Sunday March 30th marked the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman in Detective Comics #27. National Periodicals (later to be DC Comics) introduced Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s creation to the world on that day in 1939, and eight decades later the Dark Knight is as popular as ever in comic books, film and television.
Batman was the first comic book hero that I was introduced to thanks to reruns of the 60’s television series starring Adam West. This was several years before I bought my first comic book, and despite its campiness I still have a soft spot for the original series to this day.
In honor of The Dark Knight’s 75th birthday, here’s a list of my all time favorite representations of Batman:
Favorite Batman Artist: Neal Adams
Choosing my favorite Batman artist was a tough task for me considering how many incredible artists have drawn the Batman books over the years (Jerry Robinson, Sheldon Moldoff, Dick Sprang, Carmine Infantino and Jim Aparo, just to name a few). But it was Neal Adams’ Batman that was my first introduction to the Dark Knight on the comic book page, and it’s his artwork that comes to mind when I think of the character.
Favorite Issue: Batman Special #1 (1984)
This story of Batman vs. The Wrath is one that stuck with me over the years. Batman’s nemesis in this special issue was his complete antithesis even down to the death of his parents. Great story by Mike W. Barr and art by Michael Golden and Mike DeCarlo.
Favorite Run: Batman: Year One
Favorite Cover: Detective Comics #69
Jerry Robinson’s cover for Detective Comics #69 just barely edges out Neal Adams’ cover for Detective Comics #400 as my favorite of all time.
Favorite Batman Film: The Dark Knight
Favorite Televised Version of Batman: Batman: The Animated Series
I was 20 and out of comics collecting when Batman: The Animated Series premiered on Fox in 1992. I was expecting more of the campiness of the 1966 series, but was blown away by the noir tone and I was hooked. (My favorite episode of the series: Beware the Gray Ghost, guest starring Adam West).
Here’s to another 75 years of Batman.
When I first began reading the Batman comic books regularly back in 1989, the character’s two regular pencilers were Jim Aparo and Norm Breyfogle. As a result, I’ll probably always consider their depictions of the Dark Knight to be among the definitive ones. Like yourself, I am also very fond of Batman: Year One. David Mazzucchelli’s artwork was stunning. And once I was finally able to see Neal Adams’ work on Batman via reprints & trade paperbacks, I was certainly very impressed.