First off I want to start by saying a couple things:
- I am serious, I am not trolling you. I truly believe that Christopher Nolan has hurt comic book movies quite a bit and I will explain why I think that.
- This is NOT the opinion of Geeks of the Round, our Executive Producer DeAno Jackson, or any of the rest of the staff. Send your hate mail directly to me. =)
So I just wrote an article for Justice League: Gods and Monsters. I explained in that article that those are not your grandpappy’s Justice League. It is completely new characters in a completely different universe that just happen to have the same name as the characters we know and love. Instead of changing Bruce Wayne’s story, or Clark Kent or Diane Prince, they scrapped that and created all new characters, thus preserving our memories of the ones we are already familiar with. Nolan did not do that.
Christopher Nolan wrote a character that can fight better than most and has nearly unlimited resources. He then slapped a bat costume on him, added some familiar backgrounds and characters, then named him Batman, as he always meant to. However that’s not who Batman is. The differences between the comic book Batman and Nolan’s Batman are numerous. But in short..
- The Worlds Greatest Detective. – Not in Nolan’s movies. Batman has never shown a tenth of the detective reasoning that he does in the comics.
- A life dedicated to fighting crime – Not in Nolan’s movies. Batman’s time of the street fighting crime took place over JUST A COUPLE MONTHS. Sure, a little more than 8 years pass between the 3 movies, but Batman is already in hiding after the second movie for almost all of those 8 years.
- A man treated with respect by gods. – Not in Nolan’s movies. Going for the realistic approach, there are no superheroes. Just the one vigilante.
Nolan’s Batman is just a rich brute who beats up bad guys when he feels like it. That’s not who Batman is supposed to be. Comic book Batman would laugh at Nolan’s and tell him to get back to his polo match.. or else.
Now all of this is actually somewhat easy to ignore because at least they surrounded him with some familiar characters that ARE accurate to who you expect them to be. Alfred, Lucius Fox, Harvey Dent, all amazing adaptations of their comic counterparts. BUT THEN people starting praising Heath Ledger’s Joker to be the best ever. ARRRGGGGHHHH!
First, I want to point out that “best” and “enjoyable” are two different things. Heath Ledger played a character that was very enjoyable. But like Nolan’s Batman, this wasn’t really The Joker for the following reasons:
- Psychopathic – Not a sociopath like Nolan’s Joker
- No choice but to do the things he does, no choice in being who he is, as opposed to Nolan’s Joker.
- Genius IQ with a specialization in chemicals. Nolan’s Joker showed no such talent.
- Comic Joker loves two things. Blood and Money. He tolerates Harley Quinn because she helps in both regards. Nolan’s Joker BURNED MONEY.
Sure The Joker’s personality changes depending on the writer, but those things I just mentioned NEVER change. Unless its a Nolan movie. Heath Ledger did a great job and he played a very enjoyable character. It just wasn’t The Joker.. or at least not the one in the comics.
Now why do I care? I could ignore it. I could just not watch them and ignore it. But here’s the thing.. They are taking something I love, something I care about, and they are demeaning it. They are lessening it by taking away Batman’s detective skills or Jokers chemistry expertise. They are dumbing down characters that should never be dumbed down. In the real world there are some parents who think comics are dumb, and they are rotting their child from the inside out. In reality however the best characters are the smart ones. Spider-Man, The Flash, Batman, Superman (who has a genius IQ as well, but its depicted as less when compared to an uber-genius like Batman), Hulk, Iron Man, ALL geniuses. All of the went to school and did their homework and worked to become that smart. That is a VERY positive influence on our kids. Nolan took that from us. A whole generation of kids (aside from the ones who do read comics) have been shown that to be a hero, all you have to do is be rich and learn to fight. I don’t think I will ever forgive Nolan for that.
So do you think I am way off base? Do you think that making Batman more popular outweighs the damage Nolan did to the character itself? Do you have hate mail? If so, leave it down in the comments. I’m not giving you my address! Not after the last time..