Hell yeah he bench-pressed a coffin lid and 600 lbs. of loose dirt.Posted: December 3, 2008
Batman’s dead. That’s what Grant “Godlike Genius” Morrison would like us to believe in the most recent issue of this beloved comic book institution.
Proceeding under this – completely naïve – delusion, I’d like to take a moment to consider my top five, all-time Batman moments.
5. “They’re rubber bullets. Honest.”
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Known for his psychotic, libertarian take on the Dark Knight, Frank Miller has entertained us for years with an over-the-top, scarred version of Bruce “I’m the goddamn Batman!” Wayne. While “Year One” is, in my humble opinion, a much better story, “The Dark Knight Returns” is second-to-none in terms of its iconic-status in the Bat-cannon.
The dystopic (effing Ronald Regan is president for life), gritty world we find our hero in sets a perfect backdrop for a character study of an aged, apathetic Dark Knight who is called back to duty by a new breed of criminal.
It’s a story we’ve heard many times before and since, but setting up a story where the protagonist must once again wear his old mantle reminds us both why we love a particular character, but also gives creators and fans an opportunity to push the character in new directions.
This being said, the slightly sadistic streak Bruce displays when incapacitating criminals with a high-powered sniper rifle is funny, but unfortunately a portent of crappy writing to come.
4. “SWEAR TO ME!!!”
However, even more so than “Year One”, writer David S. Goyer, director Christopher Nolan, and Christian Bale were able to give us what may be the definitive Batman origin story for a generation of filmgoers.
The slight insecurity that Bale was able to bring into the character’s first interrogation, of Detective Flass, was completely believable, if now a bit comical and much-imitated.
3. Selina decks Pam
Sometimes our reactions to things say as much about us as our actions themselves. After being the victim of Poison Ivy’s “charms” and doing her bidding, and nearly being fried and smashed by an Ivy-intoxicated Superman, Batman, Superman, Krypto and Catwoman track down Ivy. Once captured, Selina takes the opportunity to floor Pamela Isley. After Supes asks her if it was necessary, Batman and Catwoman share a brief glance and flatly reply “yes” in unison. This is why she is a better Bat-girlfriend than Talia, despite what anyone might say.
2. Batman outwits Darkseid
JLA: Rock of Ages
Disguising yourself as Desaad for 15 years to learn of and thwart the God of Apokalips takes some serious effing committment. Nuff said.
1. Requiescat en Pace Ultima?
Batman # 681
What can I say? After going through an ordeal that left his mind literally shattered (I AM THE BATMAN OF ZUR EN ARRH!) Batman is gassed by the Joker and the woman he loves — the fittingly named Jezebel Jet — and burried alive. In true Lucio Fulci fashion, Batman disinterrs himself by lifting the coffin lid and loose earth off of his body, all the while calmly describing his mental state and the means by which he has countered his enemies. He hunts down Dr. Hurt, and in a fire helicopter crash “dies” (maybe) while reminding us of the steely determination and borderline insanity that makes us love Batman.