1 More Day Till The Dark Knight and I’m Geeking Out!

Ok, so I know I said in the last one that I was going to have all this crap for you guys to read between now and THE BIG DAY, but I’ve had a bit of a complication. As some of you know, my brakes went out on my car last week, causing me to run out into the middle of an intersection. After saying a few choice words and hitting the emergency brake I managed to get it back to safety. By safety I mean the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant not too far from my house. I contemplated trying to make it to the house, but seeing as my own emergency braking reflexes were the only thing keeping me from the cold sweet hands of death, I left it there and had it towed the next morning. It’s in the shop now and I won’t have it back till Friday. Apparently, everything that’s possibly related to the braking system, from pads to roters, to all kinds of other parts I had never heard of have to be replaced. The roters apparently just broke clean off. The final damage is going to be somewhere around $500.

However, the good news is…

I’m seeing THE DARK KNIGHT tomorrow night at the midnight show!!! The one movie I want to see more than anything this year! Batman vs. The Joker for the first time on the big screen in 19 years!!! Zippity-doo!

Sooo, anyway I’ve been homebound the past week, aside from bumming rides to get to work and back. I know what you’re thinking. “Well, DJ D, if you’ve been sitting at home all this time watching E3 coverage and The Two Coreys and stuff, why couldn’t you have been writing. I mean, you sure are on the daggum X-E all the time!” I got 2 answers to that:

1) You’re absolutely right. I’m a weenie.

2) Most of the Bat-blogs, as I call them, required a ton of pictures that I took with a roll of film that I was going to get developed the day my brakes died…so, it sits right here next to me and I’ve had no way to go anywhere to get it developed, so it’s kind of trapped in there. Good stuff, too, I promise. Remember that Cure show I went to a while back??? (Oh, and YES, I will connect it to Batman…sorta). So yeah, all that stuff’s coming next week, after the obligatory review of THE DARK KNIGHT. Yes, the all-caps are necessary.

So, that leaves me tonight with a couple of ideas I wanted to discuss that didn’t require the services of CVS. One of them is going to be fairly long and involved and will require a certain degree of research, and I kept putting it off, and just decided to do it next week. It may be more relevant next week anyway, after I’ve given you my review of THE DARK KNIGHT. The other one is as follows…

First off, I want to apologize for what you are about to read–especially to you non comic book reading folks. What you are about to see is probably the nerdiest thing you’ll ever read on this site and is the result of 20+ years of Bat-Geekyness and comes from the mind of a man who lately has had way too much free time on his hands. I promise, that while the next few posts will be Batman related, they will be much more accessible, and then of course I’ll be off my Batmania kick and will move on to other stuff. But for now, I give you…WEIRD BAT-NAME CONNECTIONS!

Ok, growing up and reading the comics and watching the old Adam West re-runs and stuff when I was a kid, I started to notice something. There are a few odd connections in the comics, movies, and TV show with respect the names of the characters and the actors involved. Just some weird coincidences. Bear with me and just hear this out…

The Joker, before he becomes the Joker, is a guy by the name of Jack Napier. His back story has been told and retold several times and there are variations on it.  Sometimes he’s presented as a failed stand-up comedian, sometimes a gangster, sometimes a worker in the Axis chemical factory. The character himself has even joked in the comics that he himself doesn’t even remember too much from before he took a dive into the chemicals that transformed him into what he is now. It looks like that origin will be somewhat different in The Dark Knight, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, the one thing that has remained the same so far is his name, even in Burton’s first movie–Jack Napier.

This is the man that played Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler, in the 60’s Batman series with Adam West.

His name was Alan Napier. Here’s a few things about him: He was the cousin of Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s prime minister from 1937-1940, and was the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens. When he was first offered the role of Alfred, he had no idea who Batman was. He’d never even heard of him, but when they told him how much he would be making, he butlered-up. Here’s something else. in the series finale of the Justice League cartoon, Batman goes undercover to investigate The Thangarians, and he does it in makeup that makes him look just like Alan Napier. So, how about that one?

In 1977, in order to revive the popularity of the 60’s Batman show, a cartoon was made called The New Adventures of Batman. It had the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward doing Batman and Robin, as well as a bunch of other people from the show. They also introduced Bat-Mite. God only knows why. Alan Napier didn’t return to do the voice. Instead, it was this guy:

Charles Napier. No relation to Alan Napier at all. He’s a famous character actor and if you haven’t seen him in a movie (chances are you have), then you’ve heard his voice cause he’s done voice work for just about everything. He did all the growling for The Hulk in the old Hulk series, and he was one of the guards that Hannibal Lector kills in The Silence of the Lambs. Funny, cause Edward Norton was in Red Dragon, and now he’s playing…The Hulk. Ok, now I’m just getting off on a tangent. The point is…

The Joker = Jack Napier (played by Jack Nicholson–hey, there’s one!)
Then you got 2 different guys, totally unrelated, both playing Alfred, and they’re both named…Napier. Cowinky-dink? I think not.

Here’s another. Robin was played by Burt Ward in the old series. Robin is Bruce Wayne’s ward…Ok, that one kind of sucked. Moving on.

Ooh, speaking of Robins…

The first Robin in the comics was named Dick Grayson. He’s now all grown up and has the secret identity of Nightwing. Back in 2000, DC put out a series called Batman: Gotham Knights. It was written by a chick named Devon K. Grayson. Hmmmm…

Now, we come to the most recent Robin, the third one, named Tim Drake. Back in the early days of the Batman series, a writer by the name of Arnold Drake wrote a lot of early scripts for it. He also helped Bill Finger get a lot of the recognition he deserved. Bob Kane invented Batman, but Bill Finger had a lot to do with his early success, but for years never got any recognition. He helped to create The Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, Two-Face, and The Riddler. Arnold Drake also went on to create Doom Patrol and Deadman.

Incidentally, if you look close in Burton’s first Batman movie (my personal favorite movie of all time), Bob Kane kind of makes a “cameo.” When Alexander Knox walks into the newspaper office and everyone is heckling him because he’s been chasing the Batman story, one of the guys hands him an artist’s rendition of Batman. It’s a cartoon of a bat standing up, wearing a suit. The signature at the bottom right corner is Bob Kane’s.

Am I losing anybody yet? I only got one more…

Christopher Drake–He’s a composer who wrote the music for 2 of the short films in the new Batman: Gotham Knight thing that just came out–“Have I Got A Story For You” and “In Darkness Dwells.” And no, I STILL haven’t gotten it yet. I’ll get it this weekend, I swear.

Tim Drake = Third Robin
Arnold Drake = Writer on the early Batman books
Christopher Drake = Composer on Batman: Gotham Knight
The conspiracy gets thicker and thicker…

So, what have we learned tonight, kids?

I really need to get my car out of the shop on Friday because I have to get out of this house.

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35 Responses to “1 More Day Till The Dark Knight and I’m Geeking Out!”

  1. Holy flying mushrooms, Batman! That was a lot of information I would have otherwise never known had I not strolled through here.

    I think I’ll use some of these tidbits as fun facts at my next social gathering. I’ll just blow everyone’s mind!

    Also, love the related post of “Up, Up and Straight Up my Ass”…HAHAHA!

  2. I loved this post, I don’t think Im a bat-geek at all but I know a few things, and now thanks to you I know a lot more.

    I’m picking up Gotham Knight the same friday before I see Dark Knight.

  3. Yeah, unfortunately it’s all completely useless information. Maybe it’ll save your life on a game show some day.

    I think you should somehow work “Up, Up and Straight Up My Ass” into your conversation at your next social gathering.

  4. You know I’ve seen the Burton Batman I don’t know how many times and I’ve never noticed Bob Kane’s signature! I guess I’ll have to watch it again and look for it.

    And thanks for the info, but I’m confused by one thing Batman dressed up as “Alfred” in Star Crossed but Justice League still aired after that. Granted it was Justice League Unlimited after that, is that what you meant? (see your not the only comic geek in town!)

  5. No information is ever truly useless! When I win big bucks on some game show because I knew some obscure Batman fact, I’ll be able to say DJ D taught me that. No Whammy! Wait, wrong game show. Doh!

    And why would I ever want to work that phrase into my conversation. 😦
    Unless I change the ‘my’ to ‘your’ when I’m talking to someone.

  6. Dan, I don’t know. I think they just wanted to drop as many little homages in as they could. I know that Adam West did one of the voices in the Batman Animated series.

    Also, I forgot to mention this, but Michael Gough, who played Alfred in Burton’s Batman, and its sequels, is rumored to possibly play Alfred again in the Justice League movie, if it ever gets off the ground. I would love to see that. Michael Caine is great and all, but Gough will always be my favorite Alfred.

    DC, You’re right, changing “my” to “your” works much better. If you ever do win it bing on a game show I expect nothing less than an impromptu shout-out and a piece of your winnings.

  7. I’m staying far away from the internet until I get to see the Dark Knight. I know I’m going to see it in the next 3 days but as of just yesterday, I don’t know exactly when.

    On the Joker’s origin, I hope they don’t go into it in the movie. I’ve never ever liked the chemical bath thing or the name Jack Napier. The Joker to me, should just be what he is, a mass murdering criminal mastermind with no rhyme or reason that can possibly make sense to anyone but him, see stories like Detective Comics’ “Laughing Fish”.

    It’s why I particularly do not like “The Killing Joke”. I know it’s like a bible of the character to some people but I for one, do not want to feel any sympathy for the devil that is the Joker. To me, he should be an unexplainable essence of evil that holds no bounds or shows any mercy, made the perfect match for Batman with his eccentric and wicked sense of humor.

    Also, just because I’m nitpicking how I like the character, I hate when comic book artist draw the Joker’s chin to be 9 inches long. I can’t get through Todd’s death scene in Death in the Family without thinking about how I could break off the Joker’s chin and make a good baseball bat with it.

  8. dohopoki, You know, it’s funny cause all those things you said you don’t like, I really do! I’ve actually always liked the Joker’s origin and The Killing Joke is my favorite single issue of a comic book ever. One thing that really made me angry when I saw the first released picture of Heath Ledger was that he wasn’t altered from head to toe with white skin. When I saw it was just a guy in makeup without the permanent grin, I was ticked! I thought it looked ridiculous and was ranting and raving that there was no excuse why they couldn’t at least stick to the idea of him being changed by the chemicals. I mean, if they can use makeup effects to give Jack Nicholson a convincing grin almost 20 years ago, there’s no excuse now.

    But, after seen the trailers, I’m totally turned around. Ledger’s performance looks like it’s going to be legendary just based on what little I’ve seen. I think I can look past the differences in origin. Christian Bale is actually not my first choice at all for Batman. I’m a Kaeaton man all the way, and there are things about Bale’s delivery in Batman Begins that I didn’t like so much, but he does a good enough job that I can look past it. It will be interesting to see how he handles the John Connor role in the new Terminator movie. There’s a teaser trailer for that online btw. I think it went up today.

    I dunno, it’s funny cause I pretty much disagree with everything you said up there! But, I totally see where you’re coming from though. I know what you mean about staying away from the internet. I’m jazzed about all the things I’ve seen about the movie so far, but wish that I hadn’t seen as much as I have. I kind of wish now that I didn’t see that picture of Two-Face that was leaked while back. It would have been better to see it for the first time on the big screen. Oh well, it’s only a few hours away at this point so it guess it really doesn’t matter.

  9. Believe me, everything I’ve seen from the Dark Knight’s Joker so far has been literally ripped out of my head, things I’ve thought about for years in how I’d handle or redo the character. It’s literally got me a bit too jumpy to see it happen just as it has. While I know it’s not everyone’s vision of the character, it’s definitely mine.

    Bale is absolutely the Batman for me. Keaton was alright but Bale’s Bruce Wayne blows everyone else’s out of the water to me, and that’s an important aspect for my take of the character. Keaton may have been able to do what Bale has done, maybe even Jack could have been more but at the end of the day I have a terrible dark secret and that is, I really hate Tim Burton. Pee Wee’s adventure and Batman aside, I don’t like anything he has done since and that includes Batman Returns.

  10. You guys are such nerds…

  11. So, I saw it last night. I can’t really go into it now cause I’m at work and don’t have a lot of time to monkey around with blogging. Needless to say, I shall be sharing my thoughts very soon, maybe tonight.

    IT WAS AMAZING. That’s all I have to say now. More later.

    doho, Wow, it’s funny cause my opinion on all of that is like, the exact opposite of what you think. Normally, all this “I hate Tim Burton” talk would be fightin’ words round these parts, but I’ll let it slide for now. I’ll just point at you and point, screaming, “Blasphemer!” I’ll have to admit I’m not 100 % thrilled with all of Burton’s recent movies (Big Fish just didn’t do anything for me), but I’m super jazzed about the Dark Shadows movie he’s doing with Johnny Depp as Barnabus, and most of his early movies rank up there as things I can practically quote all the way through. He’ll still always be my favorite director.

    JoshC, We’re just trying to speak your language. I wouldn’t want you to get bored or anything. Heh-heh.

  12. You can spoil the hell out of the movie for me because I know by the time I see it I won’t remember. I’m not so good with catching movie’s in the theatre. I’ll try to watch this at least before it goes to DVD. I haven’t even seen Iron Man yet!

  13. Get on it, woman!

  14. Here it is two days after The Dark Knight is released and no review?!?! And you call yourself a fan!! I’ll have mine up sometime soon (maybe).

  15. I know, I’m so lame. Work’s been kicking my ass. I’m at work right now, actually. I almost fired one off Thursday night when I got in from the movie but figured I would wait till I could really let it digest and think about it. If I don’t do it tonight when I get in, I’ll get on it tomorrow. Sorry for the lag time folks. I’m a slave to the office right now.

    Looking forward to yours though, Dan.

  16. I’ll telling you DJ D, right from my head this Joker came. It’s almost scary.

  17. Well, if you’ve got the power to unleash this stuff from your head, then get to work, cause that was amazing. I’d like to see what else you’ve got locked in there. I really wanted to write a review tonight because I managed to get off work at a somewhat decent hour (before 1:00am) but just as I’m getting ready to write, my mouse screws up. Just stopped working altogether. So, I pulled out the backup emergency mouse, which is really old. I don’t even know what computer this thing came from but it’s probably some hand-me-down that my dad gave me from all this old computers. Anyway, this thing barely works too and I can’t really control it at all. I honestly just don’t have the patience to deal with this thing long enough to write a whole post. I have to go to Best Buy tomorrow anyway, so I’ll pick up a new one there and try to have the review up in the next couple of days.

    Sorry I’ve been so slack and missing from the blogs (got some serious Megapartying to catch up on), but work’s been nuts lately and I haven’t had any free time. I was planning on going out of town to see my family on Tuesday but am starting to have second thoughts cause I don’t really want to spend the gas money since I just spent $500 on my new brakes.

    Ugh. Now I’m just hungry. I think I’ll go heat up some chicken nuggets and check the DVR to see what it rounded up for me tonight–The Two Coreys, perhaps?

    It would be worth seeing The Dark Knight again right now if I could just see The Joker “make the pencil disappear.”

  18. Hey doho, I generally dislike Tim Burton too. So you’re not the only one. I mean, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure is highly entertaining, Edward Scissorhands is great, and Beetlejuice is also kinda fun, but other than that? I don’t care for much else he’s done, and that includes his Batman. In fact, I flat out hate what he did to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Don’t hurt me, Burton lovers!)

    I also agree with you on the Joker– I think it works so much better when you have no history on him. In TDK he’s more like a symbol that represents fear, chaos, evil, insanity, and that’s much, much more powerful than a murdering clown. God, I do love Nolan’s take on Batman. I also greatly prefer Bale to Keaton, especially Bale’s Bruce Wayne. Keaton’s Bruce Wayne just seemed to be really confused.

  19. DJ D, are you on tonight? I’m going to catch your show for once if you are.

  20. I also greatly prefer Bale to Keaton, especially Bale’s Bruce Wayne. Keaton’s Bruce Wayne just seemed to be really confused.

    Blasphemer!!! Get thee from my sight! Witch! She’s a witch! Buuuurn the witch!!! She’s in league with the devil! j/k

    doho, Hope you enjoyed the show. It was good talking to you. Looking forward to your next post!

  21. Glad I could come by for a bit last night and check out the show. Sorry, I couldn’t stay long, but I’m weaksauce and I need my sleep! I’ll try to swing by again next week if I can.

  22. DC, Well it was good to have you by for a while. You’re welcome anytime if you don’t mind putting up with an abusive host and heckling from the peanut gallery up there.

    weaksauce???

  23. Weaksauce as in I’m weak, pathetic, lame. Sorry, that’s one of my words. 😀

  24. Heck, I’ve had a review up for quite some time.

    Even though I’m a bit of a night owl as the rest here, I’ve never caught your show. I need to get on that.

    I’d like to be added to your blogroll, please…;)

  25. Still waiting on that review! 😉 Just kidding, I know not everyone has as much free time as I do. But I am looking forward to your take on TDK.

  26. I know…I am a bad, bad Bat-fan. All this talk, and I haven’t reviewed-up yet. Ugh. I was actually out of town for the last 3 days visiting the family so I was separate from any internet access at all. Hopefully I can get the review in tonight after work. I’ve got a friend coming over for a Battlestar Galactica marathon watching session, so if that doesn’t take too long, then I’ll get it done. If I don’t get it in tonight, I’ll do it for sure tomorrow after work. So sorry, guys. I’m not feeling FTW lately. More like FTF, but hopefully I’ll turn it around. I’ve still got a zillion bat-related posts I want to get in before I move on to other stuff.

    In other news, I got a haircut yesterday. A really, really short one. Like, buzzed down to 3/8 of an inch.

  27. Galileo (Norbert?), Yeah, you should check it out next week. It starts Monday night at midnight (east coast time), and it’s a pretty rocking party. Apparently I’m now named after a certain Full House character. And we have a Canadian and a Brit hanging out with us. Don’t mind them. They talk funny.

    Oh, consider yourself Blogroll-ificated.

  28. Speaking of blogrollification…you still need to update my link to wordpress instead of blogspot. You don’t want to keep people from the magic that is my blog do you? Well, do you?!

    Okay, it’s not so much magic as a laxative…but sometimes people just want to get regular.

  29. DC, What’s your new URL? Is the first part still the same?

    I think I’ll take my chances on keeping myself regular without the aid of laxatives, thank you. I’ve never had any problems “keeping the mail running on time.”

    How did this post degenerate from a Dark Knight review to regularity? And were is that damn Dark Knight review anyway? Who’s in charge here?

  30. Yeah the first part is the same, just change the ‘blogspot’ to ‘wordpress’.

    I would like to apologize for detouring this blog to irregularity, but I think it needed a kick since we obviously aren’t getting a TDK post. Who’s running this circus anyway????

  31. Hey Deej, just wanted to let you know that I MAY not be tuning in tonight, I’ve got a few family things going on.

    So if that does indeed happen please try and go on without me, I know you can do it.

    Also, the girlfriend and I ordered pizza last night and I just want to say I’m the proud owner of TWO, count em, TWO Dark Knight boxes!
    Now I just need to see the damn movie.

  32. Well, JoshC, it was hard, but we soldiered on. Actually, we did kind of have a bit of a lull in the beginning and someone made a comment about how we need Josh here to keep the conversation going. Turns out you might be the glue that holds this whole operation together. No pressure or anything. Oh, and you missed my very own musical debut on keyboards. I’ll let the others tell you all about it, but I believe the word “epic” was used to describe it. I’ll do a repeat performance next week for those of you who missed it.

    Good job on scoring the pizza boxes. I think I’ll just try to get them off E-Bay later. I just couldn’t see myself eating that much extra pepperoni pizza in 3 weeks. I’m trying to keep my girlish figure over here.

    You haven’t seen it yet??? For shame! I’m seeing it for the second time tomorrow. Wanna go? It’s just a plane ride away. You pay for the plane ticket and I’ll pay for your movie ticket and popcorn. With the ticket/popcorn prices being what they are now, that should be just about even.

    Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I finally got the Batman: Gotham Knight DVD thing, and it came with a coupon for like $3.00 off concessions at the movies so at least I’ll save a little money. I’ll try to get round to reviewing the Gotham Knight thing soon. At my rate of writing, that will probably be about the time that Heath Ledger’s daughter is all grown up and starring in a Harley Quinn spinoff movie. Oh wait, then that would mean that father and daughter are technically playing lovers in the movies….ew.

    I think I just desecrated the memory of Heath Ledger with an incest inference. Sorry, Heath! Rooting for that Oscar!

  33. I feel bad now, I should have been there, I mean it’s my responsibility to entertain!

    Yeah, still haven’t seen it, not for lack of trying though, sold out everytime I go, but now that I’m on vacation it’s gonna, nay MUST happen.
    So what time are we going? Should I rent a car or will we take yours?

  34. DJ D, I just want you to know that I thought about you and wondered what your feelings on the movie were, but NO PRESSURE! I kinda figured you fell off the internet cause you were just repeatedly watching it, but now I see that work and stuff has had you down.

    (did you see it in IMAX yet? I had to go on a Sunday morning. It was odd to be out and about that a.m.-ish on a weekend, and be elbow to elbow with the church crowds afterwards…)

  35. Josh, Yes, definitely see it ASAP and let us know what you think. I’m actually going to attempt RIGHT NOW to sit down and write my review if I can get it done in one sitting. I’m expecting a friend to come over whenever she gets off work but she hasn’t called yet so I don’t know when that’s going to be. If you ever did make it down here, we’d totally take my car. After all the money I just shelled out on new brakes for the thing, I’m getting my money’s worth.

    velouria_78, HEY THERE!!! So good to hear from you! I’m glad you stopped by. We haven’t talked in forever. Yeah, I’m really lame lately and have totally not had time to get caught up on blogging/writing. Man, I’ve got some serious Megapartying to catch up on. No, I didn’t get to see it in IMAX yet. I am going to see it again either on Friday or sometime early next week. I really want to do the IMAX thing but the closest one is 2 hours away and I can’t talk anyone into going with me. We’d have to take someone else’s car cause I don’t trust mine to make the trip there and back, plus I don’t really want to see it again by myself, even though I go to the movies by myself all the time. This one is kind of a shared experience. So, how was it? I haven’t gotten to go to an IMAX show since I was a kid.

    I am going to see Journey to the Center of the Eart on Saturday though. I’m really digging what they’re doing with the 3-D technology these days. The movie itself just looks like it’s going to be ridiculous, but the experience of seeing a T-Rex coming at you in 3-D will be pretty cool, I bet. I think Coraline is going to be in 3-D too, so I can’t wait for that one. I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan.

    So, how come every time I talk to you I want to go listen to The Pixies?

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