Ten-year-old Poe was the perfect mark for the marketing blitz for 1989’s Batman. I had hardly read any comics (aside from ALF and Madballs), never collected Super Friends or Secret Wars toys, never even watched a Batman cartoon to my knowledge. My most recent fad at the time was Kenner’s Robocop line and its attendant Marvel cartoon show.
But man, did I buy into the Batman hype. I remember reading the novelization of the movie at least twice, and I owned the comic adaptation, collectible cards, and who knows what else. I also began buying Batman some comics at the time. Of course, like many adolescents, I was a bit put off by the mature, grim and gritty themes being played out in Batman comics in the wake of The Dark Knight Returns at the time–I think one of my first Batman comics was the issue where the Joker beats Robin with a tire iron then blows his ass up.
But I digress: after my father took me to see Batman on opening weekend, we went to Child World at the Hanover Mall to see if any Batman toys were available. The ToyBiz figures had hit stores by then, but Batman himself was sold out; I had to settle for the Joker and Bob the Goon. Even back then, I both liked Bob the Goon (played in the movie by Jack Nicholson’s friend Tracey Walter) because he was an odd, endearing character to have as a figure, and disliked him because he was dead. Back then (and even, to a degree, now) it bothered me to own a toy of a character whom I knew could not participate in continuing adventures with. (The same holds true for the Joker, I suppose, but even ten-year-old Poe knew supervillains never stayed dead.)