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What I Want From “The Dark Knight Rises”

Dark Knight Rises Poster

So, in case you hadn’t heard, the full trailer for The Dark Knight Rises went live, and it is oh so very much yes. But, in addition to just showing you this brand new hotness and asking you “Christopher Nolan: Great Director? Or GREATEST Director?” I want to take a moment of your time to engage in some wild and nearly baseless speculation.

Now, some of you may not know it but, within the past three years or so, there’s been a thing in comics called “Batman, Inc.” The gist is this: Bruce Wayne has finally realised the extent of what he can do with all of his money and resources, and has started sending himself and other members of the Batman Family out into the world to recruit local candidates to be Batman in that city/part of the world.

Each new recruit has their own codename, but they all wear an easily recognisable version of the Symbol of the Bat. This says, “You know who Batman is. Look at me. I’m Batman. I have all of the Batman’s resources and the full weight of his network of support.” This is really just the logical extension of what had already been happening in an organic way with the rest of the Batman Family.

[ad#longpost]And so, looking at this trailer, it is my sincere wish that what we see toward the end of it–with all of the batmobiles and what even looks like a FLYING BATMOBILE–is that Nolan will bring in some of the elements and character development from the “Batman, Inc.” story line.

My circumstantial evidence is as follows: Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character is named John Blake, who is “a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty under the command of Commissioner Gordon.” (Emphasis mine.) We see him all over the trailers, but we don’t know ANYTHING about him. Anne Hathaway is definitely Selina Kyle, and though we’ve seen her in the catsuit, we haven’t specifically heard that she’ll be Catwoman-The-Villain. In fact, in that pictured scene, she’s riding a version of the Tumbler’s detachable cycle which we first see in The Dark Knight.

If this is what’s done, or even just alluded to, then I think it can be seen as the logical progression of what the Batman of Nolan’s films has wanted to do: Be Everywhere, and Save Everyone; become a Legend and an Animating Myth.

And if it isn’t, and I’m totally wrong? Well just look at that trailer. Whatever Nolan has hidden, he’s proven time and again that it will be amazing. And I’m okay with that.

Hat-tip for the trailer alert goes to sxyblkmn.


  • I was just curious, have you seen this:

    Advanced Batman Theory: Why Nolan Will Kill Bruce Wayne

    Just wondering because it seems to me that this theory is compatible with what you’re saying about “Batman, Inc.” I’m neither endorsing nor denigrating the theory, as I’m not informed enough about Batman to have a strong opinion about it. I just thought the Cracked writer’s reasoning is interesting, in part because I’m a big fan of The Prestige.

  • As I said over on facebook…

    I always liked thinking of Catwoman as an anti-heroine, personally.

    I really liked her portrayal by Michelle Pfeiffer and am hopeful for Anne Hathaway. I liked the Cat in the Animated Series too. Did you play Arkham City?

  • @Jinx: I HAD read that, yeah. And it’s a distinct possibility, and there Is precedent for it, in the source material, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Personally, I’d see a crippled Bruce, running things from behind the scenes, all Oracle/Batman Beyond style.

    @Adam: As I said, there: I think that’s where she is much more firmly situated, in recent years. She works best as a kind of Conscience to Batman because, as a Robin Hood-esque thief, she keeps him Honest about the nature of Justice and the Dispossessed.

    Michelle Pfeiffer is definitely My Catwoman (all majorly-deserved respect to Julie and Ertha), and the Selena-Centric episodes of the Animated Series are some of my favourites. I’ve seen Arkham City played, but haven’t gotten to play yet, myself.

  • It’s an amazing game. Did you play Arkham Asylum? If you didn’t I’d recommend playing that one first.

    Clayface and Catwoman episodes of TAS were my favorites.

  • That’s a really interesting speculation, and though it had not occurred to me it’s very much in line with my own reading of Nolan’s Batman as a critical response to Frank Miller’s Batman.

    Miller’s Batman is a force of nature who effectively consumes Bruce Wayne in his quest to protect people from the implacable forces of evil; Nolan’s is one tool among many that Bruce Wayne is using in a project that attempts to transform Gotham and fundamentally undercut its evils. Miller’s Batman is the only true force of righteousness in his world; his Gordon, virtuous as he is, can only act as a support to Batman. Nolan’s Batman is not a singular force but part of a conspiracy of civic-minded Gothamites, Alfred, Lucius Fox, Gordon, Rachel Dawes, and Harvey Dent.

    And most importantly, for Miller’s Bruce Wayne, retirement from being Batman was an error, a failure. But for Nolan’s Wayne, retirement from being Batman would be a victory. Which puts us in an interesting place of suspense for The Dark Knight Rises. Will we get an ending that leads Wayne to the tragic failure of staying Batman? Or will he have a victorious retirement?

  • Wolven: My only thing would be I think Catwoman is definitely in villain mode here. And I think she has the Batpod because being a thief–she just stole it.

    I think the Batman Inc. idea is interesting but a bit too large for a single film, especially a film that ends the legend. Unless Wayne releases some sort of “ACME Batman How To” online–that would certainly shorten the time needed to get up and running.

    The best bit is, like you said, I think we all think it is going to Rock Balls, whatever it is.

  • @Adam: I did play Asylum, and it was pretty fantastic. I’ve been looking forward to playing City, for a while.

    @Jonathan: Or, knowing Nolan, a glorious combination of the two.

    @Widge: I see her as firmly in this capacity: Which… Yeah. But.

    I think it’s way too large to fully implement in this, the end of the series, but I think he can nod a head in that direction, lay the groundwork for us thinking about what happens after the credits roll and the lights come up. For what we’re talking about, when we all leave the theater. And it’ll be fandamntastic, no matter what.