A new short from Bruce Timms' Justice League: Gods and Monsters dropped this week. Let's just say it's incredibly dark. And incredibly awesome.
For those who haven't heard of Gods and Monsters before, it's animated DC legend visionary Bruce Timms' reimagining of the Justice League. It's comprised of a miniseries, a film, and another miniseries will follow.
Timms' vision for the project is "trying to zig when people think I’m going to zag," which sums it up pretty nicely. This is not the Justice League we know from our childhoods; Batman is villain Kirk Langstrom, "a scientist whose formula turned him into Batman, instead of Man-Bat." Wonder Woman is a New God in a kickass white costume. Superman is the son of the villainous Zod. And the surprises don't stop there; the new short Twisted gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect from the series as a whole.
A Whole New Batsuit
If it weren't for the signature helmet, you'd be forgiven for not recognizing this as Batman at all. The addition of white into the costume, the lack of cape and ridiculously broad shoulders/biceps - straight from the get-go, we know this isn't going to be the animated Batman we know and love.
The short starts with Batman entering an abandoned warehouse. The music is eerie and suspenseful. The darkened room is littered with hooks and torture implements, and spattered with blood. This opening scene is taking all its cues from classic horror movies - which prepares us well for what's to come.
Exploring the warehouse, he comes across a freezer filled with various decomposing body parts, including a gallery of heads and a can of "Grape Soder." Yep, this definitely isn't the animated Batman we grew up with...
A Severed Corpse Made into Jack-in-the-Box
A series of sealed boxes spring up to reveal a Jack-in-the-Box, a traumatized female hostage, and the corpse seen above. Imaginative, if horrifying.
Harley Quinn, Is That You?!
So Harley looks... erm... slightly different. She looks like a deranged stripper. Wearing little more than her panties, a corset and dragging a giant hammer, Harley has certainly had an adult makeover. We can't help but think she must be a little cold in that draughty warehouse, though.
Batman Pulls No Punches
As the ancient proverb goes, it's wrong to hit a lady- unless that lady is a fucked up semi-naked serial killer coming at you with a hammer.
Chasing Harley through her warehouse of horrors, Batman comes across this particularly charming family of decomposing corpses. Their mouths have been wired into permanent, chilling smiles, and they're swarming with flies. The little boy is particularly gruesome.
A Grandmother's Corpse Getting Decapitated with a Chainsaw
During a chainsaw standoff, this happens. Yep.
Harley Gets Captured
Eventually Harley's chainsaw backfires, and slices open her abdomen. She concedes defeat, telling 'Batman' "I know when I'm licked... go on, take me to jail, copper."
Ok, so this is a little like the animated Batman we grew up with - the hero saves the day, the villain is brought to justice....
NOPE! Batman's a Vampire!
A vampire who murders Harley Quinn. The end!
So, in summary, we have a vampiric Batman with a taste for human blood, enough corpses to put the Saw franchise to shame, (cartoon) cleavage, and a chainsaw fight. And this is only in the first six minutes. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely staying tuned for Part Two...