The world is currently locked in a pandora’s box of self-isolation, and the effect is devastating. Artists and designers around the world are innovating, creating, and illustrating new ways for us to come together and stay connected as a society. One of these ways is through art and design, and today we are going to focus on one of the most popular topics on the internet: Batman.

Whether you are a fan of the tv show or the movies, you can’t escape the reach of Batman. Whether you’re a child of the eighties or a millennial, you know exactly what iconography and design language you’ll associated with the Dark Knight when he appears on your social media feed.

So it should come as no surprise that many people were inspired to create and share artworks based on the iconic DC superhero. In fact, over the past few months, we’ve seen numerous street artists and designers produce artwork depicting Batman in some shape or form. We’ve collected these pieces below, which we think are brilliant in whole or in part.

The Inspiration For Batman

One of the most interesting aspects of these street artworks is how different they are from each other. While most of them draw from the same basic blueprint – Dark Knight style – each piece takes a unique spin on the character. This is probably a result of the lockdown restrictions that have prevented many artists from working on their pieces. In addition, the pandemic has led to a surge in digital artists who have used their skills to produce work online. This has certainly resulted in a broadening of the range of creativity we’ve seen presented to us through this platform.

The Dark Knight Returns

If you think about it, the timing for Batman’s return could not have been more perfect. Not only has the pandemic afforded us the opportunity to explore new ways of being, but it also gave us the chance to reflect on our nostalgia for the nineties and how much we missed watching films and television shows from that tumultuous decade. It is therefore no coincidence that the street artworks we’ve collected here draw heavily from the eighties, both in terms of design and in terms of subject matter. These pieces were produced shortly after the premiere of The Dark Knight, the fifth installment in director Nolan’s now-classic trilogy. The film is set in a dystopian future ruled by criminals and the police, who work in tandem to keep the peace. The Dark Knight depicted a world where chaos is the order of the day, and it is the duty of Batman and his allies to restore order and justice to Gotham City.

Batman: The Animated Series

One of the most interesting entries on this list is a mix of old and new made completely from scratch. This is the work of artist @brianharryart, a self-professed “nineties kid” who channeled his love for that decade into this fantastic piece. In this, the very first installment of the Batman: The Animated Series, set several years before the events of The Dark Knight, Batman and his sidekick (and cat) Dick Grayson travel back in time to fight crime in a more traditional sense. While some of the artworks on this list are inspired by the movies or the comics, this original piece was designed solely to pay homage to the eighties. The opening line of the script is even delivered phonetically, lending it a more old-school feel: “It’s not that you’re old, it’s just that you’ve been around a while.” The piece is a wonderful mix of classic and contemporary, something we couldn’t say about nearly all of the works on this list.

Ironman

Another piece that hales from the golden era of comics is this incredible recreation of a classic Ironman design from the seventies. Artist @_islandgirl_ reimagined the classic ‘70s armor in a suit made of rose-colored latex, resulting in a stunning piece of sculpture that is both feminine and powerful at the same time. Much like the other pieces collected here, this one is also heavily influenced by the artwork of the Silver Age of comics, when the Marvel Universe was at its peak. This is also the case with @_islandgirl_’s other work, a stunning piece of body armor from the same era that she adorned in this piece.

Deadpool

Speaking of classics, this piece by @dontgetcaught is a recreation of a classic Marvel character made completely from scratch. The piece is a love letter to artist Jack Kirby’s character, The Human Torch, and to the amazing artwork he did during his time at Marvel. In a similar fashion, artist @saurabh_parmar has recreated another classic Marvel character, creating the perfect amalgamation of strength and elegance with his piece for Marvel’s Black Widow.

Deadpool 2

@dontgetcaught also created this brilliant painting of Deadpool for one of the covers of an Australian comic. The piece perfectly encapsulates everything we love about Wade Wilson, combining his trademark humor with a stunning composition that would look great in a gallery or on the wall of a fan. This is the type of piece that we see in galleries every day now: artists channeling their love for a certain era or franchise into a surrealistic interpretation that brings back vivid memories for fans who saw the original artwork or watched the films.

Suicide Squad

While some of the pieces on this list take inspiration from more traditional sources, such as the comics or the ‘70s or ‘80s, others channel newer sources for their inspiration. For instance, this next piece was inspired by a song that was #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 in 2022. The song’s lyrics reference DC Comics’ Suicide Squad, the band of super villains who exist only to fight on the side of the good guys. This is the work of designer @daveisrock, who used the song’s lyrics as a jumping off point for this design. As you can see, he took inspiration from both the band’s name and the song’s lyrics, drawing on the band’s iconic “scream” logo for added effect.

Black Widow

Speaking of which, this piece by @saurabh_parmar is a recreation of the Black Widow armor design from Marvel’s popular ‘70s cartoon. The artist took inspiration from the cartoon’s opening sequence, which depicts the armored super spy racing down a snowy road. While this piece is based on a previously existing design from the cartoon, it remains an original work that pays homage to the amazing female characters Marvel has created over the years.

Aquaman

Another fantastic piece that draws from both modern and classic sources is this recreation of the superhero Aquaman from the popular movie series. The piece was inspired by two different mediums: artist @krisjohansen’s love for the movie and the character, and the series’ director, Steven Spielberg’s, incredible artwork from the first two films. This is the type of piece we see more and more in galleries, where modern design meets old-school influences. It’s always great when a film brings together diverse influences and creates something fresh and new. As you can see here, this version of Aquaman is a bit of a hybrid, a blend of both old and new.

Black Panther

Speaking of which, this piece by @clauswilters89 brings together two of the most popular characters in the world right now: Disney’s Black Panther and Marvel’s Ant-Man. The film’s costume designer, Gregg Potter, has recreated the look of T’Challa’s (the king of Wakanda) iconic suit, drawing heavily on the ‘70s for inspiration. Similar to the previous piece, this one is also a stunning recreation of a classic comic book look. The movie’s costume designer has created a unique look that draws on both the classic ‘70s and ‘80s designs as well as that era’s fashion trends, resulting in a truly unique piece of art that evokes both ancient and modern African cultures. This is the type of masterpiece that becomes etched in history alongside the films it was created for.

Wolverine

This next piece is another beautiful recreation of a classic Marvel character. The Wolverine is one of the most prominent and popular Wolverine pieces we’ve seen in recent months. The artist, @sandrakaye, has perfectly captured the character’s brooding vibe in a striking portrait that would look fantastic on your wall or as a piece of social media artwork.