I have never let go of my love of toys. I know they are not for everyone, but playing can transport you from adulthood to a world of near-infinite possibilities. I was honestly not that into Legos as a kid, but being a dad I have found myself building rockets, monster trucks and robots out of thin air and imagination. The Lego Batman series is lots of fun and embraces the kind of innocent fun and inventiveness that I see in my son while he concentrates on a building project. The DC Universe is transformed into miniature toy creations where the rules of reality are entirely rewritten.
If you like comic books and still have that playful side, you need to see this.
LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite provides the ultimate blend of action and humor guaranteed to entertain fanboys of all ages. The film finds Lex Luthor taking jealousy to new heights when fellow billionaire Bruce Wayne wins the Man of the Year Award. To top Wayne’s accomplishment, Lex begins a campaign for President – and to create the atmosphere for his type of fear-based politics, he recruits the Joker to perfect a Black LEGO Destructor Ray. While wreaking havoc on Gotham, Lex successfully destroys Batman’s technology – forcing the Caped Crusader to reluctantly turn to Superman for help.
The film will be available as a Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and OnDemand starting May 21, 2013. It is now available to own via Digital Download. Initial Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD release will include an exclusive Lego Clark Kent/Superman figurine on pack while supplies last.
Game Informer’s month of Batman: Akrham Origins coverage, looking in-depth at the just-announced prequel to the popular Arkham games, continues, now revealing Batman’s new top foe. While The Joker ruled in Arkham Asylum and returned for a major arc in Arkham City, in Origins we’re seeing a much deeper underworld. The man hiring the assassins to come kill this new hero Batman has been revealed as Black Mask.
There are two characters who have been known as Black Mask in the world of DC Comics. The first, Roman Sidonis, is the one appearing in the game. As Sidonis, he could have run in the same social circles as Bruce Wayne, but as he transformed himself to Black Mask in the literal blood of his parents, he became the underworld leader who would, at one point, unite Gotham’s gangs and even kill a Robin (Stephanie Brown).
“We realize that Black Mask is not necessarily as prominent in people’s minds as some other classic Batman villains, so we realize we also need to do work to explain why he’s really cool and make him felt in the game,” creative director Eric Holmes told GI. “It’s not something people bring a lot of baggage to when you see the Black Mask, so we have to do the work to make him scary.”
As the head of Janus Cosmetics and the new Mob leader, Black Mask’s “brutal and sadistic” nature from the comics will translate over to the game, promises Warner Montreal.
“His thing is torture. That is what gets his rocks off,” Holmes said. “And he’s really good at it.”
The setting of a full Gotham City was also expounded upon. The game is set in midwinter of “Year 2″ of the Batman’s crime-fighting career, with the Christmastime setting giving them “a beautiful thing in an ugly place,” says Holmes. Gotham will be a much larger world than the previous games, and will also represent a world lost to time, much like Batman: The Animated Series. The locations fans remember in Arkham City will still be there – but as normal locations in the more than twice-as-large city. To navigate the three-tiered city, a fast travel by way of the Bat-plane will be offered for the first time, as well.
James Robinson’s Earth 2 series has been gaining support in its short run to date. Set on an alternate Earth where Darkseid’s army waged a devastating war that robbed the planet of its Trinity of heroes (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman), the monthly book has depicted a gradual unveiling of new takes on classic heroes and villains such as the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, the Atom and this week, Doctor Fate.
This May, a new caped crusader will enter the fray as Earth 2 finds itself home to a new Batman.
This May, EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1 will fly into stores. Written by James Robinson and illustrated by Yildiray Cinar, CAFU, and Julius Gopez, EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1 features a stunning cover by Andy Kubert, and introduces the new Batman of Earth 2!
Today, THE SOURCE is excited to give you a first look at this new Batman. In the gallery above, take a sneak peak at the interior art for EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1, featuring the new Caped Crusader leaping into action and continuing the fight against crime. But who could be under the mask? And how will the “Wonders” react to a new Batman? Place your bets in the comments section below!
As a kid, I was practically raised on the Batman 1966 TV series. Starring Adam West and Burt ward, the pop art/absurdist action-drama was non-stop joy-inducing entertainment. Due to some legal complications, the TV program has never been released on DVD and products were scarce. Recently, product announcements have surfaced for action figures and toy replicas based on the ’66 Batman series.
Finally, a new comic book is on the way, written by Jeff Parker, popular author of numerous comics such as Agents of Atlas, Hulk and Thunderbolts.
With Parker on board, this could be the funnest comic on the stands.
Comic book fans also got a special treat when DC Entertainment unveiled art for its all-new digital comic book series BATMAN ’66, launching in summer 2013. Inspired by the classic TV series, the digital comic book features many fan-favorite characters like Catwoman, The Riddler, The Joker and, of course, the dynamic duo of Batman and Robin. Written by Jeff Parker, the series will feature cover art by Michael Allred and the first issue will be drawn by Eisner Award winner Jonathan Case. BATMAN ’66 will also be collected and available for sale in monthly print issues.
“The juxtaposition of offering a retro BATMAN ’66 comic as a current and modern digital first title is fun,” stated DC Entertainment President, Diane Nelson. “DC Entertainment is the most prolific producer of digital first comics and, as we work to create new and compelling content, this is a great way to also preserve the legacy of our characters. It’s exciting to roll out the new BATMAN ’66 comic as part of this bigger initiative with our Warner Bros Consumer Product partners.”
Artifacts from the original Batman Classic TV Series were featured during the event, including the original iconic Batmobile, as well as authentic pieces from Comisar Collection that provided the “Robin” costume as worn by actor Burt Ward, the original Bat-Shield that Batman and Robin frequently used to protect themselves from their foes, the Bat-Phone from the Batmobile and the Bat-O-Rang prop used by Robin throughout the series. In addition, guests had the opportunity to hang out in a replica of the famous Batcave as depicted in the classic television series.
When DC Entertainment relaunched 52 comics, the dark knight was all but untouched as his comic was running smoothly under Scott Snyder. After the closure of Batman Incorporated and the Death of the Family, however, all of that may change.
This summer DC is going to once more return to the caped crusader’s beginnings, but what will be different this time around?
This is hardly the first time that Batman’s origin has gotten a face life and while there have been deviations and edits over the years from 1964’s revamp to Len Wein’s Untold Legend of the Batman in the 198 to Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s Batman Year One, it appears that there may be some big surprises in store.
Batman’s transformative years are getting a few new twists.
DC Entertainment is going back into Bruce Wayne’s past to see how he began his transformation from wealthy socialite to the scourge of Gotham’s criminal underworld.
Key elements of the character’s history are staying the same — the murder of Wayne’s parents, for example — says Scott Snyder, the writer of “Batman” since its relaunch debuted in 2011.
“It’s not ‘let’s redo the origin,'” he said Monday. “It’s time for a new story showing how Batman became who he is in the New 52.”
Snyder said the decision grew out of the success of the first year-and-a-half of DC’s New 52, a sweeping reorganization of the publisher’s characters that saw many given new origins and costumes that blended those from their first appearances decades ago with contemporary changes.
Snyder said readers will see how the crime fighter found his calling and what challenges he faced when first donning the costume of the Dark Knight.
The augmented origin begins June in the pages of “Batman” in an 11-issue story called “The Zero Year” that is illustrated by Greg Capullo.
“We tried to preserve as much of Batman’s history as we could and keep what we could of this history intact,” Snyder said of the change. “It’s ‘The Zero Year,’ the one that no one has told the story of before. We see how Bruce became the Batman, built the cave, faced off with his first super villain.”
It’s not so much an origin story as it is a view into Batman’s formative years.
“We’re not going to take apart ‘Year One,'” Snyder said, referring to the Frank Miller-David Mazzucchelli four-issue arc that recounted how Wayne began to fight crime after years away.
Instead Snyder, an Eagle Award-winning writer whose other efforts for DC include “Swamp Thing” and “American Vampire,” said the “Zero Year” story will give readers new glimpses into the Bob Kane-created character who made his first appearance in the pages of “Detective Comics” No. 27 in May 1939.
“It’s time for a new story showing how Batman became who he is in the New 52,” said Snyder. “It builds up the mythology.”
The Justice League motion picture, a project that would potentially depict the heavy hitters of the DC Universe, made most familiar to members of my generation by the Super Friends cartoon. A Justice League movie would feature Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern and possibly Martian Manhunter and Aquaman (they’d be fools to not include the King of Atlantis no matter what anyone says) all on screen at the same time fighting some monumental foe(s).
However, there have been numerous setbacks including budgetary concerns and the unimpressive results of the Green Lantern movie which was intended to pave the way for the JLA as Iron Man took the first steps toward an Avengers project. Warner Bros. is now hoping that Zack Snyder and Chris Nolan’s Man of Steel will fill that role and the movie can finally get underway. Rumor is that the script is a mess and the casting still in wraps. Will the team consist of all new faces or will there be any returning actors?
Take a massive cube of salt with these rumors… but here they are.
The impossible may be happening, fans — we could be returning to Gotham City at the same bat-time, same bat-channel. Latino Review is reporting that director Christopher Nolan is in talks to come back for more. More Batman, that is. But in what manner? Not what you’d expect — read on for details!
Keep in mind, the reports are that negotiations and talks are still ongoing and nothing is set in stone yet. So, this news is all tentative at the moment, but the reports from Latino Review jibe with what I’ve heard from some of my own sources. Batman-On-Film (BOF) has some additional insights in Bill Ramey’s report as well.*
The director would reportedly bring Batman back to the screen in the same overall “world” that existed in the previous three films… and Christian Bale is reportedly expected to return as Bruce Wayne!
But if that’s not enough of a shocking revelation for you, try this on for size: the new film would actually be a team-up film, putting Nolan’s Batman alongside Henry Cavill reprising his role as the new cinematic Superman (introduced in this summer’s upcoming Man of Steel from Nolan, Zack Snyder, and David Goyer) and possibly/probably additional superheroes as well.
Image from Injustice: Gods Among Us
That’s right, dear readers, the Nolan Batman may be teaming up with the rebooted Superman, in a Justice League movie (or, possibly, a Superman-Batman team-up movie, but Justice League seems more likely at the moment).
At this time, Nolan is reportedly in talks to be involved as producer, with Snyder as a producer and possible director, and it might involve a story by Goyer.
This is among the biggest film news of the year, along with the announcement of Disney buying LucasFilms to develop new Star Wars movies. And it would involve one of the most powerful filmmaking teams, coming aboard what could potentially become the biggest superhero franchises in cinema.
The story is getting lots of momentum, including IGN:
Christian Bale is in talks to reprise his role as Batman in DC’s upcoming Justice League movie, Christopher Nolan will oversee the project, and Man of Steel-helmer Zack Snyder will produce – and possibly direct – if a new report from Latino Review is to be believed.
The website claims that Nolan is now in charge of the entire DCU at Warner Bros., and is in discussions to act as a sort of Godfather to the project, as well as produce alongside Zack Snyder. The studio allegedly wants the film to be set in the same universe as Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, which naturally means a return of Bale’s Batman. Not only that, but Justice League would also tie in with Snyder’s gritty Man of Steel, which means – you guessed it – Bale’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman would appear in the same universe, in the same movie, at the same time.
As the website correctly notes, Bale wouldn’t be against reprising the role, as long as the story was right. “I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work,” he told Empire Magazine last summer.
So what is your opinion?
Do you think Bale will star in a Justice League movie? If so, it would grant some credibility to the project and generate lots of excitement rather than recasting the part once more.
The JLA by Alex Ross
Justice League has a tentative June 2015 release date.
Introduced a short time after Batman exploded on the comic book page, Robin the Boy Wonder was once a wildly popular character, someone that the young reader could identify with. Since comics had grown in popularity among soldiers in the field during WWII, readership included an older demographic but after wartime youngsters were becoming interested. An older bachelor fighting crime from atop a mansion was too far removed for a kid, so someone closer to the background of a feisty (yet respectful) boy was introduced. It created an atmosphere of comraderie and lightened the Batman’s somber attitude.
With a partner, Batman had someone to talk to, creating new possibilities for the creative team and more options for the reader. But… some say that Batman works better alone as a dark vigilante and that a brightly colored kid in pixie boots ruins his spectre of the night credibility.
When the decision was made to allow Dick Grayson to wear pants and leave the Batcave, it left a void alongside the caped crusader and started a trend of replacement Robins that has lasted to this day. There have been many Robins over the decades and (in most cases) each one has grown into his/her own characters. This week, the latest Robin Damian Wayne met his grisly end, a story that has had the media abuzz and many non-comic fans confused. Which Robin died? And what does it mean?
Four Robins: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Damian Wayne
For myself, the most popular of the Robins isn’t just Dick Grayson, but Dick Grayson as played by Burt Ward in the 1966 TV series. An absurd vision of comic book sensibilities, comedy and mock-drama, the TV Robin spoke in the weirdest diction and seemed to view plots against the free world as seriously dangerous as jaywalking. In a state of constant surprise and bewilderment, it seemed that Ward had a live wire running through him, keeping his performance energized at all times.
Burt Ward, Robin on TV in 1966
The 1960’s comic book followed suit and replicated this version of Batman and Robin to an extent, but grew tired of it in time and developed a more sophisticated take on the dynamic duo; moving Dick into college and Bruce into a Gotham City penthouse. Robin earned a strong following, became an astute detective, a companion to Batgirl and even the leader of a group of former sidekicks, the Teen Titans. Robin was outgrowing his nest and becoming a man. In this way, he mirrored the maturing demographic of the readers who were becoming accustomed to more many-faceted characters.
This clever, youthful and resourceful version of Robin has populated the modern animated world in cartoons such as The Batman, Teen Titans and Young Justice. Not a junior version of Batman, Robin is brilliant and shrewd but not tragically bent toward vengeance and revenge. He is driven toward perfection, perhaps a reflection of is training on the trapeze. He also relied on a his own set of gadgets and weaponry, including fighting sticks and a staff, cribbed from Grayson’s time as Nightwing and the second Robin, Jason Todd.
An animated version of Robin
In the 1980’s, it was decided that a new Robin was needed and a kind of ersatz Dick Grayson named Jason Todd was the solution. This didn’t sit well with readers and when the opportunity arose to revamp the character with a new origin in 1985, he became a street punk caught trying to rob the Batmobile. This new Jason Todd was a devil-may-care hooligan with an edge that would appeal to the rebellious 80’s teen reader.
However, there was backlash against this new Robin. He was different from Grayson, but so anti-establishment that he challenged readers to accept him. Finally it was decided to make a bold move that would challenge the working relationship between Batman and Robin. Jason’s long-lost mother was discovered which split Todd from his mentor in a mad search for her. When he found her, he also found the Joker and was beaten to pulp with a crowbar before being blown to pieces by an explosion.
Batman was too late to save his young ward, too late to rescue him from what might have been his fateful end.
More recently, a third Robin was created, Tim Drake. Rather than having Drake be someone who stumbled into Batman’s life, Drake forced his way in through study, training, and deep research. The most intelligent of the Robins, Drake became a runaway hit and enjoyed a long-lasting solo series along with a place among the Teen Titans (called Young Justice). He has gradually moved away from his role as Robin as he can see the shadow of the Batman as something that could envelope him. Instead he has become his own person, much as Grayson had before him. Renamed Red Robin (no relation to the restaurant chain), Drake is a member of another version of the Teen Titans.
In many ways, Drake was a step back toward the more traditional Grayson-Robin and a mirror to the reader. But some tweaking in his fighting style and costume made him 100 times more modern and cooler than his predecessor. He was also far more cunning and resourceful than the others, leaving his mark as possibly one of the best Robins of all. In print, his solo adventures were extremely popular (thanks in no small part to Chuck Dixon who wrote Batman, Birds of Prey, Nightwing and Robin).
Tim Drake, Robin
When Drake split from Batman, his teenage girlfriend and daughter of the villainous Cluemaster was graduated into the red/green outfit. Stephanie Brown was Robin so briefly before dying that she barely gets any recognition in the comic, let alone a monument in the Batcave. Because of the restarts and revisions of DC timelines, Stephanie’s death has been undone, but her role in the Batverse is nebulous, making her yet another member of the costumed crime fighting Bat-family rather than having her own persona. It’s a shame because Brown was very popular as Spoiler and a female Robin is a great visual (as had been seen in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight series).
The fact that she briefly appeared in Batman Incorporated (since said to be set in the recent past) but in no other DC Comic is something of a puzzler (no pun intended) and I have to wonder if DC is thinking of bringing her back as Robin given that there is now an opening.
The role of Robin quickly became that of a conscience for the dark knight, a reality check in the form of a fragile young hero daring danger in a brightly colored outfit while the hero lurked in the shadows.
Stephanie Brown, the ‘forgotten’ Robin
In other modern media, Robin has been a more risky undertaking. Director Tim Burton had modernized and darkened the image of the caped crusader, making the introduction of a colorful sidekick an absurdity (though storyboards of Robin’s intro in the 1989 film exist and a Robin action figure was released for Batman Returns using a passing likeness to Marlon Wayans who was almost cast in the part). Michael Keaton’s tortured and brooding figure just did not gel with the notion of a spritely companion.
But after Burton was off the Batman films, all that changed and Chris O’Donnell played the ‘boy’ wonder in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. The actor was clearly too old to play the traditional part of youthful acrobat, making his ‘adoption’ by a man not even a decade older than him appear strange at best. But I do have to say that in my opinion, O’Donnell did a serviceable job in the role, even with the dreadful material he had to work with. Against Kilmer and Clooney, O’Donnell served the purpose of being a sounding board, giving the films a little more diversity and the audience members another inlet to the story… in theory, anyway. In practice he was another action figure for the ‘toyetic’ franchise designed to sell tie-in merchandise.
Chris O’Donnell played Robin on the big screen in two films
In 1987, Batman and Talia (daughter of the arch foe Ra’s Al Ghul) had a child. Ra’s Al Ghul had been hoping that Batman would take up his mantle as ruler of the world, rescuing it from its own excesses, but when the two failed to come to an agreement, another avenue presented itself. If not Bruce Wayne, then his child would be the ideal replacement. In 2006, Damian Wayne was introduced into the Batman universe. A smart-mouthed reckless punk, he grew intp the perfect 21st century version of Robin.
When Bruce Wayne died (twice, so it would seem) and was dispersed through time, Dick Grayson became Batman in his mentor’s stead and also inherited the troublesome youth, Damian, as his sidekick. The two resented each other but in time found a kind of equal footing. Even in his final moments, Damian remarked that they were a great team. The new Robin was a reactionary, a dark shadow on the legacy of Batman. Not just a protege, Damian was the once and future Batman, and as he continually pointed out to Grayson, Todd and Drake, he was the only real Robin due to his blood relation while they were pretenders.
Batman reborn (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian)
When Grant Morrison started his long journey as the writer of Batman, he offered readers a vision of a possible hell-on-Earth future Gotham City in which Damian Wayne continued his father’s war on crime. That will of course never happen now that Damian has died, but it was interesting nonetheless to see the protege use a fusion of his father’s teaching and the brutal tactics of the League of Shadows in order to defeat the enemies of his city.
Batman of the dark future (Damian Wayne)
There have been many deaths in comic books and they are generally regarded as temporary since heroes seem to not so much go toward a graceful end but more through a revolving door that sees them come back in short order. One such instance is the death of Jason Todd, the successor to Dick Grayson. Todd was reckless and headstrong which led to his predicament at the hands of the Joker where not Batman but the readers themselves were granted the privilege of saving the youth. At a cost per call, Todd was voted out of the series and into oblivion.
Many years later, Jason Todd resurfaced as ‘The Red Hood,’ a tough and ruthless vigilante using any means necessary to defeat his enemies. One of the few deaths in comics that stood the test of time, bringing Todd back to life always struck me as cheap at worst and awkward at best. As a Robin, Todd was an interesting reaction to Grayson’s straight-laced hero. As a dead Robin, Todd served as a harsh reminder of the consequences of Batman’s war on crime. As far as I can see, he serves no real purpose in the current DCU other than a leather-jacketed bad-ass.
Jason Todd’s death by election in Batman: A Death in the Family
So, just what is the point of Robin, anyway? And why is his death ‘important’?
There is a valid opinion that Batman works better alone and that Robin is an antiquated idea from a simpler age when youngsters were the target audience. However there have been so many different and successful approaches to the character of the dark knight’s sidekick that I think those naysayers are merely lacking the proper exposure to the character.
Over the following weeks, the Batman monthly books will be paying homage to the death of Damian Wayne in an interlinked series of covers bearing the legend ‘Requiem’ adding the stylized R from Robin’s tunic. It is expected that Batman will not be a loner for long, leading some to to wonder if a previous Robin will once more take up the mantle or if a new acrobatic orphan will be donning the red and green togs.
The pop sensational author Grant Morrison is nearing the end of his run on Batman. A writer who created a groundbreaking new kind of experience in comics while paying homage to his childhood fantasies and adult fascinations, Morrison embraced his cult of followers who saw him progress from anti-establishment apocalyptic drama to mainstream superhero comics. His Batman run has been a fusion of the two approaches with an added element of intensity and reinvention.
Little did I suspect when I accepted the BATMAN writing assignment back in 2006 that I’d wind up spending the next six years writing the longest continued comic story I’ve ever attempted. I thought I’d said most of what I had to say about the character with Arkham Asylum, Gothic, and Batman’s appearances in JLA. Clearly, I was wrong.
The original pitch was for 15 issues winding up with BATMAN R.I.P. but something happened along the way and, as I was researching his rich history, I became fascinated by the idea that every Batman story was in some way true and biographical – from the savage, young, pulp-flavored “weird figure of the dark” of his early years, through the smiling, paternal figure of the 1940s and the proto-psychedelic crusader of the ‘50s, the superhero detective of the ‘60s, the hairy-chested globetrotting adventurer of the ‘70s, to the brutally physical vigilante of the ‘80s and snarling, paranoid soldier of the ‘90s.
By taking his entire publishing history as the story of his life, I was able to approach Batman from a different angle and the multifaceted character that was revealed became the subject of my story.
What would such a man be like, realistically? This was a man who had saved countless lives, faced innumerable perils, and even prevented the destruction of the world itself. This was a master of martial arts, meditation, deduction, yoga and big business. This was a man who had tamed and mastered his demons and turned personal tragedy into a relentless humanitarian crusade.
Taking that man seriously meant I had to throw out a few of the accepted ideas about Batman as a semi-unhinged, essentially humorless loner struggling with rage and guilt. The totality of his history and accomplishments made that portrayal seem limited and unconvincing, so instead, my Batman was a true superhero at the height of his powers and the peak of his abilities, surrounded by a network of friends and associates, all of whom had been inspired by his lead.
I chose to build my story around the basic trauma, the murder of his parents, that lies at the heart of Batman’s genesis. It seemed to me there would be a part of Bruce Wayne that resented his parents for leaving him and especially resented his father for not being Batman that night, so the principal villains were an archetypal bad father figure in the form of Dr. Hurt and a dark mother in the form of Talia, our villain for the concluding chapters of the story.
This master theme of damaged and ruined families was nowhere more in evidence than in the creation of Damian, the first “Son of Batman” to be acknowledged in the canon. In many ways this has been Damian’s story as much as it has been the story of Bruce Wayne and it’s a story that had its end planned a long time ago – for what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman, who never dies?
And so, via Batman, Batman and Robin, Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman Inc. this epic tale has finally reached its finale.
Thanks to all the artists who helped realise the story – Andy Kubert, JH Williams, John Van Fleet, Tony Daniel, Ryan Benjamin, Lee Garbett, Frank Quitely, Philip Tan, Cameron Stewart, Andy Clarke, Frazer Irving, Scott Kolins, Chris Sprouse, Ryan Sook, Yanick Paquette, Georges Jeanty, David Finch, Scott Clark and of course, Chris Burnham.
Thanks to the inkers, colorists and letters and to my indefatigable editors.
Thanks to the readers who joined in the fun and contributed to the thought-provoking debates and analyses online.
The conclusion is finally here, with only four more issues to go. Four issues which take Batman to dark places he has never had to visit before. Four issues and I’m done, while Batman himself continues into as yet unimagined future adventures. He’ll still be here long after I’m dead and forgotten; long after all of us have come and gone, there will be Batman. It’s been a joy and a privilege to spend so much time in the company of pop culture’s greatest character but it’s going to feel weird waking up and not having Bruce Wayne’s calm, commanding, ever-so-slightly cynical voice in my head.
Based on Frank Miller’s startling vision of a Batman set in a dark 1980’s dystopian future, the DC animated feature Batman: The Dark Knight Returns continues. In the first installment, Bruce Wayne was stirred from a stupor out of retirement and back onto the streets of Gotham where a street gang known as the Mutants ruled through fear and intimidation. Once more donning his costume, Batman used the very same weapons against the criminals and defeated their leader in gladiatorial combat.
In the sequel, Batman transforms the Mutants from an unruly rabble into a devoted army of followers. As chaos reigns, Batman takes his war against crime to the highest level… and no one is above his law.
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 2, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies, arrives January 29 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. The PG-13 film is produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation.
For anyone who enjoyed the Bruce Timm Batman Animated Series and the Chris Nolan Dark Knight feature film trilogy, this animated movie in two parts combines elements of both through the adaptation of Frank Miller’s four issue comic book. Here we see a version of Batman who is weighed down by his legacy and must face up to the harsh reality of a world on the brink of destruction.
I was very impressed with the first part of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and felt that in many ways it improved upon a story that had become dated and familiar. I have heard that the sequel continues in this vein and look forward to watching it at the end of the month.
There are many incarnations of Batman and we all have our favorites. Usually the particular look or variation of Batman that we consider ‘definitive’ is the first one that we encountered. For many that would be the Jim Aparo version that graced the page of comic books for many years. In the late 80’s and early 90’s Norm Breyfogle defined Batman. Today, Greg Capullo is the artist on Batman and doing a damned fine job of it.
But is there a DEFINITIVE Batman artist? CBR.cpm wants to know and their poll gives readers a number of options. (please visit CBR.com to vote)
WHO DO YOU FEEL IS THE DEFINITIVE BATMAN ARTIST?
Personally I love the Mazzuchelli version of Batman, but as it only appeared in one story, Batman: Year One I question his inclusion. Likewise, Frank Miller left his mark on Batman but in a very limited number of issues. Bruce Timm is definitely a popular choice and with good reason as he spearheaded what could be considered one of the most important renditions of the dark knight ever.
As of now, Neal Adams and Jim Aparo are both leading with Frank Miller, Bob Kane and Dick Sprang trailing. I wonder why Carmine Infantino (who drastically redesigned Batman in the 60’s, Bill Finger who practically created the entire rogue’s gallery and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez whose art graced almost every single bit of merchandising for decades are missing from this list as they defined the character’s look for their respective periods.
What is your opinion? Who is your favorite Batman artist?