BEST BAT-WISHES: 13 Tributes to the Classic BATMAN AND ROBIN Rooftop Pin-Up

A masterpiece many times over…


It’s been a pin-up, book covers, a statue, a record cover, puzzles — there’s very little it hasn’t been. I’m talking of course about the classic 1960s Batman and Robin rooftop illustration by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson. And I’m betting you don’t even really have to see it to immediately picture it.

How popular is the image? Just recently, I posted it on Twitter along with the question, “I’m thinking this is the single greatest Batman illustration ever, right?” And I nearly broke Twitter with that. I mean, the responses were tremendous and overall positive, and mostly from people I don’t know. That’s how popular it is.

With that in mind, I’ve gathered together a little Bat-lovefest for the illustration, 13 examples of its ongoing life beyond the original conception as a pin-up. (It was sold in a series of six in 1966 and also made its way into that year’s Detective Comics #352 as a centerfold. Whether the pin-up or centerfold came first isn’t entirely clear.)

In any event, “Best Bat-Wishes” to the spirits of artists Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson — they may have never realized what exactly they wrought!

Batman From the ’30s to the ’70s (1971, Crown Books). Not technically an homage but I’m starting here because this is probably the first place I ever saw the original piece. It its way, it’s a tribute—proof that a few years after it was drawn it was important enough to grace the cover of this seminal tome.

Simpsons Comics #31 (June 1997, Bongo). Bill Morrison’s fun homage (though methinks it should’ve been the real Radioactive Man).

Robin/Argent Double-Shot #1 (Feb. 1998, DC). By Greg Land and Jose Marzan Jr. Anybody out there remember Argent?

Captain Atom #33 (Sept. 1989, DC). By Pat Broderick. I love that it’s the original Charlton costume on CA.

Wizard #168 (2005, Wizard Entertainment). By Jim Lee and Scott Williams. This was also used in 2019 as the cover of one of those IDW Artifact Editions of Lee’s work.

Action Comics Weekly #618 (Sept. 1988, DC). By Jon Bogdanove and none other than Murphy Anderson. Geez, anybody remember Action Comics Weekly?

Detective Comics: Future’s End #1 (Nov. 2014, DC). By Jason Fabok. A very cool modern interpretation with the Riddler along for the ride.

Judge Dredd #16 (Feb. 2014, IDW). By Brendan McCarthy. Even the British comics icons have to get in on the action.

Robin/Spoiler Special #1 (Aug. 2008, DC). By Rafael Albuquerque. Who has this one in their collection?

Manhunter #12 (Sept. 2005, DC). By Jesus Saiz. This is the Kate Spencer version of the character, which was, what, the sixth? Something like that.

Captain Action Comics #1 (Oct. 2008, Moonstone). By, yes, Murphy Anderson. I wonder how many times all together he drew this image.

Batman and Robin Adventures #8 (July 1996, DC). By Rick Burchett with a little DCAU flavor, of course.

Showcase Presents: Robin the Boy Wonder (Mar. 2008, DC). I wanted to end with this one, kind of “bookending” the article, as it were, because it tickles me pink to see the original Infantino-Anderson Robin stealing all the spotlight here, and bumping Bats back to the belfry.


— CARMINE INFANTINO’s 13 Greatest BATMAN Covers — RANKED. Click here.

— 13 BAT-COVERS: A MURPHY ANDERSON Birthday Celebration. Click here.

JIM BEARD has pounded out adventure fiction since he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. He’s gone on to write official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comics stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes his own creations, but also licensed properties such as Planet of the Apes, X-Files, Spider-Man, Kolchak the Night Stalker and Captain Action. In addition, Jim provided regular content for, the official Marvel Comics website, for 17 years.

Check out his latest releases: Rising Sun Reruns, about classic Japanese shows on American TV; a Green Hornet novella How Sweet the Sting; his first epic fantasy novel The Nine Nations Book One: The Sliding World; and the most recent Batman ’66 books of essays he’s edited: Zlonk! Zok! Zowie! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season OneBiff! Bam! Ee-Yow! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Essays on Batman ’66 – Season Two and Oooff! Boff! Splatt! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season Three.

He’s also published novels about a character very much like G.I. Joe (and Big Jim and Action Jackson): DC Jones – Adventure Command International.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Very clever idea for a comparison.

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  2. My favorite Batman and Robin image ever.

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  3. I don’t tweet much, so I missed your post Jim, but YES, this is the single greatest image of Batman and Robin. I had a reissue of the poster on my wall, lifted from a box of Post Fruity Pebbles (or maybe Alpha-Bits). I THINK mine was a straight reprint, although I’ve seen a version where someone redrew Batman’s emblem, and made his ears longer.

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  4. FUNKO did a nice tribute to the Infantino pose, too.

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  5. Neat idea for an article, Jim. Note–the retail pin-up almost certainly came before the comics one. The size ratio is slightly different, so there’s more art on the retail pin-up (esp. Batman’s glove), and none of it really shows any indications of being “touch-up” art added in after the fact.

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    • Thanks, I appreciate that note, Mark. To me, it will always be that 30s-70s book cover (and a puzzle!), but I love hearing about the path of its “life.”

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      • I purchased the 30-70s book when it first went on sale many many years ago. Still have it and the Superman one as well. Love the color scheme on the book, more dynamic than the pinup.

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