List Film

Bat's Life - Dark Knight

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Batman

The Penguin, The Riddler, Catwoman and The Joker in the 1966 Batman television series

Leigh Rafferty traces the highs and lows of the caped crusader’s cultural career

1939

Batman is introduced to the world in Detective Comics 27, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.

1940

Young sidekick Robin (aka Dick Grayson), is introduced in Detective Comics 38. Batman is given his own magazine.

1943

Newspaper strip by Finger and Kane, which lasts until 1946. Batman features in Columbia serial Chapter 15 on the Silver Screen.

1954

Book The Seduction of the Innocent causes controversy by suggesting Batman and Robin are gay, which eventually leading to the introduction of the Comics Code Authority.

1964

New look Batman is introduced in Detective Comics 327, the most notable difference being the yellow oval on his chest - which was once a plain black bat.

1966

First live-action television show on ABC Network. Movie of the TV series is released and receives poor reviews, deemed too cheesy.

1968

First animated Batman is realised on The Batman Superman Hour.

1969

Batman appears on Sesame Street.

TV show is cancelled as viewing figures plummet and the show goes over budget by $1 million a year.

1972

Batman and Robin feature in two Scooby Doo movies.

1977

The New Adventures of Batman animated series premieres.

1986

Four part mini-series The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller helps change the public’s perception of comics.

1989

Tim Burton revives the caped crusader for the big screen, in the muscular form of Michael Keaton. Show comprehensively nicked by Jack.

1991

Burton sequel Batman Returns is released and is accused of going over the line with sexual innuendo. McDonald’s cancels its Batman Happy Meal.

1995

Joel Schumacher directs second sequel Batman Forever. He is told to ‘lighten up’ the franchise a bit. An utterly forgettable Vall Kilmer dons the rubber suit.

1997

Batman and Robin, directed again by Schumacher, is universally panned. George Clooney stars as Batman with Arnold Schwarzenegger as laughable baddie Mr Freeze.

1998

Before the release of Batman and Robin work on Batman 5 goes into production. Due to the former’s poor performance Batman 5 (to be called Batman Triumphant) is shelved, locked away in a Warner Bros. vault, never to be seen.

2005

Batman Begins, directed by Christopher Nolan, goes back to the start. Christian Bale’s brooding Batman generates over $371 million in box office.

2008

The Dark Knight, directed by Nolan again, retains Bale as Batman. Heath Ledger is being tipped for a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as the Joker.

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