A lot can happen in 75 years. If you’re as old as Batman, then you’ve probably gone through a lot of changes. Well, so has he. In fact, we used to call him “The Bat-Man” which means even his name has gone through a change, too.
Newsarama took note of the ten biggest changes that the Dark Knight has gone through since his introduction back in 1939. And believe me, the changes are humongous! Some of the things you thought were canon from the very beginning are actually revisions to the character to make him the one of the best super-heroes in the world.
We’ll be counting down with you #’s ten to eight of these changes so you can head on over to Newsarama for the rest of the slideshow. The descriptions here are also cut short but enough to give you an idea of what changes Batman went through.
Here we go!
10. HIS ORIGIN
You think you know Batman? No one knew the truth behind Batman for the first few months of his debut. Although he debuted in 1939’s Detective Comics #27, (his origin wasn’t revealed until)* Detective Comics #33, in a brief two-page short at the beginning of the issue. Until then, Batman, or “Bat-Man” as his name was initially written, was known only to be the alter ego of a wealthy Gotham playboy whom James Gordon actually called “boring.”
*I added this since Newsarama may have mistakenly deleted part of the sentence making it incoherent.
9. BATMAN DOESN’T STICK TO HIS GUNS
1940’s Batman #1 was a pivotal issue for the character and the franchise for many years. The most obvious one is that it’s the first issue of the series that carries Batman’s own name, but it also served as the debut for two of his most popular characters – the Joker and Catwoman. But with those three additions there was one major subtraction that many Bat-fans overlook: DC took away his guns.
8. ALONG CAME ROBIN
In the cast of superheroes DC was building in the late 1930s, Batman was undeniably one of its darkest – and sometimes you need some light. In 1940’s Detective Comics #38, Bob Kane and Bill Finger created a sidekick in the vein of Sherlock Holmes’ Watson but with a youthful flair with the colorful teen hero Robin. Based visually on N.C. Wyeth’s illustrations of Robin Hood, Robin was created to act as a counter-point to Batman and also serve as someone the Dark Knight could confide in and dialogue with in a way that readers could read without Batman talking to himself.
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