You know the transition from teenager to being a young adult has been an interesting one. For me it's been a process of not taking life so seriously, and that it's not always so serious, and that everything is a lot more fun the less serious it is. So in many ways I've sort of just regressed back into being a child, which my tastes have certainly reflected.
It's a large part of why I couldn't get into Arkham Knight, just a dark moody game where everyone is angry and frowning? Wow no thanks! I mean the whole having to do boring as shit Bat-tank sections every 5 minutes certainly didn't help either but I use to be a part of that young crowd that adored Batman as being some serious, angry and over the top character. Then I played Arkham Knight and found myself repeatedly shouting at the screen "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING BRUCE?!". It's bad enough that the most recent Superman film is also just a dark, saturated moody mess of a film but both characters with how they're being represented feel like a 14 year olds boy idea of being 'cool' and 'badass'.
This is something I've been wanting to write about for months, but had trouble doing since a lot of my arguments and points required video evidence and there's nothing more boring to me writing about something that happened in a game or cartoon and I imagine it's not that fun for the reader either, just get to the point! So instead I thought screw it I'll just make a video! Which I did, it's rough as hell but I think I mostly got my thoughts across, but I've got a few more things to say on the douchebag that is Batman.
Something I didn't bring up in the video, which I wish I did is the fact one of the main writers behind Batman TAS (the animated series) and the guy who wrote the Baby-Doll episode actually had a hand in the stories for Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Rocksteady most likely were huge fans of the cartoons themselves, with numerous references and inspirations taken from it, there's a mission in Arkham City for Mr Freeze that's called "Heart of Ice", these guys know their stuff.
But it's hard to know what pieces of dialogue and story beats Paul Dini had a hand in for those two games though, the Batman in those games is somewhat tamer compared to the one in Arkham Knight. It makes me wonder though, did Dini have other people reign him in the cartoon? Did he just write differently due to it being a kids TV Show? It's hard to say but it's sad to see someone who has written some absolutely fantastic Batman stories then contribute to something that aren't Batman's finest moments.
It's somewhat of a compliment that the low quality of Arkham Knights story was enough to make me give up playing in the end, again it didn't help that the gameplay was incredibly mediocre but the story was beating me in the face constantly. The longer I played the more I realized I didn't like playing as this guy, not only was he being a bit of a douchebag but he's also boring. From the portion I played and the rest of the game I've watched online, Batman doesn't appear to have a single moment that gives us some insight into what he's feeling or thinking, the closest we get to that is when he's beating people up. But we already know that Batman has a lot of anger, so that isn't an exciting insight to come across.
The idea of having the Joker stuck inside his head is such a wasted idea too, because now we've got a villain that Batman can't just temporarily take care of by punching them. Because the Joker is relentless once he enters the stage, always present in Batmans reality, always poking and prodding him mentally, and yet Batman doesn't acknowledge him. Well not until the end of the game where Batman repeats one of his most famous lines from the cartoon only this time it feels a lot less bad ass and a lot less earned. Why couldn't we have a moment where Batman snapped? Or to see him to begin struggling with the constant mental harassment?! Just something, anything, a reaction! I adore these two characters together and it's mind boggling to see them just waste this all, poor Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill deserve so much better than this.
Like I said in my video I hope the Telltale game takes a much more cerebral approach to Batman, and to make him a bit more human along the way. I don't want each villain encounter to immediately devolve into hitting each other, I want to know what Bruce is thinking or feeling beyond being "Stern". I want Batman to be someone I could actually look up to and admire again, it's sad to me that kids today have two iconic super heroes (Bats & Supes) that can barely be looked up to other than the fact they punch real good. I never imagined it'd come to the point where I like and admire Captain America more over Batman, remember when Capt seemed like a boring guy? My sincerest hope with him is that they don't try to suddenly make him a dark angry guy, you'd think wearing a costume with bright red and blue colors would help prevent that but then poor Clark isn't doing so well...
Anyway those are my randomly assorted thoughts on the matter, hopefully the video didn't just come off as a Batman Cartoon worshipping piece but damn that show did a lot of things right, I can only hope future developers of Batman learn that difference between worshipping the character, and honoring him.