Check out these killer Kris Anka designs for the Batman cartoon that never was

Batman is arguably DC’s most popular character (just look at the dozens of Batman comics DC publishes month-to-month). And for many fans, their love of the Caped Crusader started with the ’90s Batman: The Animated Series (opens in new tab). The Dark Knight has had a few shows since, but now he’s getting a new cartoon titled Batman: The Caped Crusader (opens in new tab) that brings the style of Batman: The Animated Series together with the sensibilities of the upcoming movie The Batman (opens in new tab) – right down to The Batman director Matt Reeves and Batman: TAS co-creator Paul Dini being the producers.

Interestingly, however, there was another show apparently at least in the pitch stage not long ago, with an aesthetic and visual style that may have felt right at home for fans of Batman: The Animated Series – with its own unique design twists courtesy of artist Kris Anka.

Anka’s name is well known to fans of Marvel Comics in particular, where he’s worked on the X-Men, Runaways, and Captain Marvel, as well as numerous covers. Anka has also designed his share of new costumes for Marvel characters, including Dazzler and Spider-Woman. 

But according to the artist, it’s DC’s Batman he was tapped to help create concept art and animated costume designs for back in 2019. Anka’s published DC work includes a variant cover for Young Justice #5 (opens in new tab), featuring Batman allies Tim Drake/Robin and Stephanie Brown/Spoiler, and a cover for Batman: The Adventures Continue Season Two #2 (opens in new tab) – a digital-first comic that takes place in the continuity of Batman: The Animated Series.

It’s unclear (but unlikely) whether Anka’s designs are for Batman: The Caped Crusader. But either way, the development of The Caped Crusader seems to have freed Anka up to share his designs for Batman’s costume on the proposed animated series on Twitter. 

Batman designs I was hired to do for a tv show pitch back in 2019 17, 2021

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True to Anka’s clean, accessible style, his Batman designs channel the simple, striking silhouette of the classic animated Batman that is familiar to so many fans, while also putting some distinct twists on the details and color palette of Batman’s traditional look. 

(Take note in particular of the purple and yellow elements in some of the designs, which seem to be inspired by the costumes of Batgirl, particularly Stephanie Brown’s original Batgirl costume. Stephanie is one of the stars of the upcoming Batgirls title, by the way).

Anka has recently been away from comic books, working as a character designer for Sony’s upcoming animated sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, putting the same skills on display in his Batman design to use on an expanded cast of Spider-characters.

Batman may not have a current animated series, but he has more than his share of comic books coming out. Keep track of all DC’s Gotham goodness with our listing of all the new Batman comics scheduled for release in 2021 and beyond.

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