Since February of this year, the DC film scene has been buzzing with news on The Batman, the upcoming installment in the popular character’s empire and key piece in the much anticipated Justice League. With Matt Reeves officially at the helm as director and producer, audiences await his promising input, previously tasted in Cloverfield (2008), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and the remake of Let me in (2010). It will be intriguing to see how production develops, but also if the result will be able to beat the $1,085 billion box office success of The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Whether in anticipation or trepidation, there are many things one can do to prepare and plenty of time to do it in, 2019 being the film’s rumored release date.
A good start would be to catch up on the story of Batman, which has endured changes upon overhauls since his first appearance in the comic book, The Case of the Chemical Syndicate (1939) and his subsequent solo title, Batman (1940). A fun, and probably quite costly, challenge would be to collect and read as many of his issues as possible, their numbers falling just short of 14,000. Alternatively, there are many accommodating fans with the answers neatly compiled in articles and posts across the web, such as this meticulous account of the superhero’s history on UBC. DC villains are just as fascinating to explore, advisedly Deathstroke, who is hinted to be the current Caped Crusader’s next rival.
Alongside the comic books, of course, we have films and TV series, a common topic for debate in terms of accuracy and loyalty of storylines. The Dark Knight Trilogy is perhaps the best known and appreciated silver-screen adaptation, courtesy of Christopher Nolan, but a critical look at preceding titles is just as interesting when comparing them to each other. Walking into the screening room of the soon-to-be newest member of the franchise with a stimulated and educated outlook will make it that much easier to join the fray of discussion afterwards. The small screen has additional noteworthy material, ranging from the intriguing modern take in Gotham to the original 1960s Batman series starring Adam West and Burt Ward.
Video games are another major part of the 21st century entertainment industry and Batman-themed titles have maintained a leading popularity. If minor online games are of interest, the internet has much to offer, whether commonplace or surprising. For instance, among Sun Bingo’s range of slot games is Batman & Batgirl, a 60-line slot which can trigger up to 25 free games. This is just one of several games inspired by the DC universe – actually, Sun Bingo has no fewer than six Batman-inspired slots featuring The Penguin, the Joker or The Riddler. For the more intrepid gamer, however, there are options to cherry-pick from. Batman: Arkham City and Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes are two particular titles that have stood out in players’ preference lists, the first for its graphics and superb open-world gameplay, the second for its own exciting open world that encompasses a hilariously entertaining storyline.
But what is the use of all this experience and information if you don’t have someone to share it with? You do! Joining or starting a topic on an online community could not be easier. Once concerns stemming from the unfortunate case of Daredevil (2003) were put to rest by Ben Affleck’s hat-tipping performance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Ignoring the plummet of the film itself, the leading man has been on everyone’s virtual and actual lips regarding his dedication to the role, further reflected in his decision to step down from the director’s seat and gracefully welcome Reeves in his stead. Rumors and speculations also abound on the media seesaw that keeps the film industry hype high and forums bustling, such as this report under scrutiny on Comic Vine stating that Affleck wishes to quit the role entirely. Agree? Disagree? Want to talk about something else Batman-related? Taking a stroll through the available communities is bound to reveal like-minded people waiting to hear from a new voice.
The Batman appears to be making steps in the right direction, for which we must be ready. Films, television, games, comics – such a mass of resources to get through. But we are not daunted. It is in times like these that the strength of the geek squad truly shines, supporting each other, as well as our favorite fictional champions.