Monday is Batman Day this year, and DC Comics isn’t letting the coronavirus pandemic put a damper on the celebration.
Established in 2014 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in DC Comics, Batman Day also is celebrated on the third Saturday in September and Sept. 15, depending on the source.
This year no matter the actual day, fans the world around can celebrate the superhero with Batman-themed activities including free digital comics, free activity kits for children, a Batman Virtual 5K/10K Run/Walk and a digital mystery to solve with clues left behind by the Riddler.
Those with Waze can choose to hear driving directions from Batman (voiced by “Batman: The Animated Series” actor Kevin Conroy) or the Riddler (voiced by actor Wally Wagner) and choose a custom Batmobile or Riddler icon. They also can listen to the Waze and DC Super Hero or Super Villain playlists on Spotify via the Waze Audio Player feature.
For more information about Batman Day activities, visit dccomics.com.
To commemorate Batman Day, let’s take a look at some of the many villains Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, has had to face while protecting Gotham City.
Just like it’s difficult to imagine Batman without Robin, it’s also hard to imagine Batman without his biggest rival, the Joker. The chaotic, green-haired grinning Joker made his first appearance in “Batman” #1. Since then, he’s been using laughing gas, razor-sharp playing cards, joy buzzers and acid-squirting flowers to get to Batman, often teaming up with the likes of other villains, including Penguin and Two-Face, to do so. The Joker has long been considered one of the best villains, comic or otherwise, of all time. Joker has been portrayed by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix and voiced by numerous people, including Mark Hamill. Ledger and Phoenix won Oscars for their big-screen work.
Since her first appearance in “Batman” #181, Poison Ivy has been a thorn in Batman’s side. Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley, as she was once known, is a botanist and biochemist who controls plant life and uses plant toxins and mind-controlling pheromones in her quest to save the environment. She and Batman have a love-hate relationship, and she is often considered an anti-heroine. Poison Ivy was portrayed by Uma Thurman in 1997’s “Batman and Robin” and Clare Foley, Maggie Geha and Peyton List in “Gotham.” The character also has appeared in multiple animated series.
Another anti-heroine who is in a love-hate relationship with Batman, Catwoman first appeared in “Batman” #1. When readers met her, “the Cat” was a burglar and jewel thief. It’s later revealed that before she was Catwoman, Selina Kyle was a flight attendant. After deciding to leave her husband, Kyle realizes the only way to get her jewelry from said husband is to steal it from his private vault. That experience flipped a switch in Kyle, and she decided to become the cat burglar Catwoman. She has been portrayed in live and animated TV series and films by Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, Camren Bicondova, Lili Simmons, Zoe Kravitz, Adrienne Barbeau, Grey DeLisle and others. Meow!
Penguin, aka the self-proclaimed Gentleman of Crime, aka Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, is a Gotham City mobster not often found without his signature umbrellas, which double as weapons and tools. The top hat, monocle and tuxedo also have made him hard to miss since his debut in “Detective Comics” #58. Batman can sometimes be found gathering information at the Penguin’s nightclub the Iceberg Lounge. The Penguin has been voiced by the likes of Paul Williams, David Ogden Stiers, Tom Kenny and Nolan North and portrayed by Burgess Meredith, Danny DeVito, Robin Lord Taylor and others. Colin Farrell will take on the role in next year’s “The Batman.”
With the one-two punch of strength and intelligence, Bane has been a formidable foe of Batman’s since first appearing in “Batman: Vengeance of Bane” #1. The masked Bane spent his childhood and early adult life in prison serving the sentence his father (known as King Snake) escaped from before escaping himself. Bane is perhaps best-known as being the only villain to have successfully “broken the bat.” Bane has been portrayed by Robert Swenson, Tom Hardy and Shane West. The character has been voiced by Henry Silva, Joaquim de Almeida, Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, Michael Dorn, Danny Trejo, Héctor Elizondo, Carlos Alazraqui and many others.
Edward Nigma, aka the Riddler, has been doing his best to puzzle Batman since he made his first appearance in “Detective Comics” #140. He might not be as violent as other villains, but that doesn’t mean he’s easy to defeat. The Riddler has been voiced by John Glover, Robert Englund and Wally Wingert. The character has been portrayed by Frank Gorshin, John Astin, Jim Carrey and Cory Michael Smith. Paul Dano will play the Riddler in “The Batman.”
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