Thursday, July 7, 2011

WB Animation releases trailer for "Batman: Year One" (yes, it is what you think it is)

WB animation has provided us with some of the finest depictions of DC Comics' universe of characters, from Batman: The Animated Series (which debuted almost 20 years ago) straight through to last month's Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.

Of late, they've been tackling DC source material, including All Star Superman and old Green Lantern Corps stories. The results are often mixed, some movies I've straight up disliked, such as Batman: Under the Red Hood or whatever it was called.

And so I am deeply anxious to see that they have now taken of Batman: Year One, my favorite Batman story of all time.

It should make some slap their foreheads collectively in the obvious casting of Breaking Bad's Brian Cranston as Jim Gordon. Katee Sackoff will play Sarah Essen (and she should be the ONLY choice for a live action film).

This isn't a story about Batman so much as it is about Jim Gordon's life in Gotham, arriving at the same time that Bruce Wayne returns to Gotham and begins his life as a crimefighter. I understand that the studios has to sell the movie with Batman, but we don't even really see Jim Gordon here, and that's disappointing.

I've loved this comic since I first read it in middle school, and I still re-read it about once per year.

Here's to hoping the movie captures the spirit of the comic.


Anonymous said...

Looks good but it's not the same without David Mazzucchelli's brilliant artwork.


The League said...

That's always the hardest part about these movies. As much as I enjoyed All Star Superman, it just wasn't Quitely.

Jake Shore said...

Looks good. Loved the comic; one of the all timers. The style seems to give at least a slight nod to Mazzuchelli's artwork.

On a lesser note, I just watched the Superman/Shazam: Return of Black Adam (which is a collection of animated shorts). I actually liked it quite a bit. I have yet to see All Star Superman (Or read it). Is the Green Lantern: Emerald Knights any good?

Now if DC would just get The Dark Knight Returns made into a film.

Simon MacDonald said...

Well I think the animation looks pretty good and as you say the voice actors seem to be of good quality as well. I'll be very interested how they turn such a nuanced story into a 90 minute film though.

The League said...

@Jake: I watched the Superman/ Shazam video. I'd seen most of the shorts on the DVDs for the otehr films and I liked them. I actually quite liked the Superman/ Shazam short, but didn't buy it as it was the only original material on the disk.

I'm woefully biased regarding "All Star Superman". Its likely my favorite comic since Kingdom Come. The movie is a fairly good, if light, adaptation of the book.

What was curious about All Star Superman is how people asked "why isn't Superman like this in the monthlies?" and (a) Morrison doesn't write the Superman monthlies - or didn't, and (b) that's basically the same character better writers like Chris Roberson put on the page every month, but DKR made it uncool to like Superman.

I would love a DKR movie. I suspect we get one in 2012 or 13. They seem to be headed that way.

The League said...

@Simon - my best hope is that (we forget) Year One is a very slim volume. If they could more or less bring All Star Superman to video, then I think Year One is possible. It was only 4 (FOUR!) issues.

J.S. said...

Looks interesting. People might have various complaints and criticisms, but I feel much better about this than I would probably feel about an adapted live action version.

Jake Shore said...

I dont' get it how it. How did Dark Knight Returns make it uncool to like Superman? I loved his portrayal there.

The League said...

Miller's take on Superman wasn't necessarily wrong or inaccurate (and I think he makes up for it in the underappreciated DKSA), but after the portagonist of the uber-popular series spends four issues bagging on Clark Kent/ Superman, and manages to go toe-to-toe with him, it seems a lot of impresionable young readers took that as an indication that Superman was "wrong" and Batman was "right".

DKR seemed to begin the erosion of both DC and the public's interest in supporting Superman as their primary character. My observation is that when our generation that had grown up on DKR began getting into the press, began having a voice either unpaid through the internet or in paid columns, the understanding of Superman was that he was old fashioned and not in step with the times (and a bit of a patsy and a supporter of the status quo rather than an agent of change). An argument that echoes the comments and opinions of DKR's Batman.

Its been just in the past year that All Star Superman hit critical mass with comics readership that you've seen comic readers reconsidering the character.

Jake Shore said...

I love the Superman as a flying anachronism. His boy scout values will necessarily make him seem odd or silly in a darker world. That's a huge part of his appeal in my view. I think Miller did a good job making Superman's point of view sympathetic under the circumstances. But I guess I can see how kids would see that as a weakness, particularly when Superman is seen through most of the story from Batman's point of view.

I disagree with you about DKSA. I thought that was a steaming pile of disappointment. Miller seemed like he was just mailing it in. I love Miller. In fact, my two favorite comics are written by him, but ever since 300 and the first couple of Sin City books, he just hasn't done anything good (so far as I know). All-Star Batman? Please. Even Jim Lee couldn't help him.

The League said...

You know, the only reason I like All Star Batman is that its a chance to see a Batman we really shouldn't be seeing. Which I know is counter-intuitive, but its like this ridiculous R-rated cartoony version of the character that is just completely ridiculous. But I don't think Jim Lee is a good match for what I think Miller was trying to do.

I don't look at it as being the best Batman or what Batman should be, but I find Miller's approach... kind of funny, I guess.

As far as DKSA goes, it is a deeply, deeply flawed work, but I get that Miller's only interest in mainstream heroes for the past 20 or 12 years has been to see how far he can push it. I look at it almost like "what if Superman decisively won at the end of 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow'?" That last scene of Superman and his daughter looking at Earth is a bit blasphemous from a Superman purist point of view, but I think it at least poses some interesting questions.