You’d think with all the bat-knowledge we dropped on last week’s episode, we’d be all batted out, but nope, there’s a whole OTHER bat-franchise just waiting to be discussed. Alia knows more about Batman but is confused about Vicki Vale’s glasses, the Joker’s skin colour, and why anyone would live in Gotham in the first place.
Travel back to the Big Bang of superhero movies with Matt and Alia as they discuss Tim Burton’s 1989 genre-defining exercise in weirdness: BATMAN.
Direct Download: Super_Zero-Batman.mp3
February 7, 2015
Once again, great podcast.
Regarding Batman returning to a darker character, it started in the comics in 1970 as a reaction against the direction of the Adam West tv show. The Adam West Batman ran from 1966 to 1968 before being cancelled and in that time the show had an big influence on the comic. Basically DC tried to cash in on the success of the show and made the comic very campy in turn. However by the end of the 1960’s that campiness had been really played out. At that time the Comic Code was losing up and so horror comics were making a resurgence. DC & Marvel both introduced a number of supernatural characters to go along with this trend using characters like Ghost Rider, Deadman, the Specture, Swamp Thing and more.
So with the success of horror comics again, DC tried to angle Batman as a horror comics. It was Neal Adams & Dennis O’Neil who was writing Detective Comics around that time and one of the things new characters they created was Man-Bat. A bit of ridiculous character, but works a bit better when taken from the horror angle. The Batman picture above gothic cathedrals with big gargoyles started from this era. Adams & O’Neil created Ra’s al Ghul and brought the Joker back after he had been gone for a number of years and once again made him a complete homicidal psychopath. Frank Miller & even Alan Moore took the characters to the next level in the 1980’s, but it was path set by Adams & O’Neil.
It took 2 years for the end of the Adam West tv show for Batman comics to go from campy to dark but took almost 20 years before those changes would make it through into a movie adaption and into popular culture.
As for Vicki Vale, she is a very old Batman character that has been around since the 1940’s, having been created by created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. She was a reporter and the ongoing plot-line with her seemed to be that she was often suspicious of Bruce Wayne being Batman but with Batman or someone managing to convince her otherwise. However, she was sometime romantically connected not just with Bruce but occasionally with Batman.
That said, she was never a very well defined character, changing a lot depending who wrote her. In the 1970’s they even had her married to someone changing her name to Vicki Powers, but then when she was brought back a few years later, that plot point was just ignored and she was Vicki Vale again.
Also mention in the podcast credit is given to Nolan for the playboy aspect of Bruce Wayne being a facade, but that was very much part of the comics. I don’t know which writer first made the switch of Bruce Wayne from being a playboy to using the playboy image to trick people, but it’s been around for quite some time. Even the old Batman Animated Series in the 1990’s used it for a number of story lines. The voice actor who played Batman & Bruce Wayne on the animated series would even give the playboy Bruce a different tone of voice from regular Bruce Wayne, pushing it just a few octanes higher. So he had distinct voices for each of the three versions of the one character.
February 5, 2015
Correction: this is inaccurate. RT ModernSuperior: Today tederick & alia_138 talk BATMAN (1990) on SuperZeroCast! http://wp.me/p2FoCY-1m7
February 5, 2015
This is accurate! RT ModernSuperior: Today tederick & alia_138 talk BATMAN (1990) in Episode 2 of SuperZeroCast! http://wp.me/p2FoCY-1m7