Batman 89’

Dereck Hard as Michael Keaton as BatmanDereck Hard as Michael Keaton as Batman

When Batman came out in 1989, I was in peak comic mode and playing the Marvel Super Heroes role-playing game by TSR pretty heavily. I had a promotional magazine for the movie that I pored over daily. My dresser drawer contained a Batman t-shirt (drawn more in the comic books style) and it was my favorite piece of clothing. The trip to the theater with my dad, where I wore my t-shirt proudly, felt like a holiday ritual.

There’s little chance that I’m going to break out the nonsensical Batdance,” but the concept of a continuation of Tim Burton’s Batman from 1989 in comic form, written by Sam Hamm, the original screenwriter, does pique my interest.1 Throughout the many iterations, Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Batman is the one that I most identify with the superhero. Though Burton’s dark deco Gotham may have been a influential precursor to the later descent of comic book movies into the grimdark mold, I still admire the original vision.

Almost as interesting is the Superman 78 series that will continue the legacy of the original Richard Donner/Christopher Reeve film with new stories set in the early days of Superman’s days in Metropolis. There was a certain purity to that movie, with Reeve’s aw shucks” Clark Kent and never touch the stuff” Superman. It will be interesting to see if the new stories can keep that same sort of innocence or whether they give in to the cynicism that permeates our current age.

These movies were my formative cinematic superhero experiences, and I heartily welcome a trip back into their respective universes.

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  1. Sorry Prince, even if I could find my Batman soundtrack tape and a working cassette player, those songs did nothing to augment the movie for me. ↩︎


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