It's hard to believe that Batman Begins was released over a decade ago now. Before Christopher Nolan came along and revitalised the movie franchise, the character was in the toilet creatively thanks to Joel Schumacher's wretched Batman And Robin, and Begins felt like a breath of fresh air, a gritty shift away from the mouldy camp that defined his last few outings. As visionary as Nolan's interpretation of the material was in both Begins and his later sequels, he certainly didn't do it all on his own. Nolan and co-writer David S. Goyer drew extensively from the huge back catalogue of Batman comics, some iconic classics and others less well-known, but all contributing significantly to crafting some of Begins' most memorable moments. Some classic comic book panels have been painstakingly recreated by Nolan, whereas other ideas have been repurposed in the movie in a totally different but mostly no less valid way. That he captured the essence of the Caped Crusader is unmistakable, but that he also included so many references to such a wide variety of Batman comics demonstrates a jaw-dropping level of care and detail. Here are 12 key influences in Batman Begins...
12. Henri Ducard
In the movie, Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson) first introduces himself to Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) as Henri Ducard, a pseudonym he adopts in order to train Bruce in the League of Shadows. Now, to casual viewers, it probably just sounds like Ghul (and more to the point, Nolan and Goyer) pulled that alias out of thin air and it was created for the movie, but Henri Ducard is in fact a totally separate character from Batman lore, who first appeared in an 1989 issue of Detective Comics #599. He is an extremely smart and resourceful detective who teaches a young Bruce much of his trade, though his allegiance is later shown to be ambiguous as he undertakes jobs for not just the law but criminals also. Ducard was originally supposed to be included in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie in a manner much more faithful to the comics than in Begins, but he was ultimately scrapped. Instead, audiences have to settle for this peculiar yet entertaining version instead.
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