bring on the new batman

I’m a comic-book geek and I love super heroes. Maybe not as much as my sister does, but I like the idea of super heroes. Or maybe I like superhero movies and I love the villains. I think if I had to be in a comic book movie, I’d want to be the bad guy. They always seem to have more fun.

The first super hero movie I remember watching as a kid was Superman: The Movie, followed by Superman II. Those films were awesome for their time (and still are today) and  not only did Lois Lane make me want to be a reporter, I loved how the comic came to life on the big screen.

Then came Batman and that changed everything. And I’m talking about the classic Batman movie directed by Tim Burton, which for the flaws that it had (such as the fact that Batman never swooped, flew, jumped around, crouched or turned his head) was an awesome film. The sequels, like most sequels were OK, but not as good. Batman Forever had potential, but it was too colorful and too loud and campy with the villains, Two-Face and The Riddler trying to outdo each other. (And let’s just pretend that Batman & Robin never happened, alright?)

And now we have the Christopher Nolan movies. I liked Batman Begins. It told a good back-story and set things up for future movies, but The Dark Knight, as good as Heath Ledger was as The Joker, was more flawed that Burton’s Batman. For all the people who criticized Tim Burton’s version, they seem to not want to mention that Nolan’s interpretation was more of a crime drama with a guy who paints his face and another guy who runs around in a bat costume.

In the comics, The Joker came to be because of a chemical accident, not as a bank robber who uses war paint to scare people. Losing a huge part of the back story of one of the greatest villains of all time was a mistake. And the fact that Gotham City looks too much like Chicago (they made little or no attempt to hide the fact that Gotham has a Chase Bank and Starbucks on LaSalle Street… just like Chicago does) took away from the “escape” factor that Burton’s Batman had.

In the 1989 Batman, Gotham was a creepy, art-deco city with looming buildings and hardly a trace of sunshine. It set the tone for a comic book movie and raised the bar. And I know that Nolan is/was going for a more realistic version of Batman, but it’s still a comic book movie and there should be that element in it.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m looking forward to the new Dark Knight Rises movie, but I’m also looking forward to the eventual reboot of the series again.  Bringing in a new director, new look and keeping it closer to the Batman from the comics, complete with creepy gothic Gotham City, a Joker whose back-story is told like it is in The Killing Joke (one of the best graphic novels ever written, by the way) and the true escape into a living, breathing comic book feeling that a super hero movie should have.

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5 comments

  1. I love Nolan’s version of Batman, but Tim Burton’s take on the characters and city of Gotham was great too. Of the directors you know of, who would you like to take the reigns of a Batman reboot?

  2. In 89, that version of Batman was decent but it was just a little too comical, no pun intended, and too plain. The Joker in that movie was all wrong and enthusiasts like myself just didn’t think anything was right about it. Afterwards it became too colorful. When I was growing up reading comic books about Batman, what appealed to me was the darkness of the book. There was a mystery that always surrounded Batman even when you knew everything about him. You hoped that there would be some sort of new revelation about him. Then came Batman Begins and at long last, I got to see the Batman I had always imagined as a child. The same thing goes for the Joker. I had always pictured him in my mind to be just like the one in The Dark Knight. For me, Batman has to be very dark and kinda spooky. I love how they redid him and I also love how they redid all the villains. There’s more realism in it in the world of imagination. If you ask me, I think this Batman is on the right path and I think it could only get better. Now Wolverine is one that I would totally redo because they just have him entirely wrong from his looks to his mannerisms. I would have instead went with The Weapon X story that most comic book fans know of.

  3. I always liked the “Fantasy” version of Tim Burton’s vision of Batman and keeping with the true essence of how the heroes and villains came to be ie. Gotham City, The Batmobile and other iconic images. I agree the latest crop of Batman movies seems to have forgotten how and why things came to be by reinventing the wheel and setting it a reality based situation. I truly missed the True Batmobile with the Bat fins and all that came with it.

  4. Captain America. Worth your time. :)

    IMHO, as a comic book AND superhero geek, the best superhero movies are, in no particular order, Superman II, Batman (’89), Batman Begins, Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, Captain America, The Incredibles. Honorable Mentions go to: Batman Returns, Superman, Watchmen (I LIKED WATCHMEN!), The Phantom (Billy Zane version), The Shadow, Mystery Men, The Specials.

    Now that I have a book deal for my superhero fiction series, I’m hopeful that someday, somebody will want to turn them into movies. Maybe they won’t suck. :)

    PS: Want to review them before each release?

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