Why Did DC Comics Pass on This Burton-verse Batman ’89 Series?

03.09.16 2 years ago

Picture this: Tim Burton's Batman cast plus a Billy Dee Williams Two-Face, Geena Davis Poison Ivy, and Christina Ricci Batgirl. No, it's not a Hollywood pitch but a comic book called Batman '89 that DC Comics decided to pass on.

This town needs an enema!

LasertimePodcast.com spotted concept art on Joe Quinones' Tumblr. The artist explained they were from Batman ’89, a miniseries riffing off DC's Batman'66 and Wonder Woman “77 titles he pitched with artist/writer Kate Leth last year.

Inspired by DC”s recent Batman ’66 series, our story 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.

We had a lot of fun ideas for the series overall, but in the end it was turned down. Regardless, these were fun a lot of fun to draw and Kate and I got to bond over our love of Michelle Pfeiffer”s Catwoman.


Quinones is currently working on Howard the Duck for Marvel, among other things, and explained a bit more via Twitter. “We had a whole list of regular Burton actors we would have 'cast,'” he wrote. However, “likeness rights wouldn't allow us to literally draw any of these actors, but their looks would be inspired by them.”

Leth, also working for Marvel now on their Hellcat series, is no stranger to licensed comics having worked on another Burton adaptation, Edward Scissorhands, as well as Fraggle Rock and Adventure Time comics. She called Batman '89 “My greatest dream!”

Unless there were some looming rights issues, I can't imagine a scenario in which DC would say no to this. Burton's Batman is a classic with a huge fanbase waiting to throw money at them.

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