Since Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises won’t be in theaters until next summer, and we can’t keep talking about what Anne Hathaway is or isn’t wearing (in the film), it’s only fair that Warner Bros. gives us something to distract us with in the interim. Starring Bryan Cranston, Eliza Dushku, and Ben McKenzie, Batman: Year One plops in stores on October 18th, making it the perfect Halloween gift for that weird Pagan guy/gal in the office who calls it All Hallow’s Eve. The adaptation of Frank Miller’s original DC comic looks to recapture the animated magic of Batman: Under the Red Hood, with a focus on Bruce Wayne’s (McKenzie) first 12 months in the cape and cowl, though police lieutenant Jim Gordon’s (Cranston) perspective on the events should be equally represented. The movie will also feature the origin of Catwoman (Dushku), who will get to star in her very own animated short on the DVD’s special features.
Warner Bros. has released a couple of iconic scenes from the comic that ought to play significant (but non-spoilery) parts in the adaptation. While the animation seems uniformly excellent as a mix between Miller’s style and the standard Bruce Timm look from “Batman: The Animated Series”, the scenes themselves are a bit of a 50/50 proposition, if only because McKenzie just kind of sounds like he’s still the kid from “The O.C.” trying to imitate Christian Bale’s Batman voice. Which is hilarious, but not exactly what one would hope for. And even if you’ve never read the comics, if you’ve seen Nolan’s Batman Begins then you’ll recognize the second scene to some degree, which was lifted heavily for the theatrical motion picture.
Seeing the comic in motion is fairly thrilling, though, no matter how bad Ryan Atwood’s Batman might be. But Warner Bros.’ DC animated features have a pretty stellar track record — far better on average than their live action counterparts — so they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt. Batman: Year One is definitely one to check out, especially since it was originally written well before Frank Miller’s crazy period (September 12, 2001-present).
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and studied RTVF (radio, television, and film) in college. He could honestly talk about Anne Hathaway’s outfits, or lack thereof, all day long.