Batman’s 75th Anniversary: What Warner Bros. and DC Comics Have in the Works
Few characters have the pop culture clout of Batman, who has spent the better part of a century dominating comic books, the better part of a generation dominating movies, and the better part of a decade dominating video games. To geeks and businessmen alike, he’s kind of a big, huge, massive deal. Now, Warner Bros. and DC Comics plan to celebrate the 75th anniversary of their biggest cash cow with a year-long celebration, announcing all kinds of special events and releases to commemorate the creation of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego.
Batman first appeared in the pages of Detective Comics #27 in 1939, and he found himself the star of his own comic series a year later. Today, he stars in six of his own individual series, not including his role in teams like the Justice League. He’s been the star of seven movies, from the iconic ‘Batman’ and the box office shattering ‘The Dark Knight’ to the infamous train wreck that was ‘Batman & Robin.’ Meanwhile, the ‘Arkham’ video game franchise redefined how to make a superhero-themed video game.
So, yeah, he kinda deserves a good pat on the back.
Said DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson:
Batman is one of the greatest characters ever created, in comics or elsewhere, and even after 75 years he continues to wildly fascinate fans. He is an integral part of pop culture and has successfully captured the imagination of the entire world. The origin of Batman, Bruce Wayne and the famous citizens of Gotham are legendary and likely a story you know inside out, even if you’ve never picked up a comic book in your life, and that speaks volumes to the character’s immense popularity and the constructs of the original mythology.
First things first: that image below is the official logo for Batman’s 75th anniversary. Get used to it. It’s most likely going to be slapped on just about every comic, DVD, Blu-ray, toy, video game and board game that has anything to do with the Caped Crusader’s b-day for the next year. By March of 2015, you’ll be totally sick of it.
As for actual events, releases and celebrations, DC and Warner Bros. plan to spread the love across various formats.
In the comic world, the Batman family of titles will see special variant covers and other commemorative issues. In other words, business as usual (but with a new logo!).
In the world of home video, expect a 25th anniversary special edition release of Tim Burton‘s original ‘Batman.’ More importantly, the classic ’60s ‘Batman’ TV series will finally hit shelves, giving a new generation access to one of the greatest takes on the character ever filmed. Of course, a re-release of the first ‘Batman’ movie was inevitable, and the release of the ‘Batman’ series was already announced.
In the world of animation, Warner Bros. and DC will release two special animated shorts and … host a few special comic convention panels. Um …
In the world of television, ‘Gotham‘ has already begun filming, while the movie circuit will see ‘Batman vs. Superman‘ enter production. And, yes, those two things were already happening regardless. [Ed. note: the press release does not specify a release date, simply saying "Summer 2016." Are they backing off of Marvel's date?]
Wait a minute … are DC and Warner Bros. just loosely tying all of the Batman-related things they were already doing together, saying that’s part of a 75th anniversary celebration and really offering nothing too special at all? No! Because July 23, 2014 will be “Batman Day,” where thousands of comic retailers will celebrate the character with a free special edition Batman comic. Of course, celebrating Batman in a comic shop is kind of like Maine celebrating a “White History Day,” but we digress.
Honestly, it’s not as exciting as it could or should be. Batman is already so omnipresent that it’s kinda hard to celebrate him even more. He’s going to turn 75 while already being at the top of his game, and there really isn’t anything his owners can do to make him even bigger.