‘Your comics, Mr Wayne!’
You can have all the films, games and apps you want, but at the end of the day, Batman is most at home in his place of origin — the comic book. And if you are a comic book fan, you can get your slice of the Bat action on your device with the following apps
Available on Android and iOS, the DC Comics app literally serves up hundreds of Batman comics in digital form for you to read on the move. And depending on your device, you can actually zoom into images or even read frame by frame, rather than page by page. The price of a single comic can vary from USD 0.99 to USD 2.99 in most cases, although there are a number of free comics available too. Keep your eyes peeled for bargain deals, when a whole set of comics is available for sale at a low price. And yes, you can get comics featuring other superheroes too here, but then, this is about the Dark Knight, not Mr Red Underpants from Krypton!
Available from: iTunes App Store, Google Play
The call of the Dark Knight
If you want a device that screams “Dark Knight”, we suggest you go for the Limited Edition Nokia Lumia 800 Dark Knight handset. It comes with a laser-etched Batman logo and is one heck of a smartphone in its own right with Windows Phone 7.5, a 3.7-inch AMOLED display, a 1.4GHz processor and 8.0-megapixel camera, as well as an exclusive Dark Knight Rises app. When cynics will snigger and point out that the OS running on it will get outdated in a few months when Windows Phone 8 is released (existing Windows Phone devices, like the Lumia 800, alas, cannot be upgraded to it), but we will simply point to the etched Batman logo on the device. This phone is not about Windows Phone. Or specs. It is about Batman. And the Dark Knight never gets outdated. There are just 200 units of it available though, at Rs 24,999, so followers of the caped crusader had better move fast!
For: Rs 24,999
After sticking to the joys of the printed word, Amazon has finally realised that there is an audience for graphic novels and comics too, and now offers them on its Kindle app on Android and iOS devices. Although the range here is not as vast as that offered on the DC Comics app, you do get some very good deals — with entire story arcs and series coming for USD 9.99. Just be patient while scanning for titles.
Available from: iTunes App Store, Google Play
Appily yours, Batman
There is no shortage of apps dedicated to the Dark Knight. Here are four of the very best
Dark Night Rises Theme (by Bearsfan)
Forget about the typo in the app title, for those who want to make their device a shrine to the Dark Knight, it does not get better than this for free. The app comes with some great backgrounds and symbols that reflect the Batman magic. Yes, we would have loved it even more if it had converted the camera flash into a Bat-signal, but even without that, this is the best app to make your device look really batty. And it works with Go Launcher Ex on Android (which is free too).
Get it at: Google Play
The Dark Knight Rises official app
If you are the sort who digs official ‘from-the-horse’s-mouth’ apps, then this is the one for you. It comes loaded with trailers of the film, a special Foursquare powered GPS/location game, wallpapers, general information about the film and cast, and even a buzz section that lets you know what people are saying about the film. The catch? It works only with the Nokia Lumia range of phones — a consequence of a tie-up between the filmmakers and the Finnish company. Still, it is free and is perhaps the best app about the film.
Get it at: Windows Marketplace
Gotham City’s Most Wanted
The one thing that the Dark Knight Rises won’t lack is masks — the Catwoman has one, Bane has one and well, Batman’s always had one. And this app lets you slap on one of these masks on anyone you know and share the picture over your social networks. You will need to fiddle a bit to get the mask perfectly over your face but once done, it looks super cool. It works only on iOS devices right now, but those wanting to be in mask mode can also head over to www.gothamcitysmostwanted.com and get themselves ‘masked’!
Get it at: iTunes App Store, www.gothamcitysmostwanted.com
‘Holy gamers, Batman!’
Reading about the films and Batman can be fun, but nothing really beats stepping into the shoes of the man himself and ridding Gotham of some crime. Here are a few games that let you do just that
Batman: Arkham City
It has been almost 10 months since this game was launched and we still cannot resist playing it. The graphics are staggeringly good, the music excellent, the voice acting spot on and best of all, the story is compelling, thanks to the involvement of Paul Dini, a Batman comic book author. You play the Caped Crusader who has been trapped in Arkham City (a prison of sorts within Gotham) by the evil Dr Hugo Strange. You have to get out with a mix of stealth, brute force and innovative gadgetry — and in your way are the likes of the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill of Star Wars fame), the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Bane. Nope, it does not get better than this in gaming terms.
Available for: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
For: Rs 2599 (PS3), Rs 1999 (Xbox 360), Rs 699 (PC)
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown
There have been a number of simple arcade, platformer-type games based on the exploits of Batman, but for sheer authenticity and drama, nothing touches Arkham City Lockdown that is available on iOS devices. Based in the period before Arkham City, the game sees you trade fisticuffs with a number of villains, including the Joker, Two-Face and Solomon Grundy. Subtle? No. And not much by way of a storyline, but the game looks awesome and as a pure adrenaline generator, has few equal fans.
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
For: USD 5.99
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Batman in a Lego world? It worked once and in Batman 2, it works again. Sure, the characters look nothing like the real thing, but you will be too busy being sucked into the game to notice. The Joker is running wild through Gotham and has got the Penguin, the Riddler and Two-Face, among others on his side. You, of course, have Robin and a decent section of the Justice League to call on. Frenetic non-stop action in a blocky world. Not as intense as Arkham City, but a blockbuster, this. Literally.
Available for: PS3/ Xbox 360/ PC/ PSP Vita
For: Rs 699 (PC), Rs 1999 (PS3/ Xbox 360/ PSP Vita)