Thursday, August 22, 2013

Stuff I Have Been Reading: Legends of the Dark Knight

In anticipation of Arkham Origins I've been reading Legends of the Dark Knight, an old series of comic books released after DC's Crisis on Infinite Earth reboot designed to show early tales of the Caped Crusader. In particular two stories are worthy of comment so far.


This is a story that predates Bane's introduction to the Batman mythos by a few years deals with Batman getting hooked on the stuff after he fails to rescue a little girl in a cave-in. Conveniently the creepy father of the girl is able to hook him up with the pills and tries to use them to turn the Dark Knight into a zombie-addict. The pills make Batman stronger, but dumber.

Having failed to completely zombify the Dark Knight the evil scientist and his military buddy decamp to Santa Prisca where they proceed to zombify the military buddy's slow-witted son. He goes from nice "alright" kid to ruthless killer in a rather brutal manner (these comics were not for kids!)

Aw... ain't it sweet.
Wait, what's this below?
Drugs are bad. We get it.
Well worth a check out, if only for beardy Batman on drugs, and Batman punching a shark (no shark repellant was used).
Seriously, beardy batman!


This one is memorable for all the wrong reasons. In the seminal Batman: Year One there was a scene that is almost wholesale lifted in Batman Begins where he uses a sonic device to summon a flock of bats. Among the many things that they do is block the vision of a helicopter carrying snipers, causing it to crash. This is the story of the pilot who was crippled for life in the wreckage of said helicopter. But luckily he was a half-German fellow with an evil Nazi warcrimes mother who worked on experimental tech and was able to give him an exo-skeleton suit. She is also waiting to find an ubermensch to breed with - and has decided Batman is the man for her. The Flyer, her son, lures Bats to their underground base. Which leads to this scene:-

Holy Bat Rape! The Climax? I don't wanna see that...

One of the things I liked about LotDK is most of its stories exhibit a certain groundedness in reality. Not to the extent of Nolan's Batman movies, but more like the first Burton movie. It boggles my mind that a gritty noir story like Batman: Year One should be referenced in a story that is... well... less grounded with cybernazis and worse.

Anyway - Year One made a spiffy straight-to-DVD feature. Well worth checking out.

and here is my favourite scene from its quasi-sequel Dark Knight Returns.