Thought you knew The World’s Greatest Detective? Think again.
It appears that the Batman we’ve all come to know and love is not entirely “original”; there’s an actual Batman that existed in ages past… well, sort of.
This entity’s name is Camazotz (pronounced cama-SOTS), and he’s the Batman of the ancient Mayan mythology.
Though a relatively small character in Mayan folklore, he still has quite the reputation for being a notorious creature of the night. After all, his name is K’iche (the language Mayans spoke and wrote with) for “death bat”.
Camazotz was worshipped quite prominently in around 200 B.C., and was often depicted as a man with a bat’s body and wings.
Now, how did this Camazotz-inspired Batman bust come to be? You’ll have to thank artist and sculptor Christian Pacheco for that.
This piece was actually made in 2014 for an exhibit for Warner Brothers in celebration of Batman’s 75th Anniversary. Pacheco’s Camazotz Batman cape and cowl impression was among thirty similar pieces done by artists from across the globe.
What better way than to celebrate the Dark Knight’s big year than by connecting the Batman of comic book legend to the Batman of real-life legend?
Also, you’re probably curious to know if Camazotz himself was depicted in the comics.
Interestingly, Camazotz himself did feature in comics, but not on the pages of Batman. He actually appeared as an adversary to Hellboy in the Hellboy comics and movies, and often manifested in the body of his human luchador friend, Esteban.
In terms of bat-deities in the Batman comics, there currently is the enigmatic entity known as Barbatos.
Originally teased on the pages of 2010’s The Return of Bruce Wayne and throughout Grant Morrison’s Batman run, he briefly returned to prominence in Scott Snyder’s 2017 mega-crossover comic series DC Metal as the central antagonist to the Dark Knight and the rest of his comrades.
We don’t doubt Bob Kane and Bill Finger — Batman’s creators — were brilliant in their own right for creating Bruce Wayne/Batman. But we also can’t discount how coincidental The Dark Knight’s existence is somewhat parallel to Camazotz’s.
Batman’s storied career has earned him a reputation that can rival that of a god’s — after all, he was the one who defeated Darkseid — a New God — in 2009’s Final Crisis storyline.
Who knows, perhaps one day the Dark Knight himself will earn a place in some mythology, just like how the Mayan Bat God earned a place in the Mayan Quiche pantheon. Since the Caped Crusader’s 80th Anniversary is just around the corner, he may as well be a modern Bat God himself.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.