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The 1989 Batman movie almost had secret Marvel & Archie Comics easter eggs, until DC's top editor killed it

The first victims of Jack NIcholson's Joker gas could've been some of Marvel and Archie's earliest heroines

Image credit: Warner Bros.

Cameos, homages, and easter eggs have become a quintessential part of comic book movies, and, as people have been honoring the 35th anniversary of Michael Keaton's first Batman movie, an interesting homage that almost happened in the DC movie came to life.

"My ‘constructive’ contribution to it was picking up that the Joker’s two assistants were named after Millie The Model and Patsy Walker (if memory serves—coulda been Katy Keene) in the script and preventing that DC-Marvel crossover," writes one-time DC president/publisher Paul Levitz on his Facebook page.

The two characters he is referring to seem to be the characters Candy Walker (played by Debbie Mills) and Amanda Keeler (played by the late Rachel Ryan) - early victims of the Joker's Smylex gas (AKA Joker Gas) as seen in still photos of a newscast, and later in various displays such as the one above. The fact that Levitz refers to them as the Joker's assistants likely harkens back to an earlier draft of the film where the pair played a bigger - but still deadly - role.

Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

So it seems Candy Walker would have been the Patsy Walker homage, while Amanda Keeler would have been Katy Keene.

Patsy Walker is a 1940s rom-com teen character from Marvel Comics, later revamped to be the superhero Hellcat. Katy Keene also originated in the 1940s, marketed as "America's queen of pin-ups and fashions."

Looking back through various drafts of the 1989 Batman script, their character names were also once portmanteaus of two famous models at the time - Christie Brinkly and Kelly Emberg. In a 1986 version of Sam Hamm's script, their names were Kelly Brinkley and Christie Emberg.

He is vengeance, he is the night, he is... one of Popverse's favorite subjects. Learn how to do a Dark Knight movie marathon right with our Batman movie guide, and for the true World's Greatest Detectives out there, dive deep into the heart of Gotham City by getting to know Batman with Popverse.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant: Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)


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