Holy Retro Batman, the 1966 TV series is back, this time in comic book form.
In May, DC Comics announced that they would be running a new series based upon the camp classic Batman television series called Batman 66.
While the character has changed a great deal since the shows cancellation in 1968 the series its still a nice alternative to the dark and brooding character that we all love today with the Frank Millar titles and Nolen films.
Writer Jeff Parker and Artist Jonathan Case were given the task of recreating the charm and look of the show.
All of the classic characters are modeled after the actors who played them (although Catwoman is seemly modeled after Julia Newmar and Riddler after Frank Gorshin). Also returning is the not so Gotham City that was featured in the show.
The story starts with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are at the unveiling ceremony for Gotham’s new Lady Gotham statue when the crazed Riddler appears with a plane to crash the party.
Over the course of the digital half issue we see the return of Batman’s oddly useful gadgets, as he is able to escape from the Riddler using a glider hidden in his cape (Sadly no Shark repellant Bat-spray). Unfortunately this was the only gadget we get to see in this issue. Hopefully over the series we’ll see some more off the wall ways to get out of deadly situations.
The story then ends with a bit of an anti-climatic cliffhanger, featuring the same wording as the show.
While the characters might look like their actors the hardest thing for the title to imitate is the shows esthetic.
The charm of the original series was the blending of the goofy dialogue and the visual style of bright and colour sets and the insertion of visual sound effects during the fight scenes.
Despite the differences in the medium of television and comics, the feeling is still there in the digital version of the story.
In the digital version panels move and change colour as the action happens. The aforementioned visual sound effects are here and are given to boom that they disserve. However these moments are few in this first half issue.
This might be one of the few moments where I can recommend reading a title in a digital format over a physical copy. The gimmick of the original show is shown off a lot better with the ability to swipe from one panel to the next. The added movement gives the comic some more appeal.
While the physical first issues isn’t available until the 17th of July the first half is on the Comixology app for just 99 cents, with the second half coming out next week.
Batman 66 is written by Jeff Parker with art from Jonathan Case. Covers are done by Mike Alfred and Jonathan Case.