Batman: a Human Hero

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    batmanThroughout the years I’ve read scores of comic books. Countless outstanding and not-so-outstanding comics have been created over the decades. With so many notable comic books that have graced the racks, it can be difficult to choose a favorite. However, after much contemplation, I’d put Batman comics on the top of my list.
    Why the Dark Knight? When I was young I wanted to be like him (a part of me still does). It’s the notion of doing what’s right, putting away evildoers with prevailing justice, as all superheroes do. But I knew I would never fly or halt moving locomotives like Superman. I could never stick to walls like Spidey or produce unbreakable, metal claws from my hands like Wolverine.
        Batman, however, is different. Him I could be like, or almost if I really tried. Any person could because unlike his hero counterparts, Bruce Wayne has no super powers. As a hero who is merely a man, Batman, in some ways, is an expression of the pinnacle of human achievement. His body is conditioned to a peak physical state. He has trained in the Far East, becoming a master of several martial arts and a formidable warrior. He has even made a full comeback after having his spinal column broken (see the Knightfall saga).
    In terms of mental fortitude, the Dark Knight has a superior intellectual shrewdness and will. Many of his cases are solved due to his astute detective work and knowledge of criminalistics. Being well prepared, he has contingency plans for almost any situation. For example, he carries a Kryptonite ring in his utility belt just in case he has an altercation with Superman (yes, Batman and Superman fight on occasion).
    Of course, none of Wayne’s exploits could be achieved without financing. Although he was born into money, he has surpassed his father’s wealth and keeps his billion dollar empire successfully running despite his utter dedication to fighting criminal scum. Most of us aren’t born into money, but it is possible to attain a fortune akin to Bruce Wayne’s. Just ask Robert Kiyosaki.
    Although Bruce Wayne is an overachiever, his humanityComics legend Frank Miller’s classic retelling of Batman’s gritty, formative days makes its full-length animated debut in “Batman: Year One,” which is now available on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD, On Demand and for download.
        “Batman: Year One” is based on the landmark 1987 DC Comics titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli. The film depicts young Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a crooked political system in Gotham.
        Primetime television stars Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Ben McKenzie (“Southland,” “The O.C.”), Eliza Dushku (“Dollhouse,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”) provide the core voices for “Batman: Year One.” Three-time Emmy Award winner Cranston gives voice to young Jim Gordon, while McKenzie makes his animated voiceover debut as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Fanboy favorites Dushku and Sackhoff fill the roles of Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Detective Sarah Essen, respectively. Alex Rocco (“The Godfather”) is the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone.
        Animation master Bruce Timm is executive producer of “Batman: Year One.” Directors are Lauren Montgomery (“Superman/Batman: Apocalypse”) and Sam Liu (“All-Star Superman”) from a script penned by Academy Award nominee Tab Murphy (“Gorillas in the Mist,” “Superman/Batman: Apocalypse”).
        “‘Batman: Year One’ offers fans and newcomers alike an animated perspective on one of the true benchmark works in Batman comics history,” said Hersin Magante, Warner Home video marketing manager, Family & Animation. “Bruce Timm and the Warner Bros. animation team have gone to great lengths to realize Frank Miller’s groundbreaking, influential vision. ‘Batman: Year One’ stands tall as the next DC Universe animated original movie.”

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