It’s one thing announcing who will be the new Batman. But it’s an entirely different thing seeing them in full costume for the first time. One of my fondest images of Batman is Micheal Keaton stood next to the Batmobile for 1989’s Batman. I had it as a poster when I was young, and it has always stuck with me as a powerful image. A man and his car.
I’ve been on board with Ben Affleck’s casting from the start, so I have no concerns there. The guy can act (Argo, The Town), and he can also write/direct (again Argo), so not only could he be an excellent Batman, but he could also be the future writer/director of a solo Batman film. If you’re not OK with ‘Batfleck’, then you’re in for a tough time.
If you now can’t at least consider Affleck as Batman…well I’m sorry but I just don’t know what to do with you. As far as faithfulness to the source material goes, this is about as perfect as you’re going to get.
I love Christian Bale’s Batman. I love Michael Keaton’s Batman. But as open to Ben Affleck as I’ve been, I never expected to even consider that he could be better than either of them. That thought is now a possibility.
To my eyes it merges the ‘Earth One’ suit with Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns design, to great effect. The short ears were a concern at first, but I’m pleased they’ve finally used something so common in the comics. The most famous batsuit designs from the comics – Miller in TDKR, Lee in Hush, Mazzucchelli in Year One and most recently Capullo in the New 52 – all have shorter ears. So it’s about time. It really helps makes this Batman stand out amongst the others.
The colour scheme, whether it turns out be blue/grey or black/grey (maybe grey/grey?) will further differentiate him and make it plain that this is a new take on the character.
He definitely looks grizzled (notice the scars on the suit and the stubble), and gives me the impression that he is not someone to be mucked around with. Very imposing, and I hope the writing and acting makes the most of that.
Of course I have many questions. Granted not as many as I thought I would since I’m so impressed, but this is what I’m currently pondering…..
1. How well can he turn his head? The cowl looks to be one with the cape, but I’m hopeful we won’t see a return of the ‘bat-turn’.
2. What will he sound like? A whisper like Keaton? A growl like Bale? Maybe even Kevin Conroy’s (from Batman: The Animated Series and the ‘Arkham’ games) deeper tone?
3. Will he use gadgets? As a seasoned Batman, I’d expect the grapple gun and kryptonite at least.
4. How will he move? Fluidly or more like a brawler? The Dark Knight Returns showed a brutal Batman with surgical precision.
It could all fall apart when we see it in action, but judging by Snyder’s previous superhero exploits it’s in good hands. In Watchmen he managed to make Nite Owl look cool, which left me wondering if any inspiration would be taken from the design. Then there was Man of Steel, and I think that Cavill’s Superman boasts a great update of the costume. Snyder knows how to design a superhero, so them looking cool won’t be a problem at least. Updated yet very faithful. Leaves me with high hopes for the rest of the Justice League.
Can Affleck pull it off? A lot rests on his admittedly rather broad shoulders. I think he’s up to the task.
I’ve gone through what I think about the man, so how about the car?
Looking like a hybrid of the Burton and Nolan cars, I think Snyder has played it pretty safe here, though that isn’t a bad thing. Sleek, low and long like Keaton’s ride, but with the armour and ruggedness of Bale’s Tumbler, this could be a fantastic car. It would be good to get to see it fully before making a final judgement (same goes for the suit), but it’s a very promising start. From models I’ve seen without wheels I wonder if it can be more than a car, but time will tell.
Could this be the best Batman on film we’ve yet seen? A high bar has been set, but from this image I’m excited and hopeful. The film itself is still two years away, so we have a very long time to become accustomed to this new cinematic direction. But once again it seems I’m very lucky to be a big Batman fan.