As I approach the later years of my life, where I’ve been a nerd longer than I haven’t (though, to be fair, I probably passed that threshold when I was 12 years old), I’m trying to remind myself of a few things:
First, my opinion is not the opinion that matters.
Maybe it used to? When I was 20-years old, pushing for people to go see the first Iron Man movie. That’s perhaps when it mattered the most, but it’s never been the only opinion. This is a new age of nerd coming up and the best thing I can do is get out of the way and let the stories flow. Will I always like them? Probably not. Will I long for the “good old days when Batman wasn’t married?” Hopefully less than I might.
Second, everything is somebody’s first.
The trailer for Matt Reeves’ new film, “The Batman,” dropped yesterday during the DC FanDome event. With it came an incredibly atmospheric, grim, moody story being foreshadowed with some trailer music I’m definitely going to be listening to on repeat for the coming week.
If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. If you don’t want to, that’s fine too.
So seeing this, another interpretation of this fictional character, got me wondering if it’s going to be someone’s first. “Is this some teenage kid’s first time seeing a Batman movie? Did they miss all the Michael Keaton one’s before seeing this? Did they bypass the Academy Award winning Nolan films? Did they pee themselves when they watched Snack Zyder’s Juicestice League?”
And if it is…
Not seeing Michael Keaton crush it as Batman while Jack Nicholson turns in 80% for a 110% performance is not the end of the world. Not watching “The Dark Knight” just because it won an Academy Award for one of its actors is okay. And Affleck? Well, he was never done any favors by the people in charge.
My first Batman viewing was the previously mentioned Keaton film, where, apparently, I was three years old and thinking about showing either of my boys that film in the coming year makes me question my parents’ choices.
Did I watch the Adam West Batman show before I saw this? No. Did I see the groovy 1960s movie before I watched it? No. Did I got back even further, watch the 1940s movie serials where it looks like Robert Lowery is wearing a Batman costume made for 13 cents and a promise to come back and clean the floors later? No. (Thought I did buy them later on DVD and they are a HOOT and a half and everyone is doing their absolute best and the whole thing is available on YouTube because what is copyright?)
I didn’t watch any of those.
And that’s okay.
If some teenage kid goes and sees Pattinson and HE is their first Batman, that’s fine. Because that’s the cycle. Everything is someone’s first, and while ownership is a huge part of the toxic online nerd community, it’s our responsibility as The Aging Ones to make sure that newer fans feel as welcomed as we once did.
I saw a few comments along the lines of, “ANOTHER Batman origin story?” And I replied (in my mind, not in the comments because comment sections are the worst thing we’ve done as a species):
Sure. Why not?
It’s been, what? 16 years since Batman Begins? The last TRUE Batman origin movie?
A 16-year old seeing something like this for the first time is totally fine.
Thanks for reading,