This weekend marks the dawn of a new era. It's time for a new Batman and line-up of movies featuring the Caped Crusader.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is the ninth time a Batman will appear on the big screen in live action form. The first came fifty years ago when Adam West put on the tights and ran around battling sharks, Catwoman, and The Joker.
We dug deep into the ComicBook.com Movie Database and compiled the definitive ranking based off the ComicBook.com Composite.
Let's take a look at how all of the Batman films stack up against one another.
Let's face it, no one truly enjoyed Batman and Robin. Not even George Clooney.
This superhero adventure finds Batman (George Clooney) and his partner, Robin (Chris O'Donnell), attempting to the foil the sinister schemes of a deranged set of new villains, most notably the melancholy Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who wants to make Gotham into an arctic region, and the sultry Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), a plant-loving femme fatale. As the Dynamic Duo contends with these bad guys, a third hero, Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone), joins the ranks of the city's crime-fighters.
Batman and Robin was released on May 1, 1997.
Val Kilmer may have a few Batman fans out there somewhere but his movie hasn't earned very much praise.
Batman (Val Kilmer) faces off against two foes: the schizophrenic, horribly scarred former District Attorney Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), and the Riddler (Jim Carrey), a disgruntled ex-Wayne Enterprises inventor seeking revenge against his former employer by unleashing his brain-sucking weapon on Gotham City's residents. As the caped crusader also deals with tortured memories of his parents' murder, he has a new romance, with psychologist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman).
Batman Forever was released on May 1, 1995.
Adam West's Batman was the one which started it all in live-action. While we can still love and appreciate the quirky film from 1966 and the TV show from which is spawned, we have to admit that it has been topped.
Holy feature film, Batman ... one based on the tongue-in-cheek, campy 1960's television series. Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) battle sharks, Catwoman, The Joker and The Riddler on the big screen. Can they try to prevent the bad guys from taking over the world? With a wham! and a pow! and a zip!
Batman was released on July 30, 1966.
While we loved Ben Affleck as the caped crusader, and even went as far to call him the best live-action Batman, unfortunately the movie didn't sit so well with critics. Batman V Superman is no Batman & Robin, but it's no Nolan or Burton era DC-verse movie either. Considering what this movie sets up, we have high hopes that perhaps in a solo outing, Affleck will truly get his moment to shine as the Dark Knight.
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before.
If you don't love Danny DeVito's Penguinm get out! And seriously, Michael Keaton is still a very, very respected Batman and the one which truly helped set the Dark Knight in the right direction on screen.
In Batman Returns, he monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) to topple the Batman (Michael Keaton) once and for all. But when Shreck's timid assistant, Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer), finds out, and Shreck tries to kill her, she is transformed into the sexy Catwoman. She teams up with the Penguin and Shreck to destroy Batman, but sparks fly unexpectedly when she confronts the caped crusader.
Batman Returns was released on June 2, 1992.
Tim Burton's direction and Michael Keaton's performance made the 1989 Batman a memorable addition to the Batman lineup. Plus, Jack Nicholson's Joker performance was a lot of fun, with a touch of a classic feeling but remixed to match Burton's and Nicholson's styles.
In 1989's Batman, having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City disguised as Batman, a costumed hero who strikes fear into the hearts of villains. But when a deformed madman who calls himself "The Joker" (Jack Nicholson) seizes control of Gotham's criminal underworld, Batman must face his most ruthless nemesis ever while protecting both his identity and his love interest, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger).
Batman was released on June 24, 1989.
The conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy had mixed reception among fans. Some loved it while others were left a bit disappointed. In any case, a strong villain in Bane pushed Batman to his limits for the trilogies closing.
In The Dark Knight Rises, it has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night. Assuming responsibility for the death of Harvey Dent, Batman sacrificed everything for what he and Gordon hoped would be the greater good. However, the arrival of a cunning cat burglar (Anne Hathaway) and a merciless terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy) force Batman out of exile and into a battle he may not be able to win.
The Dark Knight Rises was released on July 21, 2012.
It's no surprise that Nolan's trilogy is rounding out the top Batman films. It's introduction to the series, Batman Begins, established Christian Bale's as one that truly meant business. A brilliant new cast and a grounded mythology kicked off what would become the most renowned trilogy in comic book movie history.
A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), a member of the mysterious League of Shadows. When Ducard reveals the League's true purpose -- the complete destruction of Gotham City -- Wayne returns to Gotham intent on cleaning up the city without resorting to murder. With the help of Alfred (Michael Caine), his loyal butler, and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), a tech expert at Wayne Enterprises, Batman is born.
Batman Begins was released on June 16, 2015.
The Dark Knight is not only the best Batman movie to date but it is also arguably the best comic book movie of all-time. It currently sits atop ComicBook.com's comic book movie composite rankings and is reflected upon whenever a new movie arrives. Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker took comic book movies to the next level of cinema.
In The Dark Knight, with the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has been able to keep a tight lid on crime in Gotham City. But when a vile young criminal calling himself the Joker (Heath Ledger) suddenly throws the town into chaos, the caped Crusader begins to tread a fine line between heroism and vigilantism.
The Dark Knight was released July 20, 2008.
Have you seen Dawn of Justice yet? If so, go rate it in the ComicBook.com Movie Database for a chance to win your very own Armored Batman figure!
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in theaters.