day 335 – four caped crusaders

LEFT TO RIGHT Batman: The Animated Series maquette, released in 2004 and based on the 1992 cartoon; Secret Files Batman Rogues Gallery action figure, based on Brian Bolland‘s interpretation of the character, released in 2008; Classic Batman CosBaby mini figure, released in 2009 (Has there ever been a cuter Batman?); figure from DC Direct’s Justice line, based on the art of Alex Ross and released in 2007

Batman, created by Bob Kane in 1939, is the gateway superhero. Many may disagree, and cite Superman, Wolverine or Spider-Man as their introduction to the world of superheroes, but for my money, it’s always been Batman. In the mid-to-late ’60s, the Batman television show with Adam West and Burt Ward entertained with camp and turned on a generation. Twenty-some years later, Tim Burton’s Batman films reinvigorated the character, and, a generation later, Christopher Nolan is doing the same again with Christian Bale, Heath Ledger et al. Perhaps youngsters find the mystery and darkness of the character alluring, or maybe it’s that his origin and impetus for being are so archetypal that, 72 years on, the character thrives. Whatever the reason, Batman is never going away, despite what some story lines would have you believe.

Only somewhat related: Did you know that the term “superhero” is trademarked and co-owned by DC Comics and Marvel Comics? Maybe I’ll copyright the word the or the letter A. I think I’m deserving of the royalties that would generate.

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