With Michael Keaton back as Batman, now is the time for a Batman '89 comic book from DC

(Image credit: Joe Quinones)

Michael Keaton is reprising his role as Batman for 2022's The Flash film (opens in new tab), but the time is now to begin bringing his Batman back - with original comic books.

Like the Batman '66 (opens in new tab) and Wonder Woman '77 (opens in new tab) comic books previously, a Batman '89 (opens in new tab) comic book series could hit a nerve and, might even manage to get a few collections on stands in time for Keaton's long-awaited third outing as the Dark Knight.

Concept art for The Flash (Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)
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There have been compelling arguments before to revisit the Tim Burton era, with a return even happening briefly in the CW's 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' crossover event. But in comics, that world has remained relatively off-limits until 2019, when DC re-released the long-out-of-print comic book adaptation of the movie by Dennis O'Neil and Jerry Ordway (opens in new tab).

While getting the rights to use Keaton's (and others') likenesses for a project like this may have held it back before, given Keaton's confirmed role in The Flash, it's conceivably a lot easier now than in the intervening decades since Keaton ditched the Batman role.

If that wasn't enough, consider this - DC already has a top creator who wants to do it. Back in 2015, Dial H for Hero artist Joe Quinones pitched a Batman '89 book to DC with writer Kate Leth. 

"[O]ur story would have picked up the threads left by Tim Burton’s Batman Returns," Quinones said (opens in new tab). "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."

There have been some changes inside DC in the past five years; perhaps they're more receptive to this idea now?

Here's some of the art Quinones included with the pitch, including 'casting' Geena Davis as Poison Ivy:

Heck, they could even bring back Prince's character Gemini from the 'Batdance' and 'Partyman' music videos. 

Plus, if anniversaries are your thing... when The Flash film comes out in 2022, it'll be the 30th anniversary of Keaton's last appearance as Batman - 1992's Batman Returns (opens in new tab).

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)