There are a few iconic Batman stories that die-hard fans are quick to share with new and old fans alike, but one story stands above the rest as one that not only changed the face of Batman in the decades to follow, but also the rest of the comic industry. The Dark Knight Returns took a dark look at the future of Gotham City, as a retired Bruce Wayne once again dons the cape and cowl, along with a new partner and a renewed fight against crime. While TDKR is never far from any dedicated fans comic shelf, the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice has brought TDKR back into the forefront, with many of the themes and scenes from the comic set to appear in the film.
Frank Miller has had an illustrious career, and most of it good, and maybe none of it better than his 1986 interpretation of Bruce Wayne’s dark future, The Dark Knight Returns.
Most fans know in extensive detail the world Frank Miller and Klaus Janson mapped out so many years ago, especially now with spin offs, animated features, and elements of their story shaping the basis of the new Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. But it is the action figures that are the focus of this article. Numerous figures have been released over the years, the most famous likely being DC Collectables Unlimited series which had Batman, the bulky Superman, the female Robin and the pinstriped Joker, which were all collected in a special edition set retailing for about $90.
But now toy makers Mezco Toyz have gotten in on the action with their version of The Dark Knight and it’s something quite special. Below is the impressive array of stats on the figure which include three different pairs of hands and two faces.
- 1/12th scale fully posable collectible action figure
- – Hyper articulated body featuring over 30 points of articulation
- – Real fabric clothing
- Includes Four (4) pairs of interchangeable hands including:
- One (1) pair of fists
- One (1) pair of “holding” hands
- One (1) pair of posing hands
- One (1) pair of “Batarang” hands
- One (1) interchangeable boot with pistol holster – One (1) removable utility belt
- One (1) pistol
- One (1) grappling hook
- One (1) alternate head
- One (1) Bat-symbol display base
- One (1) articulated figure stand for multiple dynamic figure poses
- One (1) detachable cape-posing stand accessory
- Figure comes in fifth panel window box with slip cover
Now here is the action figure in all its glory.
As you can see, there are slight differences between this version and the comic reproduction DC Collectables put out. This Batman is less stocky, looking more anatomically correct in muscle size than the comic version. However the figure is still modeled well enough in that department that it still has an imposing presence. The chiseled chin and battle worn face is still there, but given a Mezco makeover. The detail to costume and sculpt design is amazing, and with the ability to pose this Dark Knight in numerous arrangements, it makes a welcome addition to the Batman figure family.
Mezco’s Dark Knight action figure is available for pre-order from their website now, but will not ship until January 2015. It’s priced at $65.00 and will no doubt sell out pretty darn quickly. So if you want the embodiment of justice in a dark DC future to be part of your household, I suggest getting that pre-order in, otherwise you may miss out on a superbly crafted item.
Images: DC Collectibles, Mezco
Since Batman vs Superman(one of the the rumored titles) was announced at San Diego Comic Con last month, the internet has been awash with rumors and speculation about the Caped Crusader. Who will play Batman? Are Warner and DC going for someone young or someone more established? When in Batman’s career will the story be set? Could it be set after Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises after all, despite all claims to a reboot? Based on certain recent rumors, it certainly is a possibility, which we will take a look at below.
Zack Snyder was keen to point out that the quote taken from Frank Millers ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (which was read by Harry Lennix at the SDCC announcement) was more to establish tone rather than it being a sign of Superman vs. Batman being a direct adaptation of Millers TDKR. Seeing as they have recently touched on that source material already with the awesome DC Animated Feature Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, it makes sense they wouldn’t be looking to dive into that territory again so soon.
[box_dark]”I want you to remember, Clark. In all the years to come, in all your most private moments, I want you to remember my hand at your throat. I want you to remember the one man who beat you.”[/box_dark]
However, the Independent recently reported that Snyder will be meeting up with Frank Miller to discuss Batman vs Superman, so it remains to be seen what kind of connection the film will have to the hit graphic novel.
Personally, I feel the tone of ‘TDKR’ would fit neatly into the world that Snyder and writer David Goyer created for Man of Steel. It might also slip in seamlessly into the Nolan verse, despite Christian Bale no longer being onboard as the Dark Knight.We already know that this isn’t going to be another Batman origin story, which we don’t really need to see again. One of the failings of The Amazing Spider-Man in my opinion is that it tried to spin a new origin story out of one we had already seen recently.
With Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy so embedded in people minds, we certainly don’t need to see another Year One style project. Heck, if Goyer and Snyder wanted to, the sudden appearance of Superman could be what initially brings Batman out of his early retirement we saw at the end of The Dark Knight Rises. That would also neatly fit this movie into the world that Nolan created with his Dark Knight trilogy. Now that would be interesting.
If Snyder and Goyer do go with a completely new universe as they have said before, than they will of course need to establish a new character. Within the comics Batman is perpetually in his 30’s, which has allowed for the character to be played by a revolving door of actors over the years, like in the Burton and Schumacher days. This generally negates the need to ever revisit the origin story, and would open many doors for more Batman adaptations in the future if that same mold is followed.
What initially bothered me about the announcement was the possibility that Batman would just be a glorified cameo. Hopefully this won’t be the case, as I feel there is plenty of fertile ground from the comic book history for Snyder and Goyer to really explore the relationship between Batman and Superman. They need to look no further than Jeph Loeb’s brilliant ‘Public Enemies’ storyline for inspiration.
Man of Steel sets up a great opportunity to put Batman and Superman at odds, while setting up the potentially great friendship they have. Having seen the destruction that is happening in Metropolis caused by these extra terrestrial beings, it seems only natural that Batman would want to investigate the events that occurred, which must have caused hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths. Initially it would be interesting to see Batman and Luthor working together, or at least sharing a vested interest as they rebuilt Metropolis into the futuristic city it’s known as in the comics.
This could lead to a fantastic mid film showdown between Batman and Superman, referring back to the quote read by Lennix and the rumored ‘vs.’ of the title. Once convinced of Superman’s good intentions, Batman could be put at ease. Here is where Luthor’s malevolence could really take over, as he is driven mad with the idea of defeating Superman and Batman, who has seen through Luthor’s veneer. It would make an amazing final act to see Batman and Superman team up against Luthor decked out in his battle suit.
It’s unlikely that Warner and DC will cast Batman too old, as they will want to churn out a few more Batman themed films. Not to mention the ever promised Justice League film that was recently confirmed. Even if it does continue with the continuity established within Nolan’s world, Batman is only roughly mid 40’s. Of course, age isn’t really an issue if they pick the right person, much like Marvel did when they cast Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark in Iron Man. So who would make a great Batman?
The rumors we have spoken about state that DC may be searching for an older Batman, with Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Jon Hamm, and Joe Manganiello all rumored (along with a few others) to wear the cowl. However, Warner and DC have denied all the rumors, with a source telling HollywoodReporter.com that the casting process hasn’t even started.
If they were to establish a completely new Batman then my choice of these would be Ryan Gosling (which was also Grizzly Bomb’s choice when we cast the Justice League movie). At 32 he seems the perfect age to carry the mantle of the Bat for a little while, and he has the acting chops, gravitas, and physique to make an imposing Batman. Brolin and Hamm however, would be perfect for a Batman around the age and point in his life that we find Bruce Wayne in during Miller’s ‘TDKR’. So we will have to wait and see a bit more from the film’s development before we can further speculate.
What are your thoughts on the casting rumors for Batman? Excited to see Batman in the Man of Steel sequel or do you want to wait until he appears in a Justice League film? Sound off in the comments section below!
To fans of all things Batman, get excited. The conclusion to the animated adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns is set to be released on January 29, 2013. To temporarily satisfy our appetites, a clip from the film has recently been released.
We were first given The Dark Knight Rises, Part 1 in September of 2012. It sets up the four issue story originally written by Frank Miller in 1986. It is one of the most definitive Batman story lines ever, and has shaped and colored the character we’ve seen in the modern Batman film interpretations. We owe a lot to this book, and it has been exiting to see it in its animated format.
Part 1 set up the story of a retired Batman who has been out of the crime fighting game for ten years and now thought by many to have been nothing more than a myth. A new mutant gang has taken over the city, and Gotham has found itself worse off than ever before. With the spunky encouragement of Carrie Kelley (AKA Robin), the Dark Knight finds his final reason to don the cape and cowl.
Part 2 completes the story and sets up one of the greatest battles of all time, Batman vs. Superman, as well as the resurrection of his rivalry with the Joker. The newest clip shows that 55-year-old Batman clearly still has it. His fighting style has evolved to such a gritty, brutal force, but still displays all the things we loved so much about Batman to begin with.
Part 1 was received with great reviews sitting with a 7.9/10 rating on IMDB. I would say the only issue that I can take with this series is the complete overhaul of voice actors I have grown up with. I am a child of the 80s so when I think of animated Batman, I think of Kevin Conroy, and Mark Hamill. However, I can appreciate the need to evolve and change things up to revive the series, and stay fresh to new audiences. The Dark Knight Returns features Peter Weller (Robocop), Ariel Winter (Modern Family), and David Shelby (Dark Shadows) as Gordon.
As stated earlier, if you love Batman, you’ll love The Dark Knight Returns. If you weren’t already, get excited for Part 2 late January!
[tabgroup][tab title=” Gangster Squad “] Inspired by a true story from the 1940s and 50s, Gangster Squad is about the Los Angeles Police Department putting together a small squad of policemen tasked with the goal of keeping East Coast mobs out of their city’s streets.
The cast list is impressive, including the acting veteran Sean Penn and the recent favorites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. With a setting and tone much like the video game L.A. Noir, we’re excited to see how this one turns out.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, and Sean Penn
Release Date: January 11, 2013
[/tab][tab title=” The Lone Ranger “]
Tonto and John Reid go back a long way… like to the 1940s. And now they’re making a comeback in Walt Disney’s version of their story with a new twist – Tonto is going to recount the American Old West adventures that made John Reid into the fighting-for-justice legend we all know him to be [SuperHeroHype].
With a winning combination of Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer (they made the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films), we’re expecting lots of humorous adventures, entertaining fight sequences, and interesting lore. Also, Johnny Depp’s crow headpiece is pretty wicked.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham Carter
Release Date: July 3, 2013
[/tab][tab title=” Broken City”]
New York City’s mayor appears to have done well for the city since he was elected, but he has one personal problem: his wife is sleeping around. So the mayor hires an ex-cop to track down the man she’s cheating with. However, the situation escalates when the ex-cop finds out that there’s more to the mayor’s situation (and his political games) than he’s letting on.
Audiences will undoubtedly be tired of politics by the time this film comes out, but maybe Marky Mark’s ambition to take down a conniving politician will be just what some Americans want at that point.
Director: Allen Huges
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Release Date: January 18, 2013
[/tab][tab title=”The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2″] After several years out of the spotlight, Bruce Wayne becomes Batman again, this time as a middle-aged man still ready to take on the new criminals that have arisen in Gotham City. But this time Batman’s being called a murderer, and a warrant is out for his arrest. Superman claims he must follow the law and find Batman, but will he?
The story is nothing new, as superheroes have been called vigilantes and murderers before, and there have been show-downs between Batman and Superman in the past, but judging from the trailer we’re guessing DC Comics isn’t going to drop the ball on this one, especially if Part One was any indication of how good the finale will be.
Director: Jay Oliva
Stars: Peter Weller, Michael McKean, Wade Williams, Ariel Winter, David Selby, and Gary Anthony Williams
Release Date: Winter 2013
[/tab] [tab title=”Movie 43″]
The most we can say about this movie is that it’s a comedy featuring a large, all-star cast that will be “intertwining different tales” [IMDb]. It was also going to be called Red Band at one point. If you’ve seen Love Actually or Valentine’s Day, it’s supposedly something like that, but with a far more adult approach, in all aspects of the word.
Director: PatrikForsberg, Peter Farrelly, Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, and several more…
Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Kristen Bell, Kate Winslet, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Jason Sudeikis, Chris Pratt, and many more…
Release Date: January 25, 2013