Batman: Gotham Knight

by Sarah on July 16, 2008

in Anime Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Batman: Gotham Knight
  • IMDB: link

In light of the Batman theme, I went out and bought the new Batman: Gotham Knight yesterday.  I was extremely excited when I first heard about this, six mini-sodes to key us in on what The Dark Knight has been up to since Batman Begins, sounds like a good time to me.  Unfortunately, the extremely painfully short episodes, or blips as I would call them, left me confused and less than happy.  None of the episodes ties in together, so if you look at it as if you will be able to follow a plot then you will be lost.  Those fans who have seen every episode of the old cartoons, every movie and read the comics will know exactly what is going on here.  I have seen more than enough episodes and all the movies, but that isn’t enough, so beware if you are on the same page as me.

The film begins with “Have I Got A Story For You”, written by Josh Olson, the writer of A History of Violence, and produced by Studio 4C, who also did The Animatrix and Transformers: Animated.  This episode brings you in on four kids, three telling tales of how they perceived Batman as he tried to thwart an armed robber.  The final kid who had no story to tell gets to see Batman and actually assist him as the robber throws a smoke bomb leaving Batman defenseless.  That sounds dry, yes I know, but blame Monsieur Olson for that.  This episode is really just showing Batman in different lights, the story behind it is just an plain Jane battle, no big villain seen here.

Next is “Crossfire”, written by Greg Rucka, a comic writer for Marvel and DC, and produced by Production I.G, well known for their work with the Ghost in the Shell franchise.  This episode involves Crispus Allen and Anna Ramirez, two Gotham City detectives, who are transporting a prisoner when the mob attacked them.  Batman, being the hero he is, steps in and saves them from the explosion.  While Ramirez views Batman as an ally, Allen is still a little skeptical.

Episode three, “Field Test”, written by Jordan Goldberg, an associate producer of Batman: The Dark Knight, and produced by Bee Train, who also produced Tsubasa Chronicle and Noir.  A much younger Bruce working with Lucius Fox to test out new equipment that uses magnetic distortions to reflect bullets, creating a bulletproof shield.  Although the shield renders all close range handguns useless, let’s just hope he doesn’t run into a shotgun, rifle, or any automatic weapons.  Batman refuses to use guns, but later considers its usefulness and accuracy.

The fourth episode, “In Darkness Dwells,” written by David Goyer and produced by Madhouse, who also did Death Note and Last Order: Final Fantasy VII, Batman ventures out of his element and into the sewers to battle Killer Croc.  Moments after running into Killer Croc he is bitten, leaving him drugged and disoriented.  He then stumbles upon the super villain The Scarecrow, who uses a variety of drugs and psychological tactics to manipulate his followers with their phobias.  Batman, already injured, must work through the pain as he deals with The Scarecrow, thus foreshadowing the next episode.

“Working Through Pain” is the fifth episode in the mini-series, written by Brian Azzarello and produced by Studio 4C, who we have already seen back in “Have I Got A Story For You.”  Brian brings the story into show a part of Bruce Wayne’s training that explains a lot of how he deals with battle.  Cassandra, a mysterious and exotic Indian woman introduces Bruce to techniques that help him deal with pain, to virtually block it out.  Brian Azzarello did a wonderful job with character development in this episode.  The story line, the animation, everything was well done.

Alan Burnett and Madhouse (who we saw once before with “In Darkness Dwells”) team up for the final episode, “Deadshot”, where Batman takes on the gun-happy assassin Deadshot.  The film ends with the iconic Bat symbol in the sky.

Overall, I was unhappy with the lack of background it shows.  It was really hard to get into something that was so short.  I know, the point is to blip in and out just to catch you up on the time that has gone by between the two movies, but it really left me wanting more of a story than anything.  I guess I’ll have to wait for the new movie, The Dark Knight, to come out for a good story.  Honestly, I cannot wait for that movie; I haven’t been this excited since the debut of Sex and the City!  I guess we’ll see how things go once the 18th rolls around.

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