Batman is pretty spry for a 75-year-old super hero. It’s easy to explain away Superman staying so fit and young over three quarters of a century: he’s an indestructible alien powered by our sun. Bruce Wayne and his alter ego are perfect examples for the phrase, “You’re only as old as you think you are.” As far as he’s concerned, he’s still the same guy who pulled on the cape and cowl back in June of 1939 to solve “The Case of the Crime Syndicate.”
I won’t deny that Superman is the most powerful super hero in the world. He also stood tall as the greatest Boy Scout and patriot of the U.S.A. Until recently, however, I’ve never been able to fully connect to the Man of Steel. He was too perfect and too strong. Now, DC Comics has given the character more humanity and made him a bit more fallible than before.
From the very beginning, the Dark Knight had issues to deal with as a real human being and guardian of his extended Bat-Family. Rich or not, Batman had to fight his way out of scrapes through the use of his detective skills, blood, sweat, brawn, and technical smarts. He didn’t have super powers to fall back on. The Caped Crusader was always easier for me to identify with as a brooding, rebellious teenager who just wanted to be an individual in a country town full of cowboys and sports fanatics.
Lovers of the character will get a chance to celebrate the 75th anniversary of his creation as July 23rd is sired “Batman Day.” Fans everywhere can go to participating comic book stores and pick up a number of items that will thrill them. The big ticket piece is a copy of “Detective Comics #27 Special Edition.” The extra-sized issue features a re-telling of Batman’s first appearance and stories written by Brad Meltzer, Scott Snyder, Bryan Hitch, and Sean Murphy. The original premiere adventure of the Caped Crusader is also re-printed in full for this incredible release. It also includes a sneak preview of Brad Meltzer and Chip Kidd’s re-imagining of Bruce Wayne’s first outing as the crime fighter.
There are other things select stores will carry as well. Many will have bookmarks, bags, 75th anniversary capes, and four masks to choose from chronicling different eras of the Dark Knight’s long career. Fans can be their choice of the Caped Crusader from the 1930s, the 1960’s TV show, “The Dark Knight Returns,” or the modern day “New 52” Batman.
If that’s not enough for die-hard fans, you can always pick up new copies of DC Comics’ hardcover salutes to both Batman and the Joker. Each book contains various tales featuring the Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime from their long and storied careers as super hero and super villain. Whether you’re new to the world of Batman or reading the stories for the 75th time, these special volumes will have you captivated from beginning to end.
“Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years” is 425 pages of action and adventure from over seven decades. Every incarnation of the character is given its time in the spotlight. The brooding vigilante sleuth and the smiling patriot of the 1930s and 1940s; the out-of-this-world science fiction / fantasy do-gooder of the 1950s; the campy Caped Crusader of the 1960s; the gothic specter of the 1970s; all the way through to his re-launch for the New 52. Contributing writers and artists include Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Carmine Infantino, Dick Sprang, Chuck Dixon, Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and many more.
“The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years” is over 390 pages of zany and disturbing anecdotes featuring the Clown Prince of Crime at the top of his diabolical game. There’s no denying the Harlequin of Hate is Batman’s most well-known archenemy and this collection is the perfect example of why that is. From his first appearance in Batman #1 in 1940 to his latest facelift (pun intended) in the re-booted New 52 world, readers have come to love the charismatic character even though he causes them to laugh nervously at his deranged deeds. Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Scott Snyder, Neal Adams, Scott Capullo, Paul Dini, and others all get a chance to showcase their different takes on the Dark Knight’s unforgettable nemesis.
On July 23rd, take the chance to commemorate one of the first super heroes ever created. Without the Batman, the world would be a lot less thrilling to live in. He’s one of the most famous comic book characters to have captured the hearts of so many people the world over.
You can go here to find a comic shop or store participating in “Batman Day.”