#LongLiveTheBat — DC unveiled plans to mark the 80th anniversary of Batman with a series of global commemorations and activations that will kick off at SXSW. The milestone anniversary will be supported by toys and consumer products, live events, new Batman brand partnerships, limited theatrical engagements, and more — along with the release of Detective Comics No. 1,000.
Created by artist Bob Kane with writer Bill Finger, Bruce Wayne first donned the cape and cowl as Batman in Detective Comics No. 27 on March 30, 1939. Over the past eight decades, the character has appeared in countless comic books, Saturday morning cartoons, multiple television series, video games, theme parks and experiences, toys, collectibles, apparel, and lifestyle products, in addition to animated and live-action feature films.
Initial Batman 80th anniversary highlights are listed below.
- Paying homage to the superhero’s 80-year publishing history, DC will present two commemorative books, including the landmark collector’s issue of Detective Comics No. 1,000, on sale at comics shops on March 27, and a special hardcover release of Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman – The Deluxe Edition, available on March 19.
- SXSW in Austin, Texas, will kick off the global celebration with multiple fan experiences, photo opportunities, limited-edition merchandise, and an Instagrammable mural by a local artist. SXSW will also set the stage for an incredible moment when more than 1.5 million bats fly into the night over Austin’s famous Congress Bridge on March 15.
- Spotify is streaming Batman: The Ultimate Collection — an 891-song playlist of music inspired by the Caped Crusader.
- DC will celebrate Batman’s 80th anniversary with panels at major conventions, including a dedicated “Happy Birthday, Batman!” panel at WonderCon in Anaheim, California, on the actual anniversary, March 30.
- Generations of fans across the globe will gather to honor the timeless hero on Batman Day, Sept. 21. The Bat Signal will light up in major cities worldwide, alongside a wide array of fan celebrations, including interactive photo opportunities, live music, food, games, and more. Plus, fans will race across the finish line in their favorite Caped Crusader attire in a series of 5K and 10K runs in select cities.
- Families can celebrate #LongLiveTheBat at multiple Six Flags locations across North America in August with extended hours; exclusive, Batman-themed experiences; and special merchandise. Warner Bros. theme parks across the globe, including Warner Bros. Movie World Australia, Parque Warner Madrid, and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, will host Batman 80th-anniversary events.
- Madame Tussauds locations in Orlando, Florida, and Sydney will unveil interactive, fan-friendly experiences; photo opportunities; and special merchandise in September.
- In May, collectible art boutique MONDO will host a curated anniversary exhibit at its Austin gallery celebrating iconic Batman cover art throughout the years.
- The global touring exhibition The Art of The Brick: DC Superheroes will celebrate the Dark Knight with a special Batman edition, beginning this September in São Paulo.
- Romics — the comic book, animation and gaming convention in Rome — will host an immersive Batman 80th-anniversary exhibit in April.
- Designed for fans of all ages, visitors to Shanghai this summer will be treated to a first-of-its-kind special exhibit celebrating Batman.
- Otter Media brands Rooster Teeth, Crunchyroll, VRV, and Fullscreen will celebrate Batman’s 80th anniversary through a variety of programming and social campaigns designed to amplify DC’s global campaign.
- AT&T will activate across retail, digital, and DirecTV, which will celebrate the anniversary with a Batman-branded channel. Plus, AT&T customers will get insider access through AT&T THANKS to Batman content, comics, merchandise, exclusive fan experiences, and more.
- Television broadcast partners worldwide will host Batman programming marathons in March and September.
- Cartoon Network in the U.S. and key territories will host exclusive Batman-themed programming and stunts for kids in March and September.
- DC Universe — DC’s digital subscription service — will promote Batman content in March and September.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America will join Batman in a first-ever partnership to celebrate kids, teens, and youth development professionals who stand up for positive change in their communities. The campaign kicks off in April during National Boys & Girls Clubs Week.
- In honor of military appreciation month this May, DC will partner with the USO, the iconic military support nonprofit, on a special Batman-themed USO2GO kit featuring comics, movies, TV shows, games, and more. The kit will offer a fun diversion for service members stationed in remote locations around the globe, connecting them to home and all things Dark Knight.
- Fans in the UK can join in raising awareness of Genetic Disorders UK by wearing an exclusively designed Batman T-shirt on Jeans for Genes Day in September.
- WB and DC are also joining forces with an extensive list of retail partners, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, iTunes, Walmart, GameStop, and Google Play, among others.
- Global partners, such as LEGO, Mattel, and Funko, will release exclusive Batman 80th-anniversary products throughout the year.