one of the big two comic book publishers, DC Comics has around 80 years of history behind it. Today, instead of taking a look at the origins and history of the superheroes they’ve created like Batman and Superman, we’re going to look at all the behind the scenes goings on at the comic company, and why they named their business after Detective Comics!
Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment take Batman fans on a journey into the iconic past with the full-length animated Batman feature film – Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. The film features the vocal performances of Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman). Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders will be available November 1,
Now I love that they got the original voices back as Batman And Robin….But Batman sounds like he should be in the old age home or having Robin looking for a walker for him……
Holy Nostalgia Batman! Adam West and Burt Ward’s Batman and Robin are back but this time animated! Relive your childhood with Adam and Burt’s Batman And Robin once more just this time in an animated picture! This time they save the day on both Earth and in Space! Starring Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward As Robin, Julie Newmar as Catwoman, and TBD as Joker, Penguin, and Riddler
Batman on the Big Screen
Let’s jump right into it with the movie in my opinion that started it all with making superhero movies a real thing instead of just a joke.
This is one of my all time favorite movies. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this movie. It was one of the main reasons why I became a Batman fan. I was 11 years old when it was released and of course when I saw it, I was confused since I didn’t know that much about Batman. (Side note. I have a tattoo of the Bay symbol from the emblem from this movie. The little change of the tail of the bat symbol looks awesome) obviously the writers made some changes. First and foremost, Batman does not kill, yet he kills in this movie. Secondly, the fact that The Joker did not kill Bruce Waynes parents in thr comics like he did in the movie, but I let it slide because there’s only so much information you can put in a 2 hour movie. Having said that, I thought the plot, the story telling and the acting were top notch. Kudos to Michael Keaton who not only nailed it as Batman, but as Bruce Wayne as well. Especially the first meeting between Bruce, Knox and Vicki…he played kind of a dimwit which is what Bruce Wayne pretends to be so no one suspects him as Batman. Before the internet, people wrote letters, and thousands upon thousands of people wrote to Warner Bros voicing their anger of the hiring of Michael Keaton, but he knocked it out of the park. Jack Nicholson was great as this version of the Joker and who can forget the wonderful acting of Tracy Walter. Who is Tracy Walter? He played the best portrayal of what a goon should act like as Bob the goon. He was such an excellent goon, that he even had his own action figure. Having The Joker SPOILER ALERT…..die at the end wasn’t the best choice, but again, this was 1989, years before anyone thought about continuity sequels the way they make suoerhero movies now…so it is what it is. I was really happy to hear that Michael Keaton signed on to return in
The main gripe some people have with this movie was that it was too dark. I don’t see it. I see it as another very well told Batman story. In my opinion, the plot wasn’t as good as the previous installment, but it was still a very good movie. This was the movie that pushed the well loved, excellent Batman: The Animated Series so how bad could it be? The story is that Oswald Cobblepot has been living in the sewers for pretty much all of his life thanks to his parents dumping him over a bridge just because he looked different. Now an adult, he wants to start living like a normal human being and just be accepted. But does he have a hidden agenda? Of course he does, he’s the Penguin. Also in the mix is Selina Kyle, a lowly secretary (administrative assistant) working for the evil Max Shrek, a businessman with a hidden agenda of his own. Selinda is at the wrong place at the wrong time and even though she makes a great cup of coffee, she gets pushed out an office building window for finding out the truth about Shrek. Instead of dying, she becomes Catwoman. Batman, must stop Shrek and the Penguin of their evil plots all the while wondering what to make of Catwoman...friend or foe? It was rumored that Michael Keaton was planning on coming back to do the next Batman movie. It is said that the studio offered him upwards of 20 million dollars to do a third movie as well. Rumor has it that he wanted to do an origin, Batman Begins type movie, but instead we get
Gone is the dark, gritty, realistic Gotham city of Tim Burton and instead we get Joel Schumacher and the dawn of the bat nips. Oh man, where to begin….let’s start with the positives…Nicole Kidman looked really sexy…..and…uh…..ok. Michael Keaton was offered 20 mil to don the Batsuit once again, but he turned it doen…Awesome decision, because whatever he did to legitimize Batman would’ve been flushed down the toilet. Instead, we get Val Kilmer. It’s been said that Val didn’t really care about this movie and believe me, it shows. He barely tries to throw his voice as Batman. Jim Carrey is here playing a Frank Goshin type Riddler when by now, we see the riddler as a more serious, insane genius villain from the comics and animated series. Edward Nigma is an employee of Wayne Enterprises who is creepily obsessed with Bruce Wayne. He has an idea of a tv enhancer simply called The Box. When Bruce rejects his idea, he decides to become a super villain and team up with Harvey Two-Face…not just Two-Face, but Harvey Two-Face. Tommy Lee Jones is a tremendously talented actor, but his portrayal of Two-Face was the exact opposite of who the character really is. He’s an extremely serious villain and isn’t a campy bone in his body. Let’s not forget Chris O’Donnell as Robin. Anyone who is familiar with the comics knows that Robin was first introduced as a 7 year old kid and he didn’t have a brother. The reason why Bruce felt connected to Dick Grayson was because he lost his parents at almost thr exact same age. He wasn’t 18 years old. Why would he need to take in a legal adult? And the way Chris played the character actually made me not want to watch anything else he was in. This movie was horrible and I hate this movie almost as much as I can’t stand….
Batman & Robin
If you thought Batman Forever was campy, it had nothing on this heaping pile of monkey excrement. The one thing positive I have to say was I liked George Cooney better than Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne / Batman if nothing more than he just has that look. Where do I begin…Chris O’Donnell is back as the whiney, Dick Grayson / Robin. Arnold Schwarzenegger is here playing Mr. Freeze, a cryogenics scientist who was also a decatholete. I guess Patrick Stewart was busy, because Victor Fries didn’t have an athletic bone in his body. Instead of the ultra serious, emotionless Mr. Freeze we all know from the comics, animated series, Arkham games, we get ice puns in almost every other line of dialogue. They kept the plot of him trying to find a cure for his wife, but apparently for some reason, he decided to build a suit that needs diamonds to run, because…..reasons. We also get Uma Thurman as anothercampy villainess Poison Ivy..again, I guess Schumacher and Akiva Goldsmith thought it was 1966 and didn’t see Tim Burtons movies. To top of the trio of terror, we get Bane…the super intelligent assassin? No a 1970s Hulk ripoff of a roided out hoss lackey that likes repeating the last words of doing what he’s told…..I’m sorry, after describing them, I threw up in my mouth a little. Did you think that was it? No, because we’re also introduced to Barbara…not Barbara Gordon, daughter of police commissioner James Gordon, but Alfreds niece who’s british, but has no English accent, played by Alicia Silverstone. She likes street racing on motorcycles, has no fighting training at all, but because she eats to help Batman and Robin, Alfred, the caring overprotective uncle, programmed his Batcave algorithm to make her a suit, because that makes total sense. The “plot” has so many holes and makes absolutely no sense, I’m not going to torture you or myself by trying to explain it.
Part I is completed, Part II, the Nolan trilogy will be coming up in a few days.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this article.
Hey now Superfanworld. My name is Andrew Levine. I’ve been a proud member of SFS for 3-4 years now. I don’t post a whole lot so most of you don’t know me, but I read a lot of the posts. I asked our fearless leader Mooski if i can contribute to the site in any way I can and he’s letting me share my vast nerd knowledge with all of our friends here at SFW and what better way to introduce myself than to talk about my favorite comic book characters. The man known as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. I’m going to talk about Bats in different media..comics, video games and movies; all leading up to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, in theaters the eve of March 24th. I plan on writing this in parts since one long article would take a long time to read. You would think I would start with the comic
Batman on screen started in 1943 with Lew Wilson playing the role of The Caped Crusader. Obviously, I didn’t see both serials in 1943, or the 1947 serial starring Alan Lowry, but with the magic of DVDs, I was able to enjoy the movie serials. There’s not much I can really say about the serials except they were done in the 40s where apparently you were able to call the villain who was Japanese “japs”. Try saying that today, lol. As for the 1947 serial, I thought it was hilarious that Batman and Bruce Wayne both drove the same car, except when he had the costume on, the top was down. Makes sense…after all, nobody can tell that Clark Kent is Superman when he doesn’t wear his glasses.
The next is the TV series which is one of the most popular depictions of Batman which is extremely campy. Even though, I prefer the darker, current variation of the Dark Knight, this was a very fun show to watch, but ended after 3 seasons. I honestly think it could have lasted longer, but just like with most fads, it was crammed down our throats to the point that it became stale as quick as it became hot.
Everyone remembers at least a few things from that series, whether it’s the theme song, the animated POW, BIFF, WAM, etc.. to the special guest star villains like Vincent Price, Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero, and all 3 Catwomen; Julie Newmar, Earth Kitt, and Lee Merriweather. It was a great family oriented show, but not the Batman I love.
I’m going to skip the Superfriends/Batman & Robin animated series because it was pretty similar with the campiness along with Batman solving mysteries with Scooby Doo and the gang. Besides, if there’s an animated series I want to talk about, it has to be the early 90s Batman: The Animated Series. In my opinion, not only is this one of greatest superhero animated series, but one of the best animated series period. The writing, voice acting, stories were so good, you didn’t want it to end. On a personal note, for the past 9 years, at the beginning of the New Year, I sit down and watch all 4 seasons of Batman, Batman Beyond and Justice League/ Justice League Unlimited.
Batman Beyond was made shortly after Batman: TAS ended it’s run and it takes a futuristic look at Batman and more of a What If standpoint from a comic book standpoint. Barbara Gordon isn’t paralyzed in this series like she was in the comics at the time, and Terryville McGinnis takes over the mantle of the Bat since Bruce Wayne is in his 80s, however Bruce does take a fatherly/mentor role to Terry and tries to teach him that there’s more to being Batman than just the suit. Justice League premiered shortly after Batman Beyond ended. JL followed the adventures of a newly formed team of Superheroes. Superman, Wonder Woman, the Wally West Flash, the Jon Stewart Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and of course Batman. The show went on for 2 season with each episode in season 1 being a 2 part episode. Just like with its predecessors, the stories and writing were amazing, and although some episodes were character specific nobody really felt left out. Justice League Unlimited had a ton of superheroes and supervillains, some which I’ve never heard of but glad they put in. This series also went on for 2 seasons and with so many heroes to work with, naturally a lot of characters did get lost in the shuffle, but again, the stories were amazing to watch and by watching this series, it made me want to learn more about certain heroes and villains that I previously didn’t really care about or didn’t know.
In my opinion, these animated series’ are the best when it comes to learning about the mythos of Batman which is why I watch it every year.
Finally there’s Beware the Batman. Beware took a different approach to Batman by having lesser known characters, like Mr. Toad and Professor Pyg. Alfred also took a more trainer role than just butler/father figure and instead of Robin, we got Kitana. It was a really nice change and this series was done in total C.G.I. instead of animation. Sadly, this series didn’t really hold any traction and was cancelled after just 1 season.
It looks like I’ll save the movies for another article. Also, like I said earlier, I know I missed certain shows like The Batman, and brave and the Bold, but I never watched them..i actually only watch a couple of episodes of The Batman, and didn’t like the direction it took. The character designs were way out there and wasn’t a fan of the stories.
I hope you enjoyed this, my premiere article and hopefully you’ll want me to continue my Batman section. I also plan on writing reviews and opinions about movies, and video games so I hope you enjoy those too.