It’s going to be difficult to avoid all things Batman in the next few weeks, as Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have announced a year-long celebration of the Dark Knight’s 80th anniversary, which begins at this month’s SXSW in Texas, where there will be a moonlight fly-over of 1.5 million bats.

Following this, March 19th will see the release of a special hardcover book called Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman – The Deluxe Edition. This includes a history of the Caped Crusader, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, and introduced in Detective Comics #27, released in March 1939.

On March 27th, Detective Comics #1000 will be published, by DC Comics, which takes its acronym from the long-standing series – and yes, that does make it Detective Comics Comics, but let’s not go there.

The actual anniversary of Batman’s introduction is March 30th, and on this day DC Comics will be presenting a special “Happy Birthday Batman” panel at Anaheim’s WonderCon. There will also be massive Batman events happening in July at San Diego’s Comic-Con International.

Batman Day falls on September 21st, and will include tie-in events like 5K and 10K cosplay runs, and the placement of Bat-signals in the skies above cities all around the globe.

The global tour of Lego’s “The Art of the Brick: DC Super-Heroes” will celebrate the Dark Knight’s birthday with a special Batman edition, starting this September in São Paulo, Brazil. Rome will also host an immersive Batman exhibit in April at Romics, the comics and gaming convention in the Italian capital. Another major exhibit is being planned for Shanghai, but so far, no details have been released.

There’s a whole lot of new Batman merchandise on the way – Mondo, Funko, Six Flags, Lego and Madame Tussauds will join the fun, and Cartoon Network, Rooster Teeth, Crunchyroll, VRV, and Fullscreen will be including more Bat-centric programming to commemorate the event. More retail partners include Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, iTunes, Walmart GameStop and Google Play.

DC also released new artwork (below) with the description: “To commemorate this milestone, custom artwork was created that pays homage to Batman’s legacy in all forms of media. The Batman profile pencil design is by beloved longtime DC artist José Luis García-López, and digital paint design is by Admira Wijaya. This graphic will be featured throughout the celebration.”

 batman 80 main key art

More on the Batman anniversary events when we have it.

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