Bruce Wayne as the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh on the variant cover of Batman #679 (September 2008), illustrated by Tony Daniel.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #113 (August 1958)
Created byFrance Herron (writer)
Dick Sprang (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoTiano
Place of originZur-En-Arrh

Batman of Zur-En-Arrh is a character appearing in media published by DC Comics. Introduced in the Silver Age, the character is an alien named Tlano from the planet Zur-En-Arrh who decided to become a version of Batman for his own planet.[1] The character's reappearance in the 2000s rebranded him as a violent and unhinged backup personality of Batman, but the alien version has been revealed to still exist in the main continuity.

Publication history

The first appearance of the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, illustrated by Dick Sprang.


Batman of Zur-En-Arrh first appeared in Batman #113 (February 1958), in the story "Batman—The Superman of Planet-X!".[1] It was written by France Herron and drawn by Dick Sprang.[2] In the story, Tlano, the Batman from Zur-En-Arrh, brings Earth's Batman to his planet to help him battle giant robots piloted by an unidentified alien race. While on the planet, Earth's Batman discovers he has "Superman-like" powers through similar means of the Superman of his world. The end of the story leaves it ambiguous to the reader whether Batman's adventure was real or a dream.[3][1]


When Grant Morrison took over the Batman series in September 2006,[1] they began referencing classic moments from the character's career, including using a version of Bat-Mite and reusing a costume and dialogue from the then-50-year-old Batman #156.[4] Among the references was the "Zur-En-Arrh" phrase, which appears on an alley wall and again on a dumpster in Batman #655 and continues to appear, usually as a background element graffiti, until the Batman R.I.P. story arc begins. The story reveals that the "Zur-En-Arrh" persona is a backup personality created by Bruce Wayne in the event he was ever mentally compromised. The Zur-En-Arrh personality is shown to be more violent and unhinged than Batman's normal persona and is dressed in a costume out of red, yellow, and purple rags referencing the one worn by Tlano.


In 2022, when Chip Zdarsky took over as the new Batman writer, he reintroduced the Zur-En-Arrh persona as having created Failsafe, the titular robot who serves as a contingency plan should Bruce fall from grace.[5] Bruce's struggle with the Zur-En-Arrh persona and the consequences of its violent, unflinching methods has remained a prominent storyline throughout Zdarsky's run.

Fictional character biography

Silver Age

One night, Bruce Wayne finds himself in a daze. He dresses as Batman and takes off in the Batplane while remaining unclear of his own actions. Batman soon finds out that he has been teleported to another planet called Zur-En-Arrh. There, he meets the scientist Tlano monitoring his activities on Earth and has decided to become a version of Batman for his own planet. On this planet, the Batman of Earth has enhanced abilities, similar to those of Superman, due to the different elements of the alien planet. The two Batmen join forces to defeat giant invading robots piloted by an unidentified alien race. After the robots are destroyed, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh gives Batman (Bruce Wayne) his Bat-Radia device as a keepsake before he returns to Earth.[6]

Modern Age

In the past, the psychiatrist Simon Hurt was hired to oversee an isolation experiment, for which Batman volunteered. During this process, he gave Bruce Wayne a post-hypnotic trigger connected to the phrase "Zur-En-Arrh", young Bruce Wayne's mishearing of his father's last words ("the sad thing is they'd probably throw someone like 'Zorro in Arkham'").[7] Many years later, Doctor Hurt was working with the Black Glove when they decided to target Batman and his allies,[1] first spreading information to the effect that Batman's father somehow survived his murder by Joe Chill. Then, using the Zur-En-Arrh trigger in conjunction with drugs, he sent a dazed and confused Bruce Wayne onto the streets of Gotham with no memory of his life. Bruce assembles a makeshift Batman costume (of a similar style to that worn by Tlano from the Silver Age story) and declares himself "the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh".[8]

The character Bat-Mite appears on the last page with him, commenting "uh-oh" over Batman's increasing delusions. Bat-Mite then counsels the Zur-En-Arrh Batman, revealed over the course of the story to be a backup personality created after a hallucination Batman suffered when exposed to Professor Milo's gas. It was intended to take over for Bruce Wayne if he was ever psychologically attacked in such a manner as to render Batman out of action. The colorful costume expresses a greater confidence and demonstrates a greater willingness to torture and possibly kill his opponents; on one occasion, the Zur-En-Arrh Batman describes himself as being Batman "when you take Bruce out of the equation". It is revealed that Bat-Mite is actually a product of Batman's imagination, being Batman's rational side to prevent the unstable Zur-En-Arrh persona from going too far, although he comments that he is from the 5th dimension because "the fifth dimension is imagination".[9]

Dawn of DC

During his travels, Bruce meets Daniel Captio where he learns how to create multiple personas. [10] Batman created Zur-En-Arrh when a villain name Professor Achilles Milo poisoned his mind, and caused him to experience his fears. In order to prevent his mind from getting hijacked, Bruce uses a machine to create his Zur-En-Arrh personality. [11] During a fight against the Joker, Batman witnesses Joker killing innocent people which enrages Bruce to allow Zur-En-Arrh to take over his body. Batman of Zur-En-Arrh nearly kills Joker, but stops when his visions of Martha Wayne and Joker convince Bruce to not break his no-killing rule. Bruce then uses the machine to lock the Zur-En-Arrh personality to make sure it does not happen again.[12]

When Batman has to face off Failsafe (a robot that Batman created in case the Justice League went rogue), he is forced to unlock Batman of Zur-En-Arrh from his consciousness and let him take over his body. [13] Tim Drake is surprised by the Zur-En-Arrh personality, but remembers reading Bruce's files, and realizes that Zur-en-Arrh is the back-up personality of Batman without Bruce Wayne's morality and personality. Zur-En-Arrh also revealed that he created Failsafe himself, and when Failsafe attacks, Tim Drake and Zur-En-Arrh take him on. However, when Batman of Zur-En-Arrh refers to Tim Drake as just a soldier and Failsafe nearly kills Tim, Bruce takes over his body again, locking Zur-En-Arrh away once again. [14]

When Failsafe transports Batman to a different Earth, Batman meets a man name Darwin Halliday (an alternate version of Joker who never became insane). While traveling Batman travels throughout the Multiverse and meets multiple versions of himself (like the 1989 version, DCAU, Adam West, Arkham, Injustice, Kingdom Come, The Dark Knight Returns, etc), which causes his mind to fracture and his Zur-En-Arrh personality to infect the other Batman, creating their own Zur-En-Arrh. [15]After Batman's mind was possessed by Deadman, this allows Zur-En-Arrh to manipulate and cause Batman to act irrationally during his conflict with the Bat Family and Catwoman. As a result, Batman decides to isolate himself from the Bat-family to make sure no one gets hurt again and as repercussions for him forcibly using mind control on Jason Todd. [16]

Batman finds Joker killing innocent people again, and Joker tells Batman that he wants to meet the real version of him. He then subjects Batman to gas, and forces his Zur-En-Arrh personality to come out, and Batman of Zur-En-Arrh recruits the alternate versions of him selves to hold off Batman.[17] The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh defeats Joker and breaks his back, then implants his consciousness in Failsafe.[18] Batman of Zur-En-Arrh tells Bruce he plans to replace him due to his old age and his humanity holding Bruce back. Bruce tries his best to stop Zur-en-Arrh, but is quickly defeated and sent to Blackgate Penitentiary where Joker is at. It is also revealed that the main Zur-En-Arrh has forced other Zur-En-Arrh's personalities to follow his orders, and created a machine where he absorbs the other personalities into his mind. [19]

Zur-En-Arrh goes back to Gotham, and meets Jason Todd who attacks him due to Zur-En-Arrh influencing Bruce to violate his mind during Gotham War. Failsafe tries to trick Jason Todd, but it doesnt work. Regardless, Failsafe announces himself in Gotham and Damian Wayne joins with him in his crusade against crime, while Jason, Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, Duke Thomas, and Stephanie Brown try to find where Bruce is. [20] Zur-En-Arrh warns Amanda Waller to stay out of his way, and confronts Daniel Captio on letting Bruce escape. While fighting crime, Damian is suspicious of Zur-En-Arrh's activities and uncovers Zur-En-Arrh creating Amazo bodies where he will upload variations of Batman across the universe into those bodies. This results Zur-En-Arrh takes control of Damian Wayne when he learns the truth and fights back.[21]



The costumes of the two incarnations of the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh are the same, consisting of gaudy, outlandish colors. In the modern continuity, the crazed Bruce Wayne comments that, despite the ostentatiousness of the costume, Robin had dressed this way for years, implying that it reflects the "total confidence" of the Zur-En-Arrh Batman in his ability to attract the attention of his enemies whereas the Earth Batman dresses in dark colors to attack his foes in the shadows.

Skills, abilities, and resources

Tlano possessed much high-tech equipment, owing to his residence on a futuristic planet. His version of the Batmobile had an "atomic-powered" motor, and he flew a rocket-shaped Batplane. His main weapon was the "Bat-radia", with which he could "jam atmospheric molecules", affecting the equipment of his enemies. At the end of the story, Tlano leaves Bruce with the device, which becomes inoperable in Earth's environment.

The Bruce Wayne incarnation also possesses a Bat-radia. This may or may not reflect a continuity between the two stories, as Grant Morrison has made efforts to treat Batman's entire publication history as his backstory.[22] This version of the device scrambled security systems, for instance, overriding and confusing Arkham Asylum's, as well as serving as a tracking device to allow Batman's allies to find him. To add a note of humor to the story, the radia is presented as a "cheap-ass radio" instead of the object seen in the imaginary story, and members of the Black Glove dismiss it as such until they discover its true purpose.

In other media



Video games


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  16. ^ Gibson, Avi (2023-11-06). "The Winner of the Gotham War Isn't Batman or Catwoman - It's [SPOILER]". ScreenRant. Retrieved 2024-05-10.
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  18. ^ Hernandez, Gabe. "Batman #140 Review". Retrieved 2024-05-10.
  19. ^ Luken, Jackson (2024-01-02). "Batman #141 review". Batman News. Retrieved 2024-05-10.
  20. ^ Comments, Rich Johnston | Last updated | (2024-03-04). "This How Zur-En-Arrh Allies With Amanda Waller? (Batman #145 Spoilers)". Retrieved 2024-05-10.
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