Batman will be getting his own solo film in the not too distant future. Even if Warner Bros. hadn't officially confirmed it, we'd have been pretty safe in guessing it. I mean after all, he is DC's best selling character. So, with that in mind it begs the questions; what story will it be based on? Will it be a prequel? Of course, it could be completely original, but where's the fun in that?
1) A Death in the Family
What you can see above is possibly the most iconic Batman images there are. Bruce's face cloaked in shadow but still undeniably tragic, looking upon the bloodied, bruised and limp corpse of Jason Todd. It's an absolutely incredible story and even though the cover and the title spoil the end of the comic, it doesn't manage to stop the final moments packing one of the biggest gut-punches we've ever seen in DC comics. It's a tragic story, and one that will probably never be forgotten. It's one of the rare character deaths where the consequences feel real thanks to the lack of the character, even to this day after a universe reboot, has never been re-instated to where he originally was. While I'm not a massive fan of prequels, I think that this story is so deserving of a cinematic adaptation that I don't even care. There's also the fact that it leads perfectly into the next story, so why not just do both?
2) Under the Red Hood
This is one of the most well known, and straight up best Batman stories ever. It involves the mysterious Red Hood - a former alias of the Joker - entering Gotham to engage in an all out war on the mob, similar to what Batman does with the one exception being that this vigilante isn't afraid of getting blood on his hands. It has action, thought, a thrilling plot and is one of those rare stories that give us a new insight into what makes the Dark Knight tick. If you're still not convinced by this, just check out the animated film they made for it. It's absolutely great. Just imagine the potential a live-action, full length feature film would have. The one problem that could be presented for this story is that the identity of the Red Hood is far too easy to figure out, but if you've read the comic, I would counter that the mystery isn't what drives the story, but rather the way the identity of this antagonist challenges Batman to his core.
3) Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
Few locations in Gotham are as well known as Arkham Asylum. There's even been a fantastic game series based off of that idea. In this psychological thriller, Batman puts himself at the mercy of Gotham's criminals in order to save the innocent people working at the Asylum. It's an incredibly tense read where Batman is put completely at the mercy of his adversaries, specifically the Joker. One of the most timeless elements of the story is the deconstruction of many of Batman's rogues, including Killer Croc, Two-Face and Clayface. It would be an incredibly thrilling story to see on the big screen, and would also work brilliantly at establishing the DC universe as one like no other where they aren't afraid to push the boundaries of the superhero genre. Even the artwork for this story is creepy, an aesthetic I would love to see carried over to the film in some way.
4) Batman Incorporated
The best thing about Batman, Inc. is that it really delves into the idea of the global symbol that the Batman represents. In the story, Bruce comes back from an... absence (wiki it if you really want to know) to find that Dick Grayson is Batman. Which should also be it's own movie. And upon his return, he sets up a worldwide Bat-family in order to take crime-fighting to a whole new level. It's a really fun story of Batman and the robins travelling around the globe recruiting crime-fighters. It also makes sense in the context of the universe DC is setting up. By 2019 (which is roughly when the Batman film is believed to come out) Ben Affleck will be 47, and while it's possible to have him be a solo superhero, it would make perfect sense for him to take a back seat at the top of a global Bat-family and only personally respond to major catastrophes.
5) Batman: Hush
Batman fans have been campaigning for this comic run to get a film since it concluded back in 2003. And why shouldn't we? Wait... I mean; And why shouldn't they? The elements of Bruce's past coming back to haunt him, the sheer mountain of his villains that Batman encounters, the Riddler finally getting the spotlight he deserves, everything about this story feels like it would work for an older Bruce Wayne, and this particular take on Batman is one that I feel Ben Affleck would just nail. It's very much a plot driven story, but with plenty of action, and even a brief fight between Batman and Superman (which they could cut out as they'll have done a whole movie about that by this stage). It's a very, very good story which I'd recommend to anyone, and one that is most deserving of a telling on the big screen.
So those are five Batman stories that I would love to see given a cinematic interpretation with Ben Affleck at the helm, both directing and starring in. But there are so many other great stories out there, so feel free to let us know your pick below, and until next time guys, enjoy your lives!!!