Sunday, July 21, 2013

Batman '66 #1

It's probably difficult for modern comic fans to understand how the original Batman TV show could have been a hit.

The show was campy and often silly, loaded with bad puns, crazy characters, unusual camera work, over-the-top fight sequences (each augmented with on-screen, lettered "sound effects") and loads of bright colors.

But it was fresh and new, a show unlike any other. Adults enjoyed the zany nature of the series, and kids enjoyed the adventures.

At 10 years old, I was the perfect age to be a big fan the show. (The Golden Age is 10, as Don Thompson always said.) Even then, I knew this was not a "true" version of the real Batman (that being the one in the comic books) - this one was much sillier.

But for kids who loved comic books, the series was a dream come true. Outside of reruns of the original Superman TV series (also corny but fun), there wasn't much evidence of superheroes outside the pages of comic books.

Here we had a hero, facing situations similar to the comics (if the dialogue was quite different) driving an awesome Batmobile, fighting the villains from the comics - it was fast, funny and a breath of fresh air.

I remember sitting in a movie theatre when the feature film version of Batman was released, and when Batman first appeared on the screen, we in the audience (made up mostly of fellow 10-year-olds) cheered and clapped for our hero.

To this day I enjoy catching the occasional episode, and I look forward to the eventual release of the series on DVD.

Which brings us to this comic, the first (aside from a few gags here and there) to adapt the TV show characters back into a comic book.

This issue does a pretty good job capturing the feel of the original series, with writer Jeff Parker capturing the "voices" quite well.

Artist Jonathan Case also does a solid job of recreating the look of the series and the not-quite-right costumes from the TV show.

All told, the issue is a pleasant reminder of a happier time, when the Dynamic Duo were national icons - and I waited desperately for the next episode, to see how they'd escape from the latest diabolical death trap.

Thanks for the nostalgic buzz, DC!

Grade: B+


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