Sagas in Panels #8: Happy Anniversary Batman!

Jeff Hargarten

Batman – the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, etc – celebrates his 75th anniversary today.

All year long, Warner Bros. and DC will be celebrating in style, including art shows, the release of animated shorts, commemorative comic issues and toys, plus a Batman Day celebration on June 23.

While there are a number of days fans could celebrate as the character’s anniversary, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 on March 30, 1939, a story drawn by Bob Kane and written by Bill Finger. Batman #1 was published the next year, introducing the iconic Joker and Catwoman villains into the rogue’s gallery.

Batman’s iconic origin and basic traits as a crime-fighting detective in a noir city lost to corruption have robustly survived multiple retellings and versions as the character and his world have evolved over the decades. Being a normal human driven by willpower instead of superpowers have made Batman among the most popular characters of all time in any medium.

Want to join this year’s ongoing celebration of all things Dark Knight? Here are some reading, television and cinematic suggestions:

  1. Read Batman #1 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.
     
  2. Read “Batman Year: One” by Frank Miller.
     
  3. Read “Batman: Year Zero” by Scott Snyder.
     
  4. Read “Batman: The Man Who Laughs” by Ed Brubaker.
     
  5. Read “The Killing Joke” by Alan Moore.
     
  6. Read “The Long Halloween” and “Dark Victory” graphic novels by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.
     
  7. Watch the entirety of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Trilogy” in this order: “Batman Begins,” “Batman: Gotham Knight,” “The Dark Knight,” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
     
  8. Watch the upcoming “Son of Batman” animated movie.
     
  9. Watch the “Batman: Under the Red Hood” animated movie.
     
  10. Watch the “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” animated movie.
     
  11. Read “Batman RIP” by Grant Morrison.
     
  12. Read “Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth” by Grant Morrison.
     
  13. Read "Batman: Hush" by Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee.
     
  14. Read “The Dark Knight Returns” by Frank Miller.
     
  15. Read “Justice League of America: Tower of Babel” by Mark Waid.
     
  16. Watch the following episodes of “Batman: The Animated Series” in any order:
     

1.       The Forgotten

2.       Over the Edge

3.       Showdown

4.       Almost Got ‘Im

5.       Harlequinade

6.       The Man Who Killed Batman

7.       Joker’s Favor

8.       Heart of Ice

9.       Two-Face Parts 1 & 2

10.   The Demon’s Quest

11.   Legends of the Dark Knight

12.   The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy

13.   Harley and Ivy

14.   P.O.V.

15.   Perchance to Dream

16.   The Trial

17.   On Leather Wings

18.   Dreams in Darkness

19.   Mad Love

20.   Robin’s Reckoning

21.   I Am the Night

Other entries in this series
Sagas in Panels #1: Best in the pages, on the screen
Sagas in Panels #2: Sorting the unified universes
Sagas in Panels #3: Understanding retcons, reboots, relaunches and multiverses
Sagas in Panels #4: Unveiling Guardians of the Galaxy
Sagas in Panels #5: Comparing digital comic subscriptions
Sagas in Panels #6: Touring the DCAU
Sagas in Panels #7: The Flash and other upcoming comic-based television