In case you haven’t heard, it’s Batman Day. I’ve been a fan since I was about eight; the Tim Burton film was probably the first major movie that I went nuts over, and I accumulated a pretty good stash of Bat-collectibles over the course of my childhood. I still think Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns is one of the greatest works of modern fiction. Seriously, if you’ve never read it, get yourself a copy.
It’s an unlikely concept for an enduring cultural icon, when you think about it—a vigilante who dresses like a flying rodent. What accounts for a career that’s lasted more than seven decades? I think it’s a combination of factors. The character has attracted good writers and artists, and he has the best rogue’s gallery in comics. Most important of all, I think, is the fact that underneath that cowl is a man of flesh and blood instead of steel.
Anyway, happy 75th, Mr. Wayne. Here’s to another three quarters of a century.