Sunday, November 30, 2014

Batman ‘66 by Jeff Parker and Various Artists

I rarely purchase anything published by DC or Marvel these days. Having grown tired of the endlessly strung-out, incomprehensible plot lines and inflated prices, I gave up on these two publishers about the time they were consumed by large corporations who clearly don’t respect the characters they hold the copyrights on. I made an exception for Batman ‘66 because I thought the premise was fun. Essentially, using the likenesses and style of the 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, Batman ’66 attempts to replicate the campy goofiness that helped make the show a fan favorite. Author Jeff Parker manages to instill some humor into a script that captures the style of the teleplays, and I can imagine the dialogue as if it were spoken by Adam West, etc. I also felt the television series worked specifically because of its exaggerated approach to its material, whereas the comic book comes across as an exercise in forced zaniness. This paperback is volume one and collects the first five issues of the series. Visually, the artwork is retro as it should be. Kudos to Jonathan Case, Ty Templeton, Jose Quinones, Sandy Jarrell, Ruben Procopio and Colleen Coover for capturing the general style of the show. All of the best villains are featured: The Riddler, The Joker, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, and at the end of this volume we are blessed with an appearance by Batgirl. The plot line doesn’t matter here, because as I said it’s an exercise in forced zaniness. I enjoyed Batman ’66, and I may pick up the additional compilations as they’re released, but I can’t see myself making a long-term habit of it. Still, this was an entertaining nod to the campy 60s and I recommend Batman ’66 as a stocking stuffer for Christmas.

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