With Matt Reeves' The Batman just days from hitting theaters, it is a good time to highlight several of the more significant Batman tales that have led up to this movie. From Christian Bale and Ben Affleck's cinematic portrayals to David Mazouz's teenage Bruce Wayne on Gotham, DC fans have witnessed many incarnations of the Dark Knight over the decades.
While fans await Robert Pattinson's edgy take on the vigilante (and Michael Keaton's homecoming to the hood in Batgirl later this year), let's take a look back at five of the best narratives that influenced the upcoming movie and kept Bat-fans amused for years.
5 Batman comics that inspired Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman movie
1) Batman: Year One
It is easy to understand why Year One is regarded as a primary source in almost every modern big-screen Batman film. The Dark Knight's first year on the field is chronicled in Frank Miller's iconic 1987 comic, which furthered the narrative of Detective Jim Gordon's return to Gotham and his rise up the ranks.
The emphasis on police misconduct as well as the exploits of a young, less accomplished Batman are both featured in Matt Reeves' movie, although he has termed The Batman a "Year Two" narrative.
"Grounded in a world we recognize," said artist David Mazzucchelli about his and Miller's Batman, which is exactly what Reeves is looking towards. The animated movie of the same title is based on this subject matter as well, and is a recommended watch only for Bryan Cranston's superb voiceover role of Jim Gordon.
2) Batman: Ego
The dearly departed Darwyn Cooke's debut DC endeavor Batman: Ego was a howler, and it is easy to understand why Matt Reeves mentioned it as a significant source for his approach to the Dark Knight.
Headlined as "A Psychotic Slide Into The Heart Of Darkness," Batman: Ego shed light on a deeper investigation into Batman's brain as he dealt with fury and remorse. The Batman previews reveal that "Battinson" will be attempting — and potentially losing — his fight to control his rage. Bruce warned his Batman ego in Cooke's one-shot, saying:
"There is a line we may never cross. No killing. It is the only difference between us and them."
3) Batman: The Long Halloween
One of Batman's most recognized aliases is "The World's Greatest Detective," even though that aspect of Bruce Wayne's specific skills has been restricted in his big-screen escapades. Fortunately, The Batman appears to be on track to change that, but before it, The Long Halloween provided a real investigation.
It starred a relatively new Batman, scripted by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale, as he tried to unravel the riddle behind the murder of major crime figures on specific occasions, beginning with Halloween. Not only did Carmine Falcone feature in a big way in this legendary tale (who will be represented by John Turturro in The Batman), but Riddler made a cameo to identify culprits, and Catwoman teamed up with Batman for sometime.
4) Batman: Zero Year
The comic industry adores a fresh start. Batman: Zero Year, a 2013 tale that reinvented Batman's beginnings, was one such narrative reset. The narrative featured a youthful Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham to combat several of the city's villains, along with a heavy form of the Riddler, as scripted by Scott Snyder and James Tynion.
The comic appears to have inspired Bats' protective costume (sans cape) and motorbike outfit featured in The Batman promos. The Riddler flooded Gotham in Zero Year, and set photos from Matt Reeves' movie suggests the that Batman will face a similar situation on the big screen.
This current mini-series from DC's Black Label library, written by Tom King and illustrated by Clay Mann, explores the growth of Batman and Catwoman's connection over multiple realities. With Zoe Kravitz's upcoming appearance as Catwoman, it appears that The Batman will examine the connection shared between Catwoman and Batman.
This narrative will let us ponder over what Batman and Catwoman's ultimate finale may be like, whilst The Dark Knight Rises teased that both Bruce and Selina may one day settle down.