In the endless debate over “Who is the best Batman?” a strong case can be made for someone most people have never seen: Kevin Conroy. Conroy has been the voice of Batman since Batman: The Animated Series in the 1990s, though all subsequent appearances of the character in the various Justice League series, and in the majority of Batman’s animated films (beginning with Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in 1993). Conroy also voiced the character in the Batman Arkham video games, without a doubt, the best comic book video games ever made.
IGN has put together a list of the best of Batman’s animated exploits (most of which have been voiced by Conroy), and his batting average in animation is at least as good (if not much better) than his success rate in live-action films. My favorites are Phantasm, Sub-Zero, and Under the Red Hood, but which of Batman’s animated adventures are your favorites? What did you think of IGN’s list?
Remastering the previous generation’s games for replay in the current console cycle is something that only a few titles warrant, but undoubtedly the first two installments of Rocksteady’s Batman Arkham franchise deserve the upgrade and revisit. Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City (a trilogy finished by the current gen’s Batman Arkham Knight last year) revolutionized the expectations for a super hero game. These games create an entire side universe for Batman. Each character given a new look consistent to the tone and tenor of Arkham’s world. Each game succeeds wholly as a video game experience, and as a Batman story. Return to Arkham has all the DLC and content for the first two games in one package with upgraded graphics (graphics that caused a six month delay to get to the standard Rocksteady established). There feels like there’s still so many stories that could be told in this universe even if Rocksteady says they’re done, they left the ending of Arkham Knight wide open, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see us return to Arkham for another installment in the future. As always, the cheevos are the property and province of the peerless folks at xboxachievements.com. Continue reading Complete Achievement Trophy List for Batman: Return to Arkham Collection (Xbox, Playstation – 2016)
Well, Alan Moore finally has a seriously legitimate beef when it comes to DC adapting his work. Moore’s 1988 original graphic novel, The Killing Joke, is widely regarded as one of the three best Batman stories of all-time. It has been incredibly influential in the development of the involved characters in the comics, influenced Tim Burton and Chris Nolan’s Batman films (Heath Ledger was given a copy of The Killing Joke when he signed on, and the interrogation scene in The Dark Knight has a lot of parallels with the graphic novel’s final showdown), and along with Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One, ushered in the modern grim and gritty Batman that has been the standard take since. When DC announced that its 24th animated feature would be its first R-Rated film, and would tackle The Killing Joke, fans initially got very excited. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill would return to voice the iconic roles. The first trailer seemed to pull directly from the graphic novel, and got fans even more excited. Then, around Comic-Con, details started leaking about exactly how DC was padding the 48-page OGN into a 78 minute film. Thus began the slow reveal of the worst animated project DC has ever released. It fails the source material, it inflames concerns over aspects of the graphic novel, the script by Brian Azzarello is dull and poorly written when not cribbing for Moore, in short, this is an utter disaster. Continue reading Movie Review: The Killing Joke (2016) *DC is in Flames*
Alan Moore’s graphic novel, Batman: The Killing Joke, is arguably the best Batman story of all-time. I think it’s the seminal confrontation between Batman and The Joker, as well as a story that scarred Batman’s world forever. DC’s animated movies have varied in quality, mostly fairly good with some occasional gems. Taking on THIS story, though, is by far their most ambitious and delicate project. This story is legend. This story is character defining. This story is incredibly dark. Continue reading Trailer Time: Batman The Killing Joke (2016) *Perhaps the Best Batman Story Gets the Animated Treatment*
As I’ve been playing through the masterful Batman: Arkham Knight, I’ve been thinking about The Dark Knight and his rogues gallery quite a lot (yes, even more than normal). The thing that makes them the greatest group of heroes and villains is the endless capacity for reinvention. The Arkham series is a perfect example of this, putting its own stamp on nearly every character in the Bat-verse. 1989’s Batman may have put Batman back on the cultural stage, but it was Bruce Timm and Paul Dini’s Batman: The Animated Series that is most responsible for the modern way we think of Batman and his rogues gallery. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Batman The Animated Series Season One “Heart of Ice”