Arkham Asylum: The Thread for Debating the Insane Topic of Batman Realism

Discussion in 'The Batman' started by DKDetective, Jan 15, 2022.

  1. DarthSkywalker My Hands Are Cold (he/him)

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    That what not my intention. Pointing out what Batman is shouldn't be considered condescending. But I do think there is a high level of those who want to see Batman as this very mature, very adult character, to take these conversations in a different way from from others. And in my opinion, I experienced a situation where I had three or four people talking at me, varying from personal attacks to a lot of talking around what I was posting. I really didn't think this conversation had to get past the posting of the action figure from The Batman and yet here we are.
     
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  2. Joined:
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    Reeves does seem to be going for a very mature, serious, adult orientated Batman tho. My personal preference. Still, them 4 quadrants for all audiences must be hit for this type of character to move forward. Eh. It is what it is.
     
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  3. C Prometheus Registered

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    I want to try and be as polite as I can when I say this: Part of the problem is that you absolutely come across as condescending in your responses to others in this thread and how blatantly you ignore reasonable counter arguments and write the collective whole off as “insecure people who want that thing they like to only be taken seriously.” Whether you intend that to be the case or not.

    Personally speaking, I find those comments frustrating and dismissive, in part because I’ve already gone on record for embracing the total sum of the various routes one can take Batman, only to see you reiterate your same base point: “Batman is inherently a silly topic.”

    Yes, Batman is a superhero. Yes, the initial founding concept of the character is fantastical and ultimately out of the realm of possibility. Personally I do not dispute that- however I would absolutely argue that he’s also a lot more than just that, in part to the vast variety of ways the character is interpreted in media.

    It doesn’t help the discussion if you’re borderline mocking anyone who thinks Batman isn’t just a superhero or that the mythos is capable of, can be adapted in more adult manners and in fact has been on more than one occasion.

    Again, I don’t want to be rude or insulting to you, @DarthSkywalker I hope I’m being polite and not too rough or mean spirited with this post. But to me at least, this discussion has swerved hard off course over this fixation that Batman is only one thing and that anyone who dares to argue anything else is a silly insecure man child.

    Expecting the conversation to just be won like that with a simple picture of a movie tie-in action figure isn’t much help either, especially considering Batman is still a privately owned IP for a large company seeking to make a profit any and every time it greenlits and funds a new project in any official media. But then, if we incorporate the very concept of capitalism into the mix, aren’t we more off course than ever?

    Either way, I wish you and everyone else here well.
     
  4. Invader Joker Registered

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    The fact that you can't even bring yourself to admit that you're merely just expressing an opinion and make these blanket statements kinda goes to show why I'm perceiving you as condescending.
     
  5. Gothamsknight A Dark Knight

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    Batman is a superhero absolutely. He also has been viewed as being different from other traditional superheroes as well. I think the fact that he can check all of those boxes, whether it's a superhero for kids or something even more complex filled with adult themes filling his world and supporting characters is pretty damn fascinating. It's a testament to why this character has lasted so long for so many years through multiple interpretations and different forms of media.
     
  6. Lily Adler Politically Delicious (P) (she/her/hers)

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  7. DKDetective Elementary, Dear Robin (he/him/his)

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    I love Batman, he is my number one, and like many here I prefer a darker, grittier depiction, but I think @DarthSkywalker had a point in challenging people who wanted to suggest that Batman was not a superhero or a typical superhero. Batman is as traditional a superhero as there is. He and Superman as the first two comic book superheroes literally wrote the book and established the paradigm and all the trope. There are plenty of powerless superheroes, from Iron Man to Hawkeye to Punisher, etc., and they all exist due to the subgenre created by Batman.

    I think many took umbrage with shauner's classification of realist, dark, and adult vs fantastic, and childish because it is a false dichotomy and was frankly insulting with his diatribes about moving past childish interests like Star Wars. Realistic does not equal dark and adult and fantastical and bright does not necessarily mean childish. Superman stories often involve serious philosophical quandries and complex themes about morality and he and his world is often as bright and fantastical as it comes.
     
  8. C. Lee Superherohype Administrator

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    My feelings have always been that Batman is a superhero. He does not have superpowers.....but he is a superhero.
     
  9. OnLeatherWings Registered

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    Back to the original topic, I'll echo my initial feelings that I believe Reeves' series feels more other-worldly than Nolan's.

    And that in the end, I don't need to see Clay-Face or Man-Bat, but I don't want Reeves to 100% close the door on the idea that they may exist in this universe.

    Leave us with the chance.
     
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  10. Mindreaper21 ?????

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    If they don’t exist, it would be cool if villains like Grundy, Clayface and Man-Bat were horror movie characters.
     
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  11. OnLeatherWings Registered

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    ^I do believe there's serious inconsistency with what fans want.

    I remember how Nolan was originally praised for being close to the source material on his first film - yet when he deviated from it later on, suddenly sticking to the source material was 'boring' and not something he should do.

    In short, fans will change their tune on a dime because fanboys gonna fanboy.
     
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  12. AndyTrevino This says a lot about our society

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    Guilty as charged
     
  13. Mani-Man I just found out about this (he/him)

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    Yeah, im itching for this "how would Reeves do this character" feeling.
    The Good old Elseworld mindset on how this or that character would work in the world created.

    Just like we always did, this question of "how", How would a burton scarecrow be, how would a Schumacher Joker be, how would Nolan pull off Hugo Strange etc.
    Its the curiousity of it.

    I so want to see him tackle Mr Freeze or so, because of the challenge, because of the depth he could bring.
     
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  14. Mindreaper21 ?????

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    I personally can’t speak for everyone else, but I know what I want out of Batman films. It just depends on the tone. One of the greatest things about Batman films that I have always loved is that they take some inspiration from the comics, but they aren’t afraid to be their own thing. The story and characters would be nowhere near where they are now if the movies didn’t go against the grain, because the movies provide fresh ideas for the comics.

    On Nolan, TDKR was a fail to me. It was less about the lack of source material and more about the fact that it was just an extremely sloppy attempt to tie all the films together and rush to a conclusion. Nolan said in the beginning that wasn’t interested in using supernatural characters, so when Bane was announced as the main villain for TDKR, I knew that he was going to strip the character of most of his elements and turn him into something totally different. That was a terrible move, yet it still inspired new Bane stories.

    My point is this. Batman has a ton of all sorts of villains. It’s all about choosing the right kind of villains for whatever story you’re trying to tell. Just make it cohesive. For example: If you want to do a trilogy focusing on the martial arts aspect of Batman, go with the League of Assassins, Red Claw, Deathstroke, and Court of Owls. If you want to focus on mobs, use Penguin, the Falcones, The Maroni’s, Rupert Thorne and Black Mask. If you want to focus on the supernatural, then do that. I’m perfectly fine with certain characters not existing. If they don’t fit or you can’t find a creative way to include them that makes sense, don’t use them.
     
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  15. DeadlyWest A Flare in the Darkness (he/him/his)

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    Superheroism imo is less to do with your powers and more to do with what you do and why. Batman fights evil on a scale that no ordinary human being, in the real world, would ever be capable of and he does so in the name of justice. The reason why he's such an interesting character is that he does so without any of the superpowers that most other superheroes have. All he has is sheer will, his intellect, tools he himself has created (or at minimum has been created for him by Lucius) and being at the absolute apex of physical human limits. If Batman's not a superhero, then Green Arrow isn't one, Iron Man isn't one, Daredevil isn't one and so on. That's my two cents on it.
     
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  16. Spider-Fan SHHFFL 2014/2019 Champion

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    This is where I was taking issue myself. I am not saying things like Batman is a vehicle to sell toys to trivialize Batman or to say mature Batman cannot be done. I don't frequent the Batman boards, and a big reason why is I often feel a snobbery when discussing Batman. Like the notion Batman is the adult superhero and Spider-Man and such are kid stuff. But Batman is no different than Spider-Man or Captain America or Superman in this regard. He is a 4 quadrant character. There is nothing wrong with that, but the snobbish attitudes I see when discussing anything Batman I find really grating and I just rarely want to do it. The new Batman movie looks like my jam. Like the Batman I always wanted. But I know I won't post about it much in here based on prior experience trying to have any kind of Batman discussion. So to a large degree, Batman fans have partially ruined Batman for me.
     
    #266 Spider-Fan, Jan 18, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
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  17. Gothamsknight A Dark Knight

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    I definitely agree that Batman is a superhero, and not above other heroes or any of that. I think some people consider Batman to be different to other heroes because there's been numerous "realistic interpretations", but at it's core that's an artistic choice and doesn't really define Batman's whole 80 year existence. I mean the character is on lunchboxes and backpacks haha. I, myself, do prefer the more realistic type of interpretations for film adaptions like we saw in the Nolan films (heightened realism), but that's not the only valid way to adapt the character in the movies. The Burton films were huge and they embraced the fantastical.
     
  18. MadVillainy C'mon Son

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    Honestly, it's not just with Batman. For some reason the DC Comics franchise in general (the comics, the movies, the animation, the games) seems to attract those people with that type or similar type of thinking.
    I'm not sure why. On the whole when looking at the source material, DC isn't more mature than Marvel or vice versa. They're about the same in terms of tone. In fact, Marvel has The Punisher and Wolverine who are way more mature than DC's mainstream heroes imo.

    And it's not just the fans but creative types too with some adaptations. I started watching Young Justice seasons 3 and 4 recently and I was a bit shocked by how much blood, sexual references, and very poorly done real world analogies they added compared to the first 2 seasons. I'm not opposed to that kind of stuff at all in live action or animation. Not at all. But it seems like it was added because the creators went like "We're on a streaming service now so let's get dark because...we can" and it comes off a bit try hard and "im14andthisisverydeep" type thinking.
    Then even back to the comics, I was reading something about the New 52 and apparently they reimagined the Amazons as rapist, child murderers. I don't know if that's more accurate to the actual Greek myth, but come on that's just weird. Who wants that?

    Again I'm not sure why this seems to be the case with DC Comics and their adaptations
     
    #268 MadVillainy, Jan 18, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
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  19. Gothamsknight A Dark Knight

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    This is precisely the reason why I can't get into Titans.
     
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  20. MadVillainy C'mon Son

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    Another great example.
    I've only seen clips and read about it, but yeah. I was reading in Titans how Hawk has impotency problems and was molested as a kid and there's an episode where him and Dove hunt down and beat the rapist to death.
    Now someone correct me if I'm wrong, but that's not in the source material right?

    There are main timeline DC characters that deal with that stuff, but why add it to some random characters other than to be edgy? I just don't get it
     
  21. J.Drangal Registered

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    By advance, sorry for this long post...

    -------​

    If I may contribute and for what it's worth, in a book on the history of comics, French author Jean-Paul Jennequin defined superhero characters according to these three main characteristics:
    - "Extraordinary Powers" (note that it could be intentional to not say "superpower", allowing incredible capacities to be also considered)
    - "Distinctive Costume"
    - "Double identity"
    There's also an observation that the "superhero begins where the simple hero ends" and that, in a way, one might be tempted to see certain figures from Greek mythology, such as Hercules, as super -hero. But since the term really became commonplace in the 1960s, the author suggest the comic-book medium as an hypothetical another caracteristic.
    Anyway, I quite agree with this definition, and see Batman as part of that group.

    -------​

    Whether these characters are for kids or not, we definitely saw how many of them can be adapted in different way and, as others already said, that's the secret to their longevity.

    But to developp a bit more, I would remind that these superheros have been created less than a century ago. Some of the most famous ones are only a few decades old. They have gone through different period, sometimes out-fashioned, sometimes successful. But I think it's only since the late 80s that these characters have, globally, solidified their presence in pop-culture by managing to stay continuously relevant since then. It's a little more obvious outside of the US as superhero comics have never had the same cultural place as there. You can more easily identify the start of that new golden age with shows like Batman TAS, the 90s X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons, and these very same characters simultanously investing theaters since then.
    The result of this continued success is that, for the first time, a large proportion of the audiences around the world, from youngters to people in their forties, have grown up with these characters being an important part of their cultural baggage. And so, for the first time, there's a new market to catch, by proposing more mature stories with these characters to that older part of the audience now became significant.

    My point is that while "light stories" will likely remain the main "way of doing things" of the genre, we'll likely see also more and more "adult-oriented" productions as audiences will getting older.

    -------​

    Coming back to Batman, beyond the secret identities, costumes, etc., the character has the advantage of having his roots in the film noir genre, which makes it easier for him to evolve in more adult stories, as we all see those past years. The next challenge will indeed to see the more fantastic part of that universe being adapted with that more serious and mature tone.

    The consensus is that you have to absolutely "ground" things to achive that. After Nolan films, many people understand this as "using realism to make believe", and that's a totally valid approach, and pure science fiction in the sense of sufficiently rooting the world you're creating in our reality to help the suspension of disbelief. But I think we're forgetting too quickly how you can also "ground" something emotionnally.
    For decades, fantastic literature and cinema had already been making that bridge between seemingly juvenile and ridiculous concepts and touching and mature stories. Gimmicks aside, most of the characters in Batman's world are built around personal tragedies, archetypes, which give the franchise an incredible universality and flexibility to adapt. In my opinion, all it takes is a director working in this way, whose vision allows him to use the visual language of the fantastic genre while taking care to keep the dramatic core of these characters central. Simply put, like always if the writing is solid, then the story will have the potential to speak to everyone, no matter what. The Fly is often cited, and rightly so, because this film effectively grounded its story, both conceptually and emotionnally. But really, Matt Reeves has already shown he can work towards that in his two Planet of the Apes films.

    What strikes me about what we've seen of The Batman is the visual stylization. Of course, this choice is not exclusive to a certain tone or genre, and the rules of the world created here could very well remain the same as in Seven, as there's visual similarities. But it's also a choice that could definitely help if the director wants to bring more "out there" ideas later, at least visually.
    That's not to say every fantastic Batman's character will show up or work within that framework set by Reeves. But if you ask me, from what seems to be his sensibility, I think he definitely left himself an open door to go a little further than what Nolan has allowed himself to touch in the comicbookness of this franchise..
     
    #271 J.Drangal, Jan 18, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2022
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  22. poncholuke Registered

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    Idk if it's been said here but one of the things that tell me the realism in this universe is more "believability" than "no fantastical elements" is the superman/ww/cheetah easter eggs. The party costumes on set COULD mean they exist only as fictional characters, but the newspaper on the street that talks about Bella Real also explicitly mentions superman and luthor. A universe with superman is a universe that can introduce Mr. Freeze, clayface, manbat etc.
     
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  23. Detective Conan Registered

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    Titans is a very wrongheaded superhero show on just about every level. In a way it feels like a relic of the swift in tone in comics after Watchmen and TDKR came out where comics became dark and gritty just for the sake of it, not because of any story reasons or that tone for that character. Just this season, they literally show a naked woman a bare chest with her nipples out for all the viewers to see for no reason other to say “we’re an adult show we can get away with this.” It’s a self-indulgent garbage show and to be honest, it’s one of those shows that shows that maybe restrictions on what you can do can actually be a good thing.

    It’s because they think being dark always means realistic and they’re thinking that always means adding/expanding upon the character in a deep way.
     
    #273 Detective Conan, Jan 19, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
  24. poncholuke Registered

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    Different interpretations of batman are fine. And as someone stated, it's a testament of his greatness as a character that he CAN work in grounded, serious, campy or fun stories. Batman is batman in comics, batman 66, batman returns and lego batman. However, it's insane to me how some claim to love batman and be >against his fantastical elements. His own rogues gallery lol
    Whether a truly realistic batman story works or not depends on the execution, and he does have enough "real" elements to make it possible(ie the fact that he's human/powerless). But a purely realistic approach to batman is still devoid of what makes him The batman, and will always feel inferior as a batman adaptation. At the end of the day he is a kiddie comic book character, no matter how many people hate that for some reason.
     
  25. MadVillainy C'mon Son

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    I just wanna see Mr. Freeze done on the big screen sometime soon. That and Joker gas, Lazurus Pits/immortal Ras Al Ghul, Man Bat, Clayface, redeeming Poison Ivy, etc.

    I'm not opposed to a non-fantastical supernatural take, especially from Reeves, as long as the movie is good. But we just got 3 solo films of that.
     
    #275 MadVillainy, Jan 19, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2022
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