11:21am PT by Graeme McMillan
Bruce Timm-Directed 'Batman' Short Now Online (Video)
Batman: Strange Days, the animated short created by legendary animator Bruce Timm to celebrate the Dark Knight's 75th anniversary, has debuted online following its premiere on Cartoon Network this Wednesday. If you've ever wanted to see Batman take on a Frankenstein-esque monster, here's your chance.
The two-and-a-half minute short returns the character to his roots and takes its inspiration from a story that originally appeared in the first issue of the Batman series in 1940 (the character's first spin-off title, having originally debuted a year earlier in Detective Comics #27), with Batman rescuing a woman from mad-scientist Hugo Strange.
If the sight of Batman using guns -- albeit ones that shoot tear gas and a grappling hook -- seems unusual considering the character's now-traditional distaste for the weapons, it's entirely period-specific; Batman regularly sported a couple of pistols early in his comic book career, as strange as that may seem now. It's far from the only period touch in the short; the character also has the longer ears and shorter gloves from his earliest appearance, in addition to the wonderfully overblown music that accompanies the whole thing.
Strange Days marks Timm's return to a character he's been closely connected to since the 1990s' Batman: The Animated Series, but as he hinted in a recent interview, he may be doing more with the caped crusader in the future. Another anniversary short, perhaps?
Watch Batman: Strange Days below.