Batman and Robin arrive at the Batcave to find it ransacked. Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, has broken in and stolen the Bat Diamond, the largest diamond on Earth. Surprisingly, she didn’t take the opportunity to damage any of Batman’s equipment before leaving. Batman deduces that Marsha tunneled her way in, and then caused the tunnel to cave-in in order to cover her escape. The Dynamic Duo use the “Bat-Beam” to blast a tunnel through the rock and sent a “Bat-Flyer” (drone) to track her.
At her hideout, Marsha Queen of Diamonds is happy to spend hours gazing into the Bat Diamond. Her bliss is interrupted by Batman and Robin, who followed the drone’s signal. They fight, and Marissa ends up the victim of her own freezing chemicals.
Once again, Batman is his crazy-prepared self. But it’s not to the ridiculous levels of the sixties show (or some modern comics I could mention). Batman brings along a gadget specifically for fighting Marsha and uses it to turn her greatest strength against her. I always like a thinking Batman.
Marsha herself makes a fairly colorful villain. Not colorful by the standards of this series, but still a welcome change for anyone seeking a release from grim and gritty. Her personality is well-sketched in a few quick panels.
The ending to this comic is surprisingly disturbing for BATMAN ’66. Marsha finds herself frozen as a statue, unable to stop gazing at the Bat Diamond she went all the trouble of stealing. It’s the sort of thing you’d expect at the end of an EC Comics horror anthology. Is Marsha stuck on a single thought? Or is she fully conscious inside her fleshy prison? It’s made worse by the fact that we don’t know if this can be cured. In BATMAN ’66 #34 the Dynamic Duo visited two victims of Marsha’s chemicals in hospital. Neither of them had made any progress since we last saw them.
As I mentioned before, Marsha doesn’t quite have same level of over-the-top energy as the other villains in this series. I know it’s extremely unfair to criticize someone for not being as cartoonish as the sixties Batman series, but it’s I wouldn’t mind not seeing her again (unless it’s to reveal whether she became unfrozen).
BATMAN ’66 #35 is the fun conclusion to the Marsha, Queen of Diamonds arc. But don’t pick it up without reading BATMAN ’66 #34, that’s where most of its forward drive comes from.