So it has all come down to this. We have been waiting since 2008 for a continuation of The Dark Knight, and now we are about to get it in just a few short days. Most of us have plans for what we are going to do this week to lead up to what we all know will be the biggest movie of the year, but have we really thought creatively about what we’re going to do? I mean more creative than watching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight before arriving at the theater at 6:00pm.
Forgive me if you thought of these already, but we’re all fans here so leave your ideas in the comments or in the forums and let us know what you’ll be doing! So without further ado, here’s ten of my own…
- Go back to the beginning….the VERY beginning. Batman was created in 1939 by Bob Kane, in response to the early success of Superman and Action Comics. I’m not going to go into it all here, but if you have not already, go back and learn about our favorite superhero’s emergence into society. You would be surprised how few people have actually done this and rely only on Nolan, Burton, and Miller to tell them about Batman.
- Watch the Adam West Batman TV film again. Did you know the TV series was created to get people to like the character again? Sales were down so bad Bob Kane was considering cutting the character all together. I know it’s campy, but it will show you how far the Dark Knight had to rise to get to this very moment, becoming the best character in the superhero franchise.
- Read the comics, read the comics, and oh yeah! Read the comics. The films are just the tip of the iceberg. The comics are what gave Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan the inspiration to make such incredible movies. Batman: Year One. The Long Halloween and Dark Victory arc. The Killing Joke and The Man Who Laughs for all you legions of Joker fans out there. Or more on topic for this Friday, the Knightfall saga, where Bane battles Batman and we witness the legendary scene of the hero’s back being broken. The possibilities are ENDLESS. If you say that none of the comics have interested you, you probably have not been looking hard enough. If you like the light-hearted mysteries, read Bob Kane’s originals and Sunday strips. Those are classics that many ignore. And if you have not gotten into the New 52 yet, fear not! The graphic novels consisting of the first six or more issues are being compiled and many of them are already released, including Batman: The Court of Owls, which I would argue to be the best of the recent Batman arcs.
- Watch the animated TV series and subsequent movies. We are all looking to kill time here until Friday, and these 22 minute beauties sure do the trick. There is a cheesy episode here and there, but nine out of ten times these have had me glued to my seat. Mark Hamill plays in my opinion the best pre-Ledger Joker, and Kevin Conroy was perfectly cast as the Caped Crusader. Also take a look at the newer animated movies, such as Batman: Under the Red Hood and Batman: Year One. If you haven’t caught on already, any Batman series or movie that Bruce Timm is involved in is sure to be good.
- Listen to the soundtracks, and I mean all of them. The animated films, the Burton films, and the Nolan films. Get these on your iPod and forget about the rap, rock, or whatever else you listen to until Friday. You’ll only be able to have this experience once and the music sure puts me in the mood. In fact, why not bring your music device and a nice speaker with you and while you wait in line outside the theater, crank up Hans Zimmer’s theme? We’ve got some hours to kill and we are going to be surrounded by…all of us. Don’t worry. Everyone will love it.
- Watch the Burton films for the hundred-thousandth time. Why do I even bother saying this? You’re probably watching them right now.
- Play through Arkham Asylum and Arkham City again, or if you are completely bored with those, try out the LEGO games. LEGO Batman 2 came out recently and has the biggest map yet.
- This is a fun one, probably one that we’ve all done without thinking. Go up to a completely random person, wherever you are, right now. Talk to them about Batman and see if they have plans to see The Dark Knight Rises. Remember that one of the ways that The Avengers made so much money was through word-of-mouth alone, and we all want nothing more than Batman to beat the Avengers, don’t we? Get the word out. Advertise. This is the week when you are allowed to wear all six of your Batman t-shirts in succession. This is the week when you are allowed to get away with ANYTHING Batman-related, for that matter.
- NOW you can watch the Nolan films, but this time finally get that one friend of yours who hasn’t seen them to watch them with you. I’m a huge movie buff, and I stand by the belief that watching a great film isn’t as fun as watching someone else watch it for the first time. Then it’s discussion time, and oh boy will they want to talk.
- Read the comics. Wait, did I say this already? Well go read some more.
Have fun on Thursday night everyone, In Nolan We Trust!