One can maybe say that the "pow-ZAP" Batman wasn't serious enough. One can also possibly say that the "Dark Knight" series was too serious. Batman 1989 though was jusssst right. Batman 1989 was the ultimate standard setter for the Batman series as everything from that point was based on, and build apon Batman 1989. All the Batman movies have lead one another to come into fruition. That leads us to today - Ben Affleck's Batman - who is a masterfied, perfect combination and evolution of Batman in my opinion. A chizzled to perfection Batman, added all the elements that made Batman what he is today, throughout the times, and finally the perfect amount of all those elements. The perfect formula. This is thee evolution of THEE Batman ~
All of the Batman's that graced us were amazing, and did so much for their time. We wouldn't have one without the other. Maybe people who are born today, might not "get it", but if you were THERE, you know WHY the "Pow-Zap" Batman was so amazing. Not only was it awesome, and contributed so much to pop culture in general, it also lead to the creation of the 1989 Batman. If it wasn't for "Pow-Zap" we wouldn't have been lead to, or wanted a Batman 1989. This show showed how powerful and how much people wanted to see Batman, and the comics lead to people craving to see an on screen Batman, with the more serious subjects that were in the pages! "What would happen, if the awesomness of the on screen Batman we've seen so far combined with the more gritty, and adult tones of the comics?" Batman 1989 came, and BOOM! Cemented (if Batman wasn't ALREADY CEMENTED) and changed everything! "Pow-Zap" begot "1989" and 1989 begot everything we know today! Tim Burton nailed the elements that he added, and combined into Batman at the time. Tim Burton's elements into Batman lead to Batman making the equivalent impact of when McDonald's made the "Big Mac". Leading to an understanding, love, and need for Batman that went beyond. So far beyond, that everything that everything since then, has been based off of the 1989 Batman, or has tried to build apon it, or made decisions to evolve a certain way from it.
I briefly want to talk about "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin". These two movies "continued" the 1989 Batman story line, but were considered by some to veer off too much from what had come before, dropping too many elements that made that perfect recipe for the time, that everyone loved the taste of. Of course when I think about it now, I would love to see more characters molded in Tim Burton's vision, but I also understood what they were meaning, by where these movies were going. They were getting more fantastical, but I didn't feel like anything was being "ruined" because I saw that they were trying to throw back a little bit to the "Pow-Zap" Batman. Therefore I understood it. I didn't feel cheated, because they weren't trying to completely change Batman, but bring back some Batman elements from the past. So I did not feel as if they were making Batman something he wasn't, but rather, maybe for some people, they just put too much salt and pepper in the pot. A Batman with a sense of humor is an element of Batman, but perhaps they tried to take too much of the "serious" element out. But still, at that time, one of the "elements" was casting a famous actor, who was best suited for each Batman villain role, as they did with Jack Nicholson, Michelle Fiffer, Danny Divito, and now in Batman Forever, Jim Carry, who was definitely the best, famous actor, suited for the role of the Riddler at that time. I thought Tommy Lee Jones was great too, and played out a great, memorable rivalry with the actor who played Robin, but I can see if people were mad they never got to see Billie Dee Williams fulfill his role as Two-Face, who played Harvey Dent in Batman 1989, especially since Batman Forever was part of that series. Although, I did not feel any sting of that back then, but made it all the more beautiful to witness Billie ACTUALLY voice Two-Face in the LEGO Batman movie! Which had him finally fulfill the role he was supposed to portray, all those years ago... (oh man, I can't even with that! Too human, beautiful, and amazing!!) So I do feel like there was enough "elements" of "Batman" in those movies to love. I could see where their might have been in an imbalance though in the "series'" elements, which leads us to the next set of movies.
The Dark Knight series! Definitely a classic series! Although some scenes in #3, The Dark Knight Rises, were a little imbalanced in the brutality department, the series overall, as a whole was classic and great. Now see, if it wasn't for the imbalance of the "less serious" in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, people wouldn't have been craving a "REALISTIC" Batman. Batman Forever and Batman and Robin left people hungry for the missing, "serious" ingredient in the cheeseburger. Therefore, the Dark Knight series was birthed. Now today, we have, one of my favorite Batmans of all time - Ben Affleck.
Ben Affleck's Batman you can maybe say was birthed from the Dark Knight series. It being TOO serious. It taking too many elements that came before, out. I feel though, as of today, they have MASTERED it! One of the first things I said about Ben Affleck's Batman, is that - "It's a perfect combination of Batman 1989, and The Dark Knight series". It brings back fantastical elements that contributed to Batman's rise to fame, but also keeping it in that realistic, brutal, Dark Knight style as well. to me, it's the Perfect combination.
Lets not forget Batman: The Animated Series!! Another thing I would also feel and say, is that - "This Batman also embodies an on screen version of the Batman from Batman: The Animated Series". There's so many things in this iteration of "B-Man" that is just everything to me. The perfect formula, and the perfect combination, of all the elements that helped Batman catapult to the heights the character has reached, through the times. And my god... hearing THEE Batman theme in the Justice League with THIS Batman especially... I think I saw GOD for a second! Ha! But it's not just the Batman aspect that I love. Bruce Wayne's portrayal goes hand and hand, and comes along with this whole package!
If it wasn't implied, when I say "Batman" I am also including Bruce Wayne in that word also. The Batman experience as a whole includes Bruce Wayne. As I mentioned before, one of the elements of Batman is humor, in some form or fashion. This Bruce Wayne knows when to not take himself too seriously, and knows how to balance his serious, alter life with some fun, and understands that constantly grinding isn't going to help him. His life is constantly as risk, so why take life so seriously? That was an element that was there in "Pow-Zap", but Tim Burton masterfully incorporated that into Michael Keaton's more "serious" Batman. Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne knew how to mock a situation, knew how to mock himself, and other people in a truthful way, if needed. Batman having some sort of sense of humor, amongst all the craziness, is a classic Batman element. All the stuff that is going on IS CRAZY in the Batman universe, so Batman is even more of the man for the fact that he knows how to chill amoungst all the lunacy he's surrounded with. Laugh at the crazyness, but also knowing how to be completely bold, and serious at the same time. This is why I believe people love Superman as well, because he's not about being a downer. At the core, he's a jolly nerd, but also knows how to step up when the time comes. Being happy but bold when needed is very human, and something people innately want to be. No body wants to be completely serious all the time, because whats the sense in life, even in crazy situations, if we're not having fun? Who wants to be even MORE weight on their shoulders when surrounded by a serious situation, and who wants to be a coward in the face of danger? You feel close to Batman and Superman, because they're people you'd want to be in the situations they face, or people to learn from. Even Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is a Jedi and is supposed to be "serious minded" laughs in the face of a difficult situation, and has a sense of humor. This Bruce Wayne brings back that suave, laid back "F**K IT" attitude. A "let me have some fun, cause who knows when this ride could end" attitude. There's a recipe though. People like their Batman serious, but this Bruce Wayne gives the perfect amount of care free attitude to make him human, and relateable.
Overall, like I've said, I believe this Batman, is a perfect and masterful combination of all of the elements that have made us love Batman throughout the times. A finally chizzled to perfection Batman. A Batman where there's no imbalances. Ben Affleck is not too serious of a Batman, but also not a completely serious Batman either. He's intense and brutal, but also realizes that he's human, and because he realizes that he's human, we get to see how he achieves the fantastical through a human lens. I pray that he stays around for a very long time, as I do everybody they have picked for this current DC Universe so far. I believe that they all, are and have perfectly, and masterfully embodied and portrayed all of these DC Legends.