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The Year of the Bat – 70 Years Old Today!

It’s April 18, the 70th Anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in the pages of Detective Comics #27.  The introduction of this masked adventurer by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, with later major contributions by Jerry Robinson, Sheldon Moldoff, Dick Sprang, Gardner Fox, George Roussous and many, many others kicked off not only a new addition to the ranks of the superheroes, but a character who would become a cultural icon.  Indeed, Batman is one of the most recognized fictional characters, and is seen around the world in comic books, television, cartoons, movies, novels and merchandise galore!  Who knew 70 years ago that this short story entitled, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” would lead to so much.   What will the next 70 years bring?  I imagine that my grandchildren will be reading the adventures of Batman and his alter-ego, Bruce Wayne.

Detective Comics #27 (May 1939)

Detective Comics #27 (May 1939)

There is so much that I could write to celebrate the 70th anniversary of my favorite Golden Age superhero.  In fact, I’ve already written or podcasted about almost every aspect of the Caped Crusader’s life, family, friends, enemies and his great gadgets.  So, instead of going on and on in this post about things that I’ve already covered over the years, let me point you in the direction of what I’ve already done in honor of this great crime fighter.

My first attempt at collecting information about the Golden Age Batman took the form of  The Golden Age Batman Site.   This started as a way to showcase some Golden Age Batman comic book covers, but evolved into a resource with indexes of all of Batman’s Golden Age appearances along with reprint and other information.  I’ve enjoyed making Bat-friends over the years that this site has been up and running.  While it’s not the most dynamic site on the web, all of the basic information is there.

In 2005 when I started the Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast, I naturally had to spend several episodes talking about the Golden Age Batman.  In the sixth installment, I first covered Batman, Robin and Alfred and their Golden Age history.  A couple of episodes later (episode #8) I talked about the origins and life of two of Batman’s arch-enemies, Catwoman and Two-Face (Well, Catwoman wasn’t always an enemy!)  This was followed in episode #9 with a discussion about none other than the Joker and Penguin, the two villains who appeared most often in Golden Age Batman stories.  A few months later in episode #27, I tackled one of my favorite Golden Age Batman topics, the “origin trilogy” written by the great Bill Finger.  I also wrote an article about this same topic in the pages of Comics Now! magazine in my “Comics Then” column

While this was not really about the Golden Age Batman, in October of 2006, I recorded a guest spot for Bruce Rosenberger’s Komics Kast, featuring the Silver Age Ace the Bat-Hound.  In August of 2008 (episode #58), I again focused the Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast on Batman, and featured the team-ups of Batman and Superman.  Last but not least, on March 14, 2009, I appeared on the Comic Geek Speak Podcast where we generally discussed the history of Batman in the Golden Age and his 70th anniversay.

Whew!  I’ve said a lot about the Golden Age Batman, but I’ve written a lot too, and within the pages of this blog, you’ll find the following posts about the Golden Age Batman:

There is no doubt that as time goes by, I’ll write much more about the Golden Age Batman, and before you know it we’ll be discussing his 75th anniversary!

Of course, I’m not the only comic book fan on the web, and there are many great sites and blogs devoted to Batman throughout the years.  You’ll find the links to several of these in the links section of this blog, and I noticed that Pat Curley today also posted a tribute to Batman’s 70th Anniversary on his Silver Age of Comic Books Blog.  Pat has written some great posts about Batman over the years.

On Batman’s 70th Anniversary, please accpet my sincere thanks to all of the Golden Age Batman fans who have visited my web site, listened to my podcasts and read this blog over the years.  Seventy years is a pretty big milestone, but there will be others, and I look forward to celebrating each of them with you in the future.

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5 Comments

  1. [...] Yesterday marked the 70th anniversary of the Caped Crusader. [...]

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for the great work your provided on the Golden Age Batman! I know it is a labour of love for you! The 70th anniversary inspired me to re-read Batman Chronicles Vol. 1 and it was only then that I realized that the character of Commissioner Gordon was introduced in that very first story as well. Unlike Bruce, I think Jim has actually gotten younger over time!

  3. [...] know who I bet is really hard to throw a surprise party for?: Batman, who turned 70 yesterday. See, even if you managed to keep the party secret from the World’s Greatest Detective, and [...]

  4. I can’t believe it’s been that long! I’m sure many people glossed over that fact

  5. Edward DiPofi says:

    Sir
    I read in a Pittsburgh newspaper in the this date in history that Detective#27 hit the newsstands on March 2nd 1939.Check it out and I think you will find this to be true. Hope this helps out .

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