Batman And Robin: The Official Comic Adaptation
DC Comics (1997)
WRITER: Akiva Goldsman
ADAPTATION: Dennis O’Neil
PENCILER: Rodolfo Damaggio
INKER: Bill Sienkiewicz
COLORIST: Pat Garrahy
COVER ART: C. Michael Dudash
LETTERER: Albert DeGuzman
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
EDITOR: Scott Peterson
Adapting the Joel Schumacher film. Mister Freeze is causing trouble in Gotham City, stealing the diamonds he needs to power his temperature-lowering costume. Freeze is a scientist trying to find a cure for his wife’s McGregor’s Syndrome, which Alfred is now in the early stages of. His surrogate niece Barbara has come to visit. Meanwhile another scientist uses plant extract to create a super soldier he calls Bane but his assistant and eco-nut, Pamela Isley, learns about it so he tries to kill her, turning her into Poison Ivy instead. She takes control of Bane and wants to wipe out the human race so nature can start over clean. As Batman works out his trust issues, which is getting old with Robin, Barbara learns their identities and joins the fight as Batgirl just as Ivy tries to eliminate Freeze’s wife to get rid of the “competition”. She frames Batman with Freeze, who now swears revenge and plans to freeze the world. The new terrific trio join forces to stop Ivy and Bane, and proves to Freeze his wife is alive and Ivy was the one who tried to kill her. Using Freeze’s cure for the early stages (his wife is an advanced case, which is why she’s in cryogenic stasis) Alfred is okay.
What they got right: The first panel has the director starting the scene from the movie, which was cute. Though space does necessitate speeding through the story it hits all the important beats rather well and still tries to work in character development as best they can, including Bruce learning to trust that Dick knows what he’s doing and won’t necessarily end up like his parents. The costumes are drawn in the style of the movie and look good.
What they got wrong: In this case resembling the movie is wrong because the movie isn’t very good. Adaptation issues abound, while l like the new Robin costume as a superhero costume it isn’t Robin’s costume as they seem to be swiping some Nightwing elements but still trying to pass it off as a Robin costume. Barbara is Commissioner Gordon’s daughter, which is important to why she becomes Batgirl. Here she joins up simply because she finds out that Alfred doesn’t consider himself a slave like she thought and just wants to be a superhero because she does. At least in the adaptation she’s only here to fight the girl villain and not much else. The jokes miss more than they hit and I wish O’Neil had dropped more than he did.
Recommendation: If you really want to know the story, avoid the movie and read this. It’s less time and less damaging to your joy.