Recently, DC Comics announced that they are releasing THE BATMAN BOX SET in early 2022 that will feature three of the classic Batman graphic novels that influenced THE BATMAN.
If you’re a BOF regular, the Batman comic book stories that heavily influenced Matt Reeves as he was constructing the story of the film aren’t anything new. BATMAN: YEAR ONE, BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, and BATMAN: EGO have all been mentioned here on this site and by Reeves himself. (In fact, if you’re BOF’er and follow me on Twitter, you would’ve been amongst the very first to know about the EGO influence.)
The question though is exactly which elements of these three stories ultimately made it into THE BATMAN?
Based on some “educated guessing,” I’ve got a decent idea. So let’s take a quick look at each and I’ll tell you what I’m expecting.
BATMAN: YEAR ONE
When Matt Reeves first mentioned YEAR ONE as an influence, many fans immediately thought that meant that THE BATMAN was going to be an origin story just like BATMAN BEGINS – aspects of which were influenced by YO as well. Frankly, that’s lazy thinking.
While TB does feature a young version of The Dark Knight – he’s in the second year of Batmanning in the film (more on that in a bit) – it’s definitely not a tale of who he is and how he came to be.
No, YO’s influence is in tone.
It’s the noir, gritty, street-level, and, yes, realistic vibes from YO that will be featured in TB. Those are the things from YO that are being infused into TB and it’s certainly not a rehash of BEGINS. Speaking of which…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: TB is going to be more grounded, gritty, and realistic than Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. Be prepared.
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN
Like TLH, Batman will be in full-on detective mode trying to solve the case of a series of murders in Gotham. Thus, TB is a noir, mysterious, detective story thriller.
But that’s not all.
Just as TLH takes place in the second year of Batman’s career, so does TB (told y’all I was coming back to this). This will be a Batman who is still finding his way and making mistakes. Therefore, expect a Batman who may not be totally green, but is still far from the pinnacle of his Dark Knightness.
Again, I got to address the folks who believe that TB will be a rehash of another film in TDKTrilogy, THE DARK KNIGHT because TLH was one of Nolan’s inspirations on that film.
Again, that’s lazy thinking.
TLH’s main influence on TDK was the crime-fighter triumvirate of Batman, Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent, as well as the fall of that third member tragically becoming Two-Face. I’m not expecting to see any of that (well, except for the relationship between Batman and Gordon which will be in its early stage) in TB.
For me, this is the most interesting of the comic book stories that influenced Reeves and I believe we will see an inner conflict between Bruce Wayne and The Batman. This is something that we’ve never really seen addressed in a Batman movie yet and I truly think it’s going to be fascinating to experience.
How does Bruce Wayne keep himself sane – well, relatively sane – without being completely consumed by The Batman? And the question begs, does he?
For a great breakdown of BATMAN: EGO, check out THIS EPISODE of the BATMAN BOOK CLUB podcast, as well as read THIS ARTICLE on Darwin Cooke’s awesome story.
So there you have it, make take on the elements of these three classic Batman comic book stories will include in THE BATMAN. Feel free to discuss in the comments section below. And remember…
#TheBatmanIsComing. – Bill “Jett” Ramey