Why This Is the Most Essential BATMAN Image of the Bronze Age

What, really? Seriously? Yes. Seriously.

I gotta tell you, I love birthdays and today’s mine.

I don’t mind getting a year older. I just enjoy celebrating the best things in my life. And when it comes to the world of comics, that means Batman.

Of course.

Me, exhausted by a long day of crime-fighting in 1973.

So why do I bring this up, aside from a cheap attempt at some birthday wishes?

It’s because I was browsing through the web recently and found an image that I’d never realized was as powerful and meaningful as it was.

It’s this — the most essential Batman image of the Bronze Age and, all things considered, probably my life:

Thanks Anthony Durso for the beautiful scan!

Why? I’ll explain in a sec. Allow me to back up quickly:

When I was a kid, I got the Mego Batmobile but it came in this package:

That’s not mine. That’s from an auction but you get the idea.

That package ruled. I loved it and I wish I still had it. Look at Batman and Robin! Look at the villains! Look at the Gotham City background and traffic!

Ah, sweet.

Anyway, for years I was ignorant of the fact that there were other Batmobile packages — and one of them looked like this:

Eventually I saw it, but I never really paid much mind to it.

Until that time I saw it recently — when I was hit by a bolt of recognition that the illustration is the ultimate nexus of everything that made me the Batman fan I am today, and probably you too.

Here’s why:

1. It was illustrated by Neal Adams, the greatest Batman — nay, comics — artist ever.

2. It’s Mego.

3. The Batmobile is based on the Batman ’66 design by George Barris.

Neal Adams. Mego. The Adam West Batman show. Those, folks, are the three foundational pinnings upon which a lifetime of Bat-obsession is based.

Now, is this the best Batman image ever? No.

It’s probably this:

Or maybe this:

Or, hell, I don’t know, pick a thousand others.

But there is no single image that encapsulates the joy, mystery and wonder of Bat-fandom more than that simple drawing of Neal Adams’ Batman and Robin roaring off in the 1966 Batmobile, off to chase down their 8-inch Mego Super Foes.

MORE

— How ADAM WEST, NEAL ADAMS and MEGO Made Me a Lifelong BATMAN Fan. Click here.

— Neal Adams’ BATMAN Meets Adam West. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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18 Comments

  1. Happy Birthday, Dan! Your blog is a great read as always and I share your passion for Batman (and Neal Adams!).

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  2. Happy Birthday! I have a similar history, only it’s with Spider-Man. For me the foundation is built upon Mego, the Spider-Man 1967 cartoon, and Steve Ditko/John Romita.

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  3. Happy birthday Dan!

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  4. Happy Birthday, Dan! The image is indeed awesome, but I can’t help worry that if he’s not careful Batman is going to take the Isadora Duncan route…

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  5. Happy Birthday Dan!!! By the way, the 1966 series led me to do comic book fan films, and my latest is based on Bronze Age comics (Batman #244 and #245), in that Molly Post was the lead character. The more I see the Bronze Age, the more I prefer it.

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  6. It’s a strong contender for sure, just by the sheer convergence of so many important elements of Batman.

    Oh, and Happy birthday Dan!

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  7. Happy Birthday!

    I’m probably way older than you–I had something Batman even cooler than your Mego Batmobile, and even rarer.

    Ever hear of Mattel’s Switch N Go toy? They had a Batman Batmobile version which I received as a present when I was a kid. I played with that thing until I ultimately destroyed it. Wish I still had it.

    It’s so rare, I have hardly even seen pictures of it online–just looked now, and this is the closest I have come to a pic of it:

    https://www.ebay.com/i/312450219805?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=312450219805&targetid=857478420934&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=1014758&poi=&campaignid=6470474296&mkgroupid=76413868734&rlsatarget=aud-622524040958:pla-857478420934&abcId=1140476&merchantid=6326094&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgK-m44nN5wIVEWyGCh2niwAgEAkYBCABEgJvffD_BwE

    And that’s just a sale on ebay for the AD for the toy!

    If only I knew…

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  8. Happy Birthday! …. But I’m fairly sure that image is by Dick Giordano, not Adams! (Close enough for jazz)

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    • I can see where it’s close, but consensus is that it’s Adams, who did a lot of the Mego packaging. That said, they were both at Continuity, so it’s entirely possible Adams pencilled and Giordano inked.

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  9. Happy belated birthday, Dan. I hope it was a great one!

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  10. Happy Birthday, Dan. Thanks for keeping up the fun site.

    You know, I don’t remember what packaging my mego Batmobile came in. I may have gotten it for Christmas and never saw the packaging. I remember getting the Batcycle box with the Neal Adams artwork.

    Yep, 66 Batman and Neal Adams Batman rule!

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