This is a done-in-one story, very unusual for a comic as truncated as BATMAN ’66. (Come to think of it, very unusual for the Bat titles as a whole.) Bruce and Dick return to stately Wayne Manor to find it broken into and Aunt Harriet knocked unconscious! Fortunately, the intruders only stole one thing. Unfortunately, that thing was the bust of Shakespeare needed to open the Batcave. The Dynamic Duo quickly deduce that the robbery was a ploy to lure Batman by their old enemy, the Minstrel. They set out to capture him, but with no easy access to the Batcave, they must go without their costumes and Batmobile…
That was great. Quite possibly the best issue of BATMAN ’66 I’ve read so far. The book’s central gag of the Dynamic Duo having none of their usual accessories leads to some fun sight gags. Batman and the Boy Wonder fighting in their outdated costumes is most prominent, but my favorite is Alfred chauffeuring the pair to the Minstrel’s hideout. Alfred’s nonchalant expression as he bursts the car through the wall is the best panel in the book.
BATMAN ’66 #36 is full of neat little moments like that, from the name of the Minstrel’s superweapon (“I call it…THE DE-COMPOSER”!) to Batman’s Shakespeare puns while fighting goons. The Minstrel sounds like the kind of villain who might get old after a while, but the shortness of the story keeps him from becoming annoying (and the issue exciting).
Honestly, not much. I guess the Dynamic Duo’s fears that the Minstrel may have broken into the Batcave may have been too similar to Marsha’s machinations in the previous issue. BATMAN ’66 #36 sets the readers up with the expectation that someone has finally deduced the identity of Batman and Robin, and the convoluted explanation they give to backtrack may be disappointed to some.
BATMAN ’66 #36 is a wonderful, exciting done-in-one story.