Here’s a fun little diversion.
Few comic book characters have been interpreted and reinterpreted as often, or in quite the variety of was, as Batman. Created in the late 1930’s by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, the character, originally called the Bat-Man, and at times “the Batman”, was a synthesis of other pop culture characters, notably The Shadow, Doc Savage and possibly Zorro.
He has become a familiar pop-culture icon and has been portrayed over the years by a succession of artists and writers whose interpretations have been simplistic, complex, silly, dark and everything in between. It seems like every mainstream comic book artist harbors a secret (or not so secret) desire to do their take on the Batman.
Many Faces of Batman is a web site that has collected some images by a number of the artists who have drawn (and/or painted) the character, and displays then in galleries arranged by artist.
If you can tolerate the ads and the slow server speed, you can flip through a mini-tour of 20th Century super-hero comics, get a quick look at some different artist’s styles (though some are not well represented by the particular choice of image) and see how varied the approaches have been to the portrayal of one character over the years. (Notice the different lengths of the ears.)
[Image above, left to right: Bob Kane, Jim Aparo, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Brian Bolland, AlexRoss.]