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BATMAN TIMELINE

1937

March

Detective Comics#1 appears. Eventually, it will become a batman book. It currently is the longest running comic title.

1939

May

Batman's first appearance in Detective Comics # 27. This issue also marks Gordon's first appearance. According to Kane, his inspirations were Superman, a design of Leonardo da Vinci for a bat-like glider and two films: "The Mark of the Zorro" and ''The Bat Whispers''.

 

Nov

Detective#33 reveals Batman origin.

1940

Spring

First appearance of the Joker and The Cat (Catwoman) in Batman#1.

 

April

First appearance of Robin, alias Dick Grayson in Detective#38. After his parents are murdered, Grayson becomes Wayne's ward and Batman's sidekick as Robin, the ''Boy Wonder''.

 

June

First appearance of Clayface alias Basil Karlo in Detective#40. Later Clayface becomes Matt Hagen in Detective#298 in November 1961 and Preston Payne in Detective#478 in August 1978.

1941

February

First appearance of the Batmobile in Detective#48.

 

Spring

World's Best Comics (later World's Finest) # 1 debuts, the third book with Batman stories.

 

Autumn

First appearance of the Scarecrow, alias Jonathan Crane in World's Finest#3.

 

December

First appearance of the Penguin, alias Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot in Detective#58.

1942

February

First appearance of the ''Bat Signal'' in Detective#60.

 

August

First appearance of Harvey Kent, alias Two-Face in Detective#66. He later is renamed to Harvey Dent.

1943

Apr/May

First appearance of Alfred Beagle (later Pennyworth) in Batman#16.

 

July 16

First 15 chapter Columbia serial, ''The Batman'' starring Lewis Wilson as Batman and Douglas Croft as Robin.

 

Oct 25

''Batman & Robin'' appear as a comic strip in several newspapers by Kane and Finger (at first). It lasted until 1946.

 

Oct 29

First appearance of the Batcave in the comic strip.

1945

Sept 16

First Batman & Robin radio show, with Stacy Harris as the voice of Batman and Ronald Liss as Robin. Later Batman is ''played'' by Matt Crowley.

1947

February

Robin gets his own comic with Star Spangled Comics#65. The series lasts until issue 129, June 1952.

1948

June/ July

Batman#47: The origin of Batman. Re-telling of Batman's origin. Batman finally grabs Joe Chill, the murderer of his parents.

 

Oct/ Nov

First appearance of the Mad Hatter and Vicky Vale (photographer and Wayne's girlfriend) in Batman#49.

 

October

First appearance of the Riddler, alias Edward Nigma (later Nygma) in Detective#140. His third appearance in Batman#172 in May 1965 was the proposal for the pilot episode of Bill Dozier's Batman TV series with Adam West.

1949

May 26

Second 15 chapter Columbia serial, ''Batman and Robin'', with Robert Lowery and John Duncan as the title characters and Jane Adams as Vicky Vale.

1950

Oct/ Nov

Batman designs a Batplane in Batman#61.

1952

May/ June

First ever meeting of Batman & Robin with Superman in Superman (Vol.1)#52. They discover each other's identities.

1955

June

First appearance of the Bat-Hound (what!), ''Ace'' in Batman#92.

1956

July

First appearance of Batwoman, alias Kathy Kane in Detective#233.

1958

May

First appearance of Bat Mite in Detective#267.

1959

February

First appearance of Mr. Zero (later Mr Freeze in the TV show) in Batman#121.

1960

March

In The Brave and the Bold#28 Batman becomes a founding member of the Justice League.

1961

April

First appearance of Batgirl Mk.1, alias Betty Kane (niece of Kathy - Batwoman).

1964

May

25 years of Batman, and a revamp occurs. Julius Schwartz is the new editor in chief. Writer: John Broome. Artist: Carmine Infatino. In Detective#327 the new Batmobile and the new chest plate (with the yellow circle) are introduced.

 

June

Grayson's aunt Harriet is introduced after Alfred's death.

1966

January 12

The first episode of the new ''Batman'' TV show airs.

 

May 29

A new newspaper strip is introduced (it lasted until 1972).

 

June

First appearance of Poison Ivy, alias Pamela Isley, in Batman#181 in the ''Beware of... Poison Ivy'' story.

 

August

A feature length episode of the series is released on the big screen, Batman: The Movie, featuring four villains, The Joker (Cesar Romero), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) and Catwoman. Behind her mask isn't Julie Newmar but Lee Meriwether.

 

December

The editors are forced to ''revive'' Alfred thanks to the character's presence in the TV show. In usual comic book gimmick fashion, It is revealed that Alfred didn't die.

1967

January

First appearance of Batgirl Mk2, the ''real'' Batgirl, alias Barbara Gordon (daughter of Police Commissioner) in Detective#359.

1968

Sept 12

''The Batman Superman Hour'' starts with CBS, the first Batman animated show.

1970

June

First appearance of Man-Bat, alias Kirk Langstrom, in Detective#400.

1971

May

First appearance of the mysterious Talia in Detective#411, a new love in Bruce's life.

 

June

First appearance of Ra's Al Ghul, in Batman#232. He's the boss of a 600year old crime organisation and Talia's father.

1973

Sept 8

Batman returns to animation with ABC's ''Super Friends''.

1975

Sept/ Oct

A new comic book appears, ''The Batman Family''.

1976

November

Super Friends becomes a comic book.

1977

Feb 12

Adam West and Burt Ward reunite as the voices of Batman and Robin in ''The New Adventures of Batman'' cartoon.

1978

April 3

''The World's Greatest Superheroes'' airs, featuring Batman among others. It airs regularly until 1985.

1979

January

In a 2-hour special on the US television Adam West plays Batman, Burt Ward Robin and Frank Gorshin the Riddler.

1983

March

Jason Todd becomes the new Robin in Batman#366 (he was introduced in Batman#357).

1984

June

In Tales of the Teen Titans#44 former Robin Dick Grayson assumes the identity of Nightwing.

1986

March

Miller's legendary ''Dark Knight'' appears. It's a four part mini series: The Dark Knight Returns, Dark Knight Triumphant, Hunt the Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Falls.

1987

February

Miller's ''Batman: Year One'' story arc begins in Batman#404. It spans issues 405, 406 and 407. It is a brave attempt to investigate the origins of the Dark Knight. To this day, it remains as one of the best Batman stories ever, and can be found collected in trade paperback.

1988

February

First appearance of the Ventriloguist (and his dummy, Scarface) in Detective#583.

 

Summer

Batman: The Killing Joke, story by Alan Moore and artwork by Bryan Bolland, is released.

 

December

The ''Death in the Family'' story arc begins in Batman#426. It spans issues 427, 428 and 429. Robin (Jason Todd) dies at the hands of the Joker.

1989

April

First appearance of the Huntress in The Huntress#1.

 

June 23

Tim Burton's Batman premiers. It's a critical and commercial success.

"All I can say is that it's true to the spirit of the character and it's also its own movie. I mean what can you copy? I remember when Sam and I first started working on it, we got the Batman Encyclopedia which shows that the series disrupts its own history: First, this is how Batman was created and then this was how he was created; this is how the Joker was and then there's this; and then Robin is here and then he's not here. There's no such thing as a consistent history. Batman's an archetypal character. You have to take it as that. I thought 'Why can't there be place for everything?' It's like any sort of folk character. There are 50 Sherlock Holmes's, 50, 000 Phantom of the Opera's, 100, 000 Beauty and the Beasts, and you're going to get that with these type of characters. People should be more open." - Tim Burton, Comics Scene number 8

 

November

A new Batman regular book appears with Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight#1. This title investigates Batman's earlier tales.

 

Nov 6

Beginning of a new strip by Allan Collins and Marshall Rogers (it runs until 1991).

1990

Dec

Tim Drake becomes the third Robin in Batman#457. He first appeared in Batman#436, August 1989.

1992

June 16

Tim Burton's Batman Returns premiers.

 

June

A new Batman title appears with Batman: Shadow of the Bat#1.

 

Sept 5

Batman: The Animated Series premiers, later renamed to ''The Adventures of Batman & Robin''.

 

Sept 11

First appearance of Harley Quinn in animated form.

 

October

First appearance of Azrael in Batman: Sword of Azrael#1. A new Batman title appears with The Batman Adventures#1, (later restarted with Batman & Robin Adventures#1).

 

Nov 4

Adam West voices a character in ''Batman: TAS'', the Grey Ghost.

1993

July

''Knightfall Part I: Broken Bat''. A new villain emerges, Bane, the man who breaks the bat. Bruce Wayne is crippled in Batman#497, and Jean Paul (aka Azrael) takes the mantle of the bat (''Knightfall Part II: Who Rules The Night''). The real Batman returns after a year in '''Knightsend''.

 

November

Robin gets his own title, with Robin#1.

 

Dec 25

Batman: The Animated Movie - Mask of the Phantasm premiers.

1994

February

''Batman Adventures: Mad Love'' is published, an animated-style graphic novel that tells the origin of Harley Quinn and explores her relationship with the Joker.

1995

June

Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever premiers.

1997

June 22

Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin is unleashed. It's the last, so far, film in the series.

 

Summer

The second feature-length animated movie, Batman & Mr. Freeze: Sub-Zero, is released straight to video.

 

September

Bruce Timm simplifies the designs and lightens the tone of ''Batman: The Animated Series'' which becomes ''Gotham Knights''. The first story is a three-episode tale with a team up of Batman and Superman. This also kicks off the Superman animated series. This three episode art is later released as ''The Batman Superman Movie''.

1999

August

The Batman: Harley Quinn graphic novel is released and Harley is introduced to the Batman universe.

2002

 

The first issue of Miller's long awaited comic book ''sequel'' to his Dark Knight epic, titled ''The Dark Knight Strikes Again'' appears on shelves.