It’s the ultimate question isn’t it? When will Batman roast the world as a Robin?

The Dark Knight returned to the big-screen this year and, while it wasn’t the best film Warner Bros. ever made, it was better than one might expect. The caped crusader’s story was told almost entirely through CGI, but it didn’t ruin the magic of a theatre show. This year’s Batman movie also introduced fans to a brand new character, the witty and sarcastic Alfred, who was absolutely fantastic.

Most importantly, Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the Dark Knight was nothing short of brilliant. While many expected Affleck to inherit the mantle of Batman following the departure of Christian Bale, the actor has proven himself more than capable of being the best Batman to date. His interactions with both the Joker and Bruce Wayne’s parents were especially memorable.

With a year behind us, let’s take a look at how the world of Batman will change in the coming months and whether or not this year’s film will secure Affleck’s place as the definitive Batman.

New Characters

While the Dark Knight was undoubtedly one of the highlights of this year’s film festival circuit, it was also one of the downsides. The movie almost entirely focused on creating an iconic antagonist for Batman to fight and almost nothing new was introduced. The same goes for its sequel, which is set to hit theaters next year. The only new character introduced in the film was Dr. Harleen Quinzel, which was basically a carbon copy of Alfred with a British accent.

However, while we don’t know much about the character, she could easily become a major player in the world of Batman. The main issue with introducing new characters is that it takes time for them to develop and establish themselves as something more than a one-note joke or stereotype.

The Joker, for example, is played with tremendous depth of character by Joaquin Phoenix. However, the fact that he’s the only major new character in the entire film means that he has very little backstory or history to explore. The best we get is a brief mention that he went to prison for something he did to his friend.

Aside from that, all we know about the Joker is that he wears a mask and is quite possibly the greatest comedian in the world. As much as we may love the character, there’s literally nothing more to him than that. This makes it extremely difficult for us to get emotionally invested in his story or arc. We’ll see how much he changes and evolves over the course of the next year, but for now, he’s quite simply the Joker.

The time for new villains and characters is now, which is why we should’ve seen something like Spiderman: Homecoming years ago. By introducing the character of Ironman, Tony Stark could’ve changed the game entirely. As much as we may love Spiderman and his allies, it’s hard for a story like this not to feel like a rehash of past adventures. The world needs more than one Batman, and if we want to see characters like the Joker and the Dark Knight becoming an integral part of pop culture, then we need to start creating new stories now.


Even though we’ve been down this road before with Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and The Avengers, it’s still a sad fact that the overall quality of most Hollywood movies keeps declining year after year. CGI has definitely improved since its inception, but it’s still not quite the same as being in a movie that was shot on location with real actors.

It’s not just CGI that gets a bad rap either. It’s mostly all the effects that are added to a movie these days that get ripped to shreds. It seems like every two weeks, we’re being bombarded with new revelations about the state of visual effects in Hollywood. Although many effects-heavy movies end up being quite entertaining, it’s still a letdown when a film you’ve paid to see features lots of green screen and no substantial real-world effects. It makes you wonder what’s the point of CGI in the first place.

Even the newest Batman installment featured a large amount of CGI, which was undoubtedly a step up from the usual fare. While a TV show could’ve used some of that technology to great effect, it still doesn’t hold a candle to being in a live-action film. There were several times when I found myself saying, “This isn’t realistic!” or “The costumes need to feel more like real clothes!” If there’s anything we’ve learned from Nolan’s Dark Knight movies, it’s that CGI doesn’t always have to be bad. Sometimes it can be quite good, but it depends on the artist and the director at the helm. If you’re blessed with extraordinary talent in those areas, then it can become something special. We just have to be careful not to get too blinded by the technology and ignore the limitations of what it can do. It’s still not quite the same as being there in person, no matter how good the CGI may be.

What we need to keep in mind is that even though it’s fun to fantasize about what would happen if Batman actually did show up in real life, that’s not necessarily what the story or the filmmakers behind the scenes are going for. It’s not uncommon for characters in comic books and animated cartoons to behave in a far-fetched and unrealistic way, but that doesn’t mean that what they do is good or justified. It just means that it’s funny or entertaining for the audience. We have to remember that there will always be a difference between what is real and what is fake. It’s not just a matter of technology improving or not.

The more I think about this, the more I realize how much this question will follow me around for the rest of my life. It’s a question I desperately want answered, but I have to find the patience to wait for the right time. My own answer may change over the years, but until then, I’m going to continue to ask this question and continue to wonder what would happen if Batman did show up in real life. Maybe one day I’ll get my answer and maybe one day I won’t.

At the end of the day, all we can do is watch and continue to speculate. It’s what fans do best and it keeps us entertained while Warner Bros. continues to milk the Batman franchise. I for one, am very much looking forward to 2018 and everything that is to come. Let’s just hope that Batman isn’t going to overshadow everything else that is going to happen next year and ruin our fun. It’s a question that keeps me up at night, wondering if one day we’ll wake up and find out that Batman isn’t real after all.