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Non-Review Review: Batman Beyond – Return of the Joker

The Joker holds a special place among Batman’s iconic selection of villains. Appearing as early as Batman #1 all those years ago, the clown prince of crime has managed to hold on to his position as the prime Batman bad guy for pretty much all of Batman’s publication history. It was the Joker who put Barbara Gordon in a wheelchair in The Killing Joke, and it was the Joker who killed Jason Todd in A Death in the Family. As such, it’s no real surprise that the character should eventually make his way to the futuristic setting of Batman Beyond, to give Bruce one last challenge.

Guess who’s back…

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Batman: The Animated Series – Perchance to Dream (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

Given how much care Batman: The Animated Series put into crafting and caring for the Caped Crusader’s iconic selection of bad guys, it’s often easy to overlook just how skilfully the series handled its central character. Batman has frequently been accused of being far less interesting than his costumed adversaries – particularly in Batman and Batman Returns – so it’s reassuring to note that Bruce Tim and his stable of writers had a very firm grasp on the character of Gotham’s Dark Knight. Perchance to Dream is one of the stories that offers perhaps the greatest insight into who Bruce Wayne is and what he wants. And, perhaps, why he could never have it.

Sweet dreams…

Note: This review contains spoilers. Given the episode aired twenty years ago, I consider it fair game. If you haven’t seen it already, please feel free to come back when you have. It is very good.

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Non-Review Review: Batman Begins

Batman Begins has been somewhat overshadowed by the success of The Dark Knight, but Christopher Nolan’s original reimagining of the Batman mythos is a compelling and clever examination of one of pop culture’s most enduring icons. I think there’s a case to be made that Batman Begins represents the best superhero origin story ever told in film – and quite possibly the definitive introduction to Batman and his world. The key isn’t collecting bits of trivia to explain the finer details, although the script from the Nolan brothers and David Goyer certainly does that. Instead, Nolan dares to examine the psychology of Batman. Richard Donner’s Superman famously boasted that you’d believe a man could fly. Nolan makes you believe that a man would dress up as a giant bat to fight crime.

Swooping ahead of the competition…

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