Cowled and scowling, with a winged cape inspired by da Vinci and a thirst for justice born of his parents' murder, he debuted as a comic book character in 1939. Even his earliest incarnation is instantly recognizable: Batman-the Caped Crusader. A few short years later Bob Kane's creation leapt from the printed page to the silver screen, a brooding presence framed against the darkened Gotham skyline, ever vigilant to the misdeeds of a host of maniacal and devious enemies. Since his film debut in the 1940s, Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne have been a regular presence in movies. In various incarnations, with or without his cheerful sidekick Robin, Batman has remained an American icon, capturing the imagination of each successive generation of moviegoers.
This detailed examination of live-action Batman features follows his motion picture adventures, from his first appearances on the screen in 1940's film serials, through the camp craze surrounding the 1966 television series, up to the Warner Bros. series of summer blockbusters that began with 1989's Batman starring Michael Keaton. Chapters on each of the seven feature-length Batman movies include extensive film and production credits, a production history, and a critical analysis of the movie relative to other Batman films and the original comic book character. Notes accompany each chapter, and an index and bibliography are included.