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Brace yourselves Batman fans. Warner Brothers an DC unveiled the new logo celebrating Batman's 75th anniversary. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/batman-75th-anniversary-logo-revealed-691555

This has left me shaken and deeply troubled. The horrible potential impact of this massive change on the Batman universe cannot be underestimated. And what is the hidden meaning behind the fucked up silhouette? This is NOT GOOD. I will be working up a petition to demand an immediate retraction and disavowing of this vile thing by DC.

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I am not looking forward to seeing that plastered on all the books! I'm still recovering from the loss of the DC bullet. 

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DC's last main logo change was horrible, I have to say. The previous one had an element of class, despite only being a few years old itself.

This Batman one is really just a drop in the bucket, though, when I consider the damage DC have done to their own brand with the nasty, cheap New 52 rebranding. All men are gritty assholes and all women are sexually available puppets. Lovely.

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DC's last main logo change was horrible, I have to say. The previous one had an element of class, despite only being a few years old itself.

This Batman one is really just a drop in the bucket, though, when I consider the damage DC have done to their own brand with the nasty, cheap New 52 rebranding. All men are gritty assholes and all women are sexually available puppets. Lovely.

We can pray that the versions of these characters in the upcoming "Gotham" is better.  It's generally been true of most of their current TV projects compared to the new 52, even if there's far more inspiration from 52 than I'd like.

BTW:  There's a Gotham forum here already, if anyone wants to talk about that show specifically.

Brace yourselves Batman fans. Warner Brothers an DC unveiled the new logo celebrating Batman's 75th anniversary. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/batman-75th-anniversary-logo-revealed-691555

This has left me shaken and deeply troubled. The horrible potential impact of this massive change on the Batman universe cannot be underestimated. And what is the hidden meaning behind the fucked up silhouette? This is NOT GOOD. I will be working up a petition to demand an immediate retraction and disavowing of this vile thing by DC.

I don't know if the meaning behind it goes any further than "we had a hack of a graphic designer make it".  I mean on the grand scale of bad decisions at DC this seems pretty trifling compared to many of them.

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For you Batman fans out there, who is your definitive Batman?  No limit on that, by the way.  It could mean a particular writer's vision for him in the books, a comic artist's representation of him, an actor's portrayal, or even just how he is presented in a movie or TV show.

 

My definitive Batman is from Norm Breyfogle's art from the 80s and 90s.  Alan Grant's writing had something to do with this, but Breyfogle's art made Batman seem slightly unreal while giving the character a lot of energy on the page.  When I think of Batman, this is the Batman that first comes to mind.

 

As for non-comics representation, I don't think I have to go any further than the Timm/Dini Animated Series.  I don't think any non-comic presentation has shown Batman's potential as a character.

 

What you you think?

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For me? Kevin Conroy's Batman in the DC Animated Universe, courtesy of Bruce Timm, Eric Radowsky (sp?), Alan Bennett. This would include his stints in the animated Justice League, Justice League Unlimited and the straight to home DVDs. With the Exception of the Crisis on Two Earths one. Horrid Batman. Horrid.

 

Live Action? Christian Bale, without a doubt (that horrid Bats voice notwithstanding).

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I hated Bale in that role. The Batman voice was too stupid for words (though still not quite as stupid as Bane's voice), and I think Bale completely blew the Bruce Wayne side of the character. He's too cold, doesn't have the genuine charm, to convince as Bruce. To me, that was always the interesting thing about Batman; the fact that there were two completely distinct sides of the character, and the disconnect was so remarkable that no one ever thought Bruce Wayne might be more than he appeared to be.

 

I don't think I have a definitive screen Batman, but in my head, I generally see Neal Adams' iteration of him. He's the seminal Batman artist, for me. And my Batman does speak with Kevin Conroy's voice... so kind of a mix of those two, I guess.

 

Keaton was the best movie Batman, though. Going back to my initial point, I think he's the only guy who got the difference between Batman and Bruce, and played the characters accordingly.

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Keaton was the best movie Batman, though. Going back to my initial point, I think he's the only guy who got the difference between Batman and Bruce, and played the characters accordingly.

Oh man, I'm sorry, but I couldn't agree less.  Keaton failed for me on SO many levels.  The movies themselves were great, because of all else that was involved in them (great scripts, great cinematography, great other actors, great set design and costumes, great music, etc.), but ultimately they were great DESPITE Keaton, IMO, not because of him.

 

As Batman he was all suit and no real grit.  Even back then it seemed like his power was in servo assists, fake armored abs, and grim silences alternating with a scratchy voice.  Those last two were okay, I suppose, but the first two were laughable.  Batman from the comics was about a man training himself to physical and mental perfection and none of that came through with Keaton.  

 

As Bruce Wayne he was an interesting and amusing character at times, but a different one from any comic book version.  Bruce Wayne in the comics was a suave playboy. Even if George Clooney wound up being a horrible Batman eventually, at least in appearance and mannerisms, he's around what the Bruce portion should SEEM like (wit a far better script and a more invested actor).  Keaton's Bruce was a pipsqueak geek, stuffed into tuxedo who we were TOLD was suave ("Bruce Wayne?  He should be called "Bruce Vain"!) but who wasn't really.  As a character study it may not have been a bad idea to have a Bruce who was more... ordinary... but it makes it into a different character in some ways and thus was always a huge weakness of those films to me.

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For you Batman fans out there, who is your definitive Batman?  No limit on that, by the way.  It could mean a particular writer's vision for him in the books, a comic artist's representation of him, an actor's portrayal, or even just how he is presented in a movie or TV show.

 

One of my favorite comic book depictions of Batman would have to be in Len Wein's 1980 mini-series The Untold Legend of The Batman.  

 

It does a nice job in culling through Batman's then-forty year history and building an origin story with emotional significance, as well as attempting to clearly define the Batman's world and its characters.  What I like the most is that it introduces the idea of a Bruce Wayne who not only becomes the Batman to fight crime himself, but also to inspire other people to follow his example.  The story compares the Batman to other legendary figures like Robin Hood and King Arthur, men who were transformed into symbols.  

 

The plot itself is nothing to write home about.  It's really the thematic content of the story, and the writer's use of established back-story that makes this one work so well. This story was clearly a big influence on the Nolan film series, particularly Batman Begins.  Also nice artwork by John Byrne in the first issue and the always reliable Jim Aparo in the last two.

 

Speaking of Aparo, he is probably one of my definitive artists picks.  Right along with Gene Colan during the Conway/Moench runs in the eighties.  I'm also a fan of Trevor Von Eeden's pencils, particularly his work in the 1982 Batman Annual, scripted by his sometimes-partner Mike W. Barr.

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For you Batman fans out there, who is your definitive Batman?  No limit on that, by the way.  It could mean a particular writer's vision for him in the books, a comic artist's representation of him, an actor's portrayal, or even just how he is presented in a movie or TV show.

 

 

Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams.   No question.

 

After that, Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers.

 

Matt Wagner later.

 

I could never warm up to Jim Aparo, although he did so much Batman work for Detective, Brave & Bold, etc., in the 1970s (when I was avidly collecting) that he is inseparable from the legend.   Even though I didn't relish his work, seeing it even now feels like coming home.

 

As for other versions of Batman, you'll laugh, but I think the most realistic Batman was the older Batman/Bruce Wayne portrayed in Batman Beyond.   He had Batman's grimness, but you could always tell there was a decent man under there.

Edited by millennium

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It's hard for me to actively dislike Batman (so, well done Dark Knight Returns and New 52) but my favorite versions are: Animated Series, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, and Hush.  

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Frank Miller did a follow-up Batman series, didn't he?  I remember picking up the graphic novel version at my library, returning it, and recommending to the librarian that it be pulled from the juvenile section due to scenes in which Batman is abusive towards Robin.  

 

I think down deep, Frank Miller hates Batman.

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I think down deep, Frank Miller hates Batman.

 

I think, deep down, Frank Miller hates every living thing. That's the only thing that can explain his writing to me.

 

I find The Dark Knight Returns hugely overrated, in story, but especially in art. Miller's ugly, scruffy artwork really has never appealed to me. That's the least of his crimes over the past fifteen years or so, though.

 

The Long Halloween and Dark Victory are both favourites of mine. Yes, Tim Sale's artwork is similarly scruffy, but I find a stark beauty in it that Miller's lumpy, potato shaped people lack. Plus, Jeph Loeb gets the character pretty well, in my view. Hush and Heart of Hush were good too.

 

And honestly, I loved Dick Grayson's run as Batman, before the shitty New 52 reboot. Dick has always been my favourite DC character, whether as Robin, Nightwing or as Batman himself, and I loved seeing him finally get some recognition before DC tore it all away (and more, given he now was apparently never a Teen Titan and his best friends no longer even exist). But DC are assholes, so it's to be expected.

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All this DKR hate (here and in the "Comics...you can't stand but everybody loves" thread) is seriously bumming me out, cause as far as I'm concerned that comic is about as close to perfect as it gets. The art is great, in my opinion it's easily the best Miller has ever been. Paired with a good inker, his characters have much clearer definition than you often find in Miller's work. It's still stylized in the Frank Miller fashion, but it's much more dynamic, it really pops off the page (compare it to the art in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and you can see the clear difference). There are just a ton of striking, iconic panels in those issues. The narrative style is unique and complex, and the story reinvents the character in a compelling way that influenced every Batman story that followed (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse). Also, it's really freaking entertaining.

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 the story reinvents the character in a compelling way that influenced every Batman story that followed (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse).

 

And that's my problem with it.   The Dark Knight Returns killed the Batman I grew up with.   I have no qualms about writers re-interpreting characters for special issues or series, like DKR was supposed to be.    As long as it doesn't screw up the character or the continuity in the primary books.  And maybe this isn't Frank Miller's fault, but the assholes at DC apparently liked the cash the series raked in for them and wrongly took it as a sign that Batman needed to be reinvented, to be more in step with the hardened, bitter, psychologically damaged character Miller had created.    So what did they do?   They let Frank Miller reimagine Batman in Year One so he could piss in the face of everything that had gone before.   Other writers fell in step with Miller's new Batman, and before you knew it, the Batman I recognized was gone, replaced by a borderline psychotic and zealot determined to prosecute his war on crime regardless of who gets in the way.   "The flipside of the Joker," I've heard it said (utterly disregarding the fact that there was never a point in his long history when Batman was even remotely like the Joker).   The fruit of Miller's fuckery can be witnessed in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, in which the world's greatest superhero has deteriorated into an unlikeable, incorrigible brute.  

Edited by millennium
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See, and I think Year One is pretty darn great as well, and I don't think it does anything that makes Batman particularly psychotic. He's certainly not "determined to prosecute his war on crime regardless of who gets in the way." in Year One. He gets beat up because he doesn't want to drop a thug off a balcony, he nearly gets caught because he saves an old lady from getting run over, he takes a whole lot of punishment saving Gordon's family, he saves a freaking cat for God's sake. The problem isn't what came out of Year One (in fact, Long Halloween and Dark Victory, both excellent Batman stories, basically exist because of Year One), the problem is that everyone decided that Batman needs to end up as the Batman we see in Dark Knight Returns. Chris Sims has written on this, and it's a pretty great article.

 

Also, I'm not going to defend it, but I have a soft spot for Dark Knight Strikes Again. It's not nearly as good as its predecessor, and it's filled with a lot of stupidity, but I find it tremendously entertaining.

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And honestly, I loved Dick Grayson's run as Batman, before the shitty New 52 reboot. Dick has always been my favourite DC character, whether as Robin, Nightwing or as Batman himself, and I loved seeing him finally get some recognition before DC tore it all away (and more, given he now was apparently never a Teen Titan and his best friends no longer even exist). But DC are assholes, so it's to be expected.

 

I wasn't a huge Dick Grayson fan until his turn as Batman.   I thought that was one of the more innovative and interesting Bat Periods within the last few decades.    It reinvigorated the entire Bat-Line, as I thought Red Robin was doing wonders for Tim Drake and I actually liked his character interactions with Vicki Vale and Tam Fox.   Damian Wayne was a great sh&* stirrer not just for Dick but Tim, Stephanie, Barbara.   He had memorable encounters with Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Catwoman, Donna Troy and pretty much the entire DCU.   Talia Al Ghul became an appropriately sinister presence but still maintained that sense of elitism and hubris that marked her as an Al' Ghul.

 

Just a really good Bat-Time IMO.

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The problem isn't what came out of Year One (in fact, Long Halloween and Dark Victory, both excellent Batman stories, basically exist because of Year One), the problem is that everyone decided that Batman needs to end up as the Batman we see in Dark Knight Returns. Chris Sims has written on this, and it's a pretty great article.

 

Okay, good point, I'll stipulate to that.   As I wrote above, had DKR been a one-off, just Frank Miller riffing on the legend, and that's as far as it went, fine (like "Gotham By Gaslight," etc).   No problem.   Hey, I liked DKR series when it first came out (I had to drive 40 miles in two directions to find copies).   But when I saw what DKR did to Batman ... when I saw OTHER Batman mags perpetuating the angry Batman and using that soon-to-be-insipid device of the newscasts in the corner of panels ... that's when my hate began.   I noted above that it wasn't entirely Miller's fault ... but I look at it kinda like negligent homicide.  Maybe he didn't mean to kill Batman with his series, but he did anyway.

 

This is from the article you linked, and I agree 100%:

 

 

 

I still hold DKR itself as a masterpiece, but the themes and imagery that Frank Miller, along with Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley, used to such great effect in their four issues have essentially become a building block for virtually everything that came after. It changed the character forever, in the way that the best comics tend to do, influencing everything from the way Batman interacted with other characters to the way he looked. And in the process, as much as I hate to say it, there are a lot of ways that it kind of ruined Batman

 

What I disagree with in the article is that the author kept harkening back to the Adam West series, saying that's the perception Miller set out to change.   The Adam West version of Batman was already on its way out circa 1970.   Replaced by a darker, leaner, shrewder crime-fighter -- the Batman of Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams, Jim Aparo, Marshall Rogers and others.   THAT's the Batman Miller's work sentenced to death, not the campy version.

 

Afterwards, with the advent of YEAR ONE, I started to lose interest because Batman wasn't the character I recognized anymore.   He wasn't someone I particularly liked either.   So I stopped reading.   Then came the whole fiasco of the Tim Burton films and the sequels, and it seemed to confirm to me that everything in the world of Batman had gone terribly, terribly wrong.

 

I tried to pick up the story again a couple years ago, to see if anything had changed.  But I found it all so overwhelmingly confusing ...  I mean, the Crisis?  Really?  Played out over how many books?  And Bruce Wayne being sent back in time to caveman days?  And Damian Wayne?  WTF?   I got so discouraged I just gave up and resigned myself to the fact that my Batman days are probably over, which is a shame because even though it may sound silly, my interest in Batman was a special part of my life.

Edited by millennium
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I noted above that it wasn't entirely Miller's fault ... but I look at it kinda like negligent homicide.  Maybe he didn't mean to kill Batman with his series, but he did anyway.

I tried to pick up the story again a couple years ago, to see if anything had changed.  But I found it all so overwhelmingly confusing ...  I mean, the Crisis?  Really?  Played out over how many books?  And Bruce Wayne being sent back in time to caveman days?  And Damian Wayne?  WTF?   I got so discouraged I just gave up and resigned myself to the fact that my Batman days are probably over, which is a shame because even though it may sound silly, my interest in Batman was a special part of my life.

 

I don't disagree. I think there are good things that have come out of DKR, but a lot of what came out of that has really hurt the character. I just don't hold that against the original graphic novel, which is really, really great. I mean, a whole lot of people learned precisely the wrong lesson from Watchmen, but I don't hold that against the series, which is a masterpiece.

 

There's been plenty of good Batman work done in the last few decades, but I agree about the recent stuff. I know some people absolutely love the Morrison run, and at some point I'll check out all of it, but I read "Batman And Son" and hated it, so I didn't feel particularly inclined to keep going.

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I just watched the two-part animated film version of DKR.   While the conclusion of the film made sense in theory -- the aged Batman enlisting others to carry on his crusade, to be trained by him, supplied by him, etc. -- it didn't wash in practice. 

 

Batman recruited the leftovers of the Mutant Gang to be his successors.   Individuals so weak, so devoid of character and personal fortitude, that they willingly became devotees of a murderer, and then, in the blink of an eye, threw their allegiance over to the man who beat the murderer, not for the sake of any philosophical motivation, not because they had an epiphany of conscience, but simply because Batman was stronger.

 

It seems to me the Mutant Gang refugees epitomize the very phrase "a superstitious cowardly lot."   And they're gonna be the new Batmen?

 

I don't buy it.

Edited by millennium

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Miller may have started the "Joker is the flip side of Batman" idea, but I don't think it really gained currency until Moore's The Killing Joke which, IIRC, is where the "one bad day" line came from (and TKJ was in-continuity).

 

I remember in college, pre-COII, one of my friends saying "I'm buying everything Marvel puts out, and almost everything DC does.  I'm even buying Batman and Detective!"  So I think the impression I had at the time was that the Bat-books weren't selling particularly well and weren't well-regarded in the fan community, and part of that (really addressed years later by Knightfall) was that there was pressure from the Marvel zombies (who were the ones flooding the comics stores) for Batman to be more like The Punisher.  Which brings me to...

 

 

 

I have no qualms about writers re-interpreting characters for special issues or series, like DKR was supposed to be.    As long as it doesn't screw up the character or the continuity in the primary books.  And maybe this isn't Frank Miller's fault, but the assholes at DC apparently liked the cash the series raked in for them and wrongly took it as a sign that Batman needed to be reinvented, to be more in step with the hardened, bitter, psychologically damaged character Miller had created.    So what did they do?   They let Frank Miller reimagine Batman in Year One so he could piss in the face of everything that had gone before.

( @millennium )

 

Except that, at that point, DC was in the process of pissing in the face of everything that had gone before for all of their major characters. John Byrne got to do the same thing to Superman in Man of Steel; granted with less of a personality change, but all the trappings got radically reworked including the dropping of his friendship with Batman.  Wonder Woman got turned back into freaking clay!  They flat-out killed Supergirl and Barry Allen, and I'm still convinced that half the reason for the former was so they could run what may have have been one of the greatest covers of all time, Crisis #7.  So they were rethinking everything, and part of that was presumably looking at what they could do to help sales of the (AFAICT) underperforming Bat-books without going all the way into Frank Castle territory.

 

One last point: one of the ways in which TDKR stands out is that it's written from an unashamedly right-of-center perspective.  There aren't many mainstream comics that specifically slant that way; Ditko's original run on The Question comes to mind (albeit way more extremist), and maybe The Punisher (although I've never read much of the latter).  Most of the comics I've seen that specifically had a political angle to them tilted left: Moore, in Watchmen, created what may have been the ultimate 60's hippie's dystopia when he made Nixon President-for-life (and put Kissinger right next to him), and the first thing Denny O'Neal said when he took over The Question was that he couldn't write him without completely reversing the character from Ditko's original.  So that may rub some readers the wrong way as well (I'm not putting words in anyone's mouth, just posing the question.) (Sorry.)

Edited by MarkHB

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I'm sure some of y'all know this already, but Comixology is having a massive sale on Batman comics right now in honor of the 75th anniversary. 750 different issues all at $.99 a piece. I've just picked up several of Chris Sims' recommendations (here), as well as a chunk of Morrison's run and Gotham By Gaslight. I prefer my comics in physical form, but hey, a deal's a deal.

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This may be the wrong place to put this, but...I always thought Warner Bros would regret turning down Henry Caville for playing Bruce Wayne, for me he would have been the ultimate Bruce Wayne/Batman (sigh) 

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"Court of Owls", "Killing Joke", and "Mad Love" are getting novelizations.

(In other words, all words and no pictures)

I actually have the novelizations of "Knightfall" and "No Man's Land".

Those were pretty good reads----being super big maxi-series, they had to omit some things, but they kept all the important stuff.

These three (especially KJ & ML) are not nearly as "comprehensive", and should be great stories for this route as well.

I really love those covers, don't you??

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I have the No Man’s Land novelization as well. 

At least The Killing Joke will give Alan Moore something new to complain about. 

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Not exactly a comic book, but is anyone else reading Batman: Wayne Family Adventures on Webtoons? It's so hilarious! It's essentially if the Bat-family were in a sitcom. This week's episode (#35) is about the GCPD having to deal with the Robins - AKA crimefighting teens doing their jobs better than them. (Jim Gordon has many follow up questions....)

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