US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Batman celebrated with eight new U.S. stamps in pane of 20

September 29, 2014 02:00 PM

  • The United States Postal Service will issue a pane of 20 Batman stamps Oct. 9 to kick off New York Comic Con 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City. The pane includes eight designs, four round stamps showing Batman emblems of the past 75 years, and four rectangular stamps picturing Batman from the four eras of comic book history.

  • Four round stamps in the United States Postal Service’s new Batman pane picture four variations of the Bat-signal searchlight. The most recent, at the top of the stamp pane, is from the modern age of comic books, and the earliest, at the bottom of the pane, is from the golden age.

  • The Postal Service’s Batman set includes four rectangular stamps showing the Superhero from four eras of comic book history. Batman first appeared 75 years ago in the Detective Comics issue No. 27 with a cover date of May 1939.

Crime fighting comic book super hero Batman is the subject of a new eight-stamp set from the United States Postal Service.

The issue date for the Batman set is Oct. 9. The Postal Service reported  Sept. 29 that the first-day ceremony will take place in “Gotham City,” at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 9 at the Javits Center to kick off New York Comic Con 2014.

The Javits Center is located at 655 W. 34th St., New York, N.Y.
Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders said, “Free tickets are available and limited to one per customer, first come, first served while the supplies last.”

Collectors are asked to call 866-268-3243 or e-mail to reserve tickets. The reservation deadline is  Oct. 8.

Also, according to the Postal Service’s Sept. 29 press release, the stamps are being issued in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment.

The nondenominated (49¢) forever stamps are printed in a pane of 20 that includes four different stamps showing Batman during different periods in his history (each repeated four times on the pane), and four different stamps depicting iterations of the Bat-signal searchlight (each featured one time on the pane).

The Bat-signal stamps are round, and the stamps showing Batman are vertical rectangles.

The new stamp designs pay tribute to Batman as a comic book character that debuted 75 years ago.

The Batman character has since appeared in radio programs, in numerous motion pictures, in a 1960s live-action ABC television series, in animated programs, video games and other entertainment media.

The character is often referred to as the Caped Crusader or the Dark Knight.

The 20 stamps are arranged on the right side of the stamp pane, with a scene on the left representing the urban darkness of Gotham City, where Batman patrols. As his alter-ego, billionaire Bruce Wayne, Batman lives in Wayne Manor on Gotham City’s outskirts.

The shadowy city scene on the stamp pane shows no life other than a distant silhouette of the Caped Crusader standing defiantly on an elevated rail trestle. A spotlight originating behind the trestle at left shines upon the uppermost Bat-signal stamp, at top left in the stamp grouping.

The four Bat-signal stamps show modified versions of the bat symbol, which appears on the signal used by police to summon Batman, and on the front of Batman’s costume.

The four illustrations of Batman were created using artwork by prominent Batman comic book artists.

The new set marks the second time that Batman has been featured on U.S. stamps.

Two 39¢ stamps showing Batman were included in the 20-stamp DC Comics Super Heroes issue of 2006 (Scott 4084): a Batman portrait stamp with art by Jim Lee and Scott Williams, and a stamp based on the cover of Batman No. 1 from 1940, with art by Batman creator Bob Kane.

Kane and writer Bill Finger developed the Batman character, who made his first appearance in Detective Comics issue No. 27 with a May 1939 cover date. It hit newsstands March 30, 1939.

The first issue of Batman comics debuted with a Spring 1940 cover date and included Batman’s young sidekick, Robin, the Boy Wonder.

Batman’s story can be traced back to Bruce Wayne who, as a young boy, witnessed the murder of his parents on a Gotham City street. As a result, he dedicates himself to a life of fighting crime, developing keen detective skills and incredible physical ability, and inventing extraordinary tools and weapons to help him in his crusade.

A new FOX television series, Gotham, debuted Sept. 22, and retells the origin story with a focus on Detective James Gordon and young Bruce Wayne.

Batman designed his dark costume to adapt characteristics of the bat, with the intent to intimidate criminals.

Batman continues to appear in titles published by DC Comics. The character is a founder and member of the Justice League, along with super heroes Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman and others.

A new motion picture featuring the Batman character, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, is planned for 2016, with Ben Affleck taking on the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne.

The U.S. Postal Service contracted with Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products to produce 80 million Batman stamps.

Press sheets, both with and without the die cuts, were produced in a quantity of 2,500 of each type. Each sheet consists of nine panes of 20 stamps and sells for $88.20.

Technical details and first-day postmark information for the Batman stamps appear in the box below.

Nondenominated (49¢) Batman forever stamps
FIRST DAY— Oct. 9, 2014; city— New York, N.Y., and nationwide.
DESIGN: designer, art director, and typographer— Greg Breeding, Charlottesville, Va.; modeler— Donald Woo.
PRINTING: process— offset, microprint “USPS”; printer and processor— Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products, Browns Summit, N.C.; press— Alprinta 74; inks— cyan, magenta, yellow, black; paper— phosphor tagged overall; gum— self-adhesive; issue quantity— 80 million stamps; format— pane of 20, from 200-subject cylinders; size— 0.84 inches by 1.42 inches (image rectangle stamp); 0.98 inches by 1.56 inches (overall rectangle stamp); 1.04 inches by 1.04 inches (image round stamp); 1.04 inches by 1.04 inches (overall rectangle stamp), 8.5 inches by 7.25 inches (pane); plate numbers— none; marginal markings— “©2014 USPS,” USPS logo, plate position diagram, bar code 588400, Batman logo, DC Comics, Batman images, Batman story line, promotional text (back); USPS item No.— 588404.

First-day cancel ordering information
Collectors requesting first-day cancels are encouraged to purchase their own stamps and affix them to envelopes. The first-day cover envelopes should be addressed for return (a removable label may be used), and mailed in a larger envelope addressed to Batman Stamps, Special Events Coordinator, 380 W. 33rd St., Room 4032, New York, NY 10199-9998. Requests for first-day cancels must be postmarked by Dec. 8.

The Postal Service’s uncacheted set of eight first-day covers for the Batman stamps are USPS item No. 588416 at $7.44. USPS order numbers for stamps and FDCs also appear in Linn’s 2014 U.S. Stamp Program.

Story updated 10/01/2014 10:15 AM