Nolanverse Rises and the Future of Batman

Posted by RazzaTazz (11942 posts) - - Show Bio

This blog post will be completely full of spoilers for the movie (I saw a midnight screening last night) so if you have not seen the movie, please stop reading now as this will surely ruin a lot of what will make the movie enjoyable.  One of my first thoughts after leaving the theater was that this answered one of the oldest questions when it comes to the character of Batman.  In reference to other characters like Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern or the Flash, Batman is just a regular man, and we see that here at the beginning of the movie as a crippled Bruce Wayne struggles to get himself back into fighting form, even resorting to a semi robotic knee to help him out.  In the comics this problem of Batman being the one hero that ages the most, has been dealt with in different ways.  In the golden age age (pre-crisis) he eventually retired and took Jim Gordon's place as commissioner in Gotham.  Before the new 52 reboot, it seemed like he was going to become a sort of superhero mentor in the pages of Batman Inc.  With the new 52 reboot he is of course put back to a younger age and so the writers won't have to worry what to do with him for a few more years (or more like a decade.)  One of the more hard hitting aspects of the character though is actually seeing the future, and for me this is one of the reasons why the Dark Knight Returns is such a strong piece of fiction, because it looks at the ends of the man driven by a single goal and where that will take him.  Additionally in comics it was added that Bruce's future was tied strongly to Talia's (which is still true as he is Damian's father.)  Most of these angles were driven by the fact that something about Bruce would eventually consume him and destroy him, but with the ending of the movie as it was, it is clear that Bruce found a way to live a happy life and not with Talia, but rather with Selina.  This happy ending is not at all what fans expect of the character, but with the massive popularity of the Nolan franchise and the general effects that movies have on comics, is the happy ending maybe actually in Bruce's future now?  Has Nolan perhaps transplanted the darker vision of Miller and Moore of the broken man with a happier idea of a retired family man?

#1 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (82979 posts) - - Show Bio

As always another will written and entertaining blog. As for the idea of Bruce Wayne (comic version) ending up with the "Happily Ever After" ending, I dont see it. If for no other reason then Bruce Wayne will never hang up the cape and cowl. Sure, maybe an alternate version, some out of continuity story arc, I could see that (and we will), but not mainstream Bruce. Fanbase is to large, he's to iconic, makes DC to much money. I'm sure you've read (as have I) the mixed fan reaction over just the movie version ending without his death let alone the comic version some how managing to escape the gloom and doom of a shattered man.

#2 Posted by Renchamp (4891 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved the ending. (I also midnighted the crap out of that movie.) The themes in the series had been so dark that it was nice to see that happiness can be attained after giving an endeavor your all. Despite the irredemptive qualities of his enemies, Batman never allowed himself to be seen as too far gone (despite how TDKR begins). It's a three-movie-long lesson on redemption via adaption. There is constant failure followed by intensified focus and "success." It's a great trilogy -- he said lamely since he couldn't figure how to end...

#3 Posted by RazzaTazz (11942 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambler: True, but this is the first time I have ever seen that Batman gets the happy ending, maybe some fans, especially more mainstream and less comic will find some appeal in this.   
@Renchamp: It was a pretty touching moment when Alfred and Bruce share the look without a word.  That required two great actors.  
#4 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (82979 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz said:

@Gambler: True, but this is the first time I have ever seen that Batman gets the happy ending, maybe some fans, especially more mainstream and less comic will find some appeal in this.

@Renchamp: It was a pretty touching moment when Alfred and Bruce share the look without a word. That required two great actors.

I'm sorry I had to laugh. Consciously avoided this phrase while writing my original post. Yes I'm that immature ;) As comic fan I have mixed feelings about it, mainly because I dont want to see Bruce give up being Batman. And in order for him to end up anything but broken and or dead, he'd have to.

That was a great scene (even if you suspected it was coming). Like you said, two great actors pulled it off. I needed that ending after watching Alfred at the Wayne family grave(s).

#5 Posted by RazzaTazz (11942 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambler: Well it is interesting as well as I think when DKR came out that Miller's take on the future of the character was so extreme that a lot of fans rejected that as well.  The Batman they knew then was still the pre-Crisis Batman mostly and thus one that many thought might get the happy ending.  Maybe it has come full circle then ?
#6 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (82979 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: Did they? I wasnt really into comics when that came out so I didnt get a pulse of the fan back then. I always assumed it was highly praised and innovative, and since it wasnt canon or continuity the fans had no problem with its extreme take on the character ( I believe you though when you say they rejected it).

It makes sense that alot of Pre-Crisis fans of individual characters would like to see a brighter outcome. Were I gotta believe today's fan would rather have Batman die in a great battle then end up retired with kids or even just retired and happy. Major assumption on my part though. It sounds nice but comics today dont even bring their story arcs full circle half the time :(

#7 Posted by RazzaTazz (11942 posts) - - Show Bio
@Gambler: I wasn't either seeing as I wasn't alive, it is just the impression I get from reading some of the comics though.  In the mid 1970s Batman and Catwoman decided to become a couple but then she got kidnapped and he spent several years searching for her so that he could have a happy ending as well.  You are right though about comics today, but that is the point of my question here, whether Nolan can change that paradigm.
#8 Posted by Jean_Luc_LeBeau (82979 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: I dont think he can. In fact I think he gave fans who want to see Bruce live happily ever after their...lighthouse so to speak. As a fan if you get tired of darkness of Batman's life you now have something to fall back on, but I dont see it changing the overall appeal of Batman never quite finding that inner peace. Like I said though, love the blog. Great question. Curious to see what others say about it.

#9 Posted by Phantim555 (231 posts) - - Show Bio

You know I actually thought about this too. I figure Chris Nolan did such a great job wrapping up the story because for him it was the last story he needed to tell where as in the comics they have to tell tens of thousands of more stories and so I doubt Batman will ever get that happily ever after. I have been wondering, even though I know it won't happen if a Nolanverse version of the Justice League showed up or some new threat to Gotham began to cause some sort of earth shattering cataclysm would John Blake call Bale's Batman to come out of retirement again? Maybe that's what the story is all about, hope that one day Batman can come back again and save Gotham but only when he actually needs to. But in short no I don't think the comics will reflect it but I could be wrong too.

#10 Posted by SandMan_ (4581 posts) - - Show Bio

The Man Of Steel is next.

#11 Posted by jrock85 (2882 posts) - - Show Bio

@RazzaTazz: @Gambler: The comic book fan in me has mixed feelings about Bruce retiring and "living happily ever after". I want him to stay in costume and continue his war on crime, yet after everything he's done for the city of Gotham, I believe he deserves a quite life free of that burden.

#12 Posted by War Killer (21012 posts) - - Show Bio

If people want a retired Bruce Wayne, just read Batman Beyond.

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