The Visual Evolution of Batman in Movie Posters
September 1, 2011

The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters

Graphic design | comments 14 | 5857 Views

Batman, the super hero that fights crime, the detective, the strategist. Batman was, and still is, one of those characters that impacted the public for one reason, he was doing everything with his own hands, no superpowers.
A visual introduction to the evolution of Batman and its universe over time, by analyzing the movie posters of each period, from 1943 to 2012.

This is a follow-up to the History by design, 63 examples of horror movie posters.

When I was a kid all I ever wanted was to be like them, to fight the bad guys, protect the innocent and have super powers. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, X-Men, Flash, Green Lantern where my favorite. One of them stood out the most, not because he had some godlike power or used a ring to help him do good, because he was a simple man.
Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on crime, an oath tempered with the greater ideal of justice. Wayne trains himself both physically and intellectually and creates a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime.

Batman operates in the fictional American Gotham City, assisted by various supporting characters including his crime-fighting partner, Robin, his butler Alfred Pennyworth, the police commissioner Jim Gordon, and occasionally the heroine Batgirl. He fights an assortment of villains such as the Joker, Penguin, the Riddler, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, martial arts skills, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime.

In what fallows you will have a visual introduction to the different perceptions of the Batman, what he did, who he was and what he stood for. A visual introduction of Batman thru the guide of movie posters.

1943

The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters - Batman movie poster in 1943
The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters - Batman movie poster in 1943
The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters - Batman movie poster in 1943

1949

movie poster in 1949
movie poster in 1949
movie poster in 1949
movie poster in 1949

1966

The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters - Batman movie poster in 1966
The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters - Batman movie poster in 1966
The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters - Batman movie poster in 1966

1989

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.
From 1989 the suit started getting its own life when compared with the previous.

Tmovie poster in 1989
movie poster in 1989

1992

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.
This movie was direct by Tim Burton, so the dark side stands out.

movie poster in 1992
movie poster in 1992
movie poster in 1992
movie poster in 1992
movie poster in 1992

1995

Batman must battle Two-Face and The Riddler with help of an amourous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.

 movie poster in 1995
movie poster in 1995
movie poster in 1995
movie poster in 1995
The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters - Batman Forever movie poster in 1995
movie poster in 1995

1997

As Gotham City is plagued by the deadly duo of Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, crime fighters Batman and Robin find themselves continuously at odds with each other. With both the appearance of Alfred’s niece Barbara, and Alfred himself falling prey to a fatal illness, Wayne and Grayson learn the importance of family and fight to save Gotham once again.

movie poster in 1997
 movie poster in 1997
movie poster in 1997
movie poster in 1997
movie poster in 1997
movie poster in 1997
movie poster in 1997
movie poster in 1997

2005

Under the watchful eye of director Christopher Nolan Batman gets a more…tangible image. You can figure out how he does, why he does it, and most important, the journey that toked him to embrace the Batman identity. A intriguing and vary satisfying approach when you look at the details in the movie, we can see more clearly for what he stands. How he turns his fear in his strength.

movie poster in 2005
movie poster in 2005
movie poster in 2005
movie poster in 2005
movie poster in 2005

2008

Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent are forced to deal with the chaos unleashed by an anarchist mastermind known only as the Joker, as he drives each of them to their limits.
You will know how strong you are because of the way you face your enemy, and Joker became a worthy enemy.

 movie posters
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008
The Dark Night movie poster in 2008

2012

The Dark Knight Rises movie poster in 2012
The Dark Knight Rises movie poster in 2012
The Dark Knight Rises movie poster in 2012

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14 Responses to “The visual evolution of Batman in movie posters”

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  5. Alejandro says:

    Great article, but check some of the posters displayed in 1943, because they are from the Adam West era.

  6. Piers says:

    Great collection – love Batman so much

  7. [...] isso que fez o site wabbaly, com um ótimo apanhado de pôsteres que contam um pouco da evolução visual do mascarado. Podemos [...]

  8. I think my favourites are the late nineties ones. The latest ones are a bit too dark for my liking. They have lost their “batman-ness”…

  9. Gabe says:

    It’s amazing to think that in the future, designers will look back at the 2012 designs and scoff at how ridiculous these posters look in the same way we do now. It’s hard to imagine improvements on the design of the most recent designs.

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