It's interesting to me that in the long running annuls of this here column, I've never ever talked about a comic book I'm into. There's a few reasons for that, the biggest being I'm not as brushed up on my comic book vernacular as some of my friends are. I've read them on and off for all my life, and I like them a great deal. However, lately I've been reading more as I've found some ones I' really quite fond of. There's a new series based off The Six Million Dollar Man, how cool is that? But the one comic that I am absolutely in love with right now, is a wonderful and brilliant new series from DC, Batman '66.
Batman '66 launched last summer as a digital weekly comic for tablets, making a wonderful hardcover debut last month with a first volume that collects the first five stories together. Obviously I don't need to tell you that much about it, based off the fact that it's called Batman '66. Everyone knows who Batman is, so what is it about this new comic form of the caped crusader that makes it so wonderful? Simple. This is a comic series based off of the much beloved Adam West TV show. Does it succeed? Oh, does it ever. The writer, Jeff Parker, clearly has a love for both Batman, and the wonderfully colorful pop art style of the 60s series.
A talented group of artists back up Parker's prose, it LOOKS and FEELS so much like the series that you can HEAR the actor's voices in your head. You can hear the music that filled that show, and even the narrator's wonderful bombastic captions—which are included here, even the much loved “What's This!?” The added bonus to all of this is that nearly all of the major character bare resemblance to the people who played them on the series, even down to The Joker looking like Cesar Romero, complete with the outline of a mustache underneath the makeup (Romero refused to shave his mustache to play the part, so they just layered the makeup on top of it.)
In creating new stories in the world of the late 60s Batman series, it would be easy to fall into simple parody. Batman '66 succeeds because it doesn't do that, Batman referring to everyone as “citizen” is there not as an object of mockery, but as a hallmark feature of its source. I quickly devoured the first hardcover collection of the series, as it is simply put, one of the most enjoyable comic books I've ever read. An absolute blast from start to end, and would be the perfect fun read for your Summer, be it while resting at home, or traveling.
It's a good year to be a fan of the Adam West Batman, with the series finally set to make it's home video debut later this year, supposedly around November, and this wonderful new comic line from DC to celebrate its truly one of a kind world and take on Batman. I simply could not recommend this enough to anyone looking for a fun ride. It is everything I love about that wonderful series, in the form that birthed Batman. Do yourself a favor and pick up an issue or the hardcover collection, more is due to follow, and I think you'll find yourself as hooked as I am.