Matt Reeves’ The Batman is out in theaters now, giving away fans a new enigmatic new take on the Caped Crusader. While we have only a few trailers out there, we have quite a treasure of some amazing comic book stories to consider where The Batman‘s plot might leave us in. So after much digging, and some detective work, here are the Batman comics to influence Robert Pattinson’s film. Although this year’s The Batman might not be completely based on any one of these DC comics, some of them most certainly offered some inspiration.
Going down memory lane to DC FanDome 2020, where director Matt Reeves did reveal that there are some comics that came into the play while creating the Batman film. As a DC fan, you may have read some of these comics, like Year One and The Dark Knight Returns, so we’ve collected a few lesser-known ones for you. We have also highlighted some comics that Reeves himself has pointed to as having shaped the murder-filled movie.
Batman: The Golden Age Vol. 1 – Bill Finger, Bob Kane (1939)
As The Batman‘s film plot will focus more on Bruce Wayne’s early years as The Dark Knight, it makes a lot of sense to go back to the very beginning. Although many might think of the Golden Age comics as often weird—which some of them actually were— the character’s most early appearances came across as quite dark.
These early comics do reveal the hard-boiled detective aspect that Reeves’ new Batman movie will focus on. He even went on to kill people, which Robert Pattinson’s Batman might also think about doing. It’s quite a far cry from the no-killing DC mythos that the comic creators went on to create around Batman in his later years, and even from the militarized Bruce of Nolan’s hit movie series.
1987’s Batman: Year Two
Director Matt Reeves did confirm that his Batman film will be taking place in the “Year Two” era of Batman.
That means we had to finally lay our hands on the quite-lauded Year One by Frank Miller. However, Year Two opens with Jim Gordon getting promoted to the ranks of Commissioner, something we’ll most probably witness in The Batman. Tonally, this dark story is seen centered on Batman fighting a vigilante, who is also murderous. Reeves’ film is proudly a detective story first, and then a superhero tale, but the film also follows the chaos and crimes of a Zodiac Killer-inspired Riddler. Plus, this movie will also reckon with the ultimate truth behind the Waynes and most likely, the person who was behind their ultimate death. Whether we’ll finally get to see an actual live-action Joe Chill is another question in its totality.
Batman: The Long Halloween (1996)
This classic comic from the 90s will have a key influence on Matt Reeves’ film. Although Year Two is going to be the obvious official sequel to Year One, The Long Halloween continues the narrative established by Year One.
The comics focus on a more burgeoning Batman taking down a brutal serial killer and having seen some clips and trailers for The Batman, this ‘looks and feels familiar.’ The Long Halloween is a rare contemporary story of Batman that bends into the World’s Greatest Detective narrative more. It’s also quite intriguing as a DC comic that shaped the origins of some of Batman’s popular rogues, which Reeves stated was key to 2022’s The Batman and its approach to Catwoman, the Penguin, and obviously, the Riddler.
1998’s Batman: Scottish Connection
There’s this ’90s oddity in this list as some set photos from The Batman revealed Bruce Wayne in a graveyard in Glasgow. Although it’s quite unlikely that the film will even partially be set in Scotland, Reeves had earlier revealed that his take on Gotham was inspired by Liverpool.
So, the British Isles are definitely coming into play, to say the least. 1998’s Batman comes as a fun book that sees Bruce as he goes to Europe on some family business only to come across a strange mystery. Scottish Connection centers on Alfred Pennyworth—whom we hear talking to Bruce over the graveyard scene in the trailer of The Batman. If you were paying more attention to the 2020 DC Fandome, then you might just know that could be the key.
2009’s Batman: Heart of Hush
Hush might come to one’s mind when got a glimpse of the masked killer at first. Here, we are not even thinking to include the smash-hit series here. Instead, what fans got was Dini and Nguyen’s sterling sequel.
As for what inspiration Reeves could take from this series, it sees Bruce and Selina fight by each other’s side. Dano’s villainous take on The Riddler could take notes too, as the villain uses Selina against Bruce Waye to a majorly devastating effect. Moreover, there’s also the beautiful noir aesthetic that Nguyen brings with an equally beautiful darkness and enough light to let the shadows creep in. Until now, we are clear that Reeves is going for a more contemporary noir take on the iconic DC character, leaving this series as another potential inspiration for The Batman.