Detective Comics recreated the thrilling conclusion to 1995’s Batman Forever but one simple difference redefines it and one of its characters.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Detective Comics #1052, on sale now from DC Comics.
Comic book movies often take cues from the original source material but sometimes the comics themselves take cues from their most popular adaptations. That’s been the case most recently in Detective Comicswith the Dark Knight’s world incorporating 1995’s batmanforever by bringing Nicole Kidman’s character Dr. Chase Meridian to Gotham City. Although this version of the character has mostly stayed away from her her cinematic love interest Batman and anything relating to her her original cinematic adventure, that all changed.
Dr. Meridian opened the latest issue with a flashback to many years ago in Detective Comics #1052 (by Mariko Tamaki, Max Raynor, Luis Guerrero, and VC’s Ariana Maher). The reason why this sequence is remarkable is that it brings the character back to her roots de ella by recreating batmanforever, in particular, its thrilling finale. However, it does so with one major difference.
The issue opened with Dr. Chase Meridian being dangled from a green question mark tower with a bomb strapped to her hand. Although it isn’t identical, one can’t help but draw a comparison to batmanforever‘s final confrontation. In both cases, the Riddler kidnapped Meridian and threatened to drop her to her doom from her. The film had it be a choice between her and Robin as to which one the Dark Knight had to save. This time, however, it’s only Meridian, with the addition of a bomb strapped to her hand. As to why the Riddler targeted her? In both cases, it’s because of her love life. However, in the comics, she isn’t in love with the Caped Crusader.
Detective Comics established that Riddler’s previous girlfriend dumped him for Meridian. Although it’s pretty obvious that the good doctor is the far better romantic choice, Edward Nygma hates being outdone by anyone in anything. Therefore, he tried to make Meridian pay. The Dark Knight saved her from this perilous fate but he wasn’t motivated by love in this case either.
The comics have completely removed the romantic ties between Meridian and the Dark Knight. The fact that she was introduced previously as, quite possibly, the only good psychologist in all of Gotham and not as just another love interest made this clear before this issue. By recreating batmanforeverthe comic brings the character back to her movie origins and makes it clear that there is not and never will be any romantic connection between her and the Dark Knight, even when he saves her life.
This is undoubtedly a good thing. In batmanforever, her undeniably lustful infatuation with the Dark Knight made her seem unprofessional. She was brought in as an expert in split personalities, like Two-Face, but she had an unhealthy obsession with someone who had the exact same problem-Batman. It really took away from the character and made what could have been a strong intelligent woman be forever defined by her male love interest in her. The way that she has been introduced thus far in the comics has gone a long way to undoing that and this scene finally puts it to bed.
batmanforever‘s final choice between Meridian and Robin was a defining moment for that cinematic pairing between her and the Dark Knight and established their romantic relationship. By redefining the motivations between the two in that scene, as well as giving Chase Meridian another, totally separate love interest for it too, it makes it definitively clear that this is not the character from the 1995 movie. This is a modern version of Dr. Chase Meridan for a modern age and she is the one who defines her own character as her, not Batman.
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