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(CNN)When Tim Burton’s “Batman” debuted in theaters 30 years ago in 1989, it didn’t just kick off a major, still-flourishing movie franchise and the current era of superhero-led blockbusters. The film also had a profound impact on Batman himself, and the way comic book creators would depict the character over the next three decades.”

It catapulted Batman to the top of everyone’s favorite superhero franchises, and he’s been there ever since,” remembers Jim Lee, who was a 25-year-old emerging comic book artist when the film bowed and would to go on to become one of the definitive Batman artists and the co-publisher of the Dark Knight’s print home base, DC Comics.”

The movie was instrumental in really bringing to the wider masses the concept of Batman,” says Lee. “He’d always been a favorite among comic book readers, and people remembered very fondly the TV show. But what Tim Burton did was really take it to a different level, made it more serious and baroque and romantic and creepy — so many elements he added to it.”

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