Batman: 75 Greatest Ever Moments

Happy birthday Batman.

This week sees the 75th anniversary of Batman. Having appeared for the first time in 1939 as part of Detective Comics, the Caped Crusader has so far survived some woeful creative decisions, multiple deaths, several ill-conceived tonal shifts as well as an army of rogues hell-bent on killing him to become arguably the most enduring comic book icon in the history of the medium. Without so much as a superpower, Batman is the most relatable of all heroes, marked by tragedy and defined both by a fundamental need to protect his people, and to wipe out the culture of crime. He might not be the white knight that Superman represents to Metropolis, but he is the hero that Gotham needs, and the one that millions of comic book fans want. Over 75 years, the highlights have been as varied and as engaging as Bob Kane could ever have conceivably imagined back at the turn of the 1940s, and with the incredible milestone now under Batman's utility belt, now is the perfect time to definitively run down the greatest moments in the property's history, from films, TV, comics and video games...

75. It Starts - Detective Comics #27

There can't be any great moments without the one that started them all. In May 1939 Batman made his first ever appearance, in Detective Comics. He started dark, with murder a personal choice if it meant stopping further crime.

74. Batman Vs Green Lantern

When the Justice League disapproves of Batman's methods, and Green Lantern summons him for a "talk," Batman pulled a fast one on his would-be opponent,, and painted himself and Robin yellow, as well as every inch of the room and his drink of choice. Take that, Lantern.

73. Realising That LEGO Batman Is Both Cute AND Badass

As the LEGO Movie would later prove all over again; when taking a character as elastic as Batman, he can be stretched to fit any tonality given the proper care. Enter the LEGO Batman game, featuring a mute-Bat who gestured his way through a loveable tale featuring a cavalcade of characters new and old.

72. The Batman - Legitimately The Most Under-rated Version Of The Character Ever Seen

It may have been deemed little more than an exercise in marketing toys (and targeting kids,) the critically acclaimed animation series that ran from 2004 t0 2008 was far more than that, reinventing established characters with new designs and showing enough courage to shun the continuity of the comics, movies and animated series. The result was a stand alone joy that ran for 5 seasons, and which deserves more than to be considered the inferior sibling of Batman: The Animated Series.

71. Doing An Upside-Down Takedown In Batman Begins

Rubbery and stilted animation be damned, Begins actually came somewhat close to emulating that potent €˜I MUST BE BATMAN RIGHT NOW€™ feeling we all had after watching Nolan€™s first movie. Although it may have been a drastically linear affair with more of a focus on some extremely basic combat, the very fact the character model was a perfect match of his onscreen counterpoint meant the huskily-delivered "I€™m Batman"'s kept flowing throughout.

WhatCulture's former COO, veteran writer and editor.