13 Times BATMAN Kept His Pants On

13 COVERS: Or his kilt, or loincloth or suit of armor…

Let’s get this out of the way, right off the bat: I’m not troubled by seeing Batman’s penis.

And seen it I have in Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Damned, the first title from DC’s new Black Label imprint:

As far as I’m concerned, the penis is just a part of the anatomy and it was only a matter of time before mainstream comics joined mainstream films and TV in glorying in full-frontal male nudity. (And hey, it could have been worse: Batman’s penis could have looked like Toad from Mario Kart.)

The book — Batman: Daaaaamn, to us sophomoric “humorists” — was marketed to adults, don’t forget. (Though DC clearly had second thoughts about all this: Future editions will be penis-free and the Batmember has been scrubbed from digital versions.)

Bruce Wayne’s scrubbed penis.

Still, now that the anatomical Rubicon has been crossed, it seems only fitting to remember an earlier, simpler era — we’ll call it Monday — when Batman clung to the quaint notion that he should remain dressed to prevent a nation from feverishly clutching its collective pearls.

So I feel it’s my responsibility to bring you a special 13 COVERS gallery that we just had to call 13 TIMES BATMAN KEPT HIS PANTS ON.

And don’t worry. I won’t load you up with “Batman’s boner” jokes.

1. Detective Comics #27 (1939). Batman debuts. So do his pants.

2. Detective Comics #38 (1940). Robin debuts (in short pants) — and Batman looks on proudly (in long pants).

3. Detective Comics #168 (1951). The big secret here is that the guy whose skin is completely covered is really — SPOILER ALERT — the Joker. Batman, meanwhile, wears pants.

4. Batman #72 (1952). Whoa, Batman ditches his pants! No wonder Wertham had a stroke. But he still covered up.

5. Batman #111 (1957). There’s no way Batman’s not wearing pants under there. Because the chafing.

6. Detective Comics #198 (1953). Batman swings in — and oh, my God, NO PANTS! But he’s wearing a kilt — which is even more badass.

7. Detective Comics #241 (1957). Hmm. Maybe this is where he got the idea. I don’t see any pants on those racks.

8. Detective Comics #320 (1963). To be fair, it’s hard to say whether Batman’s wearing pants here. But he is completely covered from head to toe, so… phew.

9. Batman #175 (1965). At least it’s not The Decline and Fall of Batman’s Pants!

10. Batman #191 (1967). So, wait, hold on. Batman is willing to drop trou for a price? Explains those high Batman: Damned prices on eBay.

11. Batman #244 (1972). Batman’s shirtless, sure — and he’s got anatomically correct nipples and chest hair — but he’s wearing pants. And Ra’s even has a bonus pair for him!

12. Batman #55 (2018). Batman wore pants in his regular comic book on Wednesday. And, hey, the trunks are back!

13. Dark Knight Returns #2 (1986). Hell, even Frank Miller made sure Batman kept his pants on. Oh, wait…

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Your timely reminder of the bat-kilt is especially welcome at this moment of sartorial bat-controversy. Thank you!

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  2. Suggesting an honorary mention to the shorts he wore in “Batman becomes Bat-Baby!”

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  3. Hoo-boy. This is one of those instances where I wonder if the publisher didn’t allow “click bait” in their book to garner publicity…and they got it. I may be wrong, but they had to know this would get some notice, good or bad…and there is no such thing as bad publicity, right?

    But I sure hope Bruce scrubs down there, either way! 😉

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