Ryan Javate– Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – 2022’s “The Batman” was a cinematic masterpiece, and probably the best “Batman” film outside the “Dark Knight” trilogy. However, the caped crusader hasn’t always been known for dwelling in the darkness, as back in the 1960’s, he was a whole different character.

While Batman’s first comic book appearance was in 1939, he never made it to mass audiences until 1966 when he was portrayed very famously by Adam West. This iteration of Batman is notoriously known for how cheesy it is.

West’s Batman leaned in heavily on how comics were viewed back in the 1960’s, a quick cash grab. However, the next two decades marked a shift in the overall tone in comics, with darker Batman comic stories like “A Death in the Family” and “The Killing Joke” being two of the biggest turning points in Batman’s history.

With this change in tone, it was necessary for Batman to become serious. In 1989, Michael Keaton took on the Cowl and became Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton’s “Batman”, the first reboot in the long-running franchise.

This version of Batman was just the right amount of tacky and dark for a comic book film, featuring other A-list actors such as Jack Nicholson (Joker), Danny Devito, (Penguin), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman) doing their best to sell their characters. However, after creative disputes with Joel Schumacher led Keaton to leave the role, the last two movies, “Batman Forever” and “Batman and Robin,” were critical failures.  Warner Bros. later decided to restart the series as a whole.

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Plans for this reboot didn’t come together until 2003 when “Batman Begins” started development; it was decided that this latest installment would be a trilogy. This movie promised a dark, grounded universe that explores the origin of Batman in detail.

This film delivered on the promise of a more grounded world thanks to Christian Bale’s performance as Batman and the amazing effects featured in it. The film’s two sequels “The Dark Knight” and the “Dark Knight Rises” also performed extremely well critically and financially, leaving Bale’s Batman with a satisfying conclusion.

Around this time, DC wanted to compete with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, and Warner Brothers decided the stars of their franchise to be the Justice League. Ben Affleck played the Caped Crusader in “Batman vs. Superman” and “The Justice League”, but his time was cut short after both were financially disappointing.

Now with “The Batman” out in theaters, Robert Pattinson has a lot to learn from his predecessors. However, he has shown a lot of promise so far.

Pattinson’s Batman is the closest thing we’ve gotten to a genuinely accurate Batman, and I love the way he’s been portraying him.