As part of their celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, DC Comics has released a new poster showing highlights (and, depending on your perspective, lowlights) of the character's history.
Those notable moments include hero and villain debuts, Batman TV shows and films, and the iconic storylines that burrowed their way into fans' minds. Sure, the items get a little more clumped together in the modern era, both due to a change in storytelling style and pushing the new as any good PR machine does, but it offers a nice look at what has made Batman a modern legend.
Some fun facts related to this run through history:
- Commissioner James Gordon, the main character in Fox's new "Gotham" mini-series, goes all the way back to the beginning — he debuted along with Batman in Detective Comics #27, predating Bat-sidekick Robin
- Mr. Freeze, made infamous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the critically slammed movie "Batman & Robin," originally debuted in 1959 as "Mr. Zero"; the infamous film is also featured in the timeline, right alongside an Arnold picture
- The '60s Batman movie had a tight turnaround with the show, debuting the same year as the television series
- The original Batgirl was short-lived — she debuted in 1961, only to be replaced in 1967
- In one of the most infamous, darkest moments in Batman history, fans voted to kill off Robin the same year the Tim Burton "Batman" film debuted; of course, a new Robin was introduced the next year
- Some of the storylines noted in the timeline yet to make a major impact in films, leaving some possibilities for future franchise installments: "Hush," "The Court of Owls" and "The Long Halloween"
- Sorry, Lego fans — the Lego Batman video games and a direct to DVD film get mentioned, but no love for the classic voice work from Will Arnett as Batman in "The Lego Movie"
DC Comics is gearing up for Batman Day, which they're celebrating on Wednesday, July 23, which also happens to be the first day of San Diego Comic-Con. They're kicking the celebration up a notch from Superman's 75th anniversary last year — of course, Bats doesn't have a new movie to highlight him like Supes did with "Man of Steel."
On that day, they'll be giving away a special edition of Detective Comics #27 — the comic in which Batman made his debut. They're also adding a recent modern retelling by author Brad Meltzer.
Batman Day also includes giveaways of a cape and four Bat-masks from different eras, including the original 1939 look, one modeled after the Batman TV series, another inspired by Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" (which also looks to be inspiring the new "Batman v. Superman" movie) and one modern version. You can see them below:
They're also launching two new Batman comics, "Robin Rises: Omega" and "Grayson," and later that week they're having a library version of Batman Day.
Watch two shorts created for Batman's 75th anniversary below, dipping into both Batman's past...
... and his future: