Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My First Taste of Fandom: Tim Burton's Batman

With Comic Con over and this week being all about The Dark Knight Rises, I figure it was timely I share my first taste of pure, relentless fandom. No, it wasn't Star Wars, nor was it Reeve's Superman or Star Trek. My first real fandom craze was for Tim Burton's 1989 blockbuster. I'm not sure there is any YouTube clips of what it was like back in that summer of 1989. Batman was released on June 23rd. I was just under PG-13 and me and my friends were mega excited. We all had watched the campy 60s version but seeing trailers for this darker, spookier version got us all hyped.

I know I saw it at least 3 times. 

I remember my friend hyping up the Batmobile (he of course was on his 2nd viewing). And the moment Batman says "Shields" I go ape shit.

When Batman goes "I'm Batman". I go gorilla shit.

When Batman goes nuts in Axis Chemical, it was freakin awesome.

Don't get me wrong, Nicholson's Joker was a sight of pure madness and evil genius. She steals the show. 

I start falling in love with Kim Basinger realizing that I can see her boobies in 9 1/2 Weeks years later. 

We all bought Batman shirts. We all had Batman sneakers. If you didn't have a Batman t-shirt, something was definitely wrong with you. That summer in 1989 was all Batman all the time. We started making our own utility belts. Basements became Bat caves.

Don't get me started with Michelle Pfieffer in her latex suit in Returns.

There is a part of me that never left that summer. Now every time I see a big summer blockbuster, I want to get that feeling back. The sense of kid wonder, a movie that made me love comic books. My first comic book infatuation was Spiderman. I was a Marvel kid and made sure I had my own "bag" in my comic book store. "Bags" was a sort of comic book store layaway program. They'd save the latest issues for you and you paid for what you could afford.

But my heart fell in love with DC when Batman came out. I got a copy of The Dark Knight Returns and Frank Miller blew me away with his story and the art work was awesome. Full page shots of a old, muscled up Batman. If you haven't read this, you're not a real Batman fan.
But Burton's Batman is where my fandom started. Kids bought the Batman toys, the cowls, the capes, the games, the everything. (Batman the game was nightmare of mega proportions). I wore a Batman costume for Halloween 3 consecutive years. I wish there was a record of that summer but the videos below give a certain glimpse of the hysteria.

Roger Ebert doesn't like Batman but Siskel loves it.

The VHS version of Batman arrived 4 months after release of the movie which was unprecedented at the time. Check out this news report.

Were you part of the Batman craze in the Summer of 89? Do you remember what Batman hysteria was like that year? Share your thoughts!

1 comment:

  1. Man, I have sooo many fond memories of when Batman came out. I simply loved the dark approach of it. It's film I adored as a child. Batman was, back then, the ONLY DC character I liked, as I was a hardcore Marvel fan (Punisher, Spider-Man, FF, etc). Anyways, great write up and I've given you an award: http://themastergio.blogspot.com/2012/07/fuck-yeah-i-got-another-liebster-award.html