Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Waynestrumentals: And now, a different theme from every screen incarnation of Batman, including the crappy or racist versions

(Editor's note: Before we begin, here's what past Batverse comics writer Ed Brubaker tweeted about a certain senseless act in Colorado:

My thoughts exactly. Now on to the post.)

A somber moment from The Dark Knight Rises
(Additional editor's note: The themes are in reverse chronological order as a nod to Dark Knight trilogy director Christopher Nolan's 2000 breakout film Memento, starting with a new score cue from The Dark Knight Rises as the track that represents the Nolan version of Batman on this post and concluding with music from a delightfully racist '40s Batman serial.)

Brittany Wakefield
Brittany Wakefield
(One more editor's note: Here on Blogger, I don't like to publish posts that don't contain a lot of text. That's what Tumblr is for. But I haven't had time to write so much text to accompany a Bat-load of Spotify and YouTube embeds, so Brittany Wakefield, a neighbor of mine who's a part-time beautician, volunteered to step in and provide the accompanying text to get more writing experience as preparation for the essay-writing portion of her GED test, even though she'd rather write about something called The Bad Girls Club, which she tells me is her favorite show. By the way, unlike a certain beautician who went on to become one of the modern-day Batverse comics' best writers, Brittany isn't familiar at all with Batman.)

In 1932, DC Comics began publishing the adventures of the world's first openly Jewish superhero, Ira Batman. By day, he was rich nightclub comedian Bruce Bruce, who played all the black rooms and some white rooms. By night, he suited up as Ira Batman (or The Batman, which is much less Jewish, or in later years, simply Batman). He chased after criminals to avenge the double murder of his Uncle Ben and Aunt Bernice. Ira's popularity in the funny books led to lots of screen versions of the Caped Crucifier, including the Christian Bale movies, which have come to an end with The Dark Knight Rises.

'Tastes great!' 'Less filling!' 'Tastes gre...'
I'm sure I'll be texting during The Dark Knight Rises when I see it, but if there are at least two or three action scenes that aren't boring, then I'll totes take a break from my texts to look up at the screen and peep what's going on. In the Bale movies, Ira is referred to by other peeps as the Dark Knight because he could barely move around in his armor and had trouble removing it when he had to pee, just like a knight:

I don't know what Justice League: Doom is. Jim, do you know what that is?

(Editor's note: No, I've never watched it. I'm behind on the DC animated movies because I quit Netflix about a year ago. Netflix, wha happen?):

Batman: Year One flashed back to Ira's first year as a crimefighter. OMG, Ryan from The O.C. voiced Ira! I lurve him!:

Okay, I've seen Young Justice a few times, but only because Superboy's cute. Ira shows up sometimes in this cartoon, just to deliver buttloads of exposition to Robin and his peeps:

In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Ira fights someone named the Red Hood. If it's anything like that time Christina kicked Julie's booty on TBGC, then I'm on board:

In 2010, Ira appeared in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Again, I don't know what that is. Jim?

(Editor's note: No clue either, Brittany.):

Ira teamed up with Superman in the cartoon movie Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and its sequel Superman/Batman: Apocalypse. In the clips I FF'd through, Superman sounded a lot like Pete, that cute but really old doc on Private Practice:

A few months after The Dark Knight ruled the summer, Cartoon Network premiered Batman: The Bold and the Beautiful, in which Batman was the CEO of a high-powered fashion house:

A week before the release of The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. Animation dropped Batman: Gotham Knight as a straight-to-DVD cartoon tie-in. Instead of a dark knight, in this movie, he was a Gotham knight, which meant he could barely move around while wearing a buttload of mascara like Criss Angel:

The cartoon movie Justice League: The New Frontier imagined Ira in the '50s, just like how J-Biebs dressed like a '50s dude at the NRJ Awards. OMG, J-Biebs was so cute when he slicked back his hair that night!:

Ira went by The Batman in the cartoon show of the same name. In season 3, The fought Dracula in the movie spinoff The Batman vs. Dracula and teamed up with Batgirl. Then The and Batgirl were joined by Robin in season 4:

The Batman had different theme music in its first two seasons. The show's first theme was done by The Edge, that dude from U2. They hired The Edge because he has the same first name as Batman:

Ira was a lead character in Justice League Unlimited, which was on from 2004 to 2006, according to Google. The show was about a fantasy football league Ira took part in.

From 2001 to 2004, Justice League Unlimited was known simply as Justice League. Ira's fantasy football league was much smaller:

Batman Beyond premiered on the Dawson's Creek Channel in 1999 and later spawned the cartoon movie Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. In this show, Bruce Bruce was at the age of drinking grapefruit juice and carrying a coin purse all the time, so he mentored a younger dude, who took over for Bruce and ditched the cape because he wanted to show off a cute butt that's so rock-hard you could bounce a Bat-quarter off it:

In 1997, Warner Bros. Animation gave Ira a makeover and Bruce-Jenner-brotoxed him for a revival of Batman: The Animated Series on the Dawson's Creek Channel. The new show was mashed up with Superman: The Animated Series to form The New Batman/Superman Adventures. But what up with the mullet on the grown-up Robin? Eww. So fugly. Go back to the lame romance novel cover you crawled from, Fabio! Wish I could work my magic on his tacky hair. Also in these 1997 episodes, Batgirl's screen time was beefed up. She was promoted from intern to secretary:

Bat's dancing
(Photo source: Mitch Breitweiser)
Val Kilmer's only appearance as Ira was in Batman Forever. Kilmer's main enemy was Jim Carrey as Batman's gay ex-lover Question Mark. In the sequel Batman & Robin, Batgirl joined the cast, while George Clooney replaced Kilmer and was given a totes sad storyline where Bruce had to cope with the failing health of his butler Alfred, who was dying of boredom from the movie's script:

In 1992, Batman: The Animated Series premiered on Fox and led to a big-screen version, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, the first of three cartoon movies spun off from the Fox show. From what I've seen on YouTube, unlike the '90s version of Ira that wasn't a cartoon, this version of Ira was able to turn his neck so that he could see if Robin was trying to grope him from behind:

Wow, now things are getting totes ancient. This is ancient history because I wasn't born yet. Batman turned up on the big screen in 1989 as a karate-kicking monk dude who couldn't move his neck and was played by the dad from Herbie: Fully Loaded. In the sequel Batman Returns, Ira got groiny with Catwoman, a kickboxing S&M chick straight out of TBGC. Catwoman received the powers and proportionate strength of a cat after being bitten by radioactive cats:

In 1977, ABC revived the short-lived Super Friends as The All-New Super Friends Hour. This must have confused kids who wondered why Batman at the time had so many TV shows like a Kardash. This reboot of Super Friends lasted into the '80s and had many different titles, including The Super Friends and Scrappy-Doo Show, Slimer and the Real Super Friends and A Pup Named Super Friends:

In The New Adventures of Batman on CBS in 1977, the Dynamite Duo was voiced by Adam Ant and his '60s Batman co-star Burt Reynolds:

Henna-Barbera reintroduced Batman and his hot pants-loving BFF in 1973 as Superman's housemates in Super Friends. Of course, because this was from the '70s, there's lots of fugly hair in this show. Just gimme some scissors and spray and gel and glitter and I'll make each of the Super Friends look like a million freaking bucks:

In 1968, CBS premiered the first cartoon show featuring Ira. The 12-minute cartoons were done by the cartoon studio Freemation. OMG, the theme music is so weird and dorky, like a lot of music that dropped during that ancient time. The theme would have sounded way cooler if Skrillex or Carly Rae Jepsen did it:

The Batman TV show premiered on ABC in 1966 and was a ginormous smash back then. Adam Ant starred as Ira in both this show and a movie of the same name. In the premiere episode, Ira did the Lambada on the dance floor and it became a ginormous dance craze:

Mike Allred's a fucking genius.
In 1943, Columbia dropped the first of two Batman and Robin adventure thingies in movie theaters. Jim told me these thingies weren't really classified as movies and were called serials back then. They've got nothing to do with the cereals you eat for breakfast. Ooh, I just learned a new word! Anyway, Asian-Oriental-Chinese-American Batman fans today adore the 1943 serial's Japanese character Dr. Daka, played by Japanese actor J. Carrol Naish:

So You Think You Can Dance makes my eyes sleepy, but I'd definitely tune into So You Think You Can Batdance.
(Photo source: Bethany Fong)
Listen to most of the above tracks together on Spotify.

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