BATMAN ON FILM, since June 1998!
OPINION

My 6 Fave "Comic Book Movie" Moments
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Author:
Bill (Jett) Ramey

© William E. Ramey. All rights reserved.

With SUPERMAN RETURNS only about a week from release, I guess I’ve turned a bit nostalgic. Not only am I massively excited for this film, but I’ve found myself re-watching several super hero movies that I have in my DVD collection.

What I’ve found as I’ve been viewing these movies is that in each, there is a particular scene that stands out for me personally. And since I’ve also been in a “listing mode” of late, I’ve decided to catalog my own favorite super hero movie moments.

Now we're talking moments here y'all, not films. So here we go...

6. “He’s just a KID!" (SPIDER-MAN 2)
My favorite part of SPIDER-MAN 2 is the scene on the train right after Spider-Man saves it and all the people on board from sure death. He passes out from sheer exhaustion, is carried in by the people on the train ,and all stand around their unmasked hero not knowing if he’s alive or dead. “He’s just a kid,” one of the train riders says aloud.

Eventually, Peter regains consciousness and the people give back his mask and promise that they won’t tell anyone.

Some of you might prefer the F/X or the fight scenes from this film. However as I sat and watched this in the theater I remember thinking how powerful the scene was. My favorite part of the film, no doubt.

5. Spaceshuttle & 777 Rescue/Superman's Return (SUPERMAN RETURNS)
When I first wrote the article, SUPERMAN RETURNS had yet to hit theaters. But after seeing the movie twice (so far), I had to add a scene from this great film to list.

In the film, Superman is reintroduced to the audience by saving both a spaceshuttle and a 777 jet full of passengers. Not only are the F/X out of this world, but along with the suspense and the fact that Superman has “returned,” it makes for one of the coolest scenes in comic book movie history.

Furthermore, the scene ends with an absolute classic moment that is both funny and a homage to SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE.

4. “Take this guy…leaves a calling card.” (BATMAN BEGINS)
At the end of BATMAN BEGINS, The Batman meets Lt. Gordon on the rooftop of the Gotham City Police Department headquarters. He’s called there by The Batsignal which Gordon has had installed. “Couldn’t find any mob bosses,” Gordon informs The Dark Knight, alluding to the last time a "Batsignal" was seen over Gotham.

They discuss the fact that even though The Batman has “really started something,” many of the Arkham escapees have yet to be caught and The Narrows have been completely lost.

Talk turns to criminal “escalation.” “Escalation?” The Batman asks. Gordon tells The Caped Crusader that every time the cops develop a new tactic in crime-fighting, they are one-upped by the bad guys. “And now YOU'RE wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops.”

His example of “Batman escalation” is some new guy who has committed armed robbery and double homicide. “Has a taste for the theatrical, like you. Leaves a calling card,” says Gordon as he hands The Batman a small evidence bag. In it? A Joker card.

Holy Foreshadowing Batman!

“I’ll look into it,” Batman promises Gordon. And this leads to a great exchange between the two and a GRAND ending to BEGINS. “I never said ‘Thank you,’” Gordon tells The Dark Knight. “And you’ll never have to,” he responds as he jumps off the rooftop and flies towards and past the camera.

Fade to black as “BATMAN BEGINS” comes up on screen announcing the start of a great new BATMAN series.

Y'all did get that, right? You never saw "BATMAN BEGINS" until the very end. It was like throwing down the gauntlet and proclaiming, "It's ON NOW Bat-fans!"

3. “I’m Batman” (BATMAN)
The opening rooftop scene from Tim Burton’s 1989 BATMAN is the best moment of the whole movie. It totally screamed “Batman” to me and is one of the best depictions of The Batman in any of the live-action films.

You know the deal here. Two petty crooks have just mugged a family of three (symbolism anyone?), lost in Gotham alleyway in a seedy part of town. “Do the kid a favor,” the thug tells the mother, “Don’t scream.” Of course she screams loudly as the two degenerates scurry away.

They sit on a rooftop, counting and divvying-up their loot, a black figure in the shape of a bat descends down from behind them. Talk turns to this Johnny Gobs and the word is that “The Bat” got him.

"There ain't no Bat," one thug double-negatively informs the other.

They then hear gravel-crunching footsteps from behind. They turn around to see “The Bat,” wings spread and moving slowly toward them. They shoot, The Bat falls -- and then gets right back up. They run, but there is no where to go.

The Bat takes one thug out with one swift kick to the chest, a batrang nabs the other as he tries to run away. The Bat turns him around, grabs him by the lapels of his coat, and dangles him over the street below.

“I want you to do me a favor,” The Bat says, “I want you to tell all your friends about me.” “What ARE you?!” “I’m Batman,” The Bat announces as he throws the mugger across the roof , spreads his wings, and jumps off.

I recall seeing that for the first time back in '89 the night BATMAN opened and thinking, "Man, that IS Batman!" That one scene is probably the one reason I’ve watched that film hundreds of times. Simply marvelous!

2. “You’ve got me? Who's got YOU?!” (SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE)
I believe that the entire scene is titled “Superman’s First Night,” but it's the the beginning of it that does it for me.

Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) is about to catch a helicopter on top of the DALY PLANET to zip her to the airport to meet Air Force One. However, all hell brakes loose as the helicopter catches a loose cable on takeoff, causing it to crash and sit dangerously on the edge of the roof. The pilot has been knocked out cold and Lois is now facing the streets of Metropolis some many stories below.

Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) exits the PLANET, finds Lois’ yellow rain hat laying on the street, looks up to see the imminent tragedy above.

At that moment, Reeve’s expression says “This looks like a job for…” without uttering a single word. The glance at the boothless phonebooth is classic as well as a nod to the golden and silver age Superman. We get the traditional “ripping open of the shirt to reveal the ’S’,” as Clark enters a revolving door and emerges as Superman.

“Excuse me,” he calmingly tells a guy on the streets admiring his “BAD outfit,” and takes to the sky. Lois has finally slipped out of the helicopter, obviously falling to her doom. Then HE grabs her and subsequently the falling copter, ultimately setting both down safely back atop the PLANET rooftop.

Margot Kidder does a superb acting job here -- she's fantastic -- as Superman tells her “I hope this doesn’t put you off flying, Miss.” She’s dumbfounded and in total disbelief, but tries to act like she still has it together -- as Superman flies off and she faints.

Genius!

1. “Where are YOU!?” (BATMAN BEGINS)
The scene from BATMAN BEGINS is actually titled “Secrets of Scary People.” It is the part of the film in which we the audience and the criminals of Gotham are introduced to The Batman. It is my favorite comic book movie moment of all time.

Depicted from the POV of the criminals, we get a taste of what it would be like to be stalked and attacked by The Dark Knight. A light bulb explodes from behind. A shadow moves rapidly overhead. Then “it” attacks, seemingly coming from nowhere.

You then have that one goon, scared out of his wits. Shooting his machine gun at random, looking for whatever “it” is. Then he screams in pure terror, “WHERE ARE YOU!” And right behind him, descended from the roof is The Batman.

His response? A whispered “Here.” As the goon soils his pants, The Batman’s “wings” unfurl.

The greatest scene in a BATMAN film of all time, in my opinion of course. But that's not all!

The Batman (Christian Bale) then drops down and takes out the large group of Falcone’s muscle in the warehouse. Then, once they are all down, calmly steps over the unconscious thugs he who just got the crap kicked out of them.

Cut to Falcone, frantically reentering his limo, finding his driver out cold. He tries to load his shotgun as a thud is heard on the roof of limo. “What the HELL are you,” Falcone asks the unseen phantom. Then, the moon roof is smashed, two black arms reach in and pull Falcone out of the car, and he is now face to face with the demon.

“I’m Batman.”

What a magnificent first look at The Batman in BATMAN BEGINS! Hell, I even like the "Nice coat" part!"

It also pays homage to the ‘89 BATMAN which should make all Bat-fans happy. Not only is Christian Bale tremendously good, but so is Tom Wilkinson as Carmine Falcone. Next time you watch BATMAN BEGINS, keep an eye on Wilkinson and the look on his grill when he’s face to face with The Batman.

So those are my favorite moments from comic book films. What I want to hear now are yours. I'll do a "Part 2" and list some of you BOF'ers suggestions, as well as my "runner-ups" -- cause I got some!

I'll give y'all a hint as well, I liked THE HULK and DAREDEVIL!

SEND ME YOUR FAVORITES!

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

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