O’Neil, Dennis, Michal Dutkiewicz, Scott Hanna, and Adrienne Roy. Batman Forever: The Official Comic Adaptation. 1995.

I have a confession to make.

Batman Forever is my favorite pre-Nolan Batman film.

Most of it is sentimental. I grew up watching this movie. I have fond memories watching it with my sister and my father. We had a bunch of merch from this movie, including a Hot Wheels Batmobile that was my sister’s favorite. Now that I’m older it’s still a bit of a guilty pleasure watch. I like the neon Gotham aesthetic, like the city is vibrant and beating and glittering – yet hiding some very sinister things. Even I will admit that 1989 Batman and Batman Returns are better crafted movies, with more accurate atmosphere and characterization – but I have to be in a specific frame of mind to watch them. They aren’t movies that allow you to jump right into them.

Given that I love the movie, I thought I’d grab the comic and see how it is. If you have seen the movie, skip this plot paragraph. If you haven’t: Two Face has escaped from Arkham Asylum and is out for revenge on Batman, whom he blames for the accident that created him. He attempts to rob the Second Bank of Gotham on the second anniversary of the day Batman captured him. Batman manages to stop him, but he gets away. Edward Nygma, an employee of Wayne Enterprises, is working on a special project: a box that can transmit any TV signal into a viewer’s brain to make them feel they’re inside the show. He shows off his invention to his idol, Bruce Wayne – who turns it down. Nygma swears to make Bruce understand. He becomes the Riddler, takes his creation to Two-Face, and proposes to help him figure out who Batman is in exchange for the funds needed to mass-produce the box. When Bruce Wayne takes in newly orphaned Dick Grayson, who has a vendetta against Two-Face for murdering his family, he slowly realizes Batman may need all the help he can get against the two villains. But Bruce Wayne may need something else – someone else to share his life with. Can Bruce Wayne and Batman peacefully co-exist?

Basically, it’s just like reading the movie. The comic closely follows the script, not the final cut of the movie, in which some scenes were rearranged. It’s pretty close though, so if you’re curious as to what scenes were originally supposed to go where, it’s kinda fun. The art is similar to the art of the movie: bright neon colors, stark shading and contrast. If you’re not committed to the time it’s gonna take to watch the movie, pick up the comic. It’s quick and full of action. Not a must-have for your collection, not even anything special unless you’re picking it up for sentimental value, but fun nonetheless.

– Kathleen