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Old 07-08-2013, 10:01 PM   #112
Shikamaru's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 7,529
Default Re: What Sense Does it Make to Reboot Batman?

Originally Posted by shauner111 View Post
here we go again.

Of course the last time I responded to you about something like this, you ignored it.
I was being lazy . Just to let you know, I am responding to this post hours after I already read it. If I don't respond to you in the future, it is because I am being lazy, haven't went back to the thread in which it was posted, or did go back but just didn't check all the posts.

A) You don't know what the word essence means or what that essence is for Batman.

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, getting 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. 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 up to the WRITERS.
The definition you gave of essence is the exact definition that I am talking about. The problem is that you are applying the essence of the Post-Crisis Batman to multiple versions of Batman to try to claim that you can somehow do whatever the hell you want with the character. That is not how it works.

Are there multiple versions of Batman? Yes. The Post-Crisis version is the main version but there is also the Golden Age Batman, the Silver Age Batman, the psychotic fascist Batman from All-Star Batman and from Dark Knight Strikes Again, etc. Each one of these versions has their own essence different from the rest. When doing an adaptation of any particular version of Batman, the essence of the version of Batman that you are adapting needs to be intact. This doesn't mean you can't make changes or have your own interpretation; just that there are a few basic elements that have to be there from the Batman that you are adapting.

Let's take Adam West's Batman for example. If I was to watch the 60's show looking to see how if the essence of the Batman I know is there, the show would fail because it is not there. However, that is fine because the show's entire purpose from the beginning was to catch the essence of the Silver Age Batman. I don't like the Silver Age Batman. Never did and probably never will. However, I respect the show despite not liking it because I understand that it is not trying to capture the essence of the Batman I like but of a different Batman. The same thing would be true about the Golden Age Batman. If I was to do an adaptation of the Golden Age Batman where Batman has a gun, is going around killing people and it takes place in the 1930's/40's, that would be a good representation of the essence of the Batman that I am adapting. And if I made 2 movies with the Golden Age Batman only to suddenly write the Golden Age Batman in the third film as if he was Post-Crisis Modern Batman who doesn't kill, guess what that would mean. Yep, you guessed it: The essence of the Golden Age Batman would be contradicted and destroyed.

I use the same mindset to determine whether or not the essence of Batman is present in the Nolan films. In the case of the Nolan films, they were meant to be adaptations of the Modern Batman of the Post-Crisis comics. That was an established fact from the beginning. Did they take certain liberties? Yes. According to most writers, Bruce was not afraid of bats as a child in the comics. He started his Batman training at the age of 8 as opposed to in his late teens/early 20's, there was no Rachel, he isn't considered dead while he is travelling, and the list goes on. That is all fine because the basic messages and ideas behind Batman are there. Heck, they are more than just there. They hit the nail spot on and are straight off the page. BB and TDK both do a fantastic job of getting the essence of Batman right by getting the messages and ideas behind Batman right. They do a great job explaining how Batman operates, how he is a symbol of fear, how he became Batman and why he does the things he does, what separates him from cops & other DA's & other vigilantes, why he doesn't kill and not use guns, why he is incorruptible, and the list goes on. TDK is not generally considered to be the best superhero movie to date and the Batman film to date because Nolan had this cool new take on Batman different from the comics. People like me love TDK because it is so accurate to the meaning of Batman.

If Nolan wanted to make a Batman film with the message of TDKR, he shouldn't have based his Batman so much on the Post-Crisis Batman. That is the thing you don't understand. TDKR doesn't just go against the essence of the Post-Crisis Batman of the comics. It also goes against the essence of the first two films just as much as it goes against the essence of the version of Batman that most fans know and that is because the first two films captured the essence of that particular Batman so well. From the second Nolan did that with his first two films, he tossed away any chances of doing something that contradict the meaning of the Batman that he brought to life from the comics. The message of TDKR is just as much of a sequel problem as it is an adaptation problem.

I hope I explained things better this time. But knowing you, you're just going to dismiss me as a purist even though I gave you the best explanation I can possibly give you as to why what Nolan did goes against not only the version of Batman he was adapting but his first two films as well. That is understandable though. It is not a surprise to hear that label resurface so often. Labeling people as purists has reached a point in which it is mostly done so that a person can have a reason to avoid valid criticisms. I've seen you do this a lot. You're basically covering your ears whenever people make similar points to the one I just made and basically saying "Lalalalala! I don't have to listen to you because you're a purist!" You labeling me a purist would be no different than me labeling you as a Nolan fanboy who likes TDKR because "he can't see he light" and other crap like that that the stupid haters throw around. Both are examples of labels thrown out to validate not listening to what other people have to say. Unlike you though, I refuse to stoop to that level.

B) Yes, Batman was always a legacy character. Why else does he have multiple sidekicks that he trains? It's not only to keep them out of trouble. The comics don't have the luxury of permanently passing the torch to his Robin's. Otherwise each Robin would have stayed Batman, passing the Bat mantle to every new bat-family member.
Just to establish something: From now known, I will be only talking about the Modern Post-Crisis Batman whenever I make a statement about Batman. Every single thing I say about Batman for the remainder of this post is me talking about that specific version of Batman unless I state otherwise.

Batman is not a legacy character. That is not up for debate. I said there are a few basic elements that form the essence of a character that have to be intact. The fact that he is not a legacy character is one of the basic elements behind Batman. In fact, Batman and Superman are literally the last superheroes to ever be legacy characters. In Batman's case specifically, Batman is the byproduct of Bruce Wayne's scarred psychological mind. There is no Batman without Bruce Wayne. On top of that, the whole message behind Batman is that Bruce Wayne is literally the only man to have ever achieved the impossible: He has mastered everything there is to master and has transformed himself into a demon in human form. That is something no one can do. Not anyone can be Batman. Batman is and forever will be a part of Bruce. The thing inside him that drives Batman to do what he does and makes him literally the most motivated superhero (that is not an exaggeration) all comes from Bruce Wayne. Sure that you can have guys like Dick Grayson and Tim Drake take his place temporarily while he is missing or considered dead but no one can permanently take his place because there can be no one who can truly replace Bruce, something that all his sidekicks know and respect. On the other hand, Flash and Green Lantern are legacy characters. Sure that Barry Allen and Hal Jordan are the main Flash and main GL respectively but they are the main ones to us, the readers, because they are the most interesting characters. However, there have been Flashes and GL's before them and there will be more to come in the future after Barry and Hal have passed on. A lot of those Flashes and GL's will be just as good as Hal and Barry or even better. Heck, Wally West surpassed Barry Allen as the Flash in every single way before DC decided to bring Barry back. The same case cannot be made about Batman. There will never be a true complete replacement for Bruce because Batman will always be attached to Bruce's mind in a way that no mantle will ever be attached to anyone else (and the same thing is true about Superman). This is something that even Batman Beyond put emphasis on.

As for why doesn't Batman pass up the mantle of Batman to the ones he mentored, there are multiple reasons for that:

1) The time to permanently pass a mantle is when the current wearer of the mantle is either dead or too old to continue. Bruce Wayne will be an old man when he reaches the point where his body will give out. That will never happen because the timeline in the DC universe is always 10 - 15 years long regardless of the number of years that pass in real life.

2) His sidekicks are not Batman. They are not incomplete versions of Batman. They are their own person. They have their own tactics and ways of doing things. They don't want to be Batman just as much as Bruce doesn't want them to be Batman. Bruce did not train Dick so that he could be the next Batman. He trained him so that Dick could have the training he needs for when he goes out in the world and becomes his own man and the same applies to all the other Robins. Dick is happy with being Nightwing, Tim is happy with being Red Robin and the list goes on. This is also the reason why they don't stay with Batman. Batman did his job of training them and preparing them to fight crime; what they do after that point is entirely their own business. Also, there have been times in which Bruce was approached by other people and was asked to pass on the mantle to his Robins but he always said the same thing I am saying now, which is that the Robins are their own person and don't live in his shadow. When he was asked to let Dick be Batman during Knightfall, he said no because he believed Dick was his own person and the Nightwing mantle was fitting to him in the same way the Batman mantle is fitting to Bruce.

3) The Robins have no desire to be Batman for reasons I previously stated. Dick specifically has stated many times that he is not Batman 2.0 and that he handles situations differently. Each Robin also understands that Batman is a part of Bruce and that Batman is driven by Bruce's obsession and ambition to fight crime. They respect this which is why they don't try to take over (other than Jason Todd, who is metaphorically the red-haired bastard child of the family ).

C) Even if you were right, which I don't believe you are, Batman means different things to different people anyway. There's always going to be people who say Shauner AND Shikamaru are wrong because Batman means this or that to that individual person. Why? Because of all the different interpretations. You can add Burton's Batman Returns and Nolan's Dark Knight Rises to the list of many.

You cant please EVERYBODY at the end of the day so you may as well just create your own interpretation of the character on film. Filmmakers have that luxury.
I pretty much covered all of this already multiple times in this post.

How I rate movies:
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