Some of my favorite Batman memories:
Buying this guy at Target in June of 1989:
Prior to this figure, I had no idea who Batman was or what DC Comics was (give me a break, I was 6 ). All I knew, upon seeing him on the peg, was that he looked cool and that I wanted him. My dad bought him for me, and I couldn’t wait until I got home to open him up and play with him, which I would do for countless hours on end for years to come.
That figure (which I still have to this day, minus his cape) was the spark that lit the supernova for my passion for DC Comics as a whole. 32 years later, my passion for the DC brand, and it’s associated merchandise, is as great as ever.
Watching the Adam West Batman TV series for the first time.
I first saw the '60s Batman series on the Family Channel in 1989. 6 year-old me had no idea what “campy” meant, I just saw a TV series with Batman and Robin, played by real people, engaging in all manner of exciting adventures against a colorful cast of adversaries.
I loved every second of it, and still fondly remember watching the show for the first time.
The first time I saw Tim Burton’s Batman.
Despite buying a Batman figure based on Burton’s movie the same month it came out in theaters, I ultimately didn’t see Batman until it was released on VHS prior to the Christmas season of 1989.
When I did, though? Magic. It was an eye-opening, and artistically-defining, experience that I still treasure with much fondness today.
Always remember: “You can’t watch an official Warner Brothers movie, without an official Warner Brothers ballcap.”
Wise words, Daffy Duck. Wise words, indeed.
My very first Batman comics.
…were a mail-in offer from this cereal (still one of the absolute best cereals I’ve ever had, of which I vividly recall the taste):
Like the Batman action figure above, they were the spark that lit the fire to a passion that’s still going strong, 30+ years later.
The Untold Legend of The Batman is a mini-series that not only got me into comic books (in addition to being my first Batman comics, they were also my very first comics, period), but it also made me a massive fan of artist Jim Aparo, a fandom which has endured to this very day.
Watching The Adventures of Batman on VHS in 1992.
…was one of my first noteworthy deep-dives into vintage animation as a kid.
Not only was it a fun show, but it helped broaden my appreciation for classic animation, something else that, like comics and action figures, is a passion of mine that’s still going strong today.
Seeing Batman Returns in theaters.
Batman Returns was the first Batman movie I saw on the big screen. To 9 year-old me, it was a magical event. The big screen experience was so nice that I saw it twice!
Watching Batman: The Animated Series as it aired on Fox/Fox Kids.
My most anticipated new TV show for Fall '92 was Batman: The Animated Series (was there any doubt?). When I saw saw this show upon its after-school debut (along with its primetime airings), there was absolutely nothing else that came close in after-school shows that I was jazzed to get home for, day after day (sorry/not sorry Tiny Toon Adventures, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the rest).
Seeing a sneak preview of Batman Forever.
While Batman Forever opened in theaters on June 16, 1995, I was privy to a sneak preview screening the night before.
12 year-old me’s most anticipated movie of 1995 was Batman Forever (you can’t say you’re surprised, because you certainly shouldn’t be ), so to get a chance at seeing The Dark Knight’s then-latest cinematic adventure before it opened to where everyone could see it? There was no way I was going to pass on that.
Batman Forever has always been my absolute favorite of the Burton/Schumacher quadrilogy and likely always will be.
The first time I read the Hush arc of Batman in full.
Hush began in Batman #608, but upon its release in late 2002, I was on a break from comics.
Fast forward to mid-2003 and I was slowly but surely ending my break, with Hush being one of the motivating factors to do so.
I had picked up a few single issues of the Hush arc from a nearby comic store, but hadn’t yet committed to the full story.
Even after I had fully returned to comics (thanks to the blockbuster/ass-kicking comic of ass-kicking comics that is Superman/Batman) in the Fall of 2003, it would still be some time before I ultimately read Hush in full.
Fast forward to late Spring of 2004, and I picked up these two hardcovers:
Batman: Hush, volume 1
Batman: Hush, volume 2
Now that I finally had the whole shebang, I dove into Hush with wreckless abandon and glee. I absolutely loved the whole thing, with Hush becoming my all-time favorite Batman story, which it still is today.
Hush was also responsible for my Jim Lee fandom going from mild to full-blown “I’m in for life.” and beyond. Jim Lee is The Man when it comes to absolutely BADASS comic book art.
Sneak preview screening of Batman Begins in 2005.
Like Batman Forever 10 years earlier, Batman Begins was my most anticipated movie of its respective year of release. Was there any way I’d pass up the opportunity to see it before it opened? Absolutely not.
This movie was (and is) the best live-action origin story of Batman. Seeing it for the first time was incredibly cool, especially as each note I wanted to see in a Batman origin movie was hit right out of the park.
The Dark Knight Trilogy on the big screen.
Prior to The Dark Knight Rises’ theatrical debut, I attended a special-event screening of all three movies.
To see Christopher Nolan’s unparalleled in live-action vision of Batman unfold across a giant screen, in a giant, sold-out theater with an audience that was really into the whole experience was fantastic, and provided many a great memory.
Regarding Chip Kidd, I LOVE his work. His assorted books are always absolutely fantastic (especially Batman: Animated) and worthy of many re-reads.
The man is an absolutely tremendous talent, and then some.