Batman may seem like a loner, but let’s face it–the Dark Knight brings people together. Just look at Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s upcoming Justice League movie, in which Bruce Wayne brings DC’s icons together. Or think about the Caped Crusader’s rogues gallery–they love coming together in an effort to kill Batman.
Here at AiPT!, several staff members wanted to come together to celebrate Batman Day by sharing their favorite Bat memories. Nathaniel Muir, Contributor: I grew up loving Batman. I never got into the comics as much as I would have liked, though. Batman & Dracula: Red Rain is my favorite Elseworlds graphic novel and Gotham by Gaslight is also great. But my absolute favorite Batman memory is watching the 1960s series starring Adam West. It was campy and silly, but I was a kid and it was must-see television. My sister and I tend to have different tastes in pretty much everything, but one thing we were always able to agree on was that show. Plus, as a kid, it was pretty exciting watching the opening credits and hoping Batgirl would drive across at the end.
Alyssa Jackson, Contributor: Since I’m a latecomer to comics, my introduction to Batman was Michael Keaton in the 1989 movie. But it was watching Batman: The Animated Series every day after middle school that truly made me love the character. Kevin Conroy’s smooth tones, either suave and playful as Bruce Wayne, or lower and slightly menacing as Bats, came to define Batman for me, and forever enshrine him as the Ultimate Batman (FIGHT ME).
Conroy continued that personification into the excellent Justice League Unlimited cartoon, which is where my favorite Batman moment occurs. In the episode “This Little Piggy,” Circe transforms Wonder Woman into a pig–because comics–and to get Circe to turn her back, Batman agrees to reveal something secret that can never be regained once gone. So then this happens:
Cue my young heart skipping a billion beats, and the launch of my Batman/Wonder Woman ship (in certain media). Watch that video and tell me it doesn’t get you right in the feels. And now I think it’s time to pull out my JLU DVDs for a rewatch.
Brian Clements, Contributor: I think, truly, the best Batman moment for me happened this year. The LEGO Batman Movie showcased the best of the Dark Knight. I could go into all the heroic journey points the movie meets, or the comedy, or the British robots, but what makes the film so memorable is how clearly it showcases what makes Batman himself a hero: the people who surround him. Note, not the people with whom he surrounds himself. Left to his own devices, Batman would be alone and, most likely, dead. Alfred, Robin (all of them), Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon, even his core villains all make Batman who he is and keep him relevant nearly 80 years after he first swung onto the scene.Eric Cline, Contributor: My favorite Batman moment is from (New 52) Batman #44, by Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello and Jock. Batman discovers the body of a teenager who died under mysterious circumstances, and spends the issue searching for the truth behind what happened. What he finds isn’t at all what he expected, and near the end of the issue he looks out across Gotham in one of my favorite two-page-spreads of all time. Jock’s renderings of Gotham’s high-rises are overlayed by various snippets of text (presumably from news reports and the like) about police brutality, gentrification, legislative corruption, and other issues negatively affecting Gotham residents. The scene is beautiful, as Batman looks at the worst parts of his city head-on, and the reader is forced to take it all in. After this, Batman finds a group of young men and asks to talk to them (presumably about their life experiences). The whole thing really sells Batman as a figure of compassion, facing ugly truths and changing his ways when necessary in order to help other people. My favorite renditions of Batman are those that most emphasize his love for humanity.Daniel Levine, Contributor: My favorite Batman thing has to be an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It’s the Batman I grew up with and the Batman that defined the character for me. I owned as many Batman action figures as I could get my hands on, but was always annoyed at Kenner for making some figures so hard to find. Who was my army of Batmen supposed to fight? Other Batmen?
I was recently re-watching episodes (all on Amazon!) and just dumbfounded by the creativity and frankness in the subject matter. How did my parents let me watch this show? Anyway, I’ve always had a soft spot for the first episode, “On Leather Wings,” where Batman goes against Man-Bat. But lately, as I’ve started to appreciate Adam West’s Batman, I’ve begun to love “Beware The Grey Ghost.” It’s an episode that shows how important our idols are, even if they happen to be fictional characters.
Rory Wilding, Contributor: SPOILER for those who have not read Batman #33 (2014) by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo.
At the end of the yearlong arc appropriately titled “Zero Year,” which retold Batman’s origin story for The New 52, a month has passed since Batman saved Gotham City from the Riddler and Bruce Wayne is determined to reshape the city with his company and allies, such as James Gordon, recently appointed as Police Commissioner.
The final scene features a conversation between Bruce and Alfred, in which the former reveals that he’d reach an emotional low-point during his youth, by almost having shock therapy as a way of ridding himself of the psychological scars from his parents’ death. As much as those deaths did enforce Bruce’s life into vigilantism (the very backbone of his origin back in 1939), Snyder redefines Batman as a man who uses his alter ego as a way to sustain his mental state and how he can keep going, despite his trusted butler wishing nothing but a happy and normal life for Bruce. Concluding with a splash page of Batman swinging with a smile, he may have found his place as Gotham’s savior, but there is tragedy beyond the surface.As a lifelong Bat-fan through various media, this sequence really choked me up and I had the great pleasure of meeting Snyder in person and telling him how much this had moved me. He, along with Capullo, have brought great wonders to the Dark Knight’s adventures and this ending is clear proof of that.
We know you have favorite Batman moments of your own, so don’t hesitate to share them in the comment space below. And, of course, happy Batman Day!