Batman has been around since 1939 when he was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger for the funny books. Since then, there have been many interpretations of the character within the borders of the comic books, some that have stayed as canon with Bruce Wayne and his alter ego for decades. Batman was such a breakout star, built on various pulp heroes like The Shadow, among other influences, that he very quickly made his way into other mediums. A new video by Burger Fiction tracks the more than 70-year evolution of Batman from the caped crusader in serials to the Batfleck interpretation that the world will soon seen in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
The changes to the character show just how malleable Batman is depending on the era in which he finds himself. There’s the earnestness (and not so subtle racism) that permeates the serials of ’40s, the high campiness of the Pop Art influenced 1966 show and film, the self seriousness of the gothic Burton films in 1989 and 1992, the art deco seriousness and surprisingly emotional depth of the animated series in the ’90s, and the real-world allegory of a nanny state in Nolan’s films.
All of these different interpretations make appearances (along with a host of direct to DVD animated films and even a stopover with The Lego Movie), and shows how different artists have approached the iconic vigilante in ways befitting their times and styles. Given all of the different versions of the character, it’s hard to imagine there is one definitive iteration, but it remains to be seen how the latest one in Zack Snyder’s new film will fit into this pantheon of characters.