his parents. While he doesn’t have any superheroes, Batman has plenty of cool bat-themed gadgets and vehicles, strong detective skills, a badass look and attitude, and a whole bat family of supporting characters.
Today, Batman is one of the most popular superheroes around, and it shows. Since its debut in a 1939 issue detective Comics, The Dark Knight has appeared in countless films and TV shows, both animated and live-action films. Interestingly, many of the Batman-related live-action shows feature the Dark Knight in the Shadows as a supporting character and focus more on the bat family. With that in mind, here is the ranking of every Batman-related live action TV series.
6 Gotham Knights (2023)
Oh, Gotham Knights, we hardly knew you The first season of Gotham Knights premiered in 2023 and has already been cancelled. Regardless of the show’s reception and ratings, it has an interesting premise. Bruce Wayne/Batman (David Miller) appears only in the first episode of the series, where he is found mysteriously murdered. Bruce’s adopted son Turner Hayes (Oscar Morgan) and several other characters are charged with his murder by the Gotham City Police Department and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Misha Collins).
The four teenagers become the “Gotham Knights” as they play detectives investigating Bruce’s murder while attempting to clear their names. While Turner is a fictional character for the series (Bruce’s son is Damian in the comics), well-known Batman characters also make an appearance, such as The dark knight returns’ Robin Carrie Kelley (Navia Robinson), The Court of Owls and Two Face. Some fans were stunned by the show’s cancellation after Two-Face’s short but great performance at the end of the season. It was definitely a unique look for the character. But alas, not even Two-Face can bring this mediocre show back from the dead.
5 Birds of Prey (2002 – 2003)
birds of prey offers more content about the bat family. And no, we’re not talking about the 2020 film, which oddly changed its title to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey after the theatrical release – although Harley Quinn has an appearance in this show.
Similar to Gotham Knights, birds of prey imagines a world without Batman. Except here, the Dark Knight is still alive; He has just resigned his post as Gotham City’s protector. In an intriguing move birds of prey takes place in the same world as Tim Burton’s filmsand features footage of Michael Keaton’s Batman and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in the opening credits. And here the two have a child: Helena Kyle, also known as the Slayer. In Batman’s absence, she and Jim Gordon’s daughter, known as Oracle, take on his war on crime.
Other Batman characters appear, such as Bruce’s trusty butler, Alfred Pennyworth, and Harley Quinn, the series’ main antagonist. How Gotham Knights, birds of prey was shot down shortly after flight; it only lasted thirteen episodes. It’s a fun show that offers unique members of the bat family some time in the sun, away from Batman’s shadow. But in the end, the show’s narratives and performances weren’t enough to make that happen birds of prey fly up.
4 Bat Woman (2019 – 2022)
For some reason, DC was really determined to make a successful show without Batman. And like the earlier entries on this list, Batwoman was another failure. Once again, Batman has disappeared and left Gotham City (they really need to start thinking about more original premises). His role is instead filled by Batwoman, played by Bruce’s cousin Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) in the first season and ex-con Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) in the second season. Both characters also had help from Luke Fox, the son of Batman’s deceased ally Lucius Fox, who becomes Batwing throughout the series. Batwoman was part of the Arrowverse television series which had more success than this show.
Although Bruce never appears in this series, we are treated to an alternate universe version of Batman, portrayed by the legendary Kevin Conroy in the TV special Crisis on Infinite Earths. critics gave Batwoman positive reviews for its diverse portrayal and entertaining narration. But the love was not shared by audiences and ratings plummeted when the series changed its leading lady. The show was canceled after just three seasons. But hey, this is still better than Gotham Knights or Birds of prey. It seems like these female Bat characters just can’t take a break. dc’s latest movie, batgirl, was shelved entirely after James Gunn took over the DC Universe, although filming on the film had already wrapped.
3 Titans (2018 – 2023)
Titans follows a group of young heroes from across the DC Universe as they attempt to establish their own superhero identity. And at the forefront of that group is Batman’s original sidekick Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), who is trying to break away from his Robin persona and become Nightwing.Titans is another series trying to succeed without Batman. In fact, at one point, Dick says, “F*ck Batman.” And for once, that approach actually works. This series is a gritty and gritty take on the Teen Titans franchise that doesn’t rely on or really need Batman. We see a fair amount of Bruce Wayne played by Iain Glen on the show Game of Thrones. His alter ego also appears several times, although we never get to see him exactly.
This version of the Dark Knight is very different from other iterations. This Batman kills people left and right, including SWAT team members. He even murders various members of his villain’s gallery, such as the Joker, the Riddler, and Two-Face, in a dream sequence, although we never get to see them exactly either. And that works too. This series is about Dick and the other Titans, not Batman, and he’s committed to that – until Titans was canceled after season four due to James Gunn’s involvement with DC and the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery. This show may not be the most faithful adaptation of Batman. But with its bold storytelling and somber nature, it is Titans is a strong and unique offering among Batman live action TV shows.
2 Batman (1966 – 1968)
This classic from 1966 is legendary in Batman history. Secure, Batman is cheesy, comedic and ridiculous, flashing comic book action words like “POW!”. over your screen. Sure, it has some of the cheesiest lines of all time, like Robin’s famous catchphrase “Holy (insert word here), Batman!” And sure, there’s none of the darkness and bravery that defines Batman, well, Batman. But consider this: that was the 1960s. TV was different back then. And at the end of the day, it’s the series that popularized and introduced the Dark Knight to the general public.
After the series premiered, DC Comics saw a huge increase in sales and began incorporating the series’ campy character into its Batman comics. Adam West may not be the first actor to play the Caped Crusader on screen. But for many fans, he’s the first Batman we’ve ever had. For others, he’s the definitive live-action version. Batman also showcased the best of the Dark Knight’s rogues’ gallery and turned them all into household names, like the Joker, the Catwoman, the Riddler, and the Penguin. Batman is a lot of fun and played a crucial role in the Dark Knight’s enduring popularity. But its absurd, campy nature keeps it from claiming the top spot on this list.
1 Gotham (2014 – 2019)
In 2014 we got Gotham, a prequel series that follows a young Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) after the murder of his parents. It describes the events that led to and inspired the creation of Batman. Unlike its 1966 predecessor Gotham gets dark and intense while keeping things light and fluffy. But make no mistake: Gotham has its flaws. Like many other television shows, the series occasionally suffers from cheesy acting, obnoxious script, and poor visual effects. The first season is weak and has too much Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett Smith), one of the worst Batman characters of all time. Season two is where Gotham is starting to show promise. It’s interesting to follow a young Bruce Wayne after his parents are murdered, and Mazouz does a good job. Donal Logue is a treat as Harvey Bullock, and his relationship with Gordon is a highlight of the series. Another bright spot is Bruce’s butler, Alfred (Sean Pertwee), whose portrayal is a lot tougher than the buttoned-up gentleman we’re used to.
Gotham Also, almost the entire gallery of Batman’s villains is presented, with many of them including their origin stories and narratives. This step is a bit risky; Many comics argue that Batman’s looks inspired and lured these villains to Gotham in the first place. And here they are, years before Batman even dons his cape and hood. Even, Gotham does an excellent job portraying these villains, many of whom have never been adapted into a live-action movie before. Robin Lord Taylor is great as Penguin, Cory Michael Smith might be the best Riddler we’ve ever had, and Cameron Monaghan deserves to be in the conversation for Best Joker. Many of its storylines also pay homage to iconic comics, such as The Long Halloween And The Deadly Joke. As this list proves, we haven’t seen a quality live-action Batman TV series that can match a superhero series daredevil. At the end of the day, Batman: The Animated Series is a better and more faithful adaptation than any show on this list. But Gotham has still proven itselfAn outstanding series that wasn’t afraid to go back to its comic book origins and get a little fantastic. It’s an entertaining ride, from its tragic beginnings to the long-awaited and final take on Batman