To say that Jean-Paul Valley’s life has been turned upside over the past year is putting it mildly, as anyone who’s been reading DETECTIVE COMICS knows. A newly minted member of Batman’s team, Azrael has found himself questioning his beliefs, and then questioning them again, even as he’s forged a particularly close friendship with Luke Fox.
While Bruce Wayne might be the most famous Bat in Gotham City, he’s far from the only Caped Crusader to ever swing into action. In the 77 years since Batman’s creation, dozens of characters have tried their hands at becoming the Dark Knight, some by choice, some by force, some practically by accident. Let’s take a look at some of the unsung heroes (and villains) who have tried to take up the cowl, and what their contribution to the Batman myth, for better or worse, might be.