Nobody is quite sure why it is celebrated on the third day of September, when the notable date would have to be in May when the characters debut comic book issue came out. But all the same, Saturday this past weekend was commemorated as “Batman Day” by superhero comic book fans not just in the US but around the world. This particular celebration was a milestone in itself, seeing as the Batman character debuted in the pages of “Detective Comics” issue 27 back in 1939, or a full 80 years ago. That momentous occasion must be why Batman Day 2019 was more epic than usual.
As USA Today tells us, many of the major cities in the world went quite Bat-bonkers on September 21 as DC Comics made to commemorate eight decades of the most famous crime fighter of Gotham City, nicknamed variously anywhere from the Caped Crusader to the Dark Knight but universally known as Batman. To that end they have organized with no less than 14 cities around the world to join in the celebratory event by lighting a spotlight with a bat silhouette into the evening sky on Saturday night. The Bat-signal is an important mythos of the comic-book character, used to summon him when trouble strikes.
The cycle of Bat-signal lightings began in Melbourne, Australia at Fed Square. As the day of September 21 turned to night, east to west as the world turned, other cities lit up their own signals: Tokyo in Japan, Rome in Italy, Berlin in Germany, Johannesburg in South Africa, London in the UK, and Sao Paolo in Brazil among others. In the US, the fun began when Saturday evening fell in New York, with its Bat-signal illuminating the Domino Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn. Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger modeled Gotham after NYC in the first place. Batman Day’s Bat-signal relay would terminated at Los Angeles City Hall, but electrical problems there and in Paris and Montreal ruined those plans.
Under the blend of light and shadow from the signals and the black of night, fan gatherings also took place, with people coming out in force to pay homage to billionaire Bruce Wayne, who became Batman to war against criminals like those that killed his parents. Costumed characters were aplenty, ready for fan photos and goodwill gestures, like the “Jersey Batman” that entertained a Navy veteran at the Brooklyn event.
While the “real” Batman was a no-show at the signal lightings, fans can expect him on the big screen from Warner Bros. sometime in 2021, with actor Robert Pattinson assuming the role from Ben Affleck.
Image from New York Post