How To Celebrate Batman Day
Today is Batman Day! What does that mean? Well, it’s just like it sounds. Today, we celebrate the Dark Knight, the Caped Crusader, the World’s Greatest Detective, the Defender of Gotham – Batman! Though Batman is the second oldest superhero (Superman came first), he is the most influential superhero character. What started as an antithesis of Superman shaped the world of comics ever since his May 1939 debut and still does today. At the time, Batman reflected the world much more than Superman could. We were in the Great Depression, Hitler was rising in power; the world was a bleak place. Batman rose from the darkness, not in spite of it. And now here we are, with a multi-billion dollar franchise and a holiday. So, how do you celebrate Batman Day, besides going to a comic shop? Here are some ideas:
How to Celebrate the Legacy of Batman Day
(Images: DC Comics)
It might be impossible to find a copy of Detective Comics #27, but thankfully, you don’t need to. The first appearance of Batman – a mere seven pages – is free on ComiXology, and that’s cause enough to celebrate. Free comics are the best, right? But after you read the debut, slingshot forward 82 years and pick up the latest issue of Detective Comics, issue #1042. That’s right. In just Detective Comics, Batman has appeared in over 1000 comics. In an odd way, Batman has changed significantly since that first appearance, and yet not at all either.
To Celebrate the Comics Even More, Read Some Modern Batman Classics Through the Day
The most recent event, Fear State, just started in time for Batman Day. (Image DC Comics)
After you experience the first and current Detective Comics, discover more. If you are new to Batman, you can pick up any Bat-comic from the past twentyish years and find something great. How can we say that? Well, think of it like this. Marvel generally puts their “top writers” on Avengers or X-Men. So, you would think that DC Comics would do the same with Justice League, right? But no, their premiere spot goes to Batman. The past twenty years featured, in rough order:
- Ed Brubaker
- Grant Morrison
- Tony S Daniel
- Scott Snyder
- Tim King
- Mariko Tamaki
- John Ridley
- James Tynion IV (who is wrapping up his far-too-short run)
- Joshua Williamson
Want something weird and esoteric? Pick up something from Grant Morrison. You’ll love it but also want to read their work several times to get it. A deep psychological dive? Tim King. How about a film noir experience? Ed Brubaker. And if you like a long, sprawling epic, Scott Snyder’s your writer.
To that end, even if you’re tired of Bruce Wayne, you can celebrate Batman Day with a Batman. During Grant Morrison’s run, Dick Grayson wore the cape and cowl. Towards the end of Scott Snyder’s tenure, Jim Gordon replaced Bruce – and wore a Batman mech-suit. Finally, during Future State, John Ridley brought us Jace Fox, “the Next Batman.” Jace proved to be such a fan favorite that he now has an ongoing series, I am Batman.
Don’t Forget to Celebrate the Classics on Batman Day
(Image: DC Comics)
While Batman has a lot of modern classics, he also has classic classics. First, of course, there’s the Frank Miller stories, The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One – which is better than DKR, regardless of what people tell you. Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke might be the shortest and most memorable Batman classic. Also include Jeph Loeb’s Long Halloween, which inspired Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight AND Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman. Remember when fans voted to kill Jason Todd? Well, Denny O’Neil’s writing turned a gimmick into a powerful story about loss.
Then we have the Batman events of the 90s. Contagion – or, um, maybe wait for COVID to end for that one. Cataclysm, No Man’s Land, and Knightfall were the massive crossover epics DC produced to rival the X-Men epic crossovers at Marvel. Also, though not a 90s event, throwing in War Games too…because it is incredible.
Raise a Glass to Celebrate Your Favorite Batman
(Image: Warner Bros)
First, mix yourself a Gotham City Cocktail, then toast to the several actors who brought Batman to life over the past 82 years. But also watch your favorite Batman. Maybe it’s an old Adam West episode or the most praised Batman movie so far, The Dark Knight. Or perhaps you love George Clooney as Batman and watch Batman & Robin. Hey, however you want to celebrate Batman Day is up to you.
Play Some Gotham-Centric Video Games
Batman has also had fantastic video games, such as the Arkham Asylum series. Or, if you want some great mindless fun, pick up the Lego Batman games. What better way to celebrate Batman Day than to become Batman? In fact, some of the best Batman stories are in his video games. Along with the Arkham series, the Telltale games’ unique style delivers on story and gameplay. Even the rise of Sin Tzu, though lacking in gameplay, had a pretty good story, including a brand new character that Jim Lee created.
Just avoid Gotham City Racer. The name alone should tell you why.
Get Ready for the 2022 Batman Extavaganza
We might as well call 2022 the year of the Batman. Not only is the Batman finally coming out after the pandemic shut down production, but along with Robert Pattinson, we’ll see three other live-action Batmen! Both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are reprising their roles for The Flash, delving into the DC multiverse…but a little late behind Marvel. Just like Flash, despite moving quickly, WB is always a bit late. And in HBO’s Titans, Iain Glen will continue playing the old and bitter Bruce Wayne.
But equally as exciting and a reason to celebrate, Batman: The Animated Series creator Bruce Timm is teaming up with JJ Abrams for Batman: The Caped Crusader, an HBO Max series. Also, in animated Batman news, the hit video game/comic book series Injustice is getting an animated movie. Though Batman is more of a supporting character, he still plays a significant role. On that note, we’re also getting another season of Batwoman and more Harley Quinn: The Animated Series.
Speaking of the Bat-family, we’re getting a new Batman-themed video game in 2022: Gotham Knights. But don’t expect to put on your bat mask. Batman’s dead and his successors, Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood, become Gotham’s defenders in this game.
Still, it’s fantastic that we have plenty of reasons to celebrate Batman Day next year, seeing as how this year’s Batman Day isn’t even over.
(Featured Image: DC Comics)
How Do You Celebrate Batman Day? Tell us below!
Roman Colombo finished his MFA in 2010 and now teaches writing and graphic novel literature at various Philadelphia colleges. His first novel, Trading Saints for Sinners, was published in 2014. He's currently working on his next novel and hoping to find an agent soon.