BATMAN ’89: 13 THINGS We Want to See in DC’s Upcoming Comic

“I’m Batman.”

With DC’s news this week that comics set in the universes of 1978’s Superman: The Movie and 1989’s Batman are coming this summer — click here for that fancy info — it’s hard not to imagine what those miniseries will be like.

Well, on Thursday, we brought you 13 THINGS WE WANT TO SEE IN THE SUPERMAN ’78 COMIC. (Click here.) Now, as promised, we’re following up with 13 THINGS WE WANT TO SEE IN THE BATMAN ’89 COMIC.

So here’s some unsolicited commentary for writer Sam Hamm (who co-wrote the original film) and artist Joe Quinones, who some years back pitched DC on the idea of a Batman ’89 comic.

In no particular order:

Promo art by Quinones

Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face. This is a no-brainer. Quinones pitched it as part of that proposal years ago and hardcore fans have long wished Williams got the payoff he deserved. Interestingly, all DC has said so far is “Quinones has a vision for Harvey Dent/Two-Face that is as close to movie magic as a comic can get!” Hmm.

Quinones art posted online in the past.

Prince as the New Joker. Oh, how much fun would it be if DC actually landed the likeness rights to use Prince as a new Joker? But even if not, there are artistic ways to do something very similar.

Early concept art for the project, posted online by Quinones this week.

Action Figure Brought to “Life.” Quinones’ model art that he posted this week included this image based on Kenner’s 1990 Bruce Wayne action figure …


… which is one of the greatest Batman figs ever made. I really hope this makes it into the final version.

Keep Bruce Young. That model art showed an older Bruce. Not that it’s really a big deal, but I would prefer a Batman in his prime. The “Batman fights age” trope is kind of played out.

Marlon Wayans as Robin. I’m really happy that we’re gonna get a Robin who (presumably) is not Chris O’Donnell. Again, we don’t know the likeness-rights issues yet but “casting” Marlon Wayans – who was originally going to be in Batman Returns – would be a real kick.

A Healthy Batman and Robin Relationship. And when Robin shows up – however he shows up – can we please have the Dynamic Duo get along? Once upon a time, these two were supposed to be friends – and like the aging Bruce concept, the Batman and Robin Don’t Get Along cliché has become exactly that. It’s not edgy that they fight. It’s boring.

Quinones posted this online well before the announcement. Might it be a cover?

More Batman and Gordon. The Burton movies didn’t do much with Commissioner Gordon. Pat Hingle wasn’t a satirical figure like Neil Hamilton was in the ’60s, but he was a one-dimensional character. The Batman-Gordon partnership is one of comics’ best and I’d like to see more of that in this universe.

More Batman, Period. Actually, I’d like to see more of Batman overall, come to think of it. My biggest beef with the first movie is that there are long stretches where our hero is absent. The second movie, meanwhile, had three points of view – Batman’s, Catwoman’s and the Penguin’s. Since Hamm and Quinones don’t have to worry about managing actors’ face time on screen, I really hope the Masked Manhunter finally dominates the action.

But No Batgirl. I love Batgirl. She’s one of my all-time fave characters and I know she was a part of Quinones’ pitch years ago. But I’d rather keep this really Batman-and-Robin focused.

A Grounded Catwoman. The Feline Fatale is always welcome and I’m guessing they have Michelle Pfeiffer’s likeness, otherwise why bring her back? But I never did buy into the notion that Selina Kyle was barely hinged. I would much rather see a more stable, grounded Catwoman. There’s wiggle room here.

A Jerry Ordway Variant Cover. He did the Batman ’89 adaptation, of course, and if there are variant covers, he should most certainly get one.

A Surprise Villain. Catwoman and Two-Face are the only ones mentioned in DC’s announcement and while I don’t want the villains to crowd out the heroes, it might be fun to add one who would have been perfect for Burton’s vision – and who never lived up to his potential under Christopher Nolan: the Scarecrow.

From Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999).

The Danny Elfman Soundtrack. The print comic obviously can’t include this — though it would be neat if the digital version had musical audio — but you gotta listen while you read, don’t you? I will!


— SUPERMAN ’78: 13 THINGS We Want to See in DC’s Upcoming Comic. Click here.

— The SUPERMAN ’78/BATMAN ’89 Comic Book Index of News and Features. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Although I love the Donner Superman and loathe Burton’s Batman, I am more excited about this than the Superman 78 comic. I like how Quinones is drawing the ESSENCE of the characters and style of the film, rather than tracing screenshots. Finding the heart of the property is more important than aping the look.

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  2. As long as this upcoming series screams ’80s without being cheesy, I’m all for it.

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