The Wall Street Journal published an article ridiculing Keaton's height, hairline, and "less-than-heroic chin," concluding that "The Caped Crusader may turn out to be a wimp." Meanwhile, comic-based magazine Amazing Heroes' coverage of the 1988 Chicago Comic-Con prominently interviewed fans freaking out over Keaton and the weirdo who directed Beetlejuice being involved. Apparently, Bat-fans "had that sense of sitting in a deck chair on the Titanic." A later issue even employed the most devastating weapon in the critical arsenal: a snide cartoon.
A petition even circulated, gathering real human signatures to "stop this ridiculous decision before filming starts" and "bring the folks at WARNER BROTHERS FILMS to their senses!!!" (You know it's serious when there are all-caps and multiple exclamation marks.) This cycle of outrage was eventually repeated when Ben Affleck donned the cowl, prompting fans to circulate over 30 online petitions, presumably fearing that Gotham would be overrun with crime while Batman was busy watching the Red Sox or getting embarrassing back tattoos.