The answer to the question “What will Batman’s role in the new Justice League movie be?” is not as simple as it might first appear. The fact is that Batman is a global icon and as such there have been a number of interpretations of the character – everything from the broody Frank Miller comic version to the more light-hearted versions by Adam West or the animated quirkiness of Batman: The Brave And The Bold series.
The Arkham games are specifically cited as an influence on the current DC cinematic universe. Fans have noticed that a lot of the action sequences that featured Batman also had parallels with the games (as illustrated in the comparison video below).
However, Arkham Asylum is just one potential example of Batman’s position as an icon. There has been a lot of merchandise and spin-offs that could potentially influence the movie. Even today we see the Batman symbol on everything from badges and T-shirts to bags while a lot of characters have seen a new lease of life through Funko Pops and other chibi-style collectibles.
While the Arkham games may have been an influence for Batman v Superman movie, these were not the first video games to feature Batman. The Injustice series has been critically acclaimed, while The Dark Knight trilogy provided inspiration for an officially licensed online slot machine, available on Mr Green, which offers a 100% first deposit bonus through Oddschecker.
DC’s Tony Stark?
One thing that people have noted in the recent trailers is how there seems to be a lighter tone both in terms of the color palette of the visuals and in terms of the tone. This was especially noted in the scene where Bruce Wayne meets Barry Allen (The Flash) and encourages the nervous young superhero to join the team.
Where this becomes interesting is when you compare this scene to the recent interaction with Tony Stark (Iron Man) with the young Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War (and subsequently in Spider-Man: Homecoming). The difference is that Bruce Wayne still remains a more serious character and is a bit more deadpan and drier than Tony Stark. Also while both have a sense of purpose Bruce Wayne is arguably more focused than Tony (albeit with a bit less eye-twinkling charm!)
The Superman Legacy
The key message (emphasized by the soundtrack) of the latest trailer to come out of San Diego Comic Con is the idea of “coming together” in the wake of Superman’s death. This seems to have deeply affected Batman, which in some respects is strange considering they were both going toe to toe in the previous film!
Of course the difficulty with creating a superhero team in film is balancing out the various characters – Wonder Woman proved to be a massive box office hit for DC so it is likely she will be a key part of the Justice League team, Flash and Cyborg have been popular in TV and animation while the previously derided Aquaman had a resurgence through the comics in recent years, so there are a lot of interesting characters that audiences will have differing expectations of.
Where DC is on the backfoot is that Marvel had around a decade of films building up to the first Avengers movie with all of the characters introduced. DC has had less time, so it is harder to have the same impact.
This is where we would argue Batman’s role is in this film – both in terms of the story and for audiences as a whole. Batman is an enduring symbol, a complex mixture of intimidation but also of someone trying to overcome emotional pain.
Batman is not just a guy who has the superpower of being “rich”. He has the drive, determination and an unshakeable belief in justice. Whether or not is the “leader” or not is almost irrelevant as the story is handled in the right way the way he brings everything together will be the key to whether or not this film works.