16 Things You Didn't Know About Batman
Spencer Hart -- Gizmodo UK 16 May 2014 12:15 PM
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Batfans have a lot to look forward to in the coming months — first the Gotham TV series begins in Autumn and in 2016, Zach Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman film drops. But all of that bat-themed goodness is ages away, so to tide you over until then I’ve collected 16 bat-facts to impress your buddies in the comic book store.
1.) Batman’s first comic appearance is worth around £638,000
Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27, dated May 1939. ‘The Case of the Chemical Syndicate’ sees Bat-Man and Commissioner Gordon investigate the murder of a chemical manufacturer named Lambert. Due to its significance the comic is regarded as one of the most valuable in existence — reaching £638,000 ($1,075,000) in a February 2010 auction. [Image Credit: DC Wikia]
2.) Batman’s cowl had to be adjusted to fit inside the Batmobile
In Tim Burton’s Batman, miscommunication between the costume department and prop department meant that Michael Keaton’s cowl was too tall to fit inside the Batmobile. The car couldn’t be adjusted, so Keaton’s cowl had to be shortened.
That wasn’t the only problem filmmakers have had with Batmobiles — when filming Batman Begins on the streets of Chicago, a drunk driver collided with the £160,000 ‘Tumbler’. The driver thought he had crashed into a UFO. [Image Credit: Batman Wikia]
3.) One man spent two years animating the cape in Arkham Asylum
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Batman: Arkham Asylum is the most critically acclaimed superhero video game of all time, and with this much detail it’s easy to see why. One member of the Rocksteady team spent over two years on nothing but Batman’s cape — creating 700 individual animations and sound effects.
Arkham Asylum also has an awesomely passive aggressive way to deal with pirates. If a pirate copy gets detected it will disable the ‘glide’ function. While this isn’t initially game-breaking it does make the game harder. However, full revenge reappears towards the end of the story, when users arrive at a puzzle which requires Batman to glide over a gap. Unable to do so, users are stopped from progressing any further in the game. [Image Credit: GameBlog France]
4.) Batfans have had to endure some pretty poor merchandise
One of the crappiest Batman promotions ever was with Farr View All Star Milk, which allowed children to cut out their very own Bat-Mask from the side of the carton. There are several problems with this, I should think — it would be soggy, smelly and it’s not even black! But what’s worse, a soggy, smelly, cardboard mask or the masturbating Batman? [Image Credit: io9]
5.) Michael Keaton turned down £8.9 million to star in a third Batman film
Keaton as Batman was initially a source of controversy, with fans fearing that he was too comic and camp for the role. After starring in two successful Batman films Warner Bros. offered Keaton £8.9 million ($15 million) to star in the third film. Keaton wasn’t happy with the script so declined the role, giving way to Val Kilmer. Just a note to Warner Bros. — there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for £8.9 million. [Image Credit: WeKnowMemes]
6.) The Joker finds AIDS, sombreros and brunch funny
When preparing for the role of The Joker, Heath Ledger locked himself in a hotel room for a month to get into character. He developed his voice, personality and kept a diary chronicling The Joker’s thoughts. This diary included a list of things he finds funny; AIDS, land mines, geniuses suffering irreversible brain damage, brunch and sombreros. He also designed the makeup, taking inspiration from Sid Vicious and A Clockwork Orange. Costume designer Lindy Hemming based The Joker’s clothing on the musicians Pete Doherty, Iggy Pop and Johnny Rotten. [Image Credit: Batman Wikia]
7.) The Riddler’s riddles were created by the New York Times crossword editor
When Batman Forever began filming, The Riddler’s riddles hadn’t been written so screenwriter Akiva Goldsman asked Will Shortz, the New York Times crossword editor to help create the puzzles. He was paid £1,200 ($2000) to write four riddles which taunted Bruce Wayne throughout the film. Shortz didn’t like the fact that Batman figured them out so quickly, stating, “There was no sense of mental effort on Val Kilmer’s part. So I wasn’t impressed.” [Image Credit: Batman Wikia]
8.) Batman has several notable influences
Bob Kane and Bill Finger drew from a variety of sources when creating the original Batman character. The Shadow, a radio show character, inspired Batman’s cloak and dual identity. His wealthy alter ego was taken from The Mask of Zorro and his costume was influenced by The Bat Whispers, a 1930 film. His wings were based on Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Ornithopter’ flying machine and his science-based detective abilities were influenced by Sherlock Holmes and Doc Savage. [Image Credit: HowStuffWorks]
9.) The Batman Begins Batsuit used MOD technology
Costume designers for Batman Begins used technology from the British Ministry of Defence to create his new Batsuit. But what did they use? Kevlar padded bulletproof vests? Advanced armour for his forearm guards? Nope, they borrowed a technique called electrostatic flocking to make his cape more flow-y and swishy. [Image Credit: CoStar]
10.) Batman & Robin’s gadgets and costumes were designed by toy companies
You remember the Batman & Robin film right? The one with George Clooney? The one you want to forget? It was developed from beginning to end to be a family-friendly, commercial success, with the studio asking for the film to be “toyetic”. This led to toy companies designing the costumes, vehicles and weapons. [Image Credit: 4StarBlog]
11.) The cheesy Batman TV Series was inspired by a Playboy party
Hugh Hefner is passionate about two things: Playboy bunnies and comic books. In 1965 Hefner decided to throw a Batman-themed party at the Chicago Playboy Club. He had actors dress up as Batman and Robin, and told them to use the cheesy “golly gee whiz” dialogue from the comic. Yale Udoff, an ABC executive, saw the positive reaction to the goofy heroes, causing him to run to a pay phone and pitch the TV show to ABC. [Image Credit: RetroThing]
12.) Batman’s first onscreen appearance was directed by Andy Warhol
Casual fans will say Tim Burton’s 1990 Batman film was the first. More hardcore film fans might list Adam West’s 1966 Batman: The Movie, but both would be wrong. The first time Batman is depicted on screen was in Batman, Dracula in 1964. The film was directed and produced by Andy Warhol and it was completely unauthorised by DC Comics. Although a short clip has survived, most of the film has been lost and very few people have seen it. [Image Credit: Kino Images]
13.) Adam West has a Bat Logo on his tooth
TV Batman Adam West looks back fondly on his time as the Caped Crusader — so much so he had a cosmetic dentist put a Batman logo on one of his molars. [Image Credit: Closeup of smile with white healthy teeth from Shutterstock]
14.) In 1988 fans voted to kill Robin
Robin was initially only going to appear as a one-off character, but when the readership doubled with his introduction, DC decided to turn him into a regular character. Robin has been through numerous iterations, first Dick Grayson who turned into Nightwing and then Jason Todd, who was murdered by The Joker. A telephone number was set up to allow the public to vote whether Jason Todd should be killed or saved. 5,343 people voted for him to be killed against 5,271 who wanted to save him. Todd later returned as Red Hood to seek revenge against The Joker. [Image Credit: Hero Wikia]
Ever sensed a bit of sexual tension between Batman and Robin? No, me neither, but Dr Fredric Wertham seems to think comic books are evil and should be banned. In 1950 he wrote a book titled Seduction of the Innocent, a ‘scientific’ review of comic books and the effects they have on juvenile delinquency and indecency. Wertham stated the Dynamic Duo were secret homosexuals who exhibited a Ganymede/Zeus love relationship. [Image Credit: Ranticular]
16.) Villains aren’t the only ones who wet themselves when Batman is around
In 2010 Batman: The Widening Gyre #6, Batman admits he once had a “bladder spasm.” So he wet himself then — I guess that’s one way to stay warm inside the Batsuit? [Image Credit: SFX]
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