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Batman’s Legacy: From Comics to Games and Beyond

Posted on July 1, 2016 at 7:12 pm by Geek Legacy

Batman Legacy

Batman” (CC BY 2.0) by mecookie

From humble beginnings as Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s comic creation, Batman is now a mainstream hero in every sense of the word. Leaping from the pages of DC Comics in 1939 into today’s multimedia world, Batman is arguably the best known superhero in the world, but how did he get there?

The legacy of Batman is certainly one that starts with his early comic book appearances, but to become a multi-billion dollar enterprise you need more than a black latex suit and some cutting one-liners. Fortunately, Kane’s concept and Finger’s early character development were world-class, so it’s been extremely easy for Batman to slip into new entertainment mediums over the years.

In fact, it’s this ability to glide from medium to medium that’s helped Batman conquer more than the bad guys over the last 70+ years. So, with this in mind, we’ve decided to unpack the Batman legacy and look at some of the ways in which he’s not only entertained us, but become a multifaceted, multimedia icon.

Batman Puts Heads in a Spin

Batman Spins Heads

Graphic Game: Batman (CC BY 2.0) by bblumpie

Of course, the obvious starting point for any review of Batman’s legacy would be his TV and movie career. However, in the interests of doing things a little differently, let’s turn things on their head and look at one of the least obvious mediums where Batman has become an icon in recent years. The iGaming industry is currently worth around $41 billion and at least some of its popularity can be attributed to Batman and his comic crew.

Today, when you scour the lobbies of online casinos you’ll find a slew of superhero-themed slot machines just waiting to dispense their riches. Leading the pack with a game that’s part beat ’em up, part slot machine is Batman. Recognized as one of the leading slots from 32Red, The Dark Knight Rises slot game is a heady mix of animations, video sequences and Batman iconography.

For seasoned casino players, 32Red’s game offers 243 ways to win one of four progressive jackpots worth in excess of $100,000 each. However, the main reason these games have become hugely popular is their Batman inspired elements. As the game kicks into life you’ll instantly see a number of familiar faces spinning across the screen, and as the game develops, you start to lose yourself in a world of Batman-themed bonuses.

Batman’s Fighting Spirit Shines Through

Batman Spirit

“Batman” (CC BY 2.0) by JBLivin

Now, this game isn’t the only comic inspired slot game out there. Indeed, Iron Man 2 at represents the Marvel brand with a game that uses various incarnations of Tony Stark to unlock a Marvel Mystery Jackpot. Similarly, Party Casino offers a Game of Thrones slot game that boasts 243 ways to win and bonuses shaped around the kingdoms of Westeros.

However, as slick as these slots are, 32Red’s Batman stands out for two reasons. Firstly the man himself is more iconic than the rest. Secondly, a 3D virtual reality fight between Batman and Bane actually takes place on the screen as you’re playing. Showing off the full capabilities of the genre’s software, this fight sequence is not only visually impressive, but it taps into the essence of Batman.

Indeed, if we move across the gaming industry to the console world, we find that a fighting Batman is another reason why the character has become a mainstream hit in recent years. For example, the ever-popular Arkham series of games has sold millions of copies worldwide and undoubtedly helped to make Batman a household name.

Using the 1998 classic Batman: The Video Game as inspiration, Rocksteady Games has gone on to produce a slew of highly detailed games featuring the Caped Crusader. From Batman: Arkham Asylum in 2009 to Batman: Arkham Origins in 2013, the collection is highly detailed, hugely entertaining and immensely popular.

In fact, Batman: Arkham Knight is reported to have sold five million copies on its own, which just goes to show how popular the series has become. Of course, as is the case in the iGaming industry, Batman’s presence in the console gaming world seems extremely natural thanks to the nature of the games he’s in. Fighting games have long been a staple in the industry, and thanks to some crisp graphics, Batman has piqued the attention of millions over the last decade and before.

A lot of Moving Parts Make Batman an Icon

Batman Icon

Dark Knight Rises” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by charlieanders2

Finally, to conclude our look at Batman’s legacy, we can’t ignore his roles on TV and in movies. From the 1966 TV series featuring Adam West as Bruce Wayne to recent movie releases such as Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($871 million in box office sales), the shadowy figure of Batman has become an onscreen legend. In fact’s highly likely that many of his current fans don’t really know about his comic book roots.

The power of visual media is such that it often dwarfs any other entertainment medium and that’s no different in the case of Batman. While the diehard fans will know him as the DC Comic creation, modern audiences will likely see him as an onscreen icon.

Is that a shame? Possibly. However, this is merely a result of Batman’s multimedia evolution and, therefore, his legacy. Indeed, regardless of how people know him, the fact remains that people do know who Batman is and that can only be a good thing.

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