A few nights ago I read the first two issues of Batman ’66 and for lack of a better phrase, I’m completely obsessed. In just 50 pages (30 pages in issue #1, and 20 pages in issue #2), we’ve already been introduced to Batman, Robin, Riddler (the Frank Gorshin version), Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, and Circe. And we’ve already gotten some classic Boy Wonder exclamations such as “Holy Evil Alliance,” “Holy Tightrope,” and “”Should I enter it into the Bat-Computer?” The first two issues each contain one main story, and a backup story. Jeff Parker, who writes the series, told the NY Post that he listens to the characters speaking while he creates their dialogue, which you can easily tell while you’re reading. Parker has a much bigger opportunity to tell grander stories since there’s no budget for effects in a comic book, and it comes through in his writing that Parker is basically telling dream Batman ’66 stories which wouldn’t have been able to be told on the television series due to monetary restrictions. We haven’t seen a full blown Batusi yet, but hopefully Parker was foreshadowing in the first issue when a bar patron asks “Batman, I was hoping to run into you! Can you show us how to do that dance we heard about?” Sadly Bats doesn’t have the time because he and the Boy Wonder are investigating a serious crime.
Jonathan Case, who illustrates and colors the series, created artwork which perfectly captures the overall tone. He uses bright neon colors which pop against contrasting backgrounds, and in the first issue with the Riddler, he outlines all of the landscapes with blue lines which creates a kind of 3D effect in a much more attractive version of Gotham. Case perfectly captures the likeness of the Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar’s ’66 characters, using smooth rounded lines, and hairstyles consistent with the decade to depict the cast of the comic. And I just have to say this – Case’s Catwoman is purrfect. I’m also loving the use of the exaggerated sound effects within the comics’ panels. And the covers are drawn and colored by Mike and Laura Allred, who just so happen to be two of my favorite artists. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have flipped through these issues.
According to Comics Alliance, a very classy Mad Men-like version of Harley Quinn will be appearing in issue #7. If you’re reading the comic digitally, you’ve already seen Harley’s introduction, but since I’m reading in print, I’m only up to issue #2. Batman ’66 is part of the DC2 initiative to convert readers to digital comics. I’ve been reading the physical printed copies, which are released on a very delayed time schedule compared to their digital counterparts, but since I loved the first two issues so much, I think I’m going to finally cave in and start buying the series from ComiXology… as well as the print issues… and the trade. *Makes fist* damn you DC Comics for monopolizing my bank account!