Batman’s skills as a detective are paramount to his persona–he debuted and stars in Detective Comics, after all–but most of his live-action films have barely covered the investigative side of the character, focusing more on the vigilante. It looks like director Matt Reeves is looking to change all that, based on statements he made in an interview with New Trailer Buzz that The Batman will be about an “almost noir-driven, detective version of Batman.”
So which Batman comic book stories feature noir-style storytelling and detective skills the best? These five stories would serve as excellent inspiration for the type of film Matt Reeves and Ben Affleck are looking to make, and some could even just be lifted almost word for word.
BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN BY JEPH LOEB AND TIM SALE (1996-1997)
One of the most famous Batman epics of the modern era, right along with The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns, this 13 issue series by the creative team of writer Jeph Loeb and artist Tim Sale is still considered one of the definitive Batman mystery stories ever. The original comic takes place about a year into the Batman’s career, and deals with a year-long murder mystery which begins and ends on All Hallow’s Eve. A serial killer going by the moniker “Holiday” is killing people every month, on that month’s particular celebratory day, and Batman, Jim Gordon and DA Harvey Dent are at their wit’s end trying to crack the case.
Almost every major villain from Batman’s rogue’s gallery makes an appearance in The Long Halloween, and in pretty important roles too, which would make this one super memorable entry in the Batman film series history. Since our Ben Affleck Batman is an established hero with a long history, this story could be easily translated to film almost intact with very little changes. The only drawback? This story is a long one, and Warner Brothers might not want a three hour long, broody Batman movie.