“I’m Not Batman!”

Golden-Batman-for-Web-by-Mark-LewisI know what you’re thinking. You’re looking at my drawing and going, “Hey! He goofed up! He colored that drawing of Batman yellow!” Nope! It’s because it’s not Batman.

Sometime back, in cruising around the internet and following various links, I stumbled across an article on a pop culture site called Topless Robot, talking about a number of Korean cartoon characters who might hit the viewer with a sense of, mmm, déjà vu, shall we say. One that somehow stuck with me was the Golden Batman (or simply the Golden Bat, as he was sometimes referred to).

Differences between Batman and the Golden Batman don’t start and end with their costumes. They gave Golden Batman the power of flight (which sort of makes sense for a character named after a creature who flies), as well as super-strength (shades of the old Batman story “Batman– The Superman of Planet X”!). And that’s not all! Golden Batman can fire laser beams from his fingers. What do you think of that, Caped Crusader?

You can actually find the Golden Batman cartoon on YouTube in five parts, if you’re curious enough to see it. Dubbed into Spanish though, oddly enough. Seemingly not available in English, for some reason.

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8 Responses to “I’m Not Batman!”

  1. John G. Pierce says:

    He looks somewhat like a combination of Batman and the later 40’s version of the original Atom. By the way, in some Italian comics I have, the gray of Batman’s costume is colored as red, for no good reason that I can see. And of course, as a former Spanish teacher, I find the fact that the cartoon has been dubbed into Spanish as being somewhat curious. (Actually, I’d probably think that to be the case, whether I knew Spanish or not!) But mainly I wonder how such products escape the notice of DC lawyers. Or perhaps they consider it too minor and unimportant to bother with.

    • Mark says:

      As far as the late ’40s influence, part of that may be because when I drew this, for some reason I had Dick Sprang in the back of my mind.

      I’m not sure what the explanation might be as to how this escaped the notice of DC Comics. The legal reach of comic companies wasn’t always as wide as it is today. Even today, sometimes you see the odd infringement outside the US borders. My friend Lyle once gave me as a joke gift this blister pack he bought from a street vendor down in Mexico, containing three Marvel superheroes, Batman, and Mr. Incredible. It’s the sort of thing I imagine that, if seen by a lawyer for one of those companies, might make his or her head explode!

  2. C. Elam says:

    This is really glorious. I first became familiar with this character via a LIVE ACTION(!) film called “Super Batman and Mazinger V” and he continues to fascinate me to this day. That particular movie was especially delicious in that it mixed animation with the cheap SPFX and featured Super Batman (who wore Kamen Rider Black RX’s belt) transforming in front of Castle Grayskull.

    As a longtime fan of your art, I find this combination unbeatable!

    • Mark says:

      Christopher,

      I’m very glad you like this. It’s kind of silly, I admit, but there was something about the character that stuck with me. Same with Wonder Princess, who was also mentioned in that article on the Topless Robot site.

      I guess I have something of a fascination with characters who seem familiar, but veer off from what you expect. This probably explains why I had so much fun contributing to Big Bang Comics, now that I think about it!

      Thanks for your continued support.

  3. Lyle Dodd says:

    This strikes me as just…….odd. When was this character created?
    I can’t say why….but it even creeps me out a little. I realize its meant to be a whole different character but…..it still looks like Batman went yellow to me.

    • Mark says:

      From what I can dig up, the character first appeared in this form in 1979, in an animated feature. Supposedly he’s based on a much older character called just “Golden Bat” (no “man”), who wore a skull mask. There was an animated TV series of that version of the character back in 1967.
      If the idea of Batman in yellow is disturbing, you could always try another color, like they did here.

  4. Mike Toole says:

    Hi Mark! I wrote that Topless Robot article, and found your artwork while looking to GIS some additional images of good ol’ Golden Batman. The character’s look is a product of two things:
    1.) Batman
    2.) Eagle Ken/Mark from Gatchaman/Battle of the Planets. You’ll see it if you look at the movie poster:
    http://imgur.com/QGqfenB

    Anyway, the piece here is fantastic– I love Golden Bats’ jolly expression, and the sheer awkwardness of his pose. I’m very pleased that you were inspired to draw him after reading my piece!

    • Mark says:

      Hi, Mike!

      I’m glad you like this piece. Yeah, when I stumbled across your article, there was just something about the idea of this odd Batman riff that stuck with me, and I had to do something about it. Fun pop culture goofiness. So, thanks for the inspiration!

      Who knows? I may one day revisit your article and take a shot at drawing Wonder Princess too. (I just now took another look at the Wonder Princess image accompanying your article, and noticed for the first time that they apparently also borrowed another icon for that cartoon: the U.S.S. Enterprise from the original Star Trek TV series!)

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