Batman (1989) Poster



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  • Note: For this list only the creators of the characters first appearances are listed. As with all comic book characters, Batman and his supporting cast have had several reinventions and different contributions from different writers. Theses include different iterations in different mediums that all have added different concepts to the overall mythology of the characters.

    Obviously theirs, Bruce Thomas Wayne/Batman called only Bruce Wayne or Batman on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" from Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.

    Alfred the butler, in the comics he's full name is Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth, however in his first comic appearance he was original called Alfred Beagle. The Beagle version of Alfred made his first appearance in the comic story "Here Comes Alfred" from Batman #16 (April-May 1943) by writer Don Cameron and artist Bob Kane. The character was later reintroduced as Alfred Pennyworth (complete with a different appearance) in comics continuity by writer Bill Finger and artist Jerry Robinson.

    Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon, in the comics his full name is James Worthington Gordon. Sr. Just like Batman he made his first appearance in the the comic story "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" from Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939) by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.

    The Joker, who was given the real name of Jack Naiper in the movie, made his first appearance in the comic story "The Joker" from Batman #1 (Spring 1940) by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane from a concept by illustrator Jerry Robinson.

    Victoria "Vicki" Vale, called Vicki Vale on screen, made her first appearance in the comic story "The Scoop of the Century!" from Batman #49 (October 1948) by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.

    District Attorney Harvey Dent, who later turns into the villain Two-Face in the sequel Batman Forever (1995), made his first appearance in the comic story "The Crimes Of Two-Face" from Detective Comics #66 (August 1942) by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.

    Bruce Wayne's parent's father, Dr. Thomas Wayne and mother Martha Wayne, who both appear in Bruce's flashback scene to his parents' death, made their first comic appearance in another flashback in the comic story "The Batman Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom" from Detective Comics #33 (November 1939). Although listed as being created by writers Bill Finger & Gardner Fox and artists Bill Finger & Jerry Robinson, it's hard to tell who contribute which attributes to the characters.

    All other characters were created just for the film by the film's writers. Edit

  • It's a long story so here goes....

    After the success of the comic book Superhero Superman, artist Bob Kane tried to come up with his own hero "The Bat-Man", the character Kane created wore a red suit with a domino mask, blonde hair and a pair of bat wings. Kane then asked for writer Bill Finger's assistance on the project. Finger rejected several of Kane's initial ideas about the character and suggested several changes in design and characterization. His changes included changing his hair colour, a black colour scheme for the costume, adding a cape and cowl, the idea that he shouldn't have any superpowers, his civilian identity of Bruce Wayne (which Finger named after Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland and general Anthony "Mad Anthony" Wayne), the origin story about his parents being shot in an alley and the idea that he should also be a detective.

    Kane marketed the "Batman" character to National Comics, and Batman's first story was published in "Detective Comics" #27 (May 1939). The script was written by an uncredited Finger, making him the first of many ghost writers to work on comics officially credited to Bob Kane. When Kane negotiated a contract about selling the rights to the "Batman" character, he claimed he was the sole creator and demanded a sole mandatory byline acknowledging him as such on all comics and adaptations. Out of fairness, Kane agreed to pay Finger his share with money out of his earnings. Unfortunately, the agreement was never put into writing, and Finger never saw a cent.

    Finger would go on to ghost write Batman stories up into the mid 1960's, either with Kane or for DC Comics directly. During his writing tenure, Finger was responsible for the unaccredited creation of many key players and pieces in the Batman universe. These included the Batmobile, the Batcave, Gotham City, and Batman's nickname "The Dark Knight. He also came up with several secondary Batman characters including," his sidekick Robin, his arch-nemesis The Joker, and his occasional love interest Catwoman, as well as Commissioner Gordon, The Riddler and The Scarecrow. Despite all of this, the only writing credit that Finger received for Batman in his lifetime were two episode of Batman (1966), The Clock King's Crazy Crimes (1966) and The Clock King Gets Crowned (1966) which he co-wrote with friend Charles Sinclair.

    Eventually, the truth did come out. Finger attended the first official New York Comic Con in 1965 and sat on a panel with other comic book creators where he revealed the role he played in Batman's creation. Finger's story gained exposure in a two-page article titled "If the truth be known, or a Finger in every plot!," written and distributed by pop culturist Jerry Bails. Kane caught wind of Finger's appearance not long after and replied in the form of a printed letter to Batman fan magazine, "Batmania," where he labeled his old friend a fraud. Finger, who by this time was deeply in debt, continued to write for various projects in and outside of comic books until his death in 1974, when he was found alone in his apartment by friend Charles Sinclair. Finger died penniless and his contributions to the character was never acknowledged in his lifetime.

    However, after the popularity of Tim Burton's Batman (1989), Kane acknowledged Finger as "a contributing force" in the character's creation, and wrote in his 1989 autobiography "Batman and Me" that "Now that my long-time friend and collaborator is gone, I must admit that Bill never received the fame and recognition he deserved. He was an unsung hero ... I often tell my wife, if I could go back fifteen years, before he died, I would like to say. 'I'll put your name on it now. You deserve it.'"

    Many failed attempts were made over the years by Finger's family to get him recognition for his work, including a request from his second wife Lyn Simmons to have his name listed in the credits of Tim Burton's Batman (1989).

    Finger remained largely unknown, even to Batman fans, until writer Marc Tyler Nobleman began investigating the late author's life for a book being written about him called "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman". Nobleman went in search of Finger's family to help fill in the gaps and give him credit. While Finger's autopsy report claimed no relatives were present, Nobleman discovered that Finger had a son, Fred.

    Unfortunately, Fred, who was an outspoken proponent of his father, had died in 1992. Nobleman learned that Fred was also homosexual, leading him to believe that Fred had no children before his death. The trail was starting to go cold.

    However, after receiving new information from Finger's nephew, Nobleman discovered Fred indeed had a daughter, Athena Finger, who was born two years after Finger's death. Nobleman met with Athena and convinced her to meet with DC about getting recognition for her grandfather. DC in turn welcomed Athena with open arms, cut her a check and invited her to the premiere of The Dark Knight (2008) with all expenses paid. It wasn't until around 2012 that DC offered her more money. This time, however, she had to sign away her rights to her grandfather's claim. With encouragement from Nobleman, Athena rejected the money and took DC to court. It took years of litigation before a settlement was reached. A major turning point in the case was the unearthing of recorded interviews with Bob Kane during the writing of his autobiography. During one of the interviews, Tom Andrae, Kane's co-writer, asked Kane to what extent Finger contributed to Batman's creation. "Bill was responsible for 50 to 75 percent," Kane bluntly responded.

    Finally, in September 2015, DC Entertainment issued a statement informing the public that Finger would be listed as co-creator on any piece of Batman media henceforth. Starting with the superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and the second season of Gotham (2014), an updated acknowledgement for the character appeared as "Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger".

    Finger's story was later used as the subject of the Hulu original documentary, Batman & Bill (2017). Edit

  • The film's script in the final fifth draft states that Jack slipped.

    "Batman reaches, gets a poor grip. He stares, perplexed. at the stricken expression in Jack's eyes.


    Jack is sliding out of Batman's grasp. A long BEAT -- Jack looks up at him in terror and SLIPS AWAY to plunge the TWO STORIES DOWN into the CATCH BASIN of BUBBLING, TOXIC WASTE, SCREAMING ALL THE WAY."

    This is reflected in the film's official novelisation, which was based on the screenplay's fourth draft.

    "Jack lost the pipe, but the Batman held him. His grip wasn't firm; Jack could feel the bat's cloth-covered fingers slipping away. He tried to reach his own hand up to grip the other's wrist, but there was no strength left. Even through his burning nostrils, he could smell the fumes below. There was nothing left. Was this the end of the joke?

    He felt his wrist slide again, felt the bat's grasp slip by his fingers.

    Jack fell."

    However, in the actual film, it plays off more ambiguously. After Batman goes to save Jack from falling, he displays a resentful or contemptible expression as he looks down at Jack dangling from his grip, then looks as if he proceeds to let go on purpose. It is entirely possible that he grabbed him out of impulse, then realized that Jack, who is of a dangerous psychopathic nature and a person who had just attempted to murder him, wasn't a person worth saving and let him go. This would also appear to make sense with some of the rest of the film's context, as Batman also allows several of Jack's henchmen to die. Edit

  • Yes, although he mistreated her often, and probably wouldn't have acknowledged their relationship as important. Edit

  • Yes, Jack Napier (the Joker) is the primary villain in the film. He is the arch-nemesis of Batman. Edit

  • Despite the best efforts of District Attorney Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams) and police commissioner James Gordon (Pat Hingle), Gotham City has become synonymous with "crime". One of the worst criminals is the Joker (Jack Nicholson), real name Jack Napier, once the enforcer for crime boss Carl Grissom (Jack Palance), and now horribly disfigured after a firefight in a chemical factory. Enter the Bat-Man (Michael Keaton) whose concealed identity is that of mild-mannered billionaire Bruce Wayne. With newspaper reporter Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl) and photo journalist Vicky Vale (Kim Basinger) on his tail, it is up to Batman to stop the maniacal Joker before he takes over Gotham City's underworld. Edit

  • The movie is based on characters-created by American comic book artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger for DC Comics-first appearing in Detective Comics #27 in May of 1939. The screenplay was written by American screenwriters Sam Hamm and Warren Skaaren. It was the first installment in Warner Bros.' Batman film series, followed by Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), and Batman & Robin (1997). The film series was rebooted in 2005 with Batman Begins (2005). Edit

  • Gotham City is a fictional U.S. port city located on the north-eastern Atlantic coast. It was originally a stand-in for New York City but has also resembled other crime-ridden, highly-populated urban centers such as Chicago and Detroit. Some sources, including Mayfair Games' authorized (but now out-of-print) Atlas of the DC Universe, have placed Gotham City in the state of New Jersey. Christopher Nolan (director of Batman Begins (2005) and its sequels, The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012)) locates Gotham City in the middle of the estuary of the Liberty River where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The river separates most of Gotham from the mainland. The River Merchant divides Uptown from Midtown, while Midtown is separated from Downtown by the Gotham River. The Narrows is a small island in the Gotham River. A creek divides the district of South Hinkley from the rest of Gotham City. Gotham International Airport is in Pettsburg, to the north of the Liberty River estuary. The current DC Universe version of Gotham City is separated from the mainland by the Gotham River, bridged by a series of bridges and tunnels. The east and south sides of Gotham face the Atlantic Ocean. The city is further divided by the Sprang River (named for Dick Sprang) on the northern end and the Finger River (for Bill Finger) to the south. Tiny Blackgate Isle to the south-east is home to Blackgate Maximum Security Penitentiary. (Blackgate is replaced by Stonegate Penitentiary in the animated series Batman: The Animated Series (1992) and its spin-offs.) Edit

  • Because in the comics, Batman started out solo. Edit

  • How the young Bruce Wayne grew up into a martial artist vigilante named Batman is explained more clearly in Batman Begins (2005), the series reboot. His anger clearly drives his obsession to prevent such an event from happening to anyone else. Based on his own scarred psyche, he pledges to stop what happened to him from repeating. In the comics, Bruce swore an oath over his parents' grave to avenge their deaths. Bruce studied hard, graduated from high school early, and traveled around the world studying various subjects and disciplines such as forensics, martial arts, criminal psychiatry, etc. to return to Gotham City as a young adult. While musing on how to begin his war on crime, Bruce was inspired by a bat flying through the window of his father's study. Edit

  • This is the question that, oddly enough, doesn't get answered until Batman Forever (1995). The source of Bruce choosing to become a 6-foot bat comes from his fear of bats when he was younger and his decision to use that fear against his enemies. This is also discussed in the comic version, in Detective Comics #33, and further evolved in Batman #47, where Bruce was sitting in his den, trying to figure out what symbol he could take. "Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot," Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..." As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to assume the persona of Batman. This scene also occurs in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One. Edit

  • The front cover of the DVD case, the Batwing, and the Bat Signal all have an image of the traditional Bat insignia. However, on his chest, it looks different because there are two additional spikes at the bottom. Edit

  • Technically no. Batman is one of the few mortal humans that have no actual "superpowers" that is considered the mark of a superhero. Due to his cunning ingenuity, detective skills, stealth, and martial arts skill, Batman is actually able to contend with most super-villains and even some superheroes such as Superman. Edit

  • She screamed a total of 22 times. Edit

  • Warner Brothers originally intended to use the Joker in Batman sequels. One original script for Batman Returns (1992) involved a newspaper story claiming the Joker's body had mysteriously disappeared. Later, when producers believed George Clooney would return as Batman in the 5th movie, ideas were generated involving Scarecrow applying his hallucinatory formula to Batman, who would see Jack Nicholson as the Joker in his nightmarish visions. After Batman & Robin (1997) did poorly at the box office, and George Clooney vowed never to wear the cape and cowl again, those plans were scrapped, though Scarecrow and his hallucinogen were eventually used in Batman Begins (2005). Prior to the Batman Begins reboot, Warner Brothers considered doing a Batman Beyond live action film. Nicholson was in talks to reprise his role as the Joker. Edit

  • Yes and quite deliberately so. One of the unwritten rules of the Batman mythology is that whilst he is a vigilante, he goes to great lengths to avoid killing and does not use firearms. While he never uses firearms (handheld "cannons") in this film, he does use military-grade vehicles (complete with mounted machine guns and missile launchers), and he premeditatively kills many of the Joker's henchmen (an unknown number) by blowing up their chemical plant with explosive ordinances delivered from the Batmobile. (Since the release of this film, Batman's use of war weaponry has become a definitive characteristic of his across multiple franchises, but in most stories, he doesn't use these things to kill people.) Another example of him killing a criminal in this film is when he uses his legs to grip one the the Joker's henchmen by the neck and flings the henchman into the open shaft of a very tall stairwell, although this may have been more of a reflex on Batman's part. Edit



The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • He's crazy, and sadistic. Edit

  • While Batman and Vicki dangle by their fingers from the ledge of the cathedral tower, the Joker starts kicking at the bricks in order to break them free. His helicopter flies in and sends down a ladder, but Batman snares the Joker's leg with a wire lasso and then tethers it to a stone gargoyle. The gargoyle breaks free under the pull, weighting down the Joker, and sending him to his death. Suddenly, the ledge breaks, and Batman and Vicki begin to plummet, too. Fortunately, Batman is able to use a grappling hook to suspend them in the air. Later, in an address to the city, Commissioner Gordon assures the public that all of the Joker's men have been rounded up and that Gotham is now crime-free. Harvey Dent reads a letter from Batman promising that he is available should crime rise again. They then unveil the new bat signal. Vicki says goodbye to Knox and walks toward a limousine where Alfred (Michael Gough) is waiting to drive her to Wayne Mayor even though Bruce might be a bit late. Edit

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