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The History of Batman Day, A Marketing Ploy That Might Become a Real Fan ‘Holiday’

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BY April 28, 2020
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Inevitably, when someone mentions Batman Day, a joke comparing it to Christmas will surely follow. Saying “it seems earlier every year” or “it’s just too commercial” are the top choices, because in only the sixth year of its history, Batman Day is simply a marketing stunt. Or is it?

Well, yes, it is. DC created Batman Day as a way to celebrate the character’s 75th anniversary in 2014. It coincided with the San Diego Comic-Con that year, offering collectibles and a special “update” of the original Bat-Man story found in Detective Comics #27. Next year, the company moved Batman Day to September, though the specific “day” moves around like Easter each year. The history of Batman Day may be short, but it’s a phenomenon that’s caught on with fans of, arguably, DC’s most beloved character.

For whatever reason, DC decided that Batman Day will take place September after that first year, but the day keeps moving around. For 2019, Batman’s 80th anniversary, Batman Day grapples onto the calendar on September 21. Comic book stores will celebrate with specials and (possibly) free comic books. Barnes and Noble stores, those not yet crushed by the might of Amazon and ebooks, will also likely have some sort of family-friendly event to celebrate the Caped Crusader. The history of Batman Day may be a short one, but people are starting to have fun with it. Kids especially because they will take any excuse to dress up like Batman. Also, some cities will shine an actual Bat-Signal light up the night sky at 8 p.m. local time. You can track the signal celebration at Batman80.com. Finally, Fortnite fans can enjoy some Batman-themed DLC, including exploding batarangs and the iconic grapple gun.

Do We Need a Batman Day?

History of Batman Day Alex Ross Image Image via DC

It takes a lot of moxie to try to start an actual holiday. Star Wars May the 4th started with the fans, only being officially sanctioned by Lucasfilm in 2011. Batman day, however, started with DC Comics as a bald marketing stunt. Yet, with 80 years of history under his belt, Batman deserves his own day. People who have never picked up a comic book in their life know this character. They can recognize him from his symbol alone and probably can spout off details about him. They likely know the Joker and the fate of his parents. Batman, along with other heroes like Superman and Spider-Man, is so ingrained in the culture that it almost makes sense to have a day to celebrate that. But no matter how much DC wants Batman Day to stick, only the fans can make that happen. Though, who doesn’t love an excuse to celebrate something they love?

What about you? Will you celebrate Batman Day? I want to read all about how you want to showcase your fandom for the Caped Crusader here in the comments or on social media.

Featured image via DC

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Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

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