Rewriting The Origin Of Batman's Yellow Oval Logo (Batspoilers)

Spoilers for Batman #130 out this week ahead. Batspoilers.

DC lawyer Bernie Kashdan told Batman movie franchise producer Michael Uslan that the addition of the yellow circle behind Batman's chest logo of the bat silhouette was "motivated by DC's need to trade-mark Batman's chest symbol for merchandising, et al., to come. The legal opinion was that the simple drawing of a black bat was insufficient then for trade-markable protection. The legal opinion was that the addition of the yellow circle would give them a readily protectable mark they could secure."

The logo first appeared on the comic and on the character in Batman #164 in 1964. This was ahead of the production of the 1966 Batman TV series starring Adam West, and everything had to be ship-shape and tidy ahead of one of the biggest boosts that the character would get.

Batman #164 explained a new look Batcave and a new look Batmobile, but the yellow logo Batsymbol appeared without comment on Batman's chest. Over the years, there have been a number of explanations. Frank Miller had Batman give a little internal monologue, saying, "why do you think I wear a target on my chest… can't armor my head".

 

Rewriting The Origin Of Batman's Yellow Oval Logo

This was echoed by Scott Beatty in Gotham Knights #44, where he has Batman adapt the yellow oval logo afterthe death of Jason Todd, to provide a target for people to shoot at, rather than the brightly coloured yellow sidekicks.

Rewriting The Origin Of Batman's Yellow Oval Logo

In this week's Batman #130, Chip Zdarsky has that as Batman's official explanation to those around him, but it reflects something else going on inside his head.

Rewriting The Origin Of Batman's Yellow Oval Logo

It's now to be a reflection of his Zur-En-Arrh personality that has been kept buried, but occasionally has to be brought to the fore. And Batman lying to himself….

Rewriting The Origin Of Batman's Yellow Oval Logo

And now that explanation is as Bat Canon as anything… and explains how Batman got the yellow logo on his chest long before Jason Todd ever came onto the scene…

BATMAN #130 CVR A JORGE JIMENEZ
(W) Chip Zdarsky (A) Jorge Jimenez, Leonardo Romero (CA) Jorge Jimenez
The final chapter in the Failsafe arc reaches its brutal and stunning conclusion! Batman has one desperate, final option…will he walk away from it? The answer will shock you! The early days of the Dark Knight and his relationship with Zur-En-Arrh continues!
Retail: $4.99 In-Store Date: 12/6/2022

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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