The Caped Crusader: his story in Batfacts

Batman's debut: May 1939, issue 27 of Detective Comics. (A mint condition copy sold in New York last year for pounds 71,000. Other ephemera can be valuable: 1960s Batman lunchboxes fetch up to pounds 700.)

Number of episodes in the Batman TV series: 120.

Title of Burt Ward's autobiography: Boy Wonder - My Life in Tights.

TV's Batman, Adam West, entitled his autobiography Back To The Bat Caves. He claims that the role "destroyed" his life. The only work he could get afterwards was being fired out of a circus cannon.

Most uttered phrase in the TV series: "Holy smoke, Batman!"

Considered for the role of screen Catwoman: Sean Young (very briefly); Sharon Stone; Annette Bening (signed, but got pregnant). The winner: Michelle Pfeiffer. She is also due to star in Catwoman, the Movie in 1996.

Considered for the role of Robin: Robbie Williams of the pop group Take That; the rapper Marky Mark; the actress Dana Delaney (Robin was going to be a woman); the black comic and singer Will Smith (Robin was going to be funky). The winner: Chris O'Donnell.

Reason Michael Keaton dropped out of `Batman Forever': "I'm sick of playing second fiddle to the baddies." Warner Brothers say he asked for too much money up front.

Biggest haul of Batmoney: Batman Returns smashed all box-office records on its opening weekend, grossing $47m. Jurassic Park later beat it with a take of $49m, but Batman Forever broke the record again, taking $52m in the first three days. A week later, it had taken $100m. It is also being shown on a record number of screens: 2,842. Batfans in the United States booked seats just to view the trailers for Batman Forever.

Number of ways enemies attempt to kill the Caped Crusader in `Batman Forever': Four: he is encased in a vat of acid, dropped from a helicopter, buried alive, and set on fire. No method successful to date.

Weight of Val Kilmer's rubber batsuit in `Batman Forever': 50lbs. Accessories: solid gold bat-cuffs, 30 different capes, embarrassingly large codpiece, rubber nipples. Bob Kane, creator of Batman comics, is distraught: "Whoever heard of nipples on the Batsuit?"

Names of some of the penguins used in `Batman Returns': Flipper, Elvis, Chubbychops, Darling.

Merchandising sales generated by `Batman', 1989: pounds 260m - more than double the income from ticket sales in the US. Products available included Batcopters, Batman bubble bath, Batman BMX scooters, plus ties, socks, underwear and Batman pyjamas. Unsuccessful product: Batmobile birthday cake. Apparently children were turned off by the black icing.

Number of Gotham City sets built: Batman Forever: more than 70. Batman the Movie: 15; Batman Returns: 7.

Most devoted follower: Duncan McAlpine, a comic collector in Stoke Newington, last year sold two original editions of the first Batman comic in order to fund his wedding on Hollywood's Batman Boulevard. He and his bride headed off on honeymoon in a full-sized replica of the Batmobile.

Best fake Batman: Gene Ortiz, a New Jersey truancy officer, dresses up as Batman and cruises the streets in his Batmobile. Stunned by his approach, 50 or more children fall into his Bat hands every day.

DECCA AITKENHEAD

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own