BATMAN TIMELINE – Batman in 1940

Robin Begins


1940 was an important year for Batman as Robin, The Joker, Hugo Strange, and Catwoman all made their first appearances in the pages of Batman comics. 1940 also saw Batman adopt a “no killing” rule as well as an aversion to firearms.

FEBRUARY: Batman takes on the evil Dr. Hugo Strange for the first time in DETECTIVE COMICS #36. Coming before The Joker or any other of Batman’s most famous rogues, Dr. Hugo Strange was The Dark Knight’s first re-occuring supervillain.

APRIL: Richard “Dick” Grayson’s origin as Robin, The Boy Wonder is detailed in DETECTIVE COMICS #38. Taken in by Bruce Wayne after his circus-performing parents are murdered by mobster Boss Tony Zucco, Dick Grayson is trained by The Batman and soon joins his war on crime as Robin. Read BOF’s review of DETECTIVE COMICS #38 (Vol. 1) HERE.

SPRING: With BATMAN #1, Batman gets his own comic book. In it, both The Joker and Catwoman (called “The Cat” originally) make their debut in “The Joker”/”The Joker Returns” and “The Cat” respectively. Dr. Hugo Strange returns in the story “The Giants of Hugo Strange.” Read BOF’s review of BATMAN #1 (Vol. 1) HERE.

JUNE: The Basil Karlo version of Clayface makes his first appearance in the story “The Murders of Clayface” in DETECTIVE COMICS #40.

FALL: “The Cat” becomes “The Cat-Woman” and gets her first costume – a cat-head mask, red cape, and an orange dress – in BATMAN #3.