Long before Nick Fury assembled the Avengers or when James Howlett went on a rampage as the mutant Wolverine with his adamantium skeleton, one superhero reached out to the world; convincing them that even the greatest superhero to walk the face of the earth can be just like a common man – without any superpower. Since 1939, Bruce Wayne has donned the cape of a crusader against crime and has influenced the modern world with his utmost respect for self-discipline compelled with the sense of morality and doing what is unprejudiced. The following are a few of the many rare and interesting facts about Batman:
20. Batman Used to Kill
Known for his moral code of never relying on murder against his adversaries, Batman didn’t always exhibit ethics when taking the law into his own hands – something for which the fans have grown to love him.
The early works of creator Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger show that Batman took a life numerous times during his encounters with injustice. On top of all, the initial Batman used guns as a defense; the very weapon the Caped Crusader has shown detestation against over the course of time.
19. Batman Was Named After Two Freedom Fighters
Writer Bill Finger did the majority of the work while helping creator Bob Kane conceiving a character per the demand of Detective Comics; including the name for the Dark Knight’s alter ego.
For the secret identity, Finger made a hybrid of the names of two well-renowned freedom fighters; choosing the first name of King Bruce I of Scotland (right), the Guardian of Scotland in 1928, and the last name Anthony “Mad Anthony” Wayne (left), a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.
18. The Very First Batman Film Dates Back to 1964
Surprisingly, neither Leslie H. Martinson’s Batman from 1966 nor Tim Burton’s Batman from 1989 was the very first Batman film ever made.
The first Batman film goes back to 1964 when Andy Warhol, a prominent name when pop art was reaching the mainstream in America, directed and produced a film based upon the superhero titled Batman/Dracula. However, the film’s screening was limited for just one time in one of his art exhibitions and was never granted any permission from Detective Comics.
17. Batman Was Termed Homosexual by a Psychologist
Concerned over children’s motivation towards unethical behavior triggered by comic book images, psychologist Fredric Wertham articulated his judgment about the possible subliminal messages in his book Seduction of the Innocent in 1954; notably targeting Batman and his crime-fighting partner Robin’s relationship as a psychologically homosexual one.
The acquisitions were sky-rocketed with director Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. The 1997 film was jam-packed with numerous homosexual innuendos and became responsible for the temporary decline of the once admired Batman franchise.
16. Jerry Robinson Was The Mind Behind The Joker
While Kane and Finger were concocting a villain for the Dark Knight, comic book artist Jerry Robinson walked by and showed them a joker playing card and a photograph of Conrad Veidt, the actor of the 1928 silent film, The Man Who Laughs.
It was the right place at the right time and Robinson became responsible for the creation of Batman’s most lethal and psychopathic adversary. Hungry for acclaim and recognition, the comic book icons, unfortunately, have since argued over the credit of the character’s conception; leaving the history of Joker’s creation a highly debatable one.
15. Batman is Inspired by Zorro and Leonardo Da Vinci
Intrigued by the performance of Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920 film The Mark of Zorro and Leonardo Da Vinci’s ancient sketch of the ornithopter – a machine capable of flight by giant bat-like wings – creator Bob Kane’s knew the right direction when Detective Comics demanded another superhero to match with Superman’s success.
14. Batman Teamed With Sherlock Holmes
In an attempt to stop Professor Moriarty’s successor from murdering Queen Elizabeth in Great Britain, the world’s greatest detective had a surprising help from someone from his own league, none other than another world’s greatest detective, Professor Sherlock Holmes.
Having the same caliber of intellect and investigation skills, the duo made a pretty good team and eventually foiled the villainous plot.
13. Batman Defeated The Incredible Hulk
In a crossover between Marvel and Detective Comics, Dr. Bruce Banner works at a division of WayneTech with the hope of coming up with a cure for diseases and for his transformation into the Hulk. When the Joker intervenes, Batman does what is necessary even if it meant conquering his ally.
Employing toxic gas against the behemoth’s brute and barbaric force, the Dark Knight stood victorious in his battle against the incredible Hulk.
12. Adam West Disapproved Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight
Due to Hollywood Walk of Famer Adam West’s iconic portrayal as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1960s television series of the same name and its spin-off film (popularly referred to as Batman 66), the Caped Crusader became a household name and the next big thing on television worldwide.
However, the veteran disapproved of director Christopher Nolan’s 2008 film The Dark Knight due to its edgy stratagem with a darker theme as depicted later in the comics; contrary to the campy and comedic nature of West’s image of the show. The film would later go on to win two Academy Awards; including one for Best Supporting Actor for late Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker.
11. Batman Teamed with The Joker Multiple Times
As alluring and doubtful it may seem at the same time, Batman has indeed joined forces with his deadliest rival on more than one occasion. Most notably was when a Joker look-alike killed The Penguin, the real Joker called upon Batman to clear his name from the crime which he did not commit.
Surprisingly functional; both men earned each other’s trust and despite countless opportunities, the Joker did not kill Batman even when he wanted to. Turned out that Penguin hired a goon to play the clown prince of crime in order to pull a heist later on.
10. Barbara Gordon Was Not The First Batgirl
Before Barbara Gordon, daughter of Lieutenant Jim Gordon donned a cape to assist Batman and Robin with their never-ending obligation to eradicate crime from Gotham City and became the most well-known female member of the Bat Clan, Finger, and fellow comic book artist Sheldon Moldoff introduced Betty Kane, who served as the first-ever Batgirl.
Betty Kane has now taken the mantle of Flamebird while the current Batgirl is Stephanie Brown, who previously served as the fourth Robin.
9. Robin Was to be Killed After Debut
Reluctant about Batman having a teenage partner, Batman editor Jack Liebowitz planned to kill off Robin right after his first appearance. The decision turned out to be a blessing in disguise when his debut issue sold double the amount of the issues featuring Batman fighting alone.
This prompted the reversing of the decision and inducting Dick Grayson as a vital part of the Bat Clan. In the long run, Grayson became an independent superhero known as Nightwing and eventually succeeded Bruce Wayne as the new Batman; carrying on the legacy.
8. Batman Defeated Superman
Before setting the foundations of the Justice League and becoming teammates, Batman and Superman didn’t always see eye to eye and engaged in a battle against each other on more than one occasion.
Their most furious encounter was in The Dark Knight Returns when Superman, under the orders of the American Government, was forced to combat against the 55-year-old Batman who just came back from retirement. With the help of his intellect and Kryptonite, the Dark Knight defeated the Man of Steel.
7. Batman Became a Vampire and Killed Dracula
After becoming a vampire by Tanya’s bite in Batman & Dracula: Red Rain in order to combat Count Dracula at his level, Batman not only reached the pinnacle of his might but also lost his humanity; initializing a bloodthirsty spree after finally defeating the Count and killing much of the names from his rogue’s gallery such as Black Mask, Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow and even the Joker.
Batman’s sinister attitude forced Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth to team up with Killer Croc and Two-Face in order to stop the vampire, Batman. Once the team fails and is slain; Batman finally gains enough redemption to realize the error of his insane ways and commits suicide by exposing himself to sunlight in order to free the world from the terror that even he cannot control.
6. Batman Defeated Predator
The crossover between the Dark Knight and Predator from the 1987 film of the same name was perhaps the most remarkable one for science fiction fans. While terrorizing Gotham, Batman plots to subdue him but the former beat him to an inch of his life a couple of times.
Predator’s ruthless approach in their physical challenge is finally subdued by Batman with the assist of Tim Drake (the third Robin) and wheel-chaired Barbara Gordon (then Oracle).
5. Ayatollah Khomeini Appointed The Joker, Ambassador of Iran
The celebrity cameo was popular back in the day but this one took the cake. When the clown prince of crime killed Jason Todd (the second Robin) and his mother in a warehouse filled with explosives in Batman: A Death in the Family, Sayyid Ruhollah Mostafavi Musavi Khomeini blessed the Joker diplomatic rights and political immunity by appointing him as the ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran.
Joker’s thirst for lives grew more when his new position granted him access to the United Nations where he released his laughing gas. Luckily, Joker’s plans were at once foiled by Batman and Superman.
4. Batman Mythos Are Inspired From ‘The Bat Whispers’
What can be regarded as quite a rare fact about Batman is that Batman creator Bob Kane credits and owes a lot to the 1930 mystery film The Bat Whispers. Directed by Roland West, the film had countless mythos available in the Batman chronicles most notably a mystery case, huge mansion, a faithful butler, utilization of fear as a weapon, bat-themed masked costumes, bat-like car vehicle, and even a bat signal.
3. Liam Neeson’s Character Ra’s al Ghul is Based on Osama Bin Laden
Taking Ra’s al Ghul’s Arabic heritage to a whole new level, screenplay writer of The Dark Knight Trilogy Jonathan Nolan revealed that his brother and director of the series Christopher Nolan based the character of the head of the demon upon the late founder of Al-Qaeda.
Much like Osama Bin Laden, Ra’s al Ghul also employed fear, terrorism, and destruction as necessary approaches to eradicate evil and injustice from the world.
2. Christopher Nolan’s Version of Robin Was a Re-imagination
Despite director Christopher Nolan’s and actor Christian Bale’s detestable remarks against the character of Robin, much speculation regarding the Boy Wonder’s presence in the final chapter of The Dark Knight Trilogy persisted.
Upon the release, it was discovered that Robin was indeed present in The Dark Knight Rises but was Nolan’s re-imagination of the character as detective John Blake – an amalgam of all the Robins in the Batman chronicles. Like Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, he became an orphan as a child. Like Grayson, he was once a member of the Gotham City Police Department. Like Tim Drake, he deduced the identity of Batman on his own. Most notably, the legal name of John Blake, as revealed at the end of the film, is Robin.
1. Christian Bale Originally Auditioned For Robin
Christian Bale may have earned the undisputed title of the best Batman/Bruce Wayne but the fact that the fans of the Academy Award winner might not know is that he was once among the actors auditioning for the role of acrobatic orphan-turned-superhero Dick Grayson for Joel Schumacher’s film Batman Forever back in 1995.
Christian Bale, along with Leonardo DiCaprio, lost the role of Robin the Boy Wonder to Chris O’Donnell. Luck stroke Bale when he won the role of the Dark Knight for Christian Bale’s 2005 film Batman Begins and its two sequels.
There you have it folks, the 20 rarely known facts about Batman. Do you know of any more rare facts about Batman? Let us know in the comments section below!