Modern day Batman fans may not realize that the Batman character has been around for more than 70 years – before Cable Television even existed. His first appearance came during the Golden Age of Comic Books in the pages of Detective Comics 27 in May 1939. Around a year later, Batman 1 was published. It was at this time that Catwoman, the Joker and Alfred Pennyworth were created, as well.
During the Silver Age of Comic Books (1956-1970), the Batman comic series added some science-fiction flavor to its story, introducing characters like Mr. Freeze, Betty Kane and the original Bat-Girl. In 1966, Batman made its transition to the TV with Batman: The Movie in 1966 and Batman (TV series) from 1966-1968. During the 1970s, writers Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams gave Batman somewhat of a makeover, giving the comic book series more of the darker tone that it had during the 1940s. In addition to recreating the Joker as an unpredictable killer who would murder people at the drop of a hat, the pair also created a new villain, Ra’s al Ghul. By October 1986, the Batman title reached its 400th issue and had become a tremendously popular brand.
Today, there are more than a dozen movies and animated films based on the Batman series. Additionally, the Batman series – having earned a total of 1,449,683,452 – is the fourth highest-grossing film series in North America.
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