I’m more gung-ho about the Christopher Nolan movies. I liked Batman Begins but I absolutely loved The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger’s performance was the best I had ever seen. I remember my brother saying “The Joker made me so nervous that when he wasn’t on screen, I kept wondering where he was. I couldn’t get comfortable.”
I think that movie was something of a miracle: despite it being about a man in a bat suit fighting a clown, it felt deadly serious, at least to this nerd. And, as the box office totals suggested, I wasn’t alone.
I can’t wait for The Dark Knight Rises. It’s fourteen days away. I think it will be even better than I think it will, and I think it will be one of the best movies I’ll ever watch.
If you’re a kindred spirit and you’re interested in brushing up on Batman, I’ve read a few fun books lately that I want to share. Several of these are in the “Batman canon,” meaning they’re found on just about every list of must-read Batman stories in existence. I didn’t know any of them.
I’m not going to recap them all, but I’ll give you the title, author, and invite you to add to the list.
The Boy Who Loved Batman: A Memoir by Michael Uslan
Michael Uslan was the ultimate comic book kid. His mission was to bring a serious, dark version of Batman to the big screen. And he did it. His journey from comics-obsessed kid to executive producer of the Batman films is one I won’t spoil for you. This book is a wonderful history of the comic book industry, and the best kind of memoir: one where the author could not be more passionate about the subject.
Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
The Batman Files by Matthew K. Manning
Batman: Year One by Frank Miller
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
I know I’m way behind the curve. If you have any titles you consider must-reads, please let us all know.