A popular new TV show, “The Dark Knight Detective”, overtakes Gotham. The show portrays Batman as a noirish, torture-happy brute. Soon the common citizens of Gotham are seeing Batman as a thug. The Dynamic Duo meets up with the producer of the show to try and stop it, but the producer springs a deadly trap…
Here’s something I don’t think we’ve seen in a BATMAN ’66 comic: satire. Sure, the comic has poked gentle fun at the sixties television show in the past, but it never felt pointed. This issue takes deliberate aim at a target and spends most of its time attacking it, and as a result feels different from any other BATMAN ’66 comic I’ve read.
The mockery of “The Dark Knight Detective” and all the grim-and-grittier reboots Batman has had over the years hits a bullseye. The Dynamic Duo’s horror at the show’s portrayal of a Batman who loves torture and needless violence feels potent despite the 1990s being fourteen years away. The shows’ grizzled protagonist, stylized black-and-white, and the terse, pulpy dialogue all bring “Sin City” to mind, creating a parody that even people unfamiliar with the material can enjoy. I love dark and edgy Batman, but I know that DC can sometimes take it too far.
The comic does poke fun at sixties squeaky-clean Batman too. A twenty-story climb up a building is “invigorating exercise” and not a pointless waste of time. Still, BATMAN ’66 does respect the Caped Crusader’s courtesy. I genuinely love how Batman tries to be respectful to the producer of “The Dark Knight Detective” while trying to get it off air.
(I also love how Aunt Harriet adores “The Dark Knight Detective”.)
Satire this biting in BATMAN ’66 feels…off. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good satire, but it doesn’t mesh well with the comic’s frothy and fluffy tone.
BATMAN ’66 is a little darker than usual, but still a good read.