how the film gives itself entirely to the DC graphic novels

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‘The Batman’ is possibly the movie in the entire history of the character that pays the most attention to the comics in which the character is inspired. Of course, many other adaptations have previously taken elements from essential comics, such as ‘The Return of the Dark Lord’ or ‘Batman: Year One’. But what makes this new movie of the hero special is that, in addition to the typical Bat Man comics that we all know, ‘The Batman’ resorts to others not so well known.

detective batman pulp


One of the first appearances of Batman

Although today we are a bit far from the first Batman, the one from the late thirties and forties, had its roots in detectives pulp masked men who formed the prototype of what later were the superheroes. They are characters like ‘The Shadow’, who terrified criminals with an imposing stage presence, while using extraordinary deductive ability to unravel the most labyrinthine crimes.

'The Batman' enters unknown territory for superhero cinema: the mixture with the police

Drinking from the noir genre that was triumphing in cinema at the time, Batman was a hard-boiled detective without too many scruples, and with a cape instead of a shabby trench coat. Used extreme violence often as punishment, not just as a deterrent, something that DC would soon remove from incarnations of the character. Reeves has drawn inspiration from more modern Batman comics, but it’s clear he hasn’t forgotten the classics.

Rookie Batman

Catwoman Batman Year One

Batman: Year One

Of course, and almost like any vision of the character that portrays the hero taking his first steps, the influence of ‘Batman: Year One’ is indisputable (Reeves has officially acknowledged it). But also, this comic by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli impacts Reeves’ film in other ways. For example, Catwoman’s vision and motivations have parallels. But then there’s the tone. not to go which turns Gotham City into almost a hard-boiled novel New York. The comic shaped the image of Batman as we know him now and after decades of disparate visions, and that ends up impacting the movies, which all portray essentially the same Batman: the one from ‘Year One’.

Batman Year Two 2462871

Batman: Year Two

‘The Batman’ portrays a hero who has been active for two years, which brings us to ‘Batman: Year Two’. In this comic by Mike W. Barr, Alan Davis and Todd McFarlane tells a dark story of Batman facing off against an outlaw vigilante. And although key elements of the comic such as Leslie Thompkins or Joe Chill are not part of a film that only delves into the origins of the hero, it does portray a still immature, lonely Batman who is carried away by his instincts. Two years is a short time, and in both the comic and the movie, it is reflected in an antihero who is still carried away by impulses, violence and dubious morals.

Batman The Long Halloween 4

the long halloween

The two previous elements come together in another comic that Reeves has recognized as a clear influence, ‘The Long Halloween’ by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. In it, Batman hunts down a psycho-killer who leaves cryptic clues for him to decipher, and many characters from the film make an appearance here, starting with Falcone and Riddler. The comic serves as an origin story for some of the villains in the Marvel pantheon, and both Batman and Catwoman are rookie detectives. The general darkness surrounding this modern classic and the use of deductive skills over violence make ‘The Long Halloween’ a clear influence for ‘The Batman’.

The Batman/Bruce Wayne Duality



That duality is one of the vector themes of Batman’s most introspective comics, and forms the core of another influence Matt Reeves has acknowledged for his ‘The Batman’: Darwin Cooke’s ‘Batman: Ego’. In it we are told how Bruce Wayne fights the fear that lurks within him while investigating horrific crimes.

The Batman/Bruce Wayne duality is more pronounced than ever, to the point where hero and secret identity are almost two different characters, and there is something of that in the Matt Reeves movie, which does not give in to the temptation of showing us Batman in a suit, but unmasked, as Marvel movies do so often. In ‘The Batman’, Batman and Bruce Wayne are always separate entities, and that gives the film an almost psychological horror film strength and component.

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Secondaries: Riddler and Catwoman

Batman is nothing without his supporting characters, from allies like Alfred, Gordon and the Robins to his unbeatable rogues gallery. Perhaps the most radical turn according to previous visions of the character has been given by Enigma, who has gone from the joyful hysteria of Frank Gorshin, John Astin or Jim Carrey to being a sinister serial killer who visually and in his modus operandi connects with real crime myths like the Zodiac. This vision owes much to ‘Dark Knight, Dark City,’ a 1990 Batman story by Peter Milligan, Kieron Dwyer, where the villain took a turn for the sinister that, while including supernatural elements, is a basis for Paul’s Riddler. Dano and Matt Reeves.

Batman Riddler Dark Knight Dark City

As for Catwoman, possibly the most interesting thing is to go to the Tom King and Clay Mann miniseries ‘Batman / Catwoman’, which although it has nothing to do with the Reeves movie, yes it is a good reflection on the relationship full of emotional ups and downs of the two heroes, which over the years has included explosive sexual tension in such hilarious comics as ‘Hush’ (also briefly referenced in the film) and a failed wedding. ‘The Batman’ pecks from here and there in the long relationship of the two vigilantes to build his own story.

‘The Batman’ is possibly the movie in the entire history of the character that pays the most attention to the…

‘The Batman’ is possibly the movie in the entire history of the character that pays the most attention to the…

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