Warning! Contains major spoilers for Batman ’89 #1!
The latest Batman comic brings back the work of Tim Burton, though the works included don’t involve the Caped Crusader alone. Batman ’89 #1 also features Easter eggs of other iconic films that the director has done. There are likely to be even more in the future for fans to keep an eye out for.
Tim Burton has created numerous films with macabre visuals and styles that audiences have loved for many years. From Edward Scissorhands (1990) to Corpse Bride (2005), his filmography is long and recognizable. This includes his work on Batman (1989) which is making a comeback within comics. DC is revisiting the world of the film to tell a new story that expands on the one originally told, while introducing elements that didn’t make it into the final version.
Batman ’89 #1 has the creative team of Sam Hamm, Joe Quinones, Leonardo Ito, and Clayton Cowles. This issue focuses on Billy Dee Williams’ Harvey Dent, who will eventually become Two-Face. While this series is revisiting the iconic film – and even throwing in references to the sequels – there are numerous other movies that are also referenced in this first issue. These Easter Eggs center on other staple movies directed by Tim Burton, including The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Beetlejuice (1988).
The issue takes place on Halloween, making it possible for the background cast to dress up as several of Tim Burton’s many quirky characters for the occasion. The references to The Nightmare Before Christmas in this issue include a little girl dressed up as Sally, while three other characters are seen wearing masks representing Lock, Shock, and Barrel. On the same page with Sally, Lock, and Barrel, are some of the main characters from Beetlejuice, though the titular character does not make an appearance – how could he when Michael Keaton is already in a different lead role here? However, Adam and Barbara Maitland are here in their human appearance, not as their monstrous counterparts. There is also a young woman dressed up as Lydia in her red bridal dress. One other Beetlejuice character on a separate page is the Ms. Argentina receptionist, whose pageant sash is covered up by a dress she has stolen during some looting.
There are also a couple of Mars Attacks! (1996) references, including the Martian Girl and Byron Williams in his Egyptian casino outfit. In the same area as Byron, is Large Marge, from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985). One of the decorations for Gotham’s Halloween festivities is the pumpkin-headed scarecrow from Sleepy Hollow (1999). While the whole issue is one giant homage to Batman (1989), there are also a couple nods to Batman Returns (1992). These include a child dressed up as the Danny DeVito’s Penguin and a skeleton-costumed individual next to Shock and the Beetlejuice receptionist. These are all the Easter eggs present within this first issue, though Tim Burton still has many other iconic movies and characters. Fans can look forward to seeing more of Batman and catching nods to the films when more issues release.