What did I get myself into? The idea was simple: create of list of the most important Batman stories across all media – comic books, TV and movies. More than that, it should be a list of suggestions. If someone asked you about Batman having never engaged with the character before, where would you tell them to begin?
Easier said than done.
After a lot of hand wringing, soul-searching, and suggestion taking, the following list of 12 items spans Batman stories culled from the pages of several comic books to the celluloid dreams of his finest big and small screen adventures. They all tell us something about Batman, but they also tell us something about how to do Batman right, which is no mean feat in and of itself. Some of these choices may be obvious, some of them you may (vehemently) disagree with, but if you had never heard of Batman before, and were looking for a good place to start with your understanding of the man and his mission, can you really do better than these 12 items listed below? You be the judge. (more…)
Reading The Long Halloween, you might notice some eerie similarities between it and Christopher Nolan’s film The Dark Knight. The book came about 12 years before the film, and served as a heavy influence on what has become known as a comic book cinema masterpiece. Conceived as a continuation of the Batman: Year One storyline created by none other than Frank Miller, it is without a doubt the most acclaimed and most well known of the Batman collaborations between writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale, and it arguably revitalized Batman in the ’90s in the same way Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns revitalized him in the ’80s. In an age when the world of major comic books seemed all about the muscles and breasts under tight outfits, all about the grand gestures of superhero death and disfigurement, The Long Halloween presented an ambitious noir tale of crime, intrigue, murder and shadows in Gotham City, a study of how power and madness corrupt and how far one man can be pushed.
And if that doesn’t convince you, The Joker gets to star in a Christmas issue.