The Batman Review: The Batman vs. Dracula

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Release Date: October 18, 2005
Writer: Duane Capizzi
Directors: Michael Goguen, Seung Eun Kim, Sam Liu, and Brandon Vietti

(Thank you for being so patient, everyone. Your wait has not been in vain.)

Welp. I’ve done it. Seventeen reviews, and I’m finally fit to rip off Mouse even more than I normally do review my first movie. Whoopee!

So… this one’s kind of an oddball. Even by this show’s standards.

I mean, for one thing, this is the first time this take on Batman has gone up against an explicitly supernatural enemy, which tends to be a no-no for most takes on Batman. But that objection can be handwaved in this case – I’m pretty sure that Batman’s very design owes something to the legend of vampires in general, if not Dracula specifically. And hell, one of his earliest enemies was a vampire (who was also a werewolf for some reason).

That aside… Dracula is one of those public-domain characters that everyone knows, but can’t really be fudged into “our” history for the purposes of Like Reality Unless Noted, like Robin Hood or King Arthur. So his showing up in Gotham with not one “WTH, Dracula’s REAL?!?“, to me, is every bit as jarring as that time a 120-year-old Sherlock Holmes – along with Professor Moriarty’s grandson – popped up in an issue of Detective Comics.

I mean, yes, there is precedent for Batman fighting Dracula himself, but Red Rain was an Elseworlds for a reason, and I doubt this movie’s designs are going to start lifting from Kelley Jones anytime soon, as awesome as that would be.

(There’s also the fact that where American comics are concerned, the good Count is usually Marvel’s territory, but that’s a minor niggle.)

In the context of The Batman itself, it doesn’t fit terribly well anywhere in the chronology, mainly because our usual status quo markers Bennett and Yin are nowhere to be seen. Hell, even Chief Rojas is MIA, even though he’d fit perfectly into the plot of this movie. Best as I can tell, it takes place after the Joker’s, Penguin’s, and Ventriloquist’s respective intros and some time before Season 2’s finale.

But hey – I guess when you’re direct-to-video, you’re entitled to break some rules. And boy, does this thing go out of its way to break ’em.*

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