Shop our best deals!

Batman Timeline: Outlining The History Of Batman Comics, Films & Much More

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Batman. In order to commemorate the incredible reign of Gotham’s own over the DC Universe (and beyond!), we’ve put together a timeline that chronicles the Dark Knight’s history, from Batman’s first appearance in print and on screen, to the origins of his enemies and where you can find him today. Check out our timeline below and dive into Batman history like the fate of the city depends on it!

Picture
  • Batman, AKA Bruce Wayne, makes his first appearance - Detective Comics #27
  • Doctor Death, the first recurring Batman villain makes his debut – Detective Comics #29
  • First look at Batman’s utility belt - Detective Comics #29
1939
Picture
  • The first appearance of Hugo Strange - Detective Comics #36
  • Robin, AKA Dick Grayson, is introduced for the first time - Detective Comics #38
  • The Batman series debuts - Batman #1
  • The Joker and Catwoman make their first appearances – Batman #1
  • Batman’s hometown is identified as Gotham City for the first time - Batman #4
1940
Picture
  • The beloved Batmobile first appears - Detective Comics #48
  • Scarecrow character debuts - World’s Finest Comics #3
  • The Penguin’s first appearance - Detective Comics #58
1941
Picture
  • First use of the Bat-Signal - Detective Comics #60
  • Two-Face debuts - Detective Comics #66
1942
Picture
  • Batman makes his first on-screen appearance in the theatre-released, episodic series Batman – Batman played by Lewis Wilson
  • Alfred makes his first appearance - Batman #16
  • Batman “fights” Hitler and other WWII Axis leaders on the cover of World’s Finest Comics #9 – unlike many other comic heroes at the time, he never actually fights Hitler in any stories
1943
Picture
  • “The Bat Cave” officially gets its name - Detective Comics #83
  • Alfred’s solo stories begin - Batman #22
1944
Picture
  • Robin’s solo stories start - Star Spangled Comics #65
1947
Picture
  • Riddler debuts - Detective Comics #140
1948
Picture
  • Episodic series The New Adventures of Batman and Robin-The Boy Wonder is shown in theatres – Batman played by Robert Lowery
1949
Picture
  • Batman and Superman join forces for the first time - Superman #76
1952
Picture
  • Batwoman, AKA Kathy Kane, is introduced - Detective Comics #233
1956
Picture
  • Mr. Freeze’s first appearance (as Mr. Zero) - Batman #121
  • The Bat-Mite character is first introduced - Detective Comics #267
1959
Picture
  • Bat-Girl, AKA Bette (Kathy Kane’s niece) makes her first appearance - Batman #139
1961
Picture
  • Robin forms The Teen Titans - Brave and the Bold #54
  • Without permission from DC Comics, Andy Warhol directs Batman Dracula, a silent film showed exclusively at his exhibits
  • Alfred is killed off (temporarily) – Detective Comics #328
1964
Picture
  • The 1943 series Batman is re-released under the title An Evening With Batman & Robin
1965
Picture
  • The Batman TV series debuts – Batman played by Adam West
  • Batman: The Movie is released – Batman played by Adam West
  • Poison Ivy’s first appearance - Batman #181
  • Alfred is revived – Detective Comics #356
1966
Picture
  • Barbara Gordon becomes Batgirl - Detective Comics #359
1967
Picture
  • Man-Bat character debuts - Detective Comics #400
1970
Picture
  • First appearance of Ra’s al Ghul - Batman #232
1971
Picture
  • Arkham Asylum is introduced for the first time (as Arkham Hospital) - Batman #258
1974
Picture
  • The Joker’s solo stories begin
1975
Picture
  • Lucius Fox character is first introduced - Batman #307
1979
Picture
  • First appearance of Killer Croc - Batman #357
  • Jason Todd becomes Robin - Detective Comics #526
1983
Picture
  • Dick Grayson becomes Nightwing - Tales of the Teen Titans #44
1984
Picture
  • Batman: The Dark Knight is published
  • The Batman: Year One story arc begins
1986
Picture
  • Batman teams up with Superman again in the first Action Comics Annual
1987
Picture
  • The Killing Joke is published
1988
Picture
  • Batman film premieres – Batman played by Michael Keaton
  • Jason Todd dies, per a fan vote - Batman # 428
1989
Picture
  • Tim Drake becomes Robin - Batman #442
1990
Picture
  • Tim Drake’s Robin gets his first solo miniseries
1991
Picture
  • Batman: The Animated Series begins
  • Batman Returns film hits theatres – Batman played by Michael Keaton
  • Harley Quinn’s first appearance - Batman: The Animated Series
1992
Picture
  • The animated film Batman: Mast of the Phantasm premieres
  • Harley Quinn makes her comic debut - The Batman Adventures
  • Bane’s first appearance - Batman: The Vengeance of Bane #1
  • Bane breaks Batman’s back - Batman #497
  • Catwoman’s first ongoing series begins
1993
Picture
  • Batman Forever film is released – Batman played by Val Kilmer
1995
Picture
  • Batman: The Long Halloween story arc begins
  • Character of Lyle Bolton, AKA Lock-Up is introduced - Robin Vol. 4 #24
  • Dark Claw, AKA Logan Wayne (a combination of Wolverine and Batman) makes his first appearance - Marvel Vs DC #3
1996
Picture
  • An earthquake destroys Gotham City in the Cataclysm series – Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73
  • Batman & Robin film premieres – Batman played by George Clooney
  • Animated TV series The New Batman Adventures debuts
1997
Picture
  • Batman Beyond animated TV show begins
  • Lex Luthor makes his first appearance in a Batman title - No Man’s Land series
1999
Picture
  • Batman: Hush story arc begins
  • Batman: Family series begins
  • Mister Fun, Doctor Excess, and Suicide King make their first appearances – Batman: Family #1
2002
Picture
  • The animated TV series The Batman first airs
  • Stephanie Brown becomes Robin - Robin #126
  • Catwoman film hits theatres – Catwoman played by Halle Berry
2004
Picture
  • Batman Begins film debuts – Batman played by Christian Bale
2005
Picture
  • The Dark Knight film premieres – Batman played by Christian Bale
  • The graphic novel Joker is published
  • Animated TV series Batman: The Brave And The Bold premieres
  • Lego Batman: The Video Game comes out
2008
Picture
  • The Batman: Arkham Asylum video game is released
  • Damien Wayne becomes Robin - Batman & Robin #1
2009
Picture
2010
Picture
  • The New 52 revamp is launched
  • Batman: The Court Of Owls story arc begins
  • The video game Batman: Arkham City comes out
2011
Picture
  • The Dark Knight Rises film premieres – Batman played by Christian Bale
  • Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is released
  • Batman: Earth One is published
2012
Picture
  • The Batman: Arkham Origins video game hits the shelves
  • The Batman/Superman series is published
  • Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite debuts
2013
Picture
  • It’s Batman’s 75th anniversary!
  • The animated film Son Of Batman is released straight to DVD
  • We have the highest graded copy (ever!) of Detective Comics #27 and we’re bringing it to the 2014 Comic-Con International: San Diego – come see us and catch a glimpse of Batman history, literally
2014

Holy timeline, Batman! It’s really amazing to see how far the Caped Crusader has come since his first appearance in Detective Comics #27.

Tweet your favorite moment in the history of Batman to @dacardworld and keep on celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary with these related stories:

Sources

All images courtesy of comics.org

  • http://www.newsarama.com/21288-dc-comics-reveals-Batman-day-75th-anniversary-poster-free-comic-more.html
  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2975590/fullcredits?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Batman:_Family_Vol_1_1
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Lyle_Bolton_(New_Earth)
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Hugo_Strange_(New_Earth)
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman
  • http://www.comicvine.com/mr-fun/4005-6157/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_Comics
  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3139072/?ref_=nv_sr_1
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Legends_of_the_Dark_Claw_Vol_1_1
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Logan_Wayne_(Amalgam_Universe)
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_Cataclysm
  • http://www.comicvine.com/doctor-excess/4005-6162/
  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0035665/?ref_=nm_knf_t1
  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041162/?ref_=nm_knf_i2
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/World's_Finest_Vol_1_9
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Batman:_Shadow_of_the_Bat_Vol_1_73
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_Dracula
  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057875/
  • http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/Batman/the-7-actors-who-ve-played-Batman
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotham_City
  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327554/
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_52
  • http://www.comicvine.com/suicide-king/4005-6153/
  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372784/
  • http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Batman's_career_timeline
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Pennyworth
  • http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Karl_Hellfern_(New_Earth)

Adding Item

×