Director Matt Reeves unmasks the truth about The Batman to reveal the inspirations behind the new movie, including DC comic books featuring rogues Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman. A reboot — but not an origin story — The Batman is set in year two of Bruce Wayne’s (Robert Pattinson) crusade as the vengeful vigilante stalking the streets of Gotham City. When a trail of cryptic clue sends the Dark Knight detective on an investigation into the underworld, the Batman meets a rogue’s gallery of villains: serial killer Edward Nashton (Paul Dano), feline fatale cat burglar Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz), mid-level mobster Oswald “Oz” Cobblepot (Colin Farrell), and crime lord Carmine Falcone (John Turturro).
Reeves credits three classic stories as his biggest influences for The Batman: Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale murder-mystery Batman: The Long HalloweenDarwyn Cooke’s Batman psyche study and neo-noir Catwoman crime caper Batman: Ego and Other Tails, and Frank Miller and David Mazzuccelli’s influential origin story Batman: Year One. Before stepping into the cape and cowl of Batman, Pattinson also consulted the early era of Batman: Shaman to bring some of that “mysticism” from the Dennis O’Neil, John Beatty, and Edward Hannigan comic to The Batman.
Like The Long Halloweenwhich puts the caped crusader on the trail of a serial killer in his early days of crime-fighting, The Batman tests Batman’s detective skills as he works to unmask the culprit behind a series of murders. The movie is not an adaptation of Year One or any one comic book, but a “noir-driven, definitive Batman story,” Reeves revealed at the Television Critics Association tour in 2018.”Year One is one of the many comic books that I love. We are definitely not doing Year One. [The Batman tells] a story that’s emotional and yet is really about him being the world’s greatest detective and all the things that for me, since I was a kid, made me love Batman.”
Keep reading to find out more about the comics behind The Batmanand share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Batman: Year One
Collecting Batman #404-407, the story of Bruce’s first year fighting crime acts as an origin for the alliance between Batman and Lieutenant Jim Gordon. Vowing to clean up the crime-infested streets of Gotham City, the vigilante declares war on corrupt cops and mob boss Carmine Falcone. To become the greatest crime-fighter the world has ever known, Bruce Wayne becomes what frightened him as a boy: a bat.
Batman: The Long Halloween
In the early days of the Dark Knight’s crusade, the triumvirate of Batman, Jim Gordon, and District Attorney Harvey Dent wage a war on crime and Carmine “The Roman” Falcone. Taking place over several months as Batman battles the calendar to solve the mystery of the elusive Holiday killer, Batman: The Long Halloween Batman’s rogue’s gallery of costumed criminals — lunatics like the Joker, Riddler, Scarecrow, and Dent, whose descent into madness births the villain Two-Face.
Collecting Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1-5, Batman: Shaman sees Bruce Wayne return to Gotham after his travels abroad and 12 years of preparing to become Batman. Vengeance personified, the Batman brutally beats a gang of street thugs before issuing a warning to the city’s underworld: “Tell them the streets belong to the Batman.” This detective tale takes a more mystical dive into the bat behind the Batman as part of Bruce’s life-saving encounter with a healing shaman.
In Batman Ego: A Psychotic Slide into the Heart of Darkness, a criminal’s suicide triggers a crisis of faith in Batman. In this psychoanalytical story exploring the duality between Bruce Wayne (the super-ego) and the monstrous Batman (the id), Bruce/Batman considers quitting his crusade before accepting the truth: Bruce’s sacrifice of a normal life means Batman is both terrifying symbol to the underworld — and a symbol of hope to the people of Gotham.
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