The title of Larry Longstreth’s newest cartoon opus, “Batman’s Gonna Get Shot in the Face”, is really rather ironic. You see, longtime Batman fans, who can remember Michael Keaton’s impressive musculature suit, know that every part of Batman’s costume is bulletproof, except for the space over the mouth left by the cowl. Which means, to be truly effective, the only place Batman actually could get shot is, in fact, in the face.
So what we have here is Batman, as you’ve never seen him before. Seriously. As you’ve never seen him before. Batman’s got a lot of troubles on his hands, mainly from trespassing superheroes with way too much condescending attitude for their own good. By the end of the opening credits, as Superman himself calls the Batcave to explain to a just-suited-up Batman that he and “Green Lantern already took care of it…it was just a bank robbery”, I was already laughing myself stupid.
The format is even better—Longstreth has this set up like an ersatz “Behind the Music” psuedo-documentary about the Batman.
I had to go back a couple times at the seven minute fourteen second mark to catch Longstreth’s inside joke—Nightwing claims his pelvis was “shattered by a bullcrank”. It’s easy to miss, but Longstreth’s web site is actually named www.bullcrank.com, and so, if you keep up with Longstreth’s work, you get a nice inside joke out of the deal.
Not that there aren’t already plenty of jokes to go around—no need to learn all about Longstreth and his work before watching. Check out, for example, the minor names in the line outside the Justice League building after job openings are announced. And the posters in Hawkman’s home gym are all of earlier Longstreth works.
All in all, for a fifteen minute cartoon, it’s really some terrific stuff. If you stick around for the credits, there’ll be one last dig at the Dark Knight. I’m really rather amazed just how funny this little bit of Batman-bashing was.