BGE investigates: Do we have too MUCH Batman?




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In my nerd commandments article I commented that, while Batman movies have been recycling a lot of it's villains and  snubbing others for over 2 decades, I have no desire for Batman to go away.

 But that got me to thinking, maybe Batman COULD go away for a bit.

You see, since he was created that silly 60's TV show, Batman has become overall the most popular super hero in the world. This has various reasons. Unlike Green Lantern and Flash, or even X-Men, bringing the the concept to the screen isn't filled with technical obstacles. And trust me, if it was by the comics alone, Batman would be stuck in the same level of recognition as Rotor the Walrus. No, I'm not giving you a hyperlink.  Batman, and overall most of his enemies, are mostly humans, and don't have require a lot of complicated effects to be realized with a modicum of acceptability.

Just like vampires, and zombies Batman's ease of presentation has allowed other sides of the character to flourish. But it's not just that. Even as many heroes' run ups with the grim and grittiness of the 80's and 90's has  become a mocking point for them, Batman's has endured as the POSITIVE point in the character's history, despite the fact that it could get about as silly as anything else.

When's the last time you saw DLC based 50 year old TV show outside of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Bewitched Costume pack?
But maybe it's a generational thing. I'm 30 and Batman has been  the most popular character in several mediums for the better part of most of my life. But even growning up during a phenomena called Batmania, I've never seen Batman be this prevalent. Batman's 3rd  official live action movie continuity starts with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next year. It itself is a prequel to 2 Justice League movies which, if you think they're gonna put aside the most popular character in the world being played by  Holywood's beloved Ben Affleck to focus on anyone else, you are sorely mistaken.
Ben Affleck  as Bruce Wayne looks like Ben Affleck a whole lot.
There's a Batman Solo movie already planned with Affleck set to direct and obviously star.  Suicide Squad will feature a cameo with him, and also spotlight on the ever popular Joker villain, with additional Batman villains like Harley Queen, Killer Croc, and Deadshot(played by Hollywood's beloved Will Smith, and you know what a scene hog he can be) making  significant percentage of the titular team.

But if that's all too grim for you, there's also Lego Batman, but like for cinema, not like the handful that exist out of cinema. And not like the Lego Batman GAME series. And speaking of games, Batman also has a game series to him now: The Arkham Series. That one has been a big success so far, so count on more coming. For the record, during my day we never had a Batman game series, especially not one hailed as worthy of magazine cover importance. In fact, we had a running joke about how the assortment of unconnected Batman games could never be any good.
And let's not forget the Batman car game! Remember, Batman doesn't use guns!
And let's not forget Gotham, a Smallville-esque attempt of filling the years between Batman's parents being murdered and Batman becoming Batman with a long running soap a dope. Oh, and animated movies coming out about pretty much most important Batman comics arcs.

For a long time, I wanted DC to finally give us heroes that wern't Batman. And while that call is seemingly being answered, It seems to me that they wouldn't take "the risk" unless they could pillow any potential  losses with EVEN MORE BATMAN.



It seems to me at some point we could be reaching Peak Batman, a point of Bat Exhaustion when Batman is become so common place, so ever present, that really he becomes boring. This is even more dangerous than Batman becoming ridiculous. Batman has bounced back from ridiculous a few times.  But once the people become bored with the character, nothing but leaving it alone can help.
The 7 years between this and Batman Begins where spent, yes, trying to make more Batman.

Remember, there was a time where Archie outsold Batman. Yes, that Archie. He had cartoons and stuff. He didn't need Predator or death and gay stunts. It was just a simple funny book, in every sense.  But over time, Archie's brand of humor became a bit bland for American audiences. Archie became boring.  Where are Archie's movie and cartoon deals? Where are Archie's games? They aren't.

It is my opinion that WB should put a leash on the Bat, but nevertheless I suspect they won't.  If the Batman brand crashes it may take a few decades before it can bounce back. This would be bad for fans, since it wouldn't just cut short exploitations of the Batverse, but much further DEVELOPMENT of it in it's source material. It would also be bad for WB, since "a few decades" is what it HAS left until Batman enters the public domain. But I guess we'll see.


I can still remember how worn out those gloves where...

 

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