15lecture1780batman09SU - SchoolofArtsandLetters

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School of Arts and Letters Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies Summer 2009 AK/HUMA 1780 6.0A Stories in Diverse Media Batman: Versions of Heroism To date, the story of Batman (aka Bruce Wayne) has been adapted to film no less than nine times (in two 1940s serials, a 1960s feature film, the current franchise of six films, and two feature length animations). The story of Batman, therefore, is a perfect example of a story told and retold in diverse media. It is primarily thanks to the numerous versions of the Batman story that circulate in popular culture, specifically the current films and the campy 1960s television series, that so many of us are familiar with at the very least something about the Batman myth—his secret identity, the names of his city and his lair, his sidekick, and his enemies. Batman is a story that always seems to be in circulation, and, in turn, it is a story that is influenced by other narratives around it. In fact, many of the key elements of the Batman myth stem from visual art and cinema. Creator Bob Kane's original concept for the Batman came from a Leonardo da Vinci sketch of a man wearing bat like wings, and Kane's other sources include Bela Lugosi's Dracula and Douglas Fairbanks' performance in The Mask of Zorro . Similarly, Gotham City was modeled on the cities found in film noir (such as in The Maltese Falcon ), 1930s gangster movies, and twentieth century crime fiction. I also hope that many of you noticed parallels between Bruce Wayne's estate and the mansion of Gothic fiction I have discussed in relation to Turn of the Screw .
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Lecture 15 2 Batman/ Batman and Issues of Adaptation In May of 1939, a new superhero was introduced to DC ( Detective Comics ). Like Superman, the Batman had the outline of the bat on his chest that was an imitation of Superman's signature "S." But unlike his alien predecessor from Krypton, Batman initially had no known origin and was simply a mysterious figure fighting for righteousness and apprehending wrongdoers. Although the art for the initial Batman strips was flat and stiff, Bob Kane (the creator) knew how to enhance the appeal of this superhero: he drew him in silhouette and made something quite chilling out of his slit eyed, tight lipped stare. By the third issue, Kane had hired another artist, Jerry Robinson (who was just 17 years old), to do the signature art for the Batman, and with that the superhero that many know and love emerged. Detective Comics #27, starring the Bat Man, was released in the spring of 1939, and newsstand dealers immediately began to report that kids were lining up for more stories about this curious, new superhero. Those higher up at DC signaled their seriousness about having Batman in their repertoire by asking Bob Kane for an origin story. Kane, not surprisingly, followed through. Printed in the sixth issue, Batman's origin story is a twist on Superman's—the loss of parents and the consequent vow to fight evil. It provides the perfect modus operandi for a vigilante interested in fighting
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2010 for the course HUMA 1780 taught by Professor Eliciaclements during the Summer '09 term at York University.

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15lecture1780batman09SU - SchoolofArtsandLetters

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