A spoiler-free discussion.
To get the obvious out of the way: we are all well aware that with each inevitable reincarnation of a superhero, whether it be in the comics, video games, television, or on the silver screen, there is ultimately going to be an equally inevitable provision of creative liberty applied to the aforementioned character. This is an essential aspect of providing audiences, like us, with what is to be perceived as a “fresh” take on the superhero, or at the very least, just enough of a difference to separate the new version of the character from what came before. However, one such factor of a superhero’s reimagining that seems to often generates more negative uproar from the fans rather than their universal approval is a character’s design.
Over the years, the Batman character has undergone numerous transformations on screen, an evident display of the superhero’s success among audiences of comic book films and shows. And while there appears to be no inkling of viewer fatigue towards Batman films happening anytime soon, there still lingers the apparent contentious discourse online that questions certain facets of the Caped Crusader’s design in each incarnation.
One such creative choice that has spawned plenty of debates among fans is to do with the new design of the Batman in the film by Matt Reeves scheduled for release in just a handful of months. It seems that the biggest gripe from the Robert Pattinson version of the Dark Knight stems from the character being a heavily-armored interpretation of the superhero.
The problem with a heavily-armored Batman
Scene from The Batman trailer depicting a seemingly bulletproof Batman
Although there was certainly plenty to enjoy from the official full-length film trailer, glimpsing the Caped Crusader casually walking down a blacked-out corridor while being riddled with a hail of gunfire seems like an odd design choice for a character such as the Batman. Sure, from a solely visual standpoint, the scene will undoubtedly have casual moviegoers screaming in excitement. However, from a more logical perspective, one that takes into account the characterization of the Dark Knight, such a scene only appears to cheapen the character as a whole.
This is simply because, throughout all the past iterations of the superhero, one factor of the character’s design that has remained consistent in each portrayal is the Batman’s similarity to that of a ninja. Regardless of the level of toughness associated with each past reimagining of the character, the Dark Knight was always depicted as a hero that relied on his agility, stealth, and evasive maneuvers in the presence of his foes. It is specifically this feature that separates the character from other superheroes in the comic book world; the fact that his own impermanence is a driving force in enhancing his formidability as a feared and respected crimefighter. Furthermore, this aspect of the Caped Crusader adds a degree of risk in each instance that he is shown overcoming foes, making the character’s exploits all the more impressive when he would eventually emerge victoriously.
That being said, looking back at the various unpalatable designs associated with the character from past films, a heavily-armored Batman is in no way as laughable or as ludicrous as the dreaded “Bat nipples” in the Clooney film. Perhaps there is a justifiable reason as to why the Pattinson Batman is as “tanky” as he is in the upcoming movie, but that remains to be seen. All that we can say is it will require a period of adjustment before fans of the Bat can be wholly on board with the idea.
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