Lego Batman II.
As you know, I love Batman, but I also love Lego, and Lego Star Wars was my surprise favourite of 2005. So naturally it follows that I would love Lego Batman. Having now played Lego Batman, though, I was disappointed to find that the stories weren’t based on any of the films or comics. That’s just a wasted opportunity, if you ask me. There’s so much Lego ridiculousness lying dormant in the Bat mythos, waiting to be excavated. Anyway, I figured that somewhere down the line there’d be a sequel, and as part of my pitch for Producer or Head Writer on Lego Batman II, I thought I’d stupidly give away my ideas for free. Here are some Batman stories that would make great Lego adaptations:
No, not Tim Burton’s classic Bat-film – I’m talking West, pure West – the very first Batman film is just screaming for a Lego retelling. The ridiculousness of it all; it’s like a hand in a glove: Penguin, Joker, Riddler and Catwoman get together on a Penguin Submarine (it literally looks like a penguin) and turn the United Nations into powder! Add a rather amusing riddle about apples and applesauce and you have the recipe for a hilarious Lego videogame.
While this isn’t one story per sé, it works well as one. Introducing one of Batman’s greatest enemies Ra’s Al Ghul – The Demon’s Head – and greatest foils, the disarmingly beautiful Talia al Ghul. Tales of the Demon feels like a Bond film, spanning several exotic locales and pitting Batman against the strangest of enemies, including, but not restricted to ninjas, a leopard, a raging bull, the Bronze Tiger, and Ra’s Al Ghul’s faithful brute of a servant, Ubu. Batman even has a forced marriage to contend with – do I hear Lego hijinks? And what Batman/Ra’s tale would be complete without a shirtless swordfight? Check.
Old meets new in Matt Wagner’s surprisingly recent jaunt into the world of zombies and bat-men. It maintains all the trappings of goofy Golden Age horror pulp with the modernity of well, good writing I suppose! Barely one year into his crime-fighting career, the Batman must brave the perils of Mad Science and Ancient Evil to save Gotham City. Lego zombies and vampires? Yes please!
The [in]famous 90s event comic Knightfall has a few things going for it. Firstly, then-new villain Bane masterminds a jailbreak down at Gotham Penitentiary, loosing all of Batman’s foes upon the city once more. Secondly, Batman is run ragged rounding up the most obscure of adversaries – Mad Hatter, Cavalier, Firefly, Zsasz, Killer Croc, and the Ventriloquist to name a few – while regulars Joker, Scarecrow and Poison Ivy plan something a little more sinister. Thirdly, Bane breaks Batman’s back, which would be hilarious in Lego. All of it would be hilarious in Lego, especially that maniac Firefly. It would be a great intermission to break up the gameplay, giving players an opportunity to use other characters like Azrael, Huntress and Nightwing in Batman’s absence.
Another 90s event comic that was terrible to read, but great for Lego business, is No Man’s Land. Gotham has been hit with an earthquake of biblical proportions, separating the city from civilisation. Of course, this sends its denizens into complete and utter madness, and the Bat-family have their work cut out for them trying to placate them. So while the earth is shaking, and Gothamites are running around like chickens with their cut off, Batman’s enemies work to carve out their piece of the pie. Mmmm…pie. Earthquakes and Lego blocks are a match made in heaven, especially for the destruction-loving boy that lives inside us all.
You know why the first Lego Star Wars game was so hilarious? Because there was so much in the source material to make fun of. Next up on So Bad It’s Good: Batman & Robin. Easily the worst Batman film ever, what better way to bring Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Bane, Poison Ivy and Dr. Freeze together in a ridiculous camp-fest of Good vs. Evil? Can’t wait to see those Lego Bat-nipples!
An aging Bruce Wayne is forced out of retirement once more to teach the youth a lesson [I’m surprised how fitting that summary is].
*Cue hilarious cutscenes about Batman being too old for this $#!+*
The opportunities for comedy here are legion. Batman even dresses as a homeless old drunk woman in what becomes a liquor store shootout. There’s some great showdowns here which would make for equally great boss battles. The explosive battle with Two-Face on a high-rise (a helicopter is also involved), the brawl with the Mutants gang leader in the city dump, and the final duel with the Joker in an abandoned theme park. I can’t believe I almost forgot the fight with SUPERMAN. Could anyone have any doubts as to how great this would work in Lego? The story lends itself to two-player gameplay as well, with Carrie Kelley taking up the mantle as the fourth [and first female] Robin.
Hush wasn’t much more than an excuse to pit Batman against his rogues gallery and introduce a new villain (or to give Jim Lee an opportunity to draw them all), but that’s just the type of story you need for an all-star videogame. Supporting players include Huntress, Robin, Nightwing and even Catwoman against the likes of Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Joker, the Riddler, Ra’s Al Ghul, Lady Shiva, Scarecrow, Clayface [disguised as Jason Todd – back from the dead – no less!], and finally, Hush. Oh, and did I mention there’s another fight with Superman? Trust me, it never gets old.
There you go, eight thrilling chapters for a Lego Batman sequel right there. Does that not sound like the Greatest Batman Videogame of All Time in the making?