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Batman's Best Team-Ups From The Brave And The Bold

Team-up stories have long been a source of some of the most fun adventures comic books have to offer. There's something simply thrilling about seeing heroes from different titles — and sometimes even different publishers — join forces to take down a bad guy. While Marvel would launch "Marvel Team-Up" in 1972, DC Comics had been publishing its own team-up book, "The Brave and the Bold," since 1955. In every issue, two different DC heroes get together for a new tale. Most issues — especially from 1968 onward — see Batman form one part of the central team-up.

Over the course of this celebrated series, the Dark Knight joins forces with DC heroes ranging from Superman and Green Lantern to Plastic Man and the Atom. "The Brave and the Bold" even capitalizes on the 1970s horror craze, with spooky tales featuring supernatural superheroes. But which heroic pairings are the most fun and noteworthy? Opinions will vary, but we think we've found the best Batman team-ups from his time leading "The Brave and the Bold" — and we're here to share them with you.

Batman and Batman (Issue #200)

The final installment of the Batman-centric era of "The Brave and the Bold," issue #200, pulls out all the stops. The issue's main feature, a two-part story told across two parallel Earths, even offers an early example of a comics multiverse, long before such worldbuilding hit the silver screen. 

Decades prior to this issue's publication, DC Comics established that the events portrayed in Golden Age comics all take place on the parallel world of Earth-Two, while then-modern comics take place on Earth-One. The Batman of Earth-Two is more colorful and retro, and is easily identified by his bat symbol, which lacks a yellow circle. On Earth-Two, we meet the villainous Brimstone, aka Nicholas Lucien, a madman bent on Batman and Robin's defeat. He fails, but winds up in a coma. When he awakens decades later, the Batman of his world is dead. Determined to exact revenge on any Batman available, he finds a way to transfer his mind to his counterpart on Earth-One, and strikes at the modern-day Dark Knight. What results is a team-up as bizarre as it is entertaining. 

Batman and Catwoman (Issue #197)

"The Brave and the Bold" #197 takes readers to the retro environs of Earth-Two. Instead of teaming Batman up with another big time hero, though, this issue pairs him with the sometimes-villain, often-ally Catwoman.

The duo faces off against the Scarecrow, who's just been released from prison and is back to his old tricks. But the real meat of the story is the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. After years of on-again-off-again romance, the two vigilantes finally embrace their love for each other and get married. Despite being set on Earth-Two, where stories are always a bit more light-hearted, this tale explores the effects that years of crimefighting have had on Batman — physically and otherwise. For her part, Selina exposes her own dark past, which includes an abusive relationship. This is a surprisingly heartfelt and genuinely moving story, and the rare Batman tale that gives the Dark Knight a happy ending.

Batman and Robin (Issue #182)

It may seem odd for "The Brave and the Bold" to team Batman up with his own sidekick, but not all is as it seems in "The Brave and the Bold" #182. Here, a freak lightning strike transports the Batman of Earth-One to Earth-Two, where he teams up with the Robin of that world. On this Earth, Batman is long dead, and Robin is a mature solo hero, as well as a U.S. ambassador.

A strange storm soon assaults Gotham. Robin and Ted Kord, aka Starman, realize it signifies the return of old foe Hugo Strange. Thought dead on Earth-Two and Earth-One, Strange is somehow revived and promptly takes down Starman, leaving Robin to fight him alone. The arrival of Earth-One Batman gives him an ally. He gets another when he's visited by Katherine Kane, aka Batwoman, here returning to comics for the first time in decades.

What makes this story really shine is the emotional dynamic between the three core heroes. The adult Robin shows contempt for Earth-One Batman, simply because his own mentor has died. Meanwhile, Katherine Kane must confront her romantic feelings for this variant Batman, having been involved with her own world's version before his untimely death.

Batman and Superman (Issue #150)

The cover of "The Brave and the Bold" #150 keeps its guest star under wraps, hoping to prompt a purchase from the spinner rack. This secret do-gooder has their work cut out for them: They face off with the Battalion of Doom, a group of thugs menacing Gotham City Batman has proven powerless to stop. Eventually, he's kidnapped by the gang — but the problem is, he's kidnapped as Bruce Wayne. This means he can't fight them as Batman.

Managing to outwit Karn, his red-headed mountain of a captor, Bruce is able to escape and return as the Dark Knight — only to find the crooks have kidnapped Alfred, too. But something strange is afoot: Karn seems to know that Bruce Wayne is Batman. That's when we learn that the baddie is none other than Clark Kent, aka Superman. According to the Kryptonian, Jimmy Olsen is also one of the gang's captives. The Battalion has been threatening to kill him if Superman intervenes in their activities in Gotham. Thus, Batman and Superman team up to stop the Battalion of Doom, who have a bomb hidden in the city. There's nothing quite like a Batman-Superman team-up, and this issue serves as classic proof.

Batman and Black Canary (Issue #141)

"The Brave and the Bold" often showcases Batman having adventures alongside his fellow Justice League members. Usually, this involves a hero coming to Gotham and aiding him in a fight against a member of his rogues gallery. Such is the case in "The Brave and the Bold" #141, when fashion designer Dinah Lance, aka Black Canary, travels to Gotham to see her latest gown entered into a prestigious collection. While she's there, her associate is murdered. She soon crosses paths with Batman as they both chase down the killer.

Together, the two heroes learn that a mysterious assassin has been killing those indebted to a local loan shark named Longreen. After ferreting out the clues, Batman deduces that "Longreen" is an alias for the man with a long grin  the Joker. The heroes get Alfred to arrange a loan in order to lure the Joker out into the open, but the plan backfires. Now, Batman has to choose between saving Black Canary or his faithful butler.

The Joker's clever traps and tricks are on full display here, while Black Canary and Batman's team-up brings a new dynamic to the Caped Crusader's corner of the DC universe. What results is a ton of fun.

Batman, Plastic Man, and Metamorpho (Issue #123)

While their powers differ in key ways, both Plastic Man and Metamorpho share the ability to alter their physical forms. This makes "The Brave and the Bold" #123 a unique yarn that includes not one, but two stretchy heroes. Earlier issues see Batman team up with each hero individually — in fact, this issue is something of a sequel to "The Brave and the Bold" #95, which sees Batman and Plastic Man go up against Bruce Wayne's business rival, Ruby Ryder. Issue #123 takes things in a very different direction: It opens with Batman placing Bruce Wayne under arrest. Confused? You should be!

It all starts in Istanbul, where Wayne is arranging to purchase a relic as a gift to a foreign nation. In a flashback, we learn that the Batman arresting Wayne is actually Plastic Man, disguised as the Dark Knight to give Wayne a chance to depart Gotham without leaving the city unprotected. But it seems Plastic Man has forgotten who he really is, and believes Wayne is actually guilty of fraud and murder. Jailed and awaiting trial, Wayne is visited by fellow detective Rex Mason, aka Metamorpho, who helps him escape lock-up and track down Plastic Man to get to the bottom of things. As it turns out Plastic Man — as Batman — is, for some unknown reason, in cahoots with Ruby Ryder, the villain they faced once before. It's baffling, weird, and seriously exciting.

Batman and the Joker (Issue #111)

No team-up is quite as unconventional as the one in "The Brave and the Bold" #111. While almost every other issue of the series pairs the Caped Crusader with a stalwart hero — often a fellow Justice Leaguer — here, Batman fights side by side with his most fiendish foe: the Joker. That's right — for one issue only, Batman must put aside his hatred of the Clown Prince of Crime in order to take down a more dangerous killer.

The issue opens with the gruesome discovery of an entire slaughtered family. While Batman initially believes this is the work of the Joker, he soon realizes that another killer is to blame. With this new bad guy attempting to frame his green-haired adversary, Batman recruits the Joker to help him catch the culprit. Batman must pull double-duty, tracking a madman as he keeps the Gotham Police Department and Commissioner Gordon at bay, who still suspect the Joker is responsible.

Eventually, Batman and the Joker track down the real villain, a mobster named Slade. But Slade has one last trick up his sleeve, and it involves a collaboration with the Joker. This issue is a clever crime caper in true '70s Batman fashion.

Batman and Etrigan (Issue #109)

Several issues of "The Brave and the Bold" see Batman get together with supernatural heroes in a blending of the horror and superhero genres. This includes an appearance from the demonic Etrigan in "The Brave and the Bold" #109. An immortal creature who works for the ancient Merlin, Etrigan is bonded to the soul of Jason Blood, an occultist who operates out of Gotham City. In this story, a mysterious and malformed man murders dockworkers and ship's crewmen in Gotham Bay. Batman works to track down the elusive killer, while Jason Blood does the same. After a case of mistaken identity, Etrigan and Batman join forces, with Jason Blood learning that the madman's origins lie in a centuries-old shipwreck in Gotham Bay.

Mixing Batman with sorcery and magic is always fun, and his first meeting with Etrigan and Jason Blood proves memorable. This story may not be well-remembered, but it seems likely to have had some influence on the "Batman: The Animated Series" episode "The Demon Within," which also sees Batman and the infamous demon team up.

Batman and the Phantom Stranger (Issue #98)

Horror comics were wildly popular in the 1970s. Even superhero titles got in on the action, to the point that "The Brave and the Bold" nearly became a monthly horror book. Issue #98, which sees Batman team up with the Phantom Stranger, is a great example. A mysterious hero with otherworldly powers, the Phantom Stranger battles supernatural foes in fantastical realms, much like Batman battles crooks in Gotham.

"The Brave and the Bold" #98 sees Batman promise a dying friend that he will protect his wife Clorinda and son Enoch after he passes. But as it turns out, Clorinda is a witch, Enoch is a warlock, and they lead a Satanic cult involved in a series of ritual murders. The Phantom Stranger, who arrives in ghostly form, has been trying to expose them, to no avail. But with Batman's help, he just might be able to get the evidence he needs to prove his theories about their vile aims. It's spookier than most issues on this list, which makes it a hugely fun departure.

Batman and the House of Mystery (Issue #93)

One of DC's best-ever horror titles is "House of Mystery." After years of being forced to focus on superheroes, this series returned to telling terrifying stories about monsters and the supernatural in the 1970s. It also added the character of Cain, who introduces and narrates each story. Batman doesn't team up with him in "The Brave and the Bold" #93, however — he teams up with the House of Mystery itself.

Okay, we admit it: Batman doesn't technically team up with another hero in this tale. It essentially serves as a Batman-led issue of "House of Mystery," complete with narration from Cain. But the house is such a powerful presence, it's basically a figure unto itself. In this story, Batman finds himself on an Irish isle with an orphaned boy. He learns of a local legend, the Red Sea, that has killed many townspeople, including the boy's parents. Compelled to solve the mystery, Batman soon discovers a dangerous tycoon named Aloysius Cabot, who uses the townspeople's fears to cover up his fiendish activities. A creepy tale that fits neatly alongside the traditional horror stories of "House of Mystery," this issue is a perfect entry point into DC's horror titles for those who aren't yet familiar with them.

Batman and Green Arrow (Issue #85)

In "The Brave and the Bold" #85, Batman teams up with the hero who is arguably most similar to him in the DC pantheon: Star City's Green Arrow. A wealthy playboy by day, non-super-powered vigilante by night, Green Arrow was re-envisioned in the late 1960s as a hero who fights for the little guy. By this point in his history, Oliver Queen is a fierce advocate for social justice, and uses his wealth not only to fight supervillains, but to aid in important causes like economic inequality and environmentalism as well. Issue #85 also sees Green Arrow debut his new look, ditching his red gloves and skirt and sporting a new goatee. 

The story is overtly political, beginning with an attempt on the life of Gotham's senator the day before he's set to sign important anti-crime legislation. While he recovers, the governor calls on Bruce Wayne to serve as the new senator. There's just one problem: Taking the position would mean retiring his Batman persona. Meanwhile, Queen, who hasn't suited up as Green Arrow in quite some time, is considering hanging up his own superhero identity. But then a criminal organization steals his company's plans for a new construction project. Both heroes must weigh whether they can do more good as crime fighters or civilians, while trying to track down the gunman before he can strike again. It's a very unique issue, both within "The Brave and the Bold" and the DC canon as a whole.

Batman and the Teen Titans (Issue #83)

When you think of the Teen Titans, you probably think of heroes like Starfire and Beast Boy. But back in 1969, the team was still in its first incarnation, consisting of Robin, Wonder Girl, Speedy, and Kid Flash. This is the team that pairs up with Batman in "The Brave and the Bold" #83.

The story starts with Bruce Wayne coming into custody of a young boy named Lance Bruner, son of an old friend who recently died. The boy proves to be a misbehaving brat who causes many problems as Batman and Robin investigate a theft of oil from one of Wayne Enterprises' subsidiaries. The Titans' role in the story is simple: They act as nursemaids for young Bruner, who winds up getting involved with the man responsible for the theft. A product of the late Silver Age period, this story has a very innocent, almost playful feel, including beatnik-esque dialogue from Robin and the Teen Titans. The issue also showcases some of legendary artist Neal Adams' best work.

Batman, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman (Issue #78)

Batman had only recently begun headlining "The Brave and the Bold" when one of DC's biggest heroes dropped by for issue #78. The story opens by teasing readers with a question: How could the title top its previous guest stars, Plastic Man and the Atom? The answer is the double threat of Wonder Woman and Batgirl. A nutty tale from start to finish, this issue introduces the world to a new villain who went on to become part of Batman's secondary rogue's gallery: the sinister slithering reptilian rogue known as Copperhead.

One look at this story, and you won't be surprised to learn that it was published as Adam West's "Batman" TV series was airing its final episodes. Batman is drawn to look like the TV version of the hero, while playfully goofy dialogue keeps the tone light and family-friendly. Copperhead is on a heist spree while Batman is distracted by Wonder Woman and Batgirl, who have inexplicably fallen in love with him. We did we say this was a '60s story, right? Admittedly, loving this issue takes a certain appreciation of the era's excesses. But throw in the first appearance of Copperhead and a bonkers love triangle, and you have an all-time caper classic for the 1960s Caped Crusader.