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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    I thought the same about the tree kicking. The reference seems as one that King would pull since he mentioned that particular scene from Year One a few times in his run. Janín was a perfect match for this issue. I don't know who came up with using Calendar Man, but I guess his powers were invented by Snyder, solely based on that King never used them in his run, though he used Calendar Man to bring a similar message than the one in this one-shot. So maybe Calendar Man was King's idea and Snyder made up the powers. But at the end it's just fun guessing. Maybe they weren't as divided into chunks of the issue as we make them up to be
    Often in a collaboration, they will work things out on a phone call or conversation, then one will do a draft, then the other do a pass, so it's not a matter of strict sections.
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  2. #17
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Often in a collaboration, they will work things out on a phone call or conversation, then one will do a draft, then the other do a pass, so it's not a matter of strict sections.
    Yes, I agree. I think Snyder’s main concern was Duke’s introduction as a sidekick for All Star Batman, while King was still finding his voice. It’s important to note that we don’t have voice over of Batman’s thoughts in this one-shot, which was essential in Snyder’s run, while in King’s it’s the lack of V.O as Batman’s thought fundamental to his run. The only V.O as Batman’s thoughts I recall was in Knightmares, the issue against Pyg, and there it had an especific reason and purpose of being. So at least in that aspect, this issue did show us one of the main traits of King’s Batman
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    Yes, I agree. I think Snyder’s main concern was Duke’s introduction as a sidekick for All Star Batman, while King was still finding his voice. It’s important to note that we don’t have voice over of Batman’s thoughts in this one-shot, which was essential in Snyder’s run, while in King’s it’s the lack of V.O as Batman’s thought fundamental to his run. The only V.O as Batman’s thoughts I recall was in Knightmares, the issue against Pyg, and there it had an especific reason and purpose of being. So at least in that aspect, this issue did show us one of the main traits of King’s Batman
    That's a really good point. Not to jump too far ahead, but I think King's lack of internal monologue is very interesting, considering his favorite Batman is DKR, which is chock stuffed full to bursting with inner monologue from Batman.
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  4. #19
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    That's a really good point. Not to jump too far ahead, but I think King's lack of internal monologue is very interesting, considering his favorite Batman is DKR, which is chock stuffed full to bursting with inner monologue from Batman.
    One of my favorite things about Tom King as a writer is how he manages to put V.O in a creative way. He did a great use of this resource in The Vision, but in his Batman, thanks to it being so long, he certainly got to play with many ways of putting V.O without using internal monologue, which I appreciate, especially in mainstream superheroes comicbooks in this time where internal monologue is so abundant
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  5. #20
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    That's a really good point. Not to jump too far ahead, but I think King's lack of internal monologue is very interesting, considering his favorite Batman is DKR, which is chock stuffed full to bursting with inner monologue from Batman.
    I think the DKR influence is really strong in King's work, it just manifests as inspiration rather than imitation. Here's my attempt to briefly break down the comparisons from the first issue of "I Am Gotham":

    Style: From the opening shot, King clearly shares Miller's love for a cinematic approach. The passenger's seatbelt clicking into place. The aisle shot of everyone distracted except for the kid looking out the plane window. The above the clouds shot of the Bat-signal, followed on the next page by the transition to the rooftop level perspective from underneath the Bat-signal light. The way information is conveyed at a breakneck pace during the action, though in this case it's delivered by Alfred and Thomas rather than internal monologue. The bombastic, over-the-top Kirby-ness of it all (Batman steering a jet-liner!) yet still somehow grounded in psychological realism. This all screams DKR to me.

    Language: King takes Miller's language and re-purposes it, most notably when Batman asks Alfred if sacrificing himself to save the plane would be a good death. For Miller's Batman, it's a question of theatricality and possibly honor; for King's, it's about his desire to make his parents (and Alfred) proud.

    Themes: The panicked passenger on the plane going on about Gotham and how it kills its citizens with its craziness and there's no one to save them is very DKR. And yes, I know that pretty much every major Batman writer post-Miller has dived into the question of why Gotham is what it is, but here's the major difference: King brings it back to the 'man on the street' perspective, similar to the sound bytes with average citizens in DKR. But he ups the ante a bit and actually folds it into the action.

    I really do think King has adopted and innovated Miller's formula for a new audience.
    Last edited by David Walton; 01-10-2020 at 08:27 AM.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I think the DKR influence is really strong in King's work, it just manifests as inspiration rather than imitation. Here's my attempt to briefly break down the comparisons from the first issue of "I Am Gotham":

    Style: From the opening shot, King clearly shares Miller's love for a cinematic approach. The passenger's seatbelt clicking into place. The aisle shot of everyone distracted except for the kid looking out the plane window. The above the clouds shot of the Bat-signal, followed on the next page by the transition to the rooftop level perspective from underneath the Bat-signal light. The way information is conveyed at a breakneck pace during the action, though in this case it's delivered by Alfred and Thomas rather than internal monologue. The bombastic, over-the-top Kirby-ness of it all (Batman steering a jet-liner!) yet still somehow grounded in psychological realism. This all screams DKR to me.

    Language: King takes Miller's language and re-purposes it, like when Batman asks Alfred if sacrificing himself to save the plane would be a good death. For Miller's Batman, it's a question of theatricality and possibly honor; for King's, it's about his desire to make his parents (and Alfred) proud.

    Themes: The panicked passenger on the plane going on about Gotham and how it kills its citizens with its craziness and there's no one to save them is similar to the talking heads in DKR arguing over whether Batman saves the city from its villains or creates them. It's a different spin on the conversation, focusing on the absence of a 'true' hero like Superman as opposed to Batman's nature, and it's delivered by someone who's actually involved in a Gotham City crisis (as opposed to a man on the street interview).

    I really do think King has adopted and innovated Miller's formula for a new audience.
    These are really good points. The 90s, as I think you mentioned in the other thread, were a time of great imitation of DKR - Miller himself said "There was a lot of television screens", rather derisively. I like the idea that King is using Miller as inspiration, rather than imitation - though he does like his direct references, too. I can see the parallels between Bruce flying the plane and Bruce crashing the race car, now that you mention it.

    I think King's Batman does still have the values of theatricality and honor, but as you say - his connection to his parents is stronger.

    I love your analysis here!
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
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  7. #22
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    These are really good points. The 90s, as I think you mentioned in the other thread, were a time of great imitation of DKR - Miller himself said "There was a lot of television screens", rather derisively.
    One of my favorite 'talking head' imitations was the running subplot/joke in Knightfall, with the psychiatrist going on the talk show circuit to promote the idea that the Arkham inmates were sane in their own way and Batman was the real problem. The one that culminated with the Riddler threatening the audience with the bomb if memory serves. But I digress!

    I like the idea that King is using Miller as inspiration, rather than imitation - though he does like his direct references, too. I can see the parallels between Bruce flying the plane and Bruce crashing the race car, now that you mention it.
    It's a great parallel. In DKR, the crash scene conveys Bruce's loss of identity post-Batman, manifesting as a near-suicidal impulse (which, now that I think about it, brings us to King's "I Am Suicide"...). You could argue that's when Miller's Bruce Wayne decides that only dying in action as Batman would be 'good enough'--and that's precisely what King's Bruce almost does.

    I think King's Batman does still have the values of theatricality and honor, but as you say - his connection to his parents is stronger.
    I feel like King's Batman has a better understanding of the purposes his theatricality and honor serve, where Miller's Batman sometimes gets lost in those values as being complete in and of themselves.

    I love your analysis here!
    Thanks!

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    One of my favorite 'talking head' imitations was the running subplot/joke in Knightfall, with the psychiatrist going on the talk show circuit to promote the idea that the Arkham inmates were sane in their own way and Batman was the real problem. The one that culminated with the Riddler threatening the audience with the bomb if memory serves. But I digress!

    It's a great parallel. In DKR, the crash scene conveys Bruce's loss of identity post-Batman, manifesting as a near-suicidal impulse (which, now that I think about it, brings us to King's "I Am Suicide"...). You could argue that's when Miller's Bruce Wayne decides that only dying in action as Batman would be 'good enough'--and that's precisely what King's Bruce almost does.

    I feel like King's Batman has a better understanding of the purposes his theatricality and honor serve, where Miller's Batman sometimes gets lost in those values as being complete in and of themselves.

    Thanks!
    Simpson Flanders - apparently a Moench creation, but Dixon used him most. I think Dixon, though not as strong a writer as Miller, is clearly drawing from the same wells of pulp that Miller adores, and thus him being inspired/imitating Miller also makes sense. I'm not as much a detractor of the 90s Batman stuff as Miller is - I think most of it is fun, though not necessarily timeless - but that's the truth of most eras of comics. I particularly liked the way the Simpson Flanders stuff was handled in the Knightfall radio drama - had a lot of humor.

    This brings up the question for me - what is King's primary genre connection? Unlike Snyder and Tynion, he doesn't draw super heavily from horror, and he doesn't seem to be that directly influenced by the pulps like Miller and Dixon. There's clearly some romance influence in the latter half, which drew a lot of outrage from some fans, I think (I think the genre shift/crossover is an unexamined part of the bifurcated response that King's run has received). There's the war story, which influences a lot of King's work, but it's not as evident in this Batman run.

    The idea that Batman is an act of suicide or self death runs through a lot of runs - Miller, Snyder (Zero Year and Superheavy are the clearest statements of that), and of course King's I Am Suicide, though I think that King is attempting to have Batman grow past that as part of the long term goals of the arc.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
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  9. #24
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    I Am Gotham definitely has that frenetic start to it, and it's interesting how a cool phrase, "would they be proud", becomes so important going forward into the run. I think I Am Gotham has that advantage to it. I don't think it's a solid beginning, but it does gain a lot when you see how much foreshadowing there was for the rest of the story. I wonder if maybe the storyarc could have worked better just with Claire instead of having Gotham as the pivotal character and Gotham Girl feeling sometimes as an afterthought. I think my favorite issue from this first arc was issue #6, not only from a visual standpoint (I like Ivan Reis way more than I do David Finch. Maiolo and Bellaire are both amazing), but it's also where I think King finally showed this sentimental and hurt side of Bruce Wayne which he deepened in I Am Suicide and in the rest of the run, and we have the moment where Bruce states that he still talks to his mother, a moment that was important in I Am Bane.

    I think that, though I'm not always a fan of David Finch, he did some of his best work in Rebirth, and that I Am Gotham has interesting moments in it (e.g when Gordon says that wearing a mask may itch, which turns out to be the downfall for Gotham since he took away his mask for that reason after he thought he had killed all the guards). I regard it as some of King's weakest arcs in the title on itself, but an interesting and fitting start when we look at the whole picture

    I think it's easier to detect the genres by dividing the run into storyarcs and one-shots (though Knightmares may be the most miscellaneous arc). The I Am trilogy, especially I Am Gotham and I Am Bane, has a more Action Movie style than other parts of the run
    Last edited by Chubistian; 01-10-2020 at 04:05 PM.
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

    "We're monsters, buddy. Plain and simple. I don't dress it up with fancy names like mutant or post-human; men were born crueler than Apes and we were born crueler than men. It's just the natural order of things"-ULTIMATE SABRETOOTH

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubistian View Post
    I Am Gotham definitely has that frenetic start to it, and it's interesting how a cool phrase, "would they be proud", becomes so important going forward into the run. I think I Am Gotham has that advantage to it. I don't think it's a solid beginning, but it does gain a lot when you see how much foreshadowing there was for the rest of the story. I wonder if maybe the storyarc could have worked better just with Claire instead of having Gotham as the pivotal character and Gotham Girl feeling sometimes as an afterthought. I think my favorite issue from this first arc was issue #6, not only from a visual standpoint (I like Ivan Reis way more than I do David Finch. Maiolo and Bellaire are both amazing), but it's also where I think King finally showed this sentimental and hurt side of Bruce Wayne which he deepened in I Am Suicide and in the rest of the run, and we have the moment where Bruce states that he still talks to his mother, a moment that was important in I Am Bane.

    I think that, though I'm not always a fan of David Finch, he did some of his best work in Rebirth, and that I Am Gotham has interesting moments in it (e.g when Gordon says that wearing a mask may itch, which turns out to be the downfall for Gotham since he took away his mask for that reason after he thought he had killed all the guards). I regard it as some of King's weakest arcs in the title on itself, but an interesting and fitting start when we look at the whole picture

    I think it's easier to detect the genres by dividing the run into storyarcs and one-shots (though Knightmares may be the most miscellaneous arc). The I Am trilogy, especially I Am Gotham and I Am Bane, has a more Action Movie style than other parts of the run
    I completely agree that it gains a lot in hindsight. I still think that King was deliberately writing Bruce as "off" in I Am Gotham because he'd just taken Catwoman in for murder and she'd been sentenced to death. That doesn't solve all the flaws, but it does make a lot of the motivations make more sense.

    Good call on this first trilogy being pretty much an action movie type story - that's definitely how it reads, and then King starts peeling the layers off of it - and weaving in the romance.
    "We're the same thing, you and I. We're both lies that eventually became the truth." Lara Notsil, Star Wars: X-Wing: Solo Command, Aaron Allston
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post
    I think the DKR influence is really strong in King's work, it just manifests as inspiration rather than imitation. Here's my attempt to briefly break down the comparisons from the first issue of "I Am Gotham":

    Style: From the opening shot, King clearly shares Miller's love for a cinematic approach. The passenger's seatbelt clicking into place. The aisle shot of everyone distracted except for the kid looking out the plane window. The above the clouds shot of the Bat-signal, followed on the next page by the transition to the rooftop level perspective from underneath the Bat-signal light. The way information is conveyed at a breakneck pace during the action, though in this case it's delivered by Alfred and Thomas rather than internal monologue. The bombastic, over-the-top Kirby-ness of it all (Batman steering a jet-liner!) yet still somehow grounded in psychological realism. This all screams DKR to me.

    Language: King takes Miller's language and re-purposes it, most notably when Batman asks Alfred if sacrificing himself to save the plane would be a good death. For Miller's Batman, it's a question of theatricality and possibly honor; for King's, it's about his desire to make his parents (and Alfred) proud.

    Themes: The panicked passenger on the plane going on about Gotham and how it kills its citizens with its craziness and there's no one to save them is very DKR. And yes, I know that pretty much every major Batman writer post-Miller has dived into the question of why Gotham is what it is, but here's the major difference: King brings it back to the 'man on the street' perspective, similar to the sound bytes with average citizens in DKR. But he ups the ante a bit and actually folds it into the action.

    I really do think King has adopted and innovated Miller's formula for a new audience.
    I think this is right. Interestingly his run has a lot of similarities between another DKR, as well — I rewatched The Dark Knight Rises on cable and was struck by a number of similarities.

    • Batman, Catwoman, and Bane are the central characters.
    • Bane locks Batman underground while he takes over the city.
    • Bane takes over Gotham, completely, even being federally recognized as independent.
    • Bane breaks Batman's back and heals from it like it's kinda no big deal.
    • Bane is being manipulated by someone with a personal connection to Bruce who wants to humiliate Batman to his core. (Talia / Thomas)
    • The story poses the question "is it possible to be Batman and be happy?" with Catwoman being the answer.
    • Before Batman can defeat Bane, he has to climb out of a deep pit in the desert and find Catwoman.
    • Bruce loses Alfred.
    • Bruce is prepared to die in a plane crash to save Gotham, but doesn't need to.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    I completely agree that it gains a lot in hindsight. I still think that King was deliberately writing Bruce as "off" in I Am Gotham because he'd just taken Catwoman in for murder and she'd been sentenced to death. That doesn't solve all the flaws, but it does make a lot of the motivations make more sense.

    Good call on this first trilogy being pretty much an action movie type story - that's definitely how it reads, and then King starts peeling the layers off of it - and weaving in the romance.
    I think it might've worked better — hindsight being 20/20 — if "I Am Gotham" was the second arc instead of first. Suicide, Gotham, Bane, rather than both Bane stories being back-to-back. All you have to do is change "I Am Gotham" to being a flashback set during Rooftops, similar to how War of Jokes and Riddles is structured.

    If Issue #1 was the first issue of I Am Suicide, his visit through Arkham, you have Mikel Janin on the art, and it's also kind of a parallel to the New 52 issue 1 being a more violent tour through Arkham. King's is more thoughtful. It sets the table really well, especially ending with the Killing Joke parallel and Catwoman reveal, since that's how 85 ends.

    The plane sacrifice in Issue 1 would've had more impact, I think, if it wasn't issue 1 — and the plane is such a clear illustration of his letter in "I Am Suicide" too. It's a very visual way of showing Batman's vow in action — he is dedicating his life, literally. But because it's issue 1, I have a hard time buying into the stakes and I don't feel a strong connection with Gotham or Gotham Girl, though I do love the repeated catchphrase about fear and bravery.

    I remember how flat I felt about it at the time, but as I reread, knowing what comes later makes it easier to appreciate "I Am Gotham"

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregpersons View Post
    I think this is right. Interestingly his run has a lot of similarities between another DKR, as well — I rewatched The Dark Knight Rises on cable and was struck by a number of similarities.

    • Batman, Catwoman, and Bane are the central characters.
    • Bane locks Batman underground while he takes over the city.
    • Bane takes over Gotham, completely, even being federally recognized as independent.
    • Bane breaks Batman's back and heals from it like it's kinda no big deal.
    • Bane is being manipulated by someone with a personal connection to Bruce who wants to humiliate Batman to his core. (Talia / Thomas)
    • The story poses the question "is it possible to be Batman and be happy?" with Catwoman being the answer.
    • Before Batman can defeat Bane, he has to climb out of a deep pit in the desert and find Catwoman.
    • Bruce loses Alfred.
    • Bruce is prepared to die in a plane crash to save Gotham, but doesn't need to.
    Those are very good parallels, though I think they're mostly somewhat coincidental. Batman, Catwoman, and Bane are in the story because of their thematic importance to both Nolan and King, and are used differently...except for Bane, who is a surprise NOT mastermind in the end of both stories. And I don't think that particular twist was an homage to Nolan, because it plays out very differently.
    The falling/rising stuff is, I think, related to The Man Who Falls/Batman Begins - it's very physically symbolic. So I could see a Nolan influence there, but not directly from DKRises.
    Bane taking over Gotham might be an homage.
    Bane breaking Batman's back and it healing are, like the falling/rising stuff, both related to Knightfall, not really to each other.
    I think Nolan answers the question "Can Batman be happy" with a "no" - since Bruce quits when he finds happiness. Whereas King answers "yes" - and I'm curious how much of that is because he believes it, and how much of it is that DC will never let Bruce quit.
    Bruce losing Alfred in both is, I think, related to their examination of family. So another parallel rather than direct influence, in my reading.
    The plane crash is a fun one. I am actually curious if that was an influence - sort of King starting where Nolan leaves off.

    So mostly I would say that DKR and KingBats are a response to the same set of thematic concerns about Batman, and both are adapting Knightfall. But those are good ways to locate that set of thematic concerns, and highlight why King makes the choices he makes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by millernumber1 View Post
    Those are very good parallels, though I think they're mostly somewhat coincidental. Batman, Catwoman, and Bane are in the story because of their thematic importance to both Nolan and King, and are used differently...except for Bane, who is a surprise NOT mastermind in the end of both stories. And I don't think that particular twist was an homage to Nolan, because it plays out very differently.
    The falling/rising stuff is, I think, related to The Man Who Falls/Batman Begins - it's very physically symbolic. So I could see a Nolan influence there, but not directly from DKRises.
    Bane taking over Gotham might be an homage.
    Bane breaking Batman's back and it healing are, like the falling/rising stuff, both related to Knightfall, not really to each other.
    I think Nolan answers the question "Can Batman be happy" with a "no" - since Bruce quits when he finds happiness. Whereas King answers "yes" - and I'm curious how much of that is because he believes it, and how much of it is that DC will never let Bruce quit.
    Bruce losing Alfred in both is, I think, related to their examination of family. So another parallel rather than direct influence, in my reading.
    The plane crash is a fun one. I am actually curious if that was an influence - sort of King starting where Nolan leaves off.

    So mostly I would say that DKR and KingBats are a response to the same set of thematic concerns about Batman, and both are adapting Knightfall. But those are good ways to locate that set of thematic concerns, and highlight why King makes the choices he makes.
    Yeah they're parallels. Maybe it was in the back of King's mind but I don't think it was more than mostly coincidence. It's just interesting.

    His Joker, though, is more similar to Miller's dry version in DKR.

  15. #30
    Mighty Member Chubistian's Avatar
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    I think Bruce in the DK Trilogy has a much different approach that most of his counterparts in comics. In Christopher Nolan's movies I always got the idea that Bruce wasn't as obsesive with his alter ego as he's in other versions. He could stop being Batman and he didn't think Batman was essential as a constant hero in the city (he thought with his dissapearance in DK Gotham would be better) at least until DK Rises. He finally past on the mantle when he found something better to live for. This doesn't mean that there aren't shapes of obsesion with this version of Bruce, just not as strong as other versions of Batman.

    I think it's interesting that, even when Tom King loves Frank Miller's Batman, King's version evolves to admit that he CHOOSES to be Batman, and that his happiness doesn't meddle with his crusade as a hero, while Bruce in the DK Universe ends up consumed by his alter ego, finding only wholeness in the cowl.
    "The Batman is Gotham City. I will watch him. Study him. And when I know him and why he does not kill, I will know this city. And then Gotham will be MINE!"-BANE

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