Given the recent popularity of questions regarding various portrayals of Superman (as Asian or African American), I noticed that I don't remember ever hearing about an Asian Batman.

I know of the popular Bruce Wayne, an African-American one and even a Russian one, but has there ever been an Asian portrayal of the Bat? (Excluding the whole Chinese Justice League which is a more recent addition).

  • Are you looking for answers in DC as a whole or limiting to a specific area like the comics? – TheLethalCarrot Sep 14 at 11:36
  • @TheLeathalCarrot I'm looking for cannon DC, hopefully from the golden age but if none occured there anything DC works. – casualcoder Sep 14 at 11:42
  • What was the original Bruce Wayne's ethnicity? Do you know for sure that he wasn't of Asian descent? – user14111 Sep 16 at 12:11
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    @user14111 it has been mentioned in cannon that the Wayne's were originally from Britain and were one of the first families that helped build Gotham – casualcoder Sep 16 at 12:15
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes! There are at least two (and a debatable other).

Bat Ninja

Robin Annual #3, "The Narrow Path" (1994) features a Japanese Robin trained under a Bat Ninja (not to be mistaken with the 2018 animated Batman Ninja, who's from Gotham). Unfortunately, this ninja only appears (and dies) in this issue, so not much is known of him.

Bat-Ninja

Granted, his armor is more reminiscent of those of the samurai, but he's described as a ninja.

the ninja whose sign is a bat

Batman of Shanghai

Batman of Shanghai (2012) would also qualify.

It was made by a Chinese animation studio, Wolf Smoke, and was included in the DC Nation shorts. It also features Chinese Catwoman and Chinese Bane.

It's apparently featured on the new DC universe website, but I can't access it since I'm not in the US.


A bit more debatable, but Damian may qualify. He's born to Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra's al Ghul, who depending on the versions is either Egyptian, or from somewhere in Arabia.

There are a few comics which deal with Damian becoming Batman. Up to oneself to decide if that's "Asian" enough, though it's highly possible that Damian has an US citizenship and not an Asian one. ("officially" speaking)

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    Wikipedia lists a Pakistani Batman known as "Black Bat", without a source. I'm browsing through cheesy old issues to find that one... (I've only known Cassandra Cain to be referred as "Black Bat") – Jenayah Sep 14 at 12:18
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    Goddamn, that animation is beautiful. – DavidS Sep 14 at 13:04
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    On a side note, Batman Ninja's animation is gorgeous too. – Jenayah Sep 14 at 14:03
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    ...was that a Chinese bane ? – casualcoder Sep 14 at 15:44
  • @casualcoder that was indeed also a Chinese Bane, because why not? – Jenayah Sep 14 at 15:45

There have been a few Japanese adaptations of Batman, but one has sort of crossed over into the "official" US continuity.

In the 60s during the "Bat-Mania" era, there was a Japanese manga starring Batman, by Jiro Kuwata.

enter image description here

It was wildly unique, and featured new villains like Lord Death Man, Dr. Faceless and the Human Ball.

Grant Morrison and other writers have folded some of those villains into the DC Comics adventures, with only the most hand-wavey of explanations as to how and when they connect with the rest of the stories.

CBR also did a look at all the other Japanese adaptations of Batman over the years.

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