Friday, August 17, 2012

Comic Book references in movies Part VII: 'The Dark Knight Rises'

Every writer of the Batman movies had either an extensive prior knowledge of the Batman comic books or did an extensive research before writing the script. Each and every one of the theatrical Batman movies has numerous subtle and not so subtle nods and references to the comic books and reveals an impressive knowledge of the comic book back catalog.
One of the last posts focused on differences and deviations from the comic books from each movie, listing the number of things which were changed to fit the story more and serve it better ( This time we'll focus on all the references and similarities to showcase the writers' knowledge of the Batman stories and to point out what was taken from the comics


'The Dark Knight Rises' draws heavily and primarily from vengeance of Bane, Knightfall and Legacy saga. Naturally, it also reflects and borrows from various issues of the Modern Age era

1. John Blake, while being an amalgam of the Robin character, is actually a minor character in early Batman comic books. Panel below from Batman #13

2. Gordon's capture is very reminiscent of what happened with robin during the Knightfall saga. Robin, like Gordon, have been captured and brought to the sewers, facing Bane. He also escaped the same way by falling into the stream. Panels from Detective Comics #660

3. Batman took a decade long hiatus in The Dark Knight Returns. While in the movie its 8 years, its still close to a decade

4. In The Dark Knight Returns, he also had to use enhancements for his limbs

5. In the movie, Bruce is not in the top form when he faces Bane for the first time. He is older, has been out of shape and action for 8 years, and has problems with his knee. In the comics, when Batman first fought Bane, he was also very out of shape, having been completely exhausted and under influence of a sickness called Epstein-Barr Syndrome. 

6. The fight itself is quite reminiscent of the first fight they had in the comics, where Batman cant really hurt Bane and Bane seems unaffected by all the hits he gives him, despite Batman giving everything he can at the time. Bane however, completely thrashes Batman. And as in the comics Bane doesn't just want to kill Batman, he wants to break him physically and psychologically, and make him watch how he takes over Gotham

7. The fight ends with a recreation of the famous panels where Bane breaks the caped crusader

8. The way Bane talks is very much in vein with his tone and style in the comics.

9. While for different reasons, Gordon was out of the action and in hospital for quite some time, starting with Detective Comics #626

10. Selina Kyle used to have a blonde companion (Arizona/Jen) that she sort of took under her wings. Or claws if you will. Panel from Batman #460

 11. Gordon's marriage problems and eventual separation is also a subplot originating from comic books. Panel below from Batman: Year One

12. As in the comics, Bane joined Ra's Al Ghul and then was casted out, and also had a love affair with Talia

13. Bane was responsible for jailbreak during Knightfall Saga. In the comic books, it was Arkham, in the movie it was Blackgate

14. In 'No Man's Land', Gotham City gets cut from the world, with its bridges blown up, devastated by earthquake and sanctioned by the military.

15. As in 'Vengeance of Bane', Bane was most likely born in prison, as he admits to being born in the darkness

16. As in the comics, Batman damages Bane's mask which aids in his defeat

17. When in disguise, Catwoman likes the old fashion look with a big hat

18. The newspaper titles are nods to the earliest Batman comics that featured Catwoman

19. Bane and Catwoman worked briefly together in the Knightfall saga

20. Bane's objective of completing Ra's al Ghul's campaign against Gotham is similar to the plot of Batman: Bane (May 1997), a one shot that rounded off the Legacy story arc.
In this story Bane plans to destroy Gotham by overloading the reactor core of a nuclear power plant. Much like the movie, the nuclear core was meant to be an energy source, but Bane repurposes it into a bomb. Credit for find goes to

21. The Pit is Nolan's version of the Lazarus Pit. Bruce went into the pit with a broken back, a bad knee, and he was very weak. He was also mentally crushed, and probably depressed. He came out of the pit with a healed back, virtually no knee problem, as strong as he was in the two previous films, and he was mentally stronger too. While it's not the classic supernatural healing pit, it's still the real life version of it

22. In Detective Comics #489, a leader of League of Assasins uses a phrase that Bane, co-leader of the League of Shadows uses as well

23. Bruce and Selina got married in Superman Family #211. Credit to for the find

24. With long gloves and thigh high boots, Catwoman's outfit is pretty much Jim Balent's Catwoman suit, just in black

25. A veteran cop, recognizing Batman, grins to his rookie colleague that they're in for a show; that sequence comes from The Dark Knight Returns