Originally Posted by Shikamaru
Ah, more lectures about me being a purist.
I find it funny how you assume that getting the essence of a character right is rocket science. It isn't. Keeping the essence of Batman =/= things being 100% accurate. One can do major alterations to a character in his interpretation and I would still be fine with it as long as the essence is there.
Let's take Ra's al Ghul in BB for example. That Ra's is not the same Ra's of the comics. It is Nolan's own interpretation of Ra's. He has an entire different goal and even different tactics than the Ra's of the comics. He also is the head of the League of Shadows as opposed to the League of Assassins. However, the essence of the character is still there. The essence of Ra's would be the lines he crosses in order to get what he wants, the fact that he isn't afraid of killing whoever gets in the way, the fact that he believes he is doing the right thing even if sacrifices are made, and the fact that he wants Bruce to be his successor. All those things are still there in BB despite that Ra's being an entirely different character.
Another example is Batman in The Dark Knight Returns. The Dark Knight Returns portrayed Batman as a psychotic madman on a ridiculous level. However, Frank Miller still respected the essence of Batman in that book (and ONLY in that book; his later work on Batman is another story) by staying true to the message behind Batman and by still staying true to Batman's no-kill policy. I will use one specific scene to prove my point, though there are many other scenes in the book that I could've used to do so. At one point in the story, the Joker pushes Batman to his full limits by finally getting him to use a gun - the one weapon he would never use - to avoid the GCPD. That is a limit that Batman has never touched before. As Batman uses the gun, he looks at the smile on the Joker's corpse and says "Stop laughing". It was a scene that added to the Batman/Joker dynamic and to the theme of guns. Despite being something Batman wouldn't do, the essence was there due to those reasons. It wasn't Miller saying "**** this, let's make my Batman use guns willy nilly cuz that's cool!"
Man of Steel is another example. To my knowledge, the idea of Kal-El being the first natural-born Kryptonian in centuries is not from the comics. However, the essence of Superman is still there because it ties into the idea of Kal-El being a symbol of hope, which is what Superman has always been a symbol of. Lois Lane knowing his identity from the start is not the direction I would've went personally but it still stays true to the essence of their relationship because their feelings and the way they act around each other is still intact. Superman kills Zod, something he would never do. However, that scene in which it happens still stays true to the essence of Superman by having Superman fall on his knees and weep for what he did, which is exactly what the Superman from the comics would do if he was in that situation. By doing that, they stayed true to the essence of Superman.
Having the essence of a character there is not rocket science. It does not mean that things have to be 100% accurate and straight-off-the-page or else the essence is lacking. The essence is indeed present if things do turn out being completely accurate down to the bone, but it is not completely necessary for things to be completely accurate in order for the essence to be present. Getting the essence right is simple. All it takes is to have a few simple and basic things in there.
In TDKR's case, the essence is not there. The whole message of the film goes completely against the message of Batman. If I was to write down on a piece of paper what the message and meaning of Batman was, TDKR would contradict every single one of those points. It is not that TDKR ignored those points or gave its own spin on those points. It is that TDKR deliberately went against all those points. The message of TDKR and the message of Batman are the complete opposite of one another. TDKR is hot while Batman is cold. When you make an entire film with the message that anyone can be Batman and that Bruce should outgrow Batman, that is not keeping the essence there. That is going against the very essence of Batman. Things don't have to be 100% accurate but that doesn't mean that you can completely go against the very essence of something.
When did I say that I get Batman more than Goyer and everyone else here? I never made such statement. I could care less what other people think. I am an individual and I come to conclusions based on my own knowledge and judgments. I don't have to be some puppet or bandwagoner that goes around agreeing with everything Goyer and other people say. Also, it is possible for even the greatest people out there to screw up. I never stated that guys like Goyer don't get Batman but even if Goyer knew Batman better than anyone else in the world, that wouldn't mean he would never screw up with Batman because nobody is perfect. People drop the ball sometimes and that is fine. Even Bruce Timm had a few moments during Batman TAS where I thought Batman did something I don't picture him doing.
You don't know what the essence of something means. Not for Batman you don't. If you don't like the end to Rises, fine, more power to you but to say that it goes against the essence means you're getting too detailed with what you think Batman means. The character doesn't have an ending because the comics don't allow it. He's written specifically to go on forever so they don't have to stop selling stories, then within that they work the writing around it and act like he would never pass the torch. Which is why he never fully passes the torch to his sidekicks for long because they need to get the Bruce-Batman back into the issues being sold. Batman Beyond was made as a concept that was new to sell. They still needed Bruce Wayne involved that way the fans don't feel too iffy about some random teenager taking over the role. Then they work a story around why Bruce is still 80 and dark, not having moved on. In film you're able to do what the comics can't do. Believe it or not the comics may have freedom to tell unlimited stories but they're actually limiting themselves once Bruce is written to be older because they cant actually finish his reign as the Batman completely. The Dark Knight Returns sort-of did and Frank Miller had the balls to do it, but that was one interpretation...it doesn't mean that it's the only one that can be allowed. It's not gospel. Nolan interpretation is no less valid than Millers or anyone elses.
By what you're tell me, it's as if you're saying it's wrong, it's not the essence, that's not Batman...I don't see Uslan & others complaining. In fact I see them crying because of how beautiful the ending was and they've been fans for like 60 years and guaranteed have read more Batman comics than you have. Are you going to say that somebody like Uslan is wrong if he says it's still the essence of Batman?? If you are then you're beyond arrogant and you think you know the character more than people who are diehard fans since ALMOST ITS INCEPTION. That's delusional.
A property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is.
It goes back to why Bruce is who he is. He had a fear of bats, he feels responsible for his parents death, which they got shot in a alley when he was a little boy, through that pain he becomes the Batman to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. THAT is the essence. Guns or no guns doesn't matter even though a lot of us prefer no killing, because he was created to kill. So Burton, Shumacher, Nolan, they're all valid in that
regard. Nothing else matters. Joker can have scars or perma-white. They can go through many Robins. They're supporting characters and they can be changed to serve the world that a specific batman is operating in because it revolves around him as a character, just like the city of Gotham. ANYTHING ELSE that happens after in Batmans career is subjective, it's up to the writer, as long as the essence that made him who he was is intact. How you end or not end the story is irrelevant to said essence. Who he faces, what his decisions are when he gets older, the progression of his character is free to go wherever direction. If he stays depressed, angry, finds happiness, stays in the cowl, drops the cowl..is up to the WRITERS.
is the essence of a character. I can say the same about Peter Parker and why he is who he is, Kal-El/Clark Kent, whatever. It's all the same.