Almost 80 years ago to the day, Batman made his first appearance in the 27th issue of Detective Comics. 33 issues later, the Bat lit up the skies of Gotham with the Bat Signal.
So to celebrate the iconic floodlight and 80 years of Batman, Melbourne is getting its very own Bat Signal on September 21. And to mark the occasion, we've got a signed limited edition of Detective Comics #1000 to give away, the very same issue where the distress beacon appeared for the first time.
Did you know that Batman had the Bat Signal before he even had a secret lair? Issue #60 of Detective Comics was published in 1942, but it took another 23 issues before readers were formally introduced to Batcave as a base of operations. (Bruce fell into the cave by accident as a kid, but in a later edition of Detective Comics he tells Robin that he didn't know the cave was underneath the house he lived in when he bought the land.)
The Bat Signal started life as a high-powered projector in Commissioner Gordon's office, although characters believed the light is coming from the roof of the commissioner's office when it first appears. It's gone on to be one of the most iconic images in all of comics, although the floodlight's form and its creation has changed throughout the years — some storylines see Batman giving it to the city of Gotham, other stories have Commissioner Gordon creating the signal himself.
A modified spotlight used by the police as a call-to-arms for the Caped Crusader, the Bat-Signal has been shining hope into the skies of Gotham City since 1942. DC Gallery's $US300 ($392) replica Bat-Signal prop is a a faithful foot-tall replica of the iconic device with one major difference — it works.
To mark the signal's iconic history, and to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Batman's first appearance, Melbourne's ACMI will be turning on their own Bat Signal at 8.08pm AEST on Saturday, September 21.
As an added bonus, you can also win a copy of Detective Comics #1000 signed by José Luis García-López, the Eisner Award-nominated illustrator.
All you have to do win is this: In 100 words or less, tell us your most memorable Batman moment over the last 80 years. It can be a panel or a line of dialogue from one of the original comics. It can be a gameplay sequence from the Batman movies. It can be something funny that happened when you were watching a Batman movie with a friend. But whatever it is, it has to be a memory that's somehow related to the Bat.
We'll run the competition for a week from today, with entries judged as soon as the competition concludes at 12:30 PM on Thursday, September 26. So, get cracking!
And if you're in Melbourne, don't forget to check out the Bat Signal's Aussie debut at 8.08pm at ACMI on Saturday, September 21. The terms and conditions of our giveaway can be read here.