Today DC Comics revealed that the 1989 Batman movie and 1978's Superman: The Movie will receive new, ongoing digital-first comic series set in their respective cinematic worlds. Superman ‘78 will be written by Rob Venditti and feature art from Wilfredo Torres, and is set at a time when Christopher Reeves’ iconic take on the Man of Steel has only just become known to the public, balancing his burgeoning romance with an unsuspecting Lois Lane with saving the world with dazzling feats.
Batman ‘89, meanwhile features a very interesting creative team. Sam Hamm, who co-wrote the scripts for Batman and Batman Returns (spinning that into actual comics-writing experience with 1989's Batman: Blind Justice with artist Denys Cowan), will pen the series. On art is comics superstar Joe Quinones, who revealed his plans for a rejected Batman ‘89 comics continuation back in 2016, which would’ve built off of the world of the original Tim Burton movie to introduce cinematic takes on the likes of Batgirl, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy in the gothic Burton style.
According to a press release, Batman ‘89 will set the stage for the return of Michelle Pfieffer’s Selina Kyle, as well as introduce a brand new Robin for the Burton-verse. But, interestingly, it notes that “Quinones has a vision for Harvey Dent/Two-Face that is as close to movie magic as a comic can get.” In Quinones’ prior Batman ‘89 pitch, the artist envisioned Dent played by Billy Dee Williams, who played Dent in Batman, and was originally meant to play the character’s transformation into Two-Face in Batman Returns. However, Williams turned a return down, and his role in part was transformed into Christopher Walken’s Max Shreck in the final movie.
While Tommy Lee Jones went on to play Two-Face in Batman Forever, Williams’ Two-Face lived on in The Lego Batman Movie in 2017. Could justice be done and have Billy Dee’s Harvey Dent return in the pages of Batman ‘89 now?
We’ll have to wait a little bit to find out. Superman ’78 and Batman ’89 will launch six chapters each digitally on July 27, with six more chapters rolling out for each series weekly after that. Both complete series will release physically after, starting with a six-issue miniseries format rolling out between August and October, and as hardcover collections releasing in October (for Batman ‘89) and November (for Superman ‘78).
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