Happy new book day, everyone! Today marks the official 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 back in 1939. That was one of the primary reasons I chose to start my blogging hobby with a Batman column, and I have stuck to it for seven months now.
I have tackled lots of angles on the character, his history, his potential heirs, and even some of his antagonists (after all, the Joker is in all of us, just waiting to get out). I have also shown you all part of my Batman collection, voiced my need for aid in finding an old comic from the 90s, and even drawn sometimes loose connections between Batman and real life historical figures. It’s been a wild ride so far.
Though I am not exclusive with my superhero fandom, Batman has held a special place in my heart since childhood. The Tim Burton/Michael Keaton films and Batman: The Animated Series cemented differing versions of the character in my mind at a very early age, and the idea of the multiple narratives, universes, and timelines of this mythical character attracted me almost from the beginning. In fact, I still imagine Kevin Conroy‘s voice whenever I read a comic featuring Batman.
And that version of the character may be for me what many would call the Batman of my heart. It has grown over the years, shaped by the stories and other media I’ve been exposed to in the years since, but some things remain part of the character’s core.
Batman isn’t entirely good or kind–no one that damaged would be–but he has enough of both present within him to recognize the darkness his experiences have placed within him, and (again, as Frank Miller has said) he makes that darkness work for the betterment of the world around him. He is generous and charitable with his immense wealth, since it holds little allure for him beyond funding his war against crime and maintaining the illusion of Bruce Wayne’s apathetic playboy lifestyle. Because I also believe Bruce Wayne is the false identity and Batman is the real character; Bruce only exists to keep suspicion off of him in his real life.
And I believe that life is long and filled with adventure. One day, decades hence, Bruce will finally be forced to retire and pass on the mantle to one of many possible heirs. Because there must always be a Batman.
That’s my thought for this auspicious day. Any of you who might be capable should leave flowers on the graves of Bill Finger and Bob Kane today. Little did they know what their attempt to simply pay the bills would become over the next century.
That said, who is the Batman of your heart? Which take from which writer, artist, or medium is the core, definitive Batman for you? Let me know in the comments below.
I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that I will be expanding the scope of this blog in the coming weeks. Batman shall always form its core, but I need to stretch my legs a bit. Please keep coming back to see what I’ve come up with.
My comic picks for this week:
Batman Eternal #16
Batman Beyond Universe #12
Injustice: Year Two #8