​The time Batman fought evil with the power of racism

Illustration for article titled ​The time Batman fought evil with the power of racism

Batman's had a pretty spectacular career, but even the Caped Crusader has a few moments he'd like to forget. Chief among them would probably be his first live-action excursion, a serial released in 1943 that featured Bats squaring off against a mad Japanese scientist/horrible stereotype. So if you want to check out the adventures of Racist Batman, this week's home video releases is happy to oblige.

Gotham City Serials: Batman/Batman & Robin


Two more things about these serials: 1) They're both 15 chapters each, and are more than four hours long. 2) Even the narrator in the first serial is racist. From Wikipedia:

Early narration in the first chapter (minute 9:20-9:30), referencing the U.S. government policy of Japanese American internment to explain the abandoned neighborhood of Daka's headquarters, sets the racial tone for the serial: "This was part of a foreign land, transplanted bodily to America and known as little Tokyo. Since a wise government rounded up the shifty-eyed Japs, it has become virtually a ghost street."

Holy crap.

About Time


The director of Love Actually brings this romantic comedy about a young man who discovers he can travel through time and uses it mostly to hook up with a girl.

Escape Plan


Braves heroes try to lock up Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in a futuristic, inescapable prison before they have a chance to make The Expendables 3.

The White Queen: Season One


In the 15th century, three ruthless women play the game of thrones during England's "War of the Roses," and they play dirty in this Starz series.

Justice League: War


Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and other DC heroes come together for the first time to battle an interstellar invasion by Darkseid.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Season Three


Thirteen episodes of ponies ponying around, presumably.



This PBS documentary chronicles the life, the work, and the discoveries of beyond brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, as told in his own words.

Fruits Basket: The Complete Series


An extremely charming, bizarrely named shojo anime series about a girl who meets a family whose members all turn into the animals of the Chinese zodiac when touched by a member of the opposite sex.

The Tick: The Complete Series


Get the complete series of the great, late live-action superhero comedy for less than $10. Truly the world is a poorer place for not having Batmanuel in it. And at least he wasn't racist…

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Bizarrely, that 15-part serial was released on DVD around the time the newer Batman movies (Batman Begins, etc) were getting put out. I recall they were being sold for around 3 bucks at the time.

I mean, wow. Imagine the expressions of a family sitting down to watch this and seeing the wartime propaganda and blatant racism contained within;