It’s hard to know for sure who the most popular superhero is, but in terms of sheer ubiquity and mileage, Batman has to be up there as possibly the most widespread. The character has featured in countless comic publications, movies and TV shows since its establishment in 1939. One of the most popular traits of Batman is that he doesn’t have superhuman powers. He’s not quite an everyman, but still he’s human. A human who is extremely smart, rich, has a genius for detective work and also highly physically trained. But still, he’s more relatable than Superman or Thor. This must be part of the reason for the longevity of the character.

Over the years, there have been multiple different productions of Batman movies and cartoons that are loved by so many generations. The franchise has entered into so many other industries and really has become a production and merchandise machine. Let’s have a quick look at some of the other ways Batman has entered in our collective psyche, after he left the comic pages.

Publishing industry
Obviously this is where Batman started his days, in the Detective Comics issue #27. But since then there have been hundreds of different stories, graphic novels and publications chronicling his crime busting antics, over the last 80 plus years. And not just comic pages. There have been many novels and short stories written about the character’s adventures. Batman is big in the literary world, not just the comic scene. And, often the sign of a character’s entrance into the popular cultural zeitgeist, is when there are dozens of books about the character’s impact on art, entertainment and society.

Film industry
There is no doubt that Batman has been hugely successful on both the small and big screen. The 1960s TV show has a very soft spot in many people’s heart. It had humour, heart and passion and was just great fun. But a big shift really happened when Tim Burton gave the world his interpretation of the Batman story in his great 1989 movie, Batman. There have been eight standalone Batman movies, including the Lego one, since 1989, with a new one coming in 2022. Plus the character has appeared in a few Superman or Justice League movies too. What’s been interesting over the years is how the character of Batman has been portrayed in so many different ways and by so many actors. The 1989 Tim Burton was such a departure from the Batman of the 60s. And Christoper Nolan’s Batman Begins revolutionised the superhero genre in a new and gritty way. The character is strong enough that it can welcome different interpretations.

Video games
Movie or comic licences don’t always translate well into the world of gaming, but Batman certainly has done well in video games. Even the early Batman games were good. The 3D isometric Batman game on the ZX Spectrum by Ocean is highly regarded. And the ‘Batman pack’ essentially ensured the success of the Commodore Amiga in the UK. But since then there have been two Batman game franchises that have taken the gaming world by storm. The Arkham games have a great sense of realism and style, to really make the gamer feel like they are the caped crusader. But the Lego Batman games are hugely successful too and for many younger gamers it’s their first experience of the character at all.

It goes without saying that even casinos have introduced online slots based on the Batman franchise. Among the most popular Batman themed casino games is the Dark Knight slot which is featured in the most popular providers like PokerStars, Unibet and so on. It is owned by the market-listed software producer Playtech, presents all the characters from the movie and even offers the chance to win a jackpot. The casino world draws actions from the film and gives players a chance to participate in the game, greatly inspired by superheroes.

Casino games will often utilize the characters and soundtrack from the film to bring out a cinematic experience and make it all more immersive for the player. The games often offer things like online slot bonuses, and progressive jackpots, and for franchise games that use properties like Batman, it will trigger media from the movies to highlight progression and keep the players interested.

Pinball machines
Pinball machines are another form of gaming that is very much associated with TV and movie franchise, sound effects and great artwork. And Batman is certainly a franchise that has had its impact on this genre too. This Batman ’66 pinball machine is a thing of beauty. And possibly the most popular pinball is The Dark Knight machine from Stern. A beautifully made machine, with some great immersive elements to enhance the experience.

The Batman franchise is a powerful one and one that reaches many industries. Not just mainstream industries like above, but also multiple forms of merchandise. The character is strong and just keeps on getting stronger over the years. We’re excited to see where it may go next.