The Dark Knight (surp)Rises

I’ll cut to the chase.  I love Batman.  If I was Tracy Morgan, I would say something like “I love Batman so much, I wanna take him behind the middle school and get him pregnant!”

Of course, I would never actually say that because:

1. To the best of my knowledge, I am not Tracy Morgan,

2. Getting someone pregnant behind any type of school seems pretty inappropriate to me, and

3. It’s impossible to get a fictional male character pregnant, unless you have help from Danny Devito.

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I enjoy Batman in all his various forms: comics, video games, movies, television shows and, of course, PEZ dispensers.

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I even have an adorable vinyl Batman figure.

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The comics have been awesome lately. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have been killing it.  I read a lot of comics, and there is a lot of… let’s say… stuff that isn’t Batman.  But it’s all worth it when I get to an awesome story, Batman or otherwise (it’s usually Batman).  If you haven’t been reading Batman lately, here is what you’re missing.

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On the video game front, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City we’re tons of fun to play, and the Bruce Timm Batman cartoon was some of the greatest entertainment ever produced for television.  Not to mention the 1960’s Batman show was Pure West.

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There is even a pretty cool podcast about the Caped Crusader.  Kevin Smith (yes, the guy who made Clerks and Cop Out) has a podcast called Fat Man on Batman (get it?).  The last two have been dedicated to his interview with Grant Morrison.  Those who know Morrison’s work know that he is comic book royalty.  In the podcast, Morrison tells a story about a trip to Kathmandu, which I think explains a lot about him.  Here’s a link to the main Fat Man on Batman page:

http://smodcast.com/channels/fatman-on-batman/

That leaves the movies.  There have been ups (The Dark Knight) and downs (Joel Schumacher and the Bat-Nips), but overall, watching Batman movies has been an enjoyable experience.  In fact, I enjoy the character so much I can overlook a lot.  Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze?  Chill out!  Christian Bale’s ridiculous Bat-voice?  Sure, why not?  He has to mask his voice somehow, right?

The Dark Knight Rises seems to split Bat-fans into those who love it and those who hate it.  I am one of the few who is somewhere in the middle.  While there are a lot of things in the Dark Knight Rises that don’t work for me (Bane reading a speech on TV), there are parts of it that I really enjoy.  For example, I really enjoy the visual of the mostly-unarmed Gotham City police force charging at Bane’s well-armed army (even if it doesn’t make any sense), and I really like the fact that I got to see a scenario where Bruce Wayne doesn’t need to be Batman any more (even if in this universe, Bruce Wayne was Batman for all of, what, a year or so?).

If you like the live-action movies, I recommend giving the animated films a try.  I haven’t seen the second part, but the first part of the Dark Knight Returns was pretty great.  It’s based a book written by Frank Miller, which is considered by many as the greatest Batman story ever told.  I also really like Batman: Under the Red Hood, which is based on a book written by Judd Winick. In the movie (and the book), Batman has to face his greatest failure and try to make amends while not breaking his own moral code.  If you get the chance, I highly recommend checking out both Dark Knight Returns and Under the Red Hood.

There are also a lot of fan films based on the Dark Knight that are really good.  Here are a couple I enjoy:

The first one doesn’t even feature Batman.  It’s called Grayson, and it was made by a guy named John Fiorella. The movie plays like a trailer, and it tells the story of what Dick Grayson would do if Batman died.  The characters are more in line with the 60’s TV show than the comics or the more modern movies, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.  Fiorella actually wrote a feature length script for the movie and made a bunch of behind the scenes stuff (which you can find here: http://www.untamedcinema.com/ ).

The second Batman fan film I really like is called Batman: Dead End.  This one was made by someone named Sandy Collora (http://collorastudios.com/) .  It starts as your basic Batman versus Joker story… and then gets way more awesome in ways I cannot describe using Earthly words.  Let’s just say that Batman ends up in the middle of an interplanetary war.  You need to watch this.

And that’s just the tip of the Batman iceberg.  There is so much more for a Batman fan to get into.  If you’re not a Batman fan, you were probably dropped on your head as a baby and ate paint chips during your formative years.  Even so, it’s never too late to get into the greatest character ever created.

I could get into why I am such a big fan of Batman, but I think I’ll leave that for another post.  At this point, after all the entertainment I have enjoyed based on this character, all I’ll do is say thank you.  Thank you to DC comics and Bob Kane (and the various other people he had ghost write for him) for making the world’s greatest super hero.

In honour of my hero, I will wrap up this post, not with my usual BAMPF, but with a special sign off:

BAT-NIPS!

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