May 1st is Batman Day. This unofficial holiday celebrates and honors one of the world’s most well-known comic book superhero. While the origins of this holiday are unknown, the general consensus is that the day commemorates the date in 1939 when the crime fighter made his debut in the Detective Comics #27.
In this first story, the Caped Crusader was introduced to readers as Bruce Wayne, a rich socialite who fought crime in the fictional city Gotham City – often in brutal ways. As subsequent issues of Detective Comics was introduced, different parts of what would become the Batman legend would become revealed. For example, in July of 1939, readers saw Batman use his utility belt for the first time. In September of that year, readers were introduced to his Bat Plane, as well as one of his primary weapons – the Batarang. In November of 1939, readers were introduced to his origin story – the killing of his parents by a mugger.
In the April 1940, issue of Detective Comics (#38), Dick Grayson was introduced as Robin the Boy Wonder. According to Robin’s origin story, he was a circus performer who was orphaned when his parents were killed by a gangster. Once Robin had joined up with Batman, however, the stories began to change. He transformed from a vigilante who often murdered the criminals he apprehended into more of a father figure to Robin.
In 1940, Batman was given his own comic, although he still continued to be featured in the Detective Comics series. This first issue of Batman introduced readers to both the Joker and The Cat (who would later be known as Catwoman). Since then Batman has enjoyed infamy with the Batman original series, several animated series’, and more than a dozen feature-length movies- with more being added all the time.
How to Celebrate?
- Like us, most you of you probably do not need an excuse to revisit your favorite Batman comics, but if you do, today is a good day to do some marathon Batman comic reading.
- Wear a cape and go to work in your Batman costume. Your boss and coworkers will get a kick
- Watch any of the several Batman movies out there with family and friends. Maybe you could combine it with a Batman themed costume party? Tell all your guests to come dressed as a Batman comics character.
Did You Know?
That Melbourne, Australia was very briefly called Batmania? It was named after explorer John Batman.