Warning: SPOILERS for Detective Comics #1009
The era of Batman movies that put George Clooney in the silver-highlighted, skate-deploying, nippled Batsuit of Batman & Robin may be dead and gone, but some memories just don't fade. Especially not for the Batman of DC Comics, who just took another shot at Clooney's rendition--confirming bats never forget, either.
The joke comes in the latest Detective Comics #1009, when Bruce Wayne suggests that a quick acting lesson from Clooney is always on the hook, since the celebrity "owes me" for reasons no Batman fan will have to look up. Sure, it may not be on the same meta level as Batman bringing Brooklyn Nine-Nine into DC's Universe, but it's still a treat for any comic movie fan. Especially those who think that George Clooney has served enough time to earn a pass for his part in a movie audiences may just want to forget altogether.
The joking reference will obviously be taken as goodhearted by any and all Batman fans, since Clooney himself has taken as apologetic a stance as possible for his time in the cowl. When appearing at New York Comic Con back in 2014 promoting Tomorrowland, Clooney dealt with his comic book movie legacy head-on, outright apologizing for his Batman performance in the much-maligned film:
I think since Batman that I’ve been disinvited from Comic-Con for 20 years. I see the comment sections on all you guys. I just met Adam West there [referring to behind the NYCC main stage] and I apologized to him. Sorry about the nipples on the suit. Freeze, freeze, I apologize for that.
But the blockbuster role has stuck with Clooney for more than just comedic reference, or offering to refund fans their money when mentioning they saw Batman & Robin. In fact, after working with Ben Affleck as a producer on Argo Clooney offered his advice to turn down the Batman v Superman role. While Affleck's turn will be remembered better, Clooney explained that Batman & Robin's profound impact on his film career both in front of and behind the camera:
Up until that moment, I was an actor only concerned with finding work. After the failure of that film creatively, I understood that I needed to take control of the films I made, not just the role. My next three films were Out of Sight, Three Kings and O Brother, Where Art Thou?
So one might say that, as opposed to what's suggested in Detective Comics... it's actually George Clooney who owes Batman a favor for the career he went on to build as actor, producer, and director. But it's probably best to just assume the two are even, and enjoy this comic reference as it stands. Check out the full credits and plot synopsis for the issue (to pick up your own copy) below:
- DETECTIVE COMICS #1009 (2019)
- Written by: Peter J. Tomasi
- Art by: Christian Duce, Luis Guerrero
- Cover by: Name Name
- “Take Your Shot” begins! Deadshot has returned to Gotham City following a long stint with the Suicide Squad, and Batman fears that without the oversight of Amanda Waller, Floyd Lawton will go back to his old ways. Meanwhile, after taking Lex Luthor’s offer, Mr. Freeze begins taking action to get exactly what he wants and killing anyone who stands in his way.
Detective Comics #1009 is available now at your local comic book shop, or direct from DC Comics.