Does Batman Die

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Does Batman Die

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Top Answers About Batman (creative franchise) on Quora

Top Answers About Batman (creative franchise)

Is Batman actually good?

Batman is a billionaire who wants to make the world a better place. But instead of using his billions to, I don't know, fund magnet schools, promote public infrastructure, or address the root causes of crime directly, he...

...runs around at night dressed up as a flying rodent and beats people up. Individually.

You don't do that unless at least two criteria are met: (a) you really, really, really love beating people up, and (b) you are totally balls-to-the-wall bonkers.

That's not a combination I normally think of when I think of people who are morally and ethically good.

Batman only beats up "bad" people, but that's a minor detail. There's no getting around the fact that he really likes beating people up, and he's completely crazy.

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Posted on 6 February 2015

Why are people fascinated with the Joker?

Because his motive is chaos. He just wants to see the world burn and takes delight in causing chaos. There are a few people around who are like this but very few of them have much in the way of brains. But the Joker was a genius. A combination of chaotic intent and high intelligence makes for an interesting character.

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Posted on 5 February 2015

Who is more awesome, Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark?

What does awesome mean?  If it means who parties hardest, then it's Stark hands down.  If it means who makes the best weapons system, then it's Stark again although the armor Batman fought Superman in Dark Knight Returns was pretty awesome. No flight, however.

If it's who is the most brilliant strategist and fighter, then it's Wayne.

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Posted on 27 December 2014

I have vowed not to watch any movies in theater until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I am missing all the good movies and feel upset about it. How can I console myself?

People with an especially acute sense of artistic taste - meaning how vehement they feel, not how "good" their taste is - will sometimes fixate on flaws in the art they consume. As a result, they will have things they love, and then a massive dropoff, and it will make them attach to the things they love even more. The statement of love becomes a possession and a sense of identity.

You're being one of those folks right now, and on the face of it that's fine, but there's a practical problem here:

Some art lends itself to this approach more than others. The fellow with the acute taste in painting doesn't refuse to see paintings. He probably goes and sees plenty, but his selection of those he puts in his home (or wherever) is where he gets choosy.

Your art here isn't simply more abstract than that due to being a film, it's essentially one-time art because you're obsessed not simply with anointing the best possible movie but having the best possible movie experience. And this means that you literally can't know whether something will fulfill your deepest wish, or pollute it, until after it's already happened.

Realistically then, the only way for you to keep your "gallery" pristine, is to lock yourself into it and new venture forth again. I would submit to you this just isn't a realistic way to do things.

Obsessing over movies is a perfectly fine thing to do, and being choosy about which you go to see isn't simply fine but impossible to avoid, but there has to be a point of entry where you give new things a shot or else you're going to miss wonderful things.

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Posted on 20 December 2014

I have vowed not to watch any movies in theater until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I am missing all the good movies and feel upset about it. How can I console myself?

Well, if you feel the need to keep to this vow, then buy all these movies on Blu-Ray or DVD.  Then once you've seen BvS:DoJ, take some tie off and binge-watch the movies you want to see.  I'll bet at least one is better than BvS:DoJ.

A word of warning: when you build something up in your mind, it's hard for the real thing to match your expectations.  Personally, I listen for potential flaws in upcoming things so that I'm ready for them and mange my expectations.

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Posted on 19 December 2014

Why is Michael Keaton a better Batman than Christian Bale?

Michael Keaton is a different Batman than Christian Bale, but for the time and portrayal of their respective characters, they're both very good Batmans (Batmen?).

The thing that sets Keaton and Bale apart from the others who have portrayed Batman is the fact that they gave believable performances as both Batman and Bruce Wayne.  Keaton nailed the discomfort at playing a role, the violence sitting just under the veneer, and the guilt that drove Bruce to be the Bat and to push people away.  Bale nailed the "rich playboy" persona, balanced with an honest caring about the people closest to him.

The Bale Batman would never have been successful or believable in the late 80s, and the Keaton Batman would be a joke in the present day.  But, for their times, they were both the best Batmen that we could hope for.  They were both the Batman that we wanted, and the Batman that we deserved.

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Posted on 16 December 2014

Who would win in a fight, Vegeta or Batman?

Vegeta lands in Gotham, then Gotham is wiped off the map

Saiyans don't make demands when they invade a planet, they just start killing a city at a time. This is uncharacteristic of any villains in D.C. comics so Batman simply wouldn't have any time to prep when he gets vaporized.

and there's a small chance Vegeta would eat Batman afterwards


Even though Batman started off as a detective who fights mortal criminals who occasionally have tommy guns, Batman is the most popular fictional character in America though and has mutated over the years into the god of plot pulls, so of course he's not going to lose if it's a story for the American audience. In that case we'd probably have Superman slugging it out with Vegeta, then Batman analyzes a Saiyan hair sample to make up anti-saiyan kryptonite from the fragments of planet Vegeta or something to save Superman (because any time Batman cooperates with Superman we have to watch Superman get humiliated before Batman saves the day).

as canonical as anything Nolan directed.

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Posted on 26 May 2014

If people were asked to direct Batman 4, what would the plot be?

Without a doubt, and I believe I've answered a similar question before, I'd go to...

Batman Beyond

I'll offer my take below, but first...

The last thing we need is an outright reboot.  I'm actually excited by the prospect of Ben Affleck offering a different take on the character for the upcoming Batman/Superman film, leading into Justice League.

However, if I was hired to write and direct a fourth Batman film, I'd shepherd a new franchise that could equally exist with any Ben Affleck-led role in the aforementioned movies, which would obviously include a Justice League franchise.

We don't need another origin story.  For The Amazing Spider-Man, I didn't mind it because I extremely disliked what I thought were very overrated Sam Raimi installments.

With Batman, we've had the great Tim Burton installments, as well as the now classic Christopher Nolan franchise installments of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.  I gave The Dark Knight Returns three chances, and I still feel that it was a horribly structured and executed final installment of Nolan's trilogy, beyond the excellent ending with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. 

So with Burton and Nolan's origin stories, we just don't need another one.  I'm sure that with Ben Affleck's take (If he stays attached the role), they won't be doing an origin story beyond some mild exposition.

So let's take the franchise somewhere it hasn't been. 

While I would directly pull from Batman Beyond, piece by piece at least, I'd take the core concepts and elements and craft my own story.  And I'd include some additional elements. 

An introduction that would play much like the opening of The Road Warrior, as far as showcasing an opening that picks up on an adventure that has already begun.  A pre-cursor to the eventual film.   

Gotham.  The Future.

The great city has long fallen.  It is a world of crime.  The good hide in the shadows while the scum reign free. 

Those who wish to prosper have moved on to Metropolis.   

Batman, now in his early fifties, still dons the suit of the Dark Knight.  But he's no longer a difference maker.  Gotham can not be saved by this one man alone, and his now mythical ideals. 

Everyone he loved is gone.  Alfred.  Vicki.  Gordon.  Robin/Nightwing.  Etc.  

He lives in endless guilt.  He couldn't save Gotham those many years ago.  He failed the city.  He failed his friends.  He won battles, but lost the war. 

The film opens amidst a chase sequence already in play, through the dark and sometimes burning streets of Gotham. 

A manic motorcycle gang speeds through the streets.  They are dressed in Road Warrior-like street wear, with green and purple J's painted onto their black leather and helmets.  "J" for Joker that is.  His gang. 

They are hotly pursued by the aging Batman on his Bat cycle, who is now donning a Bat suit that is clearly battle ridden.  The body suit is dark grey while the mask and cape are black. 

It's a violent chase.  Batman is outnumbered and clearly overwhelmed, however his training succeeds in the moment, taking out the bikers one by one, and sometimes two by two.  But they keep coming.  As if a hornet's nest was shaken, until...

A dark figure appears on the horizon at the end of the street.  Batman sees this figure and grinds to a halt.  The biker gang ahead and around him part, respecting the duel to come.

It's the Joker. 

He has aged as well.  He's even more dark and disturbed now.     

"Be careful what you wish for, Batman.  It may just come true!"

Batman suddenly hits the accelerator and speeds towards him!  The Joker laughs manically as Batman approaches fast, clearly about to take him out until...

Two of Joker's gang appear from the shadows to the right of the street.  The brandish cable guns, shooting them across the street through Batman's path.  The cables embed themselves into a building, creating deadly trip wires. 

It's too late for Batman to act.  He hits the cables full speed, sending him into the air over The Joker. 

He slides violently to a stop.  He's hurt.  He's hurt bad. 

The Joker approaches with that manic laughter.

Batman sucks in the pain and pounces.  The Joker dodges quickly and kicks him in the chest.  Joker's biker gang surround Batman, who struggles to get up.

The Joker kicks him in the chest again, sending him flying.  Batman tries to get up again until...

He suddenly writhes in pain as he clasps his chest.  Something is wrong.  The Joker's eyes light up with glee, albeit somewhat disappointed. 

Batman tries to get up, but can't.  He holds his arm.  He gasps for breath.  He's having a heart attack. 

"The ole heart?  That blackened organ is finally failing you once and for all!?" 

The Joker stands inches away from him.  Batman tries to attack, but can't.  Falls to his knees. 

The Joker looks to his gang.  "Finally, the Dark Knight bows to The Joker's feet."

The gang laughs. 

The Joker, holding a gun to his side, kneels down. 

"It's been a fun ride, Bruce.  Sorry to see it end like this.  I'll let you die, whether it's tonight or as a decrepit old man with slurred speech, knowing that you had me within your grasp.  And you failed again.  To the past you go ole chap!  It's been real!"

Batman tries and tries in utter rage to get up as The Joker walks away, hops onto a motorcycle, and rides away with his gang, laughing. 

"No.  No!!!!"


The Batman Beyond logo burns onto the screen...

Here we introduce the elements taken from Batman Beyond.  It's twenty years later.

Gotham now has the look and feel of a Blade Runner-type world.    

Flying cars, reminiscent of the technology of the Batwing in Nolan trilogy, fly through the sky. 

It is here where we set up the Batman Beyond mythos, pulled from the animated series but with different spins on the story. 

I pulled most of the below from the Batman Beyond wikipedia page, but have made some tweaks to it. 

We're in the futuristic megalopolis featuring staggering high rises and flying vehicles. Terry McGinnis is an athletic 17-year-old high school student and reformed troublemaker with a deeply ingrained sense of  personal justice. Living on poor terms with his father Warren, Terry  disobeys his curfew one night to meet up with his girlfriend Dana Tan,  only to incur the wrath of a group of the Jokerz gang, a neo-variation (Think Akira) of The Joker's biker gang from before, harassing them. A high-speed motorcycle chase between Terry and  the Jokerz leads them to the grounds of Wayne Manor, which almost looks like a Gothic forest of overgrown trees and weeds and with the mansion looming over everything.   

A dark figure is watching the chase approach from the shadows. 

Terry is cornered near the mansion.  The Jokerz surround him.  The dark figure watches from afar as Terry engages the gang, showcasing some amazing skill and prowess until he's overtaken. 

A figure from the shadows intervenes.  Terry, having taken a beating, watches as this dark figure brutally takes out the Jokerz.  It's Bruce Wayne.  A much older Bruce Wayne.  But he still manages to hold his own amazingly. 

Bruce and Terry fend off the Jokerz  side-by-side, but the exertion aggravates Bruce's heart condition. Terry  helps Bruce back to the manor and, while exploring the mansion,  stumbles upon the entrance to the Batcave, only to be chased out by a  recovered and angered Bruce.

The next day, Terry returns home to find that his father has been murdered by the Jokerz gang, who had been targeting him. 

One thing leads to another and Terry finds himself, grief stricken, at the Wayne Manor. 

Thus begins the storyline of Batman Beyond

Terry is trained by Bruce.  He fights the local crime, investigating the murder of his father.  Wondering how they knew where he lived.  Perhaps Terry wasn't the target.  Perhaps his father was killed for other reasons. 

The possibilities are endless for this new franchise.  New villains.  Old villains. 

Bruce Wayne as the tough as nails mentor figure.

The return of The Joker. 

You have a new Batman design, set within a Blade Runner-like city landscape.  Akira-like biker gangs and environments. 

That's what I'd do with the next Batman installments.  And this franchise CAN exist at the same time as the Justice League franchise.  Two different time periods.  I'd combine the mythos.

This would allow the Batman franchise to grow in multiple directions, offering audiences a fresh take as well.    

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Posted on 28 January 2014

If people were asked to direct Batman 4, what would the plot be?

Batman Beyond.

For several reasons (if you don't care about them, skip to the story below):

Making another Batman reboot following Nolan's inspired trilogy seems like a recipe for disappointment.

Even if I came up with something good, it'd be stuck forever in Nolan's shadow. Case in point: The recent reboot of Spider-man was far superior to Sam Raimi's original in nearly every way - and it wasn't a huge success, because (in part) Sam Raimi's film had come first and had done well, so Andrew Garfield's web-slinger is stuck in the shadows of Toby Maguire's.

Continuing the series where TDKR left off also seems doomed (SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE DARK KNIGHT RISES).

I would want to respect TDKR's plot and thus not have Bruce Wayne return as Batman. It seems easy to say "Just have Joseph Gordon-Levitt be Batman", but remember: this is a big-budget blockbuster - in the eyes of the audience for that type of film, "Batman" and "Bruce Wayne" are virtually synonymous. Imagine pitching a Batman movie that takes place in the present day, but doesn't involve Bruce Wayne or Alfred at all. Does that seem exciting? Or do you think the average moviegoer's reaction would be "Wait, then what's the point of a Batman movie? This seems like an obviously unnecessary sequel."?


There is one incarnation of Batman who is not Bruce Wayne, which was still popularly accepted: Batman Beyond.

For those who aren't familiar, here's the nutshell version (for those who are familiar, skip it): Batman Beyond takes place in a futuristic Gotham with flying cars and all sorts of sci-fi gadgets. Bruce Wayne is still alive, but far too old to continue effectively serving as Batman. A young adult named Terry McGinnis ends up suffering the loss of a parent to violent crime, and seeks out Batman - and Bruce Wayne takes McGinnis under his wing. McGinnis dons a high-tech batsuit and brings Batman back to Gotham, while under the training and guidance of Wayne. I'm paraphrasing a lot; you should look up the series (at least on Wikipedia, though it's worth watching).

Batman Beyond seems like an excellent way to stay loosely in Nolan's canon, while also somewhat "rebooting" Batman.

Plus, the additional sci-fi setting seems like a great hook to get people excited that this film is going to do something cool and new with Batman that's never been done on the silver screen before.

We also need to acknowledge that the Nolan trilogy was still a trilogy of action movies - involving huge stunts and gadgets and action scenes. Jumping into the future seems like a good way to follow-up the over-the-top ending of TDKR without jumping the shark.

Here's a rough sketch of how I might do a Batman Beyond film set in the Nolanverse:

For those familiar with Batman Beyond, my pitch would basically be to combine the origin story from the first two episodes, with the Mr. Freeze arc (with some massaging of plot details here and there to make it fit with Nolan's canon).

For those who don't know what I just said (or just like hearing me talk, apparently):

Mr. Freeze would be the flagship villain.

But he wouldn't be the main antagonist, and wouldn't show up as villain immediately. We'll get back to him.

For now, I just want to say that he is in many ways a perfect Batman villain - like Two Face, he is a tragic figure, and one whom Batman wishes he could help.

Further, the sci-fi setting of Batman Beyond finally gives us a plausible environment for his otherwise unacceptably cartoony gimmick - the freeze gun.

The film would be an origin story for the new Batman, but it wouldn't be just an origin story - it should still have some continuity with the prior trilogy (SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE DARK KNIGHT RISES).

After the virtual collapse of Wayne Enterprises and the disappearance of Bruce Wayne, the company is taken over by new investors, who begin taking the company in a very different direction (without Lucius Fox or Bruce Wayne at the helm). At the time our movie takes place, the company is now Wayne-Powers (keeping the old brand just for the historical weight it has in Gotham), and is headed by a man named Derek Powers.

Wayne Manor is declared a historical site, and remains uninhabited. The audience is not told what Bruce Wayne or Selina Kyle or Alfred Pennyworth have been doing (presumably they're enjoying happy lives away from their dark pasts). Gordon has long since retired.

Batman is still around, but weakening.

Robin John Blake has been acting as Batman since the end of TDKR, continuing to operate primarily out of the batcave beneath the uninhabited Wayne Manor. He is virtually consumed by his role as Batman, and virtually has no alter-ego lifestyle. Blake turns out to be an ingenious and resourceful engineer, and is able to put the technology he finds in the batcave to reasonably good use without the billions of dollars that Wayne had at his disposal.

However, the years have taken their toll on Blake. At the time the film takes place, Blake is older than Wayne ever was while serving as Batman. He's refusing to give up, in part because his reclusive lifestyle means he has no heir, and he feels the city needs a Batman.

All of this should be conveyed fairly quickly, possibly before the opening titles, so we could establish the new setting.

Terry McGinnis is a bright-but-disaffected college student. He lives with his mother and little brother. Classes take up little of his time and interest, and he is driven by a need to improve the city (perhaps he is projecting a need to fix his broken home, which we'll get to in a moment), so he is an active - if young - member of some neighborhood watch organizations. They aren't vigilantes; they simply patrol and try to keep the police abreast of developing situations, while offering citizens some modicum of protection.

As a member of the neighborhood watch, Terry becomes increasingly frustrated by the lackluster responses of a corrupt Gotham Police Force. He has, however, seen Batman once or twice, and is particularly fixated with him.

Terry's father, Dr. Warren McGinnis, is a chief scientist working in research under the medical technology wing of Wayne-Powers. These days, he spends almost his entire life at work, and his family rarely sees him.

Let's introduce the last real pillar of the cast - our villain-to-be.

Because of his strained relationship with his family, Dr. McGinnis' real confidant is a close friend from work - a research scientist working under him, named Dr. Victor Fries. One of the projects that their lab is overseeing is a cryogenics initiative: they are trying to develop technology to induce a state of stasis in the human body through extremely low temperatures, intended to slow down the progression of a deadly illness like cancer to a halt and enabling doctors to treat it.

Dr. Fries' wife, Nora Fries, has recently fallen ill with an extremely aggressive cancer that is not responding to any treatment, and so Dr. Fries is particularly passionate about his work in the hopes that it might be used to help his wife.

Dr. Fries is also a friend of the McGinnis family, and is sometimes a way to for them to keep in touch with their alienated father. There should be at least one scene showing a friendship between Terry McGinnis and Dr. Victor Fries at the Fries residence - presumably where the two have a conversation about the consequences of obsession and the toll it takes. Terry also sees Nora, ill.

OK, OK, OK - so when does stuff actually happen? Who's the bad guy so far?

Derek Powers, CEO and chairman of Wayne-Powers, is a thoroughly corrupt and ruthless businessman, and his great wealth and influence have enabled him to bend much of the city to his will - turning the company into an illness in Gotham, perverting the legacy left by Wayne and Fox.

Powers has his company manufacture biological and chemical weapons, and sell them on the black market. One such weapon is under development in one of Dr. McGinnis' labs, unbeknownst to Dr. McGinnis. This new weapon is intended to be, in essence, a radioactive plague: one that is both highly lethal and capable of lingering in an area even without human vectors (unlike, say, Ebola - which is so lethal that outbreaks contain themselves, by killing off their carriers too quickly). The radioactive bioweapon is codenamed "Blight."

In fact, Powers has been secretly testing this agent on some people already - one of whom is Nora Fries.

To expedite development of this bioweapon, Powers cancels the cryogenics initiative that Dr. Fries was leading, and re-assigns him elsewhere. In desperation, Dr. Fries keeps some of his lab hidden, and sneaks his wife inside - placing her in an experimental cryogenic stasis to try to buy more time to develop a life-saving cure. He secretly continues his research in cryogenics.

Dr. McGinnis notices something off about Dr. Fries lately, and uncovers the hidden cryogenics work Dr. Fries has been conducting in secret. After an emotional exchange, Dr. McGinnis agrees to help Dr. Fries keep the secret, for Nora's sake (in part motivated by guilt over alienating his own family - he wants to "save at least one family", or something equally poignant).

I'm going to speed things up now.

Dr. McGinnis uses his access to the company's administrative systems to help forge data to hide Dr. Fries' research - and in doing so, stumbles across something else that doesn't look quite right. This leads him to discover the development of Blight.

His snooping hasn't gone unnoticed, and when brought to Derek Powers' attention, he decides to have Dr. McGinnis become the next "test subject" for Blight. He sends some thugs to infect Dr. McGinnis, posing as normal muggers but secretly armed with Blight. Batman (as John Robin Blake) attempts to intervene, but finds the thugs to be much more capable - and better-armed - than ordinary street thugs. At length, he is able to fight off the thugs, but not before they infect Dr. McGinnis.

Dr. McGinnis is infected with an updated version of Blight, which progresses far more rapidly than the one in Nora. Terry will notice that the symptoms of his father's sudden illness match Nora's symptoms. When his father tells the family about the mugging, Terry finds it even more suspicious - Powers' hired thugs were posing as gang members, but from his duties as neighborhood watch, Terry knows that this gang doesn't normally operate in that neighborhood.

I don't need to explain why Terry ends up deciding to do some sleuthing, himself.

Terry breaks into his father's labs and tries to figure out what's going on.

Doing so, he encounters his father - who was trying to copy incriminating information so he could expose Powers' clandestine weapons development. He doesn't want to tell Terry what he is doing, fearing that the information would endanger him - but Terry just sees his father trying to stay distant, again, and they fight.

The commotion draws the attention of one of Powers' goons working security, who notifies Powers. Powers realizes what Dr. McGinnis is doing, and sends goons to have him killed, and to wreck the lab - making it look like an accident.

Terry tries to defend his father, but despite putting up a remarkable effort, he is unable to stop the goons - and watches his father die. The goons attempt to kill him too, now that he is witness to a murder, but Terry escapes.

Not wanting to endanger his family, and trying to get as far away from Powers' reach as possible, Terry decides not to return home, and ends up taking refuge in the abandoned Wayne Manor.

Because this is a movie, though, things shouldn't be easy - and Batman should end up rejecting Terry initially.

Ah, now we're getting somewhere.

I'll skip the details for now (because I'm really getting carried away by this point), but as you can imagine, Terry will discover the batcave, and connect with Batman. For extra drama, we can have Batman realize that the man he failed to fully defend is this boy's father - giving him an emotional impetus both to make it up to Terry, and to finally admit he needs help bringing the streets back in order.

We also need to finish the other villain's origin story, however.

As Dr. McGinnis' lab is wrecked to stage the "accident", Powers discovers the secret lab that Dr. Fries and Dr. McGinnis had been hiding - with the frozen Nora in it. Realizing that this is a potential liability even with Dr. McGinnis out of the picture (because now Dr. Fries might discover Blight as well), and enraged that the two scientists were hijacking his resources, he has the cryogenics lab dismantled as well.

Dr. Fries catches Powers' goons destroying the lab, and attacks them - though they easily overpower him and toss him aside. As the goons direct their attention to Nora, Dr. Fries uses their distraction to break some of his own machinery, releasing a freezing gas at the goons.

The bad guys are disoriented by the freezing gas, and Dr. Fries takes that moment to direct a jet of cryogenic fluid at them - reacting with the gas, the fluid freezes the goons like statues. Dr. Fries is able to incapacitate all but one of the goons this way (the last escapes). Nora's machinery is damaged, but she is still alive.

When Dr. Fries tries to exit the lab in pursuit of the other goon, he finds that it is unbearably hot in the hallway - even though it's only room temperature - and retreats to the lab. He realizes that his prolonged exposure to the freezing gas has altered his body's homeostatic temperature regulation, and he needs to remain in the cold. Enraged, he murders the frozen goons, before donning a hazmat suit from the lab and jury-rigging some machinery to keep the suit's internal temperature low. He realizes that he can't stay at the lab, however, since more goons will be coming (and eventually police), so he flees with Nora and what equipment he can. For now.

And thus, Mr. Freeze is born.

Terry learns about his father's death. He tries to bring the pieces of the puzzle he's found so far to the police, but they are under Powers' thumb. With nowhere left to turn, and certain that Powers will move onto Terry's family in an effort to find and kill Terry, he returns to Wayne Manor and again confronts John Robin Blake. Blake is not only emotionally moved to help Terry - he is also impressed by Terry's resourcefulness, his detective-work, his familiarity with the city - he sees a glimmer of someone else, and agrees to work together.

And thus, Batman is reborn.

Now, I haven't figured out the entire story yet, but I think you guys can see a few places the story should go.

Mr. Freeze is going to want to return to Wayne-Powers, both to finish getting the resources to keep Nora alive and frozen, and to exact revenge on Derek Powers.

Terry dons the Batman suit, guided remotely by Blake from Wayne Manor, and goes to investigate what happened to his father and why, doing a fair amount of detective-work which enables him to put all the pieces together and discover what Powers was up to.

Batman and Mr. Freeze's paths cross as Batman encounters Mr. Freeze attacking a Wayne-Powers site. Terry recognizes his father's friend, Victor, in the suit - and is torn. He will have some emotional exchanges with Blake about the costs you pay for being Batman.

At this point, the only thing left in Mr. Freeze's life is saving Nora - and after the destruction of his lab, there is nothing he is not willing to do to accomplish that, up to and including harming or killing innocent Wayne-Powers employees - which is where he runs afoul of Batman's moral code, and the two become opposed.

Although Mr. Freeze has become villainous, he is still tragic and sympathetic - the real monster is Derek Powers. Powers should eventually get his comeuppance by being subjected to a huge amount of Blight himself. Ideally, Batman still attempts to save Powers, but it is Mr. Freeze who stops Batman, and thus allows Powers to die.

Mr. Freeze will eventually be taken down, but not killed, and placed in a medical facility sensitive to his temperature requirements - where he is overcome with grief over being unable to save his wife.

But his wife is not lost - some inventive engineering by Blake ensures that her cyochamber is functional, and she stays sleeping, waiting for a cure.

Terry will remain as the city's new Batman, in part because he realizes that he owes it to the city - if he gives up now, then he was just using Batman as a way to achieve his own revenge; he wants to make sure he is something better, and he knows that even though Powers himself is dead, there is still a lot of corruption to be cleaned up.

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Posted on 28 January 2014

What can we learn from Batman?

Long answer alert.

This answer is based solely on The Dark Knight trilogy. For a complete answer that traces Batman's origins, do read Shikhar Singh 's  answer below.

As a character, Nolan's Batman has been intriguing, captivating and inspiring. He surprises me with his skills, disappoints me with his decisions, stupefies me with his tactics and make me empathize the life he chooses to live after whatever his destiny endowed him with. Nevertheless Batman, and the people who made his life symbolize numerous lessons and Oriental wisdom.

  • Actions will always speak louder than words/intention/ideas.

    Batman/Bruce Wayne has to play the act of being a rich, spoilt billionaire playboy who goes around with seductive supermodels and Russian ballet dancers, buying hotels and sailing on a yacht so that nobody suspects him to be the Batman. Its necessary, something he ought to do to keep the two personalities far away from each other. But he never lets the former get in the way of his real purpose, to serve and protect the people of Gotham City.

    Almost everyday, we remind ourselves and people around us to hit the gym next day, to start jogging early morning, to start that much awaited blog, to spend quality time with our loved ones, learn that guitar, go on that vacation we planned in college. Such bucket lists keep on increasing everyday, till we reach a stage where we neither have time nor the energy to put these plans into actions. Sooner or later we lose our credibility in our own eyes.

    Batman inspires you to become a man of action.
    • Hit the snooze button. Go, run and kiss the sun.
    • Cut those extra calories today, not tomorrow.
    • Love him/her? Drive all the way down and spend quality time with him/her if you mean that love. It will always be cherished more that "I love you" exchanged over phone, Gtalk, Whatsapp, FB etc.
    • Want that coveted post? Work your butt off instead of boasting about your skills.


  • Learn to trust yourself & the people you care about, with the truth.

    "You have been supplied with a false idol to stop you from tearing down this corrupt city. Let me tell you the truth about Harvey Dent."The Batman didn't murder Harvey Dent. He saved my boy, then took the blame for Harvey's appalling crimes so I could, to my shame, build a lie around this fallen idol."         - Bane, The Dark Knight Rises

At the end of The Dark Knight, Batman convinces Commissioner Gordon to frame him for the murder(s) by/of Harvey Dent so that Gotham's citizens don't loose their hope and belief in the power of law and justice. They bury the truth about Harvey Dent's rampage as the Two Face. They build a new Gotham upon that memory but were never really able to eradicate crime- it was just pushed underground. Ironically, that is exactly from where it resurfaced and that too with a force that crippled the city for months.

So whether it is a team you are trying to work with or a relationship you are trying to build, always trust your people with the truth. Trust them that they have the capacity to accept the truth. It can be painful initially, but not as painful as it will be when they realize that you broke their trust and built everything on a lie. Lose trust and you lose everything.

  • Great organisations are always built around great ideas and not people.

"People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy and I can't do that as Bruce Wayne. As a man, I'm flesh and blood, I can be ignored, I can be destroyed; but as a symbol... as a symbol I can be incorruptible, I can be everlasting." - Bruce Wayne, Batman Begins

Bruce Wayne's key motivation to become Batman is his desire to become a symbol of hope for people who aspire to become better and a deterrent in the minds of the criminal and the corrupt.

Throughout history, people who went to build great, everlasting organisations and path breaking companies did so because they built their dreams around their ideas and not people. It's the power of idea that drives them forward, motivates them to wake up every morning to new possibilities and lead winning teams with passion and energy. When they stumble, again its that immortal, everlasting idea that inspires them to start afresh all over again. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Henry Ford, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Kiran Bedi, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, the list is endless. But it was always the power of an idea; whether it the idea of freedom, or the idea to connect people or the idea of creating path breaking technology, that pushed these men and women through all the odds to fulfill their dreams.

  • Everyone struggles. The important thing is to find the right reasons to do so.

    "I've sewn you up, I've set your bones, but I won’t bury you. I've buried enough members of the Wayne family.”

    “It means your hatred. And it also means losing someone that I have cared for since I first heard his cries echo through this house. But it might also mean saving your life and that is more important.”
                                                                              - Alfred Pennyworth

Accept it. Your heart will be broken. You'll lose your loved ones in front of your eyes. Your mentors will leave you when you need them the most. Your confidants will doubt and question your actions. You'll struggle while choosing between what is right and what is necessary to be done. You'll struggle to find your true identity and purpose. You'll identify yourself with other people, attach yourself to their happiness and sorrows, and then one day, when they are no longer there, you'll lose the very foundation on which you were alive. You'll struggle to live with the truth. You'll struggle to create a new identity over a disillusioned one. You'll struggle to paint it differently in front of the world. You'll struggle to find a reason for your life.

“I never wanted you to come back to Gotham. I always knew there was nothing for you here, except pain and tragedy. And I wanted something more for you than that. I still do.”    - Alfred Pennyworth

The fact is, you will have to accept your limitations and let go of a lot of things. You'll have to move ahead. To know that nothing is permanent, and that this too shall pass, like the seasons and the rivers, will give you the strength to continue your journey ahead. No. Its not running away from your struggles. Its accepting that there are far better thing to struggle for. You will have to keep rebuilding yourself everyday. Because that is what life is all about. Moving ahead.

 “Endure, Mr. Wayne. Take it. They’ll hate you for it, but that’s the point of the Batman. He can be the outcast, he can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.” - Alfred Pennyworth

  • Higher the goals you want to achieve, greater the risk you'll have to take.

    Prisoner: You do not fear death. You think this makes you strong. It makes you weak.
    Batman: Why?
    Prisoner: How can you move faster than possible, fight longer than possible without the most powerful impulse of the spirit: the fear of death.
    Batman:I do fear death. I fear dying in here, while my city burns, and there's no one there to save it.
    Prisoner: Then make the climb.
    Batman: How?
    Prisoner: As the child did. Without the rope. Then fear will find you again.

You need to risk failure in order to succeed. When Batman is trapped in that strange prison with an open top, it makes his punishment even more terrible. The prison offers hope to its inmates, hope that they can climb out and escape. Ironically, its exactly the same hope that the prison takes away when anyone fails in his attempts to climb out. Much like Azkaban and Dementors.

Wayne fears dying in that prison while Gotham is reduced to Ashes in his absence. He does not fear death and that is why he fails every time he attempts to escape. Finally, when he risks everything, his past, his life and his future by climbing without the safety harness, is he able to make that leap of faith enables him to climb to his and Gotham's freedom.

By nature, humans are averse to risk. The fight vs flight syndrome, the homeostasis, its ingrained in our very DNA to avoid risks. But, its only when we step outside our comfort zone and risk losing substantially, that we truly discover our limits and strengths. Whether it is about starting a new venture, or working to be an entrepreneur , or working hard for that GPA, we risk losing something every time., whether it is our job, our income, our sleep, those Friday night parties, our friends and loved ones and sometimes ourselves. But without that risk, the forthcoming success will have no value.

In order to achieve something, we must be willing to sacrifice.

With the family wealth and heritage that Bruce Wayne had inherited, he could have made peace with his past and lived as a walking ghost of the Wayne heritage. But he wanted something else from life.

He sacrificed his comforts and trained for years to learn to fight injustice. He sacrificed love for he feared that he would put his loved ones at risk. He lived in some of the worst prisons of the world, not for recognition or fame, but because he knew it was the right thing for him; because that is how he would repay his family debts to Gotham City and bring peace to his troubled past.

Its easy to make choices without consequences. But its even harder to make choices knowing fully well that one wrong move can destroy everything that was once precious to you.

  • Fear is inevitable, just like pain.

    Everyone is afraid. At some level, we are all afraid and feel insecure about the inevitable. But that is not the reason to stop living a life of purpose. The real struggles and battles will always be inside us, making us weak, so that we struggle to make informed decisions. Just like it made Batman struggle after losing Rachel Dawes. But once you embrace your own fears and make them your ally, you pass on that share of fear to your enemies.

  • "And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."
                                                                                     -Thomas Wayne

This has be the underlining theme of Nolan's Batman trilogy. Bruce Wayne will fall and fail, whether it is into a well full of bats, or when he is unable to rescue Rachel Dawes, or when he projects Harvey Dent as the hero Gotham deserves to have and when he is holed up in that hellish prison. But, he will learn to pick himself up, fight back with renewed strength and vigor and save Gotham from destruction.

So many times in our lives, we fail and fall into an abyss of dejection and self doubt. We fail to clear that exam, or win that race, or fail to get that much deserved promotion, that position of responsibility, or fail to get that admission and sometimes even friends. But life doesn't end after such failures. You have to pick yourself up and start intelligently with greater strength after every setback because you know, you are born to win. Always. Fall seven, rise eight.

P.S: The answer is open to different interpretations.

With inputs from:
1. Alex Knapp
2. Prashant Davinci

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Posted on 25 December 2013

Who is wealthier—Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark?

If I recall correctly Wayne Enterprises is a privately held company (dark knight rises not withstanding). This would suggest to me that Bruce Wayne's wealth would tend to be more stable while Tony Starks wealth will rise and fall significantly based upon the vagaries of the stock market.

Given that Stark makes military technology I would assume Stark Enterprises current stock value is very high in the Marvel universe given the nature of real world and comic book conflicts that occur in the comic universe. This would suggest that for the past several years Stark has been worth more.

At other times stark has been worth significantly less. When stark was secretary of Defense I assume he needed to put his Stark stock into some kind of holding trust so that he could not directly benefit from any political decisions he made.  Same thing when he was head of SHIELD; hopefully he didn't significantly increase his fortune during that time...

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Posted on 22 November 2013

Which superhero is respected more, Superman or Batman? Why?

I love this quote:
"Superman is how America views itself. Batman is how the rest of the world views America." - Michael Caine
While working on a game with both characters, some us came to strongly favor Batman, because from a writer's point of view, Superman can do anything, even turn back time or fly into the sun. Ultimately it is kind of boring to be without limits or real challenges.
The broken boy inside imperfect Bruce Wayne, bending laws as Batman, seeking some mix of justice and revenge against an equally broken Joker, well that is almost tragic Opera. Respect might not be the right word, but Batman can be a lot more interesting.

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Posted on 3 October 2013

Which superhero is respected more, Superman or Batman? Why?

Without a doubt in my mind or a moment of hesitation, my answer is Batman.  The Dark Knight. 

Superman stands for truth, justice, and the American way (Now extended to the whole world).  Batman stands for what we'd all like to do if the law and a moral code wasn't holding us back.  There's instant respect for that. 

Batman makes the hard choices.  He takes one for the team.  Superman lives by a code of ethics.  He's the last boyscout.  Batman is pure vengeance and rage.  What we often feel within but cannot channel. 

Throughout the years in comics and film, this has never changed, with the one exception of Superman killing Zod in Man of Steel.  An act that I myself loved.  Finally, Superman has an edge.  But nowhere near the edge Batman has. 

I love Superman, but I respect Batman even more.

UPDATE:  Commented on Ariel Williams' excellent answer.  Decided to add another element to why I thought Batman would get more respect.  And this is primarily from within the DC universe as well, but applies to the real world too. 

The added scenario is that if  a criminal was approached by Superman, they'd likely have a lack of  respect for him because, again, of his powers and overall statue within the community and throughout the world.  The basic do-gooder. 

They'd fear him, sure, because with the twist of his fingers, Superman could kill them instantly. 

However, when he'd fly off they'd likely say, "F*** him.  Damn boyscout thinks he's  better than anyone else because why?  He's got super powers.  Take them away and who is he? Just a man."

But with  Batman, they know he's a vigilante.  They know he's not a boyscout.  And  they know that he doesn't have any powers.  He's just, for lack of a  better term, a badass motherf***er.   And criminals respect that. 

I  bet if you asked a group of cons or ex-cons in real life who they would  respect more (granted, if they know both characters well), Batman wins  by a majority.

Superman has my respect, but I just think the majority would sway towards Batman.

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Posted on 3 October 2013

Which superhero is respected more, Superman or Batman? Why?

I am afraid that I have to respectfully disagree with Ken Miyamoto on this answer for exactly the reasons he lays out in his answer. (I did however upvote him because I understand where he is coming from with his answer.) I will explain why I champion Superman over Batman as the more respected in detail below.


You don't get heaven or hell. Do you know the only reward you get for being Batman? You get to be Batman.
― Neil Gaiman, Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

"Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot -- so I have to wear a disguise that will strike terror into their hearts! I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible, like a... a... a bat!"Bruce Wayne / Batman

"You have a choice. You can crawl -- on your bellies -- and plead for her forgiveness. That's the first choice. The second is -- I hurt you. Choose one. Choose the second." Bruce Wayne / Batman

Despite the fact that many (myself included) can empathize with the feelings of helplessness and wanting to take back the streets that Miyamoto describes, the reality is that we generally do not feel safer knowing there are vigilantes around. Batman is a true hero with a heart of gold but that heart as big as it is, casts a very long shadow. When fear is a weapon in your arsenal trust and respect are commodities in short supply.

In the DC universe as with vigilantes here on Earth Batman is seen as a violent and dangerous criminal that bypasses the system of justice recklessly. Although he may have earned trust from his many efforts Batman is often finding himself pitted against the law as often as he is working with it.

Imagine for a moment....
You are sleeping in your bed and become aware of a sound in your room. You sit up and look off to your left wondering what you heard. You see nothing. As you begin to relax back you see Batman staring at you an inch to your right. "Why did you help <such and such>? Where is he? If this city burns you will burn first!". You are terrified. Your mind screams and you react in fear. You reach desperately to your nightstand to get the gun hidden there. Instead as you pull it open all you see is an explosion of smoke from the drawer.

You come through a moment later and you feel strange. Your leg hurts and you feel dizzy. You look around and you see the street above you and the side of your apartment building. You are upside down, hanging over the street. Batman is holding you by your ankle over the street 20 stories below. He begins barking out questions to you with a voice that sounds like black gravel pouring from a burlap sack. Questions you don't understand. Answers you don't know.

Suddenly he says almost under his breath, "What I don't have time for this.". There is a pause. He speaks again, "What do you mean this isn't the person?". his arm rests a bit and you can reach the side of the building. You grasp onto the overhang in desperation. "So this was just another manipulation to delay us?", He says looking right at you with cold but now a bit remorseful eyes. "Are you certain Oracle?". Suddenly, he pulls you back up and brushes you off. "You pissed off someone very dangerous. I would be careful were I you.", he says before turning and suddenly jumping off the other corner of the building. Your pants are wet with urine and your shirt as well. You are left there shivering in the cold night air wondering what that was all about and why the city is going to burn if there are no sirens to be heard...

That is Batman in a nutshell. That is the danger of the kind of justice vigilantism brings. It is true that he can do things by working outside the law that police can't but because of that the consequences are far more serious should he fail. He wields fear and intimidation like a sword but that sword cuts both ways and the scars it leaves have blackened Batmans heart and soul like the shadows he lives in. The person above probably gets a call from the Wayne foundation a few days later offering him some kind of assistance he desperately needed but he will never know that was also Batmans doing... All that is remembered is the most terrifying night of this person's life.

I want to be clear, in a world like DC there is a need for Batman but if you didn't know his secrets like a comic book reader or movie watcher does, you would probably be more afraid than respect him too. I for one, am glad that our world does not need vigilantes of that sort. It would be a terrifying world to live in.


Actually, it's as if [Superman is] more real than we are. We writers come and go, generations of artists leave their interpretations, and yet something persists, something that is always Superman.
― Grant Morrison, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human

"I remember the first time I met Superman. Barry was going to introduce us. I was just standing on the rooftop watching Barry talk to Superman. I must have tapped my foot a thousand times fighting the urge to ask for his autograph. I started to get down on myself looking at him. Like I could never measure up. I felt like taking off my costume and walking away. When they finished talking Superman walked over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said "I wish more young people were like you." Afterwards I couldn't stop smiling for a week."
―The Flash(Wally West) talking to the other titans

"I remember the first time I met Superman. It was a Justice League case so there were other heroes involved, but in my mind none of them stood as tall or as proudly as Superman. I began to wonder what I was doing in the same room as him, how little he must think of me. But Superman never treated me as anything but an equal. At six inches tall he made me feel like a giant. Now I had to be that giant for him."
―The Atom from Superman: Critical Condition

What can I say that those two quotes above from the Flash and Atom do not say? It may be hard but I will try.

I think the thing that most makes Superman so respected is the way he wields such unimaginable power. It is almost nonsensical to consider trying to jail or capture him for even were you to label him a vigilante like Batman how would you contain him? I honestly don't see Superman as the vigilante though. He seems more like the good Samaritan that is doing the right thing because he has the power and there is no one else there to do it.

With his amazing powers he could set himself up like a god on Earth if he wanted to. He could fly around the world and bust down walls and capture every criminal on Earth and put them all in a prison he built with his own hands. With his super strength and speed he could probably do that in just an hour at most. He doesn't, why doesn't he? He doesn't because Superman is a person of almost impossible moral character. He realizes that he needs to let us figure some things out for ourselves. He helps where he can and where our abilities limit what we can do. He wants to set an example but not to do it for us.

Superman is not Batman. He asks if he can help, he doesn't smash through windows uninvited unless there is a dire need and a pressing consequence for inaction. He works with the police, the governments and the people to not just fight crime but to inspire others to greater heights. Superman does charitable work, speaks at schools and fundraisers all over the world. He is the perfect model of a globally conscious citizen. He builds bridges both literally and figuratively all over the world. He brings food to starving people and water to parched fields. He uses his powers in so many ways than just to fight crime and ugliness. You might argue that Bruce uses his money to do the same thing and you would be right but nobody knows that and Bruce is often far detached from such efforts. Those things are done by others via the Wayne foundation and charitable trust. Batman's mask and his mission for justice is all consuming and an obsession, he doesn't have time to see to such things himself.

If there is a single reason that Superman is not respected it is also because of his power. Some people seem to think that it doesn't matter that he does good because with such power it is effortless for him to do so. What they don't realize is with such power it would be so much easier to be selfish. This is why Superman is so respected. Kryptonians are not automatically nice people. Superman was raised by human parents on a small farm far from the big city. He benefited from seeing what the best of humanity can be like. He knows he has power but he chooses to be Superman, he chooses to be better than just human. That he sets an example and is always conscious of what his actions will mean to future generations, this is what makes him so respected.

If you still need convincing about why people love and respect Superman then read this on Comics that say something.

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Posted on 3 October 2013

Is Ben Affleck the right cast choice for Batman in the new Man of Steel?

I'm pretty intrigued and psyched. Frankly, I'm pretty bored with both Superman and Batman, and the last thing I'm interested in is a reboot with someone low-risk and boring (e.g., a la The Amazing Spider-Man).

This is a huge career moment for Ben Affleck and he has been killing it lately -- in Argo and The Town.

I like high risk decisions where people have a lot at stake.

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Posted on 29 August 2013

Why is Christian Bale (actor) being replaced by Ben Affleck (actor) as Batman in the upcoming Superman sequel?

Because Christian Bale's Batman is over

There are many takes on Batman. Christopher Nolan had Christian Bale portray Batman in a world like something out an American cop drama, except the protagonist and major villains are as durable as John McClane or a Schwarzeneggar hero. That trilogy has fully concluded to Nolan's satisfaction.

Because Nolan's Batman can't exist in a world with superhuman space aliens
now imagine Christian Bale in the Bat-spaceship

Nolan wrote a Batman trilogy in a world where people with actual superhuman powers don't exist. Fighting is done with bullets, punching, and explosions. Batman is pretty smart and has nifty gadgets, but he is not a super genius who can invent a Bat-suit that can rocket him through the vacuum of space, or a Bat-portal to another dimension.

Nolan's gritty 'realistic' Batman just wouldn't fit in the Man of Steel universe where some folks can fly, destroy a city on a whim, and even have super science for space travel. He would either have to break the consistancy of the universe he used to be in, or every other being would have to be heavily downgraded to not instantly vaporize him in a fight because of constant kryptonite shenanigans.

For a new take on Batman, you need a new face to be Batman. We'll see how Ben Afleck does.

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Posted on 22 August 2013

Why is Christian Bale (actor) being replaced by Ben Affleck (actor) as Batman in the upcoming Superman sequel?

Christian Bale has said numerous times that his story as Batman was completely told in Nolan's trilogy and it wouldn't make sense for him to play the role again.

"We were incredibly fortunate to get to make three [Batman films]. That’s enough. Let’s not get greedy," - to Entertainment Weekly

And he's right.  Nolan's story is nicely packaged and complete.  It would be a bad idea to do anything more with it.  The Man of Steel universe is a different universe, so it should have a different Batman.

As for why Affleck - go watch "The Town".

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Posted on 22 August 2013

Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?

Under the assumption that Superman acts at all intelligently, Superman would win effortlessly.
Unfortunately, as the most frustratingly clueless and underachieving superhero ever conceived, Superman would probably lose.
He has only himself to blame, really.

The Amoral Battle

If neither character was constrained by their ethical code, this is an uninteresting battle. Fighting at full strength, Superman would instantly and utterly annihilate Batman. The neurons in Bruce Wayne's brain responsible for even comprehending the situation he's in would have just begun to fire before he was hotter than a supernova and the atoms comprising him distributed evenly across the width of a galaxy.

There is no amount of advantage that could be granted to Batman that would affect this outcome in the slightest. Batman could be wearing a suit lined with kryptonite, sitting in a kryptonite tank the size of a moon, operating a gatling gun that fired kryptonite bullets at trillions of rounds per minute, and it wouldn't make a difference: the battle would simply begin with Batman staring helplessly at a universe of astronomical bodies converging at incredible speeds on his location.
In fact, in the most trivial case, Superman could simply avoid Batman until he died of old age. If some minimal amount of participation was required to prevent that from being considered a surrender, Superman could fling a meteor from across the galaxy from time to time, or even pop down next to Batman, taunt him, dodge a punch or two, and then disappear again. Superman could keep this up eternally; Batman could not.

You could try to give Superman a handicap to level the playing field.
The first problem with this is that recognizing this as a necessity is an admission that Superman would win without the handicap.
But the second is that it'd only be fair to give Batman a similar handicap, because that's only fair.
Let S be Superman's power at the height of his potential, and S' be Superman's power when trapped in a net lined with kryptonite. This means that Superman's power is reduced to \frac{S'}{S} of his full power. This is a very, very, very low number. This is the same fraction we'd have to take of Batman's power to make it fair. And it is this question which is perhaps more interesting than Superman vs Batman in an amoral deathmatch: what could you possibly do to a human to cripple him to precisely this extent? Perhaps it'd come within a few orders of magnitude if Bruce Wayne was quadriplegic, in a coma, mummified in barbed wire, and dangling precariously into an unstable volcano.
The fraction which would make their power converge to roughly the same value would be so vanishingly small that applying it to either combatant would make him totally impotent, and probably lacking in agency altogether.
Either way, the trivial case still exists: Superman would merely have to outlive Batman.

Superman the Pacifist

When we add a third dimension to these characters -- personality, ethics, etc. -- the fight should still go to Superman, and pretty much as handily.

Sunil Kumar Gopal's answer gives a great description of each character's ethical worldview and how it affects his behavior in the fight. So let's agree and say that Superman is not willing to harm Batman, but Batman is perfectly willing to kill Superman. Fine.

The critical flaw in Sunil's argument are the totally unjustifiable assumptions that, for lack of intention to harm Batman, Superman would not only do nothing, but also leave himself open to attack.
Both of these assumptions are asinine.

If Batman was trying to kill Superman and Superman didn't allow himself the option of lethal self-defense, it remains that Superman is faster, tougher, and stronger to a ludicrous extent. Batman would never connect with any attack; Superman would always dodge. Batman cannot escape from Superman's grip should Superman grapple with him. But both are pointless to talk about anyway, because Superman could enact any plan he likes to disarm and contain Batman before Batman could so much as blink.
There is no clever use of tools or careful placement of kryptonite that would allow Batman to compete. For example, what if Batman's armor was lined in kryptonite? There is no shortage of ways for Superman to subdue Batman without coming anywhere close: carrying the ground Batman is standing on, grabbing him with construction equipment, entombing him in machine parts (without crushing him), dumping a neck-deep tarpit on top of him... let your imagination run wild.
And Superman has a nigh-infinite number of ways to tie up, trap, or tire Batman out: plopping him in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, tying him up with suspension bridge cables (because he'd probably cut through ropes), melting the floor Batman is standing on, literally building a prison around him, etc.

At no point is it necessary that Superman allows himself to be affected by an attack, much less to allow the attack to connect, much less come within striking distance, much less take long enough to do anything that Batman had a fraction of a second to even attempt an attack, much less allow Batman to even see him.

So the way this encounter should play out is something like this:
Before Batman can do anything, he is instantly bound / trapped and utterly unable to escape or harm Superman. Superman asks Batman why he's trying to harm him. Assuming Batman has an acceptable answer and never surrenders, Superman can babysit him, spoon-feed him, and clean up his poopies until the end of Bruce Wayne's natural life. Since Batman died first, Superman wins. At the very worst, this is a stalemate. But it is ridiculous to consider it a victory for Batman.

Superman the Moron

Unfortunately, Superman is criminally stupid. He squanders his powers by making inconsequential contributions to humanity's well-being in ways that are stupendously less effective than what he is capable of.
He could fix all of humanity's problems: feed all the hungry, clothe all the naked or cold, depose all morally corrupt leaders and maintain stable governments, cure all diseases, prevent all crime, and supply the world with tremendous quantities of clean energy (at the very least by turning a giant crank, or something).

Instead, he foils petty crime. And not even by hanging out in orbit, laser-eyeing muggers' and bank robbers' guns at thousands of guns per second, but by coming down and personally involving himself, necessarily ignoring absolutely every other crime happening in the world for that duration of time.
Every second, Superman is squandering an insane amount of his potential.

Superman is terrible at his job.
Superman is terrible at being alive.
(Christ, how I hate Superman.)
(How people can possibly find this character interesting, I'll never know.)

And that's why he'd let Batman get a hold of some kryptonite, and why Superman won't dodge it as it's plunged into his chest.
Because Superman is the greatest moron who ever lived.

Good night.

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Posted on 26 July 2013

How would you make The Dark Knight Rises if Heath Ledger was alive to play the Joker?

Gotham, with the "martyred death" of Harvey Dent (Who we all knew turned into and died as Two Face in The Dark Knight... a mistake in my eyes, as far as him dying, but we'll skip past that), is now a prosperous and much less crime ridden city, thanks especially in due part to new Commissioner Gordon. 

Batman is a wanted fugitive.  The Dark Knight to Dent's White Knight. 

Bruce Wayne has lead his company to an even greater success, yet when the business meetings are done and he returns home to his mansion, its clear that he's mourning the loss of Rachel Dawes. 

He wanders the endless halls and rooms of the mansion at night, unable to sleep.  Alfred watches from the wings, not able to do anything. 

Meanwhile, the trial for The Joker has been a dark fiasco.  Bruce watches the news footage.  After some failed and delayed trials, The Joker is now up for sentencing, having been convicted for numerous murders and mayhem (The events of The Dark Knight).  Of course, he pleads insanity.

We haven't seen his face yet.  As he walks up the courtroom stairs, he's covered by a jacket and flanked by S.W.A.T. team members, protecting him from the crowd.  We're briefly introduced to reporter Vicki Vale.  A beauty. 

"Joker, do you have anything to say to the people of Gotham?"

Joker stops, face still hidden, and eerily looks back at her until he's forced forward and into the courtroom.  She's chilled to the bone by the stare, but thrilled at the same time. 

When he's in the courtroom, we see nothing but those long, dirty locks of hair, dressed in an orange jump suit. 

Bruce watches as the judge asks The Joker, referred to as John Doe, whether he has anything to say for himself before sentencing is announced.  The Joker slowly arises, chains making him shuffle forward.  He stops at the microphone.  Breathing.  And then, we see a glimpse of his eyes as he begins to CACKLE manically!

He's taken from the courtroom, still laughing. 

His lawyer walks forward.  "Your honor, it's clear my client has not been fit for trial.  If fact, we don't even know his name.  He doesn't exist in the eyes of the law.  How can you sentence a... phantom?" 

The judge considers.  He looks to the back of the courtroom and sees Commissioner Gordon. 

"This, Joker, is hereby sentenced to life in the darkest of holes where he belongs.  Arkham Aslyum.  May he be locked up and forgotten as Gotham moves on."

Commissioner Gordon nods solemnly.  It's over.  Or is it...

The television turns off.  But we're not in Bruce's mansion anymore.  We're in a dark corner somewhere.  A place we don't want to be. 

A figure has been watching.  In this odd and dark room, we see that the dirty walls have endless scribbles on them, some carved by a sharp object, others written in black ink.  What we see most are odd and almost violently etched QUESTION MARKS amidst words upon words.  

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

We then see film being developed.  Pictures of various people of Gotham.  We see Vicki Vale.  We see Commissioner Gordon.  And many others.  Newspaper clippings hang on the walls as well.  All covered in question marks.  Headlines about Batman.  One stands out most:  "Batman:  From Vigilante Hero to Gotham's Most Wanted".  Written by Vicki Vale, based on her ongoing news investigations.   

It's like a scene from Se7en.  Creepy. 

We're now in the Batcave.  Bruce Wayne sits, head down, gazing at the now relics of his The Dark Knight persona.

"It's over, sir.  Justice is served."

He looks back to see Alfred. 

"Justice?  I'm beginning to wonder if there is such a thing in Gotham." 

"Rachel... she'd want you to move on."


"Is that all, Alfred?" 

Tears in his eyes, Alfred replies, "You've carried enough death on your shoulders, Master Wayne.  They don't need your pain.  They don't want it.  They never did."

He walks away. 

Meanwhile, it's night in Gotham.  The bars are full of jovial Gotham citizens.  An attractive woman exits the bar. She walks into a dark alley.  Perhaps a little drunk.  She enters her car.  A dark figure in the backseat awaits, unbeknownst to her until his hand covers her face as she screams. 

We cut to later that night.  Commissioner Gordon appears at the crime scene.  The woman is murdered.  Question marks etched into her skin.  Her dead hand holds a black envelope. 

Gordon opens it.  Reads it.  It's a riddle.

From here on out, we see that Gotham's few years of peace are now gone.  The city has fallen victim to an apparent serial killer.  Many of the victims are public figures.  Lawyers.  Police officers.  Detectives.  Businessmen. 

The serial killer's MO is that he spends the night with the victim, waiting to see if they can answer a riddle.  If they can, they would be allowed to go free.  Thus far, no one has been able to answer any of the riddles. 

Vicki Vale, now investigating the case for her news coverage, coins the serial killer's moniker as The Riddler. 

Bruce Wayne follows the story.  He watches as Gotham now lives in a state of fear.  Businesses are hurting.  People aren't leaving their homes.  He's entranced by Vicki Vale, watching her image on the screen as she covers the story. 

Bruce begins to investigate.  Alfred watches as this tragedy has seemingly awakened Bruce from his mourning slumber. 

Bruce meets with Vicki Vale, slyly questioning her about the evidence on the crime scene (She has connections to Gordon).  He almost seduces her to get more details, but soon begins to fall in love with her.

Meanwhile, Lucius Fox arrives at his home one night, only to find a dark figure awaiting him in the shadows.  We reveal The Riddler.  He's a sick and demented killer, relishing in emotional torture.  He poses a riddle to Lucius.  Lucius, with an almost smile, gives him the correct answer. 

"But it doesn't matter, does it... Riddler?  You're going to kill me anyway." 

"I'm a man of my word, Mr. Fox.  You will live.  But you'll come so close to death." 

We cut to Bruce in bed with Vicki.  He gets a call.  An emergency one from Alfred. 

We cut to the hospital.  Bruce runs through the halls, desperate.  He arrives at Lucius Fox's room.  The police stop him at first, until they see who he is. 

Lucius is in a coma.  Tortured to within an inch of his life.  Bruce is distraught. He feels guilty.  If Batman would have never left, would this have happened? 

Commissioner Gordon sits at his desk at night.  Someone is in the shadows.  It's not The Riddler.  IT'S THE DARK KNIGHT himself. 

"Tell me everything." 

Gordon looks up, surprisingly not startled.  "What took you so long?" 

We learn more and more details.  The women victims all have the same initials.  RD.  We later learn that they are connected to Rachel Dawes. 

The male victims are authority figures.  Mostly men working within the law.  If not the law, they are prominent business figures.  Hence Lucius Fox. 

We hear more about the riddles that have been left with each victim.  Riddles leading to a bigger piece of the puzzle.

On the scene of the last murder, a Joker card was left behind.  Batman, infuriated, finally pays a visit to...

THE JOKER.  Arkham Asylum. 

Here we find out that The Joker himself has a connection to The Riddler.  And Batman must utilize Joker's knowledge to help solve the riddle.  THEY HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER. 

This would lead to some amazing exchanges between the two.  Batman needs him.  Bruce Wayne wants to kill him for what happened to Rachel, but he can't.  His character is truly tested. 

Is The Joker part of the killings?  What is The Riddler's motive?  How are they connected. 

I even toy with the idea that The Riddler gave The Joker his scars and that is why The Joker is helping Batman. 

"You know me, I enjoy a little chaos.  But even better is blood thirsty revenge.  You give me that, Bat, I'll give you The Riddler." 

But all is not as it seems.  The Joker has ulterior motives obviously.  He has a plan of his own.

While I don't know the details, everything would lead to a huge climax where The Joker would escape Arkham Asylum on a stormy night as Batman pursued The Riddler, whose latest victim, as Batman solves a riddle, will be Vicki Vale.

Batman can't fathom losing another person close to his heart. 

Perhaps he once again has to choose, only now it's whether to stop The Joker from escaping or stopping The Riddler from killing Vicki Vale.  He chooses Vale and ALMOST catches The Joker in the finale.  

In the end, it turns out that The Joker and The Riddler were working together the whole time.  The Riddler was one of his minions, a crazy f*** that The Joker knew he could use to draw Batman back out into Gotham city.  For who is The Joker without his arch nemesis in Batman. 

The Joker, using The Riddler, brought chaos back to the streets of Gotham.  As Batman defeats The Riddler, The Joker actually goes to Vicki Vale, who clearly is not having a good night after barely losing her life to The Riddler before Batman showed up, is now faced against The Joker.  But she learns that she will live, as long as she shares a message to Gotham. 

On camera, broadcast live, The Joker returns to the limelight, ending his broadcast with, "... I call out to the scum of the world.  My chums.  It's open house here in Gotham once again!  And allow me to put a pretty price on head of one of its most loyal citizens.  The Batman himself.  Bring me his head and I will bring you more than you could ever hope for.  Yes, good ole money.  A mountain of it!"  HIS MANIC CACKLES ECHO UNTIL THE BROADCAST ENDS...

Bruce and Vicki are reunited.  Her stance on Batman has changed for obvious reasons. 

The Riddler is dead. 

Batman, discovering that The Joker had deceived him, tried to keep him from escaping, however Joker's gang helped him do so, leading to the surprise broadcast and leaving Vicki Vale shaken.  But Batman/Bruce, just when he thought that he had lost another love, discovered Vale alive and well.  The Joker used her as a messenger. 

Bruce goes to visit Lucius Fox, who is awakened from his coma.  He's watching the reply of The Joker's broadcast, calling out to any and all criminals and scum to wreak havoc on Gotham and seek the head of Batman. 

Lucius looks to him and smiles.

"Looks like we've got some work to do." 

As the movie closes, we see that The Joker is skipping town for a bit, hoping to come back to Gotham as bad as it ever has been.  As he's driven by one of his gang members, they ask, "Where to then boss?" 

The Joker devilishly thinks and smiles.  "I hear Metropolis is a booming town.  Let's have a little fun."  His cackles echo into the night as they drive away from Gotham. 

This alternative universe sequel would take tones and themes from Se7en, Silence of the Lambs (With The Joker in the Hannibal role), etc. 

It would be more hard edged.  There'd be action for sure, but this would be a great detective story for Batman.  And having Batman and The Joker working together for a spell would be VERY enthralling.  The constant games.  The not knowing if The Joker was playing him or not.  Seeing The Joker apparently out for his own revenge.  Showcasing The Riddler as a cold-blooded psycho serial killer. 

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Posted on 19 May 2013

Was the Joker ever sane?

The Joker is not insane. He has always been sane.

But he doesn't seem sane, you ask?

That is because he doesn't want to seem sane. He is different. He doesn't want to be "normal" like us. The funny clothes he wears and the crazy stuff he does is a way of ridiculing us. The Joker is the darkest form of sarcasm you will ever witness.

Everything we stand for, all our objectives and aims in life are too narrow for him and he is above and beyond all that. And these quotes totally substantiate my claim:
  • “It’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message. Everything burns!”
  • “I’m like a dog chasing cars, I wouldn’t know what to do if I caught one, you know, I just do…things.”
  • “Let’s put a smile on that face!”
  • “Those mob fools want you gone. So they can get back to the way  things were. But I know the truth, there’s no going back. You’ve changed  things…forever.”
  • “And I thought my jokes were bad.”

One of the major things that categorize an insane person as insane is his lack of logic. Lack of the ability to analyze things properly. But look at his logic. I don't know why but his dialogues just ring that bell. They have that most beautifully obvious logic working behind:

Do you want to know why I use a knife? You see, guns are too quick. You  can’t savor all of the little…emotions. In their last moments, people  show you who they really are. So in a way…I knew your friends better  than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?”

And he loves physics. No seriously:

  • “I took Gotham's white knight and I brought him down to our level.  Madness, as you know, is a lot like gravity, all it takes is a little  push.
  • “You… you just couldn’t let me go could you? This is what happens when  an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible aren’t you. You won’t kill me because of some misplaced  sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because…you’re just too much fun. I get the feeling that you and I are destined to do this forever.”

This is kind of unrelated but here is my favorite Joker quote:

“Introduce a little anarchy, upset the established order, and everything  becomes chaos, I’m an agent of chaos , and you know the thing about  chaos? It’s fair.”

Still think he is insane?

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Posted on 18 May 2013

If i am saying that "Batman is the greatest of all superheros" what are the facts that will help convince one about the same?

This is simply a realization that I had, and its why I think Batman is the greatest superhero ever.

You could look at this question from two perspectives: 1) list specific facts and events that make Batman appear to be the greatest or 2) try and find an underlying theme among all stories involving Batman and use that as your justification.

Batman, at a very young age, lost the only thing he truly loved (his parents). A tragedy that has given him the gift of rational and emotionless clarity of thought throughout the rest of his life. This is by far a very superhuman trait, and because of it, he is literally able to dismantle gods. This is also why Superman refers to him as the most dangerous man on the planet.

Everything about Batman stories points to this ability. His justified paranoia of anything powerful, his meticulous planning, the contingency plans, the reclusive introverted nature of his personality, and so on.

Because of this ability/trait that has arisen from the childhood tragedy, Batman has become truly incorruptible. Writers often have an easy time writing stories about the other heroes become evil. Why? Because these heroes are controlled by their emotions (ironically, a very human trait). They have love interests, they have families, they make emotional decisions. There has been an instance in the DC superhero realm where every superhero has had an evil version of him or herself (mostly in multi-dimensional stories). However, Batman is always the one that remains incorruptible in every single one of those stories, in every dimension that those writers dream up, nobody can write a convincing story of an evil Batman.

Look at Injustice: Gods Among Us. There are two dimensions, one dimension hosts the world where Superman becomes the dictator and most JLA members support him, while the other dimension's JLA members are trying to stop them. In BOTH dimensions, Batman is the beacon of what is right with the world.

Look at the Justice League episodes "A Better World" pt 1, and 2. Again, we have the theme of a dimension where JLA members go too far and the "good" JLA members need to put a stop to it. Well, in this one, there is a moment where one Batman contemplates the state of affairs, stating "this is a world where no 8 year old child has to worry about some punk with a gun murdering his parents". For a moment, this Batman is acting emotionally. This moment passes, and both batman's help defeat the 'evil' JLA members.

So for me, Batman is the greatest superhero because his is a story of someone so alone in this world because of unimaginable tragedy yet he is so morally incorruptible.

The events of Bruce Wayne's childhood could have been the origin story of any supervillian. Yet, they led to arguably, the most incorruptible and principled character in our history. 

Since I like to end on quotes, here are a couple:

Hugo Strange: How does it feel Wayne? To stand on the very stone that ran with your parents' blood? Do you feel sad? Full of rage? Or does that outfit help bury your feelings? Hiding your true self.

Batman: Bruce Wayne is the mask I wear. I've been wearing it since I was a child...

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Posted on 18 April 2013

What do die hard Batman comic devotees think of the Dark Knight Trilogy?

Been a Batman fan since forever.

First off, why do people think that the character John Blake, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Robin? John Blake IS NOT Robin. His actual name is Robin and he takes the mantle of the bat at the end of the film. John Blake is just a nod to the character and fans who know more about the supporting characters in the Batman universe. He's an original Nolan creation in that mould. Why would Robin's real name be Robin, anyway?

Now that that's clear, I'll go through what makes the trilogy so special.

The Universe:

Batman's world is dark. Always has been. So when you approach Batman I personally think that above all, you need to get the darkness spot on. When you miss that, you lose the essence of a what makes the character thrive. Joel Schumacher got this wrong. His films were a kind of mutated version of the camp 60s television series and completely failed on what Batman should be and every level after that, especially in terms of deep characters turning into ridiculous caricatures of even their most eccentric incarnations. I really enjoyed Burton's films because he got the darkness right. To do this, he went to gothic route. The mood was both wonderful and faithful although in the end, his creativity overshadowed his character development and story.

Nolan took the realistic route to darkness. His darkness was a gritty kind, and this both caught elements of the mood given off in the comics and enabled him to go his own route creatively. It's always difficult to please fans, and adaptations always run the risk of alienating fans by pulling too far away from the source material, but what I absolutely love about the trilogy is that Nolan pays homage so well, while creating his own original take on the character.

Let me break down the graphic novels that lend themselves so well to the three films. Honestly, when you read these books the connections are clear.

Batman Begins (2005)

Drew inspiration from

Batman: Year One (1987)

The Dark Knight (2008)

Drew inspiration from

Batman: The Long Halloween (1996)


Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Drew inspiration from

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (1986)


Batman: Knightfall (1993)

Adaptations need not be like for like, in fact, when they try to be too similar, they often go wrong and miss the point, but adaptations that are creative in their own right and pay homage to the source material can't be begrudged. This is something Nolan got right.


Nolan managed to do this well for the most part. His casting was great overall and his characters were both realistic and faithful in my opinion. I won't mention them all, but I'll go over some of the good, the bad and okay.

The Good

Jim Gordon/Gary Oldman:
Easily the best character throughout the three films. Easily. And I'm saying that as a film fan and a comic book fan. Gary Oldman is incredible, not only for his acting ability, but the way he plays Jim Gordon to absolute perfection. His character develops and progresses the most throughout the trilogy, and the nuances of his relationship with Batman are wonderfully captured, going from distrust, into that unique friendship they share. He captures the resourcefulness of Gordon, the dedication to his job, (even at the cost of his family), and his commitment to the city even at great moral strife. Overshadowed by Heath in The Dark Knight understandably, but if we're talking all three films? Easily my pick for best character. 

The Joker/Heath Ledger:
Now at the risk of being labelled biased, I'm going to go ahead and say that The Joker is the greatest comic book hero villain there is. It was always going to take something incredible to pull that character off, but not only because of what the character is to fans of the comics (and the animated series I might add), but also because of the world Nolan had now created and established with Batman Begins. It could have gone horribly wrong. Instead what we got was one of the greatest performances I have ever seen. I've watched various Joker scenes repeatedly and I'm awed every time. Heath Ledger's portrayal was his own. He went away and made it something else. I can't even do it justice by trying to explain how brilliant it was, but as a fan I couldn't have been happier. He captured the deadly ruthlessness of the Joker and executed it with aplomb.

Alfred Pennyworth/Michael Caine:
Nolan really explored the dynamics of the relationship between Bruce and Alfred, more so than I expected. In every film Alfred acts as a crutch and a real father figure for Bruce, enabling him to push on in one way or another and The Dark Knight Rises, highlighted correctly how difficult it was for him to abandon Bruce. He makes tough decisions throughout the trilogy all of them in the desire to do what is best for Bruce Wayne. I enjoyed this quite a bit. He was also a source of light relief at times. You really can't hate Alfred.

The Bad

Rachel Dawes/Katie Holmes/Maggie Gyllenhaal:
I get why she was thrown in there, I do. Really. Bruce needs someone to love I guess and that's all fine and dandy, but does his love interest have to be so annoying? You're supposed to root for the love interest to get with the hero but not in this case it seems. She was a liability. Her over eagerness getting her almost killed in the first film and naivety getting her actually killed in the second. I'm not sure what it was, but her existence was completely unimportant to me, so much so, that I didn't even care when she died. Sure, Bruce was beaten up about it, but who else really gave a damn?

Ra's al Ghul/Liam Neeson:
Ra's is Batman's greatest enemy after The Joker and I simply didn't feel the sense of power and control I felt I should have from the character, not to mention the fact that Ra's doesn't really ever die. For a moment I hoped the hallucination in The Dark Knight Rises was an indication of a later return, alas it wasn't to be. I just feel the character wasn't done justice in his portrayal.

The Okay

Bane/Tom Hardy:
I was very happy to see Bane portrayed without any reference to venom whatsoever. That would have been upsetting. What bothered me is the fact that despite everything he seemed to have masterminded in the film, he was whittled down to nothing more than a pawn acting out of love for Talia. This was disappointing because Bane is actually one of Batman's more intelligent foes and I was hoping that would be given some limelight as he is supposed to be physically superior and mentally on par. This however I can forgive because Bane was just so cool. The whole voice distorter thing just oozes coolness. Imagine Bane having a debate with Darth Vader? Someone needs to make that happen.

Batman/Christian Bale:
Close, but not quite there yet. These are films about Batman, and in the comics Batman and Bruce Wayne and the psyche behind that character's torment is as vast as it is intriguing, but this hasn't been captured well enough on film yet. Bale is easily the best man to don the cowl on film to date, but after the first film all the development takes a back seat, and in the third it isn't given enough room to breathe. It's like Nolan tried to fit in two films worth of character development into The Dark Knight Rises because he missed it in The Dark Knight. References to his parents should have been made again in the two latter films I think. Not too much or too often, but just enough to remind us that the films are really about Batman and nobody else. Also, it's been said, but I must echo it because it is true: Batman is the World's Greatest Detective. He's an immensely dangerous and calculated man with an intellect well past genius. This needed to be explicitly displayed. Even in minor observations with the people he had conversations with. There are displays of Batman's intellect in The Dark Knight where The Joker leaves clues indicating who he plans to kill next, with Batman tracing bullet casings and trajectories etc. but I also wanted more direct off-the-cuff references to the fact that Batman is extremely intelligent.

Overall I think the trilogy is superb. In fact it's comfortably the greatest superhero trilogy to date and The Dark Knight is the greatest superhero film to date. Christopher and Jonathan Nolan managed to create a unique world, affording themselves total freedom, but at the same time, they expertly paid homage to many definitive works in the Batman universe.

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Posted on 2 April 2013

Reviews of: The Dark Knight Rises (2012 movie)

This is the first official film review I have written in well over five years.  I used to co-own and was the head writer for a successful film website in the 2000s called Entertainment Insiders (Signed over my stocks and ownership in 2008... the site is now dead).  We handled all studio releases from the theaters, as well as DVD and Blu-ray releases.   

To be fully honest, I hated writing film reviews.  I much preferred the more loose approach, simply offering my subjective thoughts on the subject at hand, as well as breaking down the reason of such thoughts.  I'll likely end up doing just the same here.  What I hate about reviews and critics in general, is that the writer isn't simply offering their subjective opinion most of the time.  They are coming from an objective stance, which in my opinion is impossible with cinema.  They then take a higher authority stance, often telling the reader how the story or direction should have gone, despite the fact that they've likely never written a screenplay, never acted in a film, and never directed a film.  I understand that they have a job to do, but I believe the best reviewers acknowledge their subjective viewpoint in each and every review.  For not every film is for every individual. 

The reason for me opening this review with that somewhat sort of disclaimer is because I've witnessed the acclaim for The Dark Knight Rises from the masses.  And I just, in my subjective viewpoint, don't understand it. 

While it's unfair to compare one film to another in a review, I have to start off by saying that The Dark Knight is a much finer film than The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR).  This is not simply due to that fact that it contained the best villain performance in the history of superhero movies (Not a huge accomplishment mind you) if not one of the best villain performances in the history of cinema itself, but because The Dark Knight was a game changing factor for the film industry and its treatment of such fare.  Beyond the comic element, The Dark Knight was an amazing noir thriller.  One of the best we've seen in quite awhile.  You could have rewritten it by making Batman a detective, void of the mask and cape, and it would have been worthy of the Best Picture nomination The Dark Knight so deserved, but didn't get.

The history of The Dark Knight Rises is very simple.  First off, Christopher Nolan didn't want to make it.  There was no preconceived trilogy storyline during the making of Batman Begins or The Dark Knight, as many TDKR fans believe. 

After the success of The Dark Knight, and certainly after the tragic death of Heath Ledger, Nolan didn't feel the need to make a third Batman film. 

For whatever the reason, known only to him and his team, and likely after begging and pleading from the studio, Nolan decided to make one final Batman film. 

That is when TDKR was born.  It took time to develop.  They had to find another villain and a way to end the now trilogy. 

I was as ecstatic as ever upon hearing the news that Nolan would direct TDKR.  When I went to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocal in Imax, I saw the sneak preview of the opening minutes of TDKR and was amazed.

The opening sequence is enthralling, masterfully conceived, and I was thrilled to see Tom Hardy as Bane, even with his much discussed voice. 

But then, months later, I sat down in a packed theater and watched The Dark Knight Rises.  I watched as Nolan introduced the character of Selina Kyle and shook my head, wondering why they made such a horrible mistake, bringing the character of Catwoman into Nolan's Batman world.  To this day, after seeing the film a couple more times, I struggle to remember why she was in the film at all, beyond the fact that Bruce Wayne needed a new love interest and, gee, wouldn't it be cool to see Nolan's version of Catwoman.  To me, it came off as gimmicky.  And in Christopher Nolan's Batman world, there is no place for gimmicks. 

I watched as Bane came back onto the screen, wondering what his real purpose was in the film.  To this day I listen to fans explain that Bane was a militant revolutionary, former League of the Shadows member, who wanted to destroy Gotham City and purge it of the rich and corrupt... for the good of the people.  I have even read people comparing him to Che.  I just don't see it.  I don't believe it.  If that was the intentional by Nolan and his team, they failed to convey it beyond the broad strokes. 

This is where TDKR fails mostly in my eyes.  It spends too much time with such cerebral messages and speeches, and fails to showcase any consistent suspense and pacing, any impending conflict and doom, etc.

I watched as Bruce Wayne, having turned away from the Bat life, gets back into the game despite being utterly broken, but thankfully has the technology to give him some "magic legs", therefore erasing any such injury and handicap that was introduced.  All too convenient.  I would have preferred that they skip the handicap routine all together, because I actually did love the return of the Dark Knight during the big chase sequence.  Why have the handicap angle at all?  Wasted pages.  Wasted minutes.  Should have been on the cutting room floor. 

This viewpoint of mine is enhanced even more when we are forced to watch the redundant storyline of  Batman/Bruce Wayne, defeated by Bane, get virtually destroyed and then shipped to a prison, only to have to see him do the come back routine YET AGAIN. 

I would have liked the comeback storyline, but not twice within the same film

My perfect scenario (And it is just that, mine) would have the film be about a new threat coming to Gotham, him coming back (Sans the handicap bit) despite being an enemy of the city, getting beaten down by the powerful Bane, and then having the training routine and storyline take place from there as Bane wreaked havoc on Gotham. 

You'll notice that this would be pretty close to what Nolan had going, albeit with my own omissions, but then I watched as Catwoman kept popping up onscreen, and continued to watch as Mathew Modine came out of nowhere as the new commissioner bent on capturing Batman, followed by Miranda Tate and some bad Macguffin about a reactor and a bomb, and then she ends up being Talia Al Ghul, and so on, and so forth.  Oy.  I'm bored just writing about it. 

The Dark Knight Rises, despite the presence of Nolan, his team, and a great cast, actually managed to fail in a similar way that the horrible Batman and Robin failed (At ease TDKR fans, I'm not saying it's as bad as that s*** bomb).  Excess.  Too much excess. 

Having more conflict in the guise of Bane, Talia, Catwoman, and Mathew Modine (??) was too much.  Having a Macguffin like the reactor, the traveling bomb, the police trapped underneath the city for months (??), etc.  Too much.  Then injecting Bane as some Che-like demagogue?  Too much. 

Excess of conflict does not make for better conflict. 

And one last note.  Did we ever REALLY discover why Bane had the mouthpiece and was so powerful?  And I mean beyond some line drops here and there.  No. 

Here's the rub.  The one saving grace of TDKR was Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake.  He was vastly underutilized until the final moments of the film.  And speaking of those final moments.  Here is my theory.  The reason many people (not all) left the theater in awe of the film was not really because of the film as a whole, but because of the masterful ending. 

It's a very true adage in the film industry that if you have a great opening and have a great ending, you'll walk away with a hit no matter what comes in between (That's my own paraphrasing).  Nothing can be as true as The Dark Knight Rises.

I only wish the film could have been more focused, less redundant, less excessive, and better paced and structured.  Instead, we had a lot of ideas jammed together in one big dark ball.

Nolan had the elements he needed.  He had Bane.  He had Batman/Wayne making a triumphant return, only to get knocked on his ass, and then have to come back.  He had John Blake and the brilliant detective angle of him discovering the Wayne is Batman.  He then had an utterly creative way to bring Robin (Blake) into the Nolan Batman universe.  And finally, he had an amazing ending.  That's all he needed.  45 minutes, give or take, less on the running time of the film. 

Again, I want to make sure we all understand this, there was never a planned trilogy arc for Nolan.  We were lucky to even have him direct a third Batman movie.  Thus the Talia angle, the Catwoman angle, the Bane angle, and all of that was not part of some masterful trilogy plan.

Note:  I realize I went against what I said in the opening paragraphs as far as mentioning in my review how I would fix it.  That's my little wink and hey, at least I've worked in the film industry, worked in story development, and written a bunch of scripts.  Not the case with critics.


With the recent announcement that Warner Brothers has handed over the DC Universe to Christopher Nolan, in the guise of an upcoming Justice League film, as well as others, I'm hopeful that he can, in my eyes considering my reaction to TDKR, make up for this well-produced misfire.  Word has it that Bale will be back as Batman in the JL movie.  

Lastly, thank you to Quora for this Reviews feature.  I'm not exactly sure what the plans are behind it, but I am not as opposed as some seem to be. 

I've been looking to air my feelings about The Dark Knight Rises but hadn't truly found the proper venue to do so. 

So thanks to this new Reviews feature on Quora for at least giving me that.  I hate writing reviews, but I wouldn't have done it at any other place then my Quora home. 

Note:  I gave this 3/5 stars, and not 2/5, because of production value and the fact that the elements I needed were there.  This film, for me, was one good masterful cut away from being what I wanted it to be.  And for the record, I'd give The Dark Knight a 5/5 every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

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Posted on 7 March 2013

Reviews of: The Dark Knight Rises (2012 movie)

My full review is here:

For a short review:

It was the perfect ending to the perfect Batman trilogy. This was the best film of the series, the scope and emotional power of it is beyond any other superhero film to date.

My expectations going in were high, but I had a fear about my expectations being too high. That wasn't a problem, because it was better than I had hoped. It's the best superhero movie I've ever seen, no qualifiers or anything, just the best. And I think it's a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Bale's performance is so good, he might get a nod for Best Actor.

It was part "Batman Begins," part "The Dark Knight," and a lot of "Tale of Two Cities." It's a superhero movie, a drama, a war movie, and a prison-break film, all rolled into one.  It delivers everything I had hoped for, and more. I think it had the best plotting, the most complex character arc for Bruce of the whole series, the very best action and fight scenes by far, and a spectacular score.

Bane was excellent, Tom Hardy did more with his eyes and voice than most actors do with their whole face. Catwoman was the definitive on-film version of the character, Anne Hathaway was pitch-perfect.

I loved it, I'll be seeing it several more times for sure, and I think most people will walk out of the theater blown away by what they saw.

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Posted on 7 March 2013

Which comics from the New 52 are worth reading?

I am catching up very slowly, so I'm still several months behind the current books. Still, early returns see really strong efforts on the Bat-family front. I'm not even a huge fan of Tony Daniel's writing, but it's been okay.

Action Comics is shockingly good. Granted, I tend to like just about anything Grant Morrison works on, but this is the most fun I've had reading about Superman in quite a while. Meanwhile, Superman itself is a meh book.

I'm not really too keen on anything else. I laughed when Hal askes Batman what his powers really were in Justice League #1, but nothing else was worth the time or investment to keep up with. Hopefully we'll start to see some graphic novels of the best New 52 storylines coming out soon in order to sample more titles.

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Posted on 18 February 2013

Which actor has given us the definitive Joker?

It's important to remember that over time, the Joker in the comics has changed dramatically, and the live-action portrayals have generally reflected the primary comic book incarnation of their particular time. The Joker has been the scary madman, the perpetually laughing prankster who wasn't as homicidal, the laughing delusional clown who is also homicidal, and so on.

I love Romero's portrayal, because I grew up with the TV show and to this day I do love it despite how campy it is and how much it is the opposite of the Batman tone I prefer (but it's undeniably faithful to the comics, which went through a sadly long period of camp and cheese).

And I also love Nicholson's portrayal, and feel it's one of his best performances. It's a classic 1970's Steve Englehart Joker (I've always thought it seemed more inspired by Englehart than O'Neil, personally, although of course both are of the same period and have similarities for sure). It's a transition from the laughing pure prankster from the comics era that influenced Romero's role, but not quite into the full-on demonic, creepy Joker that came shortly thereafter in the comics.

HOWEVER, here is where I think the choice of the definitive Joker arises -- the later demonic, creepy Joker that arose in the late 1980s and through the 1990s to dominate the modern portrayals in comics and film, was not some unique and original transformation. This was, rather, a return to his earliest incarnation, a revival of the character who laughed far less frequently and who behaved far more sadistically and overtly evil. The Joker of the modern comics is rooted in the first appearance but of course with modern inspiration to the understanding of his insanity.

So it is that when Heath Ledger took the stage as the Joker, he was embodying a character that reflected both the new era AND the foundations of the character. He was as much an adaptation of the very first Joker appearance as he was a portrayal of modern incarnations. Ledger incorporated some of the randomness and faux-charming wit into the portrayal to boot, evolving it to fit comfortably within his dark and modernized performance.

As such, I think Ledger tapped into the essence of the character that existed at his formation, a defining nature that is the primary element surging or decreasing over the decades to alter his different incarnations in the comics, and which rose again to popularity for the past roughly 25 years. It is at once modern and foundational, new and classic. And it happens to be the greatest mixture, a perfect distillation of what makes the character so great and enduring.

Heath Ledger gave us the definitive Joker in live-action. Perhaps some other actor will come along in the future and deliver a performance that surpasses what Ledger conjured up, but for now and the foreseeable future, it can only be Ledger.

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Posted on 18 October 2012

Who would win in a fight between Batman and Spider-Man? Why?

To answer, we can't just dismiss the comics and what they show about the characters -- it's impossible to accurately answer a question about comic book characters while trying to ignore the comic books. If we ignore the comics, then Spider-Man can't walk up walls or shoot webs, if we want to set the fight in the "real" world, after all! ;)

It might seem absurd to have Batman fighting outside of his skill-set, but we're talking about a scenario where the other guy gets bit by a radiation-dosed spider and suddenly his fingers stick to walls. So we have to keep some perspective about the context before we dismiss Batman's ability to be "prepared for everything" and to stand toe-to-toe against aliens and monsters etc. (I personally prefer Batman not be shown in such extreme situations, and feel he essentially takes on "superpowers" at such times, but that's another discussion.)

So, if we accept Spider-Man fighting the Hulk, a character who at other times has been shown to be capable of defeating literally EVERY Marvel character, including Gods, then we have to accept that Batman sometimes ups his game to absurd levels when confronted by a superior super-powered foe. We must also accept their personalities and behaviors as depicted in the comics, so Spider-Man isn't going to actually be punching holes in anybody, and he'll probably make lots of jokes during the fight and tend to underestimate the level of danger from a new opponent (this is why Spider-Man is often initially beaten by a new foe upon first encounter, and comes back to beat them in the rematch). Likewise, Batman won't be trying to deliver any killing strokes.

In this case, we have two different options -- first, assume they fight out of the blue and without having met or known about one another prior to this fight, so they are unprepared and don't know what to expect; second, assume they fight after being aware of one another. If we let Spider-Man have all of his powers, then we need to let Batman have all of his "powers" as well, including gadgets on his belt and his ridiculous level of "prepared for every scenario." Here is how these two situations would play out:

In the first "they didn't know anything about one another and just fought out of the blue" scenario, Spider-Man's spider-sense and webs give him the biggest advantages. This would severely limit Batman's typical reliance on element of surprise to overcome a superior foe, and would keep the fight from being a close-quarters battle if Spider-Man uses his webs to maintain distance and try to trip Batman up. Batman also can't rely on his preference to use the dark and appear "invisible," since any attempt to prepare an attack from a hiding spot will lead to spider-sense warnings that negate the effectiveness of this attack. Spider-Man's speed combined with the spider-sense would also make close-quarters combat at the end a problem for Batman, and Spider-Man's strength is intense so his punches would be brutal.

However, the strength issue tends to be negated, because Batman's armor is effective enough to withstand abuse from super-powered foes all the time. Plus, we've seen Batman retain consciousness after brutal beatings by superhuman foes. And again, we can't just ignore those comics and stories that depict Batman in ways we personally disagree with -- if it was just once or twice, we could call it an extreme example that's outside the norm, but this is actually pretty regular for Batman.

Likewise, Spider-Man's speed is a factor, but Batman has fought Superman and WON several times. Batman's speed and agility are at pretty much the peak of human perfection, he bench presses something around 600 lbs, and he has endurance that might be the most intense of any comic book hero lacking true super-powers. Not to mention, Batman's suit appears to provide added "oomph" to him at times, and we know he in fact has small prosthetics and enhancements built into many of his suits to boost his power of strength and speed and so on. The point is, Batman sometimes dodges Superman's punches and can land a punch of his own that catches Superman off-guard, so an opponent's speed isn't going to necessarily always be a deciding factor in a fight against Batman.

Batman has certain gadgets that he carries with him at all times just in case he has to fight Superman or a superhuman foe. Most of Spider-Man's foes can land punches against him or hit him with their weapons to some extent, with even a middle-aged Doc Ock quite often being able to grab and punch Spider-Man not just with the mechanical arms but also with his own normal mortal arms. Spider-Man makes a regular mistake of getting too close and letting his guard down precisely because he's a cocky young dude, and when he doesn't know an opponent he's even more likely to make those kind of mistakes. Against a seasoned veteran whose mind is always on his mission 100% of the time like Batman, I think it's not unreasonable to think Batman could at least get in a couple of blows against Spider-Man -- and that's usually all Batman needs, to overcome a superhuman foe.

Why? Because Batman assesses a situation rapidly, and would almost instantly realize Spider-Man has superhuman powers. And, of course, Spider-Man has a bad habit of telling his opponents about his spider-sense and webs etc, broadcasting the information to taunt foes. Batman would therefore pretty quickly know that he has to be patient, dodge Spider-Man's attacks, frustrate Spider-Man into moving closer, and then unleash a quick barrage of gadget attacks that distract Spider-Man and overlap one another to overcome the spider-sense advantage.

Batman's strategy? He'd throw batarangs to keep Spider-Man moving in a specific direction at a distance, to allow Batman to move the other way toward some place dark and with hiding spots and a power outlet, and then he'd go into stealth-mode and STOP ATTACKING. This negates the spider-sense, and lets Batman plan something more radical: attacking himself, so to speak, by donning a gas mask (yes, he always has one on him) and dosing himself with a powerful chemical that knocks people out. Then he'd stand in a wet puddle, flip on the super-taser he keeps on his belt (yes, he really has what I'm about to describe and has used it against Superman) that's plugged into the power outlet and sucks electricity from several city blocks, and then he'd throw another batarang to get Spider-Man's attention. Spider-Man would either move in and grab/hit Batman, thus exposing himself to the gas and the intense electric shock, or Spider-Man would fire webs at Batman, which would conduct the electrical shock and drop Spider-Man in a stunned state while Batman uses the web to reel him in like a fish and expose him to the gas to knock him the rest of the way out.

That's if Batman wasn't prepared and didn't know about Spider-Man in advance. If Batman knew about Spider-Man in advance, he'd in fact probably have an entire scenario planned out for defeating him in case they ever met and got into a fight (yes, Batman literally has contingency plans for how to quickly take down every other superhero he knows anything about, there's actually a story where a villain steals Batman's plans and uses the plans to defeat the entire Justice League because the plans were so perfect).

In THIS scenario, Batman would spray a chemical into the air all around him that seems to do nothing, then use Spider-Man's spider-sense against him, to disorient him and move him into position where Batman can provoke Spider-Man to fire some webbing, and then that chemical Batman sprayed would cause the webbing to instantly liquify as soon as it hit air (meaning immediately after it exits the web-shooters on Spider-Man's wrists) so Spider-Man is confronted with exploding web-shooters that coat him in his own webbing. Batman's already unleashed an electronic device sending constant ultrasonic signals dangerous to a human's (or superhuman's) brain or eardrums or something in order to make Spider-Man's spider-sense go off non-stop (thus any other attacks won't be forewarned, since there's a constant state of alarm anyway). So we have Spider-Man without the help of spider-sense and covered head to toe in gooey webbing. Batman simply throws some knock-out gas at him, or fires that super-taser thing, and it's game over.

Now, this isn't to say I can't imagine many ways that Spider-Man could win the fight. But I think that if we take the common incarnations of the characters as depicted in the comics, give them their regular common "powers," and then imagine how it would play out in the context of the rules and world of the comics, Batman would come out ahead in their first fight. Of course, a rematch would probably go to Spider-Man because he'd now know how dangerous Batman is and that he has to assume Batman will use tricks and preparedness etc to maximum efficiency, and thus Spidey would start carrying around some extra tricks up his sleeve (new web design that's not vulnerable to exploitation, something in his ears to prevent the sconic trick, etc) and would use his own excellent problem-solving skills to try to quickly bring Batman down without jokes or games this time. That would be a good fight to see, but I think Spider-Man would be angrier and more likely to use his powers to the max and "power through" to victory, sustaining some sure bumps and bruises along the way.

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Posted on 18 October 2012

Who would win in a fight between Darth Vader and Batman?

I know what you're thinking: force choke = lights out, right?


Answer 1. Batarangs buy time

Vader counters with a mind trick...

Answer 2. Even Bruce Wayne has dealt with worse and overcome it.

Darth ignites his lightsaber...

Step 3. Yah, like Batman has never dealt with a guy with fancy technology before. The hard part is just not killing Vader outright by disabling his life support.

Let's say Vader can even use force lighting or a similar dark-side energy attack...

Step 4. Dude...

Batman wins.

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Posted on 13 August 2012

In what ways could the the Dark Knight Rises be considered flawed?

The biggest flaw for me was the part where the movie made no sense whatsoever.

- spoilers -

  • Nuclear reactors aren't that small and portable, they're usually entire buildings.
  • Even if the reactor could set off 6 miles away from Gotham in the ocean, the subsequent tidal wave would wipe out the city.
  • Bruce could not have risen out of the prison by having his vertebrae miraculously realigned by hand, hanging by a rope for a couple days, and then doing some pushups, given how severely injured his body would be after his fight with Bane.
  • If Bane wanted to ensure that the prophecy would be fulfilled, why wouldn't he kill Bruce instead of dump him in a prison that he probably wouldn't get out of (but obviously did)?
  • If Bruce spent 7 years in reclusion because he had no reason to live after Rachel's death, why did he so easily fall in love with Miranda and Selina?
  • How did the police officers come out of Gotham's tunnels after three months of drinking soup in the dark, with freshly pressed suits and healthy and strong enough to sprint across the city?
  • How are standard city police officers so well-trained in hand to hand combat?
  • Why on earth was Alfred hoping to see Bruce every day for years in an obscure restaurant in Florence, with no justification as to why Bruce would be in Florence of all places in the world, or even dining at that particular restaurant at that particular time?

It was hard for me to suspend my disbelief when there were so many illogical events in the movie. The Occupy "give back the city to the people" stuff was also frustrating.

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Posted on 22 July 2012

In what ways could the the Dark Knight Rises be considered flawed?

There's only one major flaw, sadly it's a major element of the plot and conclusion:

Bruce Wayne cannot voluntarily quit being Batman, ever.

Yes, I know Nolan's films are intended to be realistic. But the notion that Bruce could take an 8-year sabbatical is so completely out of character for him. The very essence of Batman is that he is relentless in his mission: a personal war on crime. Sure, this often takes him to the point where he's borderline certifiable, but it nonetheless makes him the superhero most likely to NEVER RETIRE either post-Dent Act or at the conclusion of this movie.

It doesn't matter that the Dent Act cleaned up Gotham's major crime. Batman doesn't just tackle criminal masterminds and syndicates. He intervenes in all forms of street crime, from muggings to theft. Gotham is a massive city and not all crime is organized. The very fact that Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed due to random street violence should kill the idea that Bruce could ever stomach withdrawing from watching over Gotham's citizens.

Even if Gotham became a Utopia, Batman's mission is not over. He has an agenda that could and does go international in scope: see Batman Inc. comics. Bruce Wayne doesn't just put his feet up because Gotham is safe. It is only ever safe due to constant vigilance. It is impossible to believe he would consider the Batman's mandate to be concluded following The Dark Knight or The Dark Knight Rises.

I admit, the introduction of a successor is a clever exit strategy worked into the conclusion. But let's think this one through. If Bruce believes he needs a succession plan, how does it follow that he then abdicates a direct mentorship role and skips town to finally start living the real life that Alfred wanted him to have?

Batman has always believed that he needs someone to step into his boots in case of injury or worse. However, he has never simply said "thanks kid, here's directions to the Bat Cave. Good luck with that!" Without Bruce's uniquely acquired skill-set, no successor could protect Gotham. At best, you'd conclude with a model similar to Batman Beyond: Bruce would take a step back and monitor/micro-manage the new Batman's missions from the Bat Cave.

I liked The Dark Knight Rises and Nolan's take on giving a conclusion to Bruce's mission. Unfortunately, it just doesn't make much sense to ever portray him as capable of walking off into the sunset so long as any potential threat to public safety exists.

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Posted on 22 July 2012

In what ways could the the Dark Knight Rises be considered flawed?


I thought the plot was too convenient to introduce everything that Nolan wanted to in the movie, to make the scale bigger than the first two. Batman conveniently appeared when needed, at places where needed. Lets see, he saved Catwoman twice, Blake once, Gordon once just in the nick of time! He also met them in the middle of nowhere multiple times conveniently. How the hell did he arrive on an isolated island from half way across the world, without anyone noticing? I mean, if you are making the story real,  why not just put in a small scene to explain that?

What was the point of the Miranda Tate romance? It felt too contrived. Her character was not really developed, and was predictable too. I also felt like showing that scar/tattoo she had, made it predictable.. why did they have to show it? BTW, maybe I missed it, but why was she at Wayne Manor in the first place?

The whole timing of the movie seemed convenient too. Why 5 months for the bomb to go off? So that Batman could heal his back, get in shape and come back? Really? Why not blow Gotham up immediately if that's the plan anyway? Why do a suicide bombing when you have a remote detonator?

Same with the Bat aerial vehicle. Conveniently brought in, almost as an afterthought, to carry the bomb out to sea. Although this is forgivable, the other movies did at least explain the reason for the gadgets.

The voices have been mentioned, but yeah, understanding even the normal characters was hard sometimes.

I'm probably nitpicking, because I was so excited and really wanted this to be the best movie ever. I was disappointed though, but will probably still go see it again. In comparison, The Dark Knight is a masterpiece.

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Posted on 22 July 2012

In what ways could the the Dark Knight Rises be considered flawed?

Here is what i did not like. (possible SPOILERS)
  • Bane's voice was distracting and sorta ruined the character
  • I did not understand what was going on. lol. Maybe i just need to pay better attention but i felt the plot line was a bit confusing.
  • This movie depended too much on the previous films. The Dark Knight was a movie that could have been watched even without seeing the original. I felt the plot did not make as much sense to me because I could not recall much from the first film.
  • Miranda Tate as a love interest was a pointless plot-line.
  • Catwoman and Batman...though likable, it felt it was more like lust.
  • Miranda Tate's death seemed very forced.
  • Bane did not mind-fuck or push Batman mentally enough. (This comes from high expectations from Joker) Miranda Tate did not get that much time to be evil. Boring villains in my opinion.
  • Cops suck. it just irritates me how incompetent they are.
  • In all, I think all the character were not given enough depth, complexity, or emotions. I felt most of the characters did not felt like they were being push and bent towards their limits. I honestly did not care for most of the victims like i did in The Dark Knight.
Sorry, this is very messy. It was more like word vomit since everything is rushing through my head.

My dislikes may have just came from high expectations. I did think it was a solid action/ superhero movie. It was great. This conclusion to the trilogy and legend did not disappoint. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I believe he was the real star of the movie and made his character the true hero of the movie.

I probably need to re-see this film.

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Posted on 22 July 2012

Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?

This was a question someone asked Man of Steel director Zack Snyder.  It came up because The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan also developed and produced Man of Steel before handing it over to Snyder.  Snyder's reply  was simple, "Batman is literally awesome, but really?  Come on!"  Hence, the obvious answer to this question is Superman. 

But I think there's needs to be a context to it.  So if we had Batman and Superman, mano-a-mano, either in the streets of Gotham or Metropolis, hands down, Superman could likely beat Batman in one punch or one beam from his eyes.  Yes, this is true.

Let's have a little fun with it though.  How could Batman prevail?  Is it possible, while yes, considering the fact that they are both fictional characters? 

Here's a possible scenario:

Gotham has fallen.  In the years following the events of The Dark Knight Rises, the city, left with a ray of hope (I'm assuming that's how TDKR ends), falls into economic turmoil over the destruction that ensued by the evil Bane and his cohorts.  Picture Gotham as the recent reality of Detroit.  Businesses gone.  Empty buildings.  Population dwindling.  A mere shadow of what it once was.     

Bruce Wayne has moved his company elsewhere, where it has flourished more than it ever has. 

But one day, he receives word of a fallen Gotham friend.  Depending upon what happens in TDKR, let's say it is Commissioner Gordon.  He has been assassinated.  The two have been estranged.  In my mind, Gordon knows that Bruce is Batman.  Whether this has been explored in comics or the upcoming feature, I'm not sure.  Gordon never forgave Bruce for leaving Gotham.  Sadly, Bruce had no choice.  There was almost nothing to defend or avenge anymore.  Wayne Enterprises could no longer flourish as well.  So he hung up his cowl and moved onto a life free from fighting crime.

But his friend is now gone. 

Bruce returns to the nightscape of Gotham, appalled by the place it has become, a virtual breeding ground for the criminal minds and the criminally insane.  Arkham Asylum is now The Joker's palace of sorts. 

Bruce (We'll refer to him as Batman from now on) has no interest in starting another war on crime though.  He's here to solve a mystery.  Who killed his dear friend? 

Back in Metropolis, the city is flourishing like it never has before.  Crime is virtually non-existent thanks to Superman, and possibly the involvement of his Justice League. 

Lex Luthor is in prison.  All of Superman's foes thus far have been killed or banished.  His Clark Kent persona is married to the love of his life, Lois Lane.  It's clear that both are yearning for the adventure and danger of yesteryear, but they're happy. 

Lois Lane, the eager reporter she is, has her attention fall to stories outside of Metropolis, namely the smoldering city of Gotham.  The cry from the media nationwide is, "Where is Batman?"  "Is Batman Dead?"  "Will Gotham ever dig itself from the ashes?" 

Louis has found her story.  She is going to find out Batman's true fate.  Superman, having now put more focus on international and interstellar matters, due to the crime free Metropolis, doesn't notice when Louis leaves for Gotham. 

Back in Gotham, Batman walks the dark alleys, slowly solving the mystery of who killed Gordon.  He doesn't utilize his armored vehicles of yesteryear.  He's avoiding any type of public presence.  His rage is elevated however, and because he wants to avoid being seen, thus drawing attention to the media, but especially drawing attention from the likes of The Joker and his cohorts, he has crossed the line.  He doesn't hesitate to kill his crime victims as he uncovers the truth behind Gordon's death.  He's out for vengeance. 

Louis has arrived in Gotham.  She hunts down her story well, all while facing the dangerous streets of this crime ridden city.  Her hunt finally leads her to Batman, who reluctantly saves her from some street thugs. 

As they flee The Joker's foot soldiers, they retreat to the old Wayne Mansion.  There's a strange attraction between them.  Louis loves Superman/Clark, but every woman loves a bad boy, and Batman is just that.  The antithesis of her boyscout husband.

Back in Metropolis, Superman learns that Louis has ventured to Gotham, which in his eyes is a virtual war zone.  The city has always been overlooked by Superman and his Justice League.  No different than we overlook the likes of the genocide in Africa.  Authorities and the Justice League have always had the stance that as long as Gotham's worst stayed within the limits of Gotham, all was well.  There was really no once else to protect. 

But now his wife was missing.  He knows where she is.  Reports of Batman's return have now gone viral.  The criminals of Gotham have turned to the media, declaring that Batman has returned but is unjustly going on a murder spree. 

Superman arrives in Gotham, landing in a bent pose in the middle of a crime war zone.  He's met with resistance at first, easily fighting off those who try to harm him.  The criminals now make way for the Kryptonian as he searches for his wife. 

Batman and Louis remain in the mansion.  He confides in her and reveals the somewhat ancient Batcave, complete with all of his old "toys".  She eats it up, now knowing that her story about Gotham has turned into a profile of The Dark Knight. 

She helps him uncover the mystery behind Gordon's death.  When a certain detail is revealed, Batman loses control and continues his relentless killing spree until...

Superman arrives.  The fight is quick, and brutal for Batman, as Superman stops his vengeful quest.  Batman disappears into the night, knowing he can't beat Superman like this. 

Superman has now taken it upon himself to clean up Gotham, finally seeing the error of his ways in avoiding this doomed city.  The Justice League is busy with interstellar matters, although maybe we see some cameos here and there.  So it's up to Superman to prevail. 

Meanwhile, Batman must find a way to avenge Gordon's death. He begins to investigate the history of Superman and soon learns that the only thing to get him on an even playing field with Superman is to utilize the only thing that can harm him... yes, kryptonite. 

But where can he find it? 

Deep within the solitary confinement of the Metropolis prison lies Lex Luthor.  Times have not been good for him.  He's rotting away in a cell.  One night, a voice comes from the shadows.  "Luthor."  Lex looks up to see Batman step out of the shadows.  Batman needs his help.  He needs kryptonite.  Lex tries to bargin for his release, but Batman will have nothing of it.  Lex finally decides that as long as Batman will finally defeat Superman, if not for just one battle, it will all be worth it.  He sends Batman on his way with the secret location of his last tiny piece of Kryptonite, thought to be the only remaining sample of its kind, having been eradicated by the Justice League.

Meanwhile, The Joker has grown tired of Superman's new quest to clean the streets of Gotham from crime.  He receives a call from... Lex Luthor.  Lex has somehow managed to make the call from prison, telling The Joker that help is on its way.  Lex tells The Joker that if Superman is defeated, he will open the doors to a new "playground" for the Joker in Metropolis, as long as The Joker breaks him out of prison after Superman's defeat.

Louis is now back in Metropolis, sent back by Superman.  Batman pays her a visit in the night.  She's faithful to her husband, but is still intrigued with The Dark Knight.  It's clear that he has an attraction though.  He wants to tell her that what he is about to do is something he can't stop.  He's avenging not only his friend, but his city.  "The people of Gotham deserve a little hope."  Before she can ask for more details, he disappears.  Louis, ofcourse, fears for her husband and heads back to Gotham unbeknownst to him.     

Batman returns to Gotham and continues his final investigation to avenge Gordon.  When Superman tries to stop him, Batman unveils the small sample of Kryptonite.  It's not enough to fully take Superman down, but it is enough to even the playing field somewhat, which leads to an epic battle between the two as The Joker watches on with glee, towering above them at Arkham Asylum, waiting to make his move. 

Superman can no longer fly, but he can leap some bounds.  His strength is evident over Batman, but diminished compared to how he normally is.  The breath and the rays from his eyes don't work. 

Louis approaches the city, but is quickly abducted by The Joker's henchmen.  Superman hears her scream barely, amidst the epic battle between he and Batman.  He struggles to fly, but can't.  He confides in Batman.  They now have a common interest, Louis. 

This leads to a siege of Arkham Asylum.  Together, Batman and Superman must work their way through the labyrinth of Joker's palace.  Even though Batman has secured the kryptonite safely, it will take some time for Superman's powers to return to their full potential.

Needless to say, they defy the odds and rescue Louis.  The Joker barely escapes after battling both Batman and Superman in his own crazy way. 

They exit the Asylum as the sun rises.  In the distance, various members of the Justice League arrive, ready to clean the streets of Gotham and bring the city back to its glory days. 

In the coming days, Bruce Wayne announces to the city that he and his Wayne Enterprises have returned, ready to help rebuild.  Louis is in the crowd of reporters as they share a glance. 

Back in the Metropolis prison, Lex mourns the loss of Superman's possible demise.  But a voice once again appears from the shadows.  "So baldy, you've got the keys to the city, eh?"  Lex looks up to see the manic clown face of The Joker.  Joker smiles that devlish smile, "Joker wants to play."  Lex smiles and Joker's manic cackle of a laugh echoes the stone halls. 

So that's my take.  Had no clue this would run this long.  Regardless, to answer the question directly, either one of them could win in a fight, given the right consequences and/or context.

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Posted on 16 July 2012

Who would win in a fight between Superman and Batman?

Despite being best buds, they sure do fight a lot. And most of the time, Batman wins.

Why? Because Superman is usually under mind-control or being manipulated somehow and Batman is called upon to neutralize big blue. Even Superman realizes his power could be disastrous if misused and so the only being in the galaxy he entrusts with Kryptonite is Batman:

To be fair, the above scenario plays out most of the time because Batman is usually prepared. He has standard operating procedures dedicated to taking Superman (and every other hero) down if the need arises (I'm not kidding--this paranoia and obssessive planning was actually the source of an interesting storyline).

However, if Batman does not have the warning needed to bust out the aforementioned anti-Kryptonian gear, then yes, Superman would crush the human:

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Posted on 16 July 2012

I want to start reading Batman comic books, where should I start?

There are currently fourteen comic books about Batman, Gotham, and Batman's subordinates/family members in print today. If you want to read good Batman stories that don't require "catching up" with a year or more of comics, I'd suggest staying away from the comic issues that are currently in print and reading some of the older classics of the Batman corner of the DC universe.

Begin by reading Batman: Year One, written by Frank Miller. It's an influential "reboot" of the story that took us back to Batman's roots and the story of the first year he spent under the cowl. It influenced the movie Batman Begins. It was recently published in some kind of "super edition" or collector's edition or something-- so you can probably find it at your local comic book shop on the rack of recent hardcover releases.

Next, read The Long Halloween, by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It is my favorite Batman story and it has earned classic status. It is a superb mystery, has fantastic art, and takes us back to Gotham "before it got crazy"-- most of the enemies are gangsters, not supervillains. It also influenced Batman Begins. Follow it up with its sequel, Dark Victory, which is also pretty good.

Once you've read these, it's time to read a crazier take on the Batman universe-- Gotham by Gaslight, which asks the question, "what if Bruce Wayne lived during the Victorian era, and Batman had to solve the Jack the Ripper mystery?" It is illustrated by MIKE MIGNOLA, the artist behind Hellboy, who is my favorite living comics creator. It's wonderfully atmospheric and is a good (very quick) read.

Next, get a little more bizarre and read The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller's incredibly famous take on Batman-as-old-man. It is, rightly so, considered one of Frank Miller's best works, and one of the best superhero graphic novels ever, period.

Finally, finish up with The Killing Joke, Alan Moore's famous Batman story, which pits Batman against the Joker and his extreme sadism. It's also short. It's not one of my favorite stories, but many people adore it, and it's certainly a classic. It features Commissioner Gordon and his family. It's one of the best depictions of Batman's bizarre relationship with the Joker.

Edit: I can't believe no one called me out about including Morrison's Arkham Asylum! (And I can't believe I forgot about it last night!)

This is Grant Morrison and Dave McKean's Batman magnum opus-- a baffling, terrifying, thematically-dense exploration of madness. Depending on your temperament, this may or may not be a good book to read in your first pass on Batman books. I read it very early in my exploration of comic books and I LOVED it because it was so goddamn wild, but if this isn't your thing:

...then you should probably save this book for later-on in your Batman-reading career. Be advised, though: it's very very very very very good. So you should definitely give it a shot.

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Posted on 9 July 2012

Which actor has given us the definitive Joker?

Every one of these portrayals has great advantages, but I don't think it is possible to call one definitive.

Cesar Romero introduced the character to generations, and with his greasepainted mustache and overblown delivery redefined the character in the comics also (as many actors did each bat-time on each bat-channel).

Jack Nicholson redefined the character on screen as a truly dangerous madman, bringing out the murderer the Joker of the comics had become, as opposed to the essentially harmless crook/trickster of the Romero era. It was through the Joker that the darkness of Burton's Batman was expressed, in fact. Micheal Keaton, as good an actor as he is, couldn't express much in his molded-rubber-stiff batsuit.

Mark Hamill has been exploring the character longer than any other actor, and also has participated in the introduction of Harley Quinn, whose interactions with "Mister J" gave us the best glimpse yet on screen of what the Joker is really like, rather than just what he prefers his opponents see. You get glimpses of the domestic Joker in Hamill's performances, which we see nowhere else.

Heath Ledger gave my favorite portrayal of the Joker, and the one I found closest to my understanding of the character. The past and future do not matter to this Joker, because they are always changeable. See my answer to In The Dark Knight, how did the Joker really get his scars? for more about this.

Further, every action of Ledger's Joker is part of a philosophical argument: that there is no true morality, and there is no true virtue, and his intention is to prove that proposition. If the Joker conducted thought experiments rather than physical ones, he'd be a tenured professor in a respected Philosophy department somewhere.

My personal preferences aside, it is the Joker's constant changeability that makes it impossible to choose a definitive performance. Because there is no truth for him, even true memories, each day the Joker make wake up entirely different to the man he was the day before. Given that, Romero's portrayal is as good as Hamill's is as good as the nine-year-old playing him with a maniacal laugh to his playmate's stoic, towel-caped Batman.

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Posted on 4 June 2012

Who would win a chess boxing match: Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne?


CHESS: Wayne is a wealthy businessowner and amateur detective with training in ninja-like combat arts-- not necessarily a genius, but a man with a finely-honed set of very specific skills. There is no evidence that he has a mental advantage when it comes to chess-- and no evidence that he has studied chess openings or strategies.

BOXING: Wayne/Batman doesn't have superhuman abilities, but he's got a helluva punch, and his unarmed combat skills are ridiculously excellent.


CHESS: Stark is an actual genius. In the movies, it's claimed that he accomplished a variety of broad academic achievements before focusing on engineering-- so we can assume that he's not just an engineering savant, but a real smart guy in general. He's probably smart enough to have an edge in chess, even if he hasn't trained in chess specifically.

BOXING: When Stark is not wearing his suit, he is pretty much an ordinary dude. He has combat skills but hasn't trained in unarmed combat-- he relies heavily on his suit's armaments and on the enhanced strength it provides him.


Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark sit down together at the chessboard, ready to see who is THE BETTER TECHNOCRAT. The four-minute timer starts, and CHESS BEGINS. Stark quickly gains an advantage on the chessboard! Wayne hasn't played chess in years-- he spends his evenings punching dudes, not playing games! By the time four minutes are up, Stark has already put a dent in Wayne's line of pawns, and threatened some of his more valuable pieces.


They leap into the ring. Wayne can't reveal that he's an expert fighter-- people might realize that he's Batman, not a playboy dilettante! His challenge is to disable Stark without making the fight appear too one-sided!

However, Wayne knows how to take the human body apart with his knuckles. A few punches in, and Stark is reeling like an idiot, suffering from broken fingers and internal bleeding. Wayne lets Stark get one or two feeble hits on him-- and then they're back to the chessboard.

Stark has the advantage here. He needs to take Wayne out in as few moves as possible. However, Wayne's not an idiot-- he lets each one of his moves last as long as he's allowed to. By the time four minutes are up, Stark is on his way to defeating Wayne, but he can't defeat him fast enough to avoid another round of boxing.

He's even weaker this time-- and Wayne is confident enough to take Stark out before the round is even up. Stark hits the floor groaning, and Wayne is awarded the prize.

As Wayne saunters into the locker room with his enormous golden trophy, a seductive ring girl hanging onto each arm, Stark's bombastic personality gets the better of him, and he hauls himself back onto his feet, demanding a rematch. Before anyone can stop him, he's summoned his suit out of a suitcase (or out of his bones? Is this fight pre- or post-Extremis?) and is wobbling around in Iron Man attire, ready to beat the tar out of Wayne.

But who should be waiting in the locker room but BATMAN-- all the way here from Gotham to protect his city's most-famous technocrat! Stark hardly has time to wonder where Wayne's gone before Batman cracks him upside his metal head with a ninja-punch. The two tumble out into the ring together, trading blows!

Stark, still reeling from an earlier concussion, launches a missile at Batman. Batman dodges, and the missile takes out half the stands, killing forty innocent onlookers in a fiery blast! The battle spills out into the parking lot.

However, it's not long before Stark's bleeding intestines get the better of him. He collapses to the ground, groaning. Batman, his costume singed and ripped, stands over his vanquished opponent... until Stark hits him in the face with a repulsor blast, that is. Batman's cowl is desintegrated and his skin melts like a Yankee Candle.

The screaming, faceless individual who used to be Batman is taken to the hospital for treatment-- but he escapes into the night when the nurses' backs are turned. Emergency surgery saves Tony's life, but he's brought to court as soon as he can stand. The court finds him guilty of forty counts of homicide. Stark Industries collapses in scandal. Pepper Potts goes on to found her own emergent tech company and denounces Stark publically on television.

Wayne is assumed dead in the blast, while Batman lives out the rest of his days as another member of the Arkham pantheon of insane super-criminals.

Everyone loses.

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Posted on 31 May 2012

Has Batman ever killed anyone?

Yes in fact in the original Batman comics in 1939 he did kill and he killed pretty ruthlessly and he even used a gun. Later on in several comics he is seen killing "because he has no choice" or occasionally because he thought the person was too dangerous to let live. Although in a notable example below he kills a brainwashed pawn by throwing him into boiling metal.

Now the official explanation by DC for the original comics is there are multiple universes and each is a variant with different and parallel versions of each persons life. For example Steam Punk Batman or a Nazi Super Man. The fact still remains he clearly killed in his very first comic appearance and continued to kill all through that first year into the next. They did not yet have the character fully fleshed out and the whole history with his parents and morality did not come up until many comics later. He only started with his own personal code that developed after they explained his origins and expanded on his story in late 1940. As for his later killings in the 80's like using people as meat shields and other cases it is less clear why he chose to break his "unbreakable code".

As for examples there are a lot to choose from.
(sorry if this is long but it is as complete as I could find images for)

Well there is this from the movies... I'm sure he's fine after that fall into a sewer with 3 sticks of Dynamite......
The early Bat Man used a gun and killed and/or let people die.

His very first appearance in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939)
He punches the guy and sends him over the edge into a vat of acid and does not even try to help him.
He even remarks in the next panel.... "A fitting end for his kind" and is thanked by the person he helped.

Second appearance #28
well maybe he survived right?
Guess not....

Later in Detective Comics #30
Here we see him kill not just a bad guy but a brainwashed pawn. Click and read to get the full context.

Yet more death. I guess it's okay becuase they are mutated "monsters now".
First he's a one man firing squad, he's even hanging them by the neck now...

and later on in the 80's there were some deaths...
"The Doomsday Book"  Detective #572
Holy meat shield Batman! You know cuz that guy you used as a shield now has holes in him from that Uzi....

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Posted on 12 May 2012

Has Batman ever killed anyone?

Yes, Batman started out in the first comics carrying a gun and regularly killing criminals by shooting them, strangling them, knocking them off buildings, knocking them into vats of acid (not the Joker, but another dude in the first Batman story), pits, etc.

The rule against killing came later.

Batman "kind of" killed the Joker in the 1989 film Batman, stating his intention by saying outright "I'm going to kill you," and then tying the Joker's leg to a statue that yanked him from a helicopter and sent him plummeting to the ground, dead.

In Batman Returns, Batman overtly kills two people: he turns the batmobile around and blasts the jet engine onto one of Penguin's circus freaks, burning the man alive. Later, he sticks a bomb down the pants of a Strong Man and kicks the guy into a hole where the bomb -- and the man -- blow up. Batman grins at this killing, by the way.

There are other gray areas where Batman can be blamed for maybe round-about "causing" a situation that killed someone, but these are the best examples of Batman outright killing people.

*EDIT:  I should note that there are instances of Batman killing people in modern comics history, not merely those early comics. In the mini-series The Cult, for example, Batman is drugged and uses a submachine gun to kill someone. In another 1980's story, he was bitten by the vampire Monk and turned into a vampire temporarily, causing him to kill someone. He has also accidentally killed people, if that counts. Oh, and if we wanted to consider instances where it seems his clear intention was to kill someone -- although it later turned out to not have killed them after all -- we could consider that he tried to trap KGBeast in an underground tomb to die of suffocation/starvation. There are probably a couple of other instances I'm forgetting, too.

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Posted on 12 May 2012

Which actor did the best job as Batman in film?

Christian Bale.

I'll give you some reasons for my selection... [SPOILER ALERT: PLOT DETAILS FOLLOW]

Take the film The Dark Knight and watch a few key scenes. Watch Bale portraying Bruce Wayne at the dinner with Rachel and Dent.  Then watch Bale as Bruce in the scene where he's weeping and asking if he brought death upon Rachel.  Then watch Bale as Bruce at the fundraiser for Dent, when Bruce is on the balcony telling Rachel that he can finally stop being Batman.  Then watch Bale as Bruce when he rides his motorcycle to the memorial for Commissioner Loeb, and he finds the cops blindfolded and tied up in the building.

In the first example, he's the witty lighthearted playboy. In the second, he's an emotional wreck and a man filled with doubt and fear of not living up to everyone's -- including his own -- expectations. In the third, he's a man in love reaching out to be vulnerable yet strong enough to take the risk and embrace an uncertain future. In the last example, he's a detective operating in the twilight between his daytime persona and nighttime identity, he is tense and silent, careful and like a spy, he uses a version of his "Batman" voice despite being in plain clothes, he's all business and yet not the intimidating, animalistic ninja-like presence he becomes at night.

Look at how Bale portrays all of those different personas and aspects of Bruce Wayne seamlessly. They are at once very different from one another, and yet never feel like he's portraying completely different characters -- you can sense and feel Bruce in all of them, and they all come from a true part of his personality somewhere in his heart. Pay attention to the effortless shift from one to the other, the nuances of Bale's body language, his walk, his eyes and eyebrows -- look at the way playboy Bruce sits, compared to the way Bruce sits at the computers in the "bat-bunker," or look at how he struts when he's walking as a playboy compared to how he seems like every muscle is coiled when he's walking from his motorcycle to the building later.

Now look at him in the cowl as Batman.  Look at the scene where Batman confronts Dent while Dent is playing fake "Russian roulette" with a prisoner.  Watch Batman's face, his body language, his voice -- it's like a totally different actor is under that cowl. If someone told us that another actor played Batman in the mask, most of us would be able to believe it. Because when Bale takes on Bruce's final, most dominant persona, he transforms completely. Go ahead, play that Batman scene described above, alongside one of the Bruce Wayne scenes. Watch how much an animal-like stride informs Batman's movements. Look how, despite the armored bulk, he seems at once powerful and menacing yet graceful and fluid. His voice isn't just subtly changed -- he growls, he is ferocious, he is the monster villains fear him to be.

Watch Batman in the interrogation room with the Joker. Watch that scene as he slowly builds to the boiling point and erupts, listen to his voice and look at his eyes, look at his face. Bale conveys the desperation, the fury, the near homicidal rage and helplessness with just body language and tone of voice -- and it's pretty hard to inject subtlety and nuance into screaming, but he does it.

And yet, as much as this Batman is a creature entirely apart from the human Bruce Wayne beneath the cowl, there are moments when he reins in the "monster" and the man shows through.  Recall when Rachel is thrown from the window and Batman leaps to her rescue, remember how after their safe landing she asks about Dent and Batman's voice softens -- not entirely, because when he's Batman the persona is dominant -- to assure her Dent is safe.  Then recall the end of the film, when he tries to convince Two-Face to surrender. Think about that moment when Dent ask why he was the only one who lost everything, how Batman hesitates a second, and how when Batman responds, "It wasn't," we once more see the man showing through the "monster" as his voice softens and almost breaks with the surge of emotion and pain.

I loved Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker, it was brilliant and worthy of the Oscar he was awarded posthumously.  However, I think people fail to fully appreciate Bale's own great performance in the film -- and in the one preceding it -- in part because Bale makes it appear so effortless, he lets us take it entirely for granted that we will see all of these complex differences within the same man. Bale's sublime portrayal is one of his best on film, and yet one of his most underrated, and it's a real shame. I am hoping that perhaps with The Dark Knight Rises if he delivers (as I've no doubt to expect he will) a performance as great as the last two films but with the added elements I know about the character and arc in the upcoming film, maybe he'll have a shot at getting some AA love next Oscar season. Too early to really suggest such things about a film we've not seen, of course, but when I think about Bale's Batman and Bruce Wayne, and consider what's coming in this final film to end the whole legend, I can't help but expect the exceptional.

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Posted on 1 May 2012

What is the Joker's real name?

His name is Jack.


It isn't so much that they (DC) are trying to "keep it a secret". It's more that they can't agree. The Joker's origin story remains incredibly mysterious (and they prefer it this way). Even in most recent incarnations, little is actually revealed about the character (in Dark Knight, think of all the variations on the "Wanna know how I got these scars?" speech).

The closest thing to an accepted origin story is the one established in the story "A Killing Joke". Here's the rundown, as provided by (my go-to comic encyclopedia):

"He is referenced as having been an engineer at a chemical plant, before quitting his job to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. His career change did not prove to be the correct choice, as he failed miserably. In desperate need to support his pregnant wife, Jeanine, he turned to a couple of criminals who planned to break into his previous place of work. The "Red Hood" persona is given to him, signifying him as the inside man of the operation, the leader, and the one who would take the fall in the event of the operation going wrong. In the middle of planning, the police called him, and informed him that his wife and unborn child have died. Stricken with grief, he attempted to back out, but was forced to continue the operation. When they arrived at the plant, however, security were waiting for them. As the Red Hood ran away, the two other criminals were shot dead. Upon seeing the Batman, the Red Hood jumped over a rail, into a vat of chemicals. He washed up in a nearby waterway, where, upon the removal of his Red Hood, he saw his skin had turned chalk white, his hair green, and his lips ruby red. This, added to the previous misfortunes of his day, caused a psychotic breakdown, and the Joker was born.

Sometimes he remembers his past one way, sometimes another. This leaves the origins of the Joker, as ever, open to speculation."

In other comics that corroborate this story (notably "Batman: Gotham Nights" 50-55), the Joker/Red Hood character is referred to pre-accident as "Jack".

"Batman Confidential" has the latest (and longest) Joker origin. It also calls him "Jack" (no last name).

These seem to be the only references to a real name for The Joker.

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Posted on 31 March 2012

What made Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker legendary?

In short, it was legendary because it was incredibly good. This was largely due to Ledger's psychological, psychotic approach to the character.

Heath Ledger (actor) spent six weeks locked in a hotel room, studying every single comic that the Joker appeared in. He completely devoted himself to studying the Joker's psychology, at one point getting a mere two hours of sleep a night. He spent his time finding every tic of the character, paying particular attention to the voice and the laugh. For inspiration, He looked at the disheveled chaos of Sid Vicious and the mannerisms of Malcolm McDowell's character from A Clockwork Orange. Ledger has stated in an interview for the NY times (11/4/07) that he views The Dark Knight's Joker as "a psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."

He was director Christopher Nolan's only choice for the role. When asked "Why Ledger?", Nolan's response was simple: "He's fearless." To take the character in the direction Heath did was inspiring, if not absolutely terrifying.

---It's Sir Michael Caine's opinion that Heath Ledger beat the odds and topped Jack Nicholson's Joker from "Batman": "Jack was like a clown figure, benign but wicked, maybe a killer old uncle. He could be funny and make you laugh. Heath's gone in a completely different direction to Jack, he's like a really scary psychopath. He's a lovely guy and his Joker is going to be a hell of a revelation in this picture." Caine bases this belief on a scene where the Joker pays a visit to Bruce Wayne's penthouse. He'd never met Ledger before, so when Ledger arrived and performed he gave Caine such a fright he forgot his lines. -- IMDb Trivia: The Dark Knight (2008)---

Heath Ledger made a complete, bold, terrifying transformation. And in my humble opinion, it was one of the single greatest film portrayals of all time. Every day, I am crushed by the sad realization of what a brilliant performance we would have seen from him in the next film. --Video from Douglas Crets

For other opinions on Ledger's Joker, check out my answer to What does Jack Nicholson think of Heath Ledger's performance as Joker in The Dark Knight?

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Posted on 6 January 2012

Who is wealthier—Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark?

I answered a similar question the same way I'll answer this one: Bruce Wayne. He has an almost unlimited slush fund of accessible and apparently untraceable cash that has allowed him to operate as Batman with near impunity. He has multiple aircraft, many vehicles, a boat/submarine and several secret hideouts all equipped the latest in scientific and computer technology.

He is somehow able to obtain untraceable explosives for his Batarangs (most commercial explosives have plastic tagents embedded in them that can be used to trace their origin) and apparently has access to a series of very discreet medical professionals who quietly treat what would have to be myriad injuries sustained due to his crimefighting.

He apparently buys sizable quantities of fuel (in cash and also in an apparently untraceable manner) and he has replaced equipment that had to have cost in the tens of millions when it was destroyed, multiple times in the past. It's clear that that while perhaps not on paper Bruce Wayne isn't richer than Tony Stark, he apparently has access to some untraceable source (or sources) of wealth that make him appear to be far more wealthy than Stark.

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Posted on 14 October 2011

Who is wealthier—Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark?

It depends. I know you hate that answer, but we have to consider not just actual liquid wealth, but total assets and investments and the wealth of the massive companies they own and operate.  Consider the following...

If you look at what each of them develops, and who their customers are, you'll see that Bruce Wayne's company is involved in production of a much wider array of products all over the world, including to the general public on all continents. Tony Stark makes mostly high-end technologies and doesn't sell to just anybody, and in fact seems limited to U.S.-based military and intelligence customers for his high-priced, high-end products most of the time. The breadth of Wayne Enterprises, which Forbes estimates to have an income of around $30 billion a year, exceeds that of Stark Industries, which is estimated by Forbes at about $20 billion annually.


But for their personal wealth, Bruce Wayne comes in at around $7 billion, whereas Tony Stark was ahead of him with a whopping $9.4 billion.


But these assessments are made every year, and the above citations are for 2011 only.  Prior to 2008, when Stark moved into the personal-wealth lead, Bruce Wayne was always ahead of Stark in personal wealth.


Usually, then, Wayne himself is wealthier and his company is wealthier, but for the last three to four years, Stark has jumped into the lead in personal wealthy despite his company remaining behind in overall income.

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Posted on 14 October 2011

If you agree that Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman are the DC big 3, who's #4?

With "Big 3" meaning the biggest, most popular characters who are most recognizable and who enjoy longevity and tend to be the dominant personalities in the DCU, then for the hypothetical #4 position I think there are a few contenders.

[Note:  I should state outright that I'm not going to include perhaps the first name that comes to some folks' minds -- Robin -- because he's Batman's sidekick and I'd think that would be a tad unfair and would seem to imply the #4 spot is really just a duel slot for the Batman "team"/"brand". Based on that rule for myself, Nightwing is also exempt from consideration.  I say this because I know a lot of people who read Batman comics are probably thinking that, now that Dick Grayson (the first Robin, later Nightwing) is operating as a second Batman and is the main "Batman" character in Detective Comics, he should be considered for the #4 slot. But I don't think two Batmen is an acceptable way to fill two slots in any "Big 4" list.]

(1.) Green Lantern -- He appeared about two years after Superman, one year after Batman, and one year before Wonder Woman. He is arguably the most powerful superhero in the DCU, has one of the greatest costumes, is pretty recognizable, and has an upcoming release of what's sure to be a summer blockbuster film. His whole world and backstory are a big space opera of epic proportions, too. When we weigh the factors (big, popular, recognizable, longevity, dominant) and then consider his current status as the next big franchise in film, I think he currently is most likely to move into official #4 position.

(2.) The Flash -- He appeared the same year as Green Lantern, so he's got longevity as well.  He also is pretty recognizable, more so than Green Lantern, I suspect. He's got a simple but good costume, too. But power-wise, his speed is of course his main ability and despite being called the "fastest man" he's not demonstrably really faster than Superman or hypothetically the Green Lantern (claims in some comics that he can beat Superman make little sense when at other times we see Superman's true capacity for speed).

The Flash is also lagging in popularity as of late, for what it's worth. And he has a film that's been "in development" for a few years now, but it seems to be back on track at the moment (he also had a short-lived TV show, but it flopped unfortunately). His powers are of course still impressive, but I don't think they are comparable to Green Lantern's, nor is he as popular. I personally think he's a very fun and interesting character, and I think that the fact he's so recognizable and long-lived and has a simple but cool power get him a spot on the short-list even though ultimately I think he falls behind a few other characters in the competition.

(3.) Aquaman -- Often dismissed, especially lately, as kind of the butt of jokes, Aquaman in fact has a pretty good argument for being the #4 guy.  He's been around as long as Wonder Woman, he's probably pretty recognizable and his name is likely familiar even to non-fans, he's got a pretty lively and unique background and setting and history, his outfit has earth tones and scales and fins and is different from most other characters, and he's been a staple of JLA and DCU stories for a long time. Then there's his powers -- and you might laugh, but only if you aren't actually familiar with the guy. He happens to be incredibly powerful, his body so dense that bullets bounce off him and he's got tremendous super-strength. He also has telepathic powers that let him talk to and control marine animals, he can see in the dark and has super-hearing, and of course he can breath underwater.

Consider, too, that he brings something special to the #4 spot -- Wonder Woman represents the powers of the Gods, Superman represents powers from outer space, Batman represents a champion of mortals who walk the Earth, so Aquaman would represent the powers of the oceans.  There's a sort of "elements" motif almost (not exactly, but kind of) going on in the representations when you consider it as a four-part team representing the Heavens, Space, Earth, and the Sea. The main downside to the character is really simply that he's misunderstood by the mainstream public who are used to the modern jokes about him merely "talking to fish." But he's still so well-known and the jokes do little to undermine that fact or the facts about his actual abilities and status in the DCU. So, Aquaman might have the most unique and underappreciated "world" and background of the DCU, and he should be considered a strong candidate for the #4 slot, and I'd place him second to Green Lantern.

(4.) Martian Manhunter -- He's been around since the mid-50s, he's among the most powerful characters in the DCU, he's gotten a lot more attention in recent years among the DCU, and he's an alien who looks alien and has a cool appearance. He's well-respected, popular among fans, and is definitely a serious candidate. His background and the fact he'd be the only overtly non-human-looking member of a hypothetical "Big 4" gives him an added advantage.

However, some of these things also work against him. He may be popular among fans, but few people who don't read comics would recognize him. And in very basic terms, he's another "invincible alien" alongside Superman. His telepathy and shape-shifting are the clearest powers that makes him stand out, but he's otherwise another strong, invulnerable, flying alien who shoots beams out of his eyes and wears a cape. I think that although Martian Manhunter is a powerful character who's very important to the DCU, I don't feel he has the iconic status needed to stand alongside the Big 3 as a definitive personality considered popular and recognizable enough to win over other characters -- specifically, Green Lantern or Aquaman -- who are simply far more well-known, popular, and closer to being icons.

Conclusion:  Green Lantern is probably the most likely candidate for a hypothetical #4 position, with Aquaman a good second-place contender for the slot. However, if someone argued strongly that Aquaman's inclusion would be more interesting and bring elements (the sea, water-based powers, Atlantis, etc) that best compliment the overall weighting of a "Big 4" list, then I'd not really argue with them. But I personally think that overall comparisons and weighting gives Green Lantern the win.

Martian Manhunter and the Flash have to share third place, because one (Martian Manhunter) has the power and growing popularity advantage, while the other (the Flash) is much more recognizable and closer to something at least approaching an "iconic" status based on name and "face"/suit recognition, plus his power might be limited but it's well-known and easy to conceptualize ("the fastest man alive").

See question on Quora

Posted on 5 May 2011

Which Batman story is the best from all mediums?

Year One by Frank Miller is probably the best Batman story in comics, followed by The Dark Knight Returns (especially the first chapter about Harvey Dent).

The Dark Knight is the best Batman story in film, followed by Batman Begins.

Of those four stories, pound for pound the greatest Batman story, in my opinion, is the story in the film The Dark Knight.  It encompasses so much of what Batman represents, of Bruce Wayne being pulled in different directions, of Batman as both hero and hunted, of the two greatest villains for Batman in roles perfectly portraying them in ways to complement and contrast with Batman's own portrayal and arc. Whatever great elements of the character we can point to in any of the many great stories, anything we name is also present in this film in a really great way.

EDIT:  I should note that when I wrote this answer, I ranked Year One just a narrow hair's width ahead of The Dark Knight Returns for "best Batman story in comics," but the two are so close that from time to time my assessment changes just enough for one or the other to move ahead to first-place for a while.

See question on Quora

Posted on 26 April 2011

In The Dark Knight, how did the Joker really get his scars?

There is no straight answer given in the film (is there ever with Nolan?), but what we can do is look at the Joker as he appears in The Dark Knight and see how the scars characterize him.

This film is very much about 'people who bear scars'. The idea of Batman was inseminated the day a young boy saw his parents murdered before him. Harvey Dent's emotional scar takes physical form, splitting his face in two. These people obsess over their scars as what defines the core of their being.
The Joker though? He bears his scars with laughter.

Joker's many stories for his scars is in a way mocking these people. They cling to their scars as a life changing event, they brag about their scars, so he puts their conviction to the test.

The Joker holds a mirror up to them so they may be judged by their own ideals. This is the opposite of Batman who judges everyone else with his ideals, such as his view that Gotham is too dumb to realize how badly they need him, or deeming that only Batman is to be the Dark Knight because no one else is fit to bear this burden.

Harvey Dent was idealistic and determined, the Joker tested him with an emotionally anguishing choice. Harvey Dent, not just as his friends knew him, but as he knew himself, after that day ceased to exist, his ideals were consumed by the fresh, bleeding scar the Joker had given him.

Batman saves the murderous Joker's life and gloats to him over the loftiness of his code, but in a high pressure situation kills his best friend Harvey Dent. Ideals are compromised, excuses are made, and the Joker goes on laughing.

The origin of the Joker's scars isn't explained because to the Joker, it doesn't matter. One isn't defined merely by scars, but by ideals to live by. The Joker lives by his code without wavering. Scars are superficial.

That's why the Joker is Batman's greatest nemesis, because he makes the Dark Knight doubt himself.

See question on Quora

Posted on 30 March 2011

In The Dark Knight, how did the Joker really get his scars?

Whatever way he is claiming at any moment.

As in the comics, the Joker regards the past as a mutable medium, which only exists insofar as it is remembered, and the act of remembering and forgetting is, in fact, creation and destruction. Was the Joker the leader of the Red Hood gang? A failed stand-up comic forced into crime by the gang he appeared to be leading? Did his wife die in an accident? Was she murdered by a corrupt cop? Did she exist at all? Because the Joker is able to forget and remember at will, the truth is whatever version of his backstory that he is remembering at any moment, regardless of whether that history conflicts with what he remembered yesterday.

In the words of Nietzsche:

[Beasts] do not remember; mankind does.  Man is an historical animal, whose memories weigh down upon him.  Happiness is forgetting, though remembering is what gives man the ability to utilize lessons from the past in the present.

In some sense, the Joker is a Nietzchian ideal: a man with total control over both remembering and forgetting.

This is what makes him a nemesis of the Batman: Bruce Wayne cannot forget anything. The deaths of his parents, of (in the comics) the second Robin, of (in the movie) his oldest friend, these memories and this history are the essential components of his character. Every action is motivated by memory and history he is unable or unwilling to escape.

See question on Quora

Posted on 15 May 2010 search results

Bruce Wayne dies, Sterling Archer becomes the new Batman. Can he still beat the Joker?

Archer has read the comic books so he knows what's up.

Round one: New Bats retains his aversion to guns and such, but Archer still knows krav maga. How does he fare?

Round two: The Sterling Knight goes on a rampage, no weapons barred, full access to Bruce Wayne's resources. Krieger is his Lucious Fox. Who can't he beat?

Bonus Round: Could Archer keep his new identity secret?

submitted by Mechakoopa to whowouldwin
[link] [222 comments]

Posted on 22 February 2015

How long does your favourite character last against an unlimited hoard of The Walking Dead zombies?

Round 1: A 100m round arena, no more that 50 zombies allowed in at once and they all come through the same entrance

Round 2: 12 zombies a minute enter through the same entrance

The dead zombies corpses dissolve as soon as they die to stop a massive build up, also a strong punch to the head will disable them to give guy like Batman and Cpt. A a chance

submitted by TheJohny182 to whowouldwin
[link] [189 comments]

Posted on 3 January 2015

Each of the following Batman villains are given Death Notes. How do they each use them, and how does Batman respond?

The villains:

  • The Joker

  • Two-Face

  • Scarecrow

  • Bane

  • Killer Croc

  • Poison Ivy

  • Mr Freeze

  • The Riddler

  • Hugo Strange

The rules of the notebook, for those unaware:

  • The human whose name is written in this note will die.

  • The writer must picture the face of their victim while writing, or the note will have no effect. This is to prevent individuals who share the same name from being affected.

  • The death will take place 40 seconds after writing. In those 40 seconds, the writer can add extra details including the manner, time and location of the death.

  • If it is possible for the manner of death specified to occur, it will happen as written. If no manner of death is specified, or the specified death is impossible, the victim will die of a heart attack instead. All humans are considered to have the capacity for suicide.

  • If a time of death within 23 days is specified, it will happen as written. Otherwise, the death will take place after 40 seconds.

  • If it is possible for the death to occur at the specified location, it will happen as written. If no location is specified, or it is impossible for the victim to reach the specified location in time, they will die wherever they are at the time of death. If the manner of their death is tied to a specified location and that location is unreachable, the victim will die of a heart attack.

  • The writer can specify actions for the victim to take between the time of writing and their death. If it is possible for the victim to carry out these actions, they will do so. The victim cannot perform impossible actions such as revealing information they do not know.

  • The note can never cause the death of anybody whose name is not written in it. For example, if it is written that the victim will shoot an unnamed colleague, then their colleague's wounds are guaranteed to be non-fatal.

  • Once the victim's name is written in the note, nothing can be done to prevent their death, and they cannot die by any other means beforehand. If the same victim's name is written in multiple notes, the first death to be written will be the one that takes effect, regardless of the order the deaths are scheduled in.

  • Once dead, they can never come back to life.

There are also several Shinigami on hand, one for each notebook:

  • Any human with a note can trade half their remaining lifespan with a Shinigami for the Shinigami's eyes. These eyes allow them to see the name and lifespan of any human just by looking at their face.

  • Even with the eyes, a human cannot see the lifespan of a human with a note. This allows a human with both the note and the eyes to easily recognize other humans with notes.

BONUS ROUND: Ra'as al Ghul is also given a notebook. How screwed is the world? Can Batman stop him?

submitted by Azmek to whowouldwin
[link] [79 comments]

Posted on 13 December 2014

Does Batman's "no-kill" policy end up in more deaths (likely indirect) than if he had a strict, "at-your-discretion-only" kill policy?

This applies to all versions and universes, including both (or, all three, if you count Burton/Keaton as separate from the 90's abominations, which I do) movie universes.

Most people know that Batman has a strict rule to never kill any enemy, no matter what the circumstances are, as he's "no executioner" (at least, post-Golden Age of Batman around the late-1930s-early-40. During this point Batman was a badass who was closer to The Punisher than a ninja detective. He even used firearms, hanging criminals from his Bat-Plane, slicing them with swords, running them over with cars, throwing them off rooftops, slicing them with Batarangs, etc.).

Ironically, Batman had set up an automated protocol via satellite to kill any of his fellow superheroes in Justice League of America (JLA). JLA is pretty much the DC version of The Avengers, and it includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and others. Batman set this up and tailored it specifically for each superhero -- which seems a little dark for me. So, you could argue that he has "planned" to kill superheroes on a more specific, drawn-out way than he has planned to kill villains.

Also, I think it's his no-kill policy that makes him so popular, since it shows humanity, discipline, and respect. The credit would at least partially go to the super-conservative moms in the late 1940s, who weren't fond of "this Batman character" wielding guns and killing people. So, DC immediately him (and Superman and everyone else from "Detective Comics"),

Here are the reasons for his no-kill policy:

  • This rule is rooted in mostly in principle -- to not "stoop down" to the level of those he's fighting -- which is why he also never uses a firearm, since it was the weapon used on his parents. (Nolan did a good job of catching the casual audience up to speed on his no-kill/no-gun policy, even though it took lucky timing by Falcone's hit-woman to "prevent" Bruce from using the gun, and it took a couple of slaps from Rachel to set him straight. My favorite part is when the Fatmans -- aka fake Batmans who happen to be fat -- use guns in the beginning of The Dark Knight, and Scarecrow says "that's not him" -- which is a sign of begrudging respect and acknowledgement). **

  • His rule is also based on fear**, fear of what he may become should he allow himself to kill, since it could be a slippery slope if he kills based on justification and "justice."

  • Lastly, he has the rule to limit the "heat" he gets from the Gotham Police, since killings -- even of high-level mobsters -- would be a homicide/murder case, since he's a vigilante and not a part of law enforcement. If he started to kill some villains, no matter how guilty the villains are/were, the killings would still be murder charges, and Batman would start to look more like a serial killer than a "guardian of the night."

But anyway, would Batman be a more effective and efficient superhero if he didn't have that rule?

Now, I'm not saying that his M.O. would be "kill all mobsters," or, in other words, it's not like Batman would be out hunting for people to kill.

My proposal/hypothetical would be: What if Batman allowed exceptions to his rule, where he deems that the benefits (immediate and permanent cessation of the near-certainty of further deaths, crime, and chaos) of killing of the villain would significantly outweigh the costs (costs being: slight loss of humanity, compromise of principle, added "heat" from cops, possible self-loathing from "stooping down" to the level of those he fights, etc.)?

Most of the time, Batman gets the job done without needing to kill, and I acknowledge that. Also, this wouldn't really be a personal code or a self-administered "license to kill" (i.e., "I am allowed to kill when justified"), but it would be an exception to his current code (i.e., "My code: I will not kill anyone. But in exceptional cases where it is the only option to prevent further deaths of Gotham citizens, I have to do my duty and ensure the safety of Gotham.")

There are instances where if he killed a villain who not only had already killed many citizens, but his eventual (and inevitable) "escape" from Batman would lead to more deaths. The Joker would be an obvious example, and he's pretty much takes advantage of Batman's rule, at times mocking him that Batman's persistent need for order can lead to collateral damage/deaths when it faces chaos (Joker). So, for example, if Batman actually breaks his rule and kills the Joker -- and it would NEVER be a situation where it would be an execution-style killing, but more likely self-defense or to thwart the villain from going through with a mass murder plan -- wouldn't it be fair to say that the good significantly outweighs the bad?

Take The Dark Knight for example.

If Batman had killed The Joker when The Joker was literally firing at him (though, likely not firing to kill Batman, since he didn't want Batman to die), with The Joker saying "hit me, come on, hit me, hit me, HIT ME!" (which, as I said, was an example of The Joker taking advantage of Batman's "one rule") he could have killed him WITH the police (especially Jim Gordon) witnessing The Joker firing at Batman. The Joker's death would have prevented plenty of deaths: the deaths at the precinct and holding cells (btw, how in the hell did The Joker survive all of that but no one else did?); any deaths from Batman's encounter at the unfinished condos; the turn of Harvey Dent into Two-Face, which resulted in more deaths, including his own; and finally, killing The Joker would have prevented that situation where two ferries with 600-700 people total were prepped with enough explosives to kill either and/or both ferries, and not only where they one click away from blowing themselves (or the others) up, but The Joker was literally about to blow them both up had he not asked (or mini-mologued, "speaking of which, do you want to know how I got these scars?", followed by Batman retorting with his own quip of "no, but I know how you got these!" and shooting out his arm blades and throwing him off the building, before, of course, saving him.

TL;DR -- Does Batman's strict no-kill policy inadvertently lead to more deaths than prevent deaths? It's not so much that I would advocate a "license to kill" mentality, but more of a "there's an exception to every rule" mentality, where exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures. For e.g., in The Dark Knight, plenty of people died after Batman bailed on his Batpod with his chance to kill The Joker, who was a half-second button-press away from killing 600+ people on the two ferries.

submitted by Death_Star_ to AskScienceFiction
[link] [138 comments]

Posted on 11 November 2014

How the joker keeps coming back. [DC, Batman]

This is just another "what if" theory, and I'm not an avid batman fan to find facts to support the theories. Now in the batman universe, when Bruce Wayne dies or simply retires, another human fills his place by being batman (for example: Dick Grayson). What if the Joker also does this too? There were countless times the Joker went "missing" and he came back to fight the caped crusader. I think the Joker probably has his own little posse where he trains them to become like the Joker just like how Batman has his robins.

submitted by Randomthroawayacount to FanTheories
[link] [12 comments]

Posted on 2 September 2014

[DC] How does Batman not die when he fights with the JLA? (possible Man of Steel spoilers)

Okay, maybe the title maybe a poor question. I know Batman has all the toys, he is the World's greatest detective, he is as strong as the writer makes him and with prep can beat/survive against almost anyone right?

I just re-watched Man of Steel, how the hell could Batman even be involved with something like this? Metropolis was destroyed and Superman gets tossed around like a rag doll. I don't see how Batman would be of any help to the JLA if a threat stronger than that of General Zod were to attack Earth. Granted, this is a movie and a completely different universe. I'll admit I am a Marvel guy and don't know a whole lot about DC. I do know that Batman has varied from writer to writer and universe to universe in intellect and strength. It just seems to me that the only usefulness Batman could provide to the JLA s intellect and technology.

submitted by iisdmitch to AskScienceFiction
[link] [8 comments]

Posted on 12 August 2014

Plot Theories for Batman v Superman.

  1. Batman and Superman start out as friends. Why would they be enemies? They both fight for justice, they just do it indifferent ways. The only reason they will be fighting will be explained later.

  2. Batman nor Superman is the bad guy. My theory is Lex Luthor is the villain (he has been announced to be in the movie). He probably doesn't like Superman nor Batman. He sees that an easy way to get rid of Batman is for Superman to get rid of him, but he has to influence him to do so. I'm thinking Supes and Lex are friends or Lex got a hold of red kryptonite. (After the Man of Steel comes to his senses, he helps the Caped Crusader take on Lex).

  3. If theory 1 and 2 are true, any extra heroes in the film will be supporting Batman. If the two theories are false, then any extra hero could support anyone or be a "lone ranger." (Batman v Superman v Wonder Woman?)

  4. Batman is clever (as he usually is). When he prepares to go fight Superman, he knows he has no chance by himself so what does he do? He builds a suit that at least give him a chance at fighting the Man of Steel. (This has already been confirmed with the Comic Con Teaser Trailer.)

  5. The winner (if there really is one) will not kill the other character. Two reasons to this: One, you can't just kill Batman or Superman because their characters are too major, and two, when Supes kills Zod, he seems shaken, and probably made a vow to himself to never kill again (Batman also doesn't typically kill people, so Superman won't die either).

  6. At the end of the movie, Batman and Superman are friends. The title does end with Dawn of Justice, so at the end of the movie, we'll see an incomplete Justice League with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman (and possibly Cyborg and Aquaman). This will lead up to filling the holes in the next movie with Green Lantern and the Flash (and possibly Cyborg and Aquaman; may or may not be introduced in BvS, and may or may not be introduced in the Justice League movie).

  7. A fight like this probably won't happen again. Superman is probably more conscious of his destructive capabilities and will try to control them, but when fighting someone that may be a match for you (like Batman in a strength-enhancing suit or Zod), it may be hard to control damage. I could definitely see some serious damage to cities (not on the scale of the last movie, but significant none the less) which would make the two heroes try to control or stop future fights with one another, with one and another hero, or between two other heroes.

  8. The movie is a chance to take superheroes that are typically considered lame, not major, or obscure and make them cool, major, and well-known. It would be a good move to bring in Aquaman for this exact reason. He is probably considered one of the lamest superheroes, but he can be one of the coolest ones if he is portrayed correctly.

EDIT: I've changed my mind about red kryptonite on number 2. Bringing in any sort of kryptonite into new Superman movies probably won't happen for a while because the lack of kryptonite makes the movie less predictable. However, I still think Lex will try to control Superman, Batman, or both.

submitted by MisterAnonymous2 to superman
[link] [16 comments]

Posted on 29 July 2014

Batman kills so many in the Burton films...

I was re watching the first two Burton films when I noticed Batman was pretty brutal in those films.

  • The First time was when Batman blew up the factory. There were at least 4 people standing around that car when his wheels dropped the bombs. Best part of all...Batman wasn't even in the car!! He practically droned them.

  • Batman chases the Joker up the church only to be met by one of his better henchman. They scrap it out for a bit and then he thinks he knocks Batman down the tower. When he goes to see if he's gone Batman pulls him down to his doom, the henchman seems to fall like almost endlessly. There was no way he could survive that.

  • The last person he killed on the first one was the Joker. When he tried to get away on a helicopter Batman attached him to a heavy what did Batman possibly think this was going to do? In the comics he would of let him go to find him another day, but it seems like he was just not having it.

    • The beginning of the second movie there is a penguin henchman in a devil costume burning up stores. Batman with his batmobile drives in front him, does a 360, and then proceeds to catch him on fire with the back of his car!! If this man didn't die he had some serious done to all over his body.
  • Lastly Batman take a bomb from a henchman that he fights. He must of seen there was a lot of time still on it so he took it elsewhere. Batman then runs into this clown he can't knock out with his fist, so what does he do? He attaches the bomb to the man's stomach and throws him into a pit. The explosion coming from the pit was huge so nine times out of ten he died.

    Edit: This has been a really good discussion so far, but try not to downvote people for their opinions guys. Some people hate, like, and feel indifferent about the first two Burton films and that's ok, because in the end it's all about the Batmans. I just started this to see what other bat fans thought about them as well.

submitted by Pandorasbox64 to batman
[link] [95 comments]

Posted on 11 July 2014

Batman vs Light Yagami (Death Note)

Who would win if Bruce took the place of L in the anime?

Edit: This is Batman in the exact position L is in the anime, Batman is unknown to the world and is only known to the higher ups of the police department. He's called upon after all the criminals start to die, he's in complete secrecy. Light has absolutely 0 idea that Batman exists. How does Batman tackle this situation?

submitted by LittleMantis to whowouldwin
[link] [45 comments]

Posted on 12 May 2014

The Joker DOES have a superpower

No one could pull off half the random crap Joker does unassisted. All the near deaths, convoluted plots and inevitable escape attempts... impossible without some other force at work. But really, it's his name that gives it away. He's got a power any comedian, class clown or joker would kill for.

He has a supernaturally good sense of timing.

That's why all his schemes can work and why the only times he gets caught are when he can safely get away later. Because even if he's unaware that he's doing it, he's always in the right place at the right time.

Edit: Joker probably isn't aware he even has this power, but it's part of the reason he never gets over his insanity. Because everything always works out for him, he's never confronted with facing reality aside from the chaos he creates. Except... for... the Batman. Maybe he's immune or maybe he's just so organized he can cut through the chaos, but for whatever reason Batman's the only one who can overcome this subtle power. Joker may be aware of this subconsciously or just pick up that things go wrong whenever Batman's around, but he knows he NEEDS to kill him.

Edit 2: Maybe the Joker doesn't need to KILL Batman, but I think he does want some kind of final conflict where two enter and one leaves. Whether Joker hopes HE'LL die in the conflict or just prove that his reality is the correct one depends on which Joker you're talking about, I think.

submitted by Codoro to FanTheories
[link] [293 comments]

Posted on 14 April 2014

Scarecrow's bombs in Arkham Knight are a ploy

After years of plotting his revenge against Batman the Scarecrow returns in Arkham Knight to gather the other super-villains and crush the dark knight. At least, that's what we're led to believe. The opening trailer tells that the Scarecrow has planted fear gas bombs around Gotham and has told the authorities, who evacuate the citizens... But Why? In Batman's profile of Scarecrow and his interview tapes found in Arkham Asylum, Scarecrow is described as a man who must instill fear in others in the name of research. When Batman finds Scarecrow's boat in Arkham City, it does not contain a set of blueprints, some fear gas and a "I will have my revenge" sign. The boat contains the results of an experiment on an inmate. If Scarecrow is so obsessed with research, why would he tell authorities of his bombs and evacuate an unsuspecting test city of 6 million people? (I understand that this is a convenient way for the developers to explain why there are no civilians in the city, but Rocksteady is normally very good with covering up potential plot weak points). Scarecrow is too intelligent to think that a compilation of independent super-villains will kill Batman (he's defeated them before). Furthermore, Scarecrow understands that if Batman does die, the police and military will not respect the no killing rule when retaking the city. So if killing Batman is not main priority then what is? The answer is that Scarecrow is using the bombs and the battle to prepare the city to be a perfect fear laboratory. In the confusion he can send some of his henchmen down into the steam-works (disguised as trapped workers) to attach cans of fear gas to Gotham's water and gas lines as well as the air ducts of major buildings. Another group of henchmen can simultaneously break into city hall and forge records of these new "additions". Thus when Scarecrow is "defeated" or goes into hiding and the city returns to normal, he will have a perfect test city with which to conduct fear experiments in a controlled environment.

submitted by MrZartacla to FanTheories
[link] [5 comments]

Posted on 9 March 2014

What does r/Batman think of "The Batman" series from 2004?

I know that this series has mixed reviews from die hard Batman fans. However, for me, "The Batman" is what led me to my Batman obsession, and before it, and didn't care for him at all. I want to here other people's opinions on a series that wasn't always comic accurate, and that changed a lot of characters looks and personalities from their original persona.

submitted by gandhiloveslincoln to batman
[link] [12 comments]

Posted on 14 August 2013

A student in my online television class posted this as his introduction to the class...

I edited out his name only.

Hello, fellow students. My name is Anon, and I'm a guy - gender ambiguous names can sometimes lead to confusion on the internet, and I'm here to help you out! Go me. This is the second semester of my junior year as I study (wait for it) Literature and Film. It's a dead major now, but I still get to finish it. I can practically feel the luck spewing from my substantial collection of orifices. Now, I like to see myself as the embodiment of fun. I'm a fun guy. It's my thing. That's not to say that I do fun things (I don't), but that my very presence inspires joy in the hearts of other. However, as this is an online course, you will not get to feel that joy. Sorry. Not my problem. That's just how Zeus thought things needed to go. Lately I've been hooked on HBO's "Game of Thrones" series. I read the first book, watched the first season, and now I am watching the second season as I read the second book. It gives me the ability to point at what's happening on the screen and shout, "Nuh uh, Home Box Office! You're wrong!" Those instances are surprisingly few and far between: it's a very faithful adaptation, and it's lovingly made with what appears to be a very substantial budget. The first episode of the first season is a little rough around the edges, but things quickly get moving. You'll soon find yourself crying into your curtains after spending ten hours on the couch with an empty bag of Doritos in your lap.
While it was not purely a "television" moment, I seem to recall the Transformers film (not that Michael Bay travesty he made three times over with slightly different plots and slightly different explosions and slightly different lead women) being cut to run on cable television at some point in my childhood. I was a big fan of the animated series, so I was pretty much jumping out of my pants when it came time to watch a movie. A movie about robots that shoot at each other. I was, like, five (that was fifteen years ago - POP QUIZ: how old am I?). Do you not understand what a transformative experience this was about to be? No. You don't. And neither did I. About ten minutes in, Optimus Prime died. They killed him. The main character was dead, and we were only about a tenth of the way done with the movie. On the scale of things that are super-traumatic, that ranks just below your entire family being eaten by a chimera with dysentery. So, uh, since Optimus is kinda out of the picture , I think I'm going to go with Batman as my television character who I'd enjoy being. As far back as I can remember, there has been at least one Batman show on television, and Batman does not seems to die nearly as often as a certain 18-wheeling robot man.

submitted by ShakeNBakey to cringe
[link] [17 comments]

Posted on 7 January 2013

The Dark Knight Analysis: The Joker's Plan (TDK From Joker's point of view)

Let me know what you guys think and you are more than welcome to correct me or ask for proof about anything. Thanks!

In Gotham City, an ordinary man lays low his entire life and fails to keep a criminal record or even a social security number, (probably born outside of a hospital). This man wanders the streets of the city randomly, probably homeless, and someway or another comes up with the theory that man is naturally evil; much like the theme of the book The Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

This man becomes so obsessed with the idea that he vows to prove his theory, using the citizens of Gotham City as his lab rats. He invents an alternative persona for himself so as not to attract unwanted attention while he is trying to prove his theory. The man dresses himself up like a clown and laughs maniacally whenever possible. He may or may not have caused the scars himself; we may never know. By creating this persona, he comes off as a "freak", allowing himself to not be seen as a real threat by the mob or the police or even Batman. They think of him as a joke and nickname him "Joker", however he never calls himself that.

Joker's first order of business is to teach the mob a lesson about greed and what being evil truly means. Joker robs their bank to get their attention. After Joker successfully drives away with bags of cash, he meets with the mob in order to make them a offer: He will kill the Batman and in return, wants half of the mob's money that their accountant Lau has hidden. They are interested but ultimately decline as Gambol announces that they are putting a large bounty on his head. The Joker is forced to flee and is now left with a problem: In order for him to successfully prove his theory, he must remain a "crazy nobody". But how would be accomplish this with a million dollar bounty on his head? Bounty hunters would start to take notice in him.

Anger at Gambol for declining his offer, the Joker immediately invades his hideout and slaughters him in front of his men. Before doing so however, the Joker tells a horrific but completely BS story about his father giving him scars.

The Joker uses this story as a scare tactic for the audience and for Gambol's men. At this point we think he is totally crazy, but his story was a complete lie as we find out later. Because of all the lies Joker tells in this masterpiece of a movie, one has to assume that everything the Joker says is a lie.

After Joker kills off the loose end, Gambol, he captures one of the "fake Batmans". Note that he is laughing maniacally in this video, putting on a show for the viewers. Joker hangs the fake's dead body from the city hall along with the footage that demands that Batman take off his mask and turn himself in or people will die. Joker didn't mean for the video to get posted to the media. Joker wants Batman to take off his mask because he believes that if he does, Batman will be much easier to corrupt; he wants to slowly break him down, starting with the physical mask that the Batman wears.

The Joker then poisons the police commissioner and kills a judge via car bomb. At the same time, Joker himself shows up at Bruce Wayne's party in order to locate and kill Harvey Dent, another target. After unsuccessfully finding Harvey and observing Batman jump out of a twenty story building in order to save Rachel, Joker leaves. Joker invades the parade in order to try to kill another target, the mayor, but is unsuccessful when Gordon blocks the bullet.

Watching the news the next night, the Joker is informed that Harvey Dent has revealed himself as the Batman and has turned himself in. Thinking this is true, The Joker gleefully blocks the convoy that is taking Dent to central holding with a burning firetruck. (Sidenote: the burning firetruck represents corruption. Just like a firetruck is suppose to fight fires and yet is on fire itself, Harvey is suppose to fight criminals, but ends up becoming one himself). Joker contacts Maroney and has his men capture Rachel and take her to a secret location. Joker then attempts to overtake the vehicle, hoping to capture and torture Harvey Dent/"Batman" in order to allow him to succumb to his evil side. However, as the Batmobile rolls up, Joker realizes that Harvey Dent is not the real Batman, but just another fake. Angry, Joker tries to shoot a rocket at the convoy that Harvey is in which Batman deflects costing him his tumbler.

Joker loses interest in Harvey's convoy and allows Maroney's men to capture him, while he pursues batman in his newly formed Batpod. However, things do not go according to plan when Batman grapples Joker's truck and turns it completely over. Luckily, Joker isn't seriously injured and stands in the way of Batman's oncoming cycle.

Now this scene is pretty damn interesting. Wanting to corrupt Batman more than anything, Joker doesn't move out of the way at all. Joker insists on corrupting Batman; if he were to hit him, Batman would have broken his one rule of killing. This also shows that Joker is not afraid to die if it means that his theory is proved. However, he is disappointed when Batman swerves in order to miss and crashes his bike. Due to the destruction of the Joker's truck, his plan cannot go on.

But please note, Joker never puts his life in danger during the course of this whole movie unless his death means he is corrupting someone.

Joker must have had a backup plan for if he ever got arrested or that was his original plan all along. Either way, Joker allows himself to get caught by the police. During the interrogation, the Joker admits that he is not afraid of Batman because he knows that Batman will not and can not kill him. He then reveals that both Rachel and Harvey have been captured and switches the addresses of each on purpose, knowing that Batman will go after Rachel as shown by the window incident earlier in the movie. In doing this, the Joker forces Batman to break his own rule and choose between Harvey and Rachel. He of course chooses Rachel and sends the police after Harvey. After Batman realizes the addresses have been switched, he pulls Harvey out of the explosion just in time, but Rachel isn't so lucky.

Joker allows Rachel to die, causing Harvey to go into depression and anger and falling deeper into his dark side. However, Batman is also effected by this incident but stays vigilant, making him the true hero.

Meanwhile, Joker escapes prison by effectively using the cellphone bomb he planted in a goon of his weeks before. He blows up the majority of the police station and captures Lau, bringing him to the mob. The Joker says "He is a man of his word" when he delivers Lau and the location of the money to the Chechen, implying that he had a seperate deal with the Chechen when Gambol wasn't around. The mob reward him with half of the money that Lau reveals, which he then burns. The irony of the situation is that Lau is on top of the burning money pile, and ultimately gets killed by the one thing he loves.

The Joker's entire motive for getting the money from the mob was to teach them a lesson about crime and what being a criminal really is. "It's not about the money, it's about sending a message," he says to himself.

He then wonders if he cut the Chechen up into little pieces how loyal a hungry dog really would be, strengthening his curiosity for the theory on whether or not man is truly evil. Joker inherits the dogs.

After realizing that Batman is almost unbreakable, Joker switches his full attention to Harvey Dent who is now in the hospital after his accident. In order to get some alone time with Harvey Dent, he clears out a hospital by threatening to blow it up and then sneaks in dressed as a nurse. During their alone time, the Joker gives a quite intelligent but bullshit monologue about how he doesn't have a plan and how he is just a dog chasing cars. He gives this speech in order to take the blame off of him for Rachel's murder. In order to seal the deal of corruption, Joker gives Harvey the choice to kill him, but is ultimately disappointed when Harvey doesn't pull the trigger. If Joker hadn't given his BS speech, Two face would blame him for the murder of Rachel and kill him for the wrong reasons: out of anger instead of out of corruption.

Note that Joker again puts his life at risk in order to corrupt a good person. Joker leaves and blows the hospital up as he goes.

Joker, content with the level of evil he has brought out of Harvey Dent, moves his focus to the rest of the citizens of Gotham. On the two ferries, he gives the citizens a choice whether or not to blow the other ferry up. However he is again disappointed when, at midnight, both ferries are still standing. He tries to destroy the ferries out of anger, but Batman knocks him off a skyscraper and he goes tumbling to his inevitable death. As he falls, he laughs, realizing that he has won and corrupted The Dark Knight by breaking his one rule. However Batman just in time grapples him back up to which the Joker stops laughing and says, "You truly are incorruptible". He reveals that Batman wasn't his main project and Batman quickly rushes to save Dent. However, it is too late and, while trying to kill a child, he falls to his death.

Batman and Gordon realize that the Joker has won and he has shown that even the best of men are truly evil on the inside. Gotham needed a hero, a White Knight, and that Knight had failed them, even going to the horrific lengths of almost murdering an innocent child. The Joker, a totally sane man, created a monster and psychopath.

The Joker proved his theory somewhat correct, not ALL men can be corrupted, but anyone can be.

TL;DR: The Joker successfully proves a theory that maybe not all men are evil, but some are. He had a plan.

submitted by AndyBerNardDawg to batman
[link] [58 comments]

Posted on 11 August 2012

The Joker's Two Scar Stories - and why THE DARK KNIGHT is the deepest film of the trilogy


EDIT: There is some seriously amazing and insightful discussion going on in the comments. /r/batman may be my new favorite subreddit!

The Joker tells two different stories of how he got his scars in THE DARK KNIGHT. Why?

The first version is told to Gambol, the crime boss:

Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was a drinker and a fiend. And one night he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. So - me watching - he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it! Turns to me, and he says, "Why so serious, son?" Comes at me with the knife... "Why so serious?" He sticks the blade in my mouth... "Let's put a smile on that face!" And... why so serious?

The second version is told to Rachel:

Oh, you look nervous. Is it the scars? Wanna know how I got 'em? C'mere, look at me. So, I had a wife, who was you, who tells me I worry too much, who tells me I oughta smile more, who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks… Hey. One day they carve her face. And we got no money for surgeries. She can't take it. I just want to see her smile again. Hmm? I just wanted to let her know that I don't care about the scars. So, I stick a razor in my mouth and do this... to myself. And you know what? She can't stand the sight of me! She leaves! Now I see the funny side. Now, I'm always smiling!

Why does the Joker tell two different, contradicting stories?

The most superficial interpretation is: the Joker is insane. He is so mentally ill he is incapable of being honest or consistent even with himself. So, the stories reflect Joker's mental turmoil.

Many audience members will not advance past this interpretation, and that's fine.

A related second answer would be that the Joker is a pathological liar. Throughout THE DARK KNIGHT the Joker manipulates his enemies through lies, trickery, disguises, and traps:

  1. The bank robbery and massive double-cross.
  2. Pretending to be dead to get inside Gambol's headquarters.
  3. "I just want my phone call" and the cellphone bomb.
  4. The Joker tells Batman the wrong location for Harvey and Rachel.
  5. It is heavily implied that the Joker is pulling a similar trick on the two ferries.
  6. Joker dresses as a guardsman to infiltrate the parade and shoot at the Mayor, and he sets up the sniper trap for Batman.
  7. He dresses as a nurse to infiltrate the hospital.
  8. He sends assassins to Judge Surillo who pretend to be her bodyguards.
  9. The pencil trick.

The two scar stories, then, can be seen as a continuation of the Joker's pattern of terrifying deceit and unpredictability.

Again, this interpretation is valid, and many viewers of THE DARK KNIGHT will not delve any deeper than this.

However, a third interpretation is the Joker is creating a self-conscious performance. The Joker always introduces his story with "Wanna know how I got these scars?" He is asking the question that everyone must be thinking when they look at his disfigured face, but nobody actually dares to ask. He asks it for them. It's important that he tells the story of an abusive father to Gambol, and the story of a neglectful wife when speaking to Rachel; he is clearly tailoring his story to his audience.

If we look closer, two themes unite the Joker's stories. In both stories, the Joker is the victim of physical or emotional abuse. The second theme is humor ("Why so serious" / "Let's put a smile on that face" / "Now I'm always smiling"). Humor is associated with insanity: people know that laughing when nothing is funny, or laughing uncontrollably, are symptoms of a madman.

The Joker is thus "reciting" a "myth" that people create in their own minds when they meet the Joker: the Joker must have been a victim of physical or emotional abuse, and the scars made him so detestably ugly that he went insane to cope.

This is a very unoriginal, vanilla origin story for a villain. BUT, in telling different variations on this same stereotypical story, the Joker is clearly winking at the audience. "So-and-so is what people THINK happened to me."

In reality, neither story is true. The Joker is not actually a laughing madman. He is often sarcastic and he has a sharp sense of humor (for example, he is clearly aware of how grotesque his nurse disguise is). But in many scenes, the Joker is serious and sober. Remember when the Joker escapes in the cop car with his head hanging out the window? Jack Nicholson and Mark Hamill would be laughing maniacally in this scene. Heath Ledger's Joker is silent.

The Joker does laugh several times in THE DARK KNIGHT, but it is a performance, like his clown makeup. The Joker laughs when he wants other people to think he is insane. The two clearest examples of this are when he is making his televised terrorist threat (interrogating the wanna-be Batman) and in his final conversation with Batman (while hanging upside down). Batman may be fooled, thinking Joker will "rot in a padded cell forever," but Nolan's Joker isn't insane. He rarely exhibits out-of-control, irrational, or impulsive behavior.

Just to drive this point home, the Joker even utters a sarcastic fake-laugh when he meets the mob ("Ha ha. Hee. Ho. And I thought MY jokes were bad."), clearly emphasizing how in-control he is. It is evident that his laugh while torturing the wanna-be Batman is just as much a performance.

The Joker uses storytelling to paint an image of himself as a madman, but he is really a mastermind.

In typical Nolan style, we can go even one level deeper.

A final interpretation of the Joker's stories is that the Joker is making a powerful comment on the DIFFERENCE between Joker and Batman.

If we look at Batman, his origin story is central. It is not just an explanation for his powers, like Peter Parker's radioactive spider or Superman's planet Krypton. Batman's origin story is his MOTIVATION for becoming Batman. Batman is not the result of a scientific experiment gone wrong, like the Hulk; Bruce Wayne made a conscious CHOICE to become Batman after his parents died. Batman's origin story is also the source of a painful tension in Bruce's character: his conflicting desires for revenge (violence and vigilantism) versus justice (law and order).

In short: Batman is defined by Bruce Wayne's past.

One of the themes of THE DARK KNIGHT is the contrast between the Batman's "one rule" (no killing) and the Joker's "no rules" attitude. A few lines in the film draw attention to this. Crime boss Maroni tells Batman that nobody will help him find the Joker: "You got rules. The Joker, he's got no rules. No one's gonna cross him to you." The Joker tells Batman: "You have all these rules and you think they'll save you…. The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules."

By telling conflicting stories of his origin, Joker draws a powerful contrast with Batman. Batman is defined (and limited) by his past. The Joker is free to invent his own past. Since he has no past, he has no motivation. As he tells Harvey: "Do I really look like a guy with a plan? … I just DO things. The Mob has plans. The cops have plans. Gordon's got plans. You know, they're schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are."

In short, Joker is defined by his LACK OF a past.

Batman is scarred (psychologically) by his parents' death and he never forgets it. The Joker doesn't even bother to remember why he has scars.

The Joker uses people's pasts to manipulate them several times in THE DARK KNIGHT. At the most superficial level, Anna Ramirez is corrupted thanks to her mother's hospital bills. Going a little deeper, the Joker corrupts Harvey Dent by appealing to his lifelong appreciation for fairness (represented by the coin).

The person who has the most vulnerable past is Batman himself. The Joker is able to get the better of Batman several times because of this. First, the Joker forces Batman to crash his bike rather than violate his one rule. Then, the Joker is immune to Batman's beatings and intimidation because he knows Batman can't kill him. Ultimately, Joker tricks Batman into letting Rachel die by sneakily appealing to his secret love for her.

The Joker is a man without a past, and that's what makes him a terrifying villain.

It also makes THE DARK KNIGHT a complex, ambiguous, deep, and fascinating movie.

Not everyone analyzes movies to death, but classic movies grab our imaginations because they are open to interpretation, discussion and analysis. That's what makes THE DARK KNIGHT a classic.

submitted by Deggit to batman
[link] [393 comments]

Posted on 2 August 2012

(Lots o' Spoilers) How TDKR should have ended...

... exactly the way it did. I see some complaints that having Batman go out the way he did was a cop-out, and I find myself in total disagreement.

Here is a character, like every famed and beloved comic book hero, who is plagued by his total inability to change. It's written into his dna. Bruce Wayne never changes, he's Batman and he'll always be Batman. If other characters have to hate him for it, we'll draw our drama from that (Batman Beyond). But no matter what, Bruce Wayne is Batman. In no format have we ever been really allowed to see the Batman character realistically evolve, until now. And that is just as daring a move as the rather obvious and un-clever one a lot of us predicted. Some of us wanted Batman to die. Well, he does.

Batman dies. Nolan has said that TDKR draws a lot from Tale of Two Cities. When Gordon reads the last lines in front of Wayne's tombstone, I thought it was meant to mean that this man has died so that the city may live. It's almost the same thing as TDK, really. Batman just making more sacrifices to ensure the future of his city. But it's not about that. In Tale of Two Cities Carlton dies so that Darnay, a man that he believes has much more to live for, can survive. In this way Carlton feels that his life had meaning. Batman doesn't die for Gotham, he dies to save Bruce Wayne. It's a genius incorporation of a genius novel, and integrating it's themes into the themes of Batman is a brilliant conceit from the (sometimes maligned) script.

submitted by JackStolen to batman
[link] [87 comments]

Posted on 21 July 2012

Alright r/batman, would you be interested in a TDKR predictions poll?

My friends and I are planning on making a bunch of predictions for TDKR and putting some money on it. Then I thought, wouldn't it be great if /r/batman did the same thing? (No money of course). So how about it? I would totally be willing to create a Google doc or something, and then turn the data into graphs, charts, etc. /r/awake did this recently and I thought it was really cool.

If you're interested, upvote, comment, downvote, anything! I think this would be really interesting to get the predictions from the most knowledgeable Batman fans around. Also, let me know when you think the poll should be posted, closed, possible questions and answers, where the poll should be or anything else! (Date is important because more and more information is leaking out via trailers, leaked info, and cough action figures). It will also be interesting to see just how wrong (and right) our predictions are after the movie is out.

Possible Questions: 1. Does Batman die? A) If yes, then is he replaced? 2. Final scene? 3. Does Bane break Batman's back? 4. What is John Blake's role in the plot? 5. Does Ra's al Ghul come back, or is he simply in a flashback? 6. What is Miranda Tates role in the plot? (Love interest, Talia, other) 7. Does Anne Hathaway pull off her role as Catwoman? 8. How hyped is the movie to you? 9. Do you believe the movie will live up to the/your hype? 10. Will the movie receive any award nods? (Best film, directing, score, acting, effects, etc) 11. Do any other characters die? 12. Does scarecrow make an appearance? 13. When will you see the movie?

(Note: I tried to stray away from questions Nolan has officially denied, such as any Joker references. Also we want to prevent possible spoilers for twists people never thought about such as the new alleged toy spoiler, possible spoiler)

TL;DR I want to post a quick poll to get the community's predictions on TDKR, would you be interested?

edit: formatting/grammar

submitted by yoalan to batman
[link] [16 comments]

Posted on 21 June 2012

An Atheistic World Wouldn't Be a Better World, So Why Does it Matter if People Have False Beliefs?

 The main thing I hear from atheists is that they think theists are stupid in believing things 

that are clearly false and that their twisted logic brings down human society as a whole. The thing is, if there is no God or eternity or whatever after you die, (if atheists are right) then the time we spend on Earth is only as meaningful as we believe it is and the betterment of our species becomes completely subjective. What if I believe that if I perform enough acts of vigilantism during my mortal life then when I die my consciousness will live on forever with Batman in Gotham City. Who's to tell me I'm not entitled to my beliefs? And then as long as my beliefs and morals line up with what society agrees with everything is just fine.

submitted by turbo_tC to DebateAnAtheist
[link] [161 comments]

Posted on 14 January 2012

Anybody else think that the heavy hinting that Batman will die means he probably won't?

I mean, if he does die, then Christopher Nolan's practically already told us as much, what with images of the broken mask, the end of the prologue, the trailer in which Bane says, "When Gotham is in ashes, you will have my permission to die." I dunno, it just seems like a bit of a massive spoiler to give away several months before the film's released. Anybody else reckon Nolan's in the process of pulling off a massive bluff?

submitted by joebutters to movies
[link] [34 comments]

Posted on 15 December 2011

Someone stole an article I wrote about how awesome Batman is, and published it on "Yahoo contributor network" as his own. Reddit, should I even bother calling this guy on his shit?

What's worse is, the guy used a really old draft, probably posted somewhere back in 2004ish. Current draft below, for comparison's sake, does having a .doc that's been copied around between hard drives multiple times really prove anything in this situation?

I thought it might be a laugh to write to him and Yahoo claiming that there's a $2,000 royalty fee on this article then just sit back and wait for the $ signs to come rolling in but beyond that I really wouldn't know if it's even worth pointing out to him that he's a shit for plagiarism, petty as it may be in this instance.

On why Batman is the greatest person, fictional or non, ever An urgent news bulletin

Batman. Even if you haven't read the comics, even if you haven't seen the movies, you know who he is. In a nutshell: Wears a scary as shit superhero costume, hangs out with the JLA, and beats suspects at roughly a Rodney King level of brutality. But what makes Batman more special than, say, not Batman?

He has no super powers

In your rush to assume that you were already up to speed with how Batman operates you may not have considered that he in fact possesses no super powers. So how does he do all of that amazing stuff? Simple, he trained long and hard for the majority of his childhood and all his adult life. Batman is trained in almost every conceivable art of fighting. Hell, he's even a ninja. And one thing that’s certain about ninjas is that they never, ever screw around. Unless you pay them specifically to screw around. Sure, it's easy to beat up your run-of-the-mill graverobbers and bootleggers and tubthumpers with ninja skills and gizmos, but then... Batman also beat up Superman. Yeah.

He can beat up fricking Superman

In Frank Miller’s Elseworlds tale 'The Dark Knight Returns', an aging Batman faces a bleak future where gangs of hooligans are killing in his name, getting about Gotham city with their violence and skateboards and varying rapster lingos.

Superman meanwhile has become the US Government's official lapdog, a strongarm enforcer of shady policy and the like. When Bruce Wayne once more decides to take on the mantle of the bat, political unrest sees the President send Superman after his old friend Bruce, with orders to stop him by any means. Of course, Superman knows that Batman will never be brought in alive, and so, of course, the two battle it out in an epic struggle punctuated by nuclear ICBMs raining down and snappy one-liners being tossed about in rapid fire succession as all hell breaks out around them.

It’s here that the veteran underdog’s heart begins to give, but it won’t quit on him before a final chance to wipe the shit-eating grin off Superman’s shit-enjoying face, pummeling Supes with a handy set of kryptonite gloves—engineered years ago for just such a contingency.

"You're beginning to get the idea, Clark. This is the end, for both of us. We could have changed the world. Now look at us. I've become a political liability, and you, you're a joke. I want you to remember, Clark... in all the years to come... in your most private moments... I want you to remember my hand at your throat... I want you to remember the one man who beat you..."

And then… Batman dies. Or does he? No. He totally fakes it. He rocks up six months later living under an assumed identity, teaching wayward street toughs how to fight crime. Just like Andy Kaufman.

He's the world's greatest detective

Batman's not just trained by the best fighters on this or any planet, but also the greatest criminologists and forensic psychologists. Bruce Wayne spent his adolescence travelling around the world, using his vast inherited wealth to study under skilled detectives and scholars of subterfuge. He learned about the criminal mind from the inside out by getting in amongst the seedier element of society on the ground floor of Gotham’s gritty underbelly—to observe, and acclimatize. Waiting for the moment when confidence and opportunity would align. Getting ready for a day when he could finally punch someone really fucking hard in the nutsack and then the face.

He recovered from a broken spine

When the super-criminal Bane busted all the inmates out of Gotham's Arkham Asylum, it fell upon Batman to round them all up. Each death at their hands was another for which he blamed himself. By the time that last mental case was recaptured, Batman was weak, exhausted, and just aching for a shit.

Only then did Bane strike, tracking Batman to his secret “bat’s cave”-themed lair, known as The Batcave, and with the aid of the super-steroid and sometime Spider-Man villain 'Venom', defeated the Dark Knight in hand-to-hand combat. Hoisting Batman high above his sizeable frame, Bane brought him down hard with a knee to the spine, fucking Batman’s shit all the way up to eleven.

Most people don't come back from a broken spine. There was, well, Bruce Lee, and that’s probably all. Therefore, while fictional, Batman remains the only living person who has recovered from a broken spine. It was a long, hard road back to good health and fighting form, but he returned triumphant, having sex with Bane’s sister and posting it on the internet.

He never loses

Batman is not only mentally and physically honed to perfection, but relentlessly driven by a score which can never be settled. When his parents were murdered in front of him as a boy, Bruce vowed to avenge their deaths with his indefinite war on crime. If he were to ever stop being the bat, he would be breaking that promise to his dead parents. If he were to lose, he would no longer be Batman. Therefore, Batman always wins. Physics.

He’s intimidating

Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious bunch, and thank God for small favors, as that cowardice manifests itself as a crippling fear of bats for an almost suspiciously high percentage of Gotham’s criminal underworld. Maybe the phobia of bats is a self-fulfilling prophecy, or maybe Bruce just got incredibly lucky, thanks to the environmental factors of a moderate climate and plentiful caves lining up perfectly with a population both enthralled and terrified by Sir David Attenborough’s recent, Bats: Nature’s Draculas.

He will haunt you

If by some miracle you thwart Batman, you will spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. He will always find a way. The guy is literally insane, it’s not even worth the grief. While you’re busy sleeping and eating and shitting Batman is in a cave somewhere doing chin-ups while frowning at a computer printout of your face and current location. Oh yeah, and he only sleeps two hours a day. How? He’s fucking Batman.

He has a pretty expensive computer as well

In closing, Batman’s great. Just don’t screw with him. Don’t rob a Gotham bank or kill any prostitutes because Batman will be there to wreck your entire universe. It’s unclear where he stands on circumventing DRM or grey market imports but I personally wouldn’t take the risk. Batman will keep on fighting, and punching, and detecting the shit out of crimes, until the day he either dies, is replaced by someone with a scarier costumer, or resolves his numerous emotional issues.

Edit - Has been taken down by someone helpful in the thread, a lot of good advice handed out, and I'm glad for the feedback. This has been an overall positive experience, I appreciate you Reddit.

submitted by omasque to AskReddit
[link] [133 comments]

Posted on 7 December 2010