Director(s): Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan
Writer(s): A Lot of People
Release Date: 22 September, 2017
In Telltale’s Gotham City, before he was gunned down in Crime Alley, Thomas Wayne was a master criminal. Gotham Gazette reporter Vicki Vale led a terrorist group, The Children of Arkham, which had risen from his nefarious activities. In Arkham Asylum, a man known only as John Doe hoped to rehabilitate; he was friendly, helpful, intelligent, but he also had green hair, pale skin, and a wide, chilling grin.
In Telltale’s Gotham City, choices have consequences.
Hot news coming out of New York Comic Con! Batman: The Animated Series is coming to Blu-Ray in 2018! Fans around the world rejoice, one of the best and highest regarded superhero cartoons ever will be available in beautiful HD quality. The word remaster was thrown around, so hopefully, this will be a complete HD collection. No word yet on 4K. At this time a concrete release date other than 2018 hasn’t been given. Also unspecified is whether it will be the original 85 episode run, or if it will include the 25 The New Adventures of Batman and Robin as well. This will be the first time the series has been released like this since the DVD collections in 2004-2005.
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Since the beginning of Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboot, I have been a huge fan of both him and his work; and though I have loved Batman as a character ever since I was an odd excuse for a child, this fresh, revamped and more realistic concept of The Bat gave me more of a reason to return to the character at an older age. But boy was I wrong when I thought this was all it had to offer to me as a person.
Nolan’s trilogy, comprising of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, not only made an irreversibly brilliant mark on the film industry, but also set the mark for future films of all genres to come. But out of all things, one aspect which I truly found to stand out more vividly than in other films was the trilogy’s remarkable musical score. I mean, sure, there are a range of other aspects that can be considered about a film. For example, there is much, deep political meaning to Nolan’s Batman films. But I can’t say this is an area that deeply concerns me, though it is an interesting area nonetheless. This isn’t to say the notion of other meanings in film, such as politics, should be ignored. Not at all. In fact, I enjoy informing myself on such aspects. But one of the best ways to truly connect with a film is through such deeper dispositions. I feel there is a much more meaningful aspect to it; perhaps something a bit more personal. Motivation.
If I’ve learned anything during my adventures in DC and Warner Bros.’ bizarre catalogue of straight-to-DVD animations, it’s that you can never trust the title. You hardly need to be the World’s Greatest Detective to figure out which of these things are most likely to shift an acceptable number of units. Batman or Superman in the title? Classic story being adapted? Then you’re probably onto a winner.
But a film like Batman: Assault on Arkham, which is based on an original story focusing on the Suicide Squad and set in the continuity of the Batman: Arkham video game series, needs to finesse things a little more. So Batman is there in the title, and he’s technically there in the film (voiced by Kevin Conroy, no less), but this is by no means a film about Batman. It’s a deliriously scuzzy crime thriller that revels in its explicit amorality, giving DC’s oft-neglected second-string villains their own time in the Bat-signal.
For all his high-tech gadgetry and countless millions, Batman (Jason O’Mara) forgot the one thing that was sure to guarantee him a comfortable, stress-free life: Condoms.
Yes, after a late-night tryst – which, it’s implied, involved Batman being date-raped – with Talia al Ghul (Morena Baccarin), the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito), the Caped Crusader went and made a sprog. Raised by Talia and Ra’s to be the eventual head of the League of Assassins, Damian Wayne (Stuart Allan) is an arrogant, worryingly competent little twerp who finds himself dumped unceremoniously in Batman’s lap after another of Ra’s students, Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson), assaults the League’s headquarters.
You’d never tell judging from the scores I’ve awarded the various entries into the Bruce Timm-shepherded DC Animated Originals catalogue, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: They’re starting to get a bit tedious.
This might be because I’ve watched a significant number of them back-to-back, only taking a brief hiatus to completely upend my life and relocate somewhere else – an endeavour I briefly detailed here – which clearly isn’t the intended way to consume films which are released 6-8 months apart. I once decided I was going to read Chuck Palahniuk’s entire bibliography, and after the second book, Survivor, an extraordinarily cynical meditation on isolated religious cults and fervent media frenzy, I felt so aggressively fed-up with contemporary society that I was tempted to disappear into the wilderness myself.