‘Batman’ Comic Writers Agree: Christopher Nolan ‘Got It Right’

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Batman Begins Swear To Me Batman Comic Writers Agree: Christopher Nolan Got It Right

As the years go by, it’s becoming more and more certain that no matter how flawed or divisive a version of Batman may be released, the character is strong enough to endure. That fact was shown in person at San Diego Comic-Con 2014 where some of the most beloved “Batman” writers were on hand to celebrate thee Dark Knight’s 75th Anniversary. Among the questions fielded by the prestigious panel was one asking which, if any, film or director had captured the character as they would hope. And surprisingly, several agreed that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale delivered the best version yet.

There are sure to be fans and detractors of just about any comic book adaptation these days, and whether Christian Bale’s version Bruce Wayne/Batman is criticized for its unmistakable voice, lack of ‘detective work’ or simply not fitting the part for some, those responsible for the DC Comics icon aren’t so harsh.

With a panel consisting of award-winning “Batman” writers, editors and artists Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Grant Morrison, Frank Miller, Scott Snyder, Geoff Johns and Jim Lee, it would be hard to claim a more reliable resource for all questions pertaining to the modern Batman. So when one fan asked which film versions they felt had ‘gotten it right’ (if any), “Batman” editor Denny O’Neil (creator of both Ra’s and Talia al Ghul in the original comics) didn’t mince words:

“I can answer that in two words: Christopher Nolan. I created one of the characters in the first and third, so you would expect me to be pretty picky about it. And about halfway through that script I thought: ‘My God, he’s doing it better than I did. He really gets this character… why the hell didn’t I think of this?’ He is a man who has great respect for the source material – that’s not always been true – and a master of his own craft.”

Batman Writers Chistopher Nolan Best Movie Batman Comic Writers Agree: Christopher Nolan Got It Right

Legendary writer Grant Morrison (“Batman R.I.P.”, “Batman and Robin”) was quick to offer support for Nolan’s work on Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, although warned that his love of the character may make him less… discerning than others:

“I loved the recent Christopher Nolan stuff. For me that was the best distillation of Batman: it incorporated a lot of stuff that Denny and Neal had done as well, which was nice to see. And also Frank’s stuff. So I think he got it really, really, right. But as a Batman fan I like all of them, even those dumb [director Joel] Schumacher ones. No matter how many bullets you put into the guy, you can’t kill Batman.”

While Nolan’s decision to portray Bruce Wayne as a darker, more visibly tortured soul turned off some movie fans, it’s no surprise that comic writers would appreciate the shift. Since Batman was always been allowed to be more of an antihero or, at times, a downright callous figure on the comic book page, there had never been much overlap with film versions. As Zack Snyder has made clear already, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be sticking to Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns” even more closely than expected.

Batsuit Affleck Batman vs Superman Batman Comic Writers Agree: Christopher Nolan Got It Right

But not every writer spoke quite as glowingly about Nolan’s trilogy. Neal Adams(frequent collaborator of O’Neil’s) claimed that while 75 years of writers had managed to capture the mythic elements of Batman, a film had yet to do it. But he did hold out hope for the version Snyder is pursuing – even if it is just based on the costume:

“The last three movies that came out, I believe the first two were good. I liked the third one… but I thought it wasn’t exactly Batman. I’m hoping that the people who make the [next] films take a little more armor off of him, or make it it out of something where we can see his muscles. And stop making masks that make his face look like this [squishes cheeks].

“I know nobody asked me about Ben Affleck, but you know what? I think he’s terrific.”

These respected voices aren’t likely to end the debate of whether Nolan and Bale did the Dark Knight justice or missed the mark entirely, but they certainly provide some ammunition (for both sides, depending on how you view their work).

What do you think? Have writers and directors managed to capture every aspect of Batman’s character on film, or is there something you think has been missing? We’ve got our own hopes for a new Batman in a Justice League universe, but welcome any thoughts or responses in the comments below.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce for updates on Batman, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

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  1. Meh… not so much. I don’t think there’s been a good Batman ever, on the small or big screen.

    • YEAH, WHAT HE SAID!!^ Or the comic book either for that matter! When will they give us the Batman we deserve?!

      • We got the batman we deserve and more!

      • I don’t know abut the Batman I deserve but the Batman you deserve?…when you write it!

        Happy scribbling.

        • He’s the Batman we deserve, but not the one we need right now…

        • Do u feel in charge?

    • I know it’s your opinion, but I don’t think anyone is going to agree with you on BTAS not being a true Batman portrayal.

    • you are correct

  2. Love Tom hardy but that was not Bane. Every other character came through okay.

    • I agree with you Sage! I like Tom Hardy but he was not the best choice for Bane. Bane needed to be someone bigger ala Batista.

      • I completely disagree. I’d say more but I already spent a few minutes typing reasons why I agree with the article and the Batman writers and for some reason, it’s not showing up.

      • Bigger? Hardy was hulked out for that movie. He probably put on thirty pounds of muscle.

        • I do not disagree with the fact that he got bigger. I would have just preferred someone bigger. It is just a matter of preference my friend.

        • they would need someone around 6″6′ and big.

    • I loved bane in dark knight rises! Voice us so badass!!!!!

    • Thank god. It was better than the comic Bane. For the first time, it felt like the character had a purpose other than to just be the guy who broke Batman’s back.

      Have never liked the character. Hardy’s Bane actually made me care for him for once.

      • I get the feeling you never read about comic Bane other than that one iconic panel in the “Knightfall” arc. He’s a master strategist who studied Batman, wore him down from afar, and then beat him into submission. When he arrived, he was the first Batman villain in years that actually proved to be a highly worthy foe. He bested him at his own game.

    • The voice did it for me, after that …Meh ! …I was disappointed on the movie itself

  3. I think aside from Bane with Hardy it’s been the best thus far. MOS tried that approach but the writing wasn’t up to TDK level IMO

  4. I have to admit, I’m a big fan of the armor. He’s a regular human. He needs armor or he dies like every other non Superman/Green Lantern/Wonder Woman vigilante. I don’t mind the Dawn of Justice costume though. It probably needs longer ears so he doesn’t look like Catman but that’s it.

    • In the comics his suit was mentioned to be armoured somewhat, at least in some issues. I remember an issue where Dick was getting used to being Batman, and he talked about stuff like how the cape was too heavy for him as it was reinforced with Kevlar and how he couldn’t manipulate it like Bruce could, and generally how much heavier, thicker, and all-round tougher it was than he’d thought. I always figured it was somewhat armoured, even if it wasn’t like Nolan’s clear armour plating.

      • Heres the thing, in the comics he is wearing armor, but it’s super advanced and ultra flexible kevlar and the artists are just used to drawing his outfit like a regualar costume. Best costume visually is the one in the arkham games. It looks like the way artists draw it in the comics but you can also tell it’s not just regualr cloth there layers of armor woven into the suit.

  5. Andrew Dyce got in wrong. There was enough “detective work” in the trilogy. In the Dark Knight, you see Bruce/Bats use technology and ballistic forensics in the scene prior to Gordon getting shot. Nolan’s Batman could’ve done more, had there not been intention to just film 3 movies with the last one ending after an 8 year of inactivity by the Batman. To get where Dyce wants, Batman has to be involved in series like James Bond, so we watch the character develop and grow in the World’s Greatest Detective. In Nolan’s Batman everything has to be fast forwarded for the sake of the story and it’s All Star cast. Seriously…..Dyce has to realize that in order to display Bruce’s detective prowess in a movie, you gotta take away screen time from the other characters/actors and give most of it to the actor portraying Batman. In Nolan films, when you employ Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Tom Wilkinson, Liam Neeson, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy,…LOL…THOSE are ALL OSCAR CALIBER actors! Seriously, does one really expect a movie with that much Oscar caliber fire power to dedicate itself to just “the great” Christian Bale? I don’t think so. Perhaps the best thing to do, for the next Batman series (besides getting rid of Ben Affleck) is to cast the movie with no name actors.

    • Basically, you’re justifying Nolan’s Batman by saying you shouldn’t care about how much Batman we didn’t get and just praise the names we put on the posters.

      An Oscar doesn’t give you an excuse to just blow something off. I go to a Batman movie to see Batman, Gordon, and Alfred. Not Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, and Michael Caine. Do characters justice.

      • thank you, and lets not forget number 2, only the joker saved the movie not batman. you never hear that batman was so great in the movie, only joker

        • I have to say that for me, the joker made The Dark Knight exceptional! For the first time in my life, I wanted to be the Joker and not Batman thanks to Heath Ledger’s fabulous portrayal of the joker. I would not say that the joker saved the movie but i will say that the Joker made the movie one for the ages!

        • Thatsa bullsh it comment.. “only the joker saved the movie…” it was all good so fkn get over it

          • No need to get nasty to make your opinion heard my friend. I respect your opinion Sime Celeski but I will stick to mine. Cheers!

            • Im sorry mr manhunter, I was born 1986 too.
              ur thoughts on the movie r still flawed :)

  6. This article could not be FURTHER from the truth. I enjoyed it for what it was when I was blinded by batman, but that is NOT the best batman movies ever…It wasn’t even batman to tell the truth. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed ledger’s performance as joker, but The Dark Knight trilogy I file under an alternate stand alone series that is using the image and mythology of Batman…but it not really Batman.

    • Truth? What truth? It’s opinions.

      This is what you really mean: “This article could not be FURTHER from my opinion.”

      And that would actually be a truth ;)

  7. The first two darknight movies were fine until nolan got on his
    High horse and all of a sudden he wanted batman to be cnn realistic.
    1. Warners should have had to courage to use the dark night trilogy to
    At least show why the bats is tired and the show gotham could have also
    Filled the gaps if they were scared of nolan.
    2. Bane sucked, should have been a latino actor.
    3. Ann hathaway needed some more burgers to beef up instead we get
    Famine from marvel.

    • Nolan got on his high horse and wanted Batman to be cnn realistic?

      What does that mean?

      1. The show Gotham takes place when Batman was still a kid. What gaps should it have filled in relation to this trilogy?

      2. Bane is only half latino. His father was british.

  8. Nolan’s legacy on Batman will continue decades from now. It will be very difficult for any future Bat-Directors to re-invent Batman saga.

    • Not really. All he did was make Batman more realistic…Batman isn’t suppose to be realistic. Someone needs to go back to thr source material, and get back to the fiction that batman lives in.

      • Well, it could be argued that Batman was originally a pulp character, very much rooted in realistic crime stories. It’s not as if there wasn’t precedent for Nolan to work with.

      • Looks to me like that’s what Snyder is doing, albeit we end up getting an older Batman. A seasoned Batman is both awesome & unfortunate. Part of me really wishes we’d get a Batman who’s been active for maybe 5 years max.

        Yet I’ve got a good sense of what Snyder is doing & it might end up being more iconic & certainly more comic book centered than Nolan’s Bats.

        Anyway, to be a comic book fan, especially in this day & age, is to embrace multiple versions of the same character.

      • “Batman isn’t supposed to be realistic”. Says who? Look at his first appearance and popular stories such as Batman Year One and The Killing Joke. Extremely popular stories, and there’s hardly anything “science fiction” about those stories. Am I saying Batman is supposed to be realistic? Absolutely not. Some people just need to realize there are countless directions you can take the character, there’s not one formula that says “If you are going to make a Batman movie, it needs to be exactly like this”. There are certain elements that are required, but for the most part, a director can use a lot of creative license on properties such as Batman. Tim Burton’s Batman is just as much “Batman” as Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. That’s just the way it is.

        • There’s definitely nothing science fiction in a story about a guy who falls into a vat of chemicals and emerges with his entire body, bleached but unharmed, in a variety of different colors.

          I see that every day.

          • Why do u care if he’s realistic or not. Does that offend u the thought of Batman being possible?. I mean I thought that’s what everybody liked about him

            • I like Batman because he has realistic MORALS that can be learned from. Lessons about justice and the difference between right and wrong. How he works as a human being a hero is what I like about him.

              But Peter Parker also embodies those lessons, even more than Batman. There still is a fantasy element behind them both that makes them even more unique as comic book characters.

              • You really like to push your “opinion” on people when it comes to Batman. Overly defensive and easily agitated when a person has a different opinion and you absolutely love, I mean love to have the last word. Take a leeson from Batman and be a better person instead of being a smart donkey with your under table insults.

                There is alot of space below for your last word, enjoy.

          • I said “hardly” anything science fiction about those stories. The Joker’s origin is simply the only science fiction element of The Killing Joke. But it’s still a pretty grounded story over all, and at the end of the day, his skin is bleached. It’s not like he got super powers or anything.

        • @ Robert W., well said, well said.

    • no , if the next bat man is as good as i think it will be, nolan’s batman fill fall back with all the other past batman movies as nothing special.

      • I’ll disagree.

        I think they’ll become classics. It doesn’t matter that you’ll get new versions of the characters. When you have something that in itself is good, nothing else is gonna change that.

        You can compare it to other iconic characters. There’s been many versions of Superman since Christopher Reeve, but those movies are still classics.

        You also got plenty of James Bond movies, but many of the old ones still stand out.

        And I’d never agree that Tim Burton’s Batman from 1989 is nothing special. It really changed a lot of things in its day, and it’s still considered a classic today.

  9. I think the perfect Batman movie is a toe between “Batman Begins” and “Batman ’89″

    The rest of Nolan’s trilogy? I don’t think either of them do the character of Batman justice, I feel Keaton’s portrayal is unmatchable compared to TDK and TDKR. Not only that, but “Batman Returns” FEELS like a Batman movie. I can say TDK and TDKR are great movies, but not great Batman movies. IMO

    • Tie*

  10. Nolan’s Batman got the idea of Batman right. But as proper adaptations? Not even close. I loved Batman Begins and Dark Knight (I liked Dark Knight Rises well enough), but these Batman films are not the proper adaptations fans have been waiting for. Because of the ‘realistic’ setting, characters like Bane and Scarecrow were forced into becoming generic villains.

    • I for one loved the more grounded approach, and I am not a fan of what came before. I hope we don`t go back to that stink fest. Burton`s Penguin? Noooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Nolan did good but what we saw was not Batman.Im not trying to diss him in anyway it’s just that he changed alot of what batman is to be able to make him realistic.I really don’t feel any movie has gotten him right they never show the smart side of Bruce and his detective work.Another aspects they always forget is that he is just as insane as those he fights thats why he always prepares for any situation because he’s paranoid.He does everything and will cross any line the only thing he wont do is kill.

    • A very big part of The Batman you describe is one that’s a Dexter That Doesn’t Kill.

      That’s the True Batman; a functioning psychotic nutjob who has trained to aim his crazy in a way that helps & saves people instead of sowing terror & killing, like his opposite number, The Joker.

      • I respectfully disagree strongly.

        I have always seen Batman as the most compassionate hero. He bleeds for the innocents that he doesn’t want to suffer as he did. His mission is to save the people. To do that he uses the unique weapons that he has devised (like fear, detection, intimidation) to be the most effective. But boil it down, he’s the ultimate good guy.

        • He is insane though.If you truly think about it he doesn’t become Batman for the city, he become batman for himself.imagine the difference if Bruce focused his nightly obsession on doing what Thomas Wayne did it all the time. Why isn’t Bruce carrying on that tradition? Because he spends all of his time on his need for personal retribution, not his sense of civic duty.He sought adventure to make him feel strong.He is so obsessed about his parents that he goes out at night to beat criminals no normal person does that after an event like that.Theres criminals in gotham because theres no other option.If Bruce cared so much for the 99% he would give them jobs and so much more with his wealth.If he was so kind as you said he would create a way so the people of gotham wouldn’t have to go to a life of crime.

          • I totally get where you are coming from Joker and I don’t disagree if the cinematic / comic world was the real world. If Bruce Wayne solved the problems of Gotham as you suggest, there wouldn’t be a Batman (and there wouldn’t even be a fictional Gotham or it’s citizens to worry about). I’m also not saying you’re wrong, I just prefer to suspend disbelief when it comes to alternative ways that Bruce Wayne could ‘fix’ Gotham and enjoy the primal concept of the avenging angel of the night protecting his people in his unique way. I don’t find a psychopathic maniac satisfying as my hero. And if we have to deal with what it would really be like if Bruce Wayne / Batman existed, then along with his mental condition we’d have to deal with how he could fight crime nightly for more than a couple months without ending up shot or in a full body cast. Batman isn’t and couldn’t be real. It’s cool to add some gravity and weight to the fantasy, but I just don’t like to take that too far.

        • I strongly urge you, in the spirit of “Duh”, to read again – but carefully this time.

          First, do you know “Dexter”? Do you know what “Aiming your crazy” means? Do you know what a “functioning psychotic* nutjob” is?

          Batman isn’t normal by a marathon mile. Keaton’s ’89 Batman shows a striking similarity in mannerism & distant tone to Dexter. A good Batman writer knows his mission is born of such darkness that crazy is fate for him; Batman’s miracle is that he succeeds in choosing to “aim” his sociopathic state of mind (Free will triumphs over fate), & all his crazy rage at the bad guys. That’s part of the twist that elevates Batman as an Icon & Myth.

          As said my post you replied to: “…nutjob who has trained to aim his crazy in a way that helps & saves people…”

          Maybe you’re having difficulty imagining someone who’s both nuts & compassionate (though IMO he’s more empathetic than compassionate).

          *Should be sociopath, not psychopath

  12. And of course some the haters crawl out from under their rocks…..

    • Yep, as usual. Not surprising though.

      • Agreed

        • I agree, but there is nothing wrong with a different opinion. Although it seems when the discussion is related to Nolan’s Batman movies you cannot say you “like it” or especially you “love it” without being branded a “Nolanite” or receiving a wealth of negativity. The statements that always get to me are “this how the REAL Batman should be” or this is “what Batman is” even though it is a personal opinion you get beaten over the head with like the crowbar that ended Jason Todd’s life.

  13. I wonder if we’ll ever see Matches Malone in a movie?

    • Amen! I feel like he could be a character that would fit into a scene in an Affleck starred/directed/possibly written Batman film.

  14. Hard to argue with their assessment.

    Honestly, I hold the Nolan trilogy as the absolute best versions of the character’s we’ve had so far.

    Batman showed the dark side and the detective work while also having the vulnerability and false face that Bruce wore as a playboy billionaire.

    Catwoman was less sexualised than usual and came across as interesting rather than just objectified (rod22′s assessment that Hathaway should’ve gained weight is so wrong, it’s laughable…what does he want, a cat burglar who’s heavy on her feet and not athletic enough to slip away quickly and quietly? This is also the guy who argues that Gadot is “too skinny” to play Wonder Woman so ignore anything he says on the subject of idealised female characters).

    Bane actually came across as an intelligent and intimidating presence rather than a large, comical-looking meathead.

    Two-Face had a better reason for turning “bad” than he did in the comics. Instead of having a personality disorder, he went after those who killed the woman he loved because he was just so angry and snapped like any other normal person would be entitled to do.

    The Joker? Perfect little crazed anarchist that used elements of his false origin stories that the comic version likes to tell. He had that morbid humour that people enjoy (myself included) and was scary in ways that others have struggled to understand when writing and performing as a similar character. Completely unpredictable, didn’t care about anything other than saving his own hide to commit even grander acts of violence, perfect in every sense.

    Sure, the more realistic portrayals made certain beloved characters less able to fully enjoy the films for whatever reason but I agree with Mark Kermode’s assessment of Batman Begins when he reviewed it and said “This is the Batman film I’ve waited 30 years to see, it’s just perfect and completely the Batman I read as a child”.

    It looks like Snyder has thankfully taken elements of what made that trilogy successful and is putting them into a more fantastical world of aliens, magic and superpowers and that’s a great thing if you’re actually a fan of this stuff.

    • Nice, and i agree. Nolan`s Batman will ultimately be the one I remember as my definitive film iteration featuring the Catwoman and Joker that I like most, and probably always will. In particular the Nolan`s Joker was spot on thanks to a Ledger`s performance which will be done differently in the years to come, but which in all likelihood will never top what he did. I don`t think Snyder is the one to change any of that for me, but i will still go in to see his film will the intention of enjoying it.

      • And this is exactly what people get wrong.

        You love Nolan’s version so much, you’re doubtful future films can change your mind and blow you away as much.

        It’s just like the comics.

        “Who did you like better as a Batman writer, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison or Scott Snyder?”

        “Whose Batman films did you like more, Burton, Schumacher, Nolan or (insert whoever takes over the Batman films after BVS)?”

        Here’s another one…

        “Which X-Men writer did you prefer, Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Joss Whedon or Grant Morrison?”

        See what I mean? Each one has its own fanbase but in the end, as much as we disagree and defend our favourites, the fact is we’re a fan of the same property and will watch or read future stories because of it.

  15. Have to agree with Morrison — and I can’t stand Morrison — but Nolan’s version was the best distillation of myriad elements of Batman, adding in its own flavors as well. It didn’t completely shy away from his obsession nor his detective abilities (Though, I think there’s still a fear in live-action to lean heavily on scenes like that because they don’t trust the audience to be that invested in it.) Things may have taken somewhat of a different form, but there were very elemental things that shone through better than any other adaptation of the character. A darkness and a melancholy he can never shake. A world that seems to get darker the more he tries to help, which has always been a cruel irony. A degree of solitude, even when he has support around him.

    The one criticism I would have is they didn’t take things quite far enough. I would not have gotten Joe Chill caught and killed. Though it’s easy to understand the narrative thrust in doing that, trying to get Bruce to deal with the never-let-it-happen-again side of things more than the constant search for the thug as a driving force, it sort of undercut the obsessive quality that underpins the character in general. He’s a detective because he’s obsessive, trying to make sense of the world. He fights crime because he’s obsessed, forever lost to the idea that he should’ve been able to do more. He can’t function amongst the “normals” and has to wear the Bruce Wayne mask because of obsession. That’s the element they really could’ve ratcheted up in the Nolan films.

    Is the trilogy the perfect Batman adaptation? No, not at all. But it is the best, to date.

    • Wow, great analysis!

      • Agreed. Nicely stated.

    • @ Playhouse, nicely said sir.

  16. In my humble opinion, I believe that it is just a matter of perspective. No version of Batman will satisfy EVERYBODY but as long as it satisfies most of the fans, it is already a win. I loved Batman Begins,and the The Dark Knight, I would have loved The Dark Knight Returns if Bane was someone bigger than Tom Hardy. I enjoyed the Michael Keaton’s batman movies, I did not like the Val Kilmer, and George Clooney Batman movies at all. I enjoyed Christopher Nolan’s version better because It was dark and gritty and that is my preference. Some fans did not like it as much because they found the Nolan trilogy too serious. We, as fans will never be satisfied a 100% unfortunately. We should just enjoy the ride and hope that the version of the dark knight that we love makes it to the big screen one day.

  17. If there’s one thing I can say I truly hate when it comes to other Batman fans, is this myth that there’s one “true” Batman. I don’t care if you like The Dark Knight Trilogy or not, but you can’t say they “aren’t” Batman. You’ve got the cape and cowl, the characters, the Batmobile, the backstory, etc.

    If you don’t like them, that’s you’re opinion. But The Dark Knight Trilogy is just as much Batman as the 1989 film, or the 60′s series. Even Batman and Robin is STILL Batman. Terrible movie, but my point is that there will never be a “true” Batman because there have been so many interpretations and versions. Some fans say Frank Miller’s take on the character is the “true” interpretation, which isn’t very justifiable considering how different that Batman is from his first appearance. But, it’s a GREAT interpretation! There are many different directions you can take the character. There are simply versions that are better than others. For those that complain about the real world setting of the Dark Knight Trilogy, have you ever heard of Batman Year One?

    For me, I loved The Dark Knight Trilogy, and The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies of all time. But Christian Bale’s take on Batman is just as much “Batman” as Keaton’s take. I enjoy the Tim Burton films, they just don’t connect with me as much as Christopher Nolan’s films. But that’s what makes Batman so popular and why he’s so beloved, because you can take the character in so many different directions, so different versions work for different people.

    • that wasnt a batmobile, that was a tumbler. different but no batmobile

      • The Batmobile is almost never referred to as the batmobile in dialogue in any of the movies. And technically in The Dark Knight Alfred referred to the pod as “The Bat-Pod”. Dude, that was the batmobile.

      • That’s the clever thing about it. They never used names we know and love for things that represent that world’s iterations of the things we know and love.

        The Tumbler IS the Batmobile, it just retained Fox’s designated name for the project throughout because there’d never be a way to fit the word “Batmobile” in the dialogue without sounding cheesy as hell. It was also designed to look as intimidating as this masked vigilante with seemingly supernatural powers and did its job splendidly.

  18. I appreciate what Nolan does. He’s always reaching….. Taking chances, and he has a real visual style. His version of the Batman universe was compelling, I just didn’t enjoy the movies. I walked out feeling terribly depressed after each one and actually angry (ripped off) after TDKR. I don’t think deep philosophical ideas belong in movies about a superhero dressed up in a bat costume…… Or any other costume. Go and watch Seven if you want that ugly serial killer vibe rubbed in your face.

    Plus I miss the super smart detective/inventor element of Batman. Nolan’s portrayal didn’t highlight how incredibly smart Bruce Wayne/Batman is. He mostly thought with his fists. No Sherlockian deductions….. Nothing. Plus all the genius inventor skills got passed to Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman).

    • I guess Nolan thought realistically, there couldn’t be a Batman who did all of that and more, since he also didn’t think Superman and Batman could exist in the same universe. He crafted a Bruce Wayne of his own, one that was a ninja with a lot of money. The Marvel fanboy stereotype.

      • A “Ninja with a lot of money” is a “Marvel fanboy stereotype?”

        I didn’t know Marvel fanboys were Ninjas with a lot of money.

        Or did you mean Marvel IP stereotype. Like Iron Man (Tony Stark) is a smart rich guy…… But Stark invents his own technology. He doesn’t have a Lucius Fox to invent it for him…… Plus his portrayal in the comics was never as having super detective skills for solving crimes. So that analogy doesn’t really work, except for the rich part. Remember the original Batman comic book title was Detective Comics…… Not Ninja comics.

        I would like the next Batman to show off his detective skills more than his punching skills. He will need to use his brains to go up against Superman.


        • What I was getting at was:

          Most people who hate on DC sum up Batman in that statement. I don’t think Nolan really broadened their minds as much as many thought he did because he really just gave Iron Man a more personal vendetta. But even Iron Man got more fantasy aspects than Batman.

          I also want the World’s Greatest Detective back.

  19. For me the Dark Knight trilogy is my favorite particularly because all of the other Batman films are completely unwatchable for me. Even the 1989 film…I can’t stand it. Danny Devito didn’t make me like the sequel either…they were all so cartoony and cheesy. That’s why Man of Steel is my favorite Super Man film because all of the others are ridiculous. Just my opinion.

    • Different perspectives, but I actually think the ’89 film is darker than most superhero movies. Sure, Nicholson’s Joker is more like the jokester of the comics, but he still does things in a very twisted and maniacal way. He shot Bob because he could: that’s one of the best Joker moments in history IMO.

  20. people actually hate on the Nolan trilogy? There is like one solitary thing out of all three… Talia AlGhul. Why was she so bad? She’s a effing oscar winner?!

    • Don`t even start with Talia, her death was so lame lol

  21. The people who didn’t enjoy The Dark Knight trilogy are a very small minority. It isn’t even a debate at this point.

    • not really, people like batman so anytime he is on the big screen they will come. after you get past the excitement of its batman on the big screen , you start to see the movies were not as great as first though.

      • So Jim, your saying a film that is CONSISTENTLY put near the top of many list including Empire Top 500 and many best films of the decade list is only because Batman is in the film? The Dark Knight is widely considered one of the top 2 films in the genre, along with a top 10 film in Empires Top 500 and increasing its spot each year. Your argument is invalid because you don’t see Burton’s or anyone elses Batman films having the same kind of response. Ryan is right people who dislike The Dark Knight trilogy is a small minority, The Dark Knight Rises and Begins are a bit more mixed (still very slight), but The Dark Knight is unanimous.

  22. If only using the Live version of Batman as a comparison then this is a no brainer–Nolan got it right. However if you throw maybe Timm and Dini’s Batman in there I’d say Dini, and Timm’s Batman win the day easily.

    Just using live action; Nolan wins his was the best, but what other choices are there?

  23. Ben Affleck should have been given the director’s job on this next movie, and Batman should have been done differently. Bats should have just taken on the mantle for a short while, perhaps a couple of months, then Zod arrives. The best Batmen…
    1. Thomas Wayne (badass Bats)
    2. Batman from TAS
    3. Adam West, with all those great special effects punches
    4. Michael Keaton
    5. Christian Bale

  24. Best movie version? Sure, there’s not that great a selection though. It basically comes down to Burton/Keaton or Nolan/Bale.
    So the premise of this article is kind of a big “no sh**”

    Best version period? Not a chance in hell.

    • I will also add that IMO the best Batman I’ve seen, from an aesthetic point of view, has only been seen in a 20 second teaser shown @ SDCC 2014.

      Hand down, no question, full stop.

      • +1!

        Ha, yeah, ’twas nerdgasm worthy, no doubt.

        May have to play a bit of web wackamole to actually see it, but the wacking is worth it. Snyder’s Batman will feel like a great CB Batman willed to live action stupension.

        That’s right, I said it: STUPENSIONALISM!

        Lost? Follow me & be prepared for knowledge. Or is it No Ledge…not sure yet :-)

        Knock Knock…know much yet?


        Now look back, carefully :-O)…

    • That’s a little insulting, considering several aspects of Burton’s Batman are really iconic. One of them being Danny Elfman’s score alone. That is the definitive Batman theme, it is leaps and bounds more memorable than Zimmer’s score, which worked for that trilogy alone.

      That, and Keaton didn’t need to be over-the-top to be an intimidating Batman. He just naturally was a subtle badass force.

      • You’re reading comprehension skills were slightly off on this one.
        I stated that it comes down to Keaton or Bale, depending in your preference.
        Some aspects I say Keaton, some Bale.

        Point being this:
        If you’re picking “best live action Batman” it’s not a that big a deal to be best, Bale had a 50% shot at it because there is only the two choices really. IMO

  25. No s*** Sherlock. Nolan detractors can whine all they like,the guy knows his stuff more than most. For me,he is THE most exciting filmmaker since Kubrick,Hitchcock and Spielberg.

  26. Well, 2/3 of the movies were great IMO.

    • Mostly because Rises is more about the dumb ldotic cops, no wonder gothams always in trouble, theyre so stup1d

  27. But DcAu Kevin Conroy voiced batman is still the best definitive Batman for me
    Which also sort of includes the Arkham games.

    • +1

      This. And I swear if anyone thinks voice acting is easier, I will gladly defend it to the death. It is much more difficult because it all rests on how you make use of your voice.

      Conroy and Hamill will always be my Batman and Joker.

      • I wasn’t sure about Troy Baker at first but he’s stepped into Joker’s shoes quite nicely now.

        Same as Tara Strong, I hated the fact that Arleen Sorkin was retiring but Tara’s been a hit with me so far.

        I’d love for Killer Croc to feature in a future live action film voiced by Fred Tatasciore.

        • Baker is definitely the best guy to take over for Hamill, I was really impressed by his performance in Arkham Origins.

  28. This argument is pointless. People claim that BTAS is the definitive portrayal of batman but how? The original Batman was a campy mess. Nothing can be definitive because things are always changing. It all comes down to personal preference and not many people will ever except that. I prefer Nolan’s Batman and the darker comics. I have friends who prefer Adam West Batman, its all opinion. Nothing is definitive, and as much as I and many people Love Batman The Animated Series it doesn’t make it the definitive portrayal of Batman.

    • 1930s pulpy gun-toting Batman was campy? You’re thinking of the 60s version that was made cartoony due to the comics and TV industries getting worried about a dark character like Batman “corrupting children”.

      I really can’t watch those 60s shows/films any more without wanting to pull my own eyes out and put pins in my ears but I’ll be damned if part of me isn’t kinda nostalgic for them.

      Same for Burton’s films, I find them too comical and cheesy to watch these days.

    • Well there was a reason the campy batman was hated at the time and only now viewed through nostalgia and irony is somewhat …good?

      Batman Tas as whole is definitive batman because of its gets to the heart of the character, his iconography, the darkness and humanization of his villains and support characters and the overall point of batman.

      Just because there wasnt a campy batman and characters are always being altered in some way doesnt stop one incarnation from being the best to date as the definitive one, which is Batman Tas because its the one in most resonates in fan mindsets or the basis for most creators to put their take on the character, it is the basic one, the general one, the best one, the idea of what/who is batman.
      And thats what makes it the definitive batman.

      (mic drop)
      Trey you just a hater.

      • Actually the Batman tv-show wasn’t hated at the time. It was very much a product of its time and a big hit.

        “It had a 52 share of the audience, which is unheard of, there was no question about it, it was the biggest immediate hit which ever aired television” – William Dozier (executive producer)

  29. Also lets step away from Bruce Wayne for a minute…. Where is my Rian Johnson directed Batman Beyond film. I want it so bad.