Did You Know The Bat Cave Almost Never Existed?

- 09-28-10Comics, Cool Stuff, WTF? Posted by Luke Gallagher

mkdc_Batcave_LOWRES(Post by nerdbastards contributor Nick Bungay- Twitter @NickBungay)

If you’ve followed the ‘Batman‘ comic over the years, and who hasn’t, you know what the Batcave is. Did you know that this important piece of Batman’s history was almost never brought into existence?

When the world first encountered Batman in Detective Comics #27, he simply changed in his costume in another room of his mansion…

NOTE: The Source and Break Down of Strips Below Are Courtesy of Comic Book Resources

This trend of Bruce Wayne just changing into his Batman costume continued into later issues of the series…

At one point even Dick Grayson, the First Robin, even removed a bullet from Bruce inside his mansion with no mention of a secret room…

In time it was revealed that a secret hanger, know only to Bruce, was inside Wayne manor…

After the hanger was revealed, it was also brought into existence the secret passages beneath Wayne’s home…

In the issue of Batman #12, the world was given a glimpse into a special trophy room inside the mansion (surprisingly, not a soul found this room)…

Later, in the same issue, a underground reveal of Batman’s hanger…

That was Batman’s Batcave around the early 1940’s. Once the Batman serial (Old film shorts that were shown in conjunction with feature film) debuted in 1943, a newBatcave was used. Well, not really, it’s just a reused set. Since serials were made of cheap backgrounds other sets were often reused as humanly possible. With no hanger sets and no mansion sets to use, what could they do? The answer, use a cave set. Take a look a how alazyness created one of comic book’s greatest known secret locations, bad costumes and all:

Here, the bad guy reacts to the bats…

And here, Batman and Robin mess with his head…

This chapter of the serial is also the debut of the idea of entering the Bat’s Cave through a grandfather clock!
Notice Alfred sitting there. Also according to Comic Book Legends Revealed (which you can read here), the serial is also the origin of the “thin Alfred” look.

Anyhow, watch as Bruce and Dick exit the clock…

A few months after the cave was used, Bob Kane and Bill Finger worked the Batcave into the Batman comic strip:

As of Detective Comics #83, the Batcave made it’s full debut into the comic book…

That is the birth of the Batcave. It wasn’t because Bob Kane wanted Batman to have a secret lair, it was because the early tv show reused an old cave set. Ever since this cave has been used as the central hub of all Batman’s crime fighting investigations. Thanks to that badly made serial, Bruce Wayne never has to close the curtains to become Batman.

Category: Comics, Cool Stuff, WTF?

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