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) on Quora

I've never liked Aquaman. One look at him and you know why. Is the Aquaman in Batman vs Superman going to change the DC world on paper?

I used to be like you.

Most people still think Aquaman as some lame superhero. That is because the earlier versions of him as depicted on TV were lame .  IMO it was his depiction in  Super friends  that set his image as a lame hero. The orange green outfit didn't help either.

This  image of Aquaman got entrenched in the minds of the people for decades until the DC comics went through  a huge makeover. Despite the improvements all the DC characters had by 1980s, the old image of Aquaman stuck around as a meme in the minds of the casual fans of DC comics.

How popular media mocked Aquaman

Chris, who is the lamest character in the Family Guy show,  playing with Aquaman

The 'Spongebob Squarepants Show' also had a character called Mermaid Man who wears the same outfit as worn by Aquaman.  Plus there is a bikini piece made of shells.

South Park parodied Aquaman  and his  perceived lameness  by making a character called 'Seaman'. He is a member of the   'Super Best Friends' team of Gods in South Park. He is the butt of all the pun jokes made by the Gods.

But in fact he is not lame and it took me 14 years to realise  that.

Everything I believed about Aquaman changed when   I saw the new Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited TV series. The way the writers depicted Aquaman blew me away.

This Aquaman with a hook , minus the orange outfit, made me understand that he is no longer the funny and lame Aquaman of the yesteryear's.

He is powerful king
  • who rules over 2/3rd of the world,
  • who fought Death,
  • who can beat the crap out of Wonder Woman and Superman,
  • who is bulletproof and,
  • who controls technology that is beyond what surface-dwellers have.

Now with the new DC Cinematic Universe, the casting of Jason Momoa as Aquaman is apt as the writers are well aware that any depiction that has similarities to the Aquaman from 30 years ago will be horribly mocked by most of the casual moviegoers. Hence the writers are going with the the new look of Aquaman with the long hair, green pants.

So if this depiction in the movie works , fans of Aquaman can  rest assured that Aquaman's lame image will be put to rest at last.

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Posted on 8 June 2015

Who would win in a fight between Superman Prime and Galactus? Why?


Disclaimer: As I have said in other mashups, pitting characters from one universe against another is juvenile and pointless as neither company would want to have their character lose to the other.

With that said:

  • On the left, we have the Man of Steel, the Last Son of Krypton, and the Man of Tomorrow all rolled up into one, The greatest and most powerful hero in the DC Universe, Superman Prime!
  • On the right, we have the Devourer of Worlds, the Scourge of the Spaceways, the Last Survivor of the Previous Universe, the terrifying, the awe-inspiring, the mighty Galactus!

The Tale of the Tape...

Before you get to see who takes this battle, you need to know who the players are, so without further ado, let's get to know our space gods, up close shall we?


(Not to be confused with Superman-Prime, yes a hyphen makes a world of difference - we'll explain later.)

Superman Prime (One Million) is arguably one of the most powerful versions of Superman to have ever existed (canon or not). He was so powerful, he was responsible for lending a portion of his fantastic powers to his descendants to utilize across the solar system to protect Human endeavors.
  • As to his connection to DC canon, the character appears in a what was dubbed "a possible future". The Justice Legion came back in time to the canon DC Universe to recruit the Justice League, so his canonical nature is deterministic at best. That possible future was erased with the previous DC Universe, so this version of Superman currently cannot exist under canon.
  • Superman Prime (Kal-El) left Earth after the death of Lois Lane and traveled the Universe for 700 years before returning to Earth. During his travels, he acquired vast abilities and skills from every being he met and gained perfection over all the abilities he received. He left the Earth defended by his descendant who was dubbed "Superman Secundus".
  • It is believed Kal-El broke through the Source Wall during his travels and training and studied under the Source itself, meaning he could have a portion of the Source's power or more, the true extent of abilities he received from the Source are unknown. (The Source is believed to be the originator of metahuman ability in the DC Universe and the center of the power of Jack Kirby's New Gods line of heroes.)
The Source Wall, the boundary to the DC Multiverse and believed to be the source of metahuman abilities in the DC Universe. Beings who seek its power and are deemed unworthy become part of the wall adding to its protection.
  • When he returned he forged a covenant with his descendants, he would bestow upon them a small fraction of his power as long as they served for truth and justice. He also gained the abilities of his lineage and magnified them with his own power; ie. the Superman of the 67th Century married the queen of the 5th Dimension, GZNTPLZK, which in turn gave Superman Prime the abilities and powers of a 5th Dimension Imp. (See: Mr. Mxyzptlk) After the covenant he left and returned to his Fortress of Solitude in the center of the Super Sun."
Superman Prime's Fortress of Solitude is inside what was now dubbed the Super Sun. All of his descendants draw their power from it and must recharge regularly or lose them after only a few days.
  • Kal-El is the creator of the Superman Dynasty which protected Humanity in his absence. During is absence, the Superman Dynasty added to their powers by adding to their genetic heritage over the centuries. Superman Prime was still more powerful than they were, even after their genetic improvements.
In addition to the entire suite of superhuman abilities (super-strength, invulnerability, speed, vision powers, etc) common to the most powerful versions of Superman, Superman Prime had several advantages which pushed his powers to a level unforeseen by nearly any version of the character:
  • Vast Energy Absorption Powers: Superman Prime remained in the Earth's sun for 15,000 years. It was theorized there was no upper limit to his powers at this point. Given his feats after only a few decades of living on Earth, this extended time "sun-dipping" increased his powers to a level that dwarfed his incredibly powerful descendant, Kal Kent, who was already more powerful than the gravitation pull of a collapsing star and capable of traveling faster than light. Kal Kent is considered the equal of the most powerful canon version of Superman known up to that time: The Superman of Earth-One.
  • Reality Alteration: Shown as capable, with the aid of the Superman of the 5th dimension, of turning a fragment of DNA inside-out through time into a full-fledged human being with the soul of the original individual, presumably among other capabilities.
He resurrects Lois Lane giving her an immortal and probably superhuman physiology from a strand of DNA.

He also restores Krypton, almost as if he snatched it out of Time itself.
  • Power Bequeathment: Superman Prime is noted as being capable of sharing a portion of his power with his descendants, this fraction alone itself being a degree of power "far beyond any held by any metahumans ever" (though tying them inextricably to the Super-Sun that Prime inhabits as the source of their powers).
Kal Kent is the distant descendant of Superman and the leader of Justice Legion Alpha in the 853 century AD.
  • Immortality: Superman Prime has not visibly aged since the late 20th/early 21st century. It is this version of the character which gave rise to the idea that Superman might age slowly or not at all as long as he was exposed to solar radiation.
  • In addition: Superman Prime also had access to what is believed to be the last Green Lantern ring and had the capability of powering and using it.
This version of Superman is reputedly the apotheosis of everything Superman could ever hope to become, saving the Universe many times over, leaving a cosmic legacy of defenders across the galaxy, reaching and accessing the Source, moving through time and restoring/saving his entire doomed planet and species, and losing and finding his one true love. This version of Superman has the power to alter reality, courtesy of his access to Fifth Dimensional energies and thus is arguably more powerful than any version of the character to have ever existed.

  • It is rumored that the vastly powerful Superman Prime is the same version of Superman who appears in All-Star Superman and is a possible future version of the character. Kal Kent (or someone who looked suspiciously like him) claims to be from the far future and appears in All-Star Superman #6.
  • Superman Prime (One Million) is also not to be confused with the canon character Superman-Prime aka Superboy-Prime (whose real name is Clark Kent) hailed from a Pre-Crisis reality (Earth-Prime) where superheroes didn't exist and were just comic book characters.
  • When the Pre-Crisis DC Universe collapsed, he was one of the few survivors. Unfortunately that happy ending was not to be as he returned to the Post-Crisis universe as a power-mad despot with powers rivaling that of the Earth-One Superman (making him the most powerful version of Superman since that Silver Age, Pre-Crisis powerhouse.) He was responsible for the deaths of Conner Kent/Kon-El (Post-Crisis clone-Superboy) and Panthra of the Teen Titans among many others before his imprisonment in the Source Wall.


Galactus is a force of nature that wanders the Universe feeding on a select energy, the potential for sentient life deep within the surface of certain planets. His is a name feared throughout the Universe and his most common appellation is the Devourer of Worlds.
  • When Galactus feeds from a world, it will either be barely capable of sustaining life in the future or it will be a destroyed husk reduced to rubble in space, depending on how hungry Galactus is before he feeds.
Galactus doesn't miss meals well. A hungry Galactus is a grouchy one, too.
  • When his Herald finds a world rich in the sustenance he craves, he calls his starship and drains the world of all of its energy. There is no canon answer as to what specific type of energy Galactus is feeding upon when a world is selected by a Herald.
  • Depending on the writer, the medium or the continuum being described, Galactus has used a variety of energy forms to survive on from nebulous and ill-defined "life-force energies" to the anti-matter energy of the Negative Zone or the background energy of the universe itself (perhaps vacuum energy), which may be just another way to describe the Power Cosmic.

He is a mystery to most of the Universe but here's what we do know:
  • Galactus (as the humanoid Galan) was a survivor of the previous universe. He survives the cosmic crush of the Universe with the help of the Phoenix Force and is reborn as a fundamental/abstract being in our Universe. He is reborn from the Cosmic Egg as a brother to Eternity and Death. He is seen as a force between the two challenging all life in the Universe.
  • Galactus does not have to completely destroy a world he has fed upon. If he is able to set up and use his Elemental Converter, he can leave a shred of life energy so that world can barely support lower level life (lichens and their ilk).
  • He is able to draw the lifeforce from the world without his Elemental Converter, but if he does, the planet is often completely destroyed and unable to support life in the process. This is not his desired method since it wastes precious life-force energies.
  • In a conversation/confrontation with the Phoenix, Galactus indicates both of them utilize the same energy, he using the spent remains of a civilization or barren life-bearing planet, and she the energies of life as yet unborn.
Even at his earliest stages, he was a power almost without equal. Discovered by one of the first most advanced races in the universe, a Watcher is horrified to discover how powerful Galactus was.
The Watcher after studying Galactus flees when he, as was the want of his people refused to destroy the potential threat he correctly perceives Galactus to eventually become. As Galactus leaves his incubation chamber, he consumes his first planet without technology leaving it a husk unable to support life, forcing its inhabitants to become the first Wanderers (beings forced from their world by Galactus).
Despite his humanoid appearance Galactus is a being who defies description, his powers are dwarfed by his physical appearance, which is now more than anything a construct perhaps in homage to his previous humanoid appearance. The Enchantress describes him: "What we normally see of Galactus is the merest tip, he's an iceberg of cosmic dimensions. No. Worse. He HAS no dimensions. No boundaries at all."
  • He is equated on the same level of cosmic necessity as the other great conceptual powers of the Universe, including Death, The Living Tribunal, The Inbetweener, and Epoch, to name a few. Within his energy-filled body lives the destructive force of Eternity, Abraxas. Only the Other Cosmic/Abstract beings or the Celestials have proven to be his equal. In a confrontation against three Celestials however, Galactus was defeated (Fantastic Four #602, #603, #604) and rescued by a future Franklin Richards.
  • The life force that Galactus feeds upon does not appear to need to be sentient, for Norrin Rad (the Silver Surfer) made it his duty during the time he served Galactus to find him worlds filled with the potential for life, but having no sentient life upon them. In the Marvel Universe, planets can have life-force like energies which can lead to beings such as Gaea/Jord (Earth-616) coming into existence and leading to an explosion of lifeforms over time. Perhaps it is this energy upon which he feeds.
  • Galactus' recent death and resurrection implies Galactus' continued existence having been restored by the "beyond Omega-Level" powers of Franklin Richards and the threat of the Mad Celestials defeated. Galactus was re-powered by Franklin Richards who has no known connection to the Phoenix Force. Galactus was restored to full strength and was capable of destroying a Celestial after his renewal.

  • Considering Galactus' transition from the previous Universe to this one was through the interaction with the Phoenix Force, it may be he requires the re-infusion of Phoenix energy to sustain himself.
  • The Phoenix Force is considered to be the unbridled energy of life in the Universe. Since his life was recreated by the Phoenix after the death of his Universe, he may be lacking a particular universal constant which is not available in our universe.
Taa's civilization was one of the last still in existence. Lethal radiation caused by the "Big Crunch" this universe was experiencing was wiping out all life across the universe. Galan, a space explorer, was dispatched to travel through the cosmos to find a means of saving Taa, but he found none.

The radiation eventually killed off all but a tiny fraction of the population of Taa. Knowing their deaths were inevitable, Galan proposed to the remaining survivors that they die gloriously by piloting one of their starships directly into the heart of the "Cosmic Egg."

As the starship containing Galan and his fellow survivors approached the focal point of the Big Crunch, the heat and radiation killed all the passengers except Galan, who strangely found himself filled with new energy.

At the moment Galan's universe met its end, the Phoenix Force amassed the positive emotions of all living beings in the cosmos to preserve them from eternal damnation, enabling the Sentience of the Universe — the previous universe's equivalent to Eternity — to meet with Galan.

Within the "Cosmic Egg" the Sentience of the Universe revealed itself to Galan and informed him that though they both would die in the final moments of the universe, they would both survive through a joint heir born into the next universe. The Sentience of the Universe merged itself with the mortal Galan and thus Galactus, the devourer of worlds, was conceived. --Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Galactus Entry

This is as close as we have gotten to seeing what's on Galactus' menu.
  • It may also be that containing the destructive element of Abraxas within his "body" may require an infusion of life energy (Phoenix Force) to maintain his prison. In the very early years, Galactus could go for extremely long periods of time without feeding. This may have been due to his primal exposure to the Phoenix Force after the Big Bang. As the Phoenix Force dissipated and possible collected with worlds, it became harder for him to harvest from the background radiation of the Universe and he was forced to seek it out.
  • Noting that Galactus has complete control of all normal electromagnetic phenomenon, the energy he is seeking must be very subtle or very unique, otherwise he would simply feed from stars or other highly energetic objects in our universe. If a star cannot feed his powers, he is seeking a very rare energy indeed. Since the Phoenix Force can manifest anywhere, it is possible he is seeking planets whose potential of that energy is still in an abundance enough for him to replenish his supply.
  • It is noted that Galactus can utilize energy from the EM spectrum and can harvest the power of a star to replenish his cosmic energy for combat. He has also absorbed energy from a Protector of the Universe (Gravity) completely draining him of his powers but was able to temporarily sate Galactus enough to spare the Cosmic being Epoch from Galactus' hunger. It is possible Galactus can feed on alternative energy sources, but this varies from writer to writer just as his power level does.

Galactus possesses the immeasurable Power Cosmic and is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe, having near-limitless godlike powers.
  • He was once referred to as "the most awesome living entity in the cosmos."
  • Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet ranked him around the same level of power as Odin, Zeus, the Celestials, and the Stranger, but well below Master Order, Lord Chaos, Mistress Love, and Sire Hate, who in turn are well below Eternity and Infinity, who are well below the Living Tribunal.
  • As such, Galactus is able to employ the cosmic energy within him to produce virtually any effect he desires. After devouring four planets, Galactus has been shown capable of fighting four Mad Celestials, and destroying one of them, although when they fused together into a powerful Voltron Celestial he was defeated.

  • A few of the abilities he displayed are:
    • Immortality: Galactus is said to be the oldest living entity; therefore people consider him as an ageless being.
    • God-level Strength, Stamina, and Speed: Nearly matchless levels of superhuman strength and stamina. Despite his size, Galactus can fly at speeds that greatly surpass the speed of light.
    • Invulnerability: Galactus is immune to all diseases, ailments, and toxins. In addition, he is enormously resistant to damage, but was almost killed by a planetary impact, despite being nourished at the time.
    • Energy Discharges: After absorbing the energy from several planets, Galactus proved capable of destroying at least three solar systems. It has been speculated that Galactus might be able to destroy entire galaxies utilizing the Power Cosmic to destabilize them.
    • Energy Absorption: Arguably his most viable power, as his survival depends on absorbing the Life Force from planets or stars. During his fight with Mephisto, he showed that he is even capable of absorbing an entire domain.
    • Size-Alteration: Galactus's base height and weight will diminish when he is greatly in need of life-giving energy. Galactus has the ability to increase his size and mass at will, the extent of which is unknown. He once grew to a stature so great that he could wrestle with the Wraithworld sun.
    • Adapted Appearance: Although Galactus is usually represented in humanoid form, each sentient being perceives him having a form resembling their own. Hence, humans see Galactus as an enormous armor-clad humanoid, while an amoeba-like species, for example, would perceive Galactus in an enormous amoeba-like form. Although as Galan, Galactus was indeed a humanoid, his true current form is unknown.
    • Molecular Restructuring: Galactus can manipulate, reshape and rearrange the molecular complexions of any organism, allowing him to rebuild or redesign things internally.
    • Matter Transmutation: Being a cosmic being, Galactus can control matter in any object which allows him to turn something tangible like lead, into something intangible like water.
    • Teleportation: Galactus can make himself, other people, and objects appear anywhere in the entire universe that he wishes with a mere thought. He has even teleported the planet Galador from one galaxy to another.
    • Force-Fields: Galactus can erect near-impenetrable energy shields.
    • Interdimensional & Intradimensional Portals: He can create wormholes between dimensions and within dimensions.
    • Telepathy: Ability to read or communicate with other minds across universal distances.
    • Telekinesis: Ability to move enormous amounts of mass through mental concentration.
    • Cosmic Awareness: Galactus can sense disturbances or changes within the cosmic ether on a universal scale.
    • Resurrection: He can raise the dead.
    • Creation: Galactus can create complex, sentient, biological or bio-technical life-forms from nothing.
    • Soul Control & Manipulation: Galactus can control and manipulate the souls and spirits of living beings at will. He uses this power to alter the memories and emotions of others.
    • Recreation: Being a cosmic being, Galactus was able to recreate the entire planet Zen-La, including population, etc. in every detail.
    • Power/Ability Bestowal: Galactus' heralds, whom he has endowed with a minuscule fraction of his cosmic power, are able to manipulate matter and energy in ways that are far beyond human comprehension.
    • Vitakinesis: Galactus is able to heal himself and others from physical wounds although this may simply be molecular reconstruction.
Galactus is now thought to be a Herald of Franklin Richards (this is implied from a statement from Nathaniel Richards, Reed Richard's father) after a confrontation with the Mad Celestials in which Galactus appears to be defeated and potentially mortally wounded. He is resurrected and restored with the powers of Franklin Richards. Whether this is hyperbole or a statement of fact remains to be determined. It is also noted Franklin and Galactus will be aware of each other for billions of years in the future. Stand by for your moment of awesome:
Galactus being raised from the dead by Franklin Richards. Fantastic Four #604

We're gonna sum it up right now...

  • With the potpourri of powers heaped upon Superman Prime despite Galactus' long, incredible and storied history, the Scourge of the Spaceways would inevitably fall before Superman Prime range of fantastic abilities.
  • What ability would take its toll upon the Mighty Galactus? The powers of the 5th Dimensional Imps. Beings from a higher reality, the Imps of the 5th dimension are able to alter reality in our dimension the same way you and I could wad up a piece of paper and throw it away. Or set it on fire. Or change it into something else with technology.
  • The Imps simply do this because they are able to see our dimension, our state of being as something able to be manipulated and controlled the same way we do to things in our 3-dimensional space. Three of the most well known of these beings are Mr. Mxyztplk, Bat-Mite and Yz the Thunderbolt.
  • The obvious question is why or how could beings so powerful as to be able to alter reality (from our perspective) at will, ever be stopped by normal metahumans? Because they want to be. For them, our universe is the equivalent of a game of Call of Duty or World of Warcraft.
  • They interact with people because it gives them something to do. They were generally meddlesome and being all powerful was boring to them, so they usually handicapped the interaction in some way to make it more interesting to them.
  • In Mr. Mxyztplk's case, he would torment Superman until the Man of Steel could make him say his name backward. Then he would retreat back to the 5th Dimension for 90 days.
  • Bat-Mite's admiration for Batman was so great, he would come to follow his idol on missions, often getting in the way with his admiration by increasing the threat level on missions forcing Batman to be more inventive to escape. Trust crafty Batman to turn the little menace to his use from time to time.
  • Yz the Thunderbolt actually worked for the good guys as a partial member of the Justice Society. His handicap? He could only do what he was told. Literally. His first handler Johnny Thunder wasn't the brightest light in the box but he meant well. Later handlers put him to better use but his literalness meant he could be as much a hazard as a help.
  • Superman Prime would acquire access to these powers when his descendants would marry members of a 5th Dimensional family and transfer their powers to him.

Does this mean Galactus just rolls over and takes it?

Hardly. In his early literary career Galactus was THE original name on the block. He was one of a trinity of beings whose existence predated the Marvel Universe itself. As a member of these fundamental beings, Galactus can be attacked, damaged, and even apparently destroyed, but somehow the Universe will find a way to restore his existence. He is, an as yet undisclosed but necessary part of the Marvel Universe.

His powers have few equals though writers have taken liberties with his powers reducing them significantly so that he might take part in events in the Marvel Universe and experience a little stress in the doing so.

In his heyday he was so powerful, he didn't even interact with lesser beings, leaving the light work to his magnificent creations, The Heralds of Galactus. His greatest herald, the Silver Surfer's Power Cosmic bequeathed to him by his master, is more than a match for most sentients in the Marvel Universe.

Is there any way Galactus could come out on top?

Absolutely. Remember that old adage: "Old age and treachery can overcome youth and skill."

A battle between two such cosmic-powered beings would surely destroy any world where such a titanic struggle could take place, so it might be best done somewhere far from any civilization. Such a struggle might actually take place not only in space but through time as well and possibly even in lower and higher dimensions we wouldn't even be privy to.

To be fair, Superman Prime and Galactus are so powerful, neither would likely confront the other because at their power scales, they are more likely to destroy sections of the galaxy around them before they seriously damage each other.

(Galactus had to teach this lesson to the Phoenix when the two of them battled. Phoenix was more powerful but her powers utilized life energy from the Universe, destabilizing the balance between Life and Death.)

Since the powers of the 5th Dimensional Imps would not be native even to the incredibly old Superman Prime (from his perspective he is from the 853 century on Earth), he might be reluctant to use them and this may give Galactus an advantage.

Galactus is billions of years old and his mastery of the Power Cosmic is absolute. While Superman Prime holds the capacity for greater power, he has had his powers FAR less long and could find defeating the ancient space god, more difficult than he might imagine. One mistake might be all it took for Galactus to come home a winner.
*Parts of this essay have come from earlier essays I've written on these two characters on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange.

Is the Golden Superman Canon and What are His Powers?*
What was Galactus feeding on in planets?*
What, of the planets he consumes, provides Galactus with sustenance?*
Galactus (Earth-616)
Galactus' Heralds
Superman Prime (One Million)
How Powerful is Superman Prime?

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Posted on 23 May 2015

Why do people obsess over Batman?

Of all the normal humans, only an ultimate  idiot without a clue  or an ultimate  badass with a plan can stand up and face the most powerful being in the Universe

and then say threateningly

"tell me, do you bleed?...You will!"

We all know Batman is not an idiot to go fight Superman without a plan.

Ergo, a normal human, who can stand among the pantheon of DC Superhumans as an  equal, deserves to be obsessed over.

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Posted on 7 May 2015

Why do people obsess over Batman?

I kind of love the Batman series because of this guy:

I won't ever consider him as a villain. He is the perfect example of how our surroundings and specific incidents change who we are.

Sure, we can all make our own choices. But, sometimes, life simply screws things up.

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Posted on 20 April 2015

Why would Batman battle Superman?

The short answer is to increase sales.  It is a trope of comics that when two heroes first meet, there must be a misunderstanding that results in them fighting each other before realizing they've been mislead and there is a common enemy they should team-up to defeat.

It is a trope because it answers the questions asked every week in the local comic book store.  "Who would win, Thor or the Hulk?", "Could Batman beat Daredevil?", "Who is stronger, the Hulk or Superman?", and "Can Batman's smarts beat Superman's brawn?"  Answer those questions in a comic and the fans will buy the comic.

Superman and Batman first appeared together in 1952 in Superman#76.  There wasn't much of a conflict between them in that issue.

Writer and artist, John Byrne, came from Marvel and was quite used to doing the hero vs. hero matches, so when he created the mini-series Superman: The Man of Steel, in 1986, that retold Superman's origin for the post-Crisis universe (an event that kind of rebooted DC comics), he decided that Superman and Batman's first meeting should naturally be a conflict because of the different ways they see the world.


and ending...

Superman and Batman are both heroes, but they are very different.  Superman is light and Batman is dark.  Superman works by instilling hope in people.  Batman works by instilling fear in people.  Superman is idealistic and Batman is pragmatic.  Clark is cheerful and naive.  Bruce is gloomy and cynical. 

It makes sense that it would take awhile for these two men to become friends, if they even could.  It makes sense that their different perspectives would result in conflict.

At the same time (well, a couple of months earlier, actually), Writer and artist Frank Miller was telling his definitive Batman story.  It was called Dark Knight Returns and was set some years in the future.  It features a retired Batman coming back into service because the world has changed for the worse.  Superman has become an employee of the US government and is sent after Batman.

While there is some narrative sense to the conflict in The Dark Knight Returns, it is driven largely by Frank Miller's view of the world.  The Dark Knight Returns was written during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.  Miller is criticizing America's behavior as a superpower and using the biggest superhero of them all - one long associated with "the American Way" - as symbol.

In 2002, writer Jeph Loeb and artist Jim Lee wrote a year long story in the Batman comic, entitled "Hush".  They too wanted to give their take on what would happen if Batman and Superman came to blows.  Rather than have it be ideologically driven, they had Superman under the influence of Poison Ivy.  This story was in the Batman comic, so the purpose was to show that Batman is such a badass tactician that he would have a plan for how to take down the near invincible Superman.

They were traveling along a road well defined by writer Mark Waid and artist Howard Porter in the 2000 story JLA: Tower of Babel.  If we return to the local comic book store and listen in on the debates of who would win in Batman versus anyone, the answer is often Batman because he is viewed as a man that always has a plan for any contingency.  Mark Waid took that idea and asked - what if someone got ahold of Batman's plans?  In JLA: Tower of Babel, Ra's al Ghul steals Batman's contingency plans that were constructed to deal with each and every member of the Justice League, should they go rogue.

In 2003, writer Mark Millar and artist Dave Johnson did an Elseworlds story that asked "What if baby Kal El had landed in Russia instead of Kansas?"  The story was called Red Son and told of a world in which Superman was indoctrinated not with midwest American values but the values of a communist state.  And of course, that created an opportunity for the American Batman to fight the Russian Superman.

Most recently, in 2011, DC did a 80% (pretty much everyone except Batman and Green Lantern starting over from scratch).  In the first story of Justice League, writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee decided to go for broke on the "misunderstanding" conflict by having an alien attack result in all of the Justice League heroes meeting up for the first time and fighting each other until they realize the real threat is something else.

If you're still reading, and at this point thinking "For God's sake, I was just asking about the new movie!"  Okay.

Zack Snyder, the director of Batman v Superman has repeatedly talked about how much he loves Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.  When Batman v Superman was announced at Comicon, the following quote from that comic book was read aloud:

I want you to remember, Clark, in all the years to come, in all 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.

But, Snyder has also said that Batman v Superman will not be an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns.  He said:

"we’re not adapting this thing, but it is the thing that will help us tell that story"

At this early juncture, my interpretation of the one released trailer is as follows:

Man of Steel ended with Metropolis devastated.  A major American city was brought to its knees by the conflict of two alien beings.  Superman is a near god-like being that would, in the real world, attract both worship and fear.  We see that in the trailer.  We see and hear the world trying to adjust to the presence of such a being.  We see the worshippers and we see the graffiti of those opposed to such idolatry.

We see Bruce Wayne (Batman).  He's older.  He's been at this awhile.  He's survived by being pragmatic and cynical.  It makes sense that he would be a man that believes the axiom that absolute power corrupts absolutely.  It makes sense that he would see Superman as a threat to the people he (Batman) has spent his life trying to protect.

It makes sense that these two figures would come into conflict, for all of the reasons provided, above.  They have different world views.  But, if the formula of decades of comic books holds true - and Zack Snyder has certainly shown a loyalty to the format - I think the emphasis on their conflict in the trailer should not be interpreted as the overwhelming plot of the film.  It may consume up to half of the film, but the second half will likely have the two figures team up, maybe to go after Lex Luthor.

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Posted on 18 April 2015

Why would Batman battle Superman?

I don't know the comic lore enough to cover what happened there (and it did happen in one iteration of the comics).  I'm going to venture a guess in the movie.

From the look of the trailer (below), it appears that Superman has a cult (probably unintentional given his nature) that begins to grow around him.  That cult apparently is taking on a life of its own, as a full fledged religion.  As a HUGE fan of Dune, this was a prominent theme in those books -- especially how the creators (exponentially so if they are the object(s) of worship) eventually lose control of their religion to the clergy.

At any rate, people begin to distrust that religion.  We hear —at various times— the voices of Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lex Luthor and Alfred (Wayne's butler) speak.  Most of them are somewhat to fully critical.  Lex Luther is the one saying, "'We know better now, don't we?  Devils don't come from hell beneath us. . ." and a woman finishes, "No!  They come from the sky!" 

Then we hear Alfred saying, coldly, "That's how it starts. . . the fever.  The rage.  The feeling of power-less-ness (enunciating each syllable). . . that turns good men cruel."  He's not talking to or about Superman.  He's talking to Wayne.  The reason is that Batman isn't the monolithic "good guy" from the Nolan movies.  He's an object that strikes fear of death (real death, that he would deal) into the hearts of his enemies.  With rightful fear of Superman, he asks, "Tell me?  Do you bleed?  You will!"

If you look at Batman's suit when he's confronting Superman, it is armored. My guess is that Wayne scavanged leftover parts form the action we saw in "Man of Steel" and he built himself a Kryptonian suit of armor.  That suit of armor, plus the likely addition of Kryptonite (maybe the gas we saw from that movie) will sufficiently weaken Superman and bring the two of them on par to fight each other. 

Somewhere part of the way through the movie, Batman learns that Superman isn't the enemy and Superman learns that Batman isn't the enemy.  That will clearly lead us into the next movie "The Suicide Squad" (the same year, but out in the fall).  Then that leads us into "Wonder Woman" in the spring of 2017 then "Justice League P.1" in the summer of 2017.

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Posted on 17 April 2015

Why do people obsess over Batman?

Every one has their own reason and every reason is justified.

My reason:

It takes courage to make a principle for yourself and keep following it against all odds.

Batman is not powerful like Superman, Thor, and Hulk.
Batman does not have an armored suit like Iron Man.
He is not experimentally Modified like Captain America.

He is Batman. He gets hurt. He bleeds. He takes a blow and suffers. But then he rises again. His enemies took away his parents, his love of life and tried to take away his life on numerous occasions. These reasons can be more than enough to tempt any HUMAN to fight back evil with evil, to kill every villain he can find and to seek revenge through whatever means.

Batman decides not to do that.


He decides not to kill anyone because he knows, he cannot allow himself even one exception. If he kills one bad person, he would feel the urge to kill the second, and then the third and the killing spree would continue. Initially his intentions would be right but then eventually he will start justifying his killings. And in no time he would be the biggest villain of the society with an unmatched power.

How to control this situation?

He makes a principle for himself. He decide to follow it against all odds.

How it makes him different?

Humans are tempted in breaking rules. Even though they make rules for themselves, they try to break it. When it is difficult to follow a small principle on our day to day lives, he stand by his rules for every minute of his life.

After all he is just a human.


Thank you AbdulMajed Raja for promoting the answer. :)

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Posted on 27 February 2015

Why are people fascinated with the Joker?

Because Joker is a big unknown.

For other villains in comic books (not just DC universe), we pretty much know where most of them come from (at least the major ones). We know their true identity, we know their background, we know their goal (often involve dominating the world, or revenge or both), we know their specific mental illness (sociopath, pyromaniac, OCD... etc), we know their super power (if they have any) ... but we know virtually nothing about Joker, who he was, where he came from, what he wants. And that's his appeal.

Name the most famous serial killer in the world: Jack the Ripper. We don't know who he was (there're theories, sure, but no definitive ID).

Think about the most scary (and best part) of any horror movie, it's the part where you don't know what's going on, it's the part where you see a shadow in the corner of your eyes, the flicker of lights, the weird apparitions, but can't quite put your finger on. The minute you know who died in the house and haunted the poor family, everything gets boring.

We're fascinated by the unknown. It gives us infinite room for imagination. Joker is probably the biggest unknown in Batman's universe, that's why people are fascinated with him.

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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

How many of Batman's foes end up in asylums and how many in prison?

I think you mean foes, not rivals, since his rivals are people like Green Arrow.

As for his foes (often called his Rogues Gallery) almost all of them have been sent to Arkham at one time or another: The Joker, The Riddler, Bane, Two-Face, Calendar Man, The Scarecrow, The Mad Hatter, Black Mask, Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Victor Zsasz, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, The Penguin, Alberto Falcone, and even Ra's al Ghul.

I don't recall Catwoman being sent to Arkham.

There's a great book by Travis Langley called Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight, in which the author diagnoses the mental illness of each major villain.

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Posted on 28 December 2014

If Batman was to fight Galactus, is there a chance he can possibly win?

A chance? As in, is it at all possible? Yes. Likely? no.

The only likely method he would have to win is by exposition.

That is, he would need to talk, trick or manipulate him into going away somehow. Batman is a genius skilled tactician and is also skilled in psychology, manipulation and misdirection. Batman has talked down aliens, gods and demons using wits, logic, lies and misdirection. This is also probably the only chance he would have in defeating Galactus.

A possible scenario....

B: "Tell me this, you have been travelling the galaxy and possibly the universe devouring planets and systems is that correct?"

G: "Yes I am the immortal devourer of worlds."

B: "Then you have seen all the elements and all of the materials of the universe, have you ever seen this one?" <Batman holds up a small shard of glowing green crystal.>

G: "No. How could this be, I have never seen that element."

B: "It has unique properties and is one of a kind and you can see the unique energies coming off of it can you not? Do you want to take a risk on what it will do to you if you eat it?"

There also is the very small, off chance that Batman might find and exploit a weakness that he discovers in Galactus but being that they are native to different universes I find it highly unlikely he would even know where to look for such a weakness.

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Posted on 7 June 2014

Who would win in a fight between Batman and The Flash?

Saying Batman would beat The Flash in any situation is proof the writers have caused readers to lose their common sense.

It doesn't matter if it is an ambush by Batman, no matter how much thinking he does, the Flash has more than enough time to out think him.

The premise if DC concerning Batman is to assume EVERYBODY in the DCU is stupid when compared to Batman. You just can't be "not as smart", you have to be stupid. Pre-Crisis, this wasn't the case. Batman was smart, but so were other members of the team. Post-Crisis, you could have PHYSICIST Ray Palmer standing there, but people would ask the Batman the physics questions. Martian Manhunter is a better strategist (Batman even says so), but no one discusses things with J'onn. He's basically reduced to being a telepathic telephone for Batman to instantly give orders.

The point is: Batman is built up so that he can stand on a level ground with the rest of the League; which was never a problem in the first place. It's easy for a writer to say Batman has a contingency plan to take down the League, but it makes it easier for readers to say the rest of the League is too stupid to be prepared for him or can't fight worth a damn.

Why would the Flash even get close enough to Batman to be taken out? He has the ability to create a whirlwind and blast him into a wall. Fight over.

Why would any Leaguer (from the Satellite Era) engage in a hand-to-hand fight with Batman? Each and EVERY one of them have the ability to KILL Batman from a distance without even being seen.

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Posted on 26 April 2014

What are Batman fans called?


Also, cool and smart. We are called fans and fanboys sometimes in general conversation, too, in the context of comics and genre fandom.

Some of us use the term batfans, or bat-fans, too. I use that often when talking specifically to a group of people, members of message board, etc focused on Batman.

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Posted on 21 April 2014

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

I'll address the three options, each for one of the possible ways to do it. The first option is based on the reality of the situation that exists now (Nolan's films are done and they are never going to do sequels to them, Ben Affleck is the new Batman, and the Batman movies have to be set in the cinematic world with the new Superman movies); the second option is a pure fantasy "what if the Nolan films continued?" scenario just for the sake of addressing it since so many people want to suggest movie ideas set in that world; and the last version is what I'd do if I had a totally clean slate and there was no existing demand or plan from this point forward, and I was free to do whatever I wanted  to create a totally brand new from-scratch Batman franchise.

* FIRST OPTION: Ben Affleck is Batman, as planned. This is my own personal preference at this point, keeping the Nolan franchise off limits and starting with a new Batman who exists within the newly established DC Comics cinematic continuity that includes Man of Steel.

Batman has been around for at least a decade or more, he is a veteran crime fighter whose rogues gallery of main villains already exists. I would create a world in which Robin already existed -- and died. The Robin who died was the second Robin, a young kid Bruce took in to replace the original Robin, Dick Grayson. Grayson, the first Robin, is in college now and estranged from Bruce. The second Robin was killed by the Joker. We don't see any of this, it all happened in the past and the film would start with a 40-some year old Batman still fighting crime but without a partner now. This Batman will be based on a mix of the Grant Morrison "bat-god" Batman and the Scott Snyder Batman in the current comic books. He's prepared for almost everything, he has a wide array of advanced technology and methods at his disposal, and the stories are heavily focused on being detective tales with a dark Gothic twist.

I'd have the Joker already exist and locked up in Arkham -- and I'd cast Cate Blanchett or Joaquin Phoenix to play the Joker. I'd cast Jon Hamm to play Harvey Dent. I'd cast Bryan Cranston to play Hugo Strange. I'd cast John Cleese as Alfred. I'd cast Denzel Washington as Commissioner Gordon. The story would be that Gotham's "freak" villains are all pretty much locked up in Arkham Asylum and the mobs have been broken down and are in tatters due to Batman's long campaign against them. But a new force comes to town -- the Penguin (played by Alan Ford, ideally), a British black market arms dealer who used to be part of an extremist group in Ireland that fought against the IRA. Penguin is ruthless, ready to wage real warfare against anyone who gets in his way, and he organizes his hardline Protestant paramilitary friends and colleagues into a violent new mob that comes to Gotham City. Unlike the rest of the mobsters in the city, he's not afraid of Batman at all.

Penguin is bringing all the "freak" villains (the masked villains and other weirdos who are the crazy comic book villains in Gotham) into his mob family, too. The chaos in the mobs of Gotham causes a lot of gangs to fight one another for territory while mobsters are fighting one another to take control of the different broken mob families, and Penguin uses this chaos to his advantage because of his powerful organizing abilities and the fact he's more ruthless and violent than any of the other mob bosses. He fights like it's a literal war, and nobody -- not even Batman -- is prepared for the wave of terror Penguin unleashes in his bid to take over Gotham's underworld.

So this would be focused on being a realistic, noirish crime story. Batman would be based largely on the 1970s Batman from the Denny O'Neil and Steve Englehart stories, very detective story oriented.

The twist to the story is when an Irish IRA bomb maker and computer hacker comes to Gotham to hunt down Penguin. This former IRA member wants revenge because the Penguin killed his brother. So the IRA guy -- whose brilliance with codes and cyphers and hacking and elaborate bombs and traps earned him the name "Riddler" (and played by Norman Reedus or Paddy Considine) among the paramilitaries in Northern Ireland -- engages in a war against the Penguin across Gotham City. I'd make him kind of like Simon the villain from Die Hard With a Vengeance, having a bunch of demands and tests and bomb threats etc around Gotham City that he forces the cops and Batman and certain companies to participate in, each thing being some piece of a bigger plot to bring down the Penguin. Bombings, machine gun fights in the streets of the city, cutting off the city's power, threatening to erase the bank accounts of everyone in Gotham, etc -- these are different aspects of the growing war and batman finds he is losing his ability to keep control of the criminal underworld.

Penguin complicates the whole situation when he makes Batman an offer -- Penguin says that if Batman will work together with him to find and stop the Riddler, then Penguin will agree to a cease fire with Batman and the police, basically a situation where Batman and the cops let Penguin reorganize the waring factions of the mobs in the city and put an end to the gangland war that's erupted due to Riddler's efforts, and Penguin will agree to stop the violence and cut out certain of the worst criminal enterprises (sex slave trade, drug dealing to kids, gang killings) and will also agree to provide Batman and the police with information about other underworld elements and help Batman keep control of the "freak" criminals who come to Gotham (like Joker). If Batman refuses, the Penguin says he will unleash all the "freaks" to terrorize Gotham with random mass violence and attacks, while his army tears the city apart to find the Riddler. He swears the bombings and crime will reach a level worse than anything in Northern Ireland's history, and that he'll focus on making the worst sorts of crimes -- the sex slave trade etc -- into a major industry in Gotham just to spite Batman.

So Batman, seeing that the lack of a firm hand in control of the underworld has led to gangland war that's causing too many civilian casualties and the Riddler's attempts to bring the war in Northern Ireland to the shores of Gotham, faces an impossible situation and a hard choice to make. Can he really make a deal with the devil and allow Penguin to operate in Gotham, as a "lesser evil" scenario? He is torn and unsure what to do.

As Riddler proves increasingly hard to capture and his puzzles and demands have double and even triple meaning, Batman finally captures a single image of the Riddler on a surveillance camera -- just one of his hands and part of his arm, which is covered in several tattoos (in my version of the character, he has a lot of tattoos of symbols, puzzle pieces, etc, like the Russian mobsters who have all those secret-meaning tattoos -- the IRA bombers and hackers, in this fictional concept, have tattoos representing different jobs they've done and facts about their past, and the trick if you're one of these elite bomber-hackers is to have such elaborate and impossible-to-solve codes that nobody else can solve your tattoo cyphers & puzzles but you). Batman deciphers the cryptic code in one of Riddler's tattoos, and the code reveals the name of Riddler's dead younger brother. Batman figures out that young man was killed by Protestant loyalists in Northern Ireland, and the young man had an older brother who vanished and every record of that missing mysterious brother is gone, erased from every database in the world.

Batman realizes the missing mystery older brother is the Riddler, and now he has a name and a motive, and he has Commissioner Gordon release the information to the public with a "thanks" to Batman for figuring it out. The Riddler is furious, nobody has ever solved his codes before, and now his attention turns increasingly to not just getting revenge against the Penguin, but also proving he is superior to Batman. But Batman deduced this would happen, that the Riddler would become emotional and angry over Batman solving the cypher and making it public, and Batman's counting on the fact it will cause the Riddler to focus more on him (Batman) and eventually slip up. Meanwhile, Batman refuses the Penguin's offer, now thinking that if the Penguin is angry and likewise slips up, then both Riddler and Penguin will be distracted and off their game, making them likely to take advantage of one another in a moment of weakness or error, and giving Batman the chance he needs to gain the upper hand at last. He goes to Dick Grayson and asks for his help, and the two former partners team up to take down the Penguin and Riddler.

Imagine a Batman movie that's a mix of The Town, Miller's Crossing, and Die Hard: With A Vengeance, but with Batman showing up to solve the crimes. I'd also include a scene of Batman going to Arkham Asylum to talk to the Joker, just a short scene early in the film after the Riddler first shows up and puts his initial "puzzle" demand out in public. Batman goes to see the Joker to ask what he thinks of the puzzle, but Joker merely taunts Batman by asking whether Batman keeps Robin's bloody suit on display somewhere to look at it and blame himself -- Batman in fact has the dead Robin's suit hanging where he can see it every day so he never forgets his mistake, and so the Joker's remark haunts Batman and makes him realize how well the Joker knows him and so he wonders if he (Batman) is becoming too predictable and if that's why he's having a hard time dealing with the Penguin and Riddler.


* SECOND OPTION: Hypothetical revival of Nolan-Bale Batman continuity. I actually wrote a Forbes article explaining this option in detail, so here are the main bits...

I think they would try to bring everyone back for a sequel to TDKR, but Christian Bale probably would turn the offer down — he’s made it pretty clear that his returning depended on Nolan wanting to make another film. But let’s assume that a lot of the supporting cast, such as Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, did return. If they were able to also convince Joseph Gordon-Levitt to return, he’d surely play the new Batman-in-training, but some major threat would arise that forces Bruce to return to Gotham.

And the obvious choice of threat would be the return of the Joker, who escaped Arkham in the events of The Dark Knight Rises and now demands that the “real” Batman come back to face him again. The Joker would have to create a threat big enough to leave Bruce no alternative, probably involving the Joker capturing John Blake and then also kidnapping Alfred and Gordon — maybe using an idea loosely adapted from the concept behind Scott Snyder’s ongoing (and brilliant) comic book storyline “Death of the Family,” in which the Joker is attacking all of the people closest to Batman. Not a direct adaptation, but something similar to the Joker’s broad sentiment and plan of targeting everyone around Batman.

So, if Bruce returns in that situation, they’d have to recast the role, and I think someone like Jake Gyllenhaal or Joe Manganiello would be an example of an actor they might consider to step into the role in this scenario. Gyllenhaal was actually one of the two final actors up for the role when Nolan was making Batman Begins, the other of course being Bale, who eventually got the part.

Anyway, Bruce returns to rescue everybody, Blake says that he isn’t really comfortable in the Batman role and wants to create his own symbol and legend — Nightwing would be the one he’d create, of course — and he convinces Batman that now that Bruce has found happiness and had some time away from Gotham, he should try to come back to who he really is and serve Gotham as Bruce the philanthropist while serving at night as the one true Batman. Catwoman would also return with him, of course.

Would Gary Oldman agree to come back as Gordon? Maybe, but if not then they could probably secure either Sam Rockwell or Bryan Cranston to take over as Gordon. The hardest part of it would be recasting the Joker, but there are several actors who seem like strong candidates for such a task — I could imagine they’d ask Johnny Depp, for example, and Michael Fassbender, just for a couple of names to consider. I think that while using the Joker would be controversial to some fans, this is the only way to really return to the Nolan world in a big, confident way and offers something that could really force Bruce to come back from retirement. And it shows what happened with the Joker after Bane unleashed everyone from Arkham. It would get a lot of media buzz and the attention would help the film achieve the epic and must-see status necessary to live up to the Nolan reputation.

This could either continue the Nolan idea of "no other superheroes in Batman's world" and ignore the Superman movies and other superhero films, OR it could establish Batman and merge his realistic world into the supposedly realistic world of Man of Steel. My idea would be that this Batman would show up in the Superman movies sometimes and in the Justice League movies, but then his own solo films would ignore all of that stuff and not mention other superheroes. Let the solo Batman movies keep him in Gotham fighting realistic villains, and then every few years he can get called to help out when some major global crisis arises or something.

I don't favor this option at all, I think the Nolan films should remain a trilogy that ended and is left alone. I only offer this as an example of what I'd do IF this were the way the new film was done. And of course, we now know that the Nolan Batman will never return, that whole bat-world is completely finished and a brand new Batman unrelated to anything in the Nolan movies is going to be in the next film. So I want to be clear that I know there is no chance whatsoever of this scenario -- a new Batman movie that's a sequel to the Nolan films -- ever taking place. This is purely a "what if" for fun example of what I'd have done IF the next film were going to be a sequel to the previous Nolan movies.


* THIRD OPTION: If the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film somehow manages to fall apart/flops/whatever (none of that will happen, but just pure hypothetical fantasy for a third option), and it's now too late to try to revert back to the Nolan-Bale version of the franchise, so I have to reboot. In this scenario, I don't go with the older veteran Batman from the Affleck scenario, but I also don't do a full origin either.

I'd convince the studio to let me break it into two pieces. I'd create a TV show about a young 20 year old Bruce Wayne traveling the world seeking training in martial arts, detective skills, criminology, etc. He wouldn't be Batman in this show, this is his pre-Batman life and the series follows him in Europe and elsewhere as he studies to become Batman. The show would be a detective and action show, each episode would have him stumbling across some new case and using his new skills to try and solve it, while in the meantime hunting for and finding new teachers along the way.

This show would start running on TV at the same time the movies start, with the TV show being set about ten years prior to the movies. The show would run for maybe five years, ending with Bruce deciding it's time for him to return to Gotham City.

The TV show and movies would release at the same time -- you'd be seeing TV shows set in the past, showing you Bruce's younger days that led him to become Batman, and you'd also be watching the movies that show Batman as a superhero who has been around in Gotham for five years already. Anyone watching the films never sees any Batman origin stuff, the first film I made would have him about 30 years old and he's been around several years. To find out about his past and training, you'd have to watch the TV show. Or you could ignore the show, if you don't really care about his past. This lets the films jump right into something we didn't get on film yet -- a Batman who has been doing his job many years, is good at it, but is still young and in his prime. The Burton films featured a Batman who had just gotten started yet was already in his 30s. The Nolan films gave us the origin story and his first two years, then he stopped being Batman for a long time until returning for one final mission. So we've never had a series that provides a serious, veteran in-his-prime Batman for an extend set of films. That's what I'd want to create here.

The movies, then, would not show Batman's origin, and these films would be totally apart from any other superhero films -- no Superman, no other superheroes at all, this is how to do it IF the existing plans for an entire superhero universe fail to work out, remember. I'd just start off with an established Batman who has already been around for five years, he's good at his job and he feels confident and in control of the city. And this is when the "freak" villains start to rise in the city, and Batman has to change his tactics and raise his game to a higher level of intensity to deal with these new threats.

I'd start off with an adaptation of the comic Monster Men, with Hugo Strange (still casting Bryan Cranston for this recurring villain role) as a brilliant, unstoppable scientist and psychologist who works for the Gotham police and prisons, helping evaluate criminals and doing tests etc -- but he is secretly taking money from the mob to conduct his own experiments on prisoners to try and create new drugs to enhance human strength and memory.

Strange's experiments create "monsters" who are genetically altered prisoners with tremendous strength and no sense of pain or coherent thoughts. They'd be like the "rage zombies" from 28 Days Later, but on steroids to make them stronger and almost swollen in appearance. Strange would test these "monsters" by unleashing them at various times to kill his enemies (massacring the mobsters to whom Strange owed money). The police are baffled by the crimes that seem to be the result of wild animals that attacked and killed mobsters. Batman investigates, and Strange decides to test his monsters against Batman. When Batman stops the attacking monsters, Strange becomes increasingly fascinated by Batman's prowess and then determined to destroy Batman. Strange takes more work with the police, now giving them evaluations of Batman and claiming Batman is dangerous to the public.

Batman's investigation leads him to Strange's laboratory and uncovers the links between the mob and Strange's experiments, which leads to Batman discovering the prisons were providing Strange with test subjects for a price. Batman takes down the mobsters but has to protect them from the last of the "monsters" Strange sends after them to shut them up and cover his trail. The mob kills off witnesses at the prison to silence them, and the corrupt officials in the Gotham City government and at the jails/prisons likewise cover their tracks to protect themselves, which inherently also helps protect Strange. Batman knows Strange is guilty, but cannot prove it. Strange becomes an outspoken critic of Batman, a TV talking head who blames Batman for crimes etc.

Part of the mob's attempts to cover their tracks and kill witnesses involves hiring a freelance criminal who goes by the name "The Red Hood" to break into a company that was diverting chemicals and medical supplies to Hugo Strange, and the Red Hood is supposed to assassinate the people at the company who were part of the scheme and then burn the whole chemical plant to the ground. Batman finds out during his investigation and arrives to stop the Red Hood, and in the process the Red Hood apparently dies when he falls into a one of the chemical vats. Batman cannot save the Red Hood, and must hurry from the building before the Red Hood's well-placed bombs detonate and destroy the whole place. This of course is secretly the origin of the Joker, but I wouldn't make it a big deal or show him as the Joker in this film, it would be a small subplot related to the mob story involving Hugo Strange.

Batman must face the fact that his war on crime is entering a whole new, weird stage that he never foresaw and he's going to have to learn new tricks to deal with it. So from this point on, I'd use each film to introduce a new stage of the "freaks" replacing the previous "normal" crime in Gotham, and Batman being dragged down into darker places and confronting stranger things than he ever expected to have to deal with in his mission.


UPDATE:  Interestingly enough, as information has come out and the status of the project has advanced, it appears that WB is using a mix of my first and third options for the rebooting of Batman!

WB is developing a TV series called GOTHAM, which is basically a merger of the two concepts I talked about here -- it will be a show about the police and criminals of Gotham City, but it is set in the past so it also has the young Bruce Wayne elements in it as well.

Then, for the films, Affleck's Batman is basically going to be almost exactly what I described for the characterization, and he will indeed have a bad relationship with Dick Grayson (who will already be an adult and moved away). He also will be relying on a lot of advanced high-tech stuff, much more so than in any previous film. And his whole world of villains etc will already exist and he'll be an older, weary crime fighter.

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Posted on 28 January 2014

What are some of the best Joker-Batman interactions in comics?

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: The scene where Batman drives the Joker batty.

The Joker: [Batman puts the Joker in an arm lock] What are you doing?
Terry McGinnis: Fighting dirty.
The Joker: The real Batman would never -
Terry McGinnis: Told you you didn't know me.
Terry McGinnis: [retreats into the rafters] The real Batman never talked to you
Terry McGinnis: The real reason you kept coming back was you never got a laugh out of the old man.
The Joker: I'm not hearing this...
Terry McGinnis: Get a clue, clowny! He's got no sense of humor! He wouldn't know a good joke if it bit him in the cape... not that you ever had a good joke.
The Joker: Shut up... shut up!
Terry McGinnis: I mean, joy-buzzers, squirting flowers, lame! Where's the "A" material? Make a face, drop your pants, something!
The Joker: Show yourself!
Terry McGinnis: You make me laugh. But only 'cause I think you're kinda pathetic.
[mimics the Joker laugh]
The Joker: Stop that!
Terry McGinnis: [still laughing] So you fell in a tank of acid, got your skin bleached and decided to become a supervillain. What? You couldn't get a job as a rodeo clown?
[continues laughing]
The Joker: [pulling out some grenades] Don't you dare laugh at me!...
Terry McGinnis: [laughs more] Why? I thought the Joker always wanted to make Batman laugh!
The Joker: YOU'RE NOT BATMAN! whole movie is available for free on Youtube at beyondthelot's channel.

While it isn't Bruce behind the cowl, I like the idea of Batman finally figuring out the Joker's weak spots. A distant second would be Batman pummeling Mistah J. after he kills Jason Todd- but even then, there was no psychological sophistication behind his pure, hot rage.

Thank you for the A2A, Jesse. :)

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Posted on 11 January 2014

What are the versions of Batman meeting the Joker for the first time?

This answer contains huge spoilers from the stories involved - Alan Moore's Batman: The Killing Joke, Ed Brubaker's Batman: The Man Who Laughs, Frank Miller's Batman: Year One, Neil Gaiman's Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, Brian Azzarello's Batman: Knight of Vengeance (Tie-in to Geoff Johns' Flashpoint), the Elseworlds comic Batman: Two Faces written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, Tim Burton's live-action Batman, Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the DC Universe Animated movies Batman: Under the Red Hood and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and the recently released video game Arkham Origins.

The most widely accepted origin (post-Crisis, pre-New52) of the Joker was the one in Batman: The Killing Joke. An unnamed engineer-turned-comedian was involved as an inside agent in a robbery within Ace Chemical Plant. Compelled into wearing the costume of a known criminal, the Red Hood, the comedian was confronted by the Batman, and in the scuffle he fell into a vat of chemicals and disappeared in the ensuing chaos.

This origin story survived, more or less, in many other media including some later comic books. This image is the animated direct-to-video feature, Batman: Under the Red Hood where a new Red Hood in town forces Batman to remember his first great mistake.

The 1989 live-action movie, Tim Burton's Batman has Jack Nicholson playing the role of a gangster - Jack Napier - who falls into a vat of acid during a job inside Axis Chemicals.

As time passes, Commissioner Gordon is made aware of a new criminal in Gotham who calls himself the "Joker". At the end of Batman: Year One, Gordon switches the Bat-Signal on and waits for Batman, ready to discuss about this new criminal who has threatened to poison the Gotham River.

This scene was reproduced at the end of the 2005 movie, Batman Begins, with the added content of Gordon showing Batman the calling card of Joker.
This would count as the first mention of the Joker in the Batman chronology.

The first meeting of the Batman and his would-be arch-nemesis the Joker happens in Batman: The Man Who Laughs. Gordon, with the help of Batman's clues, is investigating a way to stop Joker's rampage in Gotham, when Joker himself appears with poisonous smoke bombs. Batman, rushing to the scene, tries to capture him and almost succeeds.

In Tim Burton's Batman, the journalist Vicki Vale is captured by the Joker, and Batman arrives to rescue her. The very first time they face each other in costume.

In Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight, the first meeting happens when the Joker crashes Harvey Dent's fundraiser at the Wayne Manor. Naturally, Batman was quick to respond.

Now, going off-canon, there's a story called The Gentleman's Gentleman's Tale within the two-part Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader story. It was set between Batman: RIP and Final Crisis, and it has Alfred's flashback during Batman's funeral. The one in which he starts acting as the Joker to give Batman a villain he truly deserved.

In the Elseworlds story Batman: Two Faces, we see Batman taking a potion and turning into the Joker, similar to R.L. Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

In the alternate reality created during the events of Flashpoint, the eight year old Bruce Wayne is murdered in cold blood in Crime Alley and his parents survive. While Thomas Wayne eventually takes up the mantle of Batman, his wife Martha descends into insanity and becomes the Joker. This was the three-issue tie-in Batman: Knight of Vengeance.

The direct-to-video adaptation of the story, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox makes things a little less complicated, with Martha breaking down at the very sight of her murdered son. She starts laughing maniacally, becoming the Joker.

The newly released prequel video game, Arkham Origins, the third in the line of the Arkham games has Batman tackling the assassins hired by the Black Mask (Roman Sionis). In one of his investigations, he comes across an unknown criminal who turns out to be someone called "the Joker". When Batman catches up to the Black Mask to ask for the location of this Joker, he comes to know that the Joker himself has been parading as the Black Mask.

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Posted on 26 November 2013

How does Chris Nolan, his brother and Goyer write for their films ? What's their process. With special regard to Nolans films outside of the Batman series.

I've read a lot of great interviews with Nolan talking about his writing process.  We have a lot of similarities in our approach.

In 2010, at the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival (which screened The Dark Knight), Christopher Nolan said,  “I don’t really outline... I tend to start with page one and try to just write in a very  linear fashion, particularly if the story is not linear,”

He went on to say, “When I did my first film, Following, I wrote it as a  chronological story and then I edited it together to make all the  non-linear divides. I found it very difficult, because I then had to do  an enormous amount of rewriting to make it flow for the audience. So  when I went to do Memento, I determined to tell the story  backwards. I thought it was very important to sit down and just write  for how the way the audience is going to see it. That way, there’s a  better flow.”

What does he do instead of outlining? “What I do is draw a lot of  diagrams — particularly if there’s sort of a structural complexity. I’ll  kind of stick stuff all over my walls,” he revealed.

“With story, I just try to go with the flow of the narrative,” referring to writing line to line.

With longer scenes and moments? “I’ll tend to just write them very, very free form, very long. I’ll  just splurge [on] three or four pages and then spend days and days just  editing it down.”

In a different interview with Buzzinefilm .com, Nolan commented on how he and his brother Jonathan developed The Dark Knight Rises script, and how Tale of Two Cities was an inspiration.

"I mean from my point of view, when Jonathan showed me his first  draft it was free play and it was 400 pages long or something. It had  all this crazy stuff. I was part of a primer, if you like. When he  handed it to me he was like ‘You’ve got to think of like Tale of Two Cities”,  which of course he’d read. I said, “Absolutely,” read the script. I was  a little baffled by a few things and then realized I’d never read Tale of Two Cities.

You know, it was just one of those things I thought I’d done. So, I  then got the book, read it, absolutely loved it. Got completely what he  was talking about. He’ll have to answer as to what entered his process.  But for me then, when I did my draft on the script it was all about A Tale of Two Cities and really just trying to follow that because it just felt exactly the right thing for the world we were been dealing with.

What Dickens does in that book in terms of having all of these  different characters come together in one unified story with all of  these great thematic elements and all this great emotionalism and drama,  it felt like exactly the tone we were looking for. But Jon will have to  answer as to his process..."

Jonathan elaborated from his point of view by saying, "I don’t remember exactly, but Chris and David started developing  the story in 2008 after the second film came out, so before the  recession, before Occupy Wall Street, any of that stuff. Rather than  being influenced by that, looking to old, good books, old, good movies,  literature for inspiration, and at some point started thinking about Tale of Two Cities.

I think what was captivating to me about it and what I always felt we  needed to do in film was to go there. I mean, all these films threatened  to turn Gotham inside out, to sort of pull it, and none of them really  have actually achieved that until this film. Tale of Two Cities to me was the most sort of harrowing portrait of a relatable  recognizable civilization that had completely fallen to pieces. The  terrors in Paris, in France in that period, it’s not hard to imagine  that things could go that bad and wrong. So, that was source of  inspiration."

Jonathan was interviewed by Empire Magazine and he gave an amazing breakdown of the general process of writing The Dark Knight. 

"Chris has another plan. He’s going to try to dust off the Batman  franchise, working from a  script he’s written with David Goyer. Do I want to come along for the  ride? I spend the next six months in a hotel room in Surrey, trying to  think like a ninja.

I watch Batman Begins’ opening night at Grauman’s Chinese with a  sell-out crowd. I’m nervous as hell. Will it work? Gordon flips over  the Joker card at the end and the audience erupts like they’re going to  tear the place apart. I’ve never heard a noise like it.

"The studio calls. The movie played. Is there more? Is there anything left to say?
"Sure. Why not? Chris has a plan."

"They’ve  got the story mapped out in cue cards in Chris’ garage. Chris walks me  through it. The cards get sparser towards the end, but the last one’s a  doozy: our hero is on the run.

"So are we. Writing with Chris is  writing at speed — on taxis, jumbo jets, boats, trams. London, LA,  Chicago, Hong Kong. Chris has tech scouts, meetings with actors. I tag  along. We figure out the script on the way — one long transcontinental  argument, batting ideas back and forth. Bruce Wayne would be proud." 

"Everywhere  we go, Chris is met by department heads with a million questions. He  makes decisions on the fly — costumes,  sets, shooting schedules. We’re in a warehouse as one of the stunt  drivers does donuts in a naked batmobile chassis, massive tires  squealing as I try to shout questions about the third act over the  noise."

"Chicago, again. Chris has to climb up half the buildings in town  to find one that Batman can stand on, looking purposeful. Back in the  hotel, I start to set up my printer. I can’t. A massive candy sculpture  commissioned by the hotel occupies the entire desk — a chocolate film  reel projecting a sugary image of my brother, directing a scene. I give  Chris a hard time about it for days."

"The script comes out in a  flood. We have the benefit of working on the shoulders of 70 years of  great writers, all thinking about the same character. It’s like writing  with a posse. Bruce, Alfred, Lucius and Gordon are easy, now, like old  friends. The Joker is new territory, but he turns out to be the easiest  character to write. Maybe I should see a shrink. Then I remember Chris  making me watch Fritz Lang’s take on Dr. Mabuse all those years ago. I  fight the feeling that he’s been planning this project  since we were kids."

"Back to LA. Chris’ garage is filling with models of an  evil-looking motorcycle. I keep writing on the Warner lot. There’s a  bust of Batman behind my desk; Batman T-shirts in the coffee shop; a  40-foot Batman mural over my parking space. They all glower: ‘Don’t  screw this up.’"

"Then, just like that, I’m done. Off the merry-go-round. The script is complete."

Jonathan spoke with MovieWeb in 2006 and commented on the dynamics of writing with his brother. 

"Well I do cry when he re-writes my script, I'm a little bigger than he  is so I can resort to threats as well. One of the nice things about  Chris and I is that because we grew up in different countries and  different backgrounds, very different backgrounds...there aren't really  any markers there for what you'd need to develop a sibling rivalry, you  know. I took the SAT's, he took A levels, he played different sports to  the ones I played...there wasn't really any point of comparison. So we  have a pretty straight forward relationship, not a lot of ego involved.  He's always wanted to be a film maker, I've always wanted to be a  writer. So the two roles seems pretty complimentary. But one of the nice  things is we have similar minds, very different backgrounds. So its  almost like I have sort of a cloned version of myself who was raised in a  different country and interested in different things. The material  often I think, tends to benefit from that back and forth you know...I'll  come up with a script that's complicated, I'll give it to him and it  comes back twice as complicated.

And on his work with Batman Begins and then The Dark Knight: "I worked on that film (Batman Begins) for a long time, but more of an assistant or  consultant or whatever you want to call it. On this one I wrote the  first draft, David Courier and Chris came up with this awesome story  that I was able to do the first draft on. Chris is now doing re-writes  and I hope to get back a...back on that picture in a few weeks here.  Those are really fun movies to work on.

Finally, Christopher Nolan talked to Indiewire Home | Filmmakers, Film Industry, Film Festivals, Awards & Movie Reviews | Indiewire about collaborating with Jonathan (Jonah) and David. 

"The films were each a little bit different. On “Batman Begins”  David and I sat down and talked a lot about the history of the  character. I talked to him about the film and he came up with a story  and very quickly wrote the first draft because he had to go off to  direct the [“Blade: Trinity”] film. So he managed to squeeze it in.

I then took that draft and rewrote it and involved my brother in that  process as well. I would talk to him about what I was doing and get him  to look at particular scenes. You know Jonathan contributed a lot to  [“Batman Begins”] as well, although he's not credited on the film. So  when it came to “The Dark Knight” what I decided was to do it in a  similar process. David and I came up with the story together and we  handed that story to Jonah. He spent a very long time wrestling with  that first draft of that movie which was extremely difficult. I then  came on and wrote with him, sometimes on my own, sometimes with him and  we tossed drafts back and forth. “The Dark Knight Rises”  was the same process. Though Jonah was busy at that point and so I  wound up doing more on my own. But, because he's my brother he's always  at the end of the phone so he could squeeze in a little bit more...  I can always call him up and say, "You've got to help with this or  that.” The contributions of both of them are immeasurable. David from  his knowledge of the comics, he's just a great storyteller.

This is just a peak into their writing process obviously, but to break it down, it looks like Jonathan often does the first draft and then Christopher and likely David hone it in more, all while Jonathan shares input. Perhaps Christopher and David come up with the broad strokes and concepts, Jonathan delivers on that and expands them, and then the three of them work together to find the story and characters and make the film we see.

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Posted on 6 September 2013

Would the climax of The Dark Knight Rises have been more thrilling had Batman broken Bane's back in the same way as he did to him and then spared him from death and kept him alive so as to make his punishment more severe by making him watch the foiling of his nuclear bomb plot?

No, because that would have been overly dramatic and thus would have felt forced. Batman doesn't do what he does for the glory or gloating. He does what's needed by the city and the people. Once the bomb was ticking to explode, destroying Bane became a low-priority. It would have made no sense to spend extra ten minutes just so that Bane realizes that he is wrong and defeated. He had a city to save.

Batman is not about revenge. He is about justice and keeping Gotham safe.

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Posted on 4 September 2013

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

Because the Batman from the previous three films is over. They are not going to make any more movies about that Batman. Chris Nolan created a final film that ended the Batman series in which Christian Bale played Batman.

So Bale cannot continue to play Batman since his version of Batman is completed and won't be used ever again. The Batman in the next series of films will be a totally different version, unrelated to any of the previous Batman movies. It wouldn't make sense for Christian Bale to return to play a totally new and different Batman. Everyone would make the mistake of thinking he's supposed to be the same Batman character from the other movies, which he's not.

WB considered continuing the Batman world that existed in the Chris Nolan movies and having Christian Bale return as the same Batman from those previous films. But after a lot of discussions, there was no way to make it work because Nolan didn't want his version of Batman to be used again in those ways (in a world with Superman and other superheroes) and because it would erase Nolan's intention of bringing a conclusion to Batman's character arc. Christian Bale wasn't going to agree to come back as the same Batman if Nolan was opposed to the idea, either.

So WB realized the best option was to let the Nolan Batman movies remain ended, and so the studio had to start over with a brand new Batman. Thus they would need to cast a brand new actor for the role. And that's what has now transpired, and Ben Affleck has signed on to play the brand new Batman.

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Posted on 23 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

How exactly did batman recover fingerprints on the bullet?

Well, the idea is that he analyzed the pattern in which the bullet would have shattered. Using that data, he was able to "rewind" the shattered bullet and put the pieces back together like a jigsaw puzzle. However, there are three reasons why this is stupid:

  1. The bullet would normally not shatter but rather deform like clay;
  2. The fingerprint would have been wiped off as soon as the bullet hit the wall;
  3. There is no way you can get a fingerprint on a bullet that is still in its casing. The bullet isn't exposed from the casing until it's actually fired from the gun.

It looks cool, though :-).

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Posted on 27 July 2013

Why did Heath Ledger's Joker never fix his scars?

A few reasons.

First and probably most important, the Joker seems to relish his own nihilistic nature and doesn't perceive the scars as something that needs to be fixed, but rather a basic reflection of who he is. They are part of his past, whatever the past held that shaped him into the man he is today. He'd no more want to fix those scars, than he'd want to fix the scars on his psyche. He embraces them, and has adapted them into his persona. This is not to suggest that scars inherently are part of a scarred psyche or nihilistic in nature, but rather that for the Joker himself the scars represent such things and his own willingness to keep them is probably partially -- indeed, I'd say primarily -- driven by such perspectives.

Second of all, I doubt he really cares one way or the other. I think that while the Joker's tales of how he got the scars were all fictions, some elements of truth sneaked into those tellings, and one such truth is when he said he (supposedly) wanted his wife to know he did care about her scars. I don't believe the scarring was the cause of his insanity, I think that however the scars happened they were merely part of the larger context, environment, and lifetime of events that shaped and formed the Joker into the psychotic, cruel terrorist (and while that's an overused term, for him it definitely applies, in light of his motives and methods) he eventually became. I think that he was probably already slightly bent by the time he was scarred, and I believe that by that point in time he really couldn't care less if he had scars or not.

Further, I think that if as I suspect he was already mentally warped and on his way to psychosis by the time the scars happened, then the appearance of his face after the scars probably fit his self-image and his desire to project fear into other people. And it probably in fact amused him, not just the scars themselves (since this is a character who is able to laugh and shrug off even the failure of his own plans anyway, amused at the situation he finds himself in) but also the way the scars make other people react to him.

If he was scarred as a child, then we're talking about something that happened to him back in the 1980s, and medical treatment wouldn't have been as good back then. And (if hypothetically it was an accident that his family wanted to fix) his parents might not have been able to afford to fix it, anyway. And how old would he be by the time he was able to afford to pay for corrective surgery himself -- even if he started doing heists etc as a teenager, he'd have had the scars a long time before he had money to pay a doctor, and this would've been in the early or mid-1990s, so again the quality of treatment would be questionable, especially on wounds so old.

But if, as I'm more inclined to believe, the scars took place after he'd already had a life that bent and twisted him into an immoral person on the path to psychopathy, and if the scars were in fact due to some events in his criminal lifestyle, that would explain how intense and less healed the scars look, why they are so deep-set in his face, and why he might embrace them (or even have done it to himself) as a reflection of his inner scars and his sense of humor focused on pain and suffering.

The Joker was apparently already a criminal and a psychotic before he became the Joker. He mentions that if Batman were gone, he'd have to return to just ripping off mobsters. Remember, too, that he transformed into the Joker within a short period of time after Batman first appeared in Gotham (looking at the events transpiring in Batman Begins, Batman's first appearance is involvement in the main plot, and it appears to be just a matter of perhaps weeks or a few months at most from the time he shows up to the climactic events -- and the Joker commits murders and leaves his playing card at the scene shortly thereafter, in that film's denouement.

The point is, if he was already a dangerous criminal willing to rob mobsters before Batman showed up, and quickly turned to painting his face and murdering people for fun a few months later, then he was a very sick individual for a while before turning into the Joker. Seeing himself scarred probably served merely to intensify his sense of self as an agent of chaos increasingly taking the form of whatever he was destined to become.

*Taking this opportunity to mention something that I think is important to think about -- I have to say that I love these films, I love the portrayals, and yet I am also bothered by the constant implication that scars on the outside mean something villainous lurks on the inside. The message that scars are "ugly" and that it reflects "ugliness on the inside" is frankly a terrible sentiment and one we shouldn't be reinforcing with our stories in comics and film. I realize how obvious is the symbolism of the scars for Two-Face, for example, and the idea of using external projections of internal nature, but frankly it's also lazy and insulting, and I wish sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero films would stop constantly reinforcing these terrible messages that people who look different or damaged are scary or distrustful or evil.

This issue makes me think of these real life situations...

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Posted on 14 March 2013

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

It is reasonable to believe that Tony Stark might be marginally better than Bruce Wayne in Chess but Wayne is way better than Stark when it comes to boxing.

Secondly, Wayne will never rely on these key skills alone he will always augment it with his cunning. Wayne despite is playboy image in reality has a Buddhist monk like calm and composure where as Stark despite his genius is more like a western cowboy.

For Bruce the game will start long before it will start for Tony. Bruce will ensure that Tony is served the best wine mixed with chemicals that will reduce Stark's ability to play chess or fight in the ring. He will ensure that the best supermodels money can buy will be all around Stark to keep him distracted.

Wayne will also get special gadgets from Fox that will make sure Iron man's suite wont work just in case he decides to use it during the boxing match.

But in the game, Bruce will lose by choice.

Bruce Wayne is The Batman. He serves justice not his personal ego. He has sacrificed everything for that purpose. A game of chess is not a big deal for him.

If Bruce wins either Chess or Boxing people will wonder from where this playboy billionaire of crime infested Gotham got his skills. That will raise suspicion. Stark too wont know the real identity of Wayne and if Wayne puts up a competitive show he might get more than curious abut Wayne. Not good for batman.

At the end of the day Stark is a very shallow character. Yes, he has got skills and IQ and money. But he is not Batman. He can never beat Batman.

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Posted on 11 March 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

Is the Joker based on anyone?

According to Wikipedia, the origin is disputed. Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, the artist, disagree on exactly who had the idea first. However, they agree on who was the visual inspiration for the character's appearance.

Kane says that he came up with the idea when Robinson showed him a Joker playing card, and that his idea for the character was based on the idea of someone who leaves such a card at crime scenes. Robinson doesn't dispute the card story, but says that he came up with the idea entirely himself and provided sketches and a character outline describing the villain's personality.

However, they both agree that the Character's appearance was based on Conrad Veidt, a film actor who appeared in Casablanca and The Man Who Laughs (later the title of a Joker story). Veidt tended to play crazy bad guys or Nazis.

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Posted on 14 November 2012

How does Batman get to the top of a building?


He has several tactics, frequently used in combination:
  • Stairs


    Bat Copter

    Bat Plane (aka Batwing)

    Bat Jetpack

    Bat Cape-Glider-Thingy, presumably from an even higher rooftop

    The Big Red Cheese

    The ol' trusty Grapling Hook


    A well-timed leap from one of Gotham's many dirigibles

    And, of course, free climbing

    Regardless of the method used in each case, he still arrives at the top as freaking BATMAN, so you better watch out!

Update: Lest we forget, there are also like a million Batmans (Batmen?) now, so maybe they just spread out equally across all rooftops to conserve energy:
Which doesn't even really cover all the other "Bat Family" members in Gotham proper you might just be mistaking for Batman that you catch half a glimpse of in the dark:
( Okay, less so the Butler and Wheelchair-lady, but you get the idea. )

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Posted on 4 November 2012

On the Batman cover depicting Bane 'breaking' Batman, why is there a dinosaur in the background?

Even after the many crisis-related reboots, the most notable trophies in the batcave remain the same. The dinosaur is a robot that Batman encountered in his earliest adventures: http://www.supermanartists.comic...

Even when there is no de facto trophy room in the cave, the dinosaur and giant penny always standout:

Despite the many retcons and artist/writer re-imaginings of the cave, the dinosaur and the giant penny remain hallmarks of the original batcave. As John Fernley notes, the use of either noticable trophy in a cover immediately conveys the cave (or manor) as the setting of the story.

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Posted on 29 August 2012

The doctor from the The Pit prison says that "the child of the mercenary" had plague and that's the reason the mask was in place. However the girl did not have plague - it was Bane who was infected with it. Isn't this a plot hole?

Forgive me if this theory is way off base:

Why MUST the child escape at that specific time? Sure the gate was left open... but why exactly then when the child had grown up in that prison?

The child was with "plague" in the sense that she had begun menstruating or at least could no longer hide her gender. She HAD to escape to avoid being gang-raped like her mother. Why else are all the men but Bane pursuing her? After all, they're normally supportive of escape.

Bane never had the plague, just as Bane was never the child. Rather, he was the only prisoner noble enough to help Talia flee the horrible fate suffered by her mother.

Further, the doctor never really lies. Bane's mask is in place because of the child's "plague." The doctor just doesn't go out of his way to reveal the child's identity to Bruce.

Update: The former child mentions to Batman that she was given the name "Talia" by her mother shortly before her parent was killed by the inmates.

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Posted on 27 July 2012

What factors contributed to The Dark Knight being a better movie than The Dark Knight Rises?

It's always harder to write the last act. In movie three, you have to wrap things up and tie the series with a bow. That's a tough task compared to the freedom of a second movie where the possibilities are still limitless.

The Dark Knight Rises is not as good as The Dark Knight, but the latter was an amazing movie. It had the benefit of the origin story being dealt with and allowed Nolan and company to start the story at full stride.  Meanwhile, The Dark Knight Rises is taxed with being a good movie in its own right AND also concluding the entire trilogy. That's a much trickier task as it could suffer from being a good movie but an average conclusion or vice versa. A finale is obligated to deliver more.

The Empire Strikes Back is almost universally considered a better film than Return of the Jedi. The middle act is usually the strongest part of most trilogies.

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Posted on 27 July 2012

Why wasn't Batman in The Avengers?

There are two main comic book publishing houses, DC and Marvel. They each have their own "universe" of superheroes.

DC is responsible for heroes such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Green Lantern and many more. One of the super teams in the DC Universe is the Justice League of America which has the heroes mentioned before plus a few more.

Marvel is responsible for Spider-Man, Wolverine, all the other X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and many more. One of the super teams in the Marvel Universe is the Avengers which you are familiar with.

Basically Batman exists in a different universe than the Avengers. Different companies own the rights to each of them. Sometimes they cross over, but rarely and usually only to boost sales.

It is also important to note that Marvel is way better than DC.

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Posted on 25 July 2012

By the end, does Blake know that Gordon knows Batman's identity?

Siddharth Bhandari, I think you are mistaken. Both Blake and Gordon go to Wayne manor to Bruce's funeral after the city is saved.

They also have a little conversation where Gordon asks Blake to join the force again but Blake denies. He then says to Gordon that no one will know who saved Gotham, but Gordon says of course they will, it was Batman. There is a silent acknowledgement of the fact that it was Bruce but it is better that the city doesn't know who Batman really was.

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Posted on 22 July 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

What is the probability for The Dark Knight Rises to be box office hit of the year considering that it will not be released in both IMAX and 3D?

The Dark Knight Rises is not being released in many more IMAX theaters than The Avengers, and maybe not ANY more than the latter film. It seems they are both slated to be screened at close to 300 or so theaters during their early runs in the USA. So in terms of IMAX, The Dark Knight Rises doesn't really have any big advantage.

In addition, The Dark Knight Rises is not in 3D, and thus lacks the added financial bonus of 3D ticket pricing. Worldwide, this will be a HUGE factor, because outside of the USA Batman movies are not nearly as popular as domestically. In 2008, The Dark Knight made LESS money in foreign markets than it did in North America -- it is in fact the ONLY film in the top 34 highest grossing films of all time that made more money in North America than in the rest of the world. Batman strongly reflects a particularly American perspective and sentiment about vigilantism and superheroes, and just doesn't have the same level of popularity that other superheroes have overseas relative to their domestic popularity.

The Dark Knight Rises is also clearly a very adult, dark film, and not at all the sort of movie parents are going to allow their younger children (meaning little kids) to go see. This also affects its global popularity as a summer superhero blockbuster -- it'll still be popular, make no mistake about that, but it won't have the same sort of broader audience size in terms of families showing up with younger children, nor the same sort of feel-good popularity that other superhero movies get.

Comparing the ticket sales from the 2008 Batman film, and considering adjusted-for-inflation ticket prices, The Dark Knight Rises appears to need a pretty substantial increase in audience attendance over the previous Batman movie, if it hopes to beat the early weekend attendance of The Avengers, too.

So here are the two main facts to remember:

1.  The Dark Knight will of course be a huge success, will make tons of money, and might be the biggest and most popular and highest grossing film in the USA this year;

2.  The Avengers almost surely is going to gross more than The Dark Knight Rises worldwide due to the simple math and facts regarding all of the advantages it has in its favor, while The Hobbit might beat both of those films due to the massive global popularity of that series and the added 3D and IMAX prices etc.

I wrote a whole article about this over at Forbes, so I'll link to that because I get into the numbers in more detail in the article, if you're interested in seeing more specifics:

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Posted on 23 May 2012

Which actor did the best job as Batman in film?

That's a tough call, as it comes down to two for me: Christian Bale and Michael Keaton.

There's no doubt that Bale is brilliant. After all, this is the man who pulled off one of the best and most convincing psychotic performances ever, in my opinion, in American Psycho. And watching his transformation in The Machinist is almost heart-stopping. So you expect him to succeed at the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. If anything, ol' Bruce can look to the persona of Patrick Bateman and think, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

So I think it's more of the shock factor that makes me give the nod to Michael Keaton. I mean, this is Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously, Beetlejuice. The fact that this man, a largely comedic actor (up until that point in his career), played--and brilliantly pulled off the role of--Bruce Wayne/Batman, is a testament to his sheer range and likability. (I need to disclaim here that Michael Keaton is one of the actors I respect the most because of his performance in my favorite theatrical drama, My Life. So I am a bit biased).

I think the difference of between the two also boils down to the tone of their respective movies. Nolan's Dark Knight movies are beautiful, with superb acting, excellent writing, spot-on direction, breathtaking cinematography, and seamless special effects. But Burton's Batman films were a lot more fun. Jack Nicholson as the Joker ("If you're gonna go, go with a smile" and "Wait'll they get a load of me") and Danny Devito as The Penguin, the over-the-top gothic sets, the subtle comedic undertones ("I'm Batman. I'm Batman..."). I can honestly say I enjoyed those movies more, even if the Nolan films are technically superior.

So, for me, it's Michael Keaton. Christian Bale is a better actor, hands down, looking at his whole body of work. But Keaton captured a fun and likable side to Bruce Wayne/Batman that Bale never has.

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Posted on 1 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 does Jack Nicholson think of Heath Ledger's performance as Joker in The Dark Knight?

There is no reason to believe that Nicholson has seen The Dark Knight.

As my good friend Anon has already stated, Nicholson told MTV he was furious about not being asked to play the part again, even going so far as to wonder if it was a mistake, as if they had intended to ask him, but something got messed up in the front office. He says "It's a part I always thought I should play."

When asked if he would see the new film, he responded, "I'm not inclined to watch it because of what I said. But if it's a good movie, I'll catch up with it somewhere. I don't think they ever really captured Tim Burton's spirit [since he stopped being involved]. They kind of drove the franchise into the ground." [1]

Clearly, Nicholson believes that he and Burton did the movie "correctly", and that any other attempts are therefore wrong.

Michael Keaton, on the other hand, who was Batman to Nicholson's Joker, had nothing but praise for The Dark Knight. He said, in an interview with the LA Times, "I never saw the other ones [in the 1990s] but I saw most of the one that starred Heath Ledger which, if you ask me, is off-the-charts. Amazing stuff. The whole thing is great, everyone involved is great.That approach and that tone is exactly what I wanted to do with the third film when we first talked about it. [...] I wanted to go darker." [2]


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Posted on 7 January 2012

Wouldn't Bruce Wayne's vast wealth be better spent improving Gotham City through philanthropy?

He spends a lot on philanthropy.  This is established both in the recent films and for well over a generation in the comics.  There was an old story in the 70's where at some point Batman even yanked a fistful of bills out of a utility belt compartment to help a community organizer keep a drop-in center afloat.

Gotham is a singular place, and if you're a person of good will you've got to be very careful there where you put your money.  It's a 3- or 400-year-old Puritan settlement among whose founders were ancestors of the Waynes, and from at least its first day in British hands it has had a structural underbelly of venality and avarice.  We're talking witch hunts; rape and murder of native residents; double-ledgering of its earliest tax collections; that sort of thing.  It is, of its nature, a corrupt place, and the best that the Batman can do is ameliorate that corruption.  It gets its nasty tendrils into every aspect of the lives of people of the city and, short of gutting Gotham and re-booting it like a haunted house, the forces in whose interest it is to turn best intentions to evil will retain - if not always the upper hand - a measure of control of every unguarded move within the city.

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Posted on 24 October 2011

In The Dark Knight, does Batman choose to save Harvey Dent, or did he choose to go save Rachel, given that the Joker gave him the wrong address on purpose?

I'd have to go watch the scene again to be sure, but I was pretty sure that the Joker did it to mess with him.

1) In the earlier scene at Bruce's party, Batman revealed a soft spot for Rachel when he chose to rescue her by jumping out the window, so Joker probably guessed he had some level of attachment to her.

2) I thought part of the setup involved Commissioner Gordon asking Batman who he's going to save, and he says Rachel. Presumably there's no reason to lie to Gordon.

3) While  Rachel and Harvey were both part of the DA's office (so they're both part of the war on crime) Dent had shown a willingness to put himself on the front lines. (Ex: when he pretended to be Batman to set the trap for Joker). So I could see Batman be more willing to leave Dent to his fate because that's what Dent himself would've wanted.

So I think the conclusion is Batman thought he was saving Rachel and the Joker switched things up on him.

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Posted on 19 September 2011

In The Dark Knight, why did the Joker steal money from the mob?

It was part of an orchestrated plan to bring chaos to ALL the people of Gotham, not just the law abiding citizens but also the money grubbing criminal elements.  Remember, he is on nobody's side but his own.  He has equal disdain for the mobsters as he does the police, citizens, etc.  The only person he truly respects is Batman.

He could have carried out his plan without the endorsement of the mobsters but by including them, he was able to turn it around on them in the end by burning the money he reclaimed from Lau and taking over crime in Gotham ("This city deserves a better class of criminal and I'm going to give it to them").  He also needed their inside connections at Gotham PD to kidnap Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent.  He basically used them to carry out his ultimate goal and had a little fun at their expense along the way.  Truly, one of the most complex yet insanely relatable villains of any comic series.

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Posted on 14 July 2011

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

I am biased (I wanted to be Batman since I was 5), but I think no fictional hero is as meticulous, detail oriented to the point of paranoia as Batman re: knowing his enemies (and friends).  Remember, this is the guy who keeps Kryptonite "just cuz you never know" and that's how he treats his "friends".  Just think of the dirt he keeps on his enemies. 

He would have studied Iron Man's technology, fighting styles (or lack thereof), etc. to find a weakness and then use his superior intellect to devise a strategy for taking him down.  There's a reason Superman considers him the most dangerous man on earth.

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Posted on 12 July 2011

How could Robin be in a Christopher Nolan-esque Batman (creative franchise) film without camping it up or ruining the mood/tone of the film? Would it be possible without compromising the fundamentals of Robin's character as we know him?

First, disclaimer:  I am a fan of solo Batman stories, I think the character works best alone and I agree with a lot of the arguments about why Batman would not bring a young teenage kid with him on patrol.  I am a big fan of the Chris Nolan films, and I think that the illusionary realism of the Nolanverse makes it even harder to fit in a sidekick like Robin.

Now, reverse-disclaimer:  All of the above being said, I also feel Robin cannot be denied as a crucial, defining aspect of the Batman myths, nor should anyone discount the quality and depth of the character of Dick Grayson or some of the subsequent Robins (such as Tim Drake, or the current Damian Wayne).  Robin plays an important role in Bruce Wayne's arc, not only the father-son aspect but also by raising the specter of Bruce's conception of a future in which someone must carry on the mantle of Batman perhaps, not to mention the way Robin's character allows Bruce to work through his own trauma and come to terms with his own path in life.  Finally, a key consideration is also that at some point, a Robin has to die in Batman's life, because how he deals with that loss and his role in, and the subsequent guilt and perhaps blame (imagined or real) he sense from Alfred and others, are major elements of Bruce's character development.

So, my preferences might be for Batman solo in Gotham, but I also appreciate Robin and think he's a necessary element of Batman's myths, and I feel ultimately he even become important to introduce at some point.

Whether that point arises in the Nolan films or not, however, is a good question. We've been told this is Nolan's final Batman film, and that he plans to completely wrap up his Batman world with this film by "ending things" in some way that completes this franchise. That's right, after the upcoming third film, there will not be another Batman story in the Nolanverse with any of the characterizations and continuity that exists in these Nolan films. They are going to completely reboot the franchise after the third film.

That means Nolan's entire Batman universe will exist solely within these three films. There is speculation that Nolan's going to do something dramatic to signal the "end" of the franchise, such as killing Batman or having him retire/quit. While I personally don't believe we'll see any death-of-Batman story, I think Nolan will definitely do something dramatic as a way to put "The End" on this film.

One way to do that would be to introduce Robin in some manner.  The two ways to go would be to either actually have Robin featured as a character throughout the film (interpreted in some Nolanverse manner), or to introduce Dick Grayson late in the film and end it with Bruce taking the boy in -- or maybe just Bruce on his way out on a date, with two tickets to the Flying Graysons at the circus -- as a way to end by saying "and now the future of Batman is set in motion."

I think the first option (using Robin in the film throughout the story) is possible within illusionary realism and without losing the fundamentals of the character.  Consider, just as one hypothetical example:  Dick Grayson's family die early in the film, Bruce offers to take the boy in until other arrangements can be made, and then at some point in the story Bane and Talia (and maybe a third character...) attack Bruce, revealing his Batman identity to Dick. Or perhaps Dick figures it out through sleuthing. Or maybe Dick wants revenge to kill whomever murdered his parents, and Bruce stops him by offering a different path (becoming his apprentice).

However it happens, Dick knows Bruce is Batman, and his early role is shown in the film -- scouting out locations and gathering data, basic reconnaissance stuff at first but not actually getting involved in patrols or fighting crime. Late in the film, Dick could decide to sneak out and follow Batman somewhere, and then that leads to him being around for the final climactic events. The film ends with Dick convincing Bruce to train him not just as a helper, but as a true ally who needs to begin training now, at an early age, to be ready sooner than Bruce was (Dick could make a compelling argument of "What if you'd started your training when you were my age, instead of in college? Think of how much better you'd be now, how much we can do in the future!").

I think a scaled-back involvement level, and Robin only getting involved in the real "crime fighting" by accident through sneaking out after Batman, would keep it from being campy, and allow a basis for showing Dick as a tough, smart kid who has the potential that convinces Bruce to start really training him at the end, and we know it will lead to this great team in the future.

There are a number of ways to easily adapt the suit into something workable -- remember, if he's not a kid sidekick, he can just have an outfit that hints at his future role as "Robin" and that doesn't have to be intended to protect him against bullets etc. So, for example, what if they borrowed the idea from the recent Batman annuals, and Robin isn't just an acrobat but also does parkour or other urban-gymnastic stuff and he wears green cargo pants with his red hooded sweatshirt that has his family "team" symbol on it (the Flying Graysons maybe using a yellow and red robin emblem? just an idea). He could tie a black bandana over the top of his head  and cut eye-holes in it as a quick spur-of-the-moment disguise when he follows Batman.

That's just a rough top-of-my-head example of how to HINT at the Robin suit in this film, to suggest what he'll do down the road, since in this one we only see him join Bruce's life and the film ends maybe with the scene of Bruce administering the famous candle light oath to Dick. That'd be a helluva closing scene, eh?

That same scene works if Dick is only introduced as a background character in the film, and Bruce just takes him in and we get the implication that the story now continues into the future as a new chapter in Batman's life, the end. Or, as I said, maybe the film ends with Bruce on his way to see the Flying Graysons and all we hear is the name, and we know what it means and that the future will change his life forever.

If Batman's going to die or quit, then they might present an entire "Robin" element that's basically the aforementioned example in which Dick is throughout the film and dons the outfit hinting at Robin, but maybe even a more directly crime-fighting suit that mixes the Robin outfit with the Nightwing outfit, and the "team" of Batman and Robin is a one-time event in which Bruce takes Dick Grayson in and then Dick figures out who Batman is, and comes to his aid against the villains who killed Dick's family. Batman is injured or dies, and this leaves Dick to decide to begin training himself to take up the mantle of Batman some day. That's one alternate way to radically reinterpret the Batman myths. I doubt that kind of thing will happen, though.

There's also the chance for a very unexpected adaptation of Robin.  Keep in mind, Juno Tate is playing the character Holly Robinson, a street kid who is linked to Catwoman/Selina Kyle (played in the film by Anne Hathaway)... but when I heard about the actress and the character being in this film and having a potentially expanded role from the one she serves in the comics, I couldn't help thinking about Carrie Kelly, the young girl who becomes Robin in Frank Miller's graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns.

Might Nolan throw us all for a loop by mixing Holly with Carrie and giving us a female Robin? Doubtful, but not completely implausible.  If this were done, I could see a mix of the above-mentioned Dick Grayson concepts in terms of her role as someone helping out with recon and such but not direct "crime fighting."  But really, I seriously don't expect this to happen, it's just an option to consider for how they could introduce Robin and remain faithful to some incarnation of the character while doing something original and unexpected at the same time.

The Nolanverse is far more capable of fitting in different, even seemingly outlandish characters than people might think.  The trick is that despite what a lot of people think, the Nolan films are not truly "realistic" -- they succeed in creating the illusion of realism. That is a very big canvass, on which it's possible to paint a lot more than one might expect at first glance. I once wrote an example of Mr. Freeze in the Nolanverse, to demonstrate how the Nolanverse allows for a lot of unique and envelope-pushing adaptations of even seemingly impossible-to-adapt villains. It can be done, even for a Boy Wonder.

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Posted on 2 May 2011

How could Mr. Freeze be portrayed in the world of Chris Nolan's Batman?

I posted this question in order to answer it (after being asked about the topic in a comment to my answer on another question), to demonstrate that the illusionary realism of the Nolanverse has great potential for innovation and unique adaptations of characters you might at first assume don't fit into the world of Chris Nolan's Batman.

This is an excerpted example, from a long list of "Nolanized" (adapted into illusionary realism) Batman villains, which I wrote as part of a series of articles about the Nolanverse for a fan-&-film site.

Keep in mind, this is NOT really itself a proposal for a storyline for a Batman film, it's mostly about Mr. Freeze himself as a character within that Nolaverse world -- thus it doesn't focus on Bruce/Batman, who in an actual film would be the central character and all other arcs must feed into the film's narrative and into Bruce/Batman's arc.

In addition, part of the point was that some characters could slip into the Nolanverse and push the boundaries of illusionary realism a bit more, in a gradual way and within larger stories that help ground it with more realistic elements. I imagined this Mr. Freeze characterization as part of a storyline that also included Black Mask taking over organized crime in Gotham with his "False Face Society" as his attempt to merge the traditional mafia elements with the emerging "freaks" and masked-villain trend in Gotham, so all of the Mr. Freeze stuff could transpire within a broader story  with mob elements and street crime etc for the overall setting, and Mr. Freeze himself would not be the main "villain" (plus he's a sympathetic character, not fully "villainous") and is a supporting character with a smaller personal arc that eventually comes to feed the main story and pose a significant threat.

So, here is my rough outline for a pushing-at-the-boundaries-of-illusionary-realism description of Mr. Freeze:

Dr. Victor Fries works for a competitor of Wayne Enterprises. Fries works in that company's  applied sciences division, and he focuses on three fields: (1) cryogenic processors for slow freezing that prevents thermal shock; (2) cryogenic fuels, primarily liquified natural gas (LNG); (3) cryobiology, where Fries has made huge leaps in theoretical application of cryogenic freezing of terminally ill patients and is on the verge of applying for permission to conduct human testing.

Wayne buys out the company, and Fox orders shutting down of the cryogenics dept run by Fries. Fox's reasons are (1) Wayne already has its own cryogenics dept in applied sciences, focusing on different more financially and scientifically sound applications; and (2) Fox feels that Fries has undertaken some morally questionable directions in terms of both application and testing.

Fries believes his new advanced cryogenic processor makes his theoretical application of human freezing achievable, and is fanatical about the projects and linking them together. Fox says he is aware that Fries' wife has terminal brain cancer, and that Fries was being influenced by personal concerns in his work and this was making him blind to the dangers and risks etc. Fox notes that as Fries grows more fanatical about those projects and more certain of himself, his work in other areas -- the fuel -- also suffered from his hubris and risky pursuits. Finally, Fox notes that during the buyout, Wayne Enterprises discovered some irregularities regarding Fries' access to some of the experiments with the fuel, and some inappropriate computer file transfers to IP addresses linked to the Pentagon.

Fries had secretly sought military support for his cryobiology experiments, showing how they could theoretically help with injured soldiers. He used his radical new theories on cryogenic fuel for military vehicles as a jumping-off point to argue that it also has applications for different weapons systems. The Pentagon was most interested in the latter, but strung Fries along on the former to keep him supplying them with info etc.

After Fox fires him, Fries tries to get the military to fund him continuing his research. They demand some examples of directly-applied cyrogenic fuel bombs. Fries has to break into Wayne Enterprises, steal components, and gets some military funds to continue his work on that project. But he skimps on the weapons so he can secretly divert some funding for human freezing, for his wife. He successfully freezes her, but afterwards realizes an error in his calculations regarding UNfreezing her. His cyrogenic processor is imperfect for reversing the effects.

He informs the military, who not only cut off his funding but also kick him out of the lab they rented for him, and they take his wife away for study. He is also ordered arrested, but escapes by detonating acontainer of liquid hydrogen. He has stored the other weapons systems elsewhere, and he breaks into Wayne Enterprises and steals even more equipment to construct bigger weapons.

He hides some cryogenic bombs around Gotham, and threatens to detonate them unless his wife is returned to him so he can try to figure out how to eventually unfreeze her. He even tries first to break into the hospital and steal her back, using a liquid nitrogen sprayer and some other simple weapons, but fails and is injured by his close contact with the nitrogen. He has to done a protective suit when handling etc the weapons and such, and partially freezes part of himself where his flesh and organs are severely damaged by contact with the nitrogen and from some gunshots, etc.

One of the military applications Freeze developed is an underwater mine that would freeze waterways to assist in naval blockades. He builds a prototype, and part of his attempts to get his wife back involves him dropping the mine into Gotham harbor and it freezes the water solid, but it is beyond even his own calculations and the freezing keeps gradually spreading outward (like "Ice-Nine"). He lies and claims to have the ability to reverse it, as part of the blackmail to get his wife back. Ultimately, he DOES get her back and figures out how to unfreeze her -- Batman tries to stop him, but he argues that if he isn't allowed to proceed, he won't be able to reverse the mine's effects and stop the freezing that's spreading into the ocean. So Batman has to let him unfreeze his wife to make sure it works, and then that successful test allows the water freezing to be stopped.

EDIT:  I would have to add that Freeze's wife would end up dying after being unfrozen, there needs to be some kind of tragic end to it all. Maybe the process of unfreezing his wife DOES provide the information on how to stop the spreading ice in the ocean, so the world can be saved, but his wife dies in the process of unfreezing -- Freeze could face the horrible choice of knowingly causing his wife's death by rapidly unfreezing her, or refusing to do it (since it'll kill her) but knowing that if he refuses then he won't gain the final information he needs to stop the ocean freezing, and thus his wife will perish with humanity anyway. All of his efforts have been in vain and lead to this tragedy, and I think that is perhaps the best way to end his arc.

(Source: )

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Posted on 20 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.

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Posted on 30 March 2011

Who's better: Batman or Superman, and why?

The answer is Batman.

As a comic book character:
Superman will always get props for being the first real superhero. However, nowadays, I think most people find Batman comics more enjoyable to read:
  • More relatable, in that his powers are almost in the realm of possibility
  • Batman has one of comicdom's best rogue galleries, ever. The Joker, Two-Face, Poison Ivy. Superman's villains are often just evil variations of Superman -- a metal version, an alternate dimension one, a color-shifted one, etc., etc. Lame.
  • More compelling character flaws = more human = more interesting.
  • More interesting weakness. Kryptonite? Really? There are a huge number of different colors of Kryptonite, because they got so bored with it that they had to keep coming up with more variations.

In a fight:
Superman is absurdly powerful. The fact that Batman, a mortal human, can and has competed with / defeated Superman is a testament to how ridiculously badass Batman is.

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Posted on 7 July 2010

Who's better: Batman or Superman, and why?

As Marc Bodnick commented, there are multiple ways to interpret this question. People have debated almost every aspect of this issue, so in the end, it really boils down to a matter of opinion.
  1. Who would win in a fight? This can be broken down into multiple scenarios. Clearly, in an unarmed fight, Superman would defeat Batman.  Superman would be impervious to any physical attacks that Batman could muster and Batman would have little defense. Batman, however, is usually prepared and relies on a combination of intelligence, strength, and  technological gadgets. As in the Dark Knight Returns, Batman would suspect that he would need to fight Superman and have Kryptonite on hand in order to defeat Superman.
  2. Powers. Batman doesn't have any superhuman powers like Superman, however, that forces him to be more intelligent. Batman must anticipate the actions of foes much more than Superman. It is also extraordinary that Batman is able to leverage his human abilities to "superhero" status. Superman's abilities are due to being a Kryptonian on earth. Any other Kryptonian would likewise have superpowers on earth.
  3. Character. Since Batman isn't able to brute force his way out of most situations, his stories are usually more interesting. Also, Batman has to have the discipline to maintain his abilities. Superman could sit on a couch and watch TV and he would still be Superman. Batman needs to constantly work out and train. Batman also needs to keep tabs on all his foes as well as stay on top of technological developments in order to remain competitive. Batman has also had to deal with more trauma in his life. Sure, Superman was adopted but so are a lot of normal humans. Batman witnessed his parents murdered in front of him and had to deal with survivor guilt as a young boy.
  4. Commercial / media success. Again, debatable. However, in the top 100 movies based on domestic gross receipts, there are 3 Batman movies and zero Superman movies. Source:

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Posted on 7 July 2010

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.

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Posted on 15 May 2010 search results

Are you sure batman doesnt kill people ?

As we all know Batman has promised not to kill anyone. Well in the games Batman Arkham City and Asylum he lands some pretty hard hits on the thugs and criminals he is fighting. After you hit them couple times they fall uncoscious . They wake up after a few seconds then you hit the again and the fall unconscius for the second time. The promblem is that they dont get up no matter for how long you wait. Are they in coma? Can they die from the hardass punches Batman does? So my suggestion is that you do some reaserch on that who knows maybe you can even make a video about this. PS Sorry for the bad english.

submitted by Chsyphyrus to GameTheorists
[link] [11 comments]

Posted on 4 October 2015

Does anyone wish Barbara...(SPOILERS)

Anyone wish she stayed dead? I'm not asking to be a dick or anything, but i feel like if she stayed dead then the dark tone of the game would've felt more...Present. Also, it would've made the story a lot better too because it would be very emotional. Especially since Barbara has appeared in every Arkham game (on consoles anyway). Some people are glad she wasn't dead, but i kind of wish that her suicide was a hallucination, then Batman finds out she was alive, and she actually does die after that. Would've made players go "Oh, so she's alive! Oh, so she isn't..." and again, would've made the story more emotional.

submitted by ThePornCollector-- to BatmanArkham
[link] [36 comments]

Posted on 29 August 2015

Batman is being stalked by one of the cosmic clones from Mario Galaxy. How long does he last?

Cosmic Whatnot?

In Mario Galaxy, there were sections where the player had to run from a cosmic clone. This clone would perfectly imitate the movements of Mario or Luigi. Physical contact with the entity would result in the player losing 1/3 of his life.


Here's some footage of what I'm talking about. For mobile users, it starts at 40 seconds in.

So what does this have to do with Batman?

Batman is being chased by a similar entity. Assume that there's literally no way to stop this thing.

  • There is no way to hinder its movements, as the clone can go through walls or run in mid-air without stopping.

  • Creating an anti-clone gadget or asking someone for a favor won't work.

Batman dies if he gets tagged three times. How long does he last?

submitted by Cardboard_Boxer to whowouldwin
[link] [21 comments]

Posted on 19 August 2015

Batman VS The sex curse from It Follows

So Batman and Catwoman finally bang, and it turns out - surprise! She has the curse from It Follows. If Batman does not have sex and pass on the curse, an unstoppable monster will come for him and try to kill him. If the person that he gave the curse to dies, it passes back to the person who had it before...which would be Batman. Plus, since he doesn't want to see Catwoman die, martyring himself to save others isn't going to be an option. Can Batman survive the curse while still attending to his superhero duties?

Round 1: Batman is on his own here.

Round 2: The whole Justice League is ready to help him out, as well as "help him out" with his curse problem.

submitted by Cleverly_Clearly to whowouldwin
[link] [87 comments]

Posted on 15 June 2015

I really don't want the Arkhamverse to end...

Again, I've posted before how I don't get the fascination with killing Batman or Batman at the end of his crime-fighting days.

My hope is that Batman does not die in Arkham Knight and WB Montreal, or whoever, takes on mantle and keeps producing Batman games.

Of all the other comic book characters he translates well to this because he isn't super powered (what threat is there to Superman in a video game?) and he also has an entire mythos surrounding him and his allies/enemies.

People talk about a suicide squad game but I like playing as Batman specifically to beat up the "bad guys" and whatnot, not play as them.

And don't get me started on Batman Beyond.

You didn't necessarily need an arch over the whole three games. Any Batman adventure/mystery can stand on its own and I wish that's the direction they'd take with future games.

It's probably very moot for me to even care but does anyone else agree?

submitted by Harrier42 to BatmanArkham
[link] [37 comments]

Posted on 1 June 2015

[Batman] Someone is going back in time to stop Thomas and Martha Wayne from being murdered. This means Batman will never exist. Does Bruce follow him back in time and stop him so that his parents can die?

It boils down to this:

  1. Batman can either let this person go back in time and save his parents from dying, resulting in Batman never existing.

  2. Or he can follow him back and stop him, but would have to watch his parents die, or at the very least listen to the gunshots and screaming all over again.

What does he do?

submitted by Thpawn to AskScienceFiction
[link] [93 comments]

Posted on 1 May 2015

Obsessed with Batman

[WP] The scarecrow has poisoned Gotham's water supply with a toxin that makes everyone post Batman prompts.

"Obsessed with Batman," the Joker had declared himself at the last meeting of supervillains. And it got me thinking: if only everyone in the city really took the time to consider the absolute lunacy of it all, they'd probably hate him too. I mean, a man running about in a bat costume and beating up ordinary citizens? Ok, maybe not "ordinary" citizens. Some of us are a little strange. But we're still people, right?

That nugget of an idea turned into a plan, as they often do. If everyone in the city was like Joker, the Batman wouldn't stand a chance. We just needed them to think about him a little bit more. A lot more, actually. So much so that they are driven mad by their new-found obsession. Driven to the point that they'll do anything to get rid of him and clean the scourge from their minds, maybe?

The chemical mixture was simple, really. Child's play for someone of my abilities; I specialize in madness. Joker, my partner in this endeavor, was responsible for devising some sort of delivery method. Unsurprisingly, he came up with some elaborate scheme to deploy clown-shaped hot air balloons that sprayed it into clouds, to be dispersed by rainfall. Dumping the barrels into the reservoir would have worked, but I like to indulge the Joker whenever possible. Stay on his good side, you know?

I can hear the pitter-patter of the rain on the rooftop now. It's always been a comforting sound for me; doubly so knowing that it will lead to Batman's demise in just a few days.

I load up Reddit on my phone and check /r/Writingprompts, as usual. But today is not for writing; today is for assessing results.

[EU] Batman dies unexpectedly, this troubles The Joker so much that he swears to protect Gotham himself, and does a better job than Batman ever did.

The top post, and rising quickly. Perfect; he's the only thing that anyone wants to hear about. I show the Joker, and he cackles appreciatively. His laughter bounces around the empty warehouse.

"You know," he says after a while. "I didn't mention this before, but there is one potential drawback."

I cock my head inquisitively

"They become obsessed with Bats, right? Well, what if their madness goes a different route than mine? What if they're more like him? What if they want to become Batman, instead of killing him?"

Before I could answer, the lights snap off. Someone has cut the power.

A flash of lightning illuminates the room. In the windows above, silhouettes. Not one, but dozens. Dozens of pointy bat ears.

submitted by Luna_LoveWell to Luna_Lovewell
[link] [3 comments]

Posted on 25 March 2015

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] [231 comments]

Posted on 22 February 2015

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] [139 comments]

Posted on 11 November 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] [291 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

(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

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

Steam Game Swap

This is a subreddit for people who are looking to trade games on Steam. Want to trade physical games? Try /r/gameswap. Want to trade TF2 items? Try /r/tf2trade. Want to trade Dota 2 items? Try /r/dota2trade. Want to trade games for money? Try /r/GameSale. Want to trade CS:GO Items? Try /r/GlobalOffensiveTrade Want to trade trading cards? Try /r/steamtradingcards [link]

Posted on 21 June 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

Who Would Win?

If you love to imagine the planet-exploding battles of the fictional gods who will never be, taking pointless knowledge gathered from a life spent reading and gaming and swinging it like a gladiator's sword in discussions on reddit... then welcome home, my friend. You are indeed where you belong. Come join our discussions, post your own battles and kick some ass! [link]

Posted on 14 October 2010