Against my better judgement, I’m starting to get excited for more live action Batman stuff. I’m bound to be disappointed, I know. But this moment is the reason we are fans. Twitter teases and casting announcements that lead to forum posts full of speculation — often times, it’s the buildup to a thing that is more exciting than the thing itself. And during these last two days, I have officially shifted from being cautiously optimistic about future Bat offerings like Gotham and the Superman sequel I hope isn’t called Batman Vs. Superman to being the easily excitable fanboy that gets giddy about stuff like this.
We’ll start with Gotham. And then we’ll talk about that picture at the top of this post.
Last week, I reacted to Fox’s extended trailer for their upcoming Bat prequel series with, let’s say, cautious optimism. One of my main concerns was whether or not the show would feature Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya. Turns out, not only will they be featured, they’re going to be regular members of the cast.
This is fantastic on a bunch of levels. For one, these two are easily some of my favorite non-super characters in the Bat mythos (well, they used to be non-super, and then Montoya became the Question and Allen became the Spectre). They also bring some much needed diversity to Gotham. The jury’s still out on whether the showrunners will acknowledge Montoya’s homosexuality, though. Still, their inclusion — along with Bullock and Gordon — makes this the Gotham police show I’ve always wanted.
Well, that’s not exactly true either. In my post last week, I assumed Montoya and Allen wouldn’t be on the show because they’d be too young in the time period it’s set in (i.e., a decade or more before Batman). That’s the only thing I’m having trouble reconciling with the show’s conceit. If the GCPD is already firmly established this far back in the past, then there are two problems I can foresee:
1) Bullock, Montoya, and Allen — along with Gordon, of course — represent some of the only good cops around in Gotham. If they’ve all been on the job for a decade, then their impact on a corrupt police force isn’t existent. Maybe the police force isn’t going to be a corrupt or inept one on this show, but then that takes away from Gordon being the one good cop.
2) Unless Montoya and Allen are beat cops during the series, how is the show going to explain why Gordon ascends to the commissioner’s job while everyone else stays detectives? You mean, no one is going to be offered (or accept) a promotion? Ever? Also, there are already plenty of jokes about Batman fighting geriatric villains since Penguin and Riddler will be much older than him (what is this, Spider-Man?) but I guess the police will be as well.
These are minor quibbles, though. I’m really not complaining. Why should I? Many years ago, I wanted a show that dealt with the Gotham City police force, and now I’m getting that show. Sure, it isn’t exactly how I envisioned it, but it might still work. We’ll find out in the fall.
But if news of Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen’s live action debuts wasn’t enough to whet this Batfan’s appetite yesterday, Man of Steel director Zack Snyder tweeted out this tease:
You know the internet went ballistic, right? After months of anticipation, we were finally getting our first glimpse at something from the untitled Batman/Superman movie! And it was going to be the Batmobile no less!
And to think: it’s been exactly ten years(!) since the last time the internet lost its collective mind over a photo of the back of a Batmobile.
I have to admit, seeing those tires peek out from beneath that grey tarp awoke something inside that I had been tamping down since the news of Batman being in the Man of Steel sequel first emerged from San Diego last summer. For the first time, I actually got excited for this movie. Like, for real.
Well, say what you will about Zack Snyder, but dude is a man of his word. Twenty four hours after that first tweet, Snyder did more than pull the tarp off the Batmobile, he gave the world its first look at Batfleck, and it did not disappoint.
I don’t think anyone was realistically expecting a look at Affleck in the Batsuit. But there he is. In fact, that’s all you see. The Batmobile reveal still doesn’t really show the vehicle. But who cares? The big screen is getting the most comic accurate Bat suit in history in 2016. Kevin Smith was not wrong when he intimated Batman fans would lose their minds over the suit.
[Snyder] pulls me over to the corner and he whips out the phone and he shows me a picture of Batman, a live action version of Batman. A very familiar Batman, I might add. Didn’t look like any of the cinematic Batmans that have ever gone before.
From the shorter, Frank Miller-esque ears to the fabric, non-rubber costume and enormous Bat emblem, this really is a Batsuit unlike any other in the cinematic history of the character. And frankly, it’s the Batsuit I’ve always wanted to see depicted on the big screen.
If I had one quibble, it’s that the chest emblem looks to be the same shade and texture as the rest of the outfit. I would prefer a bat symbol that was a deeper shade of black (closer to the black of the cape/cowl/glove combination), but that also might be an illusion due to the monochrome nature of the photo.
Call me old school, but I also miss the trunks on the Batsuit. I know we’ll probably never see the traditional black trunks on Batman (or red trunks on Superman, for that matter) since they’ve also been excised from comic book continuity, but I’m a traditionalist in that sense. Also, if real world believability is the issue, Batman has a real world reason for them. Instead of being “underwear on the outside,” maybe they’re tactical protection similar to what soldiers and S.W.A.T. teams wear.
Ultimately, my minor nitpicks do not take away from my excitement. I’m sure there are fans out there more cynical than I who can find things to complain about in both the show and the movie. And they’re probably right.
Who knows? After this initial euphoria wears off, I might rejoin their chorus of boos. But until then, I’m going to keep on enjoying myself and anticipating the next live action movie to feature my favorite superhero. Because I just have to face facts. There is no cure for Bat fever.