Batman, also known as Bruce Wayne, is one of the most celebrated superheros in comic book history and his story began in 1939 when he appeared in "Detective Comics" #27. Unlike DC superheros like Superman or Wonder Woman, Batman possesses no superhuman abilities. Instead, Batman has an extremely high intellect, is an incredibly skilled martial artist and his enormous wealth affords him an unlimited supply of weapons. Batman became a superhero after witnessing the murder of his parents as a child, swearing vengeance against criminals and he's has been fighting crime for over 80 years. In this time, he's gone head to head with a number of infamous villains, including the Joker, Catwoman, the Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Bane, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.
In addition to appearing in numerous comics, Batman is frequently portrayed on both the silver and big screens. In 1943, Batman made his onscreen debut in a 15-part serial "Batman," with actor Lewis Wilson becoming the first person to portray the Dark Knight onscreen. A second 15-part serial, "Batman and Robin" was released in 1949, this time with Robert Lowery taking over the role. In 1966, Adam West portrayed Batman in his first television series, "Batman," and gave audiences a campy series with the now iconic theme song. Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, Batman appeared in a number of animated television shows alongside other DC superheros.
In 1989, Batman earned his first live action feature film, "Batman," which was directed by Tim Burton and starred Michael Keaton as the titular character. This film was an incredible success, becoming the fifth highest grossing film in history. Burton directed a sequel, "Batman Returns" in 1992, then the franchise was taken over by director Joel Schumacher in 1995 with "Batman Forever," starring Val Kilmer and 1997's "Batman & Robin," starring George Clooney.
The Batman franchise was rebooted in 2005 with "Batman Begins," which was directed by Christopher Nolan and starred Christian Bale. It's sequel, "The Dark Knight," premiered in 2008 and set the record for the highest grossing opening weekend of all time in the U.S. This film won two Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger, who played the Joker. In 2012, Nolan finished off his trilogy with "The Dark Knight Rises."
In 2016, Ben Affleck took over the role of Batman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and reprised his role with a cameo in "Suicide Squad" and 2017's "Justice League." The latest actor to take on the superhero is Robert Pattinson, who will appear in 2021's "The Batman." This film is directed by Matt Reeves, who also directed "Cloverfield," "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and "War for the Planet of the Apes." There are two sequels planned for this reboot, as well as a prequel television series, which will air on HBO Max.
In honor of the new Batman series, take a look at some of our favorite tattoos of the Dark Knight in the gallery below. Then let us know your thoughts on the new Batman in the comments section on social media.