As with any great comic book movie, Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" features its fair share of throwbacks to its over 70 years of source material. From overt reflections of iconic moments to the subtler winks-and-nods aimed at deep-cut fans, "Rises" is sure to please the viewers who have had their noses buried in Batman books all their lives.
Here are five of our favorite "Dark Knight Rises" comic book callouts. MAJOR SPOILERS after the break! Do not proceed without having seen "Rises" first!
Every Girl Loves Her Pearls But Diamonds Are Forever
Selina Kyle makes her first appearance in "Rises" posing as a maid working at Wayne Manor. (Indeed, her first scenes offer viewers a glimpse at the "Dark Knight" spinoff that never was, "Downton Batman.") Her mission is to glean Bruce's fingerprints from a safe, but along the way, she pauses to steal the late Martha Wayne's iconic pearl necklace. Likewise, in the comics, one of Selina's first appearances involve her attempting to steal a necklace — one made of diamonds, not pearls. It's a minor alteration to what's otherwise a nice callback to Catwoman's origins, just as Joker's murderous ways against cops and judges in "Dark Knight" called back to his first appearance in the comics.
Tick Tock Goes The Croc
There was no way that Nolan would ever lean on a villain as monstrous and implausible as Killer Croc, but kudos to the ground-everything-in-reality filmmaker for nodding towards one of Batman's more "out there" foes. When he meets Bruce Wayne for the first time, officer John Blake relates the story of Gordon's first encounter with Bane in an underground lair, paired with an off-the-cuff joke about chasing down giant crocodiles in the sewers. Doubtful that anyone would find Killer Croc lurking in the depths of Nolan's Gotham, but it's still a fun image to visualize.
And "Krakt" Goes The Bat
But as far as visualizing images goes, there's no scene that evokes the comics more than Bane and Batman's first battle. As was the case in "Knightfall," Bane spends much of the fight toying with the Caped Crusader, before eventually lifting him in the air and dropping him down on his knee, obliterating his back in the process. The dialogue is slightly different in the movie, and the results aren't quite as devastating, but the iconic image of Bane's knee cracking Batman's back to pieces is very much a necessary bit of fan service.
Love, Love Won't Keep Them Together
In the climax of the film, it's revealed that Miranda Tate is not Miranda Tate at all, but Talia al Ghul, daughter of the late Ra's and new leader of the League of Shadows. As in the comics, the movie posits a love story of sorts between Talia and Bane; except that in the comics, Talia outright rejects Bane, which Ra's eventually cosigns as well. In the film, her rejection isn't quite as overt. It's suggested that she feels love towards Bane, yes, but more like what an owner feels towards a pet rather than a true romantic coupling. Regardless, just like in the comics, Bane is denied the love he so greatly desires.
What's In A Name? For John Blake, A Lot!
We don't need to spell that one out for you, right? A clumsily delivered reveal, perhaps, but one that satisfied this particular fan enormously all the same. And for what it's worth, Mr. Blake, I also believe you should start using your real first name. It's a pretty legendary one.
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