When LexCorps accidentally unleash a murderous creature, Doomsday, Superman meets his greatest challenge as a champion. Based on the "The Death of Superman" storyline that appeared in DC Comics' publications in the 1990s.
Batman discovers a mysterious teen-aged girl with super-human powers and a connection to Superman. When the girl comes to the attention of Darkseid, the evil overlord of Apokolips, events take a decidedly dangerous turn.
There's a mystery afoot in Gotham City, and Batman must go toe-to-toe with a mysterious vigilante, who goes by the name of Red Hood. Subsequently, old wounds reopen and old, once buried memories come into the light.
In this 6-story anthology collection, Batman faces new villains and old ones in a time-line after Batman Begins. In "Have I Got A Story For You", 3 kids tell wildly different stories about Batman during a fight through Gotham. "Crossfire" focuses on two policemen who end up getting in the middle of a crime battle. "Field Test" has Lucius Fox creating a new technology for Batman, but is it too powerful? "In Darkness Dwells" features Killer Croc and Scarecrow, who have kidnapped a priest. "Working Through Pain" goes through flashbacks of Bruce Wayne's training while Batman finds his way through the sewers. Finally, "Deadshot" focuses on the titular sniper, who has a new target in Gotham. Written by
The cover advertises this film as the first Batman animated movie to be rated PG-13. In fact, this is not true. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker was the first animated Batman film to carry the rating. Originally edited into a PG rated film, it was later released as an unedited Director's Cut with a PG-13 rating. See more »
The final segment "Deadshot" shows Bruce Wayne and Alfred living in the manor. This movie takes place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, during the period when Wayne Manor is being rebuilt. However the producers have acknowledged that the movie isn't necessarily meant to be canon to Christopher Nolan's trilogy and that any of the six segments could easily fall into almost any Batman continuity. See more »
9/10 for style and whacked-out anime panache; 5-6/10 for stories
Batman: Gotham Knight is an anthology of shorts that are different from the original WB animated series in that it's not in the usual twenty-minute animated form (1/2 hour for commercials). It's more like a collection of comic books from Batman strung together without any real association aside from it being different interpretations from the Japanese directors. A similar mode went with the Animatrix years ago, in that it's partly a weird and intriguing exploration of the world created, and partly as a cash tie-in for the upcoming new movie (in this case, of course, Dark Knight).
All of the directors, to greater or lessor degrees, have a specific vision to share with us Batman fans, and at best it's a real visual 'trip'; things move past with lightning speed, but so we can see a lot of "things" happening, and every so often, like 'Working Through Pain', the animators don't kid us anymore and show Bruce Wayne going through kung-fu training with a spiritual twist (I chuckled at seeing Bruce as now being an Asian). For the most part, however, the shorts don't have a lot going on in terms of real substance- how can they with such short amounts of time. The first, 'Have I Got a Story for You', relies on Rashomon storytelling from a bunch of skater kids on Batman; this one has some of the most creative twists on just the design of the dark knight. Then there's maybe my favorite of the whole lot, 'In Darkness Dwells', which showcases the Scarecrow and, briefly, Killer Croc (apparently a fan favorite), and has a firm handle on its very dark atmosphere and the harsh story of Crane and the bums.
Other stories like 'Dead-Shot', 'Field-Test', and especially 'Crossfire', are enjoyable on the shallowest levels, and there is only bits and piece of a story going on (Crossfire relies also on a big mob shootout to make up for a paper-thin narrative). While it's great to hear Kevin Conroy back to voice Wayne/Batman, and to see some of the twists the animators take and the distinct styles coming through with a handle on making it fierce and graphic (it'll probably get a TV-14 when finally broadcast), it doesn't come close to the dimensions found in the original 90s animated series. It's a wonderful, absorbing garnish of sorts.
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