This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on September 13, 2022
There is a holiday that I have marked on my calendar for the past few years. It is the third Saturday in September. It is a very important day to me. The third Saturday in September is national Batman Day.
I know, you were expecting something more important, but that day is celebrating my hero from my earliest childhood. I have loved Batman as far back as I can remember. I used to imagine Batman fighting the monsters under my bed. I always pictured myself as strong and confident, just like Batman. Driving a cool car and beating up criminals was just icing on the cake. I am embarrassed to say that I watched the TV Batman with Adam West from the 1960s. I swear, every person involved in making that TV show had to be stoned. But that was my first introduction to Batman and 4 year old me thought he was great.
I always loved Batman, but his place in my heart was secured on June 23, 1989, when my life changed forever. I googled the date to verify I had the right date, and I did. From memory I remember this date, it was the day that Tim Burton’s Batman was released in theaters. My entire room was covered in Batman posters, I read all of the background info on how the movie was shot, and I currently own a replica of the mask he wore in that movie. I can quote you most of the lines because I have seen that movie more times than I can count. I have owned it on VHS tape, DVD and I currently own it on Blu-ray. Needless to say, you will not find a bigger Batman fan than me.
Why does this matter? It matters because I so deeply appreciate my parents and my Aunt Kate encouraging me with these heroes. I had a pile Batman toys, I have owned every variety of Batman shirt, and my parents have pictures of me when I was very young and I had a cape on in all of them. I am sure it was annoying, but they tolerated that from me. I can remember explaining to them how Batman would beat Joker, why Penguin and Clayface were such dangerous criminals that Batman had to take down. I remember being terrified of Man-Bat, a half human/half bat hybrid that Batman had to capture and cure. They encouraged those stories and helped me see that what made Batman good wasn’t his gadgets, his intelligence, his training or his muscles. What made Batman great was his desire to help. He wasn’t out there punching people for no reason; he was out there to stop the evil from hurting the good and he was willing to do that in any way he could.
There were people in Gotham City who were alive because of Batman and no one even knew who he was. There was no glory in it, he did what he did because it was the right thing to do. No one else had the physical ability or the resources to do what Bruce Wayne did. So in that moment of truth, he stepped up to the challenge and began a career of saving lives and protecting the weak.
I have not loved every Batman story ever told. There have been a number of popular Batman comic books and graphic novels that I did not like. One popular Batman story is the Killing Joke. I thought it was terrible. I also read the Court of Owls story line. I also thought it was terrible. I read the comic book adaption of the 1989 Batman, the movie I loved so much. The comic book based on it actually made me angry it was so bad. The Long Halloween was pretty good but it was hard to get into. Some comics I loved was Frank Millers The Dark Knight was great and Batman: Year One was also great.
I don’t have any other point here than to thank Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the two men responsible for creating the beloved icon of Batman we have today. He has had a great influence on me and I have loved Batman stories for as long as I can remember.
Happy Batman Day this coming Saturday!