‘The Batman Of Shanghai’ / Bat In The Sun Productions

A pretty incredible clip for comic book heads, anime buffs or movie fanboys of any kind, one of the best spinoff shorts we’ve ever seen has dropped in a timely fashion in the vein of Batman. DC Nation holds a block of animation on Cartoon Network as of earlier this year, and in between the programming (thus far only Young Justice League and Green Lantern) run a series of shorts based on DC Comics. While for the most part these exist as uninspired attempts at humour with superhero sketches, there have been a few notable exceptions, the most impressive of which easily being The Batman Of Shanghai.

Created by Chinese animation studio Wolf Smoke, the anime short reimagines Batman set against a 1930’s Shanghai backdrop. Totalling just under four minutes, it was originally released as three separate episodes, introducing Catwoman in part 1 then Bane and Batman in the subsequent sequels. The graphics are amazing, fight scenes incredible, storyline simple and to the point complete with appropriate throwback and wall-breaking references. It is undoubtedly the best Batman related film to come out this year. You can’t help but to think that if Dark Knight Rises had involved some form of time travel to Shanghai 1930’s then it would have been half-decent (it certainly wouldn’t have been any less believable).

Perhaps due to this success of this 3:49 of anime we’ve been assured that next year’s DC Nations roster will include more complete and adult / fan orientated creations. We can only hope Wolf Smoke get another crack a different set of characters, as they’ve done a damn good job with these three.

While we’re on this tip, it’s worth shouting at some of the fan videos that have come of late. Thanks to the descending cost of equipment and software, as well as the accessibility we have in the digital age, some of these fan movies are going way above and beyond anything we would have expected five years ago.

The best of these have come from Bat In The Sun Productions, and go back to 2010 with City Of Scars, which was followed up on a year later with Seeds Of Arkham. Take 40 minutes out of your day and watch both films. City Of Scars features Joker escaping Arkham and an impressive cameo from Harley Quinn with the nine minute sequel including a dope Killer Croc, Nightwing and Poison Ivy. In City Of Scars you can actually check out the exact replice of Keaton’s Batmobile from the 1989 Batman film.

…and just for a bit of ultimate sci-fi fight porn here’s Batman v Wolverine. Skip straight to around the 2 minute mark to eliminate the discussion beforehand and get straight to the fight scene.