ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

Now, if you're a fan of DC comics, there's a whole lot to get excited about at the moment when it comes to the movies. Whether it's the imminent arrival of the DC Cinematic Universe on the big screen with next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the upcoming cinematic subversion of Suicide Squad, or even the soon-to-arrive original animated movie Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the DC-related pickings have never been richer.

For some fans, though, there's still likely an odd, cavernous sense that there's something missing - something Bat-shaped, and animated.

Something a little like this:

Y'see, for all the awesomeness that is the modern DC movie landscape, there's inevitably a part of us that longs for more of what we loved back in the day - and for many of us, that means both Batman: The Animated Series, and a whole lot of classic Batman comic-book story-lines.

Here, then, are five classic Batman stories that deserve their very own animated movie adaptation - with original Batman Kevin Conroy (and original Joker Mark Hamill) reprising the voice roles, of course...

First up?

1. Batman: Nine Lives

Seeing as we've already seen The Dark Knight Returns, and The Killing Joke is already very much on its way, it's safe to say that some of the most famous Batman stories ever written have already been adapted. Some of the less famous ones, though - including Dean Motter & Michael Lark's Nine Lives - could make for a fascinating movie experience.

The main reason Nine Lives'd make a great movie, though? It re-casts Dick Grayson as a hard-boiled Noir detective, and who doesn't want to watch that for 75 minutes or so?

2. Batman: Gotham By Gaslight

Another alternate reality version of Batman that'd be a natural fit for an animated take on the hero, Brian Augustyn & Mike Mignola's Gotham By Gaslight recasts Bruce Wayne in the 1800s, and sees him tackling a distinctly Jack-the-Ripper-themed villain.

It's not a tale that's ever likely to make it to the big-screen in live action form, but as an animated movie, it could be something special.

3. Batman: The Black Mirror

A more modern tale, this - and one very much within mainstream Bat-continuity - The Black Mirror wins a place for one very important reason: It doesn't actually star Bruce Wayne. The comic-book run - by Scott Snyder and Jock & Francesco Francavilla - is set during a time when the world believed Batman to be dead...until Dick Grayson took over from his mentor, and teamed up with Inspector Gordon to bring justice to Gotham once more.

Imagine the shock value of opening an animated movie with Bruce Wayne's funeral, and you can probably see the appeal...

4. Batman: The Long Halloween

One of the few legendary Bat-stories that can hold a candle to The Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween is a simple, old-school Bat-mystery, in which Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale crafted a deeply involving tale of Bat-history without sacrificing the integrity of some of Gotham's most iconic figures.

It's been touched on in other projects, and has an unusual structure that could be tricky to adapt, but it'd certainly be worth the effort...

5. Batman: Hush

If for no other reason than that it features pretty much every Bat-villain you could ever imagine, Jeph Loeb & Jim Lee's Hush somewhat inevitably earns a place on this list.

That being said, while the ending may have been controversial, the villain would work perfectly in the narrative isolation of a movie, and the cameos would allow for a whole lot of '90s series-referencing fun. Add in its movie-friendly mystery, then - and the exploration of Catwoman and Batman's complex relationship - and you've got yourself one heck of an animated movie...

What do you think, though?


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