“Batman is real in every person who summons the strength and resilience to keep going. That is a superpower. There’s no other way to describe it,” DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee said when accepting the Batman Hall of Fame award on Wednesday night at the Comic-Con Museum. That’s a statement that resonates with why this character is so important and why an award that never existed before makes sense. That was just some of what was said on a night celebrating Batman.
DC Comics and Warner Bros, in collaboration with AT&T, know how to throw a hell of a party. After the cocktail hour complete with free hors d’oeuvres and drinks the induction ceremony that placed Batman into the very first superhero character hall of fame began Wednesday night. It began with an animated look at all of Batman’s looks throughout the decades. Some were more iconic than others and a big chunk focused on the later years, but there was a crispness to the display that got you hyped. After the introductions, it was revealed the Todd Mcfarlane designed statue would also come with his signature. McFarlane then ran on stage to say he would not only sign it up but draw a sketch on the statue.
Warner Bros president Pam Lifford came on the stage to talk about why Batman is important to everyone, “he is not just a character who lives on the screen, but he is a way of life.” It was a speech about Batman as a concept and it was a good way to kick off true purpose for the characters’ induction. This was followed up with a video of DC’s visit to Kuwait and they work they did to honor the troops. From there the voice of Batman Diedrich Bader from Batman: The Brave and the Bold spoke to the history of Batman in moving pictures. This section was closed out with the Batman Hush trailer. It got possibly the biggest applause of the night.
I was honored to help induct the best PART EVER
— Diedrich Bader (@bader_diedrich) July 18, 2019
The DC personal seemed to be hitting themes and possibly trying to promote the next group of actors some of which are from the upcoming Pennyworth TV show. It served as a way for them to impart why they think Batman is important, but it wasn’t until Gotham star David Mazouz who plays Bruce Wayne spoke that things got interesting. As Mazouz put it, “Bruce Wayne is proof you can overcome” and that you can do anything even when you’re in a bad place. This seemed to resonate with the crowd who cheered when he finished.
DC Comics publisher Dan Didio took the stage next and talked about the great legacy of Batman over 80 years. Breaking down the character over the decades Didio made the point that Batman is a great character because he can fight aliens and robbers and we don’t lose the thread of why he works. Surprisingly he brought up how the character wasn’t very popular after the TV show ended in the 70s. It’s a good speech reminding the audience DC could have canceled Batman but chose not to. When Didio joined DC Comics in the 2000s he said, “We found a way to make it bigger and better,” maintaining that, “It’s [about] the shield and what it stands for.” It’s not until Jim Lee and Jeff Leon’s Hush, Didio said, that more creators wanted to write and draw Batman. It’s a stronger character than ever and his relevance and importance is dictated by the superhero character hall of fame.
Jim Lee then took the stage to accept the award. Lee explained what makes Batman special is the fans. Not the rogue’s gallery, the art, or anything else which got a nice light applause. After 80 years Lee pointed out that it’s no longer a fictional character, but a lifestyle, be it tattoos or what you hang on the walls. Lee ended the speech by thanking Batman for trying to clean up Gotham as he’s an “inspiration we can take any hardship and make something good,” especially when things are hard. Closing out the speech Lee said, “Thank you and long live the bat.”