Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Batman Under The Red Hood

Batman Under The Red Hood is a movie adaption of a comic book event that has its origins in another comic book event from the late eighties I'm thinking called A Death In The Family. The comic event had parts that were handled poorly (Superboy Prime punching time) and parts that worked fairly well.

Below I'll be speaking about what it made me think about and this includes spoilers so if you're not interesting in them, beware!

Keep the medium in mind.

Batman Under The Red Hood works much better as a short one shot movie than it does a comic book. In the comic, it goes on and on and has to rely on decades of continuity among other limitations like a monthly publishing schedule designed to be put into a trade paperback.

In the movie format, it's able to get out a lot of the material, avoiding some of the excess, like Superboy Prime punching time, and keeps things circular enough that even a casual fan of Batman can probably enjoy it.

Now let me point out how the differences in medium work. Here, and in the comic, the Red Hood, Jason Todd, goes on a tangent asking why Batman hasn't killed the Joker. In the comics, that conversation might go something like, "Well Jason, you were an unliked character who callers paid to see die and the Joker is one of my most famous archnemesis and if you think I'm killing him in order to appease your spirit? Your joking!"

So what do I mean when I'm talking about keeping the medium in mind?

One shots at conventions are different than long running campaigns. Super Hero settings have different genre conventions than Dungeons and Dragons. Keep the thing you're running in mind when getting ready to run your campaign. By knowing if your running a one shot, running a long term weekly series, etc..., you'll be able to keep a better grip on how to run the game and where it could go.