In a podcast last week, as he was offering his critique of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, inveterate comic nerd Kevin Smith noted something about the performance of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader: “He moved the way that Batman moves and fights … [it was] the best cinematic presentation of Batman fighting you’ve ever seen in a movie. It looked like the video game, almost.” Smith was onto something with that tossed-off remark, something that explains the polarized reaction to film. Batman v Superman is more relatable as a video game.
The Batman: Arkham video-game series has been wildly successful, earning rave reviews, setting sales records, and creating a "hyperrealistic" aesthetic that has suffused not just comic books, but Warner Bros. and DC's television shows and films, including the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. The new book The Art of Rocksteady's Batman (Abrams, $40) provides insight into the creative process behind the groundbreaking games, from 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum to this year's Batman: Arkham Knight, tracing the revamped designs of Gotham's iconic heroes and rogues, and their environs, from sketches to final renders. Here's an exclusive peek inside the so-called "Arkhamverse." The Dark Knight lives up to his name in the battle-scarred, amored Batsuit featured on the cover of Art of Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City & Arkham Knight.