What is Truly Essential Batman?

Discussion in 'Batman World' started by Comics N' Toons, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Comics N' Toons Viva La Revolucion!

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    This may be entirely subjective, but I want to be as objective about this as possible (if that makes any sense).

    I think a good discussion or arguments could be made here for the absolute very best of The Batman. With enough responses maybe WE as a fan community can build a definitive Batman list. This is not meant to be a recommendation thread or favorites thread and should probably be limited to those with considerable Bat-knowledge (but anyone can join in if they have comments).

    What stories (trades, single issues etc.) , movies (live-action or otherwise), games (video games etc.) are essential for every Batman fan?

    Conversely, what stories, films etc. may be popular, but aren't exactly essential or maybe overrated?

    The goal here is to build a list of 20-100 items that are essential Batman. I hope fans, old and new, can find value in this.
     
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  2. Enriquespy Registered

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    Oh I thought I was about traits, not stories.

    Anyway:

    Essential Batman Traits:
    No Killing.

    Essential Stories:

    Year One
    Long Halloween
    Killing Joke
    BTAS and DCAU in general.

    No movies I consider essential.
    The live T.V. series aren't essential either.
    Millers "The Dark Knight" novels and sequels I consider great, but not essential.
     
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  3. Milk Tray Guy 70s Man of Action

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    Stories will take some thinking about (don't play the video games).

    Essential in what way? Highlighting core aspects of the character? Broadening the character's appeal as far as general audiences go? Going by those two, my recommended movies would be;

    Batman '89 -- showed general audiences that Batman can be darker and taken more seriously than in Batman '66 (no criticism of B66 there, I love it, it's just a different animal)

    Batman Begins -- kinda did the same thing after the dreadful Batman & Robin set things back, plus laid the groundwork and set the stage for...

    The Dark Knight
    -- A gripping thriller in its own right and a psychological character study of Batman and his chief nemesis. It finally became okay for 'grown-ups' to admit they liked Batman! Yay!

    Mask of the Phantasm -- really showed the true essence of Batman - what his life is, why he does it, what he's sacrificed for his all-consuming mission

    Under the Red Hood -- gets to grips with Batman's 'no killing', and just maybe has convinced a few people who beforehand didn't get why he's so strict about it


    That's not just a list of my favourites by the way (I actually prefer Batman Returns over Batman '89, I love Adam West's Batman, and I'm one of those who really likes Batman v Superman), but those are the ones that I think have a significance beyond 'It was really good/I thoroughly enjoyed it'.
     
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  4. Herofan Registered

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    Also trying to be pretty objective ...
    "A Death in the Family", "Year One," "The Killing Joke," "The Laughing Fish," MotP, TAS overall (if that's fair, if not then just "Heart of Ice", "Almost Got 'Im" and "Two-Face"), Batman Begins, the Joker's first two appearances, "There Is No Hope in Crime Alley", maybe Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, maybe Batman: The Movie 66.
     
    #4 Herofan, Dec 8, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
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  5. Comics N' Toons Viva La Revolucion!

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    I would argue that truly essential Batman are stories (in all mediums) that are closest to when the character was at his purest. (Purity though, could be debated).

    Was it the 30's-40's
    50's-60's
    70's-80's
    or the 90's and beyond?

    I think essentials may come down to this:

    Batman Year One, The Ras Al Ghul Saga, The Englehart-Rogers run, The Mike W. Barr/Alan Davi Detective run,The Killing Joke, The Long Halloween/Dark Victory, Dark Knight Returns

    Films:

    Batman 89, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, MOTP,

    TV:

    The first 10-12 episodes of BTAS. Batman 66 (various episodes)

    Anything more? Thoughts? Opinions?
     
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  6. Spider-Aziz .......

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    *COMICS:

    1. Denny O'Neil's run (60s-70s)
    2. Steve Englehart stuff (70s-80s)
    3. Anything from Alan Grant (80s, 90s, and maybe more)
    4. Legends of the Dark Knight
    5. Anything from Charles Dixon (Detective Comics, Nightwing, Robin, etc...)
    6. Batman & TMNT


    *TV:

    1. Batman 66
    2. Batman: TAS + TNBA
    3. Some episodes of the Batman; 'The Laughing Bat', Episode 1 of season 4
    4. The Brave and the Bold


    *FILM:

    1. Mask of the Phantasm
    2. Under the Red Hood
    3. Batman & TMNT
    4. Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
    5. Batman the Movie
    6. Return of the Caped Crusaders
    7. Batman vs Two-Face
    8. BATMAN (1989)
    9. Batman & Robin (Everyone needs to experience this)
    10. Christopher Nolan's trilogy
    11. LEGO Batman (2017)
    12. LEGO Batman: DC Superheroes


    *GAMES:

    • LEGO Batman 1-3
      Batman Arkham

      1. Asylum
        Origins
        City
        Knight
     
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  7. The Batman The Dark Knight

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    COMICS:

    Detective Comics #27
    Detective Comics #38
    Batman #1
    Batman #47
    The Ra's Al Ghul Saga
    Joker's Five Way Revenge
    Strange Apparitions
    The Dark Knight Returns
    Year One
    The Killing Joke
    Death In The Family
    Arkham Asylum
    Knightfall
    Mad Love
    The Long Halloween

    TELEVISION:

    Batman '66

    FILM:

    Batman: The Movie
    Batman
    Batman Returns
    Mask of The Phantasm
    The Dark Knight Trilogy
    The Lego Batman Movie

    ANIMATION:

    Batman: The Animated Series
    Batman Beyond
    Return of The Joker
    The Brave and the Bold
    Under the Red Hood
    The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and 2

    VIDEO GAMES:

    The Arkham Quadrilogy
     
  8. chintai80 oh hi.

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    perfect list is perfect.
     
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  9. RisingForce97 Registered

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    I think the Animated series at it's core is essentially the most true to the core and essence of the character(s) one of all the time best and untouchable interpretations of the character, but also because it worked so well in the cartoon format it was made in.


    It's just the most undeniably "Batman" I think.
     
  10. RisingForce97 Registered

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    It's not so much that it was the best all around interpretation of the character either, but I wanted to say it captured the characters in the most comprehensive way as well. I don't know what mainstream audiences and those with passing casual interest would be more turned off by, the comic books or the cartoon series? thus, there's many other viable iterations of the character and I would say the Nolan films probably capture regular people's interest the most. I think the Animated Series is just so classy and timeless in so many ways as well. It's why Batman Begins is probably my favorite as well because it comes close to capturing the essence of the cartoon whereas the other two started to feel too sterilized and homogeneous in it's portrayal though the stories and scenes for the most part are good but stylistically they just felt flat. I guess that's how you reach and become popular to mainstream audiences.
     

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