Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blue Batman?

Some fans believe the colors of Batman's costume in the TV series are incorrectly interpreted, believing that Batman wasn't blue in the comics, but black instead. There's a belief that blue only meant to highlight the black. But was it really? It's safe to say it was both. It is possible that Batman truly did start  in black, but certainly in latter years he was officially wearing a blue suit.

The idea of Batman really being black in the comic books is supported by following quotes:

Bob Kane: The wings, trunks, and mask were black (Batman & Me 1989)

The cowl and cloak remained black, but since comics conventions demand that black objects be highlighted in blue, Batman’s uniform in effect became blue and gray.Batman: (The Complete History ~ Les Daniel 1999)

In Batman’s debut story, the key elements in his mythos were established; his eerie [black and gray] costume… Batman’s debut in Detective #27 has the estimable value of revealing Bat-Man (as he was called at first) exactly as envisioned by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. (Batman in the Forties ~ intro Bill Schell 2004)

However, some may point out that Kane's quote and first claim of Batman being originally black originated in 1989, coincidentally when the movie presented him as black for the first time. It's possible that it was just a retconning statement to support the movie. However, there are certainly elements in early comics which are undoubtedly black but colored in blue, such as Superman's hair. The early art also tends to support this thesis since Batman really was primarily black with small blue highlights

It wasn't later on when the colors were reversed and he was blue with black highlights. And then there comes a point in the artistic history of Batman where cops are shown wearing black uniforms highlighted with blue, and Batman is shown wearing a blue uniform highlighted with black. At that point, Batman is clearly supposed to be wearing blue
In this picture, for instance. If Batman is suppose to be wearing black, then what is Alfred wearing?

In the story The Super-Key to Fort Superman, Batman melted an identical wax-statue of himself to take it's place. And Superman clearly thinks to himself about the BLUE and gray blob of melted wax. He even tells it to Batman himself how the Batman figure is BLUE and gray.

 In The Strange Costumes of Batman! Detective Comics No. 165, Nov '50.  the suit is also described as blue: "Yes, it is the flashing figure of Batman, clad in the shadowy colors of blue and gray."

Verdict: It's very possible that Batman at first was black, but there is no doubt his costume was changed into blue down the road. therefore, Adam West's costume is spot on accurate with his comic book counterpart of the time