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Western Animation / Batman: Gotham Knight

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Batman: Gotham Knight (2008) is an Animated Anthology film consisting of six-interlocked short episodes ostensibly set in The Dark Knight Trilogy (between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight). An Animesque series in the vein of The Animatrix, Gotham Knight was produced by a gathering of some of the best in the business, including writers David Goyer and John Olson; animation studios Studio 4°C, Madhouse, Bee Train, and Production I.G; and voice actor Kevin Conroy (who reprised his role as Batman). The film is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.

Gotham Knight included established characters from Batman Begins (Batman, Jim Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox and The Scarecrow), introduced characters from The Dark Knight (Detective Ramirez and Sal Maroni), and did its best to fit other Batman characters into the Nolanverse (Crispus Allen, Killer Croc, and Deadshot).


The six animated segments include:

  • "Have I Got A Story For You" — Several teenage skateboarders discuss their encounters with The Batman as he fights a Firefly-like criminal; each of their respective stories imagine him as a Living Shadow, a Bat Out of Hell, and a Killer Robot. Batman and the criminal appear in the skating building, and one of the kids helps take out the crook with his skateboard.
  • "Crossfire" — Detectives Anna Ramirez and Crispus Allen escort the captured criminal from the previous segment to the fortified Arkham Asylum whilst discussing their views on Batman. They're eventually caught in a shootout between mobsters (Sal Maroni and The Russian) until Batman arrives to break up the turf war.
  • "Field Test" — Bruce Wayne investigates the possible murder of a charity worker and a corrupt businessman's involvement before moving to end the ongoing fight between Maroni and The Russian (using a Wayne Enterprises gadget to deflect small firearms using magnetics), but his actions come with bloody consequences.
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  • "In Darkness Dwells" — Batman travels into the sewers of Gotham to rescue a cardinal after he is kidnapped by The Scarecrow and Killer Croc, but after being bitten by Croc, Batman begins to hallucinate, which makes the rescue attempt twice as difficult.
  • "Working Through Pain" — While trudging through Gotham's sewers, Bruce flashes back to his training under a woman named Cassandra, who helps him learn how to withstand harsh pain.
  • "Deadshot" — Gun-for-hire Deadshot is on an assignment to assassinate Jim Gordon, and both Batman and Alfred are pushed to their limits as they work to protect their ally.

Not to be confused with video game Gotham Knights.

Batman: Gotham Knight contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Animesque: The film's shorts were created by several studios, which each lent their own style to their respective short.
  • Art Shift: Each segment has its own style of animation; Field Test is often referred to as "the most anime-looking" short.
  • Badass Normal: In Have I Got a Story for You, a kid knocks out the Man in Black with his skateboard just as the villain is about to stab Batman, saving Batman's life.
    • Batman himself, as that story shows. He's not a robot or someone with superpowers, but just a man doing a job at great cost.
    • Special mention goes to the Man in Black too. This no-name criminal fights Batman to a draw and nearly kills him.
  • Barefoot Sage: Cassandra.
  • Batman Gambit: During their fight, Deadshot reveals that Batman was always the intended target. He says that going after Gordon was just a sure-fire way to get Batman out in the open, and he openly gloats about how it worked.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: One of the stories in "Have I Got A Story For You" depicts Batman drawing blood in an attempt to kill the Man in Black. One of the other teenagers interjects to point out that's completely out of character for Batman. The one telling the story admits it was an embellishment to make the story more entertaining.
  • Big Bad: Salvatore Maroni, The Don of Gotham City and the villain to have a hand in the most shorts.
  • Bishōnen: Field Test featured a far more "animesque" Batman, whose appearance fits this trope. Bruce Timm was concerned that Kevin Conroy might not be convincing as a very young looking Bruce Wayne, although Kevin certainly pulled it off. The Japanese version had the younger sounding Shin-ichiro Miki voice that particular segment.
  • Break the Haughty: Deadshot is quite amused and sure of himself when he thinks he's going to win, but then Batman pulls off an ambush and disarms him. Then he becomes a whimpering mess insisting that he was Just Following Orders.
  • Broad Strokes: Since several different directors handled the shorts, little consistency (artistic or otherwise) exists with each short or the Nolan films.
    • One of the shorts involves a trio of kids telling urban legend stories about Batman; while the artwork varies widely, the characters themselves (including Batman) stay pretty consistent.
    • The Batman costume varies wildly throughout all six shorts.
  • Complexity Addiction: Deadshot is noted for liking to make his shots as needlessly complex as possible. His shot at Gordon involves firing from a moving train, through another moving train, and across a bridge, at a target in a moving car.
  • Continuity Snarl: Gotham Knight is said to take place between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but one of the segments shows an undamaged Wayne Manor, which snarls with the mansion's fiery destruction in Begins.
    • Additionally one segment portrays Ramirez as having an adamant, unwavering faith in Batman. In The Dark Knight she's outspoken about her scorn for Batman, and she is even the one who betrays him in the end.
      • The novelization refers to Ramirez as Renee Montoya instead.
    • The segment Working Through Pain features the Batmobile from the 1989 Tim Burton film, rather than the Tumbler from Nolan's films. Field Test- meanwhile- features a vehicle very similar to the Tumbler, and the others don't show the Batmobile.
  • Expanded Universe: Ostensibly set in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight universe, but (perhaps inevitably, for works of this manner) absolutely nothing was in it was acknowledged in the third film The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Expy: The Man in Black from Have I Got a Story For You is obviously one of Firefly. He's a jetpack-wearing psychopath whose design resembles one of Firefly's more recent costumes. Also, the animated episode this segment was inspired by, "Legends of the Dark Knight" from the New Batman Adventures, has Firefly as the villain, so here the Man in Black fills his role. The only thing he's missing is Firefly's name and pyromaniac tendencies.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Probably coincidental, Batman trains himself to Feel No Pain in Working Through Pain. Later on in The Dark Knight Rises, he encounters a villain who too does not feel pain. Though a notable difference is that Batman trained himself to do it, while Bane requires his mask to keep pumping him with anaesthetic that numbs out the pain.
    • It's pointed out in "Have I Got A Story For You" that Batman isn't known to try to kill his opponents. In The Dark Knight, Maroni tells Batman that criminals wised up to how he has rules that he won't break, which makes him less scary compared to the Joker.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • In Field Test, Batman uses the bullet deflector until it accidentally injures a mobster. Batman says "it works too well" and gives it back to Lucius Fox.
    • Deadshot went after Gordon in order to get Batman to show up. He certainly got what he wanted and more.
  • Good Shepherd: Father O'Fallon becomes the latest victim of a series of abductions, to his own confusion, not because he's done anything wrong, as it turns out, but because his efforts to help the poor take them away from Gotham's underbelly of crime and desperate poverty, where Dr. Crane has set himself up after escaping in Batman Begins.
  • Gratuitous English: The on-screen English in "Deadshot" is... odd.
  • Gun Porn: Even Batman can appreciate the attraction of firearms in Deadshot.
    "The heft...the sleekness...the cool steel...the precision...and the power. The power to change lives, history. The power of God."
  • Hopeless War: In Field Test a criminal disposes of his gun by throwing it in the sewers. In Working Through Pain, Batman is staggering wounded through the sewers, only to find an endless number of firearms thrown down there, after being used in crimes he could not prevent.
  • Hostage Situation: A dazed Maroni takes Ramirez hostage in Crossfire when he catches Batman's attention after he's done mopping up the Russian's goons. As he begins losing his composure, he threatens to kill Ramirez; Batman doesn't give him the chance.
    Maroni: I'll kill her! I swear to God!
    Batman: (does nothing)
    Maroni: (visibly losing it) I'll do it... I'll do it!
    Batman: (grabs Maroni's wrist before he can shoot) No. You won't.
  • Impressed by the Civilian: In the segment Have I Got a Story for You, a group of teenage skate punks trade stories about their run-ins with Batman as he pursues Firefly across the city. Soon however, that pursuit reaches its climax at the warehouse the kids were hanging at. With the help of one of the kids, Batman is finally able to apprehend Firefly and gives the kid his thanks before disappearing.
  • Just Following Orders: Deadshot states this when he realises Batman has him outmatched. Seeing several scenes of him relishing both his killings and the lavish lifestyle his job offers show just how weak this defense is. Big cheers when Batman punches his lights out.
  • Oh, Crap!: In Darkness Dwells, Scarecrow is completely frozen in fear as he sees the Batman effortlessly beat up his cultists. Justified, as he previously had a rather freaky run-in with him.
    • In Deadshot, when the title villain had his Arm Cannon cut off by Batman, leaving him powerless.
  • Out of the Inferno: Performed with significant gravitas by Batman in "Crossfire".
  • "Rashomon"-Style: Have I Got a Story For You, where the kids all tell their own stories of seeing Batman, is an example of this.
  • Scenery Porn: With the studios making this, what did you expect?
  • Shrouded in Myth: Batman is an impressive Badass Normal, but three of the teens in "Have I Got A Story For You" are certain he is far beyond that, be it a vampire-like shadow, something akin to Man-Bat, or an outright robot. The fourth teenager sees Batman as he is during the climax and proceeds to tell the others what happened.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Scarecrow and his gang of escaped Arkham inmates and Crazy Homeless People wield scythes and sickles in the "In Darkness Dwells" segment.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Jacob Feely, despite one of the kids remembering him as a well-spoken Affably Evil stickup robber, sees Arkham Asylum as a looming terror with monstrous, distorted smiling handlers waiting to welcome him.
  • Totally Radical: Everything that comes out of the mouths of the skateboarders in "Have I Got a Story for You."
  • Trash Talk: "Shoot your mouth off now, Deadshot!"


Video Example(s):


Batman: Gotham Knight

In "Batman: Gotham Knight", Deadshot is shown doing a super precise shot that ends in a glorious headshot.

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Main / BoomHeadshot

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