Retraction to the ‘Parent’s Guide To Batman Screening Order’ Post: Probably Whatever’s Out Currently

03Dec12

After I wrote that screening order post, something didn’t sit right. Mostly I was dealing with the fact that the appropriate age to see any of the current Batman movies is around 14 or 15. The only real exception seems to be the Adam West movie, so picking a “proper” screening order seemed wholly unnecessary.

Furthermore, it implies that all pop culture roads MUST pass through these movies, and I don’t believe that’s true. At least, not the full collection. Honestly, there’s no real reason why anyone who missed the 1989 Tim Burton movie would HAAAAAAVE to go back and watch it now outside of curiosity.

The underlying point is that Batman is a property of collaborative authorship. Bob Kane (and company) created the character way back when, others came on, added their taste, but never laid full claim to the full character. The character is adaptable to the times, so that at any given moment, there can be That Era’s Batman that fits perfectly (or “perfectly,” depending on how much you like that era’s version).

The best versions of Batman have owed much to this collaborative authorship. “The Animated Series” was like a cartoon version of a Greatest Hits, taking the best parts of the last 65 years and wittling it down to that version. Same goes for Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight Returns,” the Nolan movies, and whatever version comes after that. Each version informs the next, but builds on what has preceded it.

“But what will you show,” you ask, “when your son asks to watch another version of Batman?”

I’ll probably give him some of the best episodes of the “Animated Series,” take stock of what That Era’s Batman has to offer, and go from there. Play it by ear. Play it by long, pointy ear.

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