Batman Begins: The Hybrid Child of A Long Halloween and Batman Year One

Batman Begins is an amazing piece of cinema directed by Christopher Nolan, and is an interesting new Batman film put up against Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher.  While Tim Burton famously made Gotham very dark and edgy with Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker, and Joel Schumacher… did his best…; Christopher Nolan’s Batman chooses to find more inspiration with recent incarnations of the beloved character.

As the title gently implies Batman Begins finds two very specific plot points easily recognizable as the important bits of both a Long Halloween (a three part series) and Batman: Year One (a one part series).  As explained in the preface to A Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale their editor was very impressed with the one scene they used involving Batman vs. Gangsters.  95% of the title had nothing to do with gangsters, but their boss was so impressed with the 5% that he asked them to continue to tale with a gangster background.  Because of this focus on real world issues involving murder, racketeering, grand theft, and money laundering (you know regular gangster biz), it is my belief that Chris Nolan and company thought this a great platform for them to base the film versions of the Falcone and Marroni families.  Taking out the bits about super deranged members of the crime families that turn into super villain serial killer types (from a long Halloween), and focusing on regular Gotham gangsters you have before you a half baked Batman Begins.
// Batman: Year One written by Frank Miller comes into play as 50% of the re-imagining of the Batman film franchise as a great example of the beginning of Batman.  Batman: Year One acts as somewhat of an origin story for both Batman and Jim Gordon.  Both are new ideas for Gotham: Heroes.  The comic tells a story of greed, corruption, and evil that currently exists as the norm for Gotham City (ringing a bell?), as Bruce Wayne travels around the world training to become ready to face Gotham City and it’s evil ways.  As Batman first travels without his iconic suit in Batman Begins so too did he do this in Year One.  Jim Gordon travels the Streets of Gotham in both stories as an honest cop with a very corrupted partner.

Adding the element of Johnathan Crane (Scarecrow) and Ra’s al Ghul to Batman Begins is accepted because of their abilities to still remain human all the while using the basic history of each character to prop them up against Batman.

It is important to note here that BOTH graphic novels were praised for their ability to portray REAL events up to the CURRENT standard of Batman WITHOUT getting too ridiculous (I.E. super natural things like Clay Face and other unrealistic baddies).  Tell me that doesn’t sound like Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins.

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