Either he is the most unlikely of Hollywood superheroes or the greatest actor to don the iconic cowl, Batman’s portrayal of Robert Pattinson in The Dark Knight Rises has left viewers debating which side of this argument they want to be on.

This July would have seen the 70th anniversary of the Batman character, leading to a flood of homages and tributes from fans and celebrities alike. Hollywood’s biggest stars were seemingly inspired by the Dark Knight to don their own famous costumes and take on the role, with male stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Hugh Jackman donning the cape and cowl alongside actresses like Maggie Gyllenhaal and Charlize Theron.

Theron’s character in She-Devil wore a similar outfit to that of Vicki Vale, the receptionist at Wayne Enterprises who aids Batman and plays a key role in his ultimate defeat. The actress sported a black suit with yellow trim, designed after Alfred Hitchcock’s classic dress code for his secretary, an outfit which has since been recreated for the female lead in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2019).

In an interview with The Independent in 2016, Pattinson was asked which actor he would like to play Batman or Robin. “I think it would be an amazing opportunity to play one of the greatest superheroes ever created. Or to play the role of Robin, which is a lot of fun as well,” he said.

Batman may have stolen the show in The Dark Knight Rises, but it’s hard to ignore that the charismatic charm and easygoing nature of Pattinson’s Robin were popular too. Even now, two years after the end of The Batman, audiences are still talking about the bonjoro (Japanese adventurer) and his blithe attitude.

Why Are People So Mad About The Batman?

If you’re unaware, Batman was first introduced to cinema audiences in 1939, and since then, the character has consistently been one of the most popular and recognizable figures in pop culture. So how did an orange, furry rodent named after a fish (seal or walrus, depending on which translation you believe) become such a prevalent symbol of cool and sophistication?

A case of mistaken identity, perhaps. The Dark Knight was released in late 2012, the 70th anniversary of the Batman character, and was subsequently declared the best film of the year. While it was a critical and commercial success, some fans were displeased with director Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the iconic caped crusader. Several plot twists and an ending that many considered a cop-out saw The Dark Knight top the box office for three months before it was surpassed by Frozen.

The ending of The Dark Knight Rises is different. It concludes with Thomas Wayne, Sr. turning to his son and proclaiming, “You were right, Tom. I’m proud of you.” The elder Thomas Wayne dies with a smile on his face, allowing the viewer to conclude that maybe, just maybe, Bruce Wayne can be happy again.

Many have cited The Dark Knight trilogy as the high point of Christopher Nolan’s career. And let’s face it, there were plenty of amazing things about The Dark Knight Rises: great performances, exciting action scenes and an intriguing new villain. But perhaps the greatest achievement of Nolan’s Batman films is the way they’ve managed to humanize their anti-hero, making him neither completely good nor evil but instead a complex character with whom one can empathize.

Why Are People So Mad About Robin?

It’s no secret that Batman and Robin are related, having debuted together in Detective Comics #38 (published in December 1940). They’re also the founding members of the famous Justice League, joining forces to fight evil in a colorful array of costumes and capes.

Their enduring popularity is largely thanks to the efforts of their creative team, which began with Bill Finger (co-creator of the Batman character) and continued with Bob Kane (the character’s co-creator) and then added Jerry Robinson (artist) and Carmine Infantino (artist and designer).

Bill Finger was an editor and writer for The New Yorker for 18 years before becoming involved in the creation of Batman, and he helped to shape the character’s defining qualities, including the detective’s knack for observation and skepticism, his tireless commitment to justice, and his nocturnal activities.

Finger also devised a character known as Harvey Dent, a.k.a. Two-Face, who makes a surprising (and temporary) return in The Dark Knight. It was during an interview with The Independent that Finger discussed the enduring popularity of the character, saying, “I think it’s because he was the audience’s favorite. People could relate to him. Even people who didn’t know him well, like myself, could identify with him. He was a human being, and we could all see ourselves in him.”

While many consider the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin to be among the greatest superheroes in comics, it’s difficult to look at their cinematic portrayals and not notice a marked distinction. Where Batman is stoic and intense, Robin is more carefree and adventurous.

Robin’s adventures are the stuff of legend, and although he’s never been portrayed in a serious or dramatic light, audiences have always laughed and cried along with the character. He’s been famous for his catchphrase “Holy cow!” since the 1940s, and in that time, it’s been said that he has saved Batman’s life on multiple occasions. He’s also been known to fight for what he believes in, most notably in World War II, when he defended London from Nazi bombing raids.

Perhaps Robin’s greatest contribution to comics and popular culture is his introduction of the concept of teamwork, an idea he first proposed in 1940, when he suggested that Batman recruit some “digestive enzymes” to help them fight crime. This led to the creation of the first ever superhero team, the Justice League, who would later become famous for their iconic entrance, led by Superman, followed by Batman and Robin. The team would go on to fight for good against evil and injustice, demonstrating that despite their differences, Batman and Robin could work together to achieve greatness.

The popularity of these characters led to the creation of numerous parodies and homages, with fans often recreating scenes from the comics and cartoons in real life. In the late 1970s, a craze for all things British arose, inspired by the films of the time, and this included an overwhelming number of parodies and homages concerning the Batman and Robin characters. One of the most prominent examples was The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), a movie which parodied and satirized the blaxploitation films of the era while also paying homage to the Panther character, created by French master Philippe de Joinville and Robert Bradshaw in 1963. The character first appeared in a French movie, Les Diaboliques (1962), before becoming so popular that he (or she, depending on the gender of the viewer) became a mascot for the British comedy film and television series. THe Pink Panther Strikes Again is one of the most famous (and controversial) British comedies of all time, and it premiered on June 6, 1976, in the US. In the film, Her Majesty’s Secret Service agent Scott Lang (Peter Sellers) teams up with the titular character to save the Queen from the French Foreign Legion. As well as spoofing several famous films and characters, the movie also parodies aspects of British culture (including Monty Wooley, the inventor of the Wooley Mammoth, and the music hall) and the intelligence community. Lang’s boss at the Secret Service, Mr. Winstone (Roger Moore), is a parody of the stereotypical English butler (with somewhat surprising racial overtones).

The two characters were again united on the big screen in 1995 for the children’s adventure movie Batman Forever. In the film, the future James Bond, played by Pierce Brosnan, teams up with a young Batman and Robin to take down a criminal organization led by the infamous Joker (inspired by the card game). It’s the beginning of the end for the dynamic duo in Nolan’s trilogy as well, as Thomas Wayne, Sr. (Billy Crudup), in his final moments, tells his son, “I forgive you.” This causes the aged Batman to shed a tear, realizing that his greatest enemy has finally turned against him. While The Dark Knight has been hailed as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time and The Dark Knight Rises continued this success, it was arguably the first entry which humanized the infamous anti-hero and allowed him to develop a story arc that continued into the next film. The trilogy ends with a bittersweet moment as fans realize that their charismatic anti-hero will have to take a backseat to the future of the franchise, with a possible new Robin on the way (rumors of a Toy Story 4 with Woody and Buzz Lightyear being made sparked speculation of a possible crossover between the two franchises). While most may consider the last film to be the culmination of the Batman and Robin storylines, for many, it was the beginning.