Batman Ego

The Batman director Matt Reeves shares his favorite Dark Knight comics

Contributed by
Apr 20, 2018

Matt Reeves, director of The Batman, has been subject to much scrutiny thanks to a production that was bumpy before it even began. The scriptwriting duties shifted, and the creative team played musical chairs with the director’s seat before deciding on the current lineup. But with things calming down and everything back on schedule, fans can start digging into exactly what kind of standalone Batman film they’ll be getting from the DCEU.

A good way to find out about that is to ask about the comic influences. Reeves was asked for his favorite Batmen on Twitter and came up with a few illuminating choices. Year One, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Ego, and the works of Neal Adams and Bob Kane and Bill Finger were all praised by the man next in charge of Batman’s on-screen persona:

It’s hard to glean much from giving props to the co-creators, but Frank Miller’s seminal Year One and the continuation of The Long Halloween were both heavy influences on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy in terms of their realism and investment in the relationships between Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon, and Batman.

As far as the race-against-the-clock The Long Halloween goes, the director actually has a deeper relationship with writer Jeph Loeb:

Dark Victory, Loeb’s sequel to The Long Halloween, introduces Dick Grayson’s Robin into the storyline and shares his mob-influenced backstory. The comic takes the central three of the earlier stories and emphasizes their isolation, which Grayson helps alleviate for Batman. The rumors that Ben Affleck’s Batman has already lost a Robin may make this seem untenable for the movie, but it's certainly something Reeves has mulled over based on his reading habits.

Finally, Ego tells the story of a psychologically shattered Batman consumed by guilt and considering retirement. This is the kind of bedraggled Batman that Affleck could really pull off and a touchstone that would add some much-needed interiority to the DCEU. As the film comes along, these influences are starting to shape an interesting picture for the world’s greatest detective.