When the Batman Live arena show was first announced I, and many other Bat-fans, were completely stoked. The origin of the first Robin, Dick Grayson, a character closely associated with acrobatics and showmanship would provide the plot and it was being brought to life by DC and Batman legends, Allan Heinberg, Stan Berkowitz and Allan Burnet. All fantastic news. Then we saw some concept art of the stage and sets. Awesome. Then came the photos and video of the cast in full costume and we fans began to understand fear. This show could be complete shit. I mean seriously, do you remember how ridiculous they all looked?
This four minute preview which popped up on the web today won’t do much to ease your fears. In fact, you may find yourself shuddering with flashbacks of Joel Schumacher’s bastardized Batman films. Granted, I believe this footage comes from a rehearsal so we can’t be too condemning. But really, orange-glo baton fighting? WTF?!
I’ll have to give it to them, the giant Joker face with inmates as teeth is pretty cool. Creepy as fuck, but an inventive and interesting use of theatrics. The fight choreography looks badly staged, but again it’s a rehearsal and I’m sure the angles here are not ideal. Hmm, I feel like I’m doing my best to try and defend what is an overall dissapointing bit of footage. I guess I’m a Bat-optimist. Are you let down by this footage or looking at it with room for improvement?
Just announced today on DC’s The Source blog we’ve learned the official story for Batman Live, the arena action show based on the caped crusader. Batman Live will follow the origin story of the original Robin, Dick Grayson, from his time with Haley’s Circus, his parent’s deaths and his transformation into the boy wonder. Stoked? I know I am. But you must be a little concerned about another comic book icon getting the live show treatment. Don’t worry, DC seems to have learned from some companies passed excursions with live entertainment ::cough:: Marvel ::cough:: Spider-man.
The original story will be developed and written by Allan Heinberg, Stan Berkowitz and Allan Burnet. This is lesson one, trust the story with those who have experience writing the characters and are familiar with the world they come from, not award winning Broadway directors who might be out of their element with a super hero tale. Heinberg has,
…developed the animated series Legion of Super Heroes for Warner Bros. Animation. He is the writer and co-creator of Marvel Comic’s Young Avengers and currently writes Marvel’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade. His other comics work includes JLA (with Geoff Johns), Superman/Batman, Wonder Woman, and Uncanny X-Men.
Stan Berkowitz you might recognize as a writer for many of DC’s animated shows as well as other cartoons such as The New Batman/Superman Adventures, Spider-Man, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Ben 10 and The 99. Allan Burnet wrote for Batman: The Animated Series but began with Hanna Barbara in 1981 with the Superfriends. He’s also worked as producer on Batman, Superman, Batman Beyond, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, plus wrote one the segments on Batman: Gotham Knights and scripted Green Lantern: First Flight. So, um, yeah, these guys know their Bat-verse.
Below the cut is the entire press release from DC as well as some pictures of the set design from Comics Alliance. Robin’s origin is a great selection for this show as it will resonated with fans of all ages and it’s something we’ve only seen before in the animated series (well, besides the comics but you know what I mean). The dynamic duo will be tackling many villains in this show; the Joker, the Penquin, Catwoman, the Riddler, Two-Face, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Batman Live is so chocked full of Bat-awesomeness I don’t know what I’ll be doing until 2012, when the show is scheduled to finally hit the States. I might just need to jump a plane to England this summer to check it out, where the tour begins. Yeah, Nerd Bastards will totally cover my travel expenses, right? Right?