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Original Batman and Superman movies get sequels in DC comic form

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Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 revive Michael Keaton and Christopher Reeves’ characters

Michael Keaton’s Batman swooping down in Gotham in his new DC Comics series Batman ‘89 (2021). Image: DC Comics

“Who ... are you?”
“I’m Batman! From the movies. The 1989 one. But also the comics? I’m getting a comic. This is to say, I’m Batman.”

Fans of that iconic movie line, which I translated verbatim without any editorializing, are in for a treat: DC Comics announced on Wednesday that both Tim Burton’s Batman and Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie would continue on in comic form this July.

Batman ’89 will see original Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm team up with artist Joe Quinones (Dial H for Hero) to “pull on a number of threads left dangling.” The book, starring Michael Keaton’s Batman, promises to reintroduce Selina Kyle/Catwoman, portrayed in Batman Returns by Michelle Pfeiffer, and introduce that first Burton-esque Robin. Harvey Dent (played by Billy Dee Williams in Batman) will also appear in full Two-Face form, a twist that was expected to happen in Batman Returns, but was cut after extensive rewrites.

DC also announced that Rob Venditti (Hawkman) and Wilfredo Torres (Batman ’66) will work together on Superman ’78 to tell stories with Christopher Reeves’ Superman. In Superman ’78, “bystanders are surprised and delighted by Superman’s abilities, and Lois Lane doesn’t (yet!) know that Clark Kent is secretly Superman. The sheer thrill of seeing a man fly, leap, or stop a bullet will be reflected in this environment where Superman has just been introduced,” DC said in the announcement.

Superman ’78 and Batman ’89 will debut with six digital chapters each on July 27, followed by new chapters of each book for six additional weeks. The chapters will roll out as printed comics between August and October, then wind up in hardcover collections in time for the holidays.

Here’s your first look at art from each book:

Batman 89 comics cover of Keaton’s batman swooping down in front of skyscrapers from DC Comics Image: Sam Hamm and Joe Quinones / DC Comics
A comic version of Christopher Reeves’ Superman flies at screen in Superman 78 from DC Comics Image: Rob Venditti and Wilfredo Torres / DC Comics