NEW YORK — From the 4-month-old infant dressed as “Bat Baby” at Fox’s Gotham panel to the 86-year-old Adam West reminiscing about his stint as the classic Caped Crusader, it was impossible not to catch a whiff of Batman something at New York Comic Con.
It’s an understatement to say Batman took over Comic Con this weekend because organizers took no shortcuts in celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary, with appearances from Dark Knights of yesteryear: West, George Clooney, Michael Keaton and Kevin Conroy.
Here are six ways Batman cast his shadow all over New York Comic Con.
1. George Clooney Apologized for ‘Batman Robin’
The newly married George Clooney, who donned a cringeworthy nipple-infused Bat suit in 1997’s Batman Robin, made a hilarious unscheduled appearance Thursday during Disney’s panel for sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland.
“It’s not lost on me that I’m spending my honeymoon at Comic Con,” Clooney said. “On top of it being my honeymoon, I am a virgin. … Since my Batman, I was disinvited to Comic Con for 20 years. … I met Adam West back there just now, and I said, ‘Hey, I’m really sorry.'”
2. Michael Keaton Recalled Tim Burton’s Films
At Friday’s panel for his dark superhero comedy Birdman, Michael Keaton reminded attendees about his Bat rendition in 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns.
Unlike Clooney, Keaton proclaimed he is “proud of having played Batman” alongside Jack Nicholson’s Joker and Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman (pictured).
He recalled being unfamiliar with Bruce Wayne’s saga in the comics and unabashedly providing verbal edits of the Batman script to director Tim Burton.
3. Adam West Defended Ben Affleck as Batman
Adam West, at Comic Con promoting the Nov. 11 release of the Batman: The Complete Television Series DVD/Blu-ray collection, gushed about Ben Affleck, who will be the latest actor to fill the Bat suit in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice flick.
“Ben Affleck has matured so beautifully as an actor,” West told Mashable. “I’ve heard a lot of adverse comments — I think it’s ridiculous. He’ll be much better than you think. Go see his current movie [Gone Girl] and you’ll see glimpses of Batman. He’ll be good.”
4. ‘Gotham’ Cast Teased Bruce Wayne’s Future
The cast and director of Gotham, Fox’s Batman prequel, teased what’s to come for the young versions of Bruce Wayne, Penguin, Alfred and Tim Gordon.
We’re seasons away (presuming Fox greenlights more seasons) from hearing or seeing any references to Batman or his fear of bats, director Danny Cannon said Sunday at the Gotham panel, adding that it will be a long time before we learn what’s under Wayne manor.
“The show just gets better and better, and we’re all the way up to [episode] nine already; we’re shooting 10,” Cannon told Mashable. “It’s a scary thing. It’s a whole world that’s been created. It’s a whole origin story for pretty a lot characters we started from scratch.”
Cannon went on to equate detective Jim Gordon’s journey to Bruce Wayne, who lost his parents in the series’ premiere earlier this fall:
“It’s a saga of how Jim Gordon (played by Ben McKenzie) can navigate such a corrupt world and how does he keep his head above water, how does he keep himself safe and is he going to find anybody to help him fight this crusade or is the crusade actually going to destroy him. He’s navigating the world. He’s leading us through this world, and he’s going to go down some dark alleyways and in some back room and meet some pretty awful characters. It’s much more about his moral center and how that is comparable to Bruce Wayne’s moral center and how he’s struggling to survive a world, an overprivileged world without parents and without guidance.”
5. ‘I’m the Goddamn Batman’ Emerged Onstage
“I am vengeance. I am the night. I am Batman!” yelled Kevin Conroy, the man who voiced the Dark Knight in ’90s TV show Batman: The Animated Series and the more recent Batman: Arkham video games, at the beginning of Saturday’s Batman 75th Anniversary panel.
The panel whipped through all of the Bat’s history, starting from his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939 and ending with a sizzle reel of the new Gotham TV series.
Comic book artist Jim Lee even discussed the origins the popular “I’m the goddamn Batman” catchphrase (pictured), which was first uttered (in a speech bubble) in the mid-2000s in the All Star Batman Robin, the Boy Wonder comic book series.
6. U.S. Postal Service Sold Eight Batman Stamps
The Postal Service, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment sold the stamps throughout Comic Con near one of the main entrances.
Mashable’s Senior TV writer Sandra Gonzalez contributed to this report.
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