The First Glimpse Of Batman
We’ve seen Bruce Wayne, and we’ve seen him brooding, but it is the first sight of Batman that sends a Dark Knight shiver up the spine. Two Gotham police officers enter a warehouse, at night. They are nervous, and have their shotguns at the ready as they creep cautiously around the derelict property. They come upon an area sectioned off with bars – which is effectively a cell for victims of trafficking. It is filled with traumatized, terrified women, who refuse to come out, because “It is still here.”
As one of the police officers proceeds toward some muffled noises, the sounds become clearer. We can hear intermittent, monstrous moaning, and the occasional thud. What manner of creature lies beyond the next corner? The police officer enters the room with his torchlight searching the corners, only to find a shirtless criminal chained to a radiator, branded with a Bat symbol. As he draws back in disgust – shocked at the idea of one person branding another – we catch a glimpse of Batman, braced silently against the corner of the ceiling, being intensely creepy.
It is the way in which he is not in the centre of the frame that makes this a terrifying image. In terms of atmosphere and pacing, this scene calls to mind the escape of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs – just with less skinning. This is our introduction to Batman – and it is not the Batman of Joel Schumacher’s movies. Nor is it the Batman of Tim Burton’s movies. This Batman makes even Christopher Nolan’s Batman seem like Mary Poppins. Unarguably, this is Batman as many feel he should be – the Batman we’ve never had, but always wanted.
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Granny’s Peach Tea
Lex Luthor is accustomed to getting what he wants, so naturally, when he finds an obstacle in the form of United States Senator Finch (Holly Hunter), his reaction is both horrifying and monstrous.
His attempts at charm are rebuffed, and Senator Finch appears to be immovable in her determination to thwart Luthor’s plans. However, the biggest mistake anyone can make is to underestimate their opponent. Luthor underestimates Finch, and she explains to him in no uncertain terms that he could urinate in a jar and “call it Granny’s Peach Tea,” but she’s still not going to drink it. Such conflict cuts both ways, though, and Senator Finch underestimates Luthor at her peril.
She is heading up the Senate hearing into the activities of Superman – calling him to account for the devastating damage he repeatedly causes, and the effect his unilateral actions have on international diplomacy. Luthor wants to manipulate her, but she deflects his attempts once again. She takes her seat at the head of the hearing, and begins to berate Superman, who stands before them. As she does so, she notices that there is a jar of yellow liquid sitting where her glass of water should be, and it is labelled ‘Granny’s Peach Tea,’ Her concentration is broken, as the full horror of Lex Luthor’s approaching depravity begins to settle on Senator Finch’s face…