Since we almost exclusively deal in nostalgia here at Level Up Entertainment, we like to look back on our pop culture experiences when the moment is right. And with the release of Detective Comics #1000 this Wednesday the time is right to look back on some of our favorite memories with the Dark Knight himself, Batman!
Although Batman has always been there through most of my life - growing up in the 90’s with the Animated Series and a plethora of Batman Movies - I’ve never actually been a huge fan. Growing up Batman was always the “safe” nerd icon, the one everyone knew. Obviously I was too cool for this and read mostly Vertigo books - cause those were for the real nerds. Fast forward a bit and I’ve gotten out of high school and over myself. I now enjoy things and it has been revolutionary. The good news about all this is a LOT of really good Batman stories have been made while I was being a typical high school kid and I now get to read them all.
I’d still consider myself behind on the bat-train but I’ve done some catching up in the books - Long Halloween, Hush, and Court of Owls being some notable titles - and I’ve caught up with some of the best episodes of the Animated series and Batman Brave and the Bold that I’ve missed (Thanks to the recommendations from good friends). Overall what I’ve learned is what, at the time, seemed like a one note character with little variation, had much more depth and stories to tell than I had initially assumed. I’m still not the biggest Batman fan, but he has some great comics, TV shows, and movies and is changing the comics industry for the better - by opening new doors and showing us the true potential of what comics can be.
I am a 60's Batman guy.
Growing up there were Batman things everywhere but my biggest connection was the old TV series and the movie.
How? Why? Simple. I started watching it when I was really young. I remember it being on TV when I would come home from school and I would just sit there glued to it. As a little kid the bright colors and BAMS/ POWS were all that mattered. I came home one day, turned on the TV and the worst thing happened. They took the reruns off. I cried and cried because it was my favorite show.
As I got older I got to watch the Batman 66'movie. It had everything that was great about the series all wrapped up in one movie. The movie has all of Batman's best villains, with some of if not the best actors and actresses in the parts.I loved Cesar Romero's Joker, so much so that I did a cosplay play of it a few years back. I can just keep talking about this movie and how great it is.
Not even Shark Repellent Bat Spray could change my mind on how much I love 60's Batman. 60's Batman is the best Batman.
Batman has always been one of my favorite heroes, but for a long time it was a sort of casual interest. I watched Tim Burton’s Batman with my dad, and Mask of the Phantasm with my cousin when we were supposed to be going to bed. Just before starting high school, my brother lent me a huge stack of all the classic Batman stories. I was hooked immediately. This happened to line up pretty well with the launch of the New 52, a perfect chance for me to jump feet first into collecting comics. Level Up was located downstairs in the mall at the time, and while I had loved looking at the statues and video games at the Northfield location I had never purchased a comic at the store. I immediately started pulling almost all the Batman books the New 52 had to offer, the Court/Night of the Owls crossover being the perfect place to get started. I gradually fell off the side books, but never stopped the main series. When I went away to college I had my dad pick up my subscription from Level Up and mail it to me every month or so since I was unwilling to find a new store. New 52 Batman, especially the Night of the Owls, remains one of my favorite runs of comics, my first event, the first comic I pulled at Level Up, and one of the only runs I own beginning to end. It will always have a special place for that reason.
Many see Batman as a brooding lunatic, who uses his money to run around at night dressed as a bat. For me, Batman was a staple of my childhood-and continues to be so today in my life. Growing up, I watched and fell in love with shows and movies about the Caped Crusader, from the campy 1960’s “Batman” t.v. show (in which Batman was brought to life by the amazing Adam West), to the noir-style cartoon “Batman: the Animated Series,” and to the unique movie trilogy “The Dark Knight.” As I grew older, I began reading more Batman comic books; my favorites include “The Long Halloween,” “Hush,” and “Batman: Under the Hood.” I fell in love with everything about Batman’s world: his allies, his villains, his city, and his own personality. I still feel intrigued by the psychology surrounding all the characters in Gotham City; I even read and own a copy of the book called “Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Night,” which explores that very topic. Batman has helped open the door into the superhero genre for me. I will continue to be a fan of the Caped Crusader, and all Gotham City has to offer for the next 80 years.
Batman has been such a major influence in my life, what should I share? Watching the premier of Batman: The Animated Series and being terrified of Man-Bat? Seeing an early screening of The Dark Knight in IMAX and being completely blown away? Or how Batman and Robin is actually not that bad a movie? No. The memory I would have to share is meeting Batman himself, Adam West.
A few years ago we had a convention in Atlantic City called ACBC. Among the many guests present was Adam West and Burt Ward. However I usually don’t do celebrity meet and greets because the lines are usually terrible, but this con wasn’t especially well attended so I was able to walk straight up to almost anyone. Even though I was born in the 80’s Adam West’s Batman was always one of my favorites. I used to watch the reruns on TV, his Batman movie is one of my favorite movies of ever, and I even have a cosplay for his Batman. I knew this was a rare chance for me to meet my childhood dynamic duo and I couldn’t let this moment pass me up.
Even though you could tell they weren’t having a great show (this was a fairly poorly run con) Adam and Burt were pretty gracious with their time and we got to chat for a bit. Of course I also got some signed photos. I don’t get star struck very often but this was one of the few times where I met someone famous that I was noticeably nervous. Anyway it was a day that was super important to me, a true bucket list moment.