When did Batman become so popular ?

#1 Posted by kgb725 (6002 posts) - - Show Bio

When did the Bats popularity skyrocket ?

#2 Posted by RDClip (1117 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like to know this too. Was it Miller's DKR or was he the top dog before that?

#3 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not too sure...

I think it was just a buildup of memorable stuff coming out of the Batman franchise over the years. From the popularity of the original comic to O'Neill's stuff and DKR, to the Adam West series, the Burton movies and the Nolan trilogy, even BTAS. I read that DKR caused a reinterest in Batman though.

#4 Posted by Vitality (1761 posts) - - Show Bio

The Nolan movies made him one of my favorites.

#5 Edited by M3th (2042 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with Veshark. Comic book stories like "The Dark Knight Returns", "The Killing Joke", and impact of "A Death in the Family" plus movies and TV shows. Seeing Tim Burton's Batman and/or Heath Ledgers Joker added to his popularity. Not to say there aren't other heroes with great stories/comics/movies/games/shows/etc but Bats has done it consistently. He's Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Bruce Lee in a bat suit.

#6 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman started to overtake Superman bec. of the old Adam West tv show.

#7 Posted by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

INB4 accusations of "because all the fanboys"

#8 Posted by RustyRoy (11118 posts) - - Show Bio

He was already popular when I was born but it all started with the Adam West series I guess. But Burton's movie made him the most popular american character.

#9 Edited by Guardiandevil83 (5336 posts) - - Show Bio

@m3th: This is perfection.

#10 Edited by RustyRoy (11118 posts) - - Show Bio

@m3th said:

I agree with Veshark. Comic book stories like "The Dark Knight Returns", "The Killing Joke", and impact of "A Death in the Family" plus movies and TV shows. Seeing Tim Burton's Batman and/or Heath Ledgers Joker added to his popularity. Not to say there aren't other heroes with great stories/comics/movies/games/shows/etc but Bats has done it consistently. He's Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Bruce Lee in a bat suit.

Agreed.

#11 Edited by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

depends.... if it's the recent popularity - nolan trilogy

if it's it's all time popularity... the adam west series I guess and also Burton's movies

#12 Posted by MrMiracle77 (1659 posts) - - Show Bio

The Tim Burton movies were the beginning of the popularity shift from the comic reader to the general public. Aside from the short era in the early 50s when horror comics were whipping the crimefighter/superhero genre, Batman has always been very popular with comic book readers.

Bruce Timm mentioned something interesting about Batman when he was starting work on the Superman cartoon. He said that if you were to ask a random stranger from the U.S. (and possibly elsewhere) to name five Batman villains, most people could probably do it thanks to the Adam West series. Ask that same person to name five Superman villains and they'd stumble after Lex Luthor.

#13 Edited by ArturoCalaKayVee (11130 posts) - - Show Bio

Because of all the fan boys!

INB4 accusations of "because all the fanboys"

Ah, damn it!

#14 Posted by Mega_spidey01 (3078 posts) - - Show Bio

he, became poplur since the first batman movie in 89.

#15 Edited by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

He was immensely popular when he first came out in the thirties, but it was the show and movie that got him to where he is now.

The Tim Burton movies were the beginning of the popularity shift from the comic reader to the general public. Aside from the short era in the early 50s when horror comics were whipping the crimefighter/superhero genre, Batman has always been very popular with comic book readers.

#16 Posted by Reignmaker (2232 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman started to overtake Superman bec. of the old Adam West tv show.

Pretty much this.

Batman funny dance

#17 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

I heard the Adam West tv show started a Batman mania craze. I thought it was a wonderful tv show when I was a kid. I did not like the George Reeves Superman tv show bec. it had many black and white episodes, and was boring.

#18 Edited by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

Many factors, really. I should give credit to West. Stupid as that show was, it still saved the Batman franchise from bankruptcy. Don't believe me? Read Bats' history. The show (alongside the Hannah Barbera cartoons) is more of a joke now, though. But it did have its effects.

Late 80's to early nineties was the pinnacle IMO. As some already stated, Burton (leaning heavily on the fundamentals both Moore and Miller established) made him mainstream due to the demand of "dark and gritty" heroes of that time. I think it could also be attributed to the lack of other alternative heroes for the mainstream that could rival him at that time. Marvel movies pretty much sucked back in those days and the Superman franchise just recently "died" with Superman 4. Independent superhero films such as pulp heroes The Shadow and The Phantom had pretty mediocre incarnation in the big screen. DC's own Flash series failed to garner support or ratings. Superman shows at that time (Superboy and Lois & Clark) did leave a good mark but not too big as both got cancelled after some seasons.

So yeah, BatKeaton was ruling because of Burton. Add Batman TAS to the mix (with that oh so epic Conroy voice) and you have a great concoction of pure badassery and mainstream popularity to surmount any sabotage (*cough* Schumacher! *chough*).

Now enters Morrison and how he made Bats a prepgod. I think the number of fanboys skyrocketed around the time Grant wrote JLA. He went from world's greatest detective to beating cosmic threats and having the ability to take down JLA. It never happened canonically, or if it did it wasn't by Bats himself. But I remember Wizard's interview of Morrison where he stated Batman would beat the whole league. So if a writer of that caliber thinks that, perhaps the majority of his fanboys will believe it.

And then we have the Nolanites. I guess I don't have to discuss that matter. And I don't think I want to, either.

#19 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells said:

Batman started to overtake Superman bec. of the old Adam West tv show.

Pretty much this.

Not really. Superman did not take a backseat until Superman 3 and Superman 4 ruined the movie franchise. During West's days, Superman was still top cow. Batman was climbing the ladder, for sure. But it wasn't until Burton released his movies that Batman became DC's poster boy.

#20 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman has been a Top tier character since he was created only Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and Namor Can make the claim to be on top of comics in every era. Superman/Batman trading #1 slot most of that time. Though Captain Marvel was the Most popular overall in the golden age era..

#21 Posted by Extremis (3334 posts) - - Show Bio

The Adam West tv show, of course. Batman wouldn't exist the way we know him today without it. He's more known now for his darkness and grittiness made popular by Frank Miller in the 80s, but who knows if that overhaul would have happened without the popularity of the tv show. The character has evolved over the decades and the fans (in masses) have with the Batman character.

Truly one of America's greatest fictions: The Batman mythology, and all the psychology it represents. It has stood, and will continue to stand, the test of time. Batman Forever! (Not the movie)

#22 Posted by Bruxae (12649 posts) - - Show Bio

Probably in May 1939.

#23 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio

@bruxae said:

Probably in May 1939.

on the nose.

#24 Posted by JJ62 (1299 posts) - - Show Bio

He's always been popular and has always been a great character.

I think you mean: "where did all these batman fanboys come from?" in which case, it's a combination of Dark Knight Returns, Nolan trilogy and JLU cartoon. As well as DC giving Batman insane PIS feats in the last few years, feeding fire to the so called "bat-god".

#25 Edited by Nerx (15088 posts) - - Show Bio

The Nineties, f*ck the nineties

#26 Edited by sinestro_GL (3066 posts) - - Show Bio

A mixture of this...

...this...

...this...

...and this...

Well, Batman was already insanely popular before that Nolan film...but since then, it's gone off the scale

#27 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

1939.

#28 Edited by Reignmaker (2232 posts) - - Show Bio

@ssejllenrad said:

@reignmaker said:
@colonyofcells said:

Batman started to overtake Superman bec. of the old Adam West tv show.

Pretty much this.

Not really. Superman did not take a backseat until Superman 3 and Superman 4 ruined the movie franchise. During West's days, Superman was still top cow. Batman was climbing the ladder, for sure. But it wasn't until Burton released his movies that Batman became DC's poster boy.

You're wrong, but we can still be friends. Though West's show was short-lived due to it's formulaic writing, the batmania it created is undeniable. It was a pop-culture phenomena on a scale that no other superhero had previously achieved. It remains the single show that best defines the 60's. You'll also notice that it was stated that this is where Batman started to overtake Superman.

I'll admit it wasn't decisive until Batman '89, but the seeds were laid by Adam West.

#29 Edited by joshmightbe (24689 posts) - - Show Bio

He's pretty much always been one of the most popular comic characters. I attribute this to the character's ability to change with the times.

#30 Edited by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, I think it was the 60s Batman that did it, and then the successive TV and film spots that kept him in public consciousness. The great Batman stories in the comics only solidified this.

I grew up on X-Men, Spider-Man, and Batman. All three of those interests were originally sparked by their respective 90s cartoons.

#31 Edited by ThatGuyWithHeadPhones (10362 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman has always been popular it's just with the Nolan movies and the Arham games he's reached a extraordinary level of popularity

#32 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6134 posts) - - Show Bio

This chart suggests that the Nolan films did have quite an impact:

#33 Posted by Jnr6Lil (7689 posts) - - Show Bio

Guy really didn't become a star until Batman: TAS. Sure he was a big name before that, but after that series came out, the Batman fandom rose, and it reflected in comics also.

#34 Edited by ULTRAstarkiller (5939 posts) - - Show Bio

With real fans I'd say about the 80's he reached maximum popularity, with swagfags I'd say when Dark Knight came out.

#35 Edited by Chronus (1115 posts) - - Show Bio

After the release of Batman Begins.

#36 Posted by thejman251 (435 posts) - - Show Bio

- Over 70 years of existing through multiple mediums.

#37 Edited by Nova`Prime` (4157 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd have to say the Keaton movies and the animated series in the 90s.

#38 Edited by Jack Donaghy (927 posts) - - Show Bio

He was always popular, you don't have people create copycat characters based off you (early Green Arrow was a clear Batman ripoff) without being popular. But he became hugely popular when Adam West's show came. Burton, TAS, the Arkham games and Lego Batman have massively contributed to his popularity as well.

#39 Edited by Funnygge (3 posts) - - Show Bio

So my boyfriend, my boyfriend’s parents, and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises in IMAX the other day. We leave talking about the movie and I mention how much I love Bane coat. His dad chimes in, “You know I have a coat like that.” When we get to the house, he brings it out. He likes this coat so much.

#40 Posted by MasterDetective (802 posts) - - Show Bio

1989

#41 Posted by RustyRoy (11118 posts) - - Show Bio

He was always popular, you don't have people create copycat characters based off you (early Green Arrow was a clear Batman ripoff) without being popular. But he became hugely popular when Adam West's show came. Burton, TAS, the Arkham games and Lego Batman have massively contributed to his popularity as well.

True.

#42 Posted by batshrine (969 posts) - - Show Bio

Many factors, really. I should give credit to West. Stupid as that show was, it still saved the Batman franchise from bankruptcy. Don't believe me? Read Bats' history. The show (alongside the Hannah Barbera cartoons) is more of a joke now, though. But it did have its effects.

Late 80's to early nineties was the pinnacle IMO. As some already stated, Burton (leaning heavily on the fundamentals both Moore and Miller established) made him mainstream due to the demand of "dark and gritty" heroes of that time. I think it could also be attributed to the lack of other alternative heroes for the mainstream that could rival him at that time. Marvel movies pretty much sucked back in those days and the Superman franchise just recently "died" with Superman 4. Independent superhero films such as pulp heroes The Shadow and The Phantom had pretty mediocre incarnation in the big screen. DC's own Flash series failed to garner support or ratings. Superman shows at that time (Superboy and Lois & Clark) did leave a good mark but not too big as both got cancelled after some seasons.

So yeah, BatKeaton was ruling because of Burton. Add Batman TAS to the mix (with that oh so epic Conroy voice) and you have a great concoction of pure badassery and mainstream popularity to surmount any sabotage (*cough* Schumacher! *chough*).

Now enters Morrison and how he made Bats a prepgod. I think the number of fanboys skyrocketed around the time Grant wrote JLA. He went from world's greatest detective to beating cosmic threats and having the ability to take down JLA. It never happened canonically, or if it did it wasn't by Bats himself. But I remember Wizard's interview of Morrison where he stated Batman would beat the whole league. So if a writer of that caliber thinks that, perhaps the majority of his fanboys will believe it.

And then we have the Nolanites. I guess I don't have to discuss that matter. And I don't think I want to, either.

This is probably the most accurate account posted on here. But let me give a little history on Batman and his popularity!

1938 - The very first superhero was created, Superman. Instantly popular!

1939 - Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27. Instant hit.

1940 - Second hero to get his solo comic because he as so popular, second to Superman.

1940's - Superheros in general became immensely popular during WWII. They were the best form of entertainment depicting good overcoming evil. Now if I was to analyse this, Batman although very popular could not defeat Superman in popularity because at the time, Superman was the symbol of america and a beacon of hope.

1950's - So superheroes in general started losing tons of popularity. In DC only Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman were the only heros that managed to keep any of their popularity. But with the creation of the Comics Code (look it up but it was intense censoring of comics), all comics were hit hard. Most hero's were reinvented, and by the end of the 1950's Batman was at an all time low and very close to being cancelled. Superhero comics droppe so much in quality that people that read comics were a minority and definitely not considered cool. And the 1950's was all about fitting in and being cool.

1966 - The Batman TV Series came out staring Adam West as Batman. This literally saved Batman from being cancelled in comics. In fact it was so popular that all the villains were famous celebrities that wanted to act over the top and it actually helped boost their careers. Another thing to note was that this show was so popular it was one of two that actually aired twice in one week. And if you have watched it, the camp and comedy was done on purpose because the person who created the show saw how bad Batman comics were, and thought it was the perfect to kind of make fun of. So this show saved Batman and definitely helped bring Batman to the publics attention, I would be hard pressed to say Batman became the most popular character.

1971 - Dennis O'Neal and Neal Adams paired up and worked on getting Batman back to his darker roots of the Golden Age. I bring this up because I honestly believe if they did not do this to Batman we wouldn't get our modern and beloved version of Batman today.

1985 - Crisis on Infinite Earths happened which allowed DC to kind of clean up and start fresh on all their characters. This enabled Frank Miller to create...

1986 & 1987 - The Dark Knight Returns which is an alternate Batman story which revolutionized Batman. It depicted him as dark, a master planner, and he even beat Superman something that has never been seen before. A year later in Batman 404 he started Batman Year One which re-imagined Batman's origins and also sticking with dark and gritty (which was very popular in the 80's and I would argue dark is still popular today). This started Batman's upward slope. Comics were coming back in popularity, and these two stories are even today still considered legendary.

1989 - Tim Burton came out with, Batman. This movie was critical to Batman's rise in popularity. This movie revolutionized the Superhero movie genre and really popularized it (I would only share this title with Superman, Raimi's Spiderman, and X-Men. The Avengers though made headway in creating a movie universe). Batman was in everyone's radar at this point. And compared to the flopped Superman 4, it was movie gold. It had a very successful sequel, and both movies lead to the ever so popular...

1993 - The DC Animated Universe was born produced by Bruce Timm in Batman: The Animated Series. To put it simply this show was so popular it reached 85 episodes before it was continued in a spin off and produced a whole world of spin offs. BTAS alone has had more episodes than any other Superhero show EVER. DCAU itself ran from 1993 all the way to 2006, with 9 series, 4 movies, and 2 web series. This not only became popular with current Batman fans, but it picked up many from kids who watched Batman the first time to an adult audience.

This show (especially with Justice League), and Morrisson's run starting with JLA in comics really created the concept of Batgod, where Batman's power is that he can't be beat. Batman has been aired ever since in a show in some way shape or form ever since then (The Batman, The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, and now Beware the Batman). Batman has appeared in at least one DCUOAM movie every year since Bruce Timm created them. Schumacher and Nolan have created infamous version of Batman in live action movies and surely both will NEVER be forgotten (one good, and one bad). In fact in Nolanverse, Dark Knight was the first superhero movie to break a billion in sales world wide, something Marvel could only do in a movie which featured a bunch of superheroes. (Though I will give credit to where it is due, Iron Man 3 is the 4th superhero movie to break 1 billion). Batman and his cast are currently featured in 1/4th of DC's monthly publications, and makes up more of their beyond 52 comics.

So I would say that the series of events by being created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, saved by Adam West, darkened starting with Dennis O'Neal, boosted by Frank Miller, popularized by Tim Burton, legendized by Bruce Timm, nipplized by Joel Schumacher, empowered by Grant Morrison, and iconized by Christopher Nolan is what made Batman so popular.

(plus he is such an amazing character, and is the most relatable but I wasn't answering why is he so popular, just simply how did he get to be that way)

#43 Posted by RustyRoy (11118 posts) - - Show Bio
#44 Posted by DeathpooltheT1000 (9538 posts) - - Show Bio

@colonyofcells said:

Batman started to overtake Superman bec. of the old Adam West tv show.

Pretty much this.

Screw Keaton, Bale and West all the way.

#45 Posted by spidermonkey2099 (614 posts) - - Show Bio

What @batshrine said, which he summed up quite well with paragraph here:

"So I would say that the series of events by being created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, saved by Adam West, darkened starting with Dennis O'Neal, boosted by Frank Miller, popularized by Tim Burton, legendized by Bruce Timm, nipplized by Joel Schumacher, empowered by Grant Morrison, and iconized by Christopher Nolan is what made Batman so popular."

Seriously, best summary ever (and best use of nipple as a verb ever).

#46 Posted by batshrine (969 posts) - - Show Bio

@spidermonkey2099: haha thanks! But seriously though I think we are very fortunate to have the series of events happen the way they did to make Batman so popular

#47 Posted by spidermonkey2099 (614 posts) - - Show Bio

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