blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Batman ’89 (2021) #3

Batman '89 #3

Did the Michelle Pfeiffer/Tim Burton Catwoman movie never get made because she refused to wear the new outfit from Batman ’89? Or are the costume designs on the comic just going to be wanting overall. Robin seems inevitable, and I’m concerned.

But the banter between Batman and Catwoman—Michael Keaton and Pfeiffer—is kind of exactly what I’d always wished it would be. Their rooftop rendezvous is half-great, then a quarter hints at a reveal, and the last quarter is set up for next issue’s A plot. It’s a little too efficient when it needs to be prolonged, especially since writer Sam Hamm has spent the entire issue teasing the scene.

The issue’s got a bunch of action at the start, only not really. Billy Dee Williams goes from star of the comic to the “And” credit after we get the ’89 origin of Two-Face. Sorry, Harvey Two-Face; I wonder if they’ll go there. Worse, Harvey receives a couple dream sequences. Now, artist Joe Quinones does a fabulous job with most of this issue—Catwoman’s new costume aside—and really shows off in the banter sequences between Bruce Wayne and Alfred (and their cat), and then Bruce and (Tim) Drake (Winston) Robin (Zeddemore) or whatever his name’s going to end up being, but he does not do a great dream sequence. Maybe, you know, Tim Burton would’ve done it well or whatever, but in the comic… it looks like a rushed riff on the High Anxiety VHS box cover. Not really worthy of Billy Dee Williams’s Two-Face origin story.

Actually, given the villain origin sequences in Batman and Batman Returns… it’s even more of a bummer. But they may still have time to fix it. I was worried when I thought it was issue four, and there were only two more left, but it’s the third, and there’s possibly time. Hamm and Quinones do a good job packing in content, but they could obviously use another five pages. It feels like a surprisingly good comic book adaptation of a non-existent movie, which is probably the best approach.

I’d be more enthusiastic for next issue if there’d been another page of Keaton and Pfeiffer flirting and less dream sequence. And maybe at least an appearance from Commissioner Gordon, who’s strangely absent like Pat Hingle’s likeness isn’t under contract or something.

But Bruce and Drake are potentially a fun duo. As ever, fingers crossed they pull ’89 off.

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