20 of the weirdest Batman stories ever

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9. The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh

Batman is generally a terrestrial superhero. At least in the case of his own dedicated titles like Batman or Detective Comics, his feet remain planted firmly on the Earth. Do you blame him? He is one of the original genius billionaire playboy philanthropists, but Bruce Wayne is also very human. That becomes very apparent when he joins the Justice League. There, Wayne is surrounded by a bevy of superpowered humans and aliens. Even high-intensity interval training and oodles of money don’t seem like quite enough next to laser vision.

I mean, I would definitely feel vulnerable if I were placed between Superman and Wonder Woman. Wouldn’t you?

Credit to Batman, then, for still going out and fighting crime with his insanely powered buddies. But, before the Justice League came to be a thing, he had his own intergalactic adventures. That includes the exceedingly strange tale of the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh.

The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh first appeared in 1958 in Batman #113. His real name is actually Tlano, and he’s an inhabitant of the planet Zur-En-Arrh (though publishers initially took the easy route and called it “Planet X” in promotional materials). It turns out that Tlano, a scientist and aspiring crime fighter, has been monitoring Batman. He’s modeled his own crime-fighting persona on the Dark Knight, though his costume looks more like a court jester’s duds than a super serious Batman.

Tlano brings our Earth’s Batman to Zur-En-Arrh — via hypnosis and the Batplane — to help fight giant alien robots. That’s weird, sure, but at least Batman gets a leg up. He discovers that, similar to Superman, the general atmosphere of Zur-En-Arrh gives him superpowers. Batman and Tlano readily defeat the alien robots and Batman heads home.