Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Comic Book references in movies Part IV: 'Batman & Robin'

Every writer of the Batman movies had either an extensive prior knowledge of the Batman comic books or did an extensive research before writing the script. Each and every one of the theatrical Batman movies has numerous subtle and not so subtle nods and references to the comic books and reveals an impressive knowledge of the comic book back catalog.
One of the last posts focused on differences and deviations from the comic books from each movie, listing the number of things which were changed to fit the story more and serve it better ( This time we'll focus on all the references and similarities to showcase the writers' knowledge of the Batman stories and to point out what was taken from the comics


While 'Batman' and 'Batman Returns' were primarily based on 1940's and 'Batman Forever' was mostly based on 1970's,  'Batman and Robin' was based primarily on 1960's and the TV show. Michael Uslan, producer: "The 1960s Batman - “Pow, Zap, and Wham.” Fortunately or unfortunately - fortunately for those who only know the 60s TV show - and unfortunately for you and me - 'Batman & Robin' was the Batman of the mid-60s." (BOF int.).

1. Robin's new costume is basically the costume of Nightwing from 1990's with different colors

2. The very first time Batman met Mr. Freeze in 1959's Batman #121, then known as Mr. Zero, Mr. Freeze was in the midst of stealing diamonds

3. Mr. Freezes temperature puns were present in the sixties

4. The idea of Mr. Freeze relaxing in dressing gown in his hideout on ice chair comes from Batman #121

5. Both Barbara and Daphne, Alfred's niece arrive abruptly without notice but are warmly greeted. (Panels from 1969's Batman #216)

6. Alfred also had a brother called Wilfred

7. Poison Ivy's costume is identical to her costume from 60's comics

8. 1989 Black Orchid story reveals that she became who she is when working with Jason Woodrue

9. In the 50's and 60's, Batman and Robin often attended official and public events (panel from 1969's Batman #214)

10. Batman punching a bad guy through a drum or something else was typical in the 60's

11. Bruce Wayne is hallucinating that he's with Poison Ivy when with his girlfriend. (Panel from 1966's Batman #183)

12. Bruce's love interest in the movie is Julie Madison. Julie Madison comes from the earliest Batman stories, and she was Bruce's fiance. In the movie, there's plenty of talk about getting engaged

13. Bane may not the Bane we know from comic books, but he is certainly very much like Ivy's Henchmen Ivan, later called Ivor. The movie Bane is pretty much Ivan, just looking like Bane. The scene where Ivy disguises herself with a wig and Bane/Ivan drives her from the airport comes from 1981's Batman #339)

14. Ivy meets Wayne in her disguise 

15. Ivan is turned into a powerful half man, half plant, just like Bane is a man enhanced with a formula that is based on Ivy's formula which she developed to create carnivore plants (panel from 1982's Batman #344)

16. Evan doesn't speak much except for short and simple sentences and faces Batman 

17. Ivy spreads the seeds of her mutated plants, Bane/Ivan standing beside her

18. Ivy is skilled in fight

19. Batgirl's motorcycle is very reminiscent of the comic book counterpart

20. The entire plot about Mr. Freeze trying to freeze Gotham with a giant freezing ray is taken from 1984's Batman #375)

21. The bright anti freezing suit also appeared in the comics 

22. Ivy's "he loves me, he loves me not" is taken from 1993's Legends of the Dark Knight #42

Sole credit belongs to fellow Batman historian SilverNemesis 


  1. This is not only the worst Batman movie of all time, but also one of the worst movies ever.

    Gotham Streets can you do BruceTimm/Dini's movies versions after your done with Nolan's?

  2. Oh, that would be just to much coverage, plus Im focusing more on movies & comic books

  3. Well I talking about the animated movies lie Mask of Phantasm.

  4. Its interesting to see now that Burton's Batman is the 40s Batman, Forever is the 70s Batman and B&R is the 60s Batman

  5. Yeah the entire Batman film history strangely mimics the comics history.

  6. This is incredible. I thought I was pretty expert at noticing the references in Batman movies, but this... I'm amazed. I already liked B&R (though I wish Kilmer could've been Batman again, and think that would've made the film work), but now I like it more!

  7. Looks like I'm a little late to comment here, but thanks for posting these "comic book reference" articles. They're awesome.

    I would add to this list Detective Comics #373. It features Batman and Robin racing to catch Mr. Freeze and using his technology to cure Aunt Harriet, who is deathly ill in the hospital. I always assumed it was the inspiration for the Alfred plot in Batman & Robin.

  8. Wow, this made me hate Batman & Robin slightly less, which is saying a lot for this movie. Also The Dark Knight trilogy mirrored 1980's and 1990's Batman comics.

  9. Jason Woodrue is the Floronic Man, a DC supervillain, only he doesn't appear as the Floronic Man in this movie.