Batman is one of the most idolized caped vigilantes and TV heroes to ever grace our TV screens. Although lacking superpowers in comparison to his allies, the ever-growing hero will never lose our support. However, do we know as much about this hero as we think? Here are ten fascinating facts you (probably) didn’t know about Batman.
1. Batman Was an Extra
While Arkham’s Knight is arguably the most loved superhero to date, he was introduced in a less than the conventional way. His first debut was in DC Comic’s Detective Comics in 1939. To put it into perspective, he was only introduced in issue #27 of the series. After his character gained traction from being featured in the following issues, Batman was given his comic in the next year where other notable characters such as Joker and Catwomen were debuted. While most of his fans don’t want to believe that he was initially just a supporting character in one of DC’s projects, we have to make do with the fact that he wasn’t just introduced as Gotham’s favorite Caped Crusader.
2. Bob Kane Was Not the Sole Creator of Batman
Bob Kane is widely known as the creator of Batman and is credited as such in all of his comics, movies, and series. While the idea of Batman was Bob Kane’s, to begin with, Bill Finger was his main creator. From his costume to his demeanor, it’s no doubt that Finger had a massive influence on the character when looking at his overall involvement. The Batcave, Joker, and Robin were all ideas given by Bill Finger to include in the story. Even the original script for Batman’s first and second appearance in Detective Comics was written by Finger, while Kane only contributed to the artwork.
Bill Finger was a writer for many favorite comic books, comic strips, and characters. Some of his greatest work includes Detective Comics alongside his work with the creation of Batman and the Green Lantern. Finger was reportedly humbled to have been given the job and was never really adamant in receiving his due credit. He has only recently started getting credited by DC, decades after his death in 1974.
3. Batman’s Character Was Inspired by Sherlock Holmes
Batman was inspired by many popular characters that most prominently appeared in comic books and TV shows. According to Bob Kane Batman was inspired by Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, Zorro, and Dracula to name a few. These were some of Bob Kane and Bill Fingers favorite heroes, and so they decided to combine what they thought to be their defining characteristics into a similar yet non-identical superhero. The outcome was an incredibly unique crime fighter who had more to offer than his aging influencers. Also, Bob Kane says that a Leonardo Da Vinci sketch of a flying machine with bat-like wings also inspired Batman’s original look. Earlier sketches of Batman could also be seen with bat wings, much like Da Vinci’s sketch, but Finger thought it would be better to give him a cape instead.
4. Batman’s Name Comes From Two Historical Heroes
Batman’s real name Bruce Wayne was a combination of two real-life heroes. His first name comes from Robert the Bruce, the king of Scotland in the early 1300s. His surname derived from Mad Anthony Wayne, a general who led many troops in the American revolution against Britain.
Robert the Bruce was considered a hero by many and was a warrior during the war against England for Scotland’s independence. Mad Anthony Wayne was a hero during the American revolution leading many successful fights against Great Britain. Both were greatly looked up to by their countries motivating the use of their names to create Bruce Wayne.
5. Batman Is a Murderer
While the iconic hero is not known as the type to end another human’s life for their bad behavior, in his early years, he was known to toss evil-doers off of buildings, throw them in pools of acid and occasionally break their bones. It may come as a surprise, but Batman had a remarkably different method of bringing justice to Gotham than he does now. Earlier versions of Detective Comics featured a much harder character who lacked the infamous no killing rule that the PG-13 hero holds today. It may be possible that his persona was slightly altered due to his growing popularity amongst the youth, and that his previous style of justice was just a tactic to pique interest amongst the vast audience of Detective Comic readers. Well, whatever the motivation it apparently worked for the better.
6. One of the First Batman Movies Was Not Made by DC
Batman Dracula was a film made in 1964 starring Jack Smith, who played both Batman and Dracula. Andy Warhol, one of the leading forces in American pop art, directed the movie as a Tribute to Batman. The acclaimed artist, producer, and director was a big fan of the Batman series and so decided to try his creating a movie for it, despite not having DC’s permission. The film was silent, filmed in black and white and was scripted by Tyler Duncan. It was not intended to be played commercially in theatre but rather as a part of his art exhibit.
The movie is sometimes referred to as the ‘lost’ Batman movie, mainly because all known copies of the movie cannot be found except for a few images and short clips, which technically would make it partially found. It is no more than an hour long and only features seven cast members, some of which are still alive today.
7. The Dark Night Movie Was Never Meant to Be Made
For those who are unaware, The Dark Night movie is a sequel to the 2005 blockbuster film Batman Begins which according to director Christopher Nolans, was one that was never meant to be made. Although Batman Begins ended in a cliffhanger that was perfectly set up for Jokers highly anticipated appearance in a second film, Nolans was reluctant to do so. The movie was a massive success and garnered popularity amongst fans while receiving excellent reviews from even the harshest critics. After this, Nolans became more content with putting out a second Batman movie, mainly due to his excitement in creating the Joker story that the first movie hinted. The Dark Knight rise was released in 2006, just a year after its predecessor.
8. The Arkham Asylum Is Real
As if it wasn’t already bad enough, the stereotypical spooky house of the damned turns out to be real. A small community in Danvers, Massachusetts has been home to the Asylum for over a hundred years. The infamous Arkham Asylum portrayed in Batman’s games, and blockbuster movies offer the same level of fear and atrocity as its real-life counterpart. Down to the overly decorated patient rooms and the eerily spooky ambiance depicted in both the games and movies, this place is sure to send an eerie shiver down our spines.
The first mention of the Arkham Asylum was in a 1974 issue of The Batman, 35 years after The Batman and The Joker were both simultaneously active in comic books. It featured a storyline of Two-face breaking out of the Asylum and after that terrorizing the City of Arkham. Although no notable appearances or backstory of the Arkham Asylum were featured for another 15 years, it grew to become one of the most popular and most memorable comic book locations in history. It doesn’t take a Batman superfan to know about the Arkham Asylum or the purpose it serves, showing just how much of a mark this location has made in the comic book world.
9. Batman Was Burned Alive
At this points, it’s not at all surprising to hear that Batman has been injured more than some would care to remember. Batman’s job includes a demanding, and highly dangerous level of risk to his long list of injuries is to be expected, after all, he is the Batman. However, what if we looked at one of his more serious injuries, specifically the time Batman was burned alive.
Batman Begins directed by Christopher Nolan was released in the year 2005. The Batman film franchise had been inactive for about eight years with its last standalone film being released in June 1997, Batman and Robin. The acclaimed Batman and Robin had left a bad taste in our mouths, being labeled as possibly the worst superhero movie of all time. So after the release of the Blockbuster film, we did not expect to see the hero being burned alive.
During an investigation in Gotham City on a new influx of drugs, The Batman discovers an old building where he encounters Scarecrow’s minions and the antagonist himself. After the encounter, he gets dowsed in Scarecrows fear toxin. Batman begins to hallucinate and after that gets thrown with a bottle of alcohol. After his body bursts into flames, The Dark Knight has no choice but to leap out of the window of the building before crash landing. Thankfully he is later saved by Alfred. The horrific scene will forever be imprinted in our minds as one of Batman’s worst injuries.
10. Batman Was Trained by Monks
Prowling the streets of a forsaken metropolis in the dead of night striking fear into the evil that lurks amongst the innocent. Not exactly our go-to image of a monk. Although the Dark Knight is not a monk per se, during his training which entailed years and years of intense conditioning to reach his psychological, intellectual and physical peak, he spent much time with Nepalese monks, a peaceful and tranquil people who believe in living in harmony and bliss. Batman specifically spent time training in the discipline of traditional healing making for an even more dangerous opponent for villains as this expanded his seemingly endless range of acquired knowledge and skill.
Although not much of Batman’s training is shown throughout his time, the movie Batman Begins features scenes of the Batman training under Ra’s Al Ghul, also known by his alter ego in the film Henri Ducard. Al Ghul leads the league of assassins later renamed the league of shadows. Even though in the DC universe Henri Ducard trains batman in man hunting, Ra’s Al Ghul and his alter ego in the movie are two separate characters.
Many viewers conclude that the vigilante is weaker than he is because he does not use lethal force as much as other heroes or villains. Adversely this makes him even more skilled because to be able to be the batman; he can never lose as that would mean he would either die or not be able to continue being Batman. Thus he needed to develop the skills both mentally and physically to take on multiple opponents at a time including some of the most sinister villains in DC history. All without any superpowers and a strict no killing policy against the very opponents plotting to kill him in every encounter.