One reason why the character of Batman has endured for 78 years is that he’s so malleable. Sure, there are intrinsic qualities that unite various interpretations such as his superior intellect, martial arts skills and care for his fellow man, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been portrayals on opposite ends of the spectrum. For example, both Adam West and Ben Affleck have brought something very different to the table, but neither man’s efforts were no less valid than the other – and the same sentiment can be extended to comics and animation.
Having said that, the time has come to embrace what the near future will bring. As it turns out, the Caped Crusader will once again venture to the Japanese anime arena, this time with Batman Ninja. Directed by JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s Jumpei Mizusaki, this bold story will see – get this – the Dark Knight being thrown back through time to medieval Japan. Normally, you’d think Darkseid’s Omega Sanction would be at fault, but chances are slim the filmmakers decided to borrow that heavily from Final Crisis.
Unfortunately, Warner Bros. have yet to post an official trailer online, but io9 did have somebody on hand at the panel saying that a Batman sporting shogun armor and holding a katana rushed at the Joker, “who’s also brandishing a sword, but draped in a fanciful, ancient Japanese courtier’s outfit that’s overflowing with tattered ruffles that bounce along with his maniacal laugh.”
Furthermore, they went on to describe the teaser shown at New York Comic Con:
“On a tiled roof, the pair crash and slash at one another in a dizzying flow of gorgeous swordsmanship and the Joker taunts Batman that, even in this unfamiliar time and place, he’s still every bit the bloodthirsty killer he was in Gotham. The scene jumps to a quick montage of fight scenes and we see that it isn’t just Batman and the Joker who have been displaced. Nightwing, one of the Robins, Harley Quinn, Penguin, and Gorilla Grodd are there as well, and they all look like avant-garde, high-fashion, concept-art versions of themselves.”
Not only that, but Harley was also said to have busted a few heads with a ginormous mallet before the Batmobile put in an appearance. Having taken all this in, it sounds quite intriguing, but perhaps not as much of a radical departure as we envisioned. Still, it’s doubtful this will be in any way comparable to a Bruce Timm cartoon.
Batman Ninja is slated to arrive on Blu-ray and DVD sometime in 2018. In the meantime, you can whet your appetite with the poster below.