How Many Times Has Batman Died? Every Comic Death Explained

batman deaths

The legendary Batman is among the top superheroes of all time, being a veteran figure that shaped the DC world. However, the hero of Gotham City has met a dire end on numerous occasions, and many fans are eager to know how many times Batman has died in the comics.

Batman “died” at least 22 times throughout DC comics, most commonly due to heart attacks or electrocution. Only a couple of these instances were “true” deaths for alternate Batman figures, such as Batman of Earth-2, Earth-51, or Thomas Wayne. All other Bruce Wayne ‘deaths’ were faked, alleged, or only temporary.

There are many instances where Batman has passed away, primarily on alternate timelines. Stick around to find out everything there is to know about Batman’s numerous deaths in the DC comics, including how they happened as well as how he made so many returns.

All Times Batman Died

Many notable superheroes belong to a different species entirely, or they have supernatural abilities and mutant traits. But what makes Batman such a renowned figure is the fact that he is entirely human with no superpowers.

He does not have bulletproof skin, super speed, or even superhuman strength. Batman is just incredibly strong, agile, and tough, topped off with a hefty amount of weapons, gadgets, and resources, but he can pass away from typical causes, whether it be injury or illness.


What Is Batman’s ‘Contingency Plan’? Explained

While Batman has gone up against some seriously rough opponents, taking bad guys out in nearly every situation, Batman died at least 22 times throughout the DC comic storyline. Only a couple of these deaths were “true,” with all others being “faked,” “alleged,” or only temporary.

Batman’s deaths in DC Comics: Explained

The deaths of Batman have been detailed below in chronological order based on the year of release, including Bruce Wayne, Thomas Wayne as Batman, as well as Batman from different timelines. However, Batman deaths featured in titles that are debatably canon have been excluded.

1. Batman Vol. 1 #72 (1952)

The first known death of Batman is very interesting in hindsight, as it could provide hints as to why Batman always comes back. Batman Vol. 1 #72 follows the hero trying to get into an ancient secret organization named the Death-Cheaters of Gotham City.

Each of the members has died numerous times but has always managed to come back in one way or another. Batman is shown drinking a poisonous substance that kills him for several minutes, after which he is revived.

2. The Brave and the Bold Vol. 1 #115 (1974)

atom batman

Batman met a bizarre twist of fate with the release of The Brave and the Bold Vol. 1 #115, which showed an odd team-up between Batman and Atom. Batman was electrocuted by a window, which left him brain-dead with only hours to live.

Atom decided to help Batman solve the case. Palmer shrunk down and entered Batman’s brain, controlling his body in order to save the innocent woman in question – after all was said and done, it was discovered that Palmer’s tampering had somehow brought Batman back to life.


Batman and The Joker: The Man Who Laughs (Greatest Stories Ever Told)

3. Batman Vol. 1 #291-294 (1977)

rip batman

Batman Vol. 1 #291-294 was rather interesting for readers, following the accounts of numerous criminals after Batman’s alleged death. Each chapter focuses on the testimony of a different villain, Catwoman, Riddler, Lex Luthor, and the Joker, with each claiming to be the culprit.

Some of these characters are obviously conflicted about the supposed death of Batman, particularly Catwoman. In the end, the Joker killed Batman – however, it turned out to be an innocent civilian in a Batman costume, with the real Batman watching from the shadows the entire time.

4. Adventure Comics Vol. 1 #462 (1979)

A story titled “Death of Batman” was featured with the release of Adventure Comics Vol. 1 #462, following a retired Bruce Wayne. Bill Jensen calls him out, and his identity is revealed during a confrontation.

Jensen flies into a magical rage that consumes both of the figures, as Helena watches Bruce Wayne being torn apart, but it’s later revealed that this is Bruce Wayne from Earth-2. Many of the inconsistencies and gaps were fixed with Crisis on Infinite Earths, a crossover event created to normalize the DC Universe back in 1985.

5. The Dark Knight Returns Vol. 1 #4 (1986)

Dark Knight returns vol 1 4

The Dark Knight Returns Vol. 1 #4 featured an epic brawl between Batman and Superman, taking place on the streets of Gotham City. Although Batman put up a solid fight, he was simply no match for the Man of Steel – and he knew it.

Instead of losing the fight, Batman faked his death by drinking “poison” and staging a heart attack. From this point, Batman went underground and began training an army to continue his mission.

6. Batman – Birth of the Demon (1992)

Birth of the Demon concluded Denny O’Neil’s trilogy, which followed the Ra’s al Ghul graphic novels. Batman’s latest clash with the Ra’s led to him being impaled by a shovel, after which Batman decided to throw himself and the Ra’s into the new pit. Miraculously, Batman emerged the following day in pristine condition.


The Importance of Ra’s al Ghul and Why He’s Batman’s Greatest Enemy

7. Detective Comics Vol. 1 #644 (1992)

Detective Comics Vol. 1 introduced fans to The Electrocutioner, a death row inmate who somehow survived the electric shock and sought vengeance. He shocked Batman with a blast of electricity which stopped his heart, but Robin was nearby and revived him – by convincing Galvan to “shock” Batman back to life, which actually worked.

8. Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 1 #65 (1994)

Fans got a glimpse into what the Joker would have been like with the release of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Vol. 1 #65, where the Joker believes that he successfully killed Batman. After Batman is presumed dead, the Joker starts regaining his sanity, eventually starting a relationship and getting engaged.

However, it is soon revealed that Batman was not dead, but severely wounded. Batman soon recovered and returned, after which the Joker returned to his classic sinister self.

9. Emperor Joker: Action Comics Vol. 1 #770 (2000)

The “Emperor Joker” storyline was detailed in Action Comics Vol. 1 #770, following the Joker as he flaunts God-like supernatural powers. The Joker steals the majority of Mr. Mxyzptlk’s power, gaining the ability to warp and reshape reality as he pleases.

He used his ability to kill Batman over and over again in every sick and twisted way he could possibly think of. However, his plot to destroy everything came to a standstill when he realized that it would involve destroying Batman completely.

10. JLA: Obsidian Age JLA #74 (2003)

justice league dead

JLA: Obsidian Age JLA is one of the most gruesome releases fans have seen, detailing how the entire Justice League is dismembered and killed by the ancient Atlanteans. Batman was slaughtered with the others, but they are all revived by the next issue thanks to some magic and time travel.

11. Superman – Red Son #2 (2003)

Superman – Red Son #2 is an Elseworlds title following an altercate DCU, in which Superman becomes the figurehead of the USSR. This dramatically alters the course of history, which leads to Batman taking the role of a terrorist/freedom fighter striking back at Superman’s increasingly oppressive rule.

He forged an alliance with Lexcorp as well as the head of the KGB in order to unleash an attack on Superman. However, when his plan failed, Batman resorted to detonating a bomb to evade being captured, which took him out in the process.

12. Superman/Batman Vol. 1 #15 (2004)

wonder woman

To many fans’ surprise, Wonder Woman was actually the one to kill Batman in Superman/Batman Vol. 1 #15. However, this was on an alternate timeline where Superman and Batman were both dictators.


Did Batman and Wonder Woman Ever Date?

Wonder Woman formed a group of freedom fighters who attacked Liberty Island. Many heroes are killed in the process, but it ends with Wonder Woman stabbing Batman in the chest which kills him instantly.

13. Batman Vol. 1 #672 (2008)

Batman passes away after being shot in the chest in Batman Vol. 1 #672. The bullet does not cause injury thanks to his armor, but the impact does lead to a heart attack. His heart stops and he flatlines on the spot, but Batman is ultimately revived.

14. Countdown to Final Crisis Vol. 1 #13 (2008)

ultraman kills batman

Batman of Earth-51 is killed while attacking a variant of the Joker in Countdown to Final Crisis Vol. 1 #13. Superman punches Batman in the back of the head, which proves to be a fatal blow.

15. Final Crisis Vol. 1 #6 (2009)

batman dead

Batman was captured by Darkseid’s forces during Final Crisis, and he shoots Darkseid in Vol. 1 #6. Batman was vaporized by Darkseid’s Omega Sanction blast in the process, but it turns out that the blast actually transported Batman back to prehistoric Gotham City.

16. Batman Vol. 1 #686 (2009)

caped crusader

Batman Vol. 1 #686 explores the idea of Batman passing away, although the story is timeless with no continuation in terms of the actual lore. While the release gives the impression that Batman has already died, readers later learn that the entire story is a sort of vision that Batman is experiencing with his mother.

17. Flashpoint Vol. 2 #5 (2011)


Flashpoint: Knight of Vengeance #1 introduces fans to the idea of Thomas Wayne becoming a more violent and corrupted version of Batman while Martha Wayne gradually descends into madness. Although, it’s far more complex, as it follows Flash on a mission to save his mother.

Thomas Wayne meets his end while fighting the Enchantress and the Atlanteans, but he hands Barry a note to give to Bruce before passing away. Barry races into the timestream before attempting to rectify events by chasing after his past self and encountering the DCU, Vertigo, and Wildstorm timelines.

18. Batman Vol. 2 #6: The Court of Owls (2012)

court of owls

Batman: The Court of Owls was published as a part of the New 52, where Batman takes a ton of damage at the hands of the Talon. Batman manages to escape the attack, but he suffers a heart attack that kills him temporarily – he is found by Bluebird and revived with jumper cables using a nearby car battery.

19. Earth 2 #1 (2012)

Batman of Earth 2 meets his demise at the hands of Steppenwolf’s Parademon forces in Earth 2 #1, alongside that reality’s Wonder Woman and Superman. The final moments of this battle saw one of the towers self-destruct, claiming Batman in the process as Robin watched in horror.

20. New 52’s Detective Comics Vol. 1 #27 (2014)

New 52’s Detective Comics Vol. 1 #27 explores the idea of Batman planning for the continuation of the hero after Bruce Wayne’s death. While it does not detail how he actually dies in the future, the release hints at the idea of future Bruce Wayne Batman figures actually being clones of the original ‘now-deceased’ Bruce Wayne.

21. Batman Vol. 2: Endgame Vol. 2 #40 (2015)

The Batman: Endgame storyline came to a climactic end back with the release of Vol. 2 #40 in 2015, with Batman and Joker both buried deep beneath the surface of Gotham City. Fans see Batman’s last moments, as he lies in a heart-shaped pool of blood alongside the Joker, and they were both trapped with no way of escaping.


Batman Is Not Autistic, He Is Just a Really Well-Written Character

Hundreds of Bat-Signals paint the skies within the next few weeks, confirming that Batman is truly gone. Still, while many presumed this would be the end of Bruce Wayne, it’s clear that this hero has a knack for returning when it’s least expected.

22. Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham (2016)

Batman Vol. 1: I Am Gotham follows the story of Gotham and Gotham Girl, who are symbols of hope for Batman. Gotham Girl explains that she was the one responsible for killing Batman, detailing that Batman died in the same spot where Gotham Girl’s brother died.


Batman’s deaths were crucial to story development, allowing other characters to momentarily experience life without him before his inevitable return. Sidekicks and heroes are shaped by these instances, along with Gotham City as a whole, as villains start reflecting on how Batman actually gives their lives meaning.

That’s everything there is to know about how many times Batman has died in DC comics. Batman formed the foundations for many of the titles we know and love while being a key player in various DC releases involving other renowned heroes.

What do you think about how many times Batman has died in the DC comics? Let us know in the comments below!

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments