Happy 80th Birthday, Batman!

 

Happy 80th Birthday, Batman!

Just in time for the eightieth anniversary of the Caped Crusader’s debut, I drew this pin-up featuring my favorite incarnations of the Batman Family. Much of this was inspired by this far earlier Bat Family pin-up which I first saw on the back cover of a DC digest:

 

I remember seeing this pin-up on the back cover of that digest one summer in a Publix super market in Florida. Always a big fan of DC’s Silver Age, the image always stuck with me. I decided to pay some homage to it with my own pin-up although I updated the cast to reflect the Batman Family that I grew up reading in the late 1970’s and early 80’s.

More and more, I find myself drawn to the classic “blue and gray” Batman very often seen on Jose Luis Garcia’s Lopez’s ubiquitous merchandising artwork. It may be a reaction to the overly-armored and overly seamed ¬†and stitched designs seen in current Batman comics, but when I think of Batman, this blue and gray Batman is the one I want to see more and more right down to the yellow oval on his chest and the yellow belt with the little pods on it.

Robin is the classic Dick Grayson Robin. I can also accept the early Jason Todd Robin. I was their for his early appearances (where oddly enough, he had red hair!) and he was a far different character from what he would turn be turned into post DC’s Crisis On Infinite Earths. Once you have the Jason Todd who tried to lift the Batmobile’s tires, its all over for the character. He was radically changed and made unlikeable. There’s very little wonder that fans voted him to be killed. It’s a shame because he was fairly likable early on and very acceptable in that tricky position of trying to replace Dick Grayson as Batman’s classic sidekick. I almost designated Robin to be Jason Todd and I almost included Dick Grayson as R

Nightwing, but I know Nightwing’s look is going to be highly divisive. Very few folks seem to prefer my favorite Nightwing outfit which is the original George Perez design… unfortunately often described as “Disco Nightwing” due to the typical Perez high collar. Dick Grayson has circus roots, so I forgive him that little bit of flair. The costume is certainly more distinctive and eye-catching than his latter generic “mostly black” designs.

Batgirl is Barbara Gordon in what is largely her classic costume. Her outfit lightened up some over the years, but here, I’m keeping it dark.

Bathound and Bat-Mite are very definitely Silver Age staples and although the piece focuses more on the cast of the 80’s, they get a pass. What can I say? I like dogs and magical inter dimensional imps.

 

What say you? What other groups or casts should I add next?

Please let me know in the Comments section below!

Thanks for reading, Everybody!

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