Archives For Batman
The summer after my third grade year, my mom would drop me off at the library while she went to work. I’ll always remember the day I discovered they carried comic books. Up until that point, my knowledge of Batman was the colorful world of Adam West. But that summer I happened upon something traumatic and beautiful that set me on a course for a lifetime of being a Fanboy: Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. This book, as we know, was the inspiration behind Tim Burton’s Batman, which led to The Animated Series, which both served to created a darker, reinvigorated DC universe. This led eventually to the Nolan movies, the Arkham video games, and this falls animated version of The Dark Knight Returns.
Fatman on Batman is the lovechild of Kevin Smith (Silent Bob), best known for Clerks and Dogma. Smith is the fanboy who grew up to write movies and eventually, the comic books he worships. The podcast is not just a love letter to all things geek, it’s an opportunity to learn about a craft. His interview with Paul Dini, architect of Batman: The Animated Series, tells the life story of an intensely professional artist, who breaks in to tears when describing his Mr. Freeze origin story. Then there’s the three hour autobiography of Mark Hamill, which never mentions Star Wars and leaves you with an incredible respect for the lifelong character and voice actor.
Fatman on Batman is truly uncensored, which means Kevin Smith will offend you. Its pure, unbridaled nerdiness might only appeal to a few, but to those who know what they’re talking about, it will feel like coming home to old friends.
- There are few Batman fans bigger than me.
- These are developing opinions.
I grew up in Aurora, Colorado about two miles from the theater where last week’s shootings took place. I’ve probably been there dozens of times.
When I first encountered Batman, it was watching the campy 1960s Adam West series with my dad. The violence was a joke, marked with brightly covered “whams” and “bams” written on the screen. Continue Reading…
My first recollection of Batman is reruns of the Adam West camp on cable. When I was about 9 years old, my mom left me in a library, where I was totally overwhelmed whe I happened upon Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. Later that year, I followed closely as Doomsday fought Superman to the death, and Bane broke the Batman.
I waited in line to have my copies of the Reign of the Supermen signed. I was the same age as Tim Drake when he became Robin. I watched the kid with the bowl cut and sunglasses grow into Connor Kent. Over the years, there have been universe wide Infinite Crises, Justice League Identity Crises, and a new Krypton. In Gotham alone, there has been a contagion, an earthquake, a No Man’s Land, massive War Games, a dead Robin coming back with a vengeance, a new Batman, two new Batgirls, a son of Batman, and a worldwide army of Batmen.
It’s been a good ride.
DC has decided to completely reboot their universe, starting with 52 new number one issues.
Superman is new to Metropolis, wears jeans, can get hurt, and is a bit of a political radical. Bruce Wayne is again Batman, and Joker ismore brutal than ever. Swamp Thing is back and occassionally hangs out with Superman. The Justice League is just getting to know each other.
Then there’s some you wouldn’t expect, like the epic Stormwatch, which gives Martian Manhunter a clandestine team of Doctor Who-like universe-savers. Animal Man looks really intense. There’s Batwing, a Batman devotee protecting Africa. And there’s a lot more.
It’s hard to say goodbye to 50 years of continuity and the characters that I grew up with. My biggest disappointment is not knowing how so many stories would end. Superman has disavowed America, Tim Drake
was burnt out on being Robin, and Batman had a psychotic son to deal with. We’ll never see where those stories would end. But that was also part of the problem. Writers had to
deal with a shared fiction universe that was collaspsing under its own weight.
But you can tell that there is a new energy. The writers seem excited, and the artwork seems fresh. It’s an opportunity for DC to tell really great stories, for kids and adults. It almost makes me feel 9 years old again.
On the outset, there doesn’t seem to be much to the Green Hornet. The TV series would probably be forgotten, except that it was the first appearance of Bruce Lee in the US. Seth Rogen makes sure the newest movie is fun, but it’s also forgetable.
Conceptually, it’s an unapologetic rip off of Batman. However, there are two points of difference that set Green Hornet apart form Batman and other superheroes, which serve as leadership lessons.
1. The Green Hornet is a Jerk. It kind of takes a bit of a meglomaniac to become a masked vigilante. Rogen’s Green Hornet is unapologetically self obsessed. I’m not suggesting that good leaders should be self absorbed, but they must know who they are and stick to it.
2. The Green Hornet doesn’t mind being mistaken for a bad guy. A lot of time is wasted trying to justify one’s past actions. The Green Hornet knows from the beginning that he and Cato will be taken for bad guys. He uses that to his advantage. If point number one is true, point number two is unavoidable. Do what you have to do as a leader. Expect to be demonized in the process.