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‘The Batman’ Is Finally Back, Along With Gotham Foes

The Batman (Robert Pattinson) searches for a familiar, enigmatic foe.
The Batman (Robert Pattinson) searches for a familiar, enigmatic foe. Warner Brothers

More than a year after its first teaser at a DC FanDome event, The Batman arrives. And he is full of fury. 

On Oct. 16, Batman fans eagerly awaiting director Matt Reeves’s reboot of the many-winged franchise got their first official taste of Gotham’s gritty streets, circa 2021. The action didn’t disappoint. Fueled by a bombastic soundtrack that sounds like it comes straight from mid-20th-century Warner Brothers epics, Robert Pattinson faces several familiar foes to the Gotham universe. After Michael Keaton was torn between Bruce Wayne and the Bat and Christian Bale presented a tragic, Pyrrhic Bat, Pattinson’s interpretation (featuring a typical Bat rasp from a sharp jaw) seems singularly focused upon force. 

“Fear is a tool,” Pattinson says in the preview. “When that light hits the sky, it’s not just a call. It’s a warning.”

Maybe vicious fights and tangible bad men to untangle is what audiences need after many long pandemic months, beat down by an invisible enemy. 

In 2017, Reeves described The Batman as “an almost noir-driven, detective version of Batman.” The preview is certainly dark. The only light revealed is either through gun fire, wan yellow streetlights, or in flames, either from an exploding building or flying from the tail and sides of the new Batmobile.

Designer Ash Thorp threw out the manual on the black ride, exchanging outlandish looks for an original muscle car. It looks like a real-life modified Dodge Charger, albeit with a jet engine.

“I like it. Has a nice Adam West/Barris feel to it,” director and comics guru Kevin Smith tweeted. “It’s a believable Batmobile that someone who’s not a billionaire could build — which also helps throw people off the scent of Bruce Wayne being The Batman. Thanks for the early looks! We’re all rooting for you!”

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The car’s Detroit steel also serves as a metaphor for a superhero for whom perhaps the human is the mask. 

“I don’t care what happens to me,” a black-bagged and heavy-lidded Pattinson-as-Wayne half whispers. 

This single-mindedness has the Caped Crusader in conflict with the Joker’s henchman and a spinoff-show-worthy The Penguin via a mush-faced Colin Farrell. This quest is all toward finding the Riddler (played by a yet-to-be-revealed Paul Dano), the famed villain who’s been busy planting elaborate clues for Batman to decipher. 

“This is a powder keg, and Riddler is the match,” a caged voice (The Joker?) whispers over a massive explosion,

Along the way, Catwoman, played by an alluring Zoë Kravitz (yes, Lenny’s daughter), provides the intrigue and only worthy antihero that can knock Batman from an isolated roost.

After several pandemic production delays, The Batman is finally set to hit theaters on March 4, 2022.

Read More: Your Own Bad New Batmobile (in an R/C Version)

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