Today is known the world over as Batman Day, as we celebrate 75 years of the Dark Knight and his many adventures.
I was just eight years old when I saw Tim Burton’s Batman a few weeks after it opened, and I’ve been a fan ever since. The 90’s sequels varied in quality but still have their merits. Personally, I didn’t warm up to Batman: The Animated Series until well after its televised run, but I came to enjoy that as well as the DC animated films which have been released over the last decade.
I’m sure the world agrees that Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy brought the character to new heights of mainstream popularity. If you take away the costumes, The Dark Knight still plays as an incredible crime drama and I believe that is why it struck a chord with audiences in such a massive way. The “real world” stakes and action in those movies made some of the silliness of past incarnations fade into the background. Sure, some still prefer the campy 60’s TV show and many comic book readers are incorrigible when it comes to all cinematic representations. Nevertheless, the character of Batman has been a part of everybody’s lives for decades.
My friends from The Only Podcast That Matters and I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s so we’ve been around for Batman’s evolution in the mainstream consciousness. In anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012, we recorded our 95th episode “BatCast” and expanded on the conversation last summer to include the entire trilogy as well as Batman’s video game exploits in “BatCast Returns”. They’re both well worth a listen.
With Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice on the way and the inevitable Justice League movie which will follow it, Batman will remain a part of our lives for a very long time. Who’d have thought a rich billionaire in a suit with pointy ears would make such a splash in the world? I’ll bet Bob Kane never imagined how much his character would mean to people in 75 years’ time.
Happy Batman Day.