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Stir: Batman

Before I get to all the writer’s opinions on the various Batman characters, I would like to offer what could be the ultimate goal for Batman fans.  To be Batman.  Not to just dress like him, but to actually be able to do all of the same things as Batman.

In 2008, Dr. E. Paul Zehr authored the book Becoming Batman: The Possibility of a Superhero where he details not only the physical, mental and psychological attributes of Batman but details how one would go about training to acquire these abilities.  Dr. Zehr isn’t making this stuff up, he’s fully qualified to examine this monumental task.  You can see his qualifications here.  What is amazing to me about this research is that it estimates that the training would require anywhere from fifteen to twenty year and would probably need to begin during childhood.  Why is this amazing?  In Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham in his mid twenties fully trained and “almost Batman”.  This is roughly 15 years (give or take) after the cruel murder of his parents, suitably in line with the time line for the real-life training to be a superhero.  To all you aspiring Bat-men and Bat-women out there – better get crackin’.

As for all of the versions of the fictional Batman, I asked the Platform Nation word-smiths which they like or dislike and why.  Here are the responses I stirred up.

WHAT OUR WRITERS HAD TO SAY

Jose Adrovet | Gui J | Profile |
The Batman I actually loved the most was  the vision of an artistic pair by the name of Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle.  The duo had a nice six year run on Detective Comics from 1987 to 1993 that created the most well written Batman to date.  Here is a great article to learn more about their run.

Michael Keaton as Batman

Sarah Brannan | FFXPrincess | ProfileTwitter |
I would have to say my favorite is Michael Keaton.  He just did a great job as both Batman and Bruce Wayne.  I was not a happy camper when they switched.  He’s an amazing actor in general, but I loved him in Batman.

Least favorite? George Clooney. I’m not a Clooney fan, but I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt and watch the movie. His “I’m the greatest thing in the world!” attitude stuck with him throughout the movie and I was not amused.

Steven Buccini | PickaNumber123 | ProfileTwitter |

Christian Bale as Batman

I love the Christopher Nolan Batman.  The relationship between Batman and the Joker in The Dark Knight was a truly awe-inspiring show of chemistry.  It was a darker, more adult version of Batman that I really appreciated, as opposed to the more cartoon-y version we are used to.  It really brought out another side of Batman we rarely saw in the cartoon version.  I also really liked what Rocksteady Studios did with Batman: Arkham Asylum, but you can read more about that here. /shameless plug

Scott diMonda | WCC5723 | Profile | Twitter |
Which Batman do I like or dislike the most is a tough question as I grew up with Batman in comic form and on TV and I was a fan of both and have grown with Batman throughout the years from seeing Batman in the newest comic I bought to watching re-runs of the classic 60’s show starring Adam West and Burt Ward to present day with Christian Bale.  Each way I have mentioned has brought something new to Batman and I welcome that from all of them.  As a comic fan I used to be opinionated as to what these show/movies should bring to the fans but as I grew older and Batman progressed so did my thinking of what Batman should be.  So as far as the question it seems like I have dipped and dodged my way through it, I love all Batman material from the comics to The Dark Knight to Arkham Asylum all knowledge I receive is always a welcome addition to my memories and future with Batman.  I think Batman is left sometimes to interpretation as I do have fond memories of playing Batman as a kid to watching my children grow and share the love of Batman and even when the show from yesteryear is on they watch it and make their interpretation of Batman and share their thoughts and find things out about Batman that I may not have realized.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Nathan Hardisty | Bananahs | ProfileTwitter |
Batman is everyone and no-one, he is human but he is a billionaire. He is clouded my emotional misfortune and thus takes his dark side out on the criminals of Gotham City. Much how the Joker emerged from a psychological rock bottom, he has emerged in a different way however. I love the dynamic that always suggests that perhaps Bruce isn’t all that sane. I think Scarecrow can also bring out this fear whereas the Riddler can force his brain to open up. My favourite Batman will, and always be, the original Tim Burton one played by Michael Keaton. He just evokes Batman-ness with every role he has done, and the Burton aesthetic fits Gotham and Bats like a glove.

 

Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin

Brian Heitzenrater | FrehleyzComet | ProfileTwitter |
I’ve always held a special place in my Bat-heart for Adam West’s Batman. Maybe it’s because i grew up with it. Maybe it’s because I love the cheesiness. Either way, when ever I’m clicking through the channels late at night and I come across this gem, I always stop and watch it. The “original” Batman movie is killer too. It has the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, and Miss Kitka (aka Catwoman). The four axis of evil! The sounds are the greatest too, “BIFF” “PAM” “BAP”… How can you not love Adam West’s Batman?

Connor Jackson | BlueboyJacko |
LEGO Batman, one of the many greatly acclaimed Travellers Tales LEGO games, a simply brilliant game with multiple stories, and with good replay value, not many games can boast having it. LEGO games are probably some of the best co-operative games out there, in the sense that they’re fun to play, they require little effort, and that at the same time they’re also quite confusing and complicated. Some points in the game can leave you aggravated, irritated, and generally hating the overall mystery and lack of direction, synonymous with LEGO games, and even though these games can be confusing, annoying and leave you pondering the question, ‘How on earth is a seven year old meant to figure this out if a straight A student can’t?’ they are still simply brilliant. Those factors are what makes the LEGO games great. And for this all to be compiled in the Batman world, it makes the game all the more great. What makes this game even better, is the fact that playing it on your own can be just as much fun as playing with one of your friends. And although the game doesn’t feature online multiplayer, it almost doesn’t matter, because all of the other aspects almost completely drown out that one insignificant and tiny down side.

Brickman Minifig as Lego Batman

Combining comedy with action and in some senses adventure, LEGO Batman is highly regarded as one of the best of the LEGO series, a close competitor with LEGO Star Wars. You can not only complete the story as Batman and Robin, but you can also come back and play the game again as one of the many super villains, some of which, I’ve never even heard of. And throughout the game, Easter eggs are scattered everywhere, funny vehicles, secret areas, and of course, finding the many blocks which eventually build a trophy of some sort, usually referring back to the mission just played. Once missions are completed, you can replay them as any character you have unlocked or bought and with such a wide variety of characters with endless abilities and special suits you are able to unlock, every area can be accessed using sheer determination and special abilities. Every chapter in the game is separated with vehicle missions, because killing enemies in the Batmobile can never be too fun or cool. These vehicle missions give you a bit of a break from the sheer amount of thought required to advance through the levels of the game, consequently making your brain hurt, the vehicle missions are a genius idea.

All of these many aspects of the game, are what makes LEGO Batman and the LEGO Batman game, the best of the Batman series, beating all other games, Batman characters or films, or at least in my opinion!

Batman from The Long Halloween

William Johnson | StylelessKnave | ProfileTwitter |
By far, my favorite Caped Crusader, is the one from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale lore. From The Long Halloween specifically. Not only was Batman made and developed from such an amazing starting point, the villains come into play beautifully, and my favorite characters of the story – the mob are blended in so well that it’s hard to imagine myself that the freaks are even attempting such a take over on the town. Batman’s story is so well told by many writers but these thirteen issues stand at the cream of the crop over all Batman stories because it shows the heavy toll on the Dark Knight, the consequences of him being the vigilante that he is, and how it affects everyone he knows, emotionally and in most cases physically.

Not to mention that this story came out in ’96 and ’97, and go forward ten years later, and Christopher Nolan’s film uses The Long Halloween has a foundation, pulling several pages and placing them right on the silver screen. The Long Halloween is exciting, mysterious, and the most influential Batman comic book I’ve ever read.

Plus The Joker robs a family on Halloween and quotes Dr. Suess “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” so it really doesn’t get better than that. Fact.

Ethan Lewis | wolfflame |
Out of every single batman i despised one show. That show was Batman Beyond, this show could have been good but it had so many problems i started to hate everything batman. The joker was weird (In a bad way) and really made me disgusted by the dark humor of everything. I also was mad about barely any sign of Robin until later on. Finally, one thing made me mad to the maximum level and that was the static shock crossover. Why ruin a good show with a bad one? This is my reason for hating Batman Beyond.

 

Batman Beyond

Jennifer Kye | jinkwell | Profile | Twitter |
Growing up, I favored Batman: The Animated Series. I thought Kevin Conroy’s voice fit perfectly, balancing between crisply commanding when stating Bruce Wayne’s lines, and suddenly changing into something far more menacing with Batman’s gutteral growls. Moreover, this particular Batman displayed not only brutal strength honed through years of training, but a sharp mind as well. I think most series forget that Bruce Wayne is a very well-educated fellow with keen intellect. Batman: The Animated Series highlighted Batman’s detective skills, which sadly goes unmentioned elsewhere. What I think people need to remember is that beneath the mask, Batman is still very much human. He doesn’t possess superpowers to overcome enemies. More often than not, it was his quick thinking and extensive detective work that saved him from deadly encounters.

Stewart Loosemore | Stigweird85 |  ProfileTwitter |
This is going to be a little controversial, but my least favourite Batman is Christian Bale. I just get fed up with that growl of his. Yes Batman should disguise his identity, but how many common criminals or even supervillians will know what Bruce Wayne sounds like? Also I feel that as an actor Bale has the same talent as Daniel Radcliffe and Daniel Craig which is to say none.

My favourite Batman is Michael Keaton, in reality Keaton is a small man 5″5 or close to that, but in the Batman movies his presence is frightening which is the way Batman is supposed to be. A special mention to Kevin Conroy for the voice of Batman in comics/games and Adam West for the sheer camp factor.

 

Batman - The Animated Series

Mike Murphy | Chibi_Mike | Profile |
My favorite version of Batman of all time would have to be from the animated series. I think that was the most well-rounded interpretation of both Batman and Bruce Wayne. As for my favorite Batman story ever, I think it’s the Batman/Planetary crossover from a few years ago. Warren Ellis touched on a few themes central to Batman that I don’t think have been explored to often.

D. Demitrius Smith | DDSmitty | Profile |
Since my dad was a certified Marvelite, my first exposure to Batman was not in the form of a comic, but rather in the form of the old Adam West series. Back when I was 5 or 6 (circa 1978), that was the coolest thing on TV. It was campy and silly…and I loved every minute of it. I loved it so much that I decided to show my 5 year old son the 1966 Batman: The Movie. He said, “who’s the fat guy with the cape”; when I told him that was Batman, he said “this Batman doesn’t look very tough. Can I watch the real Batman now?” The “real Batman” for him is the one from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Kids.

Patrick Talbert | AzraelPC | Profile | Twitter |
Christian Bale’s incarnation of Batman would wipe the floor with everyone, as far as movies are concerned.  The only one that may be able to hold a candle to him is the Batman created by Rocksteady Studios for Batman: Arkham Asylum.   Rocksteady deserved every award and praise that they received for Batman: Arkham Asylum because it’s one of the FEW video games centered on a comic book character that is deserving of critical acclaim.

 

Batfink

Mark Withers | moko7t8 | ProfileTwitter |
Batman for me is just a standard comic book character. He’s just a rich orphan with too much time on his hands and no super powers. I’ve enjoyed the recent movies that rebooted Batman after the laughable movies from the 90s. Batman? Give me batfink anyday. My wings are like a sheet of steel!

MY FINAL STIR

Chris Forbis | MensaDad| ProfileTwitter |
I’m a sucker for all things Batman, but the original TV Batman, Adam West, is my favorite, especially in the 1966 movie.  Perhaps it’s that he and William Shatner learned to… SPEAK at the same… school.  The tongue in cheek humorous approach to the violence and the over-acting just make it a joy to watch.  I like to more reality-based portrayals of Batman also, but the 1966 series and movie made the comic come to life without worrying about suspension of disbelief.

The rules for Stir are simple.  I pick a topic and ask the Platform Nation writers, editors and staff to send me their opinions.  Thanks go out to all the Platform Nation writers who contributed to Stir this week.  They are all part of the best writing team in the industry and I couldn’t do this without them.

Now, drop down into the comment box below and let us know what YOU love or hate about BATMAN.

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  • Another high quality piece this week. This has quickly turned into a must read article every week and I’m already looking forward to next weeks topic.

  • I agree with Stewart… Christian Bale as Batman was partially irritating because of his voice.

  • Brian Heitzenrater (FrehleyzComet)

    I win because I picked the same Batman as Chris (Mensadad)! 😀