Battier and Better

Batman Returns is a funny, gorgeous improvement on the original and a lesson on how pop entertainment can soar into the realm of poetry

Scared, scarred Selina Kyle is trudging homeward after another wretched day as secretary to the mighty Power & Light lord Max Shreck when she bumps into a fellow in a black cape. "Wow! The Batman!" she apostrophizes. "Or is it just -- Batman?"

The 1989 movie Batman, director Tim Burton's first go at the Bob Kane comic- book character, earned well over $1 billion in its theatrical and video release and in a boffo merchandise blitz. Yet, however imposing its grosses, however many kids in developing countries wore T shirts with the logo that is supposed to look like a bat...

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