Batman in steampunk culture

Steampunk Batman
Gotham by Gaslight Batman Character

I had originally planned to write an article on superheroes that are being adapted for life in a steampunk alternate universe. However, upon researching Batman, he seems to have been given a lot of limelight of his own.

It appears to have begun back in 1989 with the release of the DC comics Elseworlds publication called Gotham by Gaslight and features a plot of a Victorian era Bruce Wayne battling Jack the Ripper who conveniently appears in Gotham City and is related to Wayne. It was so successful that it spawned a sequel in 1991 called Batman: Master of the Future. Interestingly, the comics use more of a Victoriana approach, given that steampunk was in it’s infancy at the time of publication.

However, scroll forward to 2013 and there’s a release date for a video game version of Gotham by Gaslight. Sadly it was cancelled after THQ couldn’t secure the rights, but not after it got gamers and steampunks worked up into a lather first. Especially when the teaser videos showed a distinct steampunk look to Gotham City.

Steampunk Joker
Gotham by Gaslight Joker Character

In the original comic, the Joker got a brief mention and for the game a Gaslight Joker and Gaslight Catwoman were featured. As I said, the video game has been noted to have a certain steampunk aesthetic quality to it and this isn’t the first time that Catwoman has been featured in a steampunk outfit. The video game Injustice has a Catwoman character complete with goggles and tight fitting corset that holds a bull whip tail. You may remember I reported on it the first time I played the game.

Steampunk Catwoman
Gotham by Gaslight Catwoman Character
Steampunk Catwoman on Injustice
Catwoman Injustice character
Duela Dent is an alternate universe character
Steampunk Duela Dent

When Duela Dent claimed to be the daughter of Joker, she takes on a steampunk look with top hat and goggles.

Throughout her appearances in the comics, she’s also claimed to be the daughter of Catwoman, Scarecrow, The Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, Doomsday, Dr. Light and Punch & Jewelee. She is actually the daughter of The Jokester (a heroic version of The Joker from an alternate dimension) and Evelyn Dent, who is Three-Face on Earth-3 in the Countdown series of comics.

Recently an excellent cosplay of Duela was used as a disparaging meme but fell foul of the creator’s own inability to know anything about comic characters as the cosplayer actually nailed it.

Duela Dent splendid cosplay
Duela Dent cosplay gets memed and owned

For those of you with a keen interest in following a Caped Crusader with goggles and sporting a leather tunic, you can go a like the Steampunk Batman page on Facebook.

He operates on a similar tangent to Steampunk Boba Fett by travelling around various Conventions and making appearances. Kudos to Steampunk Batman for choosing a girl as Robin. I simply cannot find fault with that line of thought.

Many of the Batman villains have been cosplayed with a steampunk look to them. Here’s what I consider the best:

Poison Ivy in steampunk gear
Steampunk Poison Ivy
Dapper Riddler
Steampunk Riddler
Harley Quinn cosplay
Steampunk Harley Quinn

Click here for a plethora of Steampunk Batman art and photography on Tumblr: Steampunk Batman images on Tumblr

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