Love it or hate it, this is the beginning of the Morrison epic that will be ending in another ten issues. Scans do not make up complete scenes. *That* scene is included, unfortunately — once again, what Morrison says and what we see don’t add up. Sorry about that, but I like the art.
(from Teen Titans Year One)
Happy Father’s Day to a man who really, really deserves it: Alfred Pennyworth.
I could go on and on about how he’s arguably the most integral part of the Bat-family, the glue that holds them together, and how Bruce probably would have died a long time ago if Alfred wasn’t there stitching him up and making sure he got enough sleep and didn’t forget to eat…
I could go on and on and on about how he’s awesome in every form of Batman media (Remember in BTAS when he let himself get arrested in Over the Edge so that Bruce and Tim could escape?) and how he truly loves and cares for Bruce and all of the Robins… Bat-sibs… Bat-kids… whatever you want to call them. Dick, Jason, Tim, Babs, Steph, Cass, Damian…
I could go on forever but I don’t think I need to because everybody has those Alfred moments they remember best, that make them smile because it’s clear what a caring, fatherly man he is.
(We love you, Alfred. Never change.)
Damn right. (Sorry, all my love to Ra’s, but Alfred (and Jim Gordon!) wins at best dad in the DCU who doesn’t fuck his kids up for life.
This statement is equally applicable in the comics. God bless you, Alfred.
1) I defend Tony Daniel a lot because I feel that people are bit unfair to him, but damn, when one reads all of the new Tec at once, it really is all over the place.
2) I love Scott Snyder, but I’m just not that interested in the Court of Owls. I love what Snyder’s been doing with Batman’s relationship with Gotham, but the Court just loses me.
3) Bruce, you are just too much.
4) Damian… you keep right on truckin’, little guy.
5) Gotta admit that I like Tomasi & Gleason making Talia visible in the background of Damian’s training. Further admission: one of the reasons I like it is because I feel that, while showing childhood scenes of a wide assortment of heroes and villains, the DCU has never really explored Talia’s childhood at all, and I like the idea that Damian is doing some of the same things his mother had to do. (Which reminds me — DC, can we finally get some little Talia hanging out with Pops someday?)
6) Commissioner Gordon is THE best person ever. (And Alfred).
More later/tomorrow as I continue the massive re-reading.
Tim writes a (hilarious) breakup letter to Ariana.
Clearly, Tim went through Bruce’s “private” files and used a Talia letter as an example.
Her base in Tibet is full of them and has been ever since her father gave the base to her. Her assassins aren’t fond of the creatures, since bats are so sensitive to vibrations and thus tend to give their position away any time the men try to move quietly around them, but she thinks they’re adorable.
She’ll never be so undignified as to admit it, but she feels like such a badass when commanding her army of Man-Bats.
Once while she and Bruce were getting along, she actually helped Alfred feed the bats in the Batcave. It’s a secret between them.
I loved that page way too much. Talia’s kind of hugging herself as she watches the operation and I find that really sweet.
I wish there were more Talia and Alfred interactions. In my headcanon, whenever Bruce and Talia are getting along and Talia pops by the Manor, Alfred makes dishes from the places he knows she’s lived in the most, and she’s secretly very excited about that.
I am all soppy inside!
Dude, seriously. We’ve seen Selina there at Christmas, when does Mama Talia get to visit?! We know she observes Christmas at least long enough to give Dami some sweet, sweet stuff. I want her to park her jet right on the lawn of Wayne Manor and demand a place for delicious Alfred-style Christmas dinner.
You’re fallible and no longer immortal — like a small part inside of the young boy that Talia didn’t destroy still believes himself to be. As you unfortunately know better than most, Bruce, each of us has a day when we realize for the first time that nothing lasts forever.
— ALFRED PENNYWORTH (( Batman & Robin #4 ))"
Darling Talia, why do you have to be such a jerk sometimes? Even Alfred thinks you’re a jerk! Alfred!!
You are as precious to me as you were to your mother and father.
Basically all I get from this is that Bruce can’t maintain a healthy human relationship to save his life.
I’d say that’s about right.
…because for some wonderful reason, two UK stations were airing it at exactly the same time, which in itself is a beautiful thing. I’d forgotten how much I like that movie.
I saw in theatres when it came out, but not for the right reasons. As we all know, Batman movies had sucked for a while, and given the atrocity that was Batman and Robin, I would, despite being a lifelong fan of Batman, have gladly ignored this movie if it weren’t for two factors: Ra’s al Ghul, and Cillian Murphy playing Jonthan Crane (specifically, the moment in the trailer where, deep in the basement of Arkham Asylum, he twists his head around all cutely and says “the Batman”). Yes, I went to theatre just to see how Nolan treated Ra’s and to see Cillian Murphy do that one line.
I’m a Christian Bale fan, but I wasn’t convinced he’d be a good Bruce, and much to my shame today, I was being a general grump about the prospect of a new Batman film franchise. I repented of my grumpiness about twenty minutes into the film.
Here are some of the things that I loved in 2005 and have loved since every re-watching since. Most of them involve Ra’s. No one should be surprised by that.
1) Pre-Batman Bruce’s rage.
It’s lovely, isn’t it? This is one of the only times in Batman history that we’ve really gotten to see the depths to which he sinks before he finds a new purpose in the cape and cowl. Personally, I love the idea of him getting himself imprisoned and just generally being a lost prick out there in the world until he realizes that he can channel his rage into something useful.
2) Ra’s al Ghul talking about himself
It happens a few times in the film, and it’s brilliant. A lot of us already knew that Liam Neeson was actually Ra’s al Ghul (just look at him, he really does look like a Caucasian version of Ra’s) and Ken Watanabe would be his decoy, presumably as a reference to Ra’s’ biggest fan, Ubu — but Nolan does give the occasional hint whenever Henri Ducard opens his mouth to expound upon the greatness of Ra’s al Ghul. It happens when Ducard finds Bruce in prison, when he discusses the path offered by the League of Shadows (while really just detailing how Ra’s al Ghul the man became Ra’s al Ghul the legend), and, in my favorite moment, when Ducard is trying to convince Bruce to join the League. Ken Watanabe doesn’t get to do much in the film, but the way he stares at Ra’s in that scene was perfect; it really mimicked the subtle but cultish adoration some comic artists have drawn in League members’ faces before.
I also love the way the League is presented in that Nolan emphasizes the fact that, to its members and to Ra’s himself, Ra’s al Ghul isn’t an evil man but a savior who, as we see him doing in the movie, finds people at their weakest, most broken moments and offers them a chance to lift themselves back up through service to him. It’s not that often that someone explores the charismatic nature of Ra’s, but I feel that his charisma as a quasi-religious leader is one of the most important aspects of his character.
3) Alfred getting to be Alfred
This is the only movie that really shows off Alfred’s personality. In previous movies, he was just the quaint British servant without any of the wit we see in the comics. Other Alfreds have been good, but BTAS Alfred and Nolan Alfred are the closest to the Alfred we all love in the comics. Michael Caine was a perfect choice for the role, and I especially love the way he portrays Alfred when Bruce is actually in trouble. That emotional connection between them doesn’t get shown enough.
4) Ra’s talks about Sora
Just as Bruce’s parents’ death is the foundation of what he will become, so was Sora’s death to Ra’s. However, that part of his motivation is usually ignored. It was nice to see him actually connecting to Bruce and talking about her. What’s especially interesting in the scene is that he’s telling Bruce about her in order to talk to him about how he needs to channel his pain into something good or else it “will destroy him.” Ra’s doesn’t see it that way, but we know that that’s exactly what happened to him and why, despite having a few very similar beliefs, he and Bruce will always be enemies.
5) Liam Neeson’s facial expressions
There are two in particular that get me: when Bruce wins the challenge by fooling Ra’s and Ra’s smiles, and the look on his face just before the train crashes. In the former, we have a nod to the test of worthiness Ra’s puts Bruce through in the comics, and the little smile reads as the exact moment that he knows Bruce is his “heir.” In the second, whether or not one interprets Ra’s-the-man as immortal in the Nolanverse (Nolan does cleverly give us that option), the expression he does when he knows that he is absolutely going to die on that train is beautiful, and perfectly befitting the character.
6) Mr. Zsaz!
It’s good to see that psychotic, murderin’ little bastard in a film.
7) Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane
Sure, he’s different from the character we know from the comics in that he’s oh-so-very-pretty, but he still comes off as a guy who’s been kicked around his whole life. With his somewhat effeminate face (go watch Breakfast on Pluto if you want to see how femme Cillian Murphy can get, god, he’s too pretty) and diminuitive frame, it’s easy to imagine Crane as the lifelong victim of others until, through his chemical compound, he finds a way to assert himself so aggressively that no one can beat him.
8) Long-suffering Gordon
This movie marked the first time there was a mainstream exploration of Gordon’s character, and it’s brilliant for that. Gary Oldman is a perfect choice for Gotham’s finest, as he plays the character with enough grim determination to convince audiences, as well as Bruce himself, that this is the man who will help Batman become a legend.
9) ELEVATOR FIREBALL OF DEATH!
10) Every damn thing else…
11) … Except Katie Holmes.
I like Rachel Dawes as a love interest for young Bruce/early Batman, but seriously, how did Katie Holmes get into this film? I was so happy when Maggie Gyllenhaal, a beautiful woman who’s actually capable of playing a strong female character, came on for The Dark Knight. I was also happy when she died because, damnit, Bruce, Gotham comes first! And the other ladies in his life, whom there is much room for in the Nolanverse, are so hardcore compared to Rachel. Young Bruce can have Rachel, but “I’m the goddamn Batman” needs ladies like Talia and Selina, not a damsel in distress.
It’s not an absolutely perfect film, but it’s damn near it.
In closing, my favorite line
“Gentlemen, it’s time to spread the word, and the word is — PANIC.”
Aw, little Damian and his Mama in (slightly) happier times.
(Batman and Robin #3)
At a con, I actually thanked Frank Quitely for giving Talia an awesome hairdo in this panel. He seemed amused.