This year one of the most iconic characters of all time is celebrating his 75th birthday. The caped crusader, Batman, will be celebrating his big birthday and Warner Bros. and DC Comics have partnered up to make sure that the superhero is highly honored for his decades of justice and entertainment.
The birthday celebration will be taking place all year and many different special events will be put on to celebrate the influential and iconic character. For example, there will be an art exhibit at this year’s Comic-Con to showcase different artistic designs of Batman’s cape and cowl. The new show Gotham will also be produced by Fox, which will be the early years of Gotham and the characters that will eventually become the villains of Batman. Comic book stores all over the nation will be selling special edition comics and hosting Batman parties. Also, a website honoring the hero’s 75th anniversary will be up online called Batman75.com
In honor of Batman’s birthday this year, here is a top ten list of some of the best Batman characters throughout the years.
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10. The Penguin
Oswald Cobblepot, better known as The Penguin, is one of Batman’s oldest and most sinister enemies. Obsessed with birds and overly fancy umbrellas, The Penguin believes himself to be quite the high-society gentleman but is really deep down just a thief and a criminal hiding behind nice clothing. The Penguin first appeared in 1941 and has remained a constant nuisance for the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin. Many will recognize this character in Tim Burton’s film Batman Returns, in which Danny DeVito plays the hideous criminal. Make no mistake that this short, rotund little man is one serious villain.
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9. Harley Quinn
The supervillainess Harley Quinn is without a doubt one of the most seductively evil female villains of all time. Although not as old as some of the other characters, ever since 1992 when she was introduced in the comics, Harley Quinn has been a big character in the series. Not only is she The Joker’s girlfriend, but she is also best friends with other villainess Poison Ivy; the company she keeps speaks volumes for itself. Much as her name would suggest, Harley Quinn is decked out in a traditional looking harlequin costume yet somehow makes it look sexy. This psychiatrist turned villain is one of the most fun yet crazy characters of the comic series.
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8. The Riddler
In 1948, The Riddler made his first appearance as one of Batman’s most bothersome enemies. Obviously as him name would suggest, The Riddler is obsessed with riddles and word games and loves the symbolic question mark which he uses as one of his marks. The Riddler is often seen sporting crazy green outfits and bowler hats and likes to through Batman off his track by using complicated clues and riddles. One of the most iconic portrayals of the character is when Jim Carrey played the crazy villain in Batman Forever. Overall, The Riddler is one of those villains that you hate to love and love to hate.
Catwoman is one of those complex characters in which one doesn’t know whether to love or to hate. Not only is the sexy and slinky kitty a quick witted thief but she knows how to kick butt and use a powerful whip to fight off her foes. Catwoman, also known as Selina Kyle, lies in the gray area when it comes to being a villain or just a vigilante. She often has a love hate relationship with Batman himself, which makes her character rather unpredictable. Since 1940 Catwoman has been a top female icon in the comic book world and continues to attract men and women alike.
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6. Robin (Dick Grayson). Later to be known as Nightwing
Another one of the iconic original characters from the series, Robin, has to be one of the best Batman characters of all time. Not only is he Batman’s first sidekick and ward, but he grew up to be his own superhero called, Nightwing. Coming from tragic backgrounds, Batman and Robin related to each other in the fact that both of their families went through hardships and they both grew up essentially orphans. Batman takes on the role of a fatherlike figure towards Robin (Dick Grayson). When Robin becomes Nightwing he leads the Teen Titans as their own group of superheroes. He eventually becomes Batman himself, when Batman was recovering from a broken back. All together, Dick Grayson is a character that has changed the most through the years but remains ever loyal to Batman, making him a very special character.
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5. Harvey Dent aka. Two-Face
The tragic story of a once kind and handsome man named Harvey Dent turns into the rise of a supervillain named Two-Face who has gone crazy from an accident where half of his face is singed off by acid. First appearing in 1942, Two-Face is one seriously terrifying villain who isn’t just horrible to look at but horrible in the way he chooses how to torture people. With the flip of a two-headed coin, Two-Face chooses good or evil based on the flip of a coin. Inspired by the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Two-Face is similar because he was once a good man who has been overtaken by insanity.
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4. Alfred Pennyworth
The lovable Alfred is without a doubt one of the most beloved characters in the Batman series. First appearing in 1943, Alfred isn’t only Bruce Wayne’s butler but he also acts as a sort of father figure and confident for Wayne. No matter what Batman can always count on Alfred for advice or someone to talk to. Alfred has been a constant staple in most adaptations of the Batman series, whether it be in the comics, TV shows or movies, viewers always want Alfred to be by Batman’s side.
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3. Commissioner James Gordon
Commissioner James Gordon is the oldest supporting character of the Batman series, as he was first introduced in 1939 as one of Batman’s closest supporters. Gordon’s connection with the police department and his close relationship with the vigilante makes him a perfect middle ground between the real authorities and the masked superhero who takes justice into his own hands. Gordon has to be one of the best characters not only for his constant presence in the series but also because of his dedication and trust for Batman. Gordon is also the father of Barbara Gordon, who became the first Batgirl.
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2. The Joker
The Joker is without a doubt the most impersonated and popular villain in comic books and even perhaps all of media. First appearing in 1940, the supervillain has been Batman’s biggest foe since the beginning. Not only is The Joker a complete psychopath but he also is extremely dark and evil which makes for one terrifying combination. The Joker (although his name may suggest he is a funny clown) is actually a brilliantly dark character. The modern generation of Batman fans will certainly look to The Dark Knight’s, Heath Ledger interpretation of the famed villain as one of the most mind-blowing performances in a film.
Of course the number one spot has to go to the iconic character Batman. Batman is the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight and the superhero of all of Gotham. Bruce Wayne’s tragic and sad past made him who he is as the Batman himself. Introduced in 1939, generations have loved and looked up to Batman as one of the most classic superheroes of all time. Throughout the years Batman has graced every type of media; radio, TV, film, books, comic books, video games, the list goes on and on. Overall, the hero’s 75th birthday this year should be a year to honor all that one character has brought society though decades of entertainment.
Amanda is a cosplaying Disney loving, comic-book reading, video-game playing nerd who has been writing articles and covering events for The Celebrity Cafe for almost two years! She is a graduate from Sonoma State University and is currently living in Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry.