Welcome to another Good Vibe Monday! With Batman recently having his 80th birthday this past weekend, March 30th, I wanted to take the time to thank every creator that has worked on the Batman franchise. There is no doubt that Batman is one of the most well-known pop culture figures in the world. His popularity and longevity has been incredibly impressive, which is a dream for every company. A major part of Batman’s longevity and popularity is because of all the phenomenal creators that have worked on the franchise over the last 80 years.
There is no other way to start thanking all the creators who have worked on Batman without first starting with Bob Kane and Bill Finger. These guys are the fathers of Batman. Together they not only created but established who Batman is. Without them none of the phenomenal Batman stories that we read and watch to this day. They laid the groundwork for everything we have grown to learn about Batman and his family.
It’s from that groundwork we have had some of the greatest comic book stories be told. That includes Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns, which he worked on with David Mazzucchelli and Klaus Janson, respectively. The impact these comics have is still being felt today. Miller, Mazzucchelli and Janson created Batman stories that defined the direction for the character in the modern era. Which is crazy to think about since those stories where published in the mid- to late-80s.
Along with Miller’s work, it can’t be missed the impact of Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams work on Batman. When it comes to an iconic look for Batman you don’t have to look farther than Neal Adams design of Batman’s costume, which artist Marshall Rogers also made to look great. O’Neil and Adams brought the rough edge to Batman that future creators like Miller refined to a science.
Personally as a kid who grew up in the 90s and introduction to the character was Batman: The Animated Series it was the Batman: Knightfall and story arc that introduced me to the world in the comics. I still remember how shocking it was to find out that Batman had his back broken by Bane. It was quite the introduction to the world but O’Neil, Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench and Alan Grant fully captured my interest as a kid. I was immediately hooked into learning how a villain could defeat Batman.
Its due to O’Neil, Dixon, Moench and Grant that I have such a strong connection to not only Bruce Wayne but also Alfred Pennyworth, Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake. These characters defined what the Batman Family was all about for me. It led to so many great stories as we started to see the entire Batman Family start to take the spotlight with their own comics.
From there we got to have incredible work from the likes of Gail Simone, Paul Dini, Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Bill Willingham, Jeph Loeb and Devin Grayson writing the Batman family. These, among others, all led Batman into some dark times as he ran from the law as a fugitive, dealt with Gotham City to be labeled a No Man’s Land and many other things. All through this we saw how expansive the Batman Family continued to grow. Its to the point that Batman’s influence touches just about every comic book in some way through his family.
It also can’t go without saying that Batman has had incredible artist to bring all his story to life. It is a whose, who of the comic book industry who have added their talents to Batman. Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, Alex Maleev, Dale Eaglesham, Frank Teran, Damion Scott, Dan Jurgens and Mike Deodato are just some of the few names that have all provided standout moments for Batman. Each one, while having their own style, continued to capture what made Batman great.
All of this is without mentioning the likes of Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Peter Tomasi, Neil Gaiman, Tony Daniel, Greg Capullo, Rafael Albuquerque, Don Kramer and David Finch, just to name a few. Just continuing to run down the list of all the incredible talent who have all worked on Batman could take up an many, many more pages. It just goes to show how much talent has help make Batman such a beloved character that even on his 80th birthday there still feels as though there are more stories to tell.
As a fan I thank every creator that has worked on Batman. I’m sorry to all those that I have missed. But believe I appreciate every writer, artist, inker, colorist and editor who has made these 80 years of Batman and his family something to remember.
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