Comic Review: Batman ’89 #2 (DC Comics)

The world of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie provides the potential for DC Comics’ Batman 89. Issue #2 continues on in this alternate continuity wonderland. But we are wondering “does […]

The world of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie provides the potential for DC Comics’ Batman 89. Issue #2 continues on in this alternate continuity wonderland. But we are wondering “does it work?”

Writer Samm Hamm inhabits the 32-year-old movie lot and gives us a Batman with big eyes. It’s a wonder, and quite a feat to take us to this 1989 atmosphere, a lifetime ago for some readers, and breathe today’s life back into it.

1989? It’s pre-Internet as we know it today. But people are making forays via the primitive ARPANET, or using bulletin boards, the primitive forefathers of the spine of networks that would become ‘the information highway’. Bruce Wayne is portrayed as a naive rich guy. The Catwoman pops up out of nowhere. People play with Batarangs for amusement. And so on. You get the picture, from your Polaroid, from the VCR, the Walkman cassettes, the Blockbuster rental days of olde. Be kind, rewind.

1989? It’s disjointed and confined. The story longs to find its ‘tale’. It careens from actor to actor, setting to setting. Artist Joe Quinones draws in a conservative style (small figures, tight gestures, little exaggeration) either to pack the necessary panels per page required by the wordy script or perhaps to reel in the exuberance to a 1989 energy level. But the late 80s were not days of conservative cinema, the movies were as bombastic as Hollywood ever was.

1989? I’d like to see the fashions, the neons, the big mullet hair, and big shoulder suits all made BIG and burly. Colour is by Leonardo Ito. The colouring would be BRIGHT and SHINY and in our face. I want my MTV! I could face another issue if the energy expands to burst out of its confinement, if the script gets pulse-pounding and powerful! Lettering by Clayton Cowles. But like Tom Petty’s 1989 hit, “I Won’t Back Down” I wouldn’t pick up this issue either, sorry. Fast forward.

DC Comics, Batman 89 #2, $3.99 for 21 pages of content. Ages 13+

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!