Batman #140 Cover cropped

Comic Batman Exploits Cinematic Batman’s Biggest Weakness

It has been argued that, given his self-destructive impulses, the greatest enemy of Batman may be Batman himself. Batman #140 makes this into a literal truth, with an army of Dark Knights from across the multiverse fighting Bruce Wayne. Thankfully, the Earth-Prime Batman is able to win by taking advantage of his cinematic counterpart’s greatest weakness.

Batman #140 by Chip Zdarsky and Jorge Jimenez continues Bruce Wayne’s battle with the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. Bruce originally created the Zur-En-Arrh persona to protect him from psychic attack. Unfortunately, Zur-En-Arrh took on a life of his own, concluding the best way to protect Bruce was to take over his life. To that end, he enlisted a League of other Batmen of Zur-En-Arrh from across the multiverse. This left Bruce fighting a mental army of Bat-Clones, as Zur-En-Arrh-Prime attempted to kill Joker.

One variant was clearly modeled on the cinematic Dark Knight played by Michael Keaton. This Batman was armed with a variety of “wonderful toys” that kept Bruce hopping. Luckily for Bruce, he observed that the Keaton Batman had mobility issues because of his stiff cowl. This allowed Bruce to outmaneuver him and deliver a stunning blow to the doppelganger.

Batman Prime Fights Michael Keaton Batman

Keaton’s infamous Batman cowl

Michael Keaton’s performance as the Dark Knight was generally well-received. However, his costume had some notable design flaws. It looked impressive and perfectly captured the classic silhouette of the Dark Knight. However, the stiff cowl also made it impossible for Keaton to bend his neck or turn his head.

This ultimately added to the unique aesthetic of Tim Burton‘s films. To accommodate the costume, Keaton developed a unique way of walking that made the stiffness seem intentional. He also turned his whole body whenever he was meant to look at something, or face a foe.

This motion, coupled with the cape, resulted in many sweeping, dramatic gestures. This fit the Gothic splendor of Burton’s Gotham City and the melodramatic tone of the film. Unfortunately, as the comic book Batman pointed out, it also made him an easy target to more mobile enemies.

Batman #140 is now available at comic shops everywhere.