The Gotham Knight
Well, I'm about as excited as one can get for a movie premier. That's right, The Dark Knight comes out tonight and this chick has a ticket for the first showing. The hype has settled in, reviews have been read (or written!), previews and trailers watched, and tickets bought. There's only one thing left to do. In order to be properly ready, I have just popped by Blockbuster and rented a copy of The Gotham Knight.
What? You haven't heard of this one yet? Let me put it this way: 6 interlocking stories, 6 directors, and one Batman, even voiced by the acclaimed Kevin Conroy, who many will know as the original voice for Batman in Batman: The Animated Series. David Goyer, , Josh Olson, and Alan Burnet all join forces to animate Batman and chronicle his journey between his first time crime fighting days in Batman Begins to his heroic days of The Dark Knight. Or so the story goes.
The first one is animated in a style that will be mostly unfamiliar to lovers of American cartoons. And if you haven't seen some of the more underground and Japanese attributed cartoons, it tends to be a little distorted. The story, however, depicts the myth of Batman in the awe and terror of the public getting use to their new hero as three teens tell of their encounters with the hero. I won't spoil the show by telling you who who or what they make Batman out to be. It has an amusing ending however.
Episode two is a much more familiar view, animation wise. It hits closer to home for those that adored the animation series, though still completely Japanese, with angular jaws, more expressive eyes, different angles and colors. Of course, this is deliberate and will be for all of the episodes. Now, comes the cops point of view of the so called hero. When two cops get caught in an all out gang crossfire will their opinions of being errand boys of a vigilanty change? Batman doesn't say much, but his lines make a huge impact and he has some great looking still shots.
When you see Bruce Wayne in the third episode, your immediate reaction will be "Woah!" Or "THAT'S Bruce Wayne?" His looks are certainly anime style and without apology. Here, you get a chance to see Bruce being a playboy, and checking out new gear, then see him use it as Batman, including the consequences that means. Batman has to grow in his thoughts and become the superhero he truly can be.
The classic Batman posing as a gargoyle and then responding to the Bat signal starts of the next episode. At this point, the new looks for Batman are getting a little old though. And one viewer commented he missed 'his' Batman, ie the Batman from the Animated Series. With the fear toxin added into this episode, freaky is a very good description. The color hues are so blatant its almost hard to get past them and see the episode for what it is, a representation into Batman's intelligence and perseverance.
At this point, I must admit, I was distracted during most of the episodes, analyzing them and such, but with the final two I had to stop and fully pay attention. The first happens in flashbacks with Cassandra as Bruce learns how to deal with the pain he cannot escape and the second is more in the vane of the original series with the final insight into Batman/Bruce's soul. The first had a depth to it that was lacking in all the others. Here at last, Batman surpassed myth, legend, and man. You were riveted to the story and didn't want to miss a moment of it. The second brought back the action so sadly missed from the original series as well as those final moments, when you know you saw into Batman's soul and were once again reminded of why you love him.
The first episodes were interesting, but the final two make this a show not to miss. The best part? I'm even more hyped now to go see the Dark Knight! 12:05 can't get here fast enough! I've already been to Gotham once today, but tonight, I'll meet the Dark Knight once more. Will you?