Batman’s Yellow Chest Symbol Returns

Posted: August 11, 2010 in BATMAN, Comics Commentary, Controversy
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Jeez, irate fanboys-- it's not like DC's slapping a SWASTIKA on his chest! Relax!

Batman gets his yellow chest symbol back.

So let’s ALL have a GOOD CRY like the ADULTS we are… OK?

I’ll admit it. I grew up with Batman sporting a large yellow symbol on his chest. It never bothered me… Anymore than Robin running around in a skimpy red and green outfit bothered me. And if not for the yellow cape and the black diamond mask– everyone I knew thought Master Dick looked like one of Santa’s elves. The yellow oval was just Batman… and Batman always had that symbol on his chest.

The yellow symbol was on his chest in the Adam West Batman television reruns. It was on his chest in the comics.

Then one day, to shake things up a little (and to no doubt emulate Batman’s darker movie image)– somebody (or a group of somebodies… I doubt only one person was allowed to make this decision at DC Comics alone) decided that the yellow symbol had to go. That Batman would look more serious and more dangerous without this near neon yellow oval splattered across his chest.

In the end, they went with a larger stylized version of Batman creator Bob Kane’s original design.

And you know what? I immediately thought “Fine”. I didn’t have a stroke or suffer an emotional collapse… And I sure as hell didn’t go on the internet and type post after post about how this change in costume would ruin Batman’s credibility.

He’s already dressed like a FUCKING BAT, okay? It doesn’t take a change in his chest symbol to make him any more– or any less— INSANE.

Want to challenge me on this?

Then allow me to paraphrase a private conversation that I had with renowned former DC Comics Editor-in-Chief Dick Giordano. You will never meet a bigger fan of the Bat.

“What’s up with the yellow symbol on his chest?” I asked.

“Are you kidding?’ Dick asked back, half mockingly. “The yellow symbol is the cornerstone of Batman’s entire look. You gotta have the yellow symbol.”


“Cause it proves to all criminals– and all of Batman’s foes– that he’s insane. What sane person would run around fighting crime with a big yellow oval on his chest that screams ‘Here! Shoot me in the chest right here! I dare you!’ You gotta have the symbol.” Dick said again, pointing emphatically with both index fingers at the middle of his own huge barrel-shaped body.

For my money, Mr. Giordano was– and still is– right.

As he also noted, Batman wearing a yellow symbol is like Superman waking up one day and painting a red and white bullseye on his chest… Flying over to Lexcorp and daring Lex Luthor to shoot him in between the pecs with a kryptonite bullet.

I agree. You can’t get any crazier than being a masked crime fighter with no super powers– whose very life depends on his ability to hide in the shadows and sneak up on villains… Then inexplicably deciding to make his job 100 TIMES more dangerous by wearing a bright yellow symbol on his chest.

Oh wait, you CAN get crazier.

You can spend the last 24 hours typing your fingers into bloody stumps bitching that DC brought said iconic Bat Symbol back.

Now THAT’S insane!

Does this REALLY get your panties in a bunch? Then get a LIFE!

  1. Venom829 says:

    Nice post Insideman, I’m glad it’s back, because for me, that’s MY Batman. The one with yellow. I totally agree with Dick Giordano.

  2. Edward2962 says:

    The way I understand it, when Frank Miller did Dark Knight Returns, originally he wanted to draw Bats w/o the yellow circle. DC told him he had to use it. So the first issue it was there, Frank had Bats get shot in the chest, the next issue Bats has a symbol w/o the yellow circle. Bats was drawn this way in Year:One, and Man of Steel. Presumably, people liked the look so it began to be used more in Bats’ contemporary stories.

  3. elvisdo says:

    I like the yellow oval and glad it’s back. Great review.

  4. i just prefer a darker batman i grew up with the black symbol on gray and always think it’s a more mature batman. a darker batman, i always thought after he lost jason todd he became a more darker character and moved away from the sliver age costume, even when they brought in tim drake they did teenage pregnacy stories. i’m not mad about the yellow i just prefer the black sort of a darker less sliver age looking batman meh i’ll still buy the book and see where the differance is in this new batman title.

  5. Stamps says:

    I like it personally. I’m glad it’s going to be back…for a while at least.

  6. STEVE ALMEIDA says:

    Well the yellow oval is’nt bad, but I think BATMAN should’nt have yellow. He’s more realistic and serious with out yellow, I also think they should make his belt black.

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