Batman Forever: The Official Comic Adaptation
DC Comics (1995)
SCREENWRITERS: Lee Batchler, Janet Scott Batchler, & Akiva Goldsman
ADAPTATION: Dennis O’Neil
PENCILER: Michal Dutkiewicz
INKER: Scott Hanna
COLORIST: Adrienne Roy
COVER ART: John Hanley
LETTERER: Albert DeGuzman
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
EDITOR: Scott Peterson
Two-Face has escaped from Arkham and sworn revenge on Batman. Meanwhile, scientist Edward Nigma tries to get Bruce Wayne to build his new device that beams TV directly into your mind, but Bruce is concerned with certain ethical and moral violations that could come from it and refuses. As Batman deals with various traps set by Two-Face he crosses paths with psychiatrist Chase Meridian, who immediately falls for Batman, but later falls for Bruce. Nigma starts leaving riddles to mess with Bruce and joins with Two-Face to fund his machine anyway, using it to also read minds and eventually deduces Bruce’s alter ego. Before that one of Two-Face’s death traps at the circus led to the death of Dick Grayson’s parents. Dick agrees to stay at Wayne Manor, but Dick wants to kill Two-Face. Learning that Bruce is Batman, Dick insists on joining up, later taking on the name Robin. Nigma and Two-Face destroy the Batcave but don’t know about the secret bonus Batcave. Batman and Robin go to rescue a captured Chase from Riddler and Two-Face, but Robin gets captured and the Riddler sets up a trap to force our hero to choose between Chase or Robin, or metaphorically Bruce and Batman. He saves them both, Two-Face is killed and feedback from Nigma’s machine locks his mind, Nigma swearing he’s Batman.
What they got right: The comic is pretty faithful to the movie…though that could also be a point for “got wrong” as the movie generally isn’t very good. I’ll get to that in a moment of course. The comic also includes a few deleted scenes, some of which are a decent addition and others aren’t.
What they got wrong: The movie is generally terrible and no proper adaptation is going to fix that. Two-Face is way over the top, acting a bit more like Jack Nicholson’s Joker at times. This is during Jim Carrey’s screwball period’s peak but Frank Gorshin he isn’t. The jokes are mostly terrible. Chase Meridian may be as messed up as her patients. Not Harley Quinn levels but she needs a therapist of her own. I’ve never been a fan of her character and the “Bruce” metaphor could have been done better had they kidnapped Alfred. Plus yet another movie love interest learns Bruce is Batman.
Recommendation: Movie or comic adaptation? Ignore them both. This story is terrible in any format and I bet the novelization isn’t much better. Joel Schumacher did not make a good Batman movie and the next one was worse than this.