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Batman: Dark Victory

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. We’re winding down now, having worked our way through the nine animated features, so I’m just going to look at a few odds-and-ends, some of the more interesting or important episodes that the DC animated universe has produced. Earlier today we looked at the Emmy-winning Robin’s Reckoning, so I thought we might take a look at the comic book origin of Robin that it inspired.

“And while the Maronis and the Falcones have often been bitter rivals, they all now share a common enemy,” Batman narrates at one point in the sequel to The Long Halloween“Extinction.” Dark Victory is the story of the death of “the gangster element of Gotham City” as the organised crime families attempt one last struggle against the emerging freaks. It closes the book on the story threads that Frank Miller introduced in his revision of Batman’s origin in Year One, which continued through Loeb and Sale’s The Long Halloween (which itself provided the basis of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight). The book serves as an origin story for Dick Grayson, and thus offers a nice bookend for the early years of Bruce’s crimefighting career.

Face the facts...

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Batman: Haunted Knight

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It’s a match made in nerdy comic book heaven. Of course, the duo made their name by working together on The Long Halloween and its direct follow-up Dark Victory and have both had a huge influence on the two Nolan Batman films, but before they completed that grand sweeping arc that tied together the early years of the Caped Crusader’s career, they first teamed up on three Halloween Specials through the mid-1990s. Why is it that Halloween Specials are so much better than Christmas Specials? Think about it, you have The Simpsons’ Halloween Special in one corner and the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special in the other. Still, that’s a discussion for another day.

Because you wouldn't read a Batman Christmas Special...

Because you wouldn't read a Batman Christmas Special...

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Should Harvey Dent Return in Batman 3?

I’m having what might be termed ‘a Batman day’. I finally managed too tear open and read my copy of Absolute Batman: The Long Halloween and I’m a little giddy about it – and the fact Batman was just named Britain’s favourite superhero. In fact, it reminds me of just how much I want a sequel to The Dark Knight to at least be announced officially – the steady stream of increasingly inane rumours (Eddie Murphy, Megan Fox, yeesh) aren’t quite satiating my thirst. There’s been (understandably) a lot of discussion about the villains in the new film. I honestly don’t know who Nolan will pick (though my money is on Catwoman if only to adjust the gender ratio), but I am fascinated by the on-line discussion surrounding whether the characters of Harvey Dent and The Joker will (or should) return. My opinion of the Joker is simply: if he does, he does. Heath Ledger won an Oscar and gave us a fantastic portrayal of the character. If Nolan wants to bring him back recast, I’m cool. On Dent, I’m more sure: I don’t want to see him again.

Bringing back Harvey is a half-brained idea...

Bringing back Harvey is a half-brained idea...

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Absolute Batman: The Long Halloween (Review)

Say what you will about the Caped Crusader, as well as having the finest rogues gallery in comicdom, he also gets most of the best storylines and plots. The Long Halloween is widely considered a classic, a true Batman story for the ages and a perfect companion to Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. In many ways, both stories heavily influence the two Christopher Nolan Batman movies (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) to the point where the notoriously shy-about-his-work Nolan actually provides the introduction to this collection. There’s a mark of quality right there. The story is so highly regarded for a reason, and has helped define one of the most enduring depictions of the Batman.

Batman might not be able to leap buildings in a single bound, but that won't stop him trying...

Batman might not be able to leap buildings in a single bound, but that won't stop him trying...

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