Den of Geek
The Batman is full of easter eggs and call backs to DC comics, noir films, and even real-life events! Here's everything we've found so far.
This article contains The Batman spoilers. You can our spoiler-free review here.
The Batman introduces DC Comics fans to a whole new take on the Dark Knight and Gotham City, courtesy of director Matt Reeves and star Robert Pattinson. It also brings new version of rogues like Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Penguin (Colin Farrell), the Riddler (Paul Dano), and Carmine Falcone (John Turturro). The Batman has also arguably delivered the definitive version of Detective Jim Gordon, who is played brilliantly by Jeffrey Wright.
With all of these characters comes decades of DC history. As you might expect, that means Reeves’ film is filled to the brim with Easter eggs, references, and homages to huge Batman moments from the comics. But it also has a surprising amount of callbacks to some of Hollywood’s greatest films — as well as grisly real-world events, especially when it comes to this take on the Riddler.
And now that the movie is finally out, we’re keeping track of all The Batman‘s biggest Easter eggs and references! Spot anything we missed below? Let us know in the comments.
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Here we go…
But there’s another villain who this version of the Riddler has a lot in common with…
In the process of dragging Thomas Wayne’s good name through the mud, the movie talks about a journalist named Edward Elliot, who was set to expose the darker history of the Wayne family, and who ended up on the wrong end of Carmine Falcone, and thus dead as can be. We can’t help but notice that this character shares a surname with Tommy Elliot, better known to DC Comics fans as the villainous Hush, a character who shares several similarities with the version of the Riddler we get on screen here:
The version of the Riddler that we meet in this movie bears almost as much resemblance to the real life Zodiac Killer as he does to a comic book supervillain. Just SOME of these similarities include:
Although it’s not one of the Batman comics Reeves lists as a major source of inspiration for The Batman, Geoff Johns and Gary Franks’ Batman: Earth One series proves to be highly influential when it comes to the backstory of the Waynes and Alfred Pennyworth:
Carmine Falcone reveals to Bruce that his father, Thomas Wayne, once hired the mob boss to take care of a journalist who was investigating the dark side of the Wayne family, including Martha’s secret past as a patient in Arkham Asylum. While Alfred later sets the record straight, revealing that Thomas only wanted Falcone to intimidate the reporter into abandoning the story, not kill him, this revelation initially sends Bruce spiraling.
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Dark revelations about the Waynes’ sordid past have factored into many DC comics of the last 80 years as weapons used by supervillains to “break the Bat.” Two specific examples come to mind:
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While he doesn’t appear in the movie, memories of infamous Gotham mobster Sal Maroni weigh heavily on Gotham. After all, he was the main rival of Carmine Falcone, who turned police informant in order to put the gangster behind bars and take over his “drops” drug empire.
Maroni was first introduced in Detective Comics #66 (1942) by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, which is also the first appearance of Two-Face. “Boss” Maroni was the criminal who throws acid on Harvey Dent‘s face, transforming Batman’s former ally into one of his greatest villains.
If you’re not a comic book reader, chances are you still recognize this character from another little Batman movie called The Dark Knight, where he is played by Eric Roberts.
The disappearance and death of roommate Annika Koslov is what fuels Selina Kyle’s mission to finally take down her father. Although Annika is technically an original character for the movie, she was very likely modeled after Holly Robinson, the “stray” Selina has watched over since Year One. Introduced as a child prostitute in Miller and Mazzucchelli’s gritty, Taxi Driver-inspired reimagining of Gotham City, Holly has gone on to appear in many other comics over the decades, most famously in Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke’s noir-tinged Catwoman series. She even wore the Catsuit for a time after Infinite Crisis!
Max and Charlie Carver play two of the Penguin’s henchmen, twin doormen who have the thankless job of guarding the door to the Iceberg Lounge. While we don’t seem to learn their names in the movie, it’s possible their supposed to be The Batman‘s version of Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Those Alice in Wonderland-obsessed gangsters were first introduced in Detective Comics #74 (1943) by Don Cameron, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson. Although they look exactly alike, Tweedledee and Tweedledum are actually cousins who just happen to have a taste for crime and Lewis Carroll.
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Orrr…they could just be a nod to how the villains on the ’66 Batman TV series always had a bunch of virtually identical henchmen working for them. Either way, it’s good fun!
While some fans expressed worry about the grim, violent tone of the trailers — including the scene where Pattinson beats a criminal half to death — Batman doesn’t actually kill anyone in this movie. You’ll also be happy to know his “no guns” policy is still very much in place. At one point in the movie, that rule is even directly addressed when Batman and Gordon investigate the ruins of Wayne Manor. As the dynamic duo enter the building, Gordon pulls his pistol out, prompting the Caped Crusader to quickly snap at him.
“No guns,” Batman says, to which Gordon replies, “Yeah, man, that’s your thing.”
The final battle for Gotham’s soul takes place on the rafters above Gotham Square Garden, and for a second there, it looks like Pattinson’s Batman has finally run out of steam. But just as the Riddler gang are preparing to finish the job, the Dark Knight reveals he has one last trick up his sleeve: a little vial filled with a neon green chemical that seems to instantly pump him full of the adrenaline he needs to get back up and keep throwing punches.
Is Batman actually injecting himself with Venom?!? It sure seems like it. Before Venom became the chemical that powered supervillain Bane (and way before it became a joke in Batman & Robin), there was Dennis O’Neil and Trevor von Eeden’s “Venom” storyline in DC’s Legends of the Dark Knight series, which largely chronicles the Dark Knight’s earliest adventures after Year One. In the 1991 comic, when Batman fails to save a little girl, he begins using an experimental drug called “Venom” that allows him to move faster and fight harder. The only problem is that he becomes seriously addicted to the steroid. Basically, it’s a fable meant to teach kids the dangers of using drugs. Even Batman is no match for substance abuse, folks.
In terms of The Batman, the big question is whether this scene is meant to foreshadow Bruce eventually becoming dependent on the stuff in a future movie. Batman as a drug addict would certainly be…a creative direction we haven’t seen on the big screen yet — probably for good reason.
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Before the release of the film, Reeves pointed to three major noir influences for The Batman: The French Connection, Taxi Driver, and Chinatown. There’s definitely a bit of each in this movie, especially in the way Chinatown inspires beats of Batman and Selina’s doomed love affair.
But in a recent interview, Reeves told Den of Geek that Alan J. Pakula’s neo-noir Klute was the biggest influence on the Bat and Cat dynamic in the movie. That 1971 picture follows a straight-laced private detective played by Donald Sutherland who becomes infatuated with a call girl (Jane Fonda) tied up in the murder he’s investigating. The film earned Fonda her first Academy Award for Best Actress.
“Klute’s such a straight arrow and he seems so naïve,” Reeves explained. “I think he judges her and he assumes because of the world she’s in that she is a certain kind of person. And yet he can’t help but be drawn to her and he can’t help but be affected by her. He’s putting himself above her only to discover that he’s deeply connected to her.”
One of the clearest movie influences is Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), starring Robert De Niro as a cabbie living in a crime-ridden New York City in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The movie nods to Travis Bickle in several ways:
Legendary rock n’ roll band Nirvana looms large over this film, from Robert Pattinson’s reclusive, Kurt Cobain-esque performance as Bruce Wayne to an actual Nirvana song that not only plays during the film, but that seemingly inspires many of the themes in Michael Giacchino’s score!
The lyrics of “Something in the Way” are a meditation on depression and desperation, and they could very well reflect either Bruce Wayne or the Riddler’s state of mind…a perfect foreshadowing of the other parallels between the characters the movie reveals later on.
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Reeves has also said that Gus Van Sant film Last Days, a fictional account of the final hours of Kurt Cobain’s life, was a major inspiration for his take on Bruce Wayne.
It seems that many of the Gotham PD officers we meet in the film are from the 39th Precinct. Batman first appeared in 1939. Gil Colson’s license plate number is also S397WD.
Spot any The Batman easter eggs we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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