Quick review: Batman #25

Dark City

batman_25Written by: Scott Snyder
Art by: Greg Capullo and Danny Miki

Hot on the heels of Batman the Zero Year comes Dark City, the next installment in what is becoming the Snyder/Capullo era of Batman, an era that is making waves in the comic book realm and setting a new high standard for the caped crusader. Zero Year was a retelling of the dark knight’s origins, resetting Gotham City as well as the early days of our ebony-clad hero. Like many readers, I was hesitant to read yet another retelling of Batman’s early years, but what Snyder has accomplished is very impressive and I am happy that the decision was made to continue that story from there.

In the close of Zero Year, Bruce Wayne stood up against the Red Hood gang only to realize that their reach was far deeper than he could imagine. The corruption led to not only Wayne Industries but the police force as well.

Taking control as only he knew how, Wayne contributed to the police with a force of dirigibles (so that he can also spy on them) and built a powerful arsenal of weaponry as the Batman.

As he attempts to control the situation, a new villain called the Riddler strikes – knocking out Gotham’s generators and plunging the city into darkness. With a newly designed battle suit and a magnificent Batmobile, Batman fights a new kind of battle against impossible odds… and another threat arrives called Doctor Death. Alfred can only look on in worry as Bruce proudly wears the scars of his conflicts as ‘kisses’ from his city. Dark days are in store for Batman.

Over the past few years, Snyder and Capullo have been recreated he Batman in a new vein, a more dangerous and edgier version than we have seen before. This has gotten a bit too intense for my liking in parts (the Joker wearing his face like a mask) but with the Zero Year reset it is interesting to see the comic take on a new spin of the Golden Age tales (he even has the purple gloves).

Batman isn’t the young turk that we saw in Batman Year One by Miller and Mazzuchelli. In Snyder and Capullo’s comics he is a determined and driven man who gets his nose bloodied only to come back smarter and tougher.

My only complaint is that I wish that the New 52 Batman had started with this story.

If you have been looking for a jumping on point and missed the sold out Zero Year run, this is a good one.

Batman- Mask of the Phantasm

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A strange wraith-like creature stalks the streets of Gotham, killing off old mobsters. When Batman is spotted on the scene, he takes the blame for the murders and becomes a wanted man, hunted by Gotham police under the guidance of Councilor Reeves, a slimy individual eager to make a grab for power. The deeper Batman investigates the mystery, he is surprised to find old wounds opening that he had thought long scabbed over with time. An old love, Andrea Beaumont, has returned to Gotham just as the murders are on the rise. As the death toll rises, he becomes overwhelmed with emotion and must make a choice which life takes precedence, Batman’s or Bruce Wayne’s.

Released on Christmas day in 1993, Mask of the Phantasm was a bomb for Warner Bros., mainly due to the lack of support from the studio and poor marketing. But it is a marvelous testament to the Batman mythos and a celebration of the animated series.

I understand that the film was rushed into theatrical release. Using the talented animators, directors and superb voice actors, Mask of the Phantasm is a remarkably moving drama with romance, action and even humor (thanks to the marvelous Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Alfred). The mystery of the Phantasm is enough on its own, but the addition of the Joker raises the stakes and the clown prince of crime is at his most outlandish in this story.


Watching this movie, I must admit to feeling frustration that the live action films never achieved this level of excellence. I do enjoy the Burton films, but they fall flat in so many places such as action and dialog. The Chris Nolan movies are outstanding but sacrifice much of the Batman mythology in order to tell a bold and daring story about Western civilization. Mask of the Phantasm, in contrast, is a well executed Batman story through and through, weighing in heavily on gritty pulp crime, Gothic atmosphere and much more.

I had the good fortune to watch the film on the big screen at the NC Comic Con this past weekend and it was a fantastic experience, reminding me why I had embraced the Batman animated series long ago and why it continues to hold a special place in my fanboy heart.

Recommended:

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate -Under New Management

Since Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Dark Knight has enjoyed a reigning seat in the video gaming world. Utilizing innovative combat techniques and the inclusion of special sequences that employed the hero’s detective skills in a hellish crime-ridden world, these games have given fans a glimpse of what it might be like to *be* Batman.

And the grand tradition continues with Arkham Origins and a new handheld game Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Featuring Catwoman and Solomon Grundy, the handheld game will build on the Gotham City experience and allow more opportunities to lay down some vigilante justice.

BatmanVia GeeksofDoom:

Convicts. Criminals. Blackgate Prison is under new management.

batman_blackgate-2Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate brings the Batman Arkham games to a handheld format for the first time to Sony and Nintendo handheld systems. Featuring stealth gameplay, free-flow combat, and Batman’s infamous gadgets, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate captures the genuine Arkham feel players have come to appreciate. With gripping 2.5-D graphics, fully voiced narrative, and a captivating storyline, you’ll will explore deep inside the bowels of this remote island penitentiary that plays an important role in the Arkham universe.

Batman: Arkham Origins and Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate are both available worldwide on Oct. 25, 2013!

Ben Affleck is the new Batman

Batman_wallpaper_NguyenHe has come a long way since Daredevil, but I am still shocked to red that Affleck would go anywhere near a comic book movie again. Even he swore off comic book movies, as evidenced in this MTV interview excerpt:

“No, I would not do another,” he said, insisting that he’s sworn off comic-book films for good. “I was cured of that.”

However, more recently he was more positive about the prospect of wearing tights and… well… he’s Batman.

Despite Nolan’s trilogy being a complete story, we all knew that Batman would be back. After Man of Steel transformed Superman into a grim killing machine, I have to wonder what kind of Batman this will be. Warner Bros has a blank slate from which to develop a new Batman  which means he could be almost anything.

Batman and SupermanI am hoping that the studio remembers that Batman and Superman are essentially opposites who compliment each other and take direction from that rather than just asking Affleck to put on a Christian Bale impersonation.

Ben-Affleck-800x600Via MSNUSA Today, Huffington Post,  LA Times’ HeroComplex, CBS News, Entertainment Weekly, and Variety  :

Ben Affleck is set to play Batman opposite Henry Cavill in the untitled “Man of Steel” sequel that will be directed by Zack Snyder, Warner Bros. announced on Thursday.

The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Project brings Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen.

“Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane are also set to return.

The rest of the announcement is below:

Last month’s surprise announcement of the new movie featuring both Superman and Batman created a wave of excitement and immediately fueled discussion and debate—among fans as well as in the media—about who would put on the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.

Snyder successfully re-imagined the origin of Clark Kent/Superman in the worldwide blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, and climbing. The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.

In the announcement, Greg Silverman stated, “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”

Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

Sue Kroll added, “We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.”

Affleck recently starred in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” which he also directed and produced, earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. In 2010, he starred in and directed the hit crime thriller “The Town.”

His recent acting work also includes “The Company Men,” “State of Play,” and “Hollywoodland,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Earlier in his career, Affleck starred in and co-wrote (with Matt Damon) “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay.

The new Super Hero film is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Zack Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers.

Production is expected to begin in 2014.

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.

Whodathunkit?
Batman_Daredevil

When Batman Killed The Joker At The End Of The Killing Joke

(Video and image via BleedingCool) On Kevin Smith’s radio show, Grant Morrison discusses why Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke is important… because Batman kills the Joker at the end. (unnecessary foul language… because it’s Kevin Smith, I guess) Like many guys my age into comic books, I got this way back when it was first printed and even met Brian Bolland and got him to sign the thing. But I never interpreted the last few panels as Batman killing the Joker. Apparently this discussion was going on back in the day but via word of mouth rather than on the non-existent internet chat rooms and in blogs (like this one).

When it was first printed, it was clear that this was not a story set within continuity. The level of violence and disturbing imagery was so outside of the norm that it was clear how this was a story that could not exist in the same world as the Batman monthly books. However, since the events have been enveloped into continuity such as the Joker crippling Barbara Gordon, that line has become blurred. Of course the tone of the monthly DC comics has also changed so that questioning this story’s placement in continuity seems absurd. Therefore, Batman could not have killed the Joker, right?

But look at the evidence…

joker-600x941 There has been much fuss over this since the story took over the net yesterday. Then the script was shared which has gotten a healthy amount of notice and puts an end to this debate over the ‘Did Batman kill the Joker?’ question. As can be seen in the actual script, Batman does not kill the Joker… so where did Grant get this from or is it just a situation in which he misinterpreted the source material?

Or was this just a simple publicity stunt?

KillingJoke Thoughts?

The Superman – Batman movie

comics-batman-superman1-3Close friends, co-workers and more are contacting me about the major announcement at SDCC regarding a Superman – Batman movie. I can’t help to roll my eyes as this has been in development since 2001 and has struck me as a bad idea from the get go. That’s not to say that I don’t think a good batman/Superman (or Superman/Batman movie is possible, I just don’t trust the WB to pull it off.

Look at the animated Batman series, the Superman cartoon and the Batman/Superman movie and you will see a series of sophisticated character-driven tales paying homage to decades of comic books and more with plenty of action and the eventual development into the Justice League followed by a full blown animated DC Universe.

Justice-league-unlimited-04

Look at Man of Steel and you can practically hear the screeching of gears as Zack Snyder struggles to modernize Superman into a harder, grittier hero more akin to Chris Nolan’s Batman.

This makes the meeting of Superman and Batman a moot point. Granted, this movie will likely require a new version of Batman, but the fun of having these characters meet is routed in their differences. As they are so dark and moody, this could be the most un-colorful comic book movie since the Dolph Lundgren Punisher flick… and that’s just weird.

superman-batman-annual_3

After Batman and Robin, Warner Bros was at a crossroads with several opportunities avaiulable to them from Batman Triumphant to Batman Beyond with Paul Dini, Neal Stephenson and Boaz Yakin all on board to adapt the cartoon of a possible future Batman for the big screen and Darren Aronofsky’s Batman Year One. In addition, there was the double-hitter of bad ideas, a Batman/Superman movie.

Why bad, you may ask? Check out the trail of tears regarding this monster compiled over on the Wikipedia:

Warner Bros. abandoned J. J. Abrams‘ script for Superman: Flyby, which had been greenlighted with McG to direct.[58][59] When McG dropped out in favor of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,[60]Warner Bros. approached Wolfgang Petersen to direct Superman: Flyby,[61] however, in August 2001,[62] Andrew Kevin Walker pitched Warner Bros. an idea titled Batman vs Superman, attaching Petersen as director. Superman: Flyby was put on hold,[61] and Akiva Goldsman was hired to rewrite Walker’s Batman vs. Superman.[46]

Goldsman’s draft, dated June 21, 2002, had Bruce Wayne going through a mental breakdown after his five-year retirement from crime fighting. Dick GraysonAlfred Pennyworth andCommissioner Gordon are all dead, but Bruce’s depressed emotions become resolved with fiancée Elizabeth Miller. Meanwhile, Clark Kent is struggling because of a recent divorce with Lois Lane. Clark and Bruce are close friends, and Clark is Bruce’s best man. After the Joker kills Elizabeth on the honeymoon, Bruce plots a revenge scheme, while Clark tries to hold him back. In return, Bruce blames Clark for her death, and the two go against one another. Part of the script took place in Smallville, where Clark goes into exile with Lana Lang. However, Lex Luthor is held to be responsible for the entire plot of Batman and Superman destroying each other. The two decide to team up and stop Luthor.[63]

Christian Bale and Josh Hartnett had turned down the roles of Batman and Superman. Bale, who was also approached to play Batman in the unmade Batman: Year One, would eventually portray the same role in Batman Begins.[60][64] Principal photography was to start in early 2003, with plans for a five-six-month shoot. The release date was set for mid-2004.[65] Within a month of Warner Bros. greenlighting Batman vs. Superman, Petersen left in favor of Troy (2004).[46] Warner Bros. decided to move forward on Superman: Flyby and on a Batman reboot.[46] A fictional billboard for the film could be seen in the background of the 2007 Warner Bros. film I Am Legend.[66] Petersen and Bryan Singer are interested in directing the project sometime in the future, with Bale as Batman.[67][68]

As you can tell, this news has prompted a rant, so be prepared.

I would like to point out that I adore the Nolan Batman trilogy as it modernizes the concept of a costumed vigilante and uses the myth of Batman to tell a story of the modern world’s decline. It’s a more of a brilliant set of movies on its own than it is a great Batman story and I applaud that. If a director can utilize a concept to tell an important story (much like Alan Moore did with Watchmen), that should be applauded.

But the stumbling block for me is that Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is being misinterpreted as how the DC Universe of heroes should be presented to a modern audience.

Very few details are available right now, but I just cannot muster up any excitement about this as anything that builds off of Man of Steel has a sharp uphill climb or a piercing downfall. I haven’t seen anything, so my judgement is based on a continuation of the look and feel of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel. I envision a bloodied, armor-torn Batman surrounded by ash and debris with a CGi Darkseid gloating over him, holding a limp Superman who looks like a side of tenderized beef.

When we could have this-
Batman and Superman
I thought it was the fact that I am now a parent with a son who would love to see his heroes on screen that makes my frustration with these grimly violent films so palpable, but I am hearing similar stories from single childless friends. There is potential here to make a family-friendly action-drama that knocks it out of the park with mind-blowing visuals, iconic characters and a story that honors these modern mythological characters rather than cutting them down, brutalizing them into ‘our world’ where hope is buried in a sea of skulls and the Batmobile is no longer a technological marvel but instead a military assault vehicle.

You could say that the Tim Burton Batman movie began this trend toward grittier more grounded heroes, but at least his movies had a weird sense of style and cartoon-ish madness to them. What spun out of this was a Batman who killed, and a deadbeat dad Superman who broke the neck of his opponents and struggled to maintain anonymity from the public that he should have been protecting, thus assuring that they suffer for his inaction.

And these are two of the more colorful and popularized comic book characters  known all over the world. Not so much today. Are we, as a culture, so cynical that we cannot conceive of a world where real heroes are possible?
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Beware the Batman: Hunted (and Wonder Woman too)

Beware_the_BatmanCreated in 1939, Batman is one of the most enduring pop culture icons of the modern world. At times a brutal vigilante, at others a campy crime fighter and most recently a post-modern statement on western civilization, Batman has so many facets but each one is generally regarded as definitive by fans. To some this means that the 1966 Adam West Batman is either an embarrassment or an icon, while others regard the Chris Nolan Batman films as perfection or perversion. as this is the latest in a very long line of animated versions of Batman, there is ample room for the creators to pick and choose how they would like to proceed.

Simon Liu of The Batman, Hulk Vs., and many other animated projects is helming this first computer generated Batman cartoon, one that will definitely divide fans straight away. As it also arrives on the tail of the Young Justice cancellation, it has a very steep uphill climb to earn new viewers. This is a very new take on Batman, a young crime fighter who is in prime physical condition yet still very mortal, something that his faithful butler and bodyguard Alfred Pennyworth is determined to fix. An-soldier (which is surprisingly in canon, for anyone interested), Alfred does his best to keep Bruce Wayne/Batman on his toes, but he has a secret edge… that we’ll get to later.

Professor Pyg and Toad are thankfully not the same distorted and violent characters from Batman and Robin, bit instead hearken back to the Dick Sprang hey day of the 50’s when Batman villains were over the top and bizarre. They drive around in a modified vintage car firing tranquilizers from a blunderbuss at industrialists who threaten ‘the animal world.’

For all its differences and visual changes, Batman still operates from a secret cave outside Gotham City, driving a jet-propelled Batmobile using batarangs and other high tech gear to fight crime. Rather than the faithful boy wonder, Katana is the assistant in this version of the Batman myth. Called into action for an old favor by Alfred, she should add an interesting edge to the series (no pun intended).

The cartoon strangely pays homage to many of Batman’s past mythologies and to DC Comics as well (with the Grant Morrison-created Professor Pyg and Toad kidnapping Simon Stagg from the old Metamorpho comics and Michael ‘Mister Terrific’ Holt also showing up). Pyg and Toad are seeking revenge for the ecological crimes that Gotham’s rich industrialists have incurred. Their punishment is to run the gamut like cornered animals, through a maze filled with booby traps.

Batman must endure the traps laid throughout Pyg and Toad’s fortress as well in his attempt to rescue the prisoners. using his wits and remarkable fighting abilities. Visually, the Batman moves very fluidly. There are several moments where he seems to disappear and re-appear as if by magic, making this one of the more impressive version of the hero in animated form. Newcomer Anthony Ruivivar makes a formidable voice actor for Batman (a role that many believe is owned by Kevin Conroy who voiced the dark knight for many years on the small screen, in direct to dvd films and even in video games).

I cannot say that you will love or hate this latest weekly Batman cartoon as it is so very strange and to be frank the animation style is a major hurdle. The entire episode felt more like a series of cut scenes from a video game ten years old. But that withstanding, I am in full approval of the new direction story wise and the inclusion of obscure and outlandish villains over the standard fare is a bold decision that the production staff should be applauded for.

Watch and judge for yourselves…

beware-the-batman-pyg-toad-610x343 Beware-the-Batman_Hunted

In addition to the new Batman, viewers this Saturday were treated to a surprisingly different take on the Amazon Princess.

DC Nation Short Preview; “Wonder Woman”

Beware the Batman!

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A new updated CG animated Batman cartoon is on the way. Using a similar style seen in the Green Lantern cartoon, this modern take will be a very different vision of the caped crusader. For those fearing that it will stray too far from the classic Batman style, be assured that comic book legend Len Wein (of Swamp Thing, Uncanny X-Men and Batman) will be working on this series and has promised that it will be a knock out.

Personally, I’m still feeling the loss of Young Justice and this series looks a bit too hip and edgy for my taste, but that was the reaction many had to The Batman which I enjoyed. I’ll hold on judgement until I can see the finished product.

Via Newsarama:

“A cool, new take on the classic Dark Knight franchise, Beware the Batman incorporates Batman’s core characters with a rogues gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form. Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordswoman Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’s criminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad and Magpie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation (WBA), this action-packed detective thriller deftly redefines what we have come to know as a ‘Batman show.’ WBA’s Sam Register serves as executive producer, with Glen Murakami (Batman Beyond) and Mitch Watson (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc.) producing.

“Starring Anthony Ruivivar (Banshee) as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Beware The Batman boasts a stellar voice cast with JB Blanc (The Count of Monte Cristo) as Alfred and Sumalee Montano (ER) as Katana. Lending voices to the villains are Wallace Langham (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) as Anarky, Grey DeLisle (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) as Magpie, Udo Kier (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Inc.) as Mr. Toad, Lance Reddick (Fringe) as Ra’s al Ghul and Brian George (The Big Bang Theory) as Professor Pyg.”

BRUCE WAYNE:

A Richard Branson type billionaire adventurer with a twist: he’s fixated on crime. So much so that he sees it everywhere, giving him the ability to predict criminal behavior and piece together clues like a modern day Sherlock Holmes. But this ability came with it’s own price. It isolated Bruce, and since he is famous, dealing with crime as Bruce Wayne was out of the question. So he created The Batman.

THE BATMAN:

A vigilante hero born of darkness that can carry out what Bruce Wayne can’t. Batman is Bruce Wayne’s release valve. Batman keeps Bruce in balance. They even refer to each other as separate people. But make no mistake: Bruce and Batman are two sides of one man, and they need each other to survive.

ALFRED PENNYWORTH:

A former British MI-6 operative now retired. Wise, good with his fists, and not to be trifled with. A father figure and mentor to Bruce. But Alfred is getting older. Won’t be there forever so he’s bringing in someone he can trust who can look after Bruce.

TATSU “KATANA” YAMASHIRO:

Former CIA, she is also Alfred’s goddaughter, and the child of his late MI-6 partner. Although she is cold and meticulous with a sword, Katana is not good at controlling her emotions. Despite being hired as Bruce Wayne’s bodyguard, it soon becomes clear that her real value is as Batman’s protégé.

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite

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.

Black Mask has put the hit on the caped crusader in Batman: Arkham Origins

It’s interesting to see news on the upcoming Batman video game and the name dropping of the all-but-forgotten Robin, Stephanie Brown.

Stephanie Brown cosplay by Aigue-Marine

Stephanie Brown cosplay by Aigue-Marine

batman-arkham-origins-featured-imageVia Newsarama:

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.