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!
Batman on the Big Screen Part II
The Nolan Trilogy
This is the Batman origin story we all deserved. Gone are the days of neon lights in Gotham City. Gone are the days of Bat nips and campy humor. Here we get a dark realistic version of Batman. As a matter of fact, if anyone remembers, in the very first teaser trailer, we had no idea it was even a Batman movie until the Bat symbol popped up at the end. I loved this movie!! The story was very well written and executed. From the time Bruce was a boy to the time he started training up til the point he donned the cape and cowl. The main gripe I had was the pronunciation of Ra’s Al Ghul…it’s pronounced Ray-eesh, not Ras. I loved the fact that Ducard was mentioned although in the comics, he was a thief that had a major influence in teaching Bruce the element of the criminal mind and not really Ras in disguise, but because of the time restraints of a movie, I understand why they did what they did. I have to admit, the first time I saw the tumbler, I wasn’t thrilled with it, but the more I saw it, the more I liked it. Morgan Freeman as Lucious Fox was dead on. Then again almost everything Morgan Freeman does is awesome. It was also nice to have the Scarecrow as one of thr msin villains since hes a relative unknown in the cinematic universe and Cilian Murphy did such a great job instilling fear into the hearts of thr people of Gotham. Christian Bale was a great Batman and pretty good Bruce Wayne as well. I do think Keaton was better, but it was close and that’s just my opinion. Also, the voice is something that will be made fun for decades to come, but given the tempo of the movie, it worked. Overall, this was a fantastic way to get that horrible taste Schumacher left in our mouths and I have to say, I love the last line in the movie where Gordon says “I never said thank you” and Batman replies with “and you’ll never have to”. I love that line.
The Dark Knight
What can I say….this movie was AMAZING…from the opening segment with the Joker robbing the mafia bank to the end of Gordon saying “he’s a watchful protector, a silent guardian, a dark knight” and everything in between, this movie was just a beautiful ride. Gotham City knows about the Batman, whether him being an urban legend to normal citizens dressing up as Batman and dispensing their own brand of Bat justice. Batman doesn’t like other people taking the law into his own hands, because he’s not wearing hockey pads. In Begins, the Scarecrow was able to escape to be captured in the opening minutes which brought closure. Enter the Joker…what can I say. The late Heath Ledger played this particular version of thr Joker to perfection. My friends know I’m a HUGE Batman fan and a lot of them asked me who was the better Joker, Nicholson or Ledger. My answer is always the same. The Joker has changed throughout comic history and both actors played their version of the Joker equally as wonderful.
Ledger lived thr part. You believed that he wanted to restore order and chaos by doing everything he did and nobody but The Batman would be able to stop him, but even he would have a really difficult time as he had to question his own sanity and whether or not he would have to break his 1 rule of not killing when it came to The Joker. I loved the fact that Joker changed his origin story to different people since there has never been the definitive Joker origin story. Harvey Dent makes his presence felt as Gothams white knight. The new D.A. that is trying to clean up Gotham and do what Batman cant. To reduce crime within the law. He’s able to start the cleanup process but the Joker makes him question everything he believes in and succeeds by not only almost killing him, had Batman not been there to save him notwithstanding half of Harveys face being burnt from thr explosion, but killing his would be fiancée, thr woman that Bruce Wayne also loves, his childhood friend, Rachel Dawes. This drives Harvey over the edge and along with his face transformation, his mind transforms as well and we get an awesome, realistic looking Two-Face…a Two-Face that looks and acts much different than the sideshow joke of a Two-Face we got from Batman Forever. Batman is able to defeat the Joker by showing him that humanity is not about chaos, but has to inadvertently kill Two-Face by spearing him off a ledge. Harvey did leave behind a killing spree that Batman takes the blame for knowing that if the people of Gotham found out that their white Knight was responsible, it would undo all of the good he did while in office.
The Dark Knight Rises
What is it about superhero movies and trilogies? The first two movies are normally good to great movies, but when that 3rd movie hits, it’s a huge let down. The same can be said about TDKR. I was really disappointed with thr story and plot. Bruce Wayne would never go 7 years without being Batman. He is Batman, Bruce Wayne is his mask. Also, why can’t anyone do Bane justice? Bane is a super intelligent, hired assassin. B&R got the costume right for the most part, but made him a brainless lackey. TDKR made him smart, but there was no venom and his costume was just…plain. Also Talia….oh how they butchered Talia character. They turned her into just a basic vengeful daughter of Ra’s when she’s so much more and not tat heartless. I will say that Anne Hathaway interpretation of Catwoman was great, even though she was never called Catwoman in the movie. Alfred turned into kind of a whiney bitch telling Bruce he doesn’t want him to be Batman anymore which he would never nag him like that…and actually left Wayne Manor. WTF! John Blakes character was a character that didn’t even need to be there and the fact that his real name was Robin, actually pissed me off that much more. I did like that they included Bane breaking Bruce back a la the Knight fall saga, but the way he “healed” from a broken back was a definite head slapper. Once Batman defeats Bane and Talia, he fakes his own death and lives happily ever after with Catwoman (Selinda Kyle)? Again WTF?! Like I said earlier, Bruce Wayne is Batman, he NEEDS to be Batman. I’m guessing since this was supposed to be a trilogy, they wanted to give us the “and they love happily ever after” ending, but anyone that knows even a little bit about Batman, knows he doesn’t love happily ever after. Again, it was a huge disappointment.
I’m sorry I didn’t give a more detailed summary of every movie, but I didn’t want to write a book. I hope you enjoyed my Batman reviews and as I stated before, I’m going to write more articles, but not everything will be Batman related. I just wanted to do a Batman history since the Batman V Superman movie is coming out soon. Thank you for reading and you’ll be hearing from me again soon. Please let me know what you think of my articles and you can be honest, but please be respectfully honest. Thanks again everyone
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.