Saturday, March 30th, 2019, marked the 80th anniversary of the Dark Knight. People from around the world celebrated in various ways but here at the Planet, we decided to celebrate by translating the world’s greatest detectives first case into article format.
Batman first appeared in 1939 within the pages of Detective Comics no. 27 and has been an inspiration to many ever since. As a publication that was once proudly owned by his billionaire playboy persona, Bruce Wayne, we gladly tell the story of “Bat-Man” and some of his loyal fans, including our own Bat-fan reporter, Addie Marzinske.
Before I press on I feel compelled to tell our readers that the Daily Planet didn’t publish anything regarding Superman’s 80th anniversary because we didn’t have our website at that time.
With that being said, today is a momentous occasion for DC Comic’s greatest vigilante.
Unlike the rest of his Justice League comrades, Batman, also known as Bruce Wayne, doesn’t have any powers. This fact alone is why so many love the character. The world’s greatest detective is so relatable because he’s 100 percent human. He has no powers. The man has unimaginable wealth, which he often generously shares, but he doesn’t have any powers.
Orphaned at a young age, Bruce Wayne made it his life mission to stop all corruption, crime and hatred in his city and the world. Being a key member of the Justice League, Batman keeps the team grounded, serving as a constant reminder for what they’re always fighting for.
Today also marks the 80th anniversary of Gothams favorite police commissioner, [James] Gordon.
His first great adventure
Whilst relaxing at home with his young “socialite” friend, Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gordon received word of a murder that has taken place. The victim, chemical manufacturer “Lambert”. The weapon, a knife with the victims sons fingerprints attached. In a rush to go investigate, Gordon invited Bruce to tag along.
Upon arrival, the duo discovered young Lambert, the suspected perpetrator, to be claiming his innocence. Young Lambert insisted his finger prints were only attached to the weapon because he removed it from his fathers back. The “lad” also stated that the true perpetrator escaped through their home library window.
Young Lambert also said that his father uttered the words “contract” before he died.
When pressed further, Lambert’s son told of his fathers three associates, Alfred Stryker, Paul Rogers, and Steve Crane. As young Lambert explained this, Steve Crane calls Gordon on the phone. Crane explained that the day before Lambert’s death, Lambert told Crane that he had received a death threat. Receiving a similar death threat that day, Crane asked for police protection. As Gordon rushed to Crane’s residence, Bruce Wayne decided to go home.
While the police are on their way, Steven Crane is killed by a gunman who entered his home via window. The murderer, and his partner, steal a piece of paper, the presumed contract, from Crane and soon climb onto the victims roof. When there, they are confronted by the “Bat-Man” and are subsequently defeated.
When the police arrive, they discovered Crane’s body and Gordon soon decided to move on to the next business partner and potential victim. In the first of many classic moments in Batman lore, the Gotham City Police Department attempted to apprehend the “Bat-Man,” but are unable to do so.
After he escaped, the “Bat-Man” did something that never sits well with fans, he smiles. He did this as he read the paper he collected from the killers, and then he drove off in his “automobile.”
Meanwhile, Paul Rogers visited the laboratory of Alfred Stryker after hearing of Lambert’s death via news broadcast. Stryker’s assistant, Jennings, suddenly hit Rogers over the head. When Stryker regained consciousness he discovered that he had been bound with rope. Jennings soon explained that he will lower a gas chamber over Rogers, killing him. As Jennings left to activate the gas, the Bat-Man leapt into the room through an open skylight window. In an act of heroism, the Bat-Man grabbed a wrench diving into the gas chamber before it closed.
Bat-Man plugged the gas jet with a handkerchief, and shattered through the glass with the wrench. Jennings returns and attempted to pull a gun on the Bat-Man, but the caped crusader decked him in the face.
Afterward, Alfred Stryker demanded to know what happened. When Rogers explains that Jennings tried to kill him, Stryker suddenly pulls out a knife in an attempt to finish the job. Unbeknownst to Stryker, Bat-Man is hiding in the nearby shadows.
After preventing Rogers’ death, Bat-Man explains that they were all partners in the Apex Chemical Corporation. Apparently Stryker had made secret contracts with all four of them in order to pay them a sum of money each year until he gained possession of the business. Stryker grew weary of waiting and decided to kill all of them so he wouldn’t have to pay.
As he is explaining this, Stryker breaks out of the Bat-Man’s grip and pulls a gun on him. The Bat-Man punches Stryker so hard in the face that Stryker breaks through a railing and falls into a tank of acid, much similar to the event that created DC’s most notorious madman, the Joker. The Bat-Man remarks that this is a fitting end for his kind, and leaves via transom. Rogers turns to thank the Bat-Man, but in another familiar Batman staple, he vanishes.
Later, Commissioner Gordon reiterates the entire story to Bruce Wayne. Bruce left Gordons home stating that this is a lovely fairy tale.
“Bruce Wayne is a nice young chap, but he seems to lead a very boring life,” Gordon thought to himself as Bruce leaves for Wayne Manor.
At Wayne Manor it is revealed that the true identity of the Bat-Man is one Bruce Wayne.
Batman’s fans are some of the greatest and most dedicated on the planet. They draw inspiration from the Dark Knight everyday and yearn to fight for equality and what’s right. They all wish to be good people and Batman shows that you don’t need powers in order to do so.
— Jon 🌙 (@blvze97) March 30, 2019
“He’s mysterious, works for the greater good,” Daily Planet reporter Addie Marzinskie said. “He’s a rich guy who could choose to do just ‘rich guy stuff’ but instead works for those who need him the most. He’s intelligent, he knows what loss is.”
Our Batman, who art in Gotham, cowled be thy mane! Happy Birthday, Batman! I celebrated #Batman80 by reading every other story in #DetectiveComics1000 that wasn’t my 8 pager with genius @JimLee! Bat-tastic stuff from cover to cover, honoring the greatest person who never lived! pic.twitter.com/EryjBifQan
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) March 30, 2019
He doesn’t want anyone else to suffer what he suffered, and dedicates ever bit of himself to that.
— ⚔️M.Z.S.🏰 (@TheTableRound) March 30, 2019
A year-long celebration from DC
“For 80 years, the Dark Knight has stood as a symbol of determination, bravery and justice to generations of fans,” DC Comics wrote on her website. “Since appearing in the pages of Detective Comics no. 27 on March 30, 1939, Batman continues to leave his mark in every form of entertainment imaginable. Appearing in countless comics, animation, television, films, video games, toys and other products, he remains the single most popular superhero. He would not be complete without the most iconic gadgets and of course, the Batmobile; not to mention, an unparalleled rogues gallery.”
DC stated that Batman is humanity’s timeless hero and he’s just getting started.
Join DC Comics for a year-long global celebration of the Caped Crusader by using #LongLiveTheBat, #Batman80 and #Detective1000 on whatever social media platform you frequent.
Upcoming Events from DC
The following is courtesy the DC Comics website.
Paying homage to the Super Hero’s 80-year publishing history, DC will present two commemorative books: including the landmark collector’s issue of Detective Comics no. 1000, which went on sale at comics shops Mar. 27, and a special hardcover release, Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman the Deluxe Edition, which was available Mar. 12.
Celebrating the legacy of the Dark Knight, DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN follows the best-selling ACTION COMICS: 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN. Curated by guest editor Paul Levitz, it features reprints of the Dark Knight’s most memorable adventures. And, published for the first time anywhere: a new tale of a traumatic early moment in Bruce Wayne’s life written by Paul Levitz with art by Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, and an extraordinary look at a long-ago work in progress—the original layouts for the Batman tale from DETECTIVE COMICS #200, as illustrated by Lew Sayre Schwartz (and signed “Bob Kane”). As if that’s not enough, this volume includes essays on Batman from contributors including Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, Glen David Gold, Dennis O’Neil, former San Diego police chief Shelley Zimmerman and pulp historian Anthony Tollin.
After 80 years, it’s here—the 1,000th issue of DETECTIVE COMICS, the title that literally defines DC! This 96-page issue is stacked with an unbelievable lineup of talent that will take you on a journey through Batman’s past, present and future…plus a sensational epilogue that features the first-ever DC Universe appearance of the deadly Arkham Knight! But who is under the mask? And why do they want Batman dead? The incredible future of Batman adventures begins here!
The Dark Knight Through the Decades
To further celebrate the Caped Crusader’s 80-year legacy, Detective Comics no. 1000 will offer an extensive variant cover program. According to DC Comics, hardcore collectors will want to get their hands on this series of variant covers showcasing the Dark Knight through various decades from iconic Batman artists.
Be Batman on Snapchat
Transform into Batman with DC’s new Snapchat lens. Set against Gotham City’s skyline, users will experience the Bat-Signal, the Batarang, and much more. Do you have what it takes to be Batman? Find out when you unlock the Batman lens with this snapcode #LongLiveTheBat.
Featured photo courtesy DC Comics