'Batman '89' and 'Superman '78' Comics Will Tell New Stories Set in the Worlds of Those Movies

DC Comics is returning to the worlds envisioned by Tim Burton and Richard Donner in two new Batman and Superman comics.

Batman ’89 and Superman ’78 will pick up where those seminal films left off, telling additional stories in those universes, introducing new characters, and continuing with plot threads that were left dangling in the original movies, which were precursors of the superhero-heavy cinematic landscape we’re in today. Get more details about both comics below.

The movie worlds of Tim Burton’s Gotham City and Richard Donner’s Metropolis will be explored once again in the pages of two new DC Comics. Here is some info about each individual project:

Batman screenwriter Sam Hamm returns to Burton’s world to write the “twisted adventures” of Michael Keaton’s version of The Dark Knight. Hamm and artist Joe Quinones (Dial H for Hero) will “pull on a number of threads left dangling by the prolific director,” and they will “help usher in the return of Selina Kyle/Catwoman and will debut a new Robin! Plus, Quinones has a vision for Harvey Dent/Two-Face that is as close to movie magic as a comic can get!”

In 2016, Quinones revealed that DC had turned down his pitch for a Batman ’89 comic, which “would have picked up the threads left by Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. We would have seen the return of Selina Kyle/ Catwoman as well as introductions to ‘Burton-verse’ versions of Robin, Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. It also would have showcased the turn of Billy Dee Williams’ Harvey Dent into Two-Face.” It sounds like someone at DC changed their mind. Here’s some concept art for the characters:

Meanwhile, Rob Venditti (Hawkman) and Wilfredo Torres (Batman ’66) are teaming up to take us back to Donner’s vision for the Man of Steel. In their new Superman comic, “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.” Sounds like the polar opposite of the vision of Superman we’ve seen on the big screen since 2013, which means there will probably be plenty of people who are up in arms about this and plenty who are thrilled to have a different way to engage with this iconic character.

Superman ’78 and Batman ’89 are going to debut with six digital chapters of each new series on July 27, 2021, which will be followed by new chapters of each comic book for the next six weeks. The twelve chapters of each new series will also be published as six printed comics between August and October, and then again as hardcover collections in October (Batman ’89) and November (Superman ’78) to give fans a wide range of options for how to read them.

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