Pretty much everybody knows what Batman looks like: pointy ears, menacing cowl, voluminous cape and big bat symbol on his chest. But the Dark Knight's been around for more than 75 years, with hundreds—maybe even thousands—of people drawing the iconic superhero through the decades. So let's round up some of the people who've been behind Batman's biggest shifts in appearance as a crimefighter.
The man credited with creating Bruce Wayne and his famous alter ego wasn't much of a draftsman. And he was an exploitative egomaniac who claimed the creations of others as his own. While DC Comics has long credited Kane with Batman's creation, there's been a long-running debate about the input of original Batman writer Bill Finger, including assertions that, even though it was Kane's drawings of Batman that the world first saw, Finger helped shape the character's look.
Part of the 1940s coterie of artists churning out comic books and newspaper strips featuring Batman, Sprang drew a gregarious, barrel-chested Batman who smiled often through colorful adventures. Sprang drew Batman for a long, long time; it's very likely that this was the Caped Crusader your grandpa grew up on.
Like Sprang, Robinson came up working under Kane. But he was among the first of many Bat-artists to wield first-rate skills when drawing Batman's world. Robinson's Batman was leaner and more athletic than those who came before and swung through a world rich with detail.
One of the longest-tenured artists in Batman history, Aparo drew a fundamentally sound yet dramatic Batman who was constantly in full-on superhero mode, whether in team-ups with other characters or on his own. Aparo's art was ubiquitous in the 1970s and 1980s and defined the character for a generation.
The 1990s were a decade where new characters, gadgets and villains showed up in rapid succession to the Bat-books and something about Breyfogle's art synced so well with the era it was appearing in. His sleek angular linework joined up with an intuitive sense of when to detail something out and when drench it in shadow. The legendary artist has recently fallen ill and you can contribute to his health-related expenses here.
Best known as the man who gave Batman a yellow oval around his Bat-symbol, Infantino's "New Look" signified a distinct break with the Kane-sanctioned styles of Sprang and Robinson. Infantino's work brought Batman a little closer to realism than the more cartoony styles that preceded it.
If Infantino edged Batman closer to the real world, then Adams blasted him through the other side. A draftsman and designer of the highest order, Adams' hyper-real artwork pretty much put an end to the campy, self-mocking visual stylings that accrued around the character while the 1960s Batman TV show was on the air.
When Jim Lee draws Batman, it feels like a distillation of what the character is supposed to look like in its most modern conception: armored, implacable and elusive.
This legendary artist has only done a handful of actual comics pages featuring Batman but he's worth noting for his animation work, which boiled down the character's visual traits for the Super Friends model that millions would become familiar with.
What's best about Mazucchelli's rendition of the Dark Knight is that, like Toth before him, it strips Batman's down to its look to its moodiest essentials. As seen in Batman: Year One, he result is seductive, hypnotic and operatic. What's not there doesn't matter.
The man who wrote The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One actually hasn't drawn as many Batman stories as you'd think. But the influence of Miller's gritty vision has changed the way that almost everyone approached the character ever since.
With the rough-edged cyberpunk and Japanese manga signifiers abounding in Pope's work, the sweaty, volatile sensibility found in works like Batman Year 100 return the character to the pulpy tone of his fictional forebears.
The artist best known as one of the creators of 8-Man drew Batman's adventures for Japanese audiences decades ago, filling them with even weirder villains and a cool, approachable style.
Arguably overshadowed by 1980s contemporaries like Aparo, Newton doesn't come in for as much praise as some other Bat-artists. But his lush pencils gave the stories he worked on an extra hint of romanticism, making Batman appear more emotional than he generally did.
It takes a talented graphic designer and penciller to draw Bruce Wayne in bell bottoms and still make Batman seem cool. Rogers did all that and more, breaking down his pages in frames with clever camera angles and making Gotham seem like a world-class metropolis during the 1970s.
Most of his work has been covers but Jones presents Batman at his most grotesque: either a literal vampire or a man made just demonic by obsession.
Quitely's muscular detailing pays homage to designs that came before his tenure but makes them simultaneously more grounded and fantastic.
Best known for The Killing Joke, Bolland's also got a long history of amazingly detailed covers for various Bat-titles throughout the ages. Impossible to look away from.
The painterly approach Sale used for projects like The Long Halloween and Dark Victory make Batman's world seem like a place stuck between a fever dream and a nightmare, familiar but twisted through a totally unique lens.
Capullo's become the artist who's defined the most in most recent years, with a long tenure stretching back to the character's New 52 re-imagining.
If you loved the Batman animated series of the 1990s, then you have Bruce Timm to thank. Timm's scowling square-jawed version of the Dark Knight still manages to communicate menace while being extremely kid-friendly.
Previously associated with beloved runs on Marvel's Daredevil and Dracula characters, Colan's signature moodiness proved to be a perfect match for Batman.
Compared to his famous creation, Hellboy's creator doesn't have that much Batman work under his belt. But what there is of it consists of classic material—Gotham by Gaslight, Sanctum—that pairs Mignola's Victorian, Lovecraftian and Kirby-styling obsessions extremely well with the Dark Knight.
The bulk of Davis' Batman work occupies an odd space in Batman's timeline, just when it was moving from superhero-styled romps to more psychologically driven drama. His roundly outlined style handled both types of story equally well.
You can practically smell the leather and feel the stitching on Bermejo's drawings of Batman and his enemies. The Batsuit looks heavy and painful to wear, giving the sense that the man inside the cowl must be frighteningly committed to his nocturnal identity.
You can tell that Cooke is primarily inspired by old-school illustration and Golden Age comics art the minute you look at anything he draws. But what's most impressive is how he fuses the things he loves into a distinct approach all his own.
If you're a Steve Rude fan, then you probably know the artist's work on iconic sci-fi character Nexus. He's also done time in Gotham, best seen in a World's Finest series which teams up the Bat with Superman.
Ok, we've picked our favorites. Head to the comments below and tell us who your favorite Batman artists have been through the years.