Happy 80th Birthday to Batman!! A Fanboy’s Timeline of Batman!

This year we celebrate 80 years of a character we know as the Caped Crusader, the Gotham Knight, the Detective, or the Batman! Batman is loved by many and hated […]

This year we celebrate 80 years of a character we know as the Caped Crusader, the Gotham Knight, the Detective, or the Batman!

Batman is loved by many and hated by some in the comic community. Like most comic fans they stick up for Batman like their favorite sports team. I mean who wouldn’t? By day he is Bruce Wayne, a billionaire playboy with access to cars, planes, and beautiful women! It is his night persona that is more interesting. As Batman, he strikes fear into the hearts of villains using his wits, tools, and techniques. Many argue that when his parents were killed in the alley that Bruce died with them and Batman was born. Batman is his true self and Bruce Wayne is the mask he wears.

No matter how you see it, it is too cool to not like it. The comics have gone through dark times, happy/campy times, exciting times, and even dull blah times. There have been many titles to coincide with Batman and his adventures and with that many, some have no idea of all the different incarnations that have come out. There are fans of the continuity and think that is all that matters and there are fans of the Elseworlds where things are turned upside down and inside out for entertainment value. Each story told by some of these amazing writers and artist will take you somewhere else. Batman on the pages has always been my favorite (yes even in the blah times).  This is due to the internal struggle that Bruce has to deal with on a daily basis. Not to mention one of the GREATEST and MOST FAMOUS/NOTORIOUS rogue’s gallery in all of comic history!

Currently in the comics, Bane has taken control of Gotham and Batman is helpless. Death in the comic world is never really permanent, but in the past issue of Batman, a major part of Batman/Burce’s life was taken. Some have speculated that this was not the real person, but until the next issue, we have to assume that this death will affect the Batfamily like no other!

In television, Batman has been a popular figure as well. From the Adam West TV show to the animated adventures Batman has always had a show on the small screen. Batman live-action shows have not faired very well no matter the popularity. Maybe the universe or character is too big for network television? Many spin off shows has come from the character, which has been okay to watch but with the networks not sticking to the source material many fans are turned off or write off the show after a season which results in cancellation. Shows like Birds of Prey, Gotham, Titans, Pennyworth, and now the new Batwoman all have an Elseworlds take on the Batman mythos. Gotham to some was unwatchable however, to me it was a pretty good show that I accepted as a Jim Gordon hero show more than a Batman hero show. I am looking forward to the up and coming Batwoman show since I am heavily involved in the Arrow-verse of the CW.

Something all fans can agree on is the success of the animated world that Bruce Timm and Paul Dini created with Batman: The Animated Series. Most of us have Kevin Conroy has the voice we hear when reading comics (I know I do). From B:TAS to Young Justice, Batman has transcended on a GODLIKE level. The millisecond we see Batman or any of the Batfamily on the cartoon we are hooked. One episode that always stands out is from Justice League: Unlimited titled The Doomsday Sanction. Batman takes it upon himself to stop a nuke that General Eiling launched. His speech to Superman at the end of the episode always gives chills down my spine.

You can watch it here. https://youtu.be/KokV4woe1Ts

Also watch Justice League: Unlimited episode titled Epilogue for another amazing send off to the Batman Beyond franchise.

Batman has even made a HUGE impact in the videogame industry. The Arkham series is to date one of the BEST if not the best franchise that DC has had in gaming with comic characters. The open-world gameplay and the cast of characters kept the players inundated with euphoria! Added with a STELLAR voice cast, these games are still relevant and playable today!

Last but not least the silver screen and all the Batman movies. In 1989 Michael Keaton brought a version of Batman that was darker than what people were used too. It worked in more aspects than it failed in. However, one of the lines Batman says to Penguin in Batman Returns is, “Things change.” What worked in `89 was too much violence and darkness for some of the people in Batman v Superman and Justice League.  Now for me, I did not mind at all, but I do not speak for the masses. Keaton had a two-movie run and people were all about it, then came the neon times. Gotham went from dark and cold to neon and dayglo paint. Batman: Forever was not horrible but it was not good either. We will skip the Clooney incarnation because we can all agree that was a train wreck.

Christopher Nolan came into the fold and gave us an amazing more grounded story for Batman. It laid some pretty decent groundwork for a shared universe for but his no powers approach killed any chance of that. The Dark Knight Rises was ridiculed by fans and critics but we can only imagine the story that could have been told had Heath Ledger not passed away. Christian Bale nailed Bruce Wayne but failed at his Batman voice, in my opinion, to solidify his claim as best Batman.  Then enter Ben Affleck. This may be a very unpopular opinion but Affleck was the perfect embodiment of both Bruce and Batman. Granted his scripts were not the best but he portrayed both characters masterfully!

I know I went everywhere with his write up, but let us face it, I could have written an article a week and still miss something. Bottom line is Batman may just be one of the most popular characters in the world and he is loved and hated by many! His stories are timeless and his adventures will live on in multiple mediums till the end of time. So from this Batman fan to all of you out there we say Happy Birthday Batman!!

About Jason Quaregna

Jason Quaregna (or JQ to the online world) is making his return to the Fanboy Factor after a brief hiatus. JQ is a single father of 2 beautiful girls, a computer teacher by day, and comic book store clerk by night. He is a HUGE Batman fan but does enjoy reading the other members of the Bat-family, X-Men, Spider-Man, Boom Studio's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and many many others. He is also a big toy collector with Japanese imports being his personal favorite. His personal favorite import line is the S.H. Figuarts Super Sayan (Power Rangers), Star Wars, and MCU collections. JQ is also a Batman Black and White Series statue collector.