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The Villager

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Villager

The Student News Site of The Village School

The Villager

Batman Through the Ages

For some time now, it has been known that a new Batman movie called The Batman was in development. In April of 2019, it was revealed that Robert Patterson, one of the stars of the Twilight series, was going to be the newest actor to be donning the famous cape and cowl. Now, as of February of 2020, the new bat suit for Robert Pattinson’s The Batman has been revealed.

It’s only fitting that since we now know what “BatPat” will be bringing to the table, we take a trip down memory lane and revisit the history of the storied character of Batman. Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, co-created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. The first person to play Batman was Lewis Wilson in the 1943 serial films entitled Batman. The series was composed of 15 chapters and considered war time propaganda.

The next to don the cape and cowl was Robert Lowery in 1949 in the serial films Batman and Robin, which again lasted 15 chapters. These are widely unknown and weren’t as memorable as some of the other films on this list.

Batman wouldn’t return to scenes until 1966 in the corny and memorable series, Batman or as it’s commonly referred to by fans, Batman 66. The series ran from 1966-68 and Batman was played by Adam West, and Robin, his sidekick, played by Burt Ward. In the series, the duo faced a number of villains such as Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Mad Hatter, and others. The series was such a smash hit that in 1966, it spurred the creation of a film simply titled Batman, where Batman faced his arch enemy the Joker, featured his love interest, Catwoman, all while Riddler and Penguin attempt to overtake the United Nations.

Adam West as Batman in 1966.

Batman would appear in numerous other animated TV shows in the 70s and 80s such as The New Adventure of Batman and The Super Friends, but he wouldn’t truly reach this type of fame again until the 1989 where he was played by Micheal Keaton. In this film, Batman had to stop the Joker (Jack Nicholson) from devastating the city of Gotham. This film lead to 3 sequels: Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin.

Meanwhile, during the same time period, Batman was taking the animation world by storm in a show starring Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker. Penguin, Riddler, Robin, Alfred, Two Face, Scarecrow, Batgirl, Catwoman and other characters were featured. This show can be credited with transforming the Dark Knight back from a corny and goofy superhero to a dark and mysterious vigilante. This series had several sequels/spin-offs including Batman Beyond, Superman: the Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and more.

Then of course, there was The Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale. This series was supposed to be a gritty and dark reboot of the Batman franchise and The Dark Knight films are considered to be the greatest superhero films of all time.

The most recent actor– before Pattinson– to play Batman was Ben Afleck. While a controversial move at first, after Batman vs Superman, fans finally saw a Batman who accurately portrayed the hero from the original comic books, and the honorary nickname “Batfleck,” was given to Afleck. In the film, Afleck portrayed Batman as an old gritty hero, who had trained many other heroes including Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl and had fought the likes of Penguin, Riddler, Harley Quinn, Firefly, and Joker. After the death of Robin at the hands of The Joker, he becomes a much darker character, even killing people and branding them, though he stops this after the death of Superman, having seen the error of his ways. This leads him to form The Justice League.

Time will tell how Pattinson and the script for the next movie furthers the beloved character of Batman.

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