75 Years Of The Caped Crusader

July 23, 2014

By Tab Byrum

I couldn’t let today pass without giving a shout out to one of my favorite comic book heroes.
 It’s hard to believe because he doesn’t look it but Batman is 75 years old this year and today is the day America and the world are celebrating.

batman_20Promotional art for Batman #608

Batman has become one of the most pervasive images in pop culture fighting the battle of good versus evil.  He has undergone many changes and transformations over the last 75 years, with a seemingly constant redesign and tweaking of his costume.  Batman was created at National Publications, the future DC comics, in 1939 following the success of Superman at Action Comics, with the first Batman story being published in May of 1939.

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Batman debut in 1939, cover art by Bob Kane

The Dark Knight was seen only in comic books for many years, then occasionally on the silver screen but then made it to the TV screen in 1966.  Hands up of all you grown up kids who couldn’t wait to tune into the same bat channel at the same bat time to watch the Batman series starring Adam West and Burt Ward. 

batman_2Batman 1966
Image courtesy of 13thdimension.com

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Adam West unmasked 1966
Image courtesy of herocomplex.latimes.com

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Batman and Robin 1966
Image courtesy of The Guardian

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Robin, The Boy Wonder 1966
Image courtesy of Primaryignition.com

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Burt Ward unmasked, 1966
Image courtesy of imdb

 In celebration of the Caped Crusader’s anniversary the Batman 60’s TV series
is being released in a limited edition blu-ray

batman_24Image courtesy of Amazon

 Batman’s first trip to big screen happened in 1943 as part of a 15 part serial.  In 1989 Michael Keaton brought Batman to life with Tim Burton directing.
 Since then we’ve seen Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and up next is Ben Affleck (but NO Matt Damon as Robin)

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Michael Keaton in and out of costume 1989
Image courtesy of geekshizzle

Of course what would Batman be without the evil villains.  The likes of the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler and the list goes on and on.
 There’s always trouble makers lurking in the shadows of Gotham City.

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Caesar Romero as The Joker
Image courtesy of donchild.devianart.com

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Jack Nicholson as The Joker, 1989
Image courtesy of NY Daily News

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Juli Newmar, Lee Meriweather and Eartha Kitt all portraying the Purrrrfectly divine Catwoman
Image courtesy of NY Daily News

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Burgess Meredith as The Penguin
Image courtesy of batman.wikia

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Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin
Image courtesy of batman.wikia

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Frank Gorshin as The Riddler
Image courtesy of Comicvine

batman_1Image courtesy of DC comics

So, Happy Birthday Batman!!!  Here’s to the next 75 years

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Image courtesy of taylormarsh.com

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