Since I was young I have always been a big fan of Batman from the various tv shows, the movies, and of course the comics. The character has had such an impact on me that I would like to show you the history of Batman while also sharing with you my personal history with the character as well.
Batman was created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. With the success of Superman, it prompted the editors at National Comics Publication to request more superheroes for their titles. In a direct response, Bob Kane created The Batman. Both Kane and Finger based the character off of fictional characters such as Doc Savage, The Shadow, Dick Tracy and Sherlock Holmes. Finger came up with the name Bruce Wayne, which was inspired by Scottish patriot Robert Bruce. Other inspirations for the character were The Mask of Zorro and The Phantom.
Batman made his official debut in March 1939 in Detective Comics #27. Batman proved to be such a hit character that in 1940 he received his very first solo title. By 1940 both Batman and Superman had become the epitome of their company’s success. Both characters were featured side by side in World’s Finest comics which debuted in the fall of 1940. Over the course of several issues, many staples of the Batman mythos were added including Batman’s utility belt, the BatPlane and in issue #33 Batman’s Origins were revealed.
In Detective Comics #38, Batman’s kid sidekick Robin was introduced. Robin was created based on Bill Finger’s suggestion that Batman needed a “Watson” to talk to. The first issue of Batman’s solo title introduced two of Batman’s most famous villains: The Joker and Catwoman. During the early days of Batman there was a story where Batman would shoot giant monsters to death. That story would prompt editor Whitney Ellsworth to decree that Batman would no longer kill or use a gun.
By 1942 most of the basic elements that we know about Batman had been established. During World War II, DC Comics had adopted a postwar editorial direction which focused less on social commentary and more on lighthearted fantasy. It became apparent when The Batman comics which had previously featured a bleak and menacing world of the early 1940s, had now featured Batman as respectable citizen that had now inhabited a bright and colorful environment.
During the 1950s Batman was one of the few superheroes to be continually published at a time when interest in the superhero genre had began to wane. In the storyline The Mightiest Team in the World which was featured in Superman #76, the story features Batman and Superman teaming up for the very first time.