Global celebration for Dark Night's 80th birthday

Xu Wei
DC superhero Batman celebrates his 80th anniversary this year.
Xu Wei
Global celebration for Dark Night's 80th birthday
Ti Gong

Jim Lee in Shanghai for Dark Night’s 80th birthday

DC superhero Batman celebrates his 80th anniversary this year. The classic Dark Knight character of animation, film, television and video games made its debut in 1939 in Bill Finger and Bob Kane’s detective comic story. 

As the years passed, the caped crusader became a timeless symbol of bravery and justice. It has gripped generation after generation of fans.

Theme events have recently been held at 2019 ChinaJoy as part of the superhero’s year-long global celebration. Comic works, film and TV posters, as well as Batman’s car, costumes and props were put on display.

Famous comic-book artist and publisher Jim Lee, who is currently the Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, also attended the celebration in Shanghai and created comic works of the Dark Knight for local fans.

On his first visit to the city, Lee was amazed by local people’s enthusiasm for the character. 

The secret charm of Batman as a time-honored icon, in Lee’s eyes, is that he doesn’t really have super powers like other superheroes, and it shortens the psychological distance with the audience. Everyone may have a dream of becoming a hero, and Batman’s story enhances their confidence of doing incredible things even though they are ordinary.

Lee revealed that new chapters of story will be created for the hero in the future. He said Batman reflects the interests and concerns of the audience at different times. In the 1930s, the character reflected a period when people were anxious about the rise of violent crime. 

“A challenge for us is how to connect the fiction with today’s audience as the world changes so much,” Lee added. “We should keep the characters fresh, interesting and contemporary. You can’t tell the same story over and over.”

Lee also revealed he is seeking possibilities to work with Chinese artists to create more authentic characters and stories for the booming Chinese market.

The 55-year-old Seoul-born artist is hailed for his dynamic and detailed style. He is one of the most popular artists in American comics. 

During his career Lee has received many awards and accolades, including the Harvey Special Award for New Talent, the Inkpot Award, and the Wizard Fan Award.

He also shared his experience with Chinese cartoonists, telling them that he still draws every day and curiosity always plays a big part in his career.

Ever since its debut in 2004, ChinaJoy has become Asia’s biggest game show. 

This year the four-day event attracted around 400,000 game and cartoon lovers. About 4,000 games and 5,000 smart entertainment devices were exhibited. 

Global game giants also released their latest games, hardware and high-tech products for the visitors. 

Among the 300 or so exhibitors was the Japan-based Nintendo and the Chinese game tycoon Tencent who announced new details of Switch — a popular game console to be sold in the Chinese mainland.

In addition to celebrating the 80th anniversary of Batman, this year’s gaming and digital entertainment exhibition also features high-tech additions, such as scenes from the popular anime played out in the interactive stations and dozens of cutting-edge eSports events for gamers to test their skills.

Global celebration for Dark Night's 80th birthday
Ti Gong
Special Reports