In honor of Batman’s 80th anniversary, which is coming to an end along with 2019 in about a week, I asked BOF reader a simple question…
“What made you a Batman fan?”
I am currently 54 years old and I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a Batman fan. However, I do clearly know how I discovered the character and why I’ve loved him for a half-century, and I’ll talk about this along the way.
Let’s take a look at the Bat-Poll answers and break them down as the results to the Bat-Poll were quite interesting.
Video Games (0.73%)
There have been several Batman video games over the last 30-plus years, but I’m assuming that the few folks who chose this option are referring to the ARKHAM series.
What’s interesting — and also surprising — is that the ARKHAM video games are a recent addition to Batman’s 80-year history. Therefore, I’m going to assume that these “new” Batman fans are mostly made-up of younger folks.
Animated Films (0.74%)
This has to be BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM, right?
If this film made one a Batman fan, you would figure they would’ve already been watching BATMAN: THE ANIMATED series. But maybe a few families took their young son or daughter to see a movie on Christmas Day back in 1993 which just happened to be an animated Batman movie. Thus, a new Batman fan was born.
At first, I was like, “What else besides the categories I listed could make someone a Batman fan?”
And then I had an “Aha!” moment.
I figure that there are many Batman fans who became one via a parent(s). Example: My own children.
Yes, my kids were born into Batman fandom and I reckon some of you all were too.
Comic Books (15.13%)
Believe it or not, Batman’s original medium is not at the top of this poll. This speaks to not only how long Batman has been around, but how many different mediums Batman can be found.
The first Batman comic book story I remember actually reading was “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge” in BATMAN #251 in 1973.
Animated TV (24.72%)
No way this isn’t BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, right?
There are a ton of people who are in the 20s to 40s (give or take either way) that grew up on BTAS and it was their conduit into the world of Batman.
For me, my Batman fandom had been established for years when BTAS premiered back in September of 1992, so it didn’t have a big impact on me personally. However, it is great and I’d argue that the series itself should be on the Batman Mt. Rushmore.
Live-Action TV (26.2%)
This must be GOTHAM, right?
Clearly, if you chose this category you became a Batman fan because of the 1960s BATMAN TV series starring Adam West. Also, I highly suspect that you are of my vintage!
I know I read (well, looked at) Batman comics as a child, but my first memory of Batman is watching BATMAN via reruns in the late 1960s into the 1970s and BATMAN (1966) theatrical movie that accompanied it.
Live-Action Films (31%)
If I had to guess, when it comes to live-action films turning someone into a Batman fan, I suspect it’s BATMAN ’89 first (and probably foremost), followed by THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY.
Even though Batman came to be in comics books, live-action film is probably the character’s biggest medium today. Since 1989, Batman has appeared in 10 theatrical movies (counting BATMAN v SUPERMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE, and the cameo in SUICIDE SQUAD) and will make his next appearance on the big screen in director Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN on June 25, 2021. Robert Pattinson takes on the mantle of the Bat following Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, George Clooney, Val Kilmer, and Michael Keaton in the iconic role of The Dark Knight.
So, what specifically made you a Batman fan and when? Post your Bat-story in the comments section below! – Bill “Jett” Ramey