Is there a character more popular than the Dark Knight? Probably not, and his impact on the broader popular culture beyond comic books is undeniable. Here’s our look at the Top 10 things Batman has contributed to pop culture.
10. Batman T-Shirts, Hats and Merchandise
Second only to Superman’s ‘S’ symbol, pretty much everyone at some point or another has owned a Batman logo t-shirt, hat, belt buckle or wallet. From the classic yellow oval to the more modern all-black version, Batman’s logo is among the most recognized symbols in the world.
9. Utility Belt
Synonymous for everything you’d ever need (can you imagine if MacGyver had one of these?), Batman’s gadget belt really caught on with the public imagination after Adam West popularized it in the 1960’s TV series.
8. The Batcave
Where do you think the term Man Cave came from?
Batman has a seriously deep bench of characters in his mythology, but Catwoman has always been one of the most interesting. Love interest? Villain? Sidekick? Wife? Depends on the era and who’s telling the story, but Halle Berry aside, she’s always the cat’s pajamas.
6. The Super Friends Cartoon
There was a time before Netflix, DVDs and the Internet when the only way to see superheroes on your TV was early Saturday morning. Hanna Barbara’s “Super Friends” featured a nice gallery of DC Comics characters, but it was Batman (and Robin) that stole the show for us.
Holy sidekick Batman! From the corny catchphrases to the cornier costumes, Batman and Robin have gone together like peanut butter and jelly for decades.
4. The Joker
Probably THE most famous villain in the world, The Joker has figured into every media incarnation of the Caped Crusader, sometimes even getting higher billing than the hero himself (see Jack Nicholson’s turn in Tim Burton’s film).
3. The Batman TV Show
Hard to imagine this is the same character that Frank Miller wrote about in The Dark Knight Returns or Christopher Nolan brought to the big screen, but there was a time when the adventures of Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) were broadcast as a live-action primetime network show, one that’s still popular with fans to this day.
2. The Batmobile
Usually ranking among the very top character cars ever, the Batmobile is every kid’s dream car. Gadgets, sleek lines, over-the-top fins … And the best part? It’s constantly upgraded and made even cooler.
1. Batman Movies
Whether you’re a fan of the original Tim Burton series or think Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is the greatest thing since sliced bread, Batman on film has always been an event. George Clooney’s Bat Nipples aside, these films have kept the Caped Crusader in the forefront of pop culture for three decades and counting.