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Keaton’s Batman and Reeve’s Superman returning for two new comic series

February 18th, 2021 by Marc Comments

While many of us were pining for the comic book sequel to Batman 1989 and Batman Returns that almost was, we had all secretly given up hope that it would ever happen.

A Batman story where we had a Wayans brother as Robin and Billy Dee Williams would finally get to play Two-Face in all his menacing glory, even if it was only on the printed page, would have been awesome (read all about the almost-happened concept here) but, alas, we all gave up on the idea that it would ever actually happen.

Then, late last year, we got the very exciting news that Michael Keaton was to return as Batman for The Flash movie (watch our video on it here) and suddenly we had hope that maybe, just maybe, we’d see more of that wonderful universe that Tim Burton created all those years ago and, while that’s still happening, it seems we’re getting even more of a deep dive into that Gotham City very soon… and, while we’re at it, we’ll be getting more of Christopher Reeve’s Superman too!

Coming to DC’s Digital First line of titles, Superman ’78 and Batman ’89 are follow-ups to Batman ’66 and Wonder Woman ’77 and, like those, will continue the story of the famous screen versions of these characters.

The Superman ’78 book is by writer Rob Venditti and artist Wilfedo Torres and will take place between 1978’s Superman: The Movie and 1980’s Superman II.

“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! Inspired by Donner’s classic, timeless style of superhero storytelling, in Superman ’78 Venditti and Torres will show fans that a man can truly fly.”

But more excitingly, for Batman ’89, Batman and Batman Returns’ co-writer Sam Hamm returns to finish the story he started in Tim Burton’s Batman. It will be drawn by Joe Quinones and is the third movie as was planned before Val Kilmer stepped into the suit in 1995’s Batman Forever. This means we will see the continued adventures of  Michelle Pfieffer’s Catwoman, Billy Dee Williams’ Harvey Dent/Two-Face and, excitingly, the debut of a new Robin.

With us gleaming some information about Keaton’s Batman in the years since – including, thanks to the Arrowverse’s Crisis On Infinite Earths, we know that he’s still out there (here) fighting crime (and, interestingly, that Jack Nicholson’s Joker, in true comic book fashion, wasn’t as dead as he seemed after falling from Gotham Cathedral) and, we also learned that Keaton’s Bruce Wayne and Pfeiffer’s Selina Kyle eventually married (here).

Of course, we also learned more about Reeve’s Superman in the Crisis on Infinite Earths events too, with Brandon Routh playing this version of Superman once more and revealing that, in that world, Joker came to Metropolis and unleashed a deadly gas in The Daily Planet building, killing, among many others, Lois Lane. This lead to Superman putting on the darker suit from the Kingdom Come storyline (here).

Will these comics draw on these extensions of the stories? Unlikely – well, maybe the Bruce/Selina wedding – but whatever happens, this is very, very exciting news… what say you all?

Superman ’78 and Batman ’89 will debut digital-first on July 27th, with six digital chapters each (three comic books’ worth of stories each). New chapters will then be released for the next six weeks, for a total of 12 chapters each. DC plans to publish printed issues (two chapters per issue) beginning in August, with hardcover collections already mapped out in October for Batman ’89 and November for Superman ’78.

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….