Remember back in the summer of 2005, when the most anticipated film was Batman Begins? Early buzz praised director Christopher Nolan’s darker take on The Caped Crusader. Conversely, the buzz also brought in a bit of criticism over actor Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman. For whatever reason, as we all audibly remember, Bale decided to give the voice of the superhero a gravely low register that many found jarring. Some even went as far to refer to his Batman voice as “Nicholas Cage doing a Clint Eastwood impression” (… fine, I said that).
Seven years later, and on the edge of the release of Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight Rises, it hardly seems to matter. Batman Begins (’05) and The Dark Knight (’08) have collectively grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, and Rises is expected to break box office records as well.
The character of Batman has slid up and down the Batpole of pop culture for over 70 years. When he made his big debut back in 1939, a comic book creation courtesy of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, he wasn’t even considered a superhero, instead given the tagline, “The World’s Greatest Detective.” He would later take form in a campy 60’s TV show, numerous cartoon series and then, beginning in the late 80’s, major motion pictures.
Not bad for a superhero who doesn’t possess any actual superhuman abilities. When you really think about it, (his alter ego) Bruce Wayne is basically just rich, good at stylized street fighting, and able to make some cool weapons. Yes, Batman is human, conflicted, and next to The Incredible Hulk and Dirty Harry, one of the angriest good guys ever to be portrayed on film. (…Maybe I should consider giving Christian Bale a break.)
We took a moment to imagine what might be running through Batman’s and Bruce Wayne’s collective mind on a day to day basis. Our “What If …” lightbox juggles two personalities, both fighting crime and corruption, in the dark dank city of Gotham.
View some of the images below and click here to view the full gallery.