Batman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero that first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics.
There are several common traits between the Dick Tracy and Batman mythos. These include:
- Urban Setting
- Kid Sidekick
- Scientific Detection
- Depictions of Violence
- Social Commentary
- Colorful Rogues Gallery / Grotesques
- Strongly Motivated by Personal Tragedy
- Max Allan Collins, the second regular writer on the Dick Tracy comic strip, has also written several Batman comics.
- The merchandising and publicity campaign for the 1990 Dick Tracy feature film was inspired by the success of the Batman feature film released the previous summer.
- Batman is sometimes depicted with an especially square jaw/chin. Some have claimed that this was inspired by Dick Tracy.
- The Batman villains Two-Face and Clayface are very similar in origin and modus operandi to the Dick Tracy villains Haf-and-Haf and Putty Puss, whom they preceded. The Gopher (a Batman villain introduced in the 1943-46 newspaper strip) is very similar to the Mole, who preceded the Gopher by several years.
- Additionally, the Dick Tracy character Broadway Bates is very similar in appearance to the Batman villain The Penguin (long pointed nose, top hat, monocle, cigarette holder, frock coat), though the two characters do not share much in the way of personality traits or their criminal methods. It was later revealed that Bates has a brother named Oswald, and it was strongly implied that this brother is, indeed, The Penguin. It was also suggested that Bates and his girlfriend Belle have a friendly relationship with the Batman villains Harley Quinn and the Joker.
- Actor Robert Costanzo, who played Lips Manlis' bodyguard in the 1990 Dick Tracy feature film, subsequently provided the voice of police detective Harvey Bullock on Batman: The Animated Series.