A Bat-fan’s favorites from the city of Gotham
As the resident Batman expert here at the Nerd Assembly, I’m always asked about my favorites in this franchise. Favorite Batman movie? Comic? Video game? And I’ll tell you right now, it’s always a difficult choice. There’s been a lot of great work done with this particular superhero, and sometimes it’s tough to pick out the best of the best. But, here we go: this list represents my must-watch and must-read adaptations starring the Caped Crusader.
Television: Batman: the Animated Series
For any kid who grew up in the 90’s (or any Bat-fan who was alive at the time), watching this show was a way of life. From the dramatic coloring to the outstanding writing and performances, this show is pure gold for anyone who likes a good story.
To this day, some of the best Batman stories can be found in this series, from the origin of Mr. Freeze to the creation of Harley Quinn. Favorite episodes include (but are not limited to): Over the Edge, Almost Got ‘Im, and anything with the Joker in it. He was always my favorite part of the show.
Film: The Dark Knight
Okay, of all of the sections that I’ve picked out, this is the one that I’m dragging my feet over. Films are not exactly the best part of Batman. While they might be a good way to introduce the character to a wide audience, it rarely ever finds a new story to tell for the Bat that another media hasn’t already told. Nothing is new, everything is copied. And more often than not, the original material was better.
Regardless, this is the best of the Batman films. It brings that feeling of reality to the universe while still including the essence of who the character is.
Video Games: Arkham City
It’s Batman the Animated Series, in video game form! Seriously, what’s not to love about this? This game brings everything incredible about the Batman universe and ties it all into an immersive experience where you can truly be the Dark Knight.
Prior to this and Arkham Asylum, the best I had to play with was Batman Begins, the movie tie-in. For those not familiar with gaming, video games based on movies are never, EVER a good idea. The Arkham series are the games that Bat-fans had been waiting for.
Comics: The Long Halloween
Any Batman comic reader will tell you that I’m crazy for not having one of the Miller Masterpieces on here, and there’s a reason for it! If you ever go to a comic store and ask what to read if you’re a new Batman fan, you will instantly be handed two books: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns. Most Bat-fans will have one of these two as their favorites (Year One for me), but they almost always have a second favorite as well. Long Halloween is that second favorite for me. The story instantly draws you in, mixing a gritty tale about two warring Mob families with the crazy shenanigans of living in a superhero’s hometown. It’s the Sopranos of Gotham.
With 75 years of comics, movies, shows, and video games, there’s obviously more that I could have chosen to write about. But if you’re new to the world of Batman, and looking for somewhere to start, these are my suggestions!
Are you already a fan of The Dark Knight? I’m always curious, if you had to make this list, what would you have included?