Bruce Timm

Batman: Strange Days

Why Watch? Bruce Timm is one of those people who gets Batman. He’s got a marrow-deep understanding of who the character is, what he’s capable of, and what he evokes. Of course he’s also worked extensively with Batman for two decades. Since this year marks the 75th anniversary of the shadowy hero, Timm has animated a Casablanca-evoking short film that trades on horror classics (Mad Scientist, Monstrous Henchman, Kidnapped Damsel) while turning Batman into Sky Captain with 20% of the pastiche. The details are all important in this swift adventure. The fighting, the determination, the fear. Batman: Strange Days at once feels like it could play after a WWII newsreel and like it belongs firmly in the present. It’s also a nice reminder of why Bruce Wayne’s hometown is called Gotham. Now how about a new short starring Freakazoid? The people demand it. For now, enjoy this new/old Batman adventure.

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Culture Warrior

Enduring cultural figures like Batman endure precisely because of the slight but notable changes they incur over time. Batman has had a long history in the moving image, and while the character has maintained both the central conceit of being a crime-fighting detective, the cinematic Batman of seventy years ago bears little resemblance to the Batman we’re familiar with today. The character and his myth have been interpreted with variation by a multitude of creative persons other than Bob Kane and Bill Finger. In the moving image, Batman has been embodied by a range of actors including Robert Lowery, Adam West, and George Clooney, and Batman has been realized by directors and showrunners prone to various tastes and aesthetic interpretations like William Dozier and Christopher Nolan. While Batman is perhaps best-known by a non-comic-astute mass culture through the many blockbuster feature films made about him, including this summer’s hotly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises, the character’s cinematic origins are rooted in the long-dead format of the movie serial. Batman first leapt off the page in a 15-part serial made in 1943 titled Batman and another six years later titled Batman and Robin. These serials did not influence Batman’s later cinematic iterations realized by Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher as much as they inspired Batman’s representation on television. Batman’s presence in film serials and on television have had a decisive and important impact in terms of how mass audiences perceive the Batman of feature films. At the same time, these serials […]

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Okay, check out this voice cast for DC’s upcoming animated version of “Batman: Year One”. We’ve got Bryan Cranston, Ben McKenzie, Eliza Dushku, Katee Sackhof, and Alex Rocco bringing Frank Miller’s classic graphic novel about Bruce Wayne’s first days in the Bat costume to life. For years comic fans (or maybe just myself) wondered why the big two companies never produced animated versions of some of their classic storylines, and then DC finally started hammering away at it a few years ago, often with impressive results. Their last go at a solo Batman story, an adaptation of “Batman: Under the Red Hood” was especially adult and cool, and I can’t wait to see what they’re going to come up with now that they’ve got their hands on some Miller work. Classic Miller, mind you; back when he was gritty but not totally bat-shit crazy.

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Batman: Gotham Knight

Take a trip to Wizard World in Chicago, where FSR’s Josh Radde was among a few other press people who got to sit down and talk with some of the masters behind Batman: Gotham Knight.

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