BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!

O P I N I O N

BOOK REVIEW: "BATMAN BEGINS and the Comics"
DATE: 12/14/05
Author:
Jett

© Copyright 2005 William E. Ramey. All rights reserved.

If you are a fan of BATMAN BEGINS, then Julian Darius’ book, “BATMAN BEGINS and the Comics” is a must-have.

The author, Julian Darius, holds an M.A. in English literature and is presently studying for his Ph.D. in English and his M.A. in French at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Man, that must suck!), where he also teaches. Darius is also the publisher of SEQUART.COM - a website created for the sophisticated study of comic books and graphic novels.

The book is basically broken down into three parts. Part 1 includes the introduction, and a short essay which depicts the purpose of both the BATMAN: YEAR ONE comic book and the film BATMAN BEGINS. Part 1 ends with a thorough rundown of what I call the “history of BATMAN 5“ in a section titled “Unproduced Attempts to Film Batman’s Origins.” This was a well-written chronicle of the various Batman movie (and one TV) projects that were in the works during the late 90s and early 2000s (Aronofsky and Miller's YEAR ONE,BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, BATMAN BEYOND, BRUCE WAYNE TV series, et al). I consider myself an expert on that particular subject and will say that Darius did his homework and that section was well done. It will be very interesting to those who are clueless on that particular subject!

Part 2 is a detailed account of BATMAN BEGINS. Darius provides a methodical study of the film and its relationship to the BATMAN comic books and the character’s history. The analysis is broken down by act, scene, sequence, and part in a very detailed manner. The author also includes a helpful aid known as “Actor Note” boxes, which include notes on the actors, their role and its comic book history, and how each character is portrayed in BATMAN BEGINS.

I found Part 2 an excellent read and well put together. Darius is both factual and opinionated; yet his critical analysis and personal opinion of BEGINS is not overbearing. To be honest, it offered a look into different aspects of the film - symbolism, nods and connections to the comic books, etc. - that not even I had thought about.

Part 3 is an essay titled “Erasing Burton: BATMAN BEGINS, Realism and the Anxiety of Influence.” This section provides a complete rundown of the previous BATMAN films - the “Burton/Schumacher” series. The goal, in my opinion, was to restore the original 1989 BATMAN to the place it once held prior to BATMAN BEGINS.

The book ends with a list of the cast and crew and a thorough recap of the critical response to BATMAN BEGINS. A detailed look at the box office figures for the film - on a week to week basis - is included.

I enjoyed the book immensely and read it in less than two days. I strongly recommend it for fans of The Batman in both his cinematic and comic book incarnations.

"Jett" is the creator and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM.

BATMAN BEGINS and the Comics - 170 pages, published by Sequart.com Books, distributed through Lulu Press. Edited by Amy E. Dean.

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