For as long as there has been film, there has been debate over whether or not certain stories should be made into movies. The debate often centers around whether or not the characters in the story are entertaining enough to watch on screen, or if the plot is strong enough to keep viewers interested.

One of the most interesting stories to come out of the ‘golden age’ of superhero comics is the unlikely friendship that blossomed between Batman and Robin. The dynamic duo first teamed up in 1940 and continued to work together for the rest of their careers. Their adventures as Batman & Robin made for some of the most interesting stories in the history of comics, but did they fully deserve to be made into films?

Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable events in Batman & Robin’s history.

Batman & Robin Meet Pretty Penny (1941)

This first adventure sees Batman and Robin investigating a strange murder. A pretty young woman has been found dead by her husband, with no clear sign of what happened to her. As they investigate, Batman suspects that the husband is not the only person interested in the wife’s death. At the same time, some thugs are looking to kill Batman and steal his loot. This is where things get interesting…

Batman and Robin start to fight, but the battle takes a sudden turn when a coin drops out of the sky and lands at their feet. It’s then revealed that the mysterious coin is actually worth ten thousand pounds. Naturally, Batman and Robin decide to keep the money and leave the husband alive. They also decide to keep the wife’s necklace, as she was still young and beautiful.

This is one of the first times we see Batman & Robin interact with the general public. As nice as it is that they decided to keep the money and help the poor husband, it’s not exactly a good feeling to know that they’ve been tricked. The scene where they fight the thugs reminded me of Indiana Jones and his fight with the archer from Doom. It’s funny to think that the 1940’s Batman and the ‘70’s Batman would fight on the same page.

The Perils of Penelope (1942)

“The Perils of Penelope” is the second part of a two-parter story arc, and sees our heroes travel to America for a Batman-like superhero TV show. While there, they investigate the mysterious death of a popular actress. The story begins with the police finding the actress’ dog, Lady, with a necklace around her neck. Lady’s necklace is linked to the show’s host, who has recently died, and it’s up to Batman and Robin to figure out what happened.

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it’s pretty clear that Lady’s necklace is actually a murder weapon and that someone wants to frame Batman and Robin for the crime. Of course, the Dynamic Duo try to clear their names and bring the real killer to justice.

This is essentially the basis of the 1992 classic, Diamonds, with a bit of an updating. In the movie, it’s Richard Gere’s first scene and he’s already dead. Also, some of the dialogue was changed for the big screen. Most notably, “Penelope’s” last name was changed to “Perez” for the movie. The reason for this is that Spanish are the largest minority group in America, and thus, it would have been misrepresentative to leave out the part of the country they come from. It wouldn’t be the first time Hollywood changed the name of a character for foreign audiences. For example, “Joe” was renamed “Joey” for the 1942 film, Lady Luck. This kind of thing happens all the time, and it’s mostly done to avoid cultural differences. The name changes make sense, since in most of the comics, these are the only names our heroes are known by. It would be like if you were to show up to a house party and everyone there went by the pseudonym, “Chuck Norris”. It would be nice if the Americanized names fit the characters better, but it would take some getting used to.

Strange Case Of Dr. Wassell (1943)

Dr. Wassell is a dentist who specializes in orthodontics, which is the study of how the human teeth and their surrounding anatomy function. He is best known for his appearances in the 1940’s Batman comics, where he serves as the dentist for the Joker. He begins working for the Joker, who tasks him with trying to find a replacement for his late assistant, Harvey Dent. Wassell agrees and uses his knowledge of orthodontics to set up fake teeth and frighten old ladies, until Batman arrives to save the day.

There’s something about this story that I find intriguing. Up until this point, we’ve seen Batman solve crimes and fight off villains. Now, he’s become a dentist and is helping other people? While it makes sense for the characters, it’s still a bit of a departure for the Dark Knight. In the comics, Dr. Wassell is also responsible for curing Batman’s son, Dick, of polio. It seems that at some point in the ‘40’s, Dr. Wassell became a real life humanitarian. The character even went on to establish his own practice and help others in need. Whether or not this was a story arc for the comics, it’s apparent that Batman & Robin helped a lot of people while they were doing so.

One of the best things about “Batman & Robin” is how it helped to define a generation of comics readers. It’s apparent that some of these readers grew up with the characters, as many of the stories were set in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s. It’s safe to say that the Golden Age of Comics influenced a lot of today’s comic fans. Although, it’s not always a good thing to draw from the past, especially when it comes to superheroes. Many of today’s comic fans grew up with “Superman” and don’t really understand the charm of a character like Batman. While there are certainly advantages to being born in the ‘80’s or later, it can be difficult to find a job if you were born in the ‘70’s or before, as everything was different back then. It wasn’t just about being cool or having a unique name, it was all about knowing the right people.

So, “Batman & Robin” had a positive influence on many readers, but was it totally worth it? Did the characters truly deserve to be immortalized in this way? The answer is yes, as long as you look at it from the right perspective. It’s apparent that the writers and artists of this era were trying to make a difference in the world. They weren’t just trying to make money off of comics, they were trying to inspire readers. Unfortunately, making a difference sometimes requires you to make sacrifices, and it’s important to keep this in mind. When writers and artists work for free, they’re making a difference in the world, but they’re also hurting themselves financially. Most of these comics were based on existing characters, which means that a lot of the creatives had to be paid regardless of whether or not they worked. It’s important to remember that although the characters may be entertaining, it’s the readers who make the characters successful. Without readers, the characters would just be walking through life, minding their own business, when BAM! Some villain would knock them over, and it would just begin all over again.

Bold Stroke Of Luck (1944)

“Bold Stroke Of Luck” sees our heroes travel to Hollywood for the third and final part of their American tour. While there, they investigate the kidnapping and assault of a popular actress. The attack leaves the actress with amnesia, which means she doesn’t know who her attackers were, or why she was targeted. Using their knowledge of psychology, Batman and Robin try to help her remember.

Up until this point, we’ve seen the Dynamic Duo investigate several cases independently. Now, they meet up with a strange, mysterious man named, John Blake. Blake is a British expatriate who has relocated to the United States and is trying to make a difference. He is soon to become an attorney and is thus well-versed in the law. With the help of his “Avengers” colleague, Thor, Blake offers to help our heroes in any way he can. He tells them that he has a friend who just happens to be a psychologist who has worked with victims of memory loss. Naturally, under the circumstances, the Dynamic Duo decide to go to her and see if she can help. Little do they know that this is actually the setup for a trap…