We think that it’s safe to say that most people are familiar with the superhero Batman. And why wouldn’t they be? This vigilante superhero first debuted in May of 1939 and has been featured in countless movies, television shows, and movies ever since. There’s a good reason why that’s the case, too.
The story of a young man swearing vengeance against all criminals after witnessing his parent’s murder gives this character an emotional heart that really resonates with audiences. That’s probably why people observe the third Saturday in September as Batman Day. A holiday that encourages everyone to interact with this character in any way they want.
The History Of Batman Day
What few people realize is that there are actually two different observances of this holiday. The first one is observed on May 1st and coincides with the appearance of Batman in the comic book Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Of course, there’s also the observance of this holiday on the 3rd Saturday in September, but before we check out the origin of this holiday, let’s take a quick look at the history of Batman.
In this first story, the Caped Crusader was introduced to readers as Bruce Wayne, a rich socialite who fought crime — often in brutal ways. As subsequent issues of Detective Comics were introduced, different parts of what would become the Batman legend would become revealed. For example, in July of 1939, readers saw Batman use his utility belt for the first time.
In September of that year, readers were introduced to his Bat Plane, as well as one of his primary weapons — the Batarang. In November of 1939, readers were introduced to his origin story – the killing of his parents by a mugger. In the April 1940 issue of Detective Comics (#38), Dick Grayson was introduced as Robin the Boy Wonder.
According to Robin’s origin story, he was a circus performer who was orphaned when his parents were killed by a gangster. Once Robin joined up with Batman, however, the stories began to change. He transformed from a vigilante who often murdered the criminals he apprehended into more of a father figure to Robin.
In 1940, Batman was given his own comic, although he still continued to be featured in the Detective Comics series. This first issue of Batman introduced readers to both the Joker and The Cat (who would later be known as Catwoman).
This brings us to 2014. This is when the first Batman Day was officially observed on July 23rd. It was a holiday that was designed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Batman. So, why did they place this holiday on July 23rd instead of just observing it on the date when Batman debuted in 1939?
It’s because they wanted it to coincide with Comic-Con that year. Over the years, the holiday would move around quite a bit, but now it’s observed on the third Saturday in September.
Observing Batman Day
There are a variety of ways that people celebrate Batman Day. Some people form what is called an “Alfred’s Reading Circle,” where they can get together with their friends and read Batman comic books. Other people throw a Batman costume party or simply go to work dressed as Batman. Some fans use the day to find valuable Batman pieces for their collections.
Another good way to spend this day is watching the original Batman TV series or one of the animated series. Around the country, and perhaps the world, comic book stores offer all kinds of Batman-themed products and events on this unofficial holiday. At the time of this writing, it has also become customary for Batman conventions to be organized on this day.
Over the years, many Batman stories have been released to the public. Most notably, the Batman original series which ran from 1966 to 1968, several animated series, and more than a dozen feature-length movies – with more being added all of the time.