10 August 2021 1206 Views

Book Viral: BATMAN 89

by James Murphy

It’s out, at last! BATMAN 89 comic book is yours to read and own, ‘forever’! 

No spoilers, I promise. I will simply say the following:

  • If you are a BATMAN fan: buy it!
  • If you are a MOVIE fan: buy it!
  • And especially yes, buy it, if you ever had that niggling itch of a feeling that there ought have been a Batman 3 from Tim Burton or at least a Batman 1.5/2.5, which actually adhered to the mythology set up in the first movie?

 

Is it perfect? No. Sadly, the Nolan Dark Knight movies answered many of the Two-Face related questions presented in this new Sam Hamm treatment. To the extent that I now query Nolan’s assertion that he was not inspired as much by that 1989 original movie as by the comics / his own take on said? Come on, Chris, admit it! You were a massive Bat fan and wanted to see the Harvey Dent story done ‘right’. It’s okay!

Incidentally, another connection here is that Batman must confront an army of wannabe hims, dressed up for the vigilante action without the skill or discipline. Once again, done already in The Dark Knight movie but that itself is a motif that was first used in Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns graphic novel, itself an inspiration for the BATMAN movie in 1989.

Keeping up?   I know. Full Bat-Circle! 😉 

Anyway: this latest BATMAN 89 comic is still its own thing both as story and graphic novel. It’s fine in Kindle but you should buy the paper copy as soon as you can. These panels are meant to come to life and be animated (make it a cartoon movie, asap, Warners!).

There is a pulp quality to the panels and words here and this feels like a classic gangster movie with Jimmy Cagney, via dash of Citizen Kane and genuine Batman lore, wrapped in a respectful tribute to the 1989 Tim Burton vision.

There’s meaty plot in city politics here and you feel that grit and grime fused to fantastical glamour. But it’s still FUN and non preachy, avoiding the horribly didactic script of the Nolan / Snyder era (much as I love those, in a way, too).

The movie actors are referenced, throughout. But they’re not always copied, entirely: subtle variation in visage is cleverly deployed: paying tribute and providing nostalgia, whilst avoiding needless liability.

That said, BILLY DEE WILLIAMS just jumps off the page here and one can hear his voice in the speech bubbles. THAT’S how cool and charismatic an actor he is and it’s also a measure of the brilliance in the artwork. So, man of the match = Joe Quinones

Welcome to the future of sequels, continuation / expanded universe content and just great art, telling fascinating stories, for fun. Next up: SUPERMAN ’78! And more Batman, please!!! 



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