1) Comic book adaptations have themselves inspired comics
Yesterday I was writing about how comics shared a symbiotic relationship with the rest of pop culture–well here’s a clear example of that. Many times in the past, comics have been turned into other forms of media, then the other forms of media cylced back into the comics, changing the latter greatly. It’s hard to explain so I’ll share examples instead.
Superman’s pal Jimmy Olsen debuted in the Superman radio show and then he was written into the comics. Technically he made a brief cameo in an earlier Action Comics issue, but was never named and didn’t have much of a role. He was inserted into the radio show, legend has it, so Superman would have someone to talk to(so there’d be no dead air). The Superman radio show also introduced for the first time Superman’s weakness, Kryptonite, which I believe is a pretty interesting example of poetic justice.
Another example: The popular villain (and occasional hero) Harley Quinn first appeared in the 90s cartoon Batman: The Animated Series. I’m guessing the idea was that Joker had to be toned down so he wouldn’t scare kids to death (by this point in time, he’d already killed Jason Todd and shot Batgirl). Also, I think her origin was something along the lines of Jimmy Olsen’s: Joker needed someone to talk to. Since then, she has garnered a cult following, and been incorporated into many series such as Gotham City Sirens (a fun series, no longer around) and now is part of Suicide Squad (I haven’t read it yet, but I can’t say I’m a fan of the new costume, since the old costume was so popular at comic conventions/Halloween).
A more recent example: Almost as an easter egg (arbitrary object inserted into something to excite fans) the Batmobile from Christopher Nolan’s movies has made appearances in many newer Batman comics. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember what issues particularly, but just squint sometimes when Batman’s shown in the Batcave. It’s often somewhere in the background. I’ve never seen him drive it in the series, but there’s too many bat-books to keep track of.
Okay, that’s it for the superhero trivia series for now. Hope you enjoyed it.
If you enjoy comics and cartoons, consider subscribing to this blog. It’s free and updated frequently.