“The Dark Knight Rises” opens tonight (well, technically Friday morning), so I feel obliged to write something Batman-y since this is the big, epic conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy.
But I’m going to go against the grain.
Truth be told, I don’t care about “Batman” much, especially at the movie theater. Oh, I’ve seen the movies, and I’ll go see this one (I didn’t get to attend a critics screening), but I’m suffering from Batman overload.
“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” on Cartoon Network was great, but I haven’t read a “Batman” comic in decades. And it was just the latest in a long series of “Batman” cartoons while they canceled “Superman,” “Legion of Super-Heroes” and “Justice League Unlimited” prematurely.
“Beware the Batman” will be coming to Cartoon Network next year, and it sounds (and looks) pretty bad. “Young Justice,” headed by Batman family member Nightwing, is good. But “Green Lantern” isn’t. At least there’s some character diversity in the shorts, except most of them have stunk.
Everywhere you look, it’s Batman, Batman, Batman. Toy shelves are filled with Batman toys. DC Universe Classics cases were always loaded with Batman figures and only one or two of the ones I cared about.
Update: Just saw Comic Book Resources’ SDCC Mattel panel update. There’s a new “Dark Knight Rises” toy line, of course. They also announced three new lines of toys, and two of them are all Batman. Of the four final “DC Universe Classics” figures, two of them are Bat-family. And there will be a new series of “Batman” TV series figures as part of the “Movie Masters” line.
I’m surprised they didn’t put Batman in the Green Lantern movie just to make another figure.
It seems like half of the DCnU titles are Batman-related titles. For years, Batman was the only character who could get a movie.
The only reason I wanted to play “Lego Batman 2″ is because of all the other heroes included, but my PS3 is still down. We got the Batman “Arkham” games. Where’s the Superman video game? The Wonder Woman video game? Amethyst would work great in a “Final Fantasy”-style game.
Most of the direct-to-DVD solo movies have been Batman movies. Next up? Not one, but two animated movies adapting Frank Miller’s seminal “The Dark Knight Returns” graphic novel.
And before “Dark Knight Rises” even opened, they were talking about the next reboot of the franchise. Meanwhile, Marvel is mining its vast stable of characters for all kinds of interesting movies. They’re even doing Ant Man, for goodness’ sake.
Where are DC’s “Justice League,” “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman,” “Legion of Super-Heroes,” “Shazam,” “Metal Men,” “Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew” movies? I could go on and on with characters I’d rather see on the big screen before yet another Batman movie. Heck, I’d rather see a Bwana Beast movie first.
I can’t wait for next year’s “Man of Steel.” Wouldn’t it be funny if star Henry Cavill showed up as Clark Kent at a press conference or something in “DKR”?
Of course, DC is doing this because of fan demand (or, at least, perceived fan demand). They wouldn’t keep trotting out the cowl if it didn’t make them a bunch of money.
So what is it about Batman? Since Tim Burton made him dark and broody on film, and Miller did the same in comics, it seems everyone is ga-ga over Batman. He does have that regular-guy appeal. He’s a “normal” human among dozens of super-powered aliens and whatnot, and he can take all of them down. I see the wish-fulfillment thing.
But I don’t like him for precisely the reasons others do. I’m tired of dark and broody and violent in my comics — Batman or otherwise. That’s why I enjoyed “The Brave and the Bold” so much. It was fun, but it still took the character more seriously than the Adam West TV series.
Marvel movies are fun, and I don’t even read Marvel comics.
Batman isn’t fun on the big screen. He isn’t fun in the comics. And all the hoity-toity cache that Nolan adds doesn’t change that.
He wasn’t fun in “Batman: The Animated Series,” but that show came before my Batman fatigue and was brilliantly written (and beautifully animated in the beginning).
DC took the popularity of that and Burton’s film and has been coasting ever since.
C’mon, DC. You were first. Quit being second to Marvel.