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Batman — From the comic to the chthonic

Wayne's World
By NICK JOHNSTON  |  July 20, 2012

THE SERIALS (1943, 1949)

Director(s): Lambert Hillyer (1943); Spencer Gordon Bennet (1949)

Real World Events: World War II; Cold War; Roosevelt, Truman. Hiroshima in 1945. HUAC hearings in 1948. Ronald Reagan stars in This is the Army (1943) and The Hasty Heart (1949).

Comic World Events: In 1943 superheroes sell bonds or punch out Hitler or a crude Japanese caricature. In 1949, the end of the Golden Age approaches. The screed Seduction of the Innocent (1954) condemns comic books and Batman and Robin never share a bed again.

Gotham City Style: Standard cheap film noir sets.

Under The Cowl: Lewis Wilson (1943). Robert Lowry (1949).

Sidekick/Love Interest: Robin, in both.
Vicki Vale (1949), a tabloid reporter who wants to discover the Dark Knight's identity.

Bat-Gadgets: In 1943, a Bat-Cave, but no Batmobile parked in it; in 1949, a blowtorch, but no utility belt to put it in.

Bat Bad-guys: In 1843, Dr. Daka, an offensive Japanese caricature. In 1949, The Wizard (1949), who has mind control over machinery.

Bad/bat line: "That's the kind of answer that fits the color of your skin."

Cowl rating/Phoenix Crix pick: N/A

Cowl rating/ Nick's pick: Two cowls. Unintentionally funny, inspired the 60's TV show and movie.

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