He's a man, who worked countless hours perfecting himself and believes in law and order. He's not afraid to enforce justice himself. There's an American essence to him. That's why I love the Rockabilly Batman by Italian artist Denis Medri. It resonates with what Batman is at his core, a hardcore, tough, hero who has a dark side.
Here's why the Rockabilly theme works so well:
Batman is the 50's and the 50's is Batman:
Rockabilly is a predecessor to rock n' roll. Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and early Elvis all had a stripped down sort of sound. There's a guitar, upright bass, and drums, and a piano. No garish synthesizers or heavy editing.
An austere Batman is the best kind of Batman. Christopher Nolan's character showed that the man behind the cowl is better than the campy gadgets and goofy plot lines of Joel Schumacher's movies. I also love The Long Halloween. It's dark and simple. Nothing too fancy. Batman is at his best when he doesn't try too much, just like Elvis.
It fits the characters:
I may be speaking from personal bias here, but I think Batman has the richest rouges gallery of any superhero. How many Superman villains can the casual Superman fan name? Maybe Spiderman or X-Men have some notable ones, but I would argue that Batman villains are the most notable. Two-Face, Penguin, the Joker, Catwoman...
Take a look at the characters. I can see them fitting right in our vision of 1950's America. The poodle skirts, hot rods, letter jackets, it fits well here.
That's hard to do with any other cast of characters. Marvel's attempt at putting their characters in the 1930's with the Marvel Noir series got mixed reviews. Its tough, but I would like to see DC take a chance on this.
Bruce Wayne can do the James Dean thing:
Bruce does his own thing. Just like Jim Stark, James Dean's character in Rebel Without a Cause. He doesn't listen to everyone else who says he should be content with being a rich playboy at the helm of Wayne enterprises. He protects Gotham and doesn't care who stands in his way.
Honestly DC, let's do this.
Images are from Metri's Facebook Page. Check it out here.