07 May 2010

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Batman: Gotham Knight

In 2008, Batman Gotham Knight unnecessarily (and not really) bridged the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight via animated anime shorts. Here is a highlight from my review. "From start to finish, Batman: Gotham Knight is sheer eye candy and just like when you fill up on candy without a real meal, you will go to bed with an upset stomach." The best part of this movie was seeing all of the varying deigns of the Batsy. It was also a treat to hear Kevin Conroy from the animated series reprise his role as Batman.

There were 6 delightful tales:

Have I Got A Story For You

The opening tale had three kids each giving their account of an encounter with The Batman (think BTAS "Legends of the Dark Knight"). It was cool to see these interpretations of Elseworlds Batmen, even if the idea itself wasn't too original.

The first described a monster that could melt into shadows.

The second kid described Batman as a Man-bat with fangs wings and claws.

The third described him as a robot.

The real shock is that after these three fantastical versions of Batman we see the real deal who turned out to be kind of a fat guy.


Next up, the story shifted from the perspective of kids to that of the Gotham PD. Who got caught in the crossfire between two rival mafia organizations. I guess these guys were in The Dark Knight, but I can mainly guess that from their dogs, not their faces.

Field Test

This tale included Lucious Fox inventing a bullet diverting pulse that Batman could fit into his suit. But fearing that ricocheted bullets could hurt his assailants, Batman opted out of the device. The Caped Crusader looked more like Chickenman than Batman. Wayne didn't look much better.

In Darkness Dwells

In this segment, Batman tangled with Killer Croc of all people (reptiles?), and dodged a couple of scythes thrown by Scarecrow. It was nice to get some action even if the idea of Scarecrow from Batman Begins leading an underground cult seems a little odd. This Batman looked the most like that in Batman Begins.

Working Through Pain

In this segment, a wounded Batman had a number of flashbacks to his days learning to manage pain.

Oh, and we also got to see Batman through the eyes of a fear toxined thug. Cool.


The final segment offered a great looking Batman taking on Deadshot, who, though not a super well known villain, fit into the tone of this segment brilliantly. Sure, it didn't tie into a bigger arc either, but at least there is a self contained plot which some of the others seemed to lack.

Overall, it seemed like someone had an ambitious idea for a Batman movie, but in order to get it ready in time to release with the new theatrical film, they had to slice and dice it and farm it out to 6 companies. Some did better than others.

Up Next: The Dark Knight

Batman Serial * Batman and Robin Serial * Batman '66 TV * Batman '66 Movie * Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder * Batman on Scooby Doo * Batman the Super Friend * The New Adventures of Batman * Batman '89 * Batman Returns * Batman: The Animated Series * Batman: Mask of the Phantasm * Batman Forever * Batman and Robin * The New Batman Adventures * Boo Wonder * Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero * Batman Beyond * Gotham Girls * Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker * Batman on Justice League * DCAU Crossovers * Birds of Prey * Teen Titans * Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman * Chase Me * The Batman * Batman Begins * Batman Vs. Dracula * Justice League: The New Frontier * Batman: Gotham Knight *

* Special Musical Edition * Special Christmas Edition *
Special OnStar Edition * Special Never Happened Edition * Special Canine Edition *

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