Batman ‘66 is one of the best books DC publishes, digital-first or not. Jeff Parker channels the tone of the original Batman TV series into a book that emphasizes fun and humor.
It’s no secret that DC Comics is a dark, dark place, with many titles often forcing in “adult content” in unnecessary ways that strips the book of its fun. A few titles, like Wonder Woman and Batman, handle this dark tone well without feeling forced or awkward, though many cannot say the same. Jeff Parker’s Batman ‘66 feels like a reaction to the morose tone bogging down many DC titles, where the Adam West Batman and Burt Ward Robin take down the 1960s memorable, over-the-top, colorful criminals with as many “KWHAM!s,” “BOFF!s,” and “SWHACK!s” that anyone could ever ask for. Batman ‘66 works for many reasons: it’s bright, exciting, tongue-in-cheek, but more than anything it is unapologetically fun.
Batman ‘66 #2 collects three digital-first chapters into a single standalone tale. Though print readers miss out on the digital panel-by-panel guide where new panels pop up in context as the story progresses, the story does not suffer and is just as exciting. This collection tells the preposterous tale of Batman and Robin rescuing Gotham harbor from the clutches of the Penguin, who now fancies himself Emperor Penguin of a massive iceberg that blocks shipping and commerce. Just how Penguin could have made this iceberg is up for readers to discover, but the collection of involved villains that banter back and forth with the Dark Knight and his ever grand collection of puns will definitely keep the smiles and laughs rolling.
A variety of artists have joined Parker in bringing Batman ‘66 to the page, with this collection penciled by Ty Templeton and colored by Wes Hartman. The combined art is bright, vibrant, and pops off the page. Batman and Robin often leap across the panels, for instance, to tackle “Pengoons,” or to hop into their one of their countless vehicles that have every imaginable tool and weapon to use against the dastardly villains. To help channel the feel of the original series, moreover, is the inclusion of scene transitions that add another layer of fun production value to the book. Not to be forgotten, however, is the fantastic cover by Michael and Laura Allred, whose art emphasizes the often goofy nature of the book to fullest fun extent.
Batman ‘66 is one of the best books DC publishes, digital-first or not. Jeff Parker channels the tone of the original Batman TV series into a book that emphasizes fun and humor. Readers will surely be able to hear the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward as they flip through the pages, complete with every pun one could possibly hope for. If all possible, and Batman ‘66 sounds like it is right up your alley, the digital-first version with guided view is a must read experience.
Jeff Parker (W), Ty Templeton (A), West Hartman (C) • DC Comics, $3.99, August 21, 2013.