[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci
Artist: Dan Parent, J. Bone, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Jack Morelli
Poison Ivy is attacking the 1966 Fair and Batman and Robin are on the scene to shut her down fast. But, why are Book Worm and Foot Note bragging that they let her out so they can steal the book of the future? And, how will all of this lead to Batman’s rogues targeting Riverdale?
Robin’s self-awareness is on full display. When a flirty line from Batman works too well on Ivy she suggests feeding Robin to one of her plants so that she and Batman can run off together. Batman’s response is to tell Robin to fire the Bat-Beam, which he does while saying, “Why do they always want to kill me?”
The puns are in full swing by the tenth page. A villainous weed creature sprayed by weed killer cries out, “Me feel… weak in the leaves.” Batman and Ivy both deliver a line of their own, but those pale with the arrival of Batgirl and the line, “Sorry sister! This park is off limits to creeping ivy!”
Note the exclamation points. They’re everywhere!
The Archie scenes are textbook. The jalopy on racks, but it needs to be fixed in time for the upcoming festival. Jughead will fail a test if he doesn’t study and Veronica wants to wear an inappropriate dress that Daddy-kins is sure to disapprove of, but this time Daddy is distracted. His mood shifts from angry, and then to anxious, and then rushed. Everyone is too busy to notice or listen, and the chief of police is acting just like her dad.
Normally, I find Veronica annoying and a stereotype I despise. Without her friends, it’s a refreshing development to watch her manipulate Dilton to solve what the reader knows is a crime. She offers the promise of a date so that he will help her find someone who can help. And this, this is what brings in a shortwave radio that reaches Batman in the Bat Cave.
See, the reader already knows that Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, and the Riddler are annoyed that radio reports referred to them as colorful, maniacs who are no different than Ivy. This careless snub inspires them to attack neighboring Riverdale, and until Veronica noticed what was going on, no one else — not even Batman — knew it was happening.
A great detail when the villains are listening to the radio is watching Riddler and Joker play Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots.
Since this is a mashup of two worlds that are known for cheeky references, you have to be really picky to find anything wrong. My only complaint is that we see so many characters making plans, but the Book Worm and Foot Note are no longer seen. I know they will show back up later, but it would be nice to know what their plans are so the reader can anticipate how they will conflict with the other storylines.
The campy fun of Batman ’66 meshes magically with the characters from Riverdale. Book Worm and Foot Note are a nice piece of DC nostalgia to add to the classic rogues, and the wink and nod to electronic books in the future is a clever trope for anyone reading the digital or analog version of this book. Solid marks all around.