Posts Tagged ‘ Robin ’

What Characters Won’t Benefit From The DC Comics Reboot?

Damian Wayne as Robin. Promotional art for Bat...

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As I mentioned yesterday, the DC comics reboot is creating a large buzz in the comics industry right now. With 52 titles hitting stores next month, DC is going full out in their attempts to bring in new readers. The relaunch will surely benefit characters such as Superman and Green Arrow, who have long needed an overhaul. However, there are sure to be some characters that don’t benefit from the relaunch, and just who do I think they will be?

1) Damian Wayne (Robin)

The Batman and Robin series is one of the lucky few titles able to escape total relaunch. Instead, the title will be given a sense of restricted continuity, where old readers will be able to follow the new books fine, whilst the revamped title will also serve as an entry point for new readers. With Bruce Wayne back as Batman, he is set to battle evil alongside his son Damian. Having Damian as Robin in the relaunch might not be DC’s greatest idea. For many readers, Damian is a marmite character. Some say he’s a badass assassin who adds a whole new dynamic on the Robin character, whilst others say he’s nothing more than a bratty ten-year old. I enjoyed his dynamic with Dick Grayson as Batman, but with Bruce back as The Caped Crusader, it’s definitely going to have a father/son theme, and unlike the interesting reverse dynamic between Dick and Damian, it’s fairly easy to see where Damian and Bruce’s relationship is heading. Only time will tell if Damian gains more or less popularity after the reboot.

2) Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)

The Green Lantern books are in no danger. Writer Geoff Johns constantly delivers one of the best comic book series on the shelves. Older fans aren’t going anywhere, now that fan-favourite Sinestro is back in the picture. The only problem is, Hal probably isn’t going to benefit from the reboot at all. The likely hood is any potential new readers for Green Lantern would have already seen this year’s disastrous movie on the character. Whilst I’ll admit, the Green Lantern movie did not do justice for such a great character, but it’s likely left a stink in any one’s mouths looking to know more about Hal and Corps. Some say movies don’t really influence comic book sales massively, but I have a feeling the Green Lantern series won’t benefit from a massive influx of new readers.

3) BatGirl (Barbara Gordon)

Barbara Gordon is back as Batgirl in a series that see’s her facing old secrets and new villains. Regarded by many as the definitive Batgirl, the decision is to put her back in the role has likely pleased many fans. I personally feel it’s a shame we won’t be seeing her as her wheel chair bound Oracle character anymore. I mean this in the sense that, Barbara represented a minority that rarely gets any treatment in comics. Her story of coming from being shot by the Joker, to becoming one of Batman’s most valuable allies, giving him crucial support from the Bat-Cave was a welcome break. Having Barbara back fighting crime (no matter how DC explain her recovery) seems a little cheap, and it’s personally thrown away any interest I had in her character. The new Batwoman series starring Kate Kane looks far more appealing, and it’s a horror/espionage tale that will likely make Kate the preferred female Bat character on the shelves.

So there you have it. These are the top three characters I feel won’t benefit from the DC comics reboot. Their books won’t crash and burn by any means, but with such high expectations on the first two I mentioned, if new readers didn’t flock in, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another shake-up in the future.

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Would A Nightwing Movie Work?

Cover to Nightwing #100 (2004). Art by Scott M...

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Continuing with my Batman themed posts, I’ve decided to explore if a solo Nightwing movie would work; now Nolan‘s Bat trilogy is wrapping up next year. To start with, let me explain that I do not actually think there’s any chance of seeing a Dick Grayson/Nightwing movie anytime soon. DC isn’t going to take a gamble on a lesser-known character after the disastrous result from this year’s Green Lantern. However, if the unexpected were to happen, and the movie was given the green light, how would a Nightwing movie successfully translate to the big screen?

To start with, the movie would need to be treated extremely seriously so that it can be connected to Nolan’s trilogy. Warner Bros aren’t going to start a DC cinematic universe anytime soon, so connecting at least two or their franchises together would be a nice touch. I would set the movie in the fictional city of Blüdhaven. The city can be depicted like a cross between Gotham City and the Narrows area seen in Batman Begins. There would need to be a sense of corruption and evil surrounding the place, perhaps even making it the base of the new organised crime criminals, who were beaten out of Gotham by the Batman. It can’t under any means be as glamorous as Gotham. Blüdhaven should feel like the slums compared to Gotham or Metropolis.

Enter Dick Grayson. Would Grayson necessarily need the Robin gimmick as for Grayson it did come before he took on the persona of Nightwing? The Robin gimmick wouldn’t work unless he was a sidekick to Batman. It definitely needs to be a more adult Nightwing flick. The story could follow a teenaged Dick Grayson, inspired by the stories coming from Gotham about the Batman. The real task lies in creating Dick’s character. As readers of the comics will know, Dick is not necessarily a dark character. He’s actually one of the more light-hearted allies to Bruce Wayne. So Grayson shouldn’t be as dark and broody as Batman, but he shouldn’t be a wise cracking Spidey rip-off either. His origin in the circus should be kept, as it’s the only logical reason to explain his acrobatic fighting style that is essential to the character. Grayson’s origin should be that he was raised in an orphanage, only to run away during his adolescent years searching for the criminals responsible for his family’s death. Would the comic book villain Tony Zucco (who is responsible for the death of the Grayson family) be the main villain? I’d rather use a pre-established criminal such as Sal Maroni (providing he’s not dead already) who was last seen in a car crash in The Dark Knight. That way it ties the films together and adds some much needed depth to the Sal Maroni character.

Grayson is quite a ladies man in the comics, and that’s the hardest thing to translate onto screen without damaging the overall tone of the film. I’m a big fan of the The Huntress character (who had a great scene in Batman: Hush), and although she’s not an original love interest for Dick in the comics, she could be Nightwing’s answer to Hit-Girl. A young woman who uses a variety of gadgets and weapons she steals from criminals. Unlike Catwoman though, Huntress is more reckless and careless. If Batman has Catwoman, Nightwing should have Huntress.

And lastly, who would direct it? At the risk of sounding delusional, I’m going to say Frank Miller. A Nightwing film needs a director who can capture the serious tone of the film. Whilst Gotham’s been getting all of the attention, its sister city Blüdhaven has been ignored and left to ruin. The legend of the Batman needs to be a recurring theme throughout the film as it’s what will drive Grayson throughout his crusade. Miller would capture that perfectly, whilst adding some real importance to Nolan’s films.

It’s a shame Warner Bros own of all DC’s cinematic properties. Under their ownership I really doubt that we’ll ever see a Nightwing movie. Perhaps if DC gave some of their properties to other studios we might eventually one day see Nightwing fighting crime on the streets of Blüdhaven on screen. Do you think Nightwing deserves his own movie? How would you do it? As always leave your comments below.

*Update* (July 23rd 2012)

Spoiler alert: The ending of The Dark Knight Rises hints at the John Blake character (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) taking on either the mantle of the Batman, or his own costumed persona. Blake taking up the mantle would be an interesting way to continue the Nolan Batman franchise without resorting to a total reboot now Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have gone. What do you guys think? Do you want a John Blake Nightwing film, or would you prefer a fresh Nightwing movie, more based on the comics?

What’s Next For Batman in Film?

Batman: Battle for the Cowl

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Next year Christopher Nolan will bring an end to what promises to be the greatest superhero movie trilogy of all time. The man behind Batman’s on screen resurrection has constantly assured fans that The Dark Knight Rises will be his last outing as director of the bat franchise. Whilst I’m sure Batman’s on screen future depends on the success of Marvel’s Avengers, as DC will look to get the ball rolling for their own Justice League movie, I’m not so sure a Batman reboot it the way forward for the Caped Crusader.

After all, how do you top a franchise, which has arguably set the standard for comic book movies? Reboots like The Amazing Spider-Man and Superman: Man of Steel I understand, but rebooting a franchise of such high quality that still oozes potential makes little sense to me. If Batman isn’t going to be played by Christian Bale in the next bat flick I’m not interested. Enter Dick Grayson.

I’ve already done a post on how Robin could factor into The Dark Knight Rises, but I doubt that’s going to happen given filming is underway and there’s no sign of any casting for the Boy Wonder. That doesn’t mean there’s no possibility of seeing Dick Grayson is some film capacity in the near future. I suggest going the Kick-Ass route with a teenage Grayson, and have him decide to fight crime on his own, inspiring to be like the caped crusader. I doubt Batman’s antics in the third film are likely to end crime in Gotham forever, so the city will be in need for a new hero.

Grayson is not like Batman though. Unlike Bruce, Dick did not feel responsible for his family’s death. Whilst he wanted to avenge them, Dick has never quite the amount of anger Bruce had in his early years. If Grayson were to get his own film, his circus life and the death of his family would need to be dealt with early on. This way the rest of the film can be spent building up Grayson’s character, as he attempts to mimic the actions set by Batman from the first three films. To make the character flawed and realistic, the film should showcase how Dick struggles to mimic the fighting style of the Dark Knight. After all, Bruce spent time training overseas to prepare him for his life fighting crime. To have Grayson become an expert crime fighter on his own would be unrealistic. Dick would need to develop his own fighting style suited to his past as an acrobat. Watching him develop his own style would be much more interesting and fluid considering how botched the cinematography was in Batman’s movie fight scenes.

What’s most important is that the character should not be looking for revenge; he should be looking for justice. If cinema is not ready to have Wayne and Grayson together in a film, then Dick should base his morals on the crime fighter he read and heard about. It’s a much more modern take on the sidekick role. Also the character’s costume should be a lot more amateur, with no cape. He is only an orphaned teenager after all. Lastly this is not a film about Robin, the Boy Wonder. Hearing the name Robin in cinema would likely bare a stigma from the famously flawed Batman & Robin film. Grayson should go through the film nameless until he catches the attention of Gotham’s police force that refer to him as The Nightwing.

So there’s my method how the Batman franchise should be continued. Would you prefer a Batman reboot after the last film hits cinemas next year? As always leave your comments below and let me know where you think the Batman franchise is heading.

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