It should be a simple question to answer: when is Batman’s birthday? Given that the hero is celebrating his 75th anniversary this year, we can trace the timeline pretty clearly to 1939. But after that, things get dicey. Here’s a breakdown of every day you can celebrate the dawn of the Dark Knight:
DC Comics has officially announced their nearly yearlong festivities for the caped crusader kick off on Sunday, March 30. But why March 30? Here’s an official statement sent to us from DC Entertainment on the subject:
“Based on historical data from the Registrar of Copyrights, DC Entertainment recognizes that the world’s most popular Super Hero — Batman — was first introduced to the public 75 years ago on March 30, 1939, in Detective Comics #27.
It was common practice in 1939, and remains so today, for publications to go on sale prior to their indicated cover date. Thus, while the Bat-Man (as he was then known) first appeared in the May 1939 cover-dated issue of Detective Comics #27, that issue actually hit newsstands on March 30, 1939.”
Don’t believe our source at DC? Here’s the copyright listing for the issue:
As Batman always says, “Case closed!” He never says that.
We previously ran down a number of the anniversary’s events during our “Year of Batman” review, but fans can add in a special commemorative logo, giveaways and more to the aforementioned list of movies, animated releases and comics. You can check out the full list of official festivities here.
Though comic books are traditionally birthday shy — given the sliding continuity of their timeline, you don’t want a character like Batman to actually be over 95 years old — Bruce Wayne’s b-day has been name-checked at least twice.
Without getting too much into reboots and changes in DC Comics’ history, when Bruce Wayne first debuted in the 1930s it was said he was born on April 7. Later, in a letter column in “Detective Comics #494,” it was stated that the birthday was now February 19, though that was also washed away (potentially) by DC’s recent New 52 reboot.
The official debut of Batman was a just one of many features in “Detective Comics.” He wouldn’t get his own solo series until a year later on April 25, 1940. “Batman #1″ would turn out to be significant regardless of the numbering as it introduced Batman’s greatest adversary, the Joker — and almost killed him off in the same issue, before a last minute editorial change saved him from disappearing in the annals of comic history.
What that means is, even if you don’t celebrate Batman’s birthday on April 25, you can still throw a terrifying clown party.
As mentioned above, the actual cover date for “Detective Comics #27″ is May, 1939. Traditionally, magazines and periodicals have a date printed on the cover that’s later than when they actually hit the newsstand. That way they have a longer shelf life, as readers will see them as “new” even when they’re a few weeks old.
While Batman definitively did not debut in May, you could judge the book by its cover and say that the fifth month of the year is the official birth of the bat. May 6 sees the release of the animated film “Son of Batman,” so that might be a perfect way to celebrate.
This is the anniversary of when Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot and killed in an alley by an anonymous criminal, so one could argue that this is the true birth of Batman.
Unlike the continuity-changing birthday, the date of the Wayne’s demise has stayed constant. In most iterations of the character, a clock stands as a secret entrance to the Batcave, and is set at 10:47 p.m. on June 26, in honor of the exact moment Thomas and Martha Wayne died.
Throw your Bat-party in a sad dark alley outside a movie theater, for maximum impact! Give out clocks as favors! These are terrible party ideas!
July 23 is DC Entertainment’s official Batman Day, which coincides — not coincidentally — with Preview Night for San Diego Comic-Con. Comic stores nationwide will be having parties with free, special edition comics. Plus in San Diego there will be art exhibits and way more. If you’re looking for a legit day to dress as Batman in public, this is the one you want to hit.
October or November
In the animated series “The Batman,” Bruce says his birthday is in October. Meanwhile, Frank Miller — who wrote two definitive Batman stories with “Batman: Year One” and “The Dark Knight Returns” — says his birthday is in November.
Point being: it’s the year of the Batman, so let’s celebrate him as much as we can. We are vengeance. We are the night. We are… Happy anniversary, Batman.
When are you planning on celebrating Batman’s birthday? Right now?