With the recent release Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition, we here at The Gift Monk thought it would be a great time to take a look at some of the iconic depictions of everyone’s favorite pointy-eared hero. This Batman Starter Guide is a collection of our favorite Batman gifts that will put you on the path to justice and getting to know everyone’s favorite masked vigilante!
The Dark Knight Returns finds an older Batman coming out of retirement to fight the good fight once more. Written and illustrated by Frank Miller in 1986, it remains one of the most enduring tales and this year celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a special edition release. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice borrows a lot of story elements from this graphic novel, including a more grizzled, experienced protagonist, the mechanical suit of armor and a certain scuffle with red-caped superhero. This makes a great addition to any bookshelf and a great supplement to watching the newest film iteration.
The Dark Knight Trilogy
Christopher Nolan’s ambitious trilogy brought the character out of the campiness of the 90’s and roaring into the modern age. Christian Bale takes up the cowl in these films and is one of the greatest Bruce Wayne’s to grace the screen. The Dark Knight Trilogy manages to ground some of the more unbelievable aspects of Batman in a sense of realism with incredible performances and breathtaking action sequences. Some to note in particular are Tom Hardy’s menacing Bane, Michael Cain’s ever-wise Alfred and Heath Ledger’s masterful turn as the Joker which earned him a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Batman: The Animated Series
Originally airing in 1992, this animated series served as the precursor to a number of other animated series based on DC properties. Anyone growing up in the 90’s will instantly recognize Kevin Conroy’s voice behind the cowl. Any Batman story, however, is only as good as its Joker and the animated series does not disappoint with a surprisingly chilling voice performance from Mark Hammill, or as many may know him, Luke Skywalker. The entire series is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Batman: A Death in the Family
Batman has always had his trusty sidekick, Robin, at his side. Well…not always. I don’t want to spoil it but the cover and title don’t leave much to the imagination. See if you can catch the nod to this comic in Batman v Superman!
Ben Affleck is the latest to pick up the cape and cowl and gives us the most brutal Batman we’ve ever seen…and we love it! This film has one of the greatest fight sequences in a comic book cinema, it is a must see. The film borrows a lot from the Dark Knight Returns graphic novel by Frank Miller and it’s a delight to see scenes lifted right from the page. The extended cut of the film includes an additional 30 minutes of runtime and clocks in at around 3 hours so clear your schedule for this one.
Batman is an enduring character with more than 75 years of publishing history. Our Batman Starter Guide is by no means all-encompassing but these picks will give you a good glimpse of life in Gotham City. Happy viewing!