The Dork Knight

18-Jul-08 12:45 PM by
Filed under Films, Humor; 4 comments.

Today is the release of The Dark Knight, for which I, a diehard DC comics fan, am not waiting in line to see. I was thoroughly underwhelmed with its predecessor, Batman Begins — Christian Bale just isn't the man to portray Gotham's caped crusader.

That opinion is a happy consequence of the fact that there isn't one right way to portray the Dark Knight. There have been many interpretations of the character over the years, and Web 2.0 has allowed fans to put him in their own tales as well. The dark, landmark short "Dead End" is one of my favorites, as it plays on many of the grim aspects of both Batman and the comic book medium that are so appealing.

"Dead End" also provides a sharp contrast from which to create more humorous takes on Batman. Ever since Frank Miller (of 300 and Sin City fame) wrote The Dark Knight Returns in 1986, most incarnations of Batman have depicted him as brooding and violent character. So any return to the campiness with which Adam West first brought Batman to life is a welcome relief, such as shown in this recent release, entitled "Batman's Bad Day":

This film is funny for more than showing how superheroes treat each other when not in crisis management mode. Showbits contributor Hiphopguy23 hates the Man of Steel for having every other character's superpower, usurping any other hero's usefulness. It's past time to see him and his god-like brethren put in their place — and the quintessential Boy Scout's uncharacteristic riposte is a great zinger.

Another recent entry into the Batman fanfilm category is one that doesn't feature Batman at all, and again features a surprising ending. I give you "The Interrogator":

This is just a small sampling of the creative output of the Batman fan community; a more complete index can be found at And if you too are uninterested in today's theatrical release, check out Dayton Ward's Batman gallery, which takes the audio and action of the Dark Knight trailer and recreates it using a variety of media, from animation to LEGOs. Finally, remember that the animated film Batman: Gotham Knight is now available on DVD, serving as a bridge between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

4 Responses to “The Dork Knight”

  1. Dayton Ward adds:

    I cannot take credit for any of the Batman trailers. I just found them on YouTube and linked accordingly. :)

  2. peterw adds:

    I think you're doing yourself a disservice by not seeing the Dark Knight. The Batman aspects may not suit your tastes, but Heath Ledger's performance as the Joker is every bit as good as the buzz would have it. I believe his Joker will be remembered as one of the great movie villains.

  3. Ken Gagne adds:

    I wish they'd do a better job conveying that. All the media I've seen promoting this film portrays the Joker as a gun-toting, knife-wielding, violent psychopath. That's not exactly how I remember him from any of his previous incarnations.

    I'll probably catch The Dark Knight on DVD.

  4. Phillip adds:

    Glad to see some more positive reactions to my film, Batman's Bad Day!

    It actually screened here in Tucson in front of TDK at one of our theatres, so there's been almost 20,000 people to see it in a theatre so far!

    If you're looking for a lighter take on The Joker you should check out my first Batman fanfilm, Batman's In The Kitchen.