Thursday, June 25, 2020

You think you've heard every Batman story?

Keaton's coming back.

An older, weathered Batman, thirty years after his prime...connecting some grand DCEU universe together? Holy (cash) cow, Batman. I would have never even considered this as something remotely possible. Ever. Combine that with news of the Snyder Cut finally seeing the light of day means it's basically raining new Batman content. Hell, and that's not even counting on whatever the heck Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson have cooked up for us next year.

Clearly, the debate will forever continue, who is the best Batman? It's probably/obviously Keaton, but I'd be willing to listen to arguments for Bale, Affleck, Kilmer, West, Clooney, Pattinson or even...Ninja. 

Wait, what? I must have heard you wrong. Swear you just said Ninja.

No, I'm not talking about that effing streamer guy who just made thirty million dollars yesterday, but instead the badass animated wizardry known as Batman Ninja. Released in 2018 this animated flick is straight up bananas, and while it might not make a lot of sense, neither do a lot of pretty things. And this eighty-five minute flick is an absolute orgy for the eyes.

Turns out, Gorilla Grod had big plans to rid Gotham of its most notorious villains, and building a time-travel device was just the beginning. But before he could safely send the Joker and others to another timeline, monkeyshit goes sideways and everyone ends up in feudal Japan of all places. Seriously.

Batman is just as confused as you are, but no matter, because before you have time to realize how ridiculous this whole premise is, old-school Japanese versions of Joker and Harley Quinn show up and all Hell breaks loose. Eventually, we've got warring mechanized castles shaped like Two-Face and Poison Ivy battling a giant golden monkey made out of an infinite number of smaller monkeys. I've never taken drugs, but I'd be shocked if they made me feel as good as a Voltron-style team of mechanized buildings fighting a two-hundred foot tall Batman made out of equal parts monkey and actual bat.

Batman Ninja is entirely the right kind of ridiculous, with a wild new take on a traditionally consistent character. Yeah, each big name actor mentioned above has done something a little different with the Dark Knight, but what we've got here is damn near unimaginable. Maybe you cool kids that read comics would be unimpressed, but me and children were stunned. Just when we'd thought we'd seen the coolest thing ever, something even more insane would explode onto the screen.

Shockingly, the sky just might be the coolest thing about this frame (look closely).
Speaking of things (not) blowing up, here are the Yays and Boos, which I now store in my utility belt. Actually, since I've got two wicked cuts on my fingertips, would mind helping me out? Just reach in and pull them out for me, wouldja? No, no. Like waaaay down at the bottom.

If you look closely you can see the Japanese characters for damaged.
  • The depth to the animation is something you need to see.
  • Oooh, the Japanese refer to the Joker as The Demon King. Sexy, right?
  • Goddamn, the character design is tremendous. If I only had 1/100th of this level of imagination and/or artistic talent. They are all rad, but Two-Face is a particular standout!
  • It's kind of boiled down to a cameo, but Sumo Bane was so kickass. So was Sengoku Batman.
  • Whoa. There's this secret-society of Batman worshippers that show up, and they are beyond incredible. Honestly, if I had to worship any comic book character, Batman might not be a bad choice (though personally, I'd probably pray to Catwoman all things consider).
  • Okay, so each crime syndicate has their own house. Literally. And they fight each other. LITERALLY.
  • The only thing better than a massive monkey army, is a massive monkey army controlled by panflute.
  • And finally, Wow. Just WOW. Even with the sound off (maybe, preferably with sound off) this f--ker is something to behold. Maybe the Caped Crusader skulking around feudal Japan won't work for some of you uppity types, but just on the eye-candy factor alone, you have to see this.
Catwoman starts this fight by saying.
"Time for some girl-on-girl action" and I kind of died inside.

  • Aw, turns out you can't batarang when every building is one story tall.
  • Catwoman isn't really a Boo, at all,but how much I was perving over a drawing totally is.
  • Hahaha...the Batmobile got transported to feudal Japan. I'd say that makes no sense...but...yeah, none of this does.
  • Even hundreds of years in the past...Robin is still a dork.
  • Missionary Bruce has a pretty rad bald head. If only I could say the same thing...
  • A giant Batman made mostly out of monkeys fights a giant mechanized Joker and, unfortunately it's over in one drastic punch to the face. ONE PUNCH. Fine, that's cool as Hell, but still...
  • This movie only furthers the tradition, but is anyone else bothered by Joker's insane ability to hang in? I know he doesn't give a f--k, but can you really be indifferent to getting your ass absolutely kicked?? Maddening.
  • And finally, speaking of trends that have always infuriated me (along with Scratchy's magic rib that plays two distinct tones) why can't Batman kill Joker, just once? This whole, they're gonna lock you up and throw away the key, Joker hasn't really worked ever, so...maybe we just throw in a wicked curveball and off that a-hole.

I managed to pry my own kids off their devices for the eighty-five minutes Batman Ninja runs, and perhaps shockingly, it was a hit with both of them. I'd love for this experiment to open the door to some more Dark Knight-related goodness, but I wouldn't know where to start. Oh, right.

That was pretty obvious, huh? It's right there in the title.

Batman Forever.


  1. Glad you enjoyed this one. It is nuts in all the right ways. And a feast for the eyes is a bit of an understatement.

    1. Yeah, man. I really loved it. I still can't wrap my mind around it.