"I need Batman to swing down from the roof and save me."
Batman and Batwoman marry, 1959
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBatman and Batwoman marry, 1959 - Credit: Curt Swan

The fictional superhero Batman, who first appeared in Detective Comicsin 1939 and later migrated to DC Comics, was second only to Superman in his popularity by the 1950s, the decade which also saw female characters such as Batwoman and Batgirl introduced, and with them a love interest (to combat, so it was said, suggestions that Batman's relationship with his young sidekick Robin was latently homosexual). In the DC comic the 'caped crusader' and his world were given a dark, gothic treatment (hence the name of his native Gotham City), and it was not until the 1960s that a camply humorous, tongue-in-cheek style prevailed with the TV series starring Adam West. This was not, though, the first attempt to bring Batman to the screen. Starting in the 1940s, a serial made for the cinema was part of Saturday matinee entertainment. The boy in the story would have gone to the Hippodrome or Pavilion in Ashington to watch these after the main feature. Each week they ended on a cliffhanger, with Batman and/or Robin in an impossible position, only to extricate themselves at the start of the next week's reel (often by absurd interventions that were only possible by changing the circumstances they had been left in the previous week).