Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Laughter

Warner Bros. continues to pump out the DC direct-to-DVD films. The next one coming up seems to be Batman: Year One. As much as I generally dislike the work of Frank Miller, Year One remains one of my all time favorite Batman stories.

My other big favorite? The Man Who Laughs. The great things about both of these stories is that they tell of meetings that define the character of Batman. Year One is about Batman meeting James Gordan. It's also about Gotham City meeting Batman.

These are enormously consequential meetings, and they'll make for some stupendous on screen action (assuming they do it properly). The Man Who Laughs is also about an important meeting: it tells the story of when Batman and the world first encounter the Joker. It would also make for a great animated movie.

Unfortunately, it will probably never happen. The DC animated films have to follow certain guidelines it seems, and I can't imagine how they'd allow The Man Who Laughs. The story works so well because it gives us the undiluted horror of the Joker. The body count is high and the carnage exceptional.

And without those things you can't really tell that story about the Joker (there are ways to tell stories about other versions of the Joker, but that's neither here nor there).

Still, Year One is no slouch in the violence department. And rumors are they're gearing up for The Dark Knight Returns as well. So who knows...

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