Author Topic: 2012: year of The Batman  (Read 12097 times)

edgar00

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2012: year of The Batman
« on: October 20, 2011, 10:40:38 AM »

For as long as I can remember, my favourite super hero has been Batman, or The Batman, or the Caped Crusader, etc. Yet, it was mostly television and film that influenced my appreciation of the character. Not that I haven't read any of the comics, I have, but not nearly as many as I'd have liked.

In 2012, I will do my darndest to discover, really discover, Batman in all his comic book and graphic novel glory. From his earliest days in DC's Detective Comics, to the most recent, majestically drawn graphic novels, I want to know it all.

Why 2012? For simple reasons, some rather obvious, other more personal. I merely like the idea of giving myself exactly a year to read as much as I can. Also, new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises,  comes out next year, so this marathon can tie into that. A more practical reason is that it gives me a couple months for me to actually gather some info on where to begin, which stories and authors are the essentials that I simply cannot miss, and maybe most importantly, info from any Filmspotting Batman fans. What are some of the stories that, according to you, should not be overlooked? As we get closer to 2012, I'll post a pseudo-lineup of what stories shall be read next year. To the best of my abilities I shall post reviews of all those stories in this thread. I say to the best of my abilities since I have zero experience in reviewing books, let alone comic books.

Last but certainly not least, if Filmspotters whish to join along, nothing would make me happier. Any input, positive or negative, is more than welcome.

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FLYmeatwad

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 10:45:11 AM »
You have a PS3 or 360, right? If so, see if you can find a cheap copy of Batman: Arkham Asylum. I'm not super in to Batman, but after playing through that game I wanted to do nothing more than read as much Batman stuff as possible. Lacking comics after I had completed the game, I spent four hours on a wiki learning all I could about the Bataverse.

Gotham City is the guy to ask about the comics though, I think. Also, any plans to watch that new Batman animated film that just came out?

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 11:06:37 AM »
I've slowly been getting into Graphic Novels over the past few years. I've read both The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: The Long Halloween, both of which are very good and I recommend.

I'd love to jump in on this as I've got all kinds of Batman graphic novels I've wanted to buy and read for ages now. Would be a good excuse to finally get to some of them.

Junior

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2011, 11:08:53 AM »
Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth is also awesome.
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edgar00

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2011, 11:14:37 AM »
Quick responses with suggestions. Thanks aplenty! Keep them coming.
-Le Chiffre: You changed your shirt, Mr Bond. I hope our little game isn't causing you to perspire.

-James Bond: A little. But I won't consider myself to be in trouble until I start weeping blood.

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http://crabkeyheadquarters.wordpress.com/

edgar00

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 11:15:32 AM »

 Also, any plans to watch that new Batman animated film that just came out?

I bought and watched it on Tuesday night. I'll post thoughts soon enough.
-Le Chiffre: You changed your shirt, Mr Bond. I hope our little game isn't causing you to perspire.

-James Bond: A little. But I won't consider myself to be in trouble until I start weeping blood.

https://twitter.com/Betweentheseats
http://crabkeyheadquarters.wordpress.com/

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2011, 11:40:56 AM »
Also, here are Batman titles I've got on my wishlist:

The Killing Joke (Alan Moore)
The Joke (Brian Azzarello)
Batman: Year One (Frank Miller)
Batman: Dark Victory (Jeph Loeb)
Batman: Black and White Series (Various)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Grant Morrison)

Obviously, since I haven't read any of those, I've no idea how good they are, but they're ones I've heard good things about and want to check out.

I'm also not sure how I don't have any Paul Dini on there given that I love his stuff (Both inside and outside of Batman).

verbALs

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2011, 11:47:03 AM »
Moore's The Killing Joke, and Arkham Asylum for Dave Mckean's art are terrific.

If you want to delve right back then tracking down the Steve Englehart/ Marshall Rogers and the Neal Adams Comics would be worth it.

HOWEVER- Miller's The Dark Knight and Batman: Year One are absolutely the place to start. His later Dark Knight books are a bit more radical.
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Jared

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2011, 12:15:19 PM »
Sam, if you liked Long Halloween and are soon to read Dark Victory, add Haunted Knight to your list as well (Loeb/Sale)

verbALs

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Re: 2012: year of The Batman
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2011, 12:42:56 PM »
I'll give you a review straight off;

The Dark Knight Returns

The premise of an older Batman in a newer time is an idea that Alan Moore filched directly for his magnum opus Watchmen The idea is that the superheroes have gone underground, a policy policed by the ubermensch himself, a man not to be denied, Superman. However, the bat haunts Bruce Wayne, it stills crashes through his window at night to wake him screaming. He tries to blot it out and in TDKR first scene we find him racing and battling a car that is going too fast and exploding in flames. For the first time of many he says, "This would be a fine way to die" and the noir fatalism of the entire piece is established.


However, he nows lives in world of hypermedia, of fascist policing with Jim Gordon retiring disgusted and of little children running around like tiny Clockwork Oranges hell bent on rape and destruction. One of his old enemies the demented Two Face forces him back into action. Where Miller succeeds amazingly is in action scenes that are at a Matrix level in pen and ink.

Unfortunately watching on tv is the hospitalised Joker who on seeing his old foe and counterpoint comes out of a dribbling coma, smiles and says "Darling!" Suffice to say the stage is set. Batman's reappearance stirs the children of Gotham into a frenzy and the old man Wayne has to face a new breed of terror. He builds a tank that makes any other Batmobile look like a tricycle, and he gains a new Robin, a thirteen year old girl.

The four part story descends towards two confrontations. Having escaped confinement by killing everyone during a Ruth Heisenheimer interview where she screams "SEX UND SEX UND SEX!" The Joker activates his old gang and goes on an unrestrained killing spree ending at an amusement park. The finale to the Batman-Joke fright is stunning and a shock. It leaves Batman in a head-on collision with Superman, fresh from winning a war in the Corto Maltese ( a Neuromancer reference, nice) for the US of A. Kent complains that Wayne is just too noisy, and Wayne retorts that the big boy scout should shut up and fight. Another masterful set-piece.

I have no idea how the success of this book translated to the Burton Batman movie. There is no comic moment in the book, it isn't kitsch and the Joker is an unrestrained psychopath who just wants to drag Batman down to his level. Ledger's Joker is as close as they ever got. Frank Miller has a sensibility for imagining action on a page that Sin City hinted at. The real home for his noirish tendencies is here and in his Daredevil books. This is a great novel for movie lovers to see. I defy anybody with that sensibility to read this and not imagine it on screen- it is purely cinema- words, sounds, images, explosions, noise, terror. Maybe this is a good way to die....but not yet, as Bruce Wayne clutches his chest as it fails him. Beautiful.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 02:59:01 PM by verbALs »
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy