Tags: batman

cass, can you not

Batman: Hush

Not astounding, and not all of the plot and aesthetic choices work IMHO, but better than I had expected, and quite solid in the Bruce/Selina angle of things (which is in fact the driving thread of the narrative).
cass, can you not

LEGO DC Batman: Family Matters

It has perhaps more ongoing plots than it should've, but it was fun. It doesn't need to be a LEGO movie; most of it would work equally well in other forms, although Batman/Bruce's voice work is precisely as good as it needs to be.

The Red Hood sort-of-flashbacks... I wasn't expecting that. YMMV, but I found them hilarious. And then a bit heartbreaking, of course.
cass, can you not

What in the name of everything holy have I just watched?

Is Batman Ninja

  • an AU? No, that'd have been a much less crack-tastic option.

  • racist? Well, yes. I think the local with the most lines mostly uses them to call Batman "Master" and swear loyalty to him, for reasons described but never fully explained.

  • an absolutely nonsensical mix of every known Japanese visual and storyline animation stereotype, with the Gotham players being mostly there as visual ciphers of themselves? That's the understated way of putting it.

  • insane? Damian has a monkey sidekick. Behold the mighty bat-god is a line actually spoken in earnest at one point in the movie. And I'm ignoring the truly giant, arguably spoilery points of insanity, although for something to be an spoiler it has to be a surprise in an apparently predictable story, and it takes about fifteen minutes before you give up on being surprised.

  • a glaringly unfunny, badly written, character-wise nearly worthless collation of animation frames? Yep.

  • visually pretty, if a bonkers hyper-pseudo-japanese style is among your things? I guess.

Bottom line: this would've worked better as "Grodd telepathic tech gets mixed up with Tetch's, some Scarecrow fear gas, and research-grade hallucinogens as the entire collection of Dick Grayson's old martial arts movies is uploaded into Bruce Wayne's brain, who has to stay sane through the ordeal until he can figure out how to wake himself up."
cass, can you not

*handwaves in everlasting frustration*

The interesting bit for me about the mini-arc that ended on Batman #40 was never whether Bruce and Diana would sleep together, but rather those nice four decades of melee weapons combat practice Bruce got (and Diana, although she already has decades of experience, so the relative impact is less).

Everlasting Horde Dimension is, between the time speed differential and the fact that humans don't age there, one hell of a resource. Yes, you have to continuously fight an (everlasting, yes) horde of demons, but there are periods of downtime and rest. So, in theory, whenever Batman needs a couple of decades to learn a new skill (and it took him less than that to become the first iteration of Batman from scratch) or think about a problem, he just needs to pop there and work on it in-between fighting monsters (aka physical conditioning).

And that's just cognitive time. If you can find technology that will work there, set up a small base and rotating shifts, fighters protecting a group of logistic support specialists or even researchers, a damn outpost instead of just a person or two... That'd give Batman a terrifying logistical advantage, with computers orders of magnitude faster than anything else, apparently instantaneous technological advances, decades of knowledge and practice every other week.

Bruce has put himself through worse for less of an edge. He'd totally do it. (Granted, Tom King wrote Bruce acknowledging that he could fly, he just doesn't need to, which I'm sure is something he somewhat regrets saying every time somebody cuts his grappling line. In line with Bruce's very precise if awfully impractical line about what technologies he will and will not use — a Bruce that hasn't biotech'd the hell out of himself is, well, he's *canonical*, and maybe even psychologically true, but strategic nonsense — but still, well, impractical.)(As I keep going back to: ultimately, Batman is a drag on Bruce's potential.)

(See also: Ultimate!Reed's Dome, what he did with one, and what couldn't be done with those.)
cass, can you not

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

It's not uninteresting, but the thing to keep in mind before watching it — and what tripped me at the beginning — is that, tonally although not in terms of screen time, this is a Jack the Ripper movie, not a Batman one. The violent misogyny (with a side dish of classist crap) ranges from quite nastily explicit verbal aggression to, well, Jack the Ripper, right from the beginning, and it never really slows down. And there's of course classist crap and general squalor as its own thing.

Within that context, there is a practically sane and well-rounded Bruce Wayne, a quite fantastic Selina Kyle, Sister Leslie is aces, and, well, other Dickensian stuff. And you never get the impression that the movie (or our main characters) agree with the crap.

In short: up to you.
cass, can you not

Ah, that quirky, uniquely original character, the well-off white male genius asshole

I've been catching a bit of The Mentalist as background TV, and I have to say I had forgotten quite how punchable Patrick Jane is. Clever guy, I like his (pre-Moffat)Doctor Who-ish avoidance of violence, and the amateur-helping-the-police setup isn't more or less implausible than all similar others, but, oh, god, he's a pretentious asshole, even when it makes things more difficult for the people he works with. Part of me wants to headcanon it as a self-destructive reaction to his guilt about his dead family ("suicide by enraged colleague suspect random bystander"), but of course his being a pretentious asshole contributed to their deaths (without going too far into victim blaming, mind you).

He's not as bad as John Luther in that sense; he's sort of broken, and I do feel for the guy. And while Patrick is a walking stressor, Luther oscillates between "breaks the law in violent ways to help innocents" to "breaks the law in violent ways to help himself." But Patrick's grating and insulting in counterproductive ways, and although he gets away with it because he's helpful and, well, the protagonist, I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who are impolite just because they can.

Most of them well-off white male geniuses, unsurprisingly. (Luther is a not well-off black male genius who regularly abuses whatever modicum of power he has legitimately earned through his being good at his job, which makes things more complex, Elba's great acting aside)

Insert here the obvious comment about the World's Greatest Well-off White Male Genius Who's Unnecessarily Irritating To People He Works With, Bruce Wayne, whose overall plan vis a vis the JLA seems to be they think of themselves as good people, so the more they personally want to kill me because they find me obnoxious, the less likely they are to attack me even when technically they would have the right to, or maybe just the newbies don't kill me because they think I'm tough enough to mouth off to the Clark, Diana, and J'onn with impunity, and Clark, Diana, and J'onn don't kill me because they are genuinely good and extremely patient people whose personal lines I've spent a lot of time profiling to make sure I never cross.
cass, can you not

Batman #33

Things I consider headcanonical:
  • Bruce is about five years more emotionally mature around Selina than anywhere else, so that enabled him to do something normal like trying to carve a proper space for an adult relationship in his life (that's specifically a marriage isn't the important thing to me; I'm here for the Bruce Wayne can be happish and saneish without losing his memory and growing a beard stuff)
Things I feel very uncomfortable about:
  • Where Bruce's going, or rather some ideas as to what for. Why does everything have to be so dramatic, Bruce? Isn't the bat-themed everything enough drama? (No)
Things I consider not at all headcanonical but funny enough that I'm willing to accept them as professionally published fluffy fanfic:
  • The scenes with Alfred, Ace, and the boys (minus Tim and Cass; I choose to believe they are in some mall eating too many candies instead of buying the Halloween gifts they were planning to — the Potatoverse is my Earth-0 as far as those two are concerned) are not how I'd write them, at all, but funny on their own.
cass, can you not

The Final Deduction

I might be missing somebody, but by my count three people in the DC Universe know that it's fictional: Animal Man, because Morrison's grasp of other realities is better than his grasp of his own, Joker, because he's, by definition, insane enough (and also because Morrison), and Batman, because he's too much a detective, and his life makes far too little sense, for him not to notice.

Joker thinks this is the joke. What can possibly, in any way, matter? It's a universe explicitly build for amusement, so he might as well amuse himself.

To Batman it makes no ethical difference. "Fictional" people suffer just as much, and they matter just as much. Philosophical implications aren't a priority.

It does have tactical implications, though. He always tries to win, always thinks there's a way to win, and he even tells you, us, why: He's Batman.

We just all misunderstand what he means by that (but not the Joker, not him, Joker knows Batman knows they both know).

It's also why he feels personally guilty about every tragedy. It's his book. One way or another, Jason died *because of him*, his parents died *so he would survive them*. Joker or not, tragedy stalks him because that's the nature of the fictional world, that's the nature of Gotham as she's written, but what else can he do? He has to keep trying, save as many as he can whenever he can, plan for the fantastic because that's the kind of world he lives in, take the guilt and the pain because then, maybe, the others will be spared some of it.

Endure the nightmares, the darkness, the endless pain, the insanity, the horror of a battle he knows he'll never be able to win, because that's probably the price of Gotham's existence.