DC Entertainment declared earlier in 2014 that this July 23 would be "Batman Day," a celebration of the pop culture icon's 75th anniversary. On that date, participating retailers are able to mark the occasion by providing to customers a new, free version of the original "Detective Comics" #27 -- the character's first appearance, initially published in 1939.
This version will be designed by noted Bat-fan Chip Kidd, and scripted by DC veteran and best-selling novelist Brad Meltzer. DC Comics revealed the issue's cover on Thursday, by "Batman" series artist Greg Capullo. Look familiar? It's a reconfigured version of Capullo's cover to 2012's "Batman" #0.
Also unveiled as part of the Batman Day festivities is a new timeline poster highlighting various major events in Bat-history, including the 1966 debut of the live-action "Batman" TV series, the 1986 publication of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's "The Dark Knight Returns" and the start of director Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight Trilogy" with 2005's "Batman Begins." The poster will not be made commercially available, but a DC representative says some retailers may have it up as a display.
Other Bat-centric promotional items to be made available to retailers on Batman Day include a Batman 75th anniversary cape, bookmarks and four masks, designed by "The New 52: Futures End" cover artist Ryan Sook and focusing on significant eras in the Caped Crusader's history: "Detective Comics" #27 (Bob Kane), "Batman '66" (Adam West), "The Dark Knight Returns" (Frank Miller) and the current New 52 era (Greg Capullo).
Aside from being the same day as Comic-Con International: San Diego's preview night, July 23 is also a Wednesday and New Comic Book Day -- with "Batman Day" coinciding with the launches of two new Bat-centric series, "Robin Rises: Omega" and "Grayson." "Batman Day" celebrations are planned at libraries on Saturday, July 26.