Holy digital comics Batman! How good is this revival of the famed television show? Find out in our review!
When I was young (about 2 or 3 years old), my dad sat me down one afternoon and popped a tape into our VCR. Soon, I was immersed in a world filled with fanciful gadgets, garish villains, and duo of heroes clad in brightly colored garments. The tape was of the 1966 movie Batman: The Movie starring Adam West as the “Bright Knight” and Burt Ward as his kid sidekick, Robin. Now, 45 years after the final episode of the television series premiered, that world of campy heroics returns in the form of a digital-first comic.
The creative team behind this highly anticipated comic is Jeff Parker of Hulk/Red She-Hulk and X-Men: First Class fame writing the stories, Jonathan Case (The Creep) providing the art, and covers by the great Mike Allred (Solo, FF). While the creative team is certainly promising, does this issue live up to the hype? In a word, yes.
While the voiceover by Bill Dozier has been replaced by caption boxes, this comic does a great job of nailing the tone of original series. The closing credits with the cliffhanger was absolutely perfect. And the dialogue was spot-on for every character. Bruce and Dick have some great, cornball lines. Chief O’Hara remains incomprehensible behind that thick accent. The Riddler is a screwball that captures the manic brilliance that Frank Gorshin brought to the role. I’ve enjoyed Parker’s writing elsewhere, but it’s as if this is the series he was born to write.
The art team of Case (art & colors) and Wes Abbott (lettering) deserve a ton of credit. They are able to build out this world, allowing the characters and setting unfold in a larger than life manner. The action is bigger and bolder than anything that could have been done in the original series. That may put off some people at first, but it’s truly an advantage of bringing this series to the comic medium. The colors are bold and bright. The use of word effects is liberal but natural for the story told. The television series has truly come back.
As mentioned before, the over-the-top action may put off some people. The Riddler’s opening riddle wasn’t very good, though it did tie in at the end of the issue. I want Mike Allred to do more for this series than just covers.
Batman ’66 #1 marks the triumphant return of one of the landmark interpretations of any comic book character. Parker, Case and Abbott set up what looks to be a very promising and entertaining series, and the Mike Allred cover is worth the price of admission alone. While many may choose to wait for the print version, I implore you to try out the digital edition as this is the first title under DC2. Batman ’66 is rockin’ good time. Tune in next week. Same Bat Time. Same Bat Channel.