Review – Batman 66 meets Wonder Woman 77
Art by: Karl Kesel, David Hahn
Cover by: Alex Ross
Written by: Marc Andreyko, Jeff Parker
Release Date: September 2017
Batman 66 was a breath of fresh air when it originally aired and just over 10 years later Wonder Woman 77 inspired a whole generation to spin on the spot to see if we could change clothes that way! This reprint of the 2017 limited series is a delight to anybody who grew up watching Linda Carter and Adam West’s shows from the 60s and 70s! Did you ever wonder what would happen if they met?
I had a big grin from cover to cover, and I loved all the little nods to the shows like randomly changing the actress that plays Catwoman without any mention or reason. Or Wonder Woman’s all blue full wetsuit!
The action jumps from a young Bruce in the 40s, through to the 60s and concludes with a retired Batman in the 70s (we will come back to that shortly…The pace of the comic is perfect for younger readers who need a good story while keeping the action almost entirely wholesome and PG-rated. You don’t get much better than Ra’s Al Ghul and Nazis chasing down mysterious books in the Wayne Mansion. It reminded me of an Indiana Jones-style quest.
Andreyko and Parker do a great job jumping along from the 40s to the 60s and finishing off the 6 issues run in the groovy 70s! in 66 Catwoman steals a book but she doesn’t know that Batman put a silent bat alarm in the safe and she and Talia Al Ghul are soon battling with the dynamic duo. Back in the Batcave, Batman tells the tale of the night when his parents had an auction for rare books and he saves a young girl from Nazis and the League of Shadows assassins.
Bruce discovers the Batcave (again) and Diana saves him from a Nazi bullet. We jump to the 60s where our caped crusaders fly to Paradise Island to warn the Amazons about Ra’s plan to use the hidden Lazerus Pit on the islands.
He succeeds and the story jumps to 77 where Diana returns to Gotham to find Robin has become Nightwing and Batman has retired after the Joker killed Alfred. This detail feels tonally wrong and jars with the bubblegum feel of the rest of the series. However, we do get a great shot of batman wrestling with his conscience with Joker and Alfred as his bad and good sides!
The Alex Ross cover on this collection is stunning. Throughout the book, there are some great full page fillers of the key players. The art and colours are bright, fresh and fit correctly with the TV shows look and feel. There is just enough of Adam West and Linda Carter in their design to make you smile as you read the issues with their voices in your head (or maybe that’s just me!!)
If I have any complaint, the 77 set issues look a little strange and flat. I get that they were going for a Neal Adams Bronze Age style of drawing but it looks a bit cheesy and rushed again the earlier pieces. I still maintain though this is a good starter issue for younger readers and the artwork helps with this whole vibe. For older fans, it’s a quick hour read that will sit in your collection once finished. If I were you I’d donate to a hospital or neighbour to allow them to reminisce about the shows.
Set your atomic batteries to power, your turbines to speed and buy this as soon as you can. Too many DC stories are dark, confusing and fail at hero crossovers, this doesn’t take itself seriously thankfully so the meeting of Carter and West works across all the decades. There was a missed opportunity though for Alfred to shout “Dinner, Dinner, Dinner Batman!!” at some point.
Puntastic, cheezy and with its tongue firmly in it’s Bat cheek this homage to the TV shows honours the legacy of Batman 66 and Wonder Woman 77! Tune in on the same Bat-channel at the same Bat-time!!
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