Batman: Gotham Knight

Batman: Gotham Knight
Following in the footsteps of animated anthology The Animatrix, a number of writers and animators receive the opportunity to interpret DC Comics’ favourite vigilante through the character study that is Batman: Gotham Knight. The episodic storytelling of these six 20-minute segments can stand on their own as individual shorts but they also come together to tell a greater tale: the rise of Batman from novice crime fighter to the Dark Knight. The overall story arc was written by Jordan Goldberg, who worked with Chris Nolan on the two Batman movies, while contributions on individual segments come from the likes of Josh Olson (screenwriter for A History of Violence), Greg Rucko (a novelist and writer for the Gotham Central comic), David Goyer (screenwriter of Batman Begins and storywriter for The Dark Knight), Brian Azzarello (creator of 100 Bullets) and Alan Burnett (a comic book writer and writer/producer for TV shows like Batman Beyond). However, it’s the animation that gives the truly innovative interpretations, even if it is a little disorientating to have the looks of the various characters change from segment to segment. Shojiro Nishimi’s Batman goes through a number of transformations, from a Lovecraftian Batman to Batman as Ironman to Batman as, well, a bat-man, but in the end it all looks a whole lot like Tekkonkinkreet, another animated film he worked on. Hiroshi Morioka creates Batman as Gatchaman, while Yasuhiro Aoki’s Batman could have been drawn by Jack Kirby himself. It’s an interesting experiment and the accompanying commentary offers up a lot of extra background on the process and the character of Batman, but it’s the second disc that is truly illuminating thanks to a revealing documentary on Batman creator Bob Kane, another featurette on the villains of Gotham City and four superb bonus episodes from Batman The Animated Series. This double DVD set is a great resource for any fan. (Warner)