The heroic and justice seeking vigilante character known as Batman has been pummeling criminals in the face since the early 1940s. However, while his methods of delivering justice have stayed consistent for nearly 75+ years, the level of "ouch" has definitely escalated over the decades.
Batman wasn't always the martial arts master that we know him as today. At least not at the level of the modern Dark Knight. Originally his fighting style was based upon that of a boxer, incorporating only basic brawling skills. Still, the Caped Crusader was a worthy opponent, due to his superior speed, stature and beastly physicality.
Nowadays, the Dark Knight can be seen adapting multiple fighting styles and taking on more than 20 opponents at a time. His knowledge of martial arts has grown vastly since he first appeared in 1939.
Violence has always been a important part of Batman, but the extent of it can either make or break the tone and character a story is trying to set and engage the audience in.
It can be "cartoonish" and help dissolve tension, but it can also be a lot of fun. 1966s Batman wasn't made to be a serious or realistic take. It was made as a fun Saturday morning kids show, with an over exaggerated tone that would appeal to adults.
It can also be ultra realistic and practical, such as in the Dark Knight trilogy, where the realism of the fighting grounds the action a bit more, but may be less accurate to the source material.
Violence is going to need to be handled ever so delicately in the upcoming Batman v Superman and as well in Affleck's solo Batman films. If it's too over the top, it will fail to deliver a sense of result and consequence. There will be no consequences to the fact that Batman might have just shattered some guy's collar bone. On the other hand, if taken too seriously, it will lose the comic book feel it needs to relate to the material.
Why We're in Good Hands:
Zack Snyder has proven himself in at least one area: fight/action scenes.
In Watchmen, Snyder delivers one of the best comic book fights. In the prison battle, we see the results of pain and suffering upon the prisoners as they are struck by Night Owl and Silk Spectre. We witness comic book style choreography and movements and it can all be taken seriously while being slightly over the top. This scene is perfect as far as what comic book movie violence should be presented as.
So What Kind of Fighting Should Bat-Fleck Be Using?
Every kind. This new Batman will have been around some 20 years. He should be the reason half the thugs in Gotham are in the hospital. But I know what you're thinking: "Sure, but what is it going to look like?" Well, how about the acclaimed Arkham games?
The Arkham video games have given us a perfect style of combat which would be perfect for this new Batman.
It makes him an established fighter. It sets the right tone. It shows his skill and experience. He is Batman, battling through 30+ thugs all at once.