Has there ever been a summer that proved to be as important – not just personally, but historically - to comic book fans as 1989? Surely the last decade or so has produced its share of must-see superhero adventures, but before Tim Burton's Batman was release on June 23, 1989, the idea of wall-to-wall wallcrawlers was little more than a cobweb stuck to the bottom of discarded studio call sheets. Burton's aggressive, dark reimagining of Bob Kane's iconic character quite literally changed the face of comic book adaptations, and ushered in the era of superhero movies, even if it would take another ten or fifteen years to find the right balance between real-world grit, splash-page heroism, and tongue-in-cheek self-awareness.
Meanwhile, the rest of the summer of '89 was no less exciting, featuring sequels, comedies, dramas and plenty of fare that defied categorization – which, in all likelihood is why it defied the box office gods en route to home-video glory. And while we could no doubt devote countless column inches to recounting every film from that fateful summer, here's a decidedly more svelte list of the entries that most aroused our imaginations and inspired us to suckle at 1989's summer-movie teat.