While lacking any actual superpowers this caped crusader has proven to be the greatest representative of the American superhero ever. I’m speaking of Batman of course. Dear to my heart, seeker of justice and author of pulp gold. Batman is proof that the greatest of heroes can be found in the darkest of times and return on investments.
Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in May, 1939 just 4 months before the invasion of Poland by Germany on September 1, 1939 and arguably the beginning of World War II in Europe. Was the Nazi party a direct representation of the rise of the syndicate in Gotham? Could America have been that dark knight waiting in the shadows and supporting its allies but unable to show himself? Will this thesis prove to be a persuading argument worthy enough for a passing grade? Stay tuned...
Captain America might be the obvious choice for the strength of the American force and ego of the American people of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s but Captain America’s presence wasn’t made until almost two years after the Nazi’s Bilzkrieg in Eastern Europe. Captain America’s heroic overtones and flawless character aspects a clique of the comic book code were as Batman is a realistic expression of American strength and ultimate power. Nothing against Captain America, I believe that he is an accurate idol of all that is good in the United States but there is a dark side to the American way of life that only the Bat-man knows too well. Anger, power and self-righteousness the quintessential elements that make up a violent, billionaire capitalist crime fighting detective.
The 1966-1968 Batman television series might not have been a financial hit or marketing genius but its use of parody may have been a well needed diversion from the new horrors of war in Vietnam which America became involved in February 1965 with Operation Rolling Thunder.
In 1989, the film Batman grossed $250 million at USA cinemas and $160 million in foreign revenue, and was the year’s highest earning box office feature and licensed Batman merchandise sales were over $500 million. One can safely assume Batman is worth more and more as each movie brings more income than the one before. Tim Burton’s Batman movie reached 100 million dollars of profit in only ten days and went on to become the biggest hit and the most successful franchise in Warner’s history to that point. Less than 20 years after, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight reached 314.2 million dollars in 10 days, new studio record and a $1.15 Billion in domestic and International ticket sales and home DVD and Blu-ray sales combined
Batman’s original comic book medium is an overwhelming success story as well. in 2010 the Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas reports that the iconic character has reached the million dollar mark in his first appearance in Detective Comics #27. The comic book was sold for $1,075,500 by an anonymous buyer and seller. Selling for more than $75,000 more than the #1 Superman sold three days prior for $1 Million.
Needless to say that the Batman franchise will become even more successful with the release of the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Could the American people be tackling the concept of a false God and rise of non believers? Is this a reflection of two great superpowers, America vs Russia, ending their fight against each other and taking the fight to ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood? Is the Islamic State the new super villain? Stay tuned… As the next DC blockbuster will certainly bring smiles to the faces of investors and goosebumps on the arms of fans like me.