One of the biggest issues that has consistently plagued superhero fandom is the erroneous belief comic book characters can only be depicted a certain way. That couldn't be further from the truth. Flexibility is key to adapting comic book heroes and villains for new stories, and Batman writer Scott Snyder seems to think that The Dark Knight is one of the most flexible heroes in all of comics. This in turn allows for daring creative choices by artists, writers, and filmmakers. Snyder specifically explained:
My hope would be that the creators that take the character just try to be bold and daring with it. He's really elastic: the core of Batman is a simple story about a boy who has everything taken from him and faces this horrific event and then changes that into fuel for him to become this great hero and this pinnacle of human achievement. He takes this thing that's meaningless and says, 'I'm going to become this engine of meaning and make sure that this never happens to another boy like me.' So it's really at the core a very malleable character. That's one of the things I love about him is that you can put him anywhere and you can stretch him very, very far and he's still Batman.
During a recent interview with Comicbook.com, Scott Snyder explained that he's partial to "bold" choices when it comes to adaptations of characters like Batman. At his core, Bruce Wayne is a simple hero with a simple mentality and methodology, which allows different artists to bring different interpretations to the table. The only aspect of the character that really needs to remain consistent is his origin and his mission to eradicate crime. If those qualities are present, then artists have quite a bit of freedom to do whatever they please with the mythos, and he will still remain Batman.
One look at the Batman movies will instantly provide perfect evidence of this. From Adam West through Ben Affleck, each and every Batman movie that has hit theaters over the course of the last 50 years has been a valid interpretation of the character. Sure, the quality varies between these films, but the validity of the character remains consistent through each movie -- even through a variety of tonal and narrative changes. Batman stories can be filtered through any number of lenses, and audiences will still get it. This fosters innovation and takes the character in brand new directions.
If anybody has an acute understanding of bold interpretations, it's Scott Snyder. Over the course of the last decade, he has arguably provided more substantial contributions to the Batman mythos than anyone since Alan Moore. Not only is he responsible for the creation of the Court of Owls, but he also reimagined The Joker during the Death of the Family story arc, he crafted a brand new version of Batman's first year as a crime fighter in the Zero Year arc, and he even created the quintessential Dick Grayson Batman villain in the form of James Gordon Jr. during the events of Batman: The Black Mirror. None of these things would have been possible if he had felt compelled to stick to previous interpretations of the Bat mythos.
We should probably listen to what Scott Snyder has to say about this topic; he's one of the most reputable Batman experts on the planet. Batman is a malleable and flexible character, and we cannot wait to see where his silver screen career takes him next. The character will return to the DCEU when Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017. Stay tuned for more details!
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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