From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.153
‘Ello reader. and welcome back to our all-ages column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! This week we are gonna focus solely on one thing (vs. four things the past two weeks) and chat about the new all-ages digital first book from DC: Batman ’66, which frankly has blown my socks off with fun.
Batman ’66 #1
Publisher: DC Comics
Story: Jeff Parker
Art: Jonathan Case
DC Comics last week debuted its new digital first Batman title Batman ’66. As the title implies, it is our first revisit to the television Adam West-era Batman, with all the characters being modeled after their TV counterparts, with the same vibe and tone. It’s also the first comic in DC’s DC2 line of digital comics, where it uses guided view to tell its comic story, similar to Marvel’s Infinity comic line and other titles we have begun to see crop up on comiXology.
While guided view comics I have begun to slowly warm up too, it wasn’t until recently that French comic magazine Spirou launched its digital counterpart Spirou-Z, which in its first issue helped play and experiment with the digital format, adding an edge of fun and making the experience worthwhile. Unlike Marvel’s Infinity line which didn’t excite me; I would read them and just say, “Why can’t this just be told as a normal comic?” To my delight, Batman ’66, like Spirou-Z, makes excellent use of its guided view to jump and zoom you all over and back while the art style, dialog, and tone give it that fun vibe that’s needed to make guided view comics enjoyable and excel. The closest Marvel got to something feeling this good with guided view is the Ultimate Spider-Man Infinity comic that tied into their animated series, however, that comic still does not come close to the level of excellent fun that Batman ’66 has achieved. Yes, we do have to give Marvel credit for being the first to give guided view more of a major push, but they haven’t done it as well as DC has just rocked it (or once again, Spirou in France).
The plot feels like a lost episode of Batman. The Riddler shows up in an aeroplane, ruining a ceremony and trying to steal a piece of art, and it is up to Batman and Robin to stop him, as they chase him down and board the plane which flies into a climatically well built ending.
The art by Parker is just awesome. The colors, the sound effects, the way Adam West, Burt Ward, and the rest of them look spot on in their form, and the guided view just blends so well with them and the flow of the layout they used. On the writing side it is all champion of the week material, as Case writes a great story, gives us some fantastic action that feels a little more current Batman than ’66-period Batman (which is alright considering the wide range of audiences that will be buying this thing), and most importantly dialog that sounds like the old show. I can almost hear Adam West saying, “If only that brain could be harnessed for good ends.“
Batman ’66 is everything a digital comic taking advantage of guided view should strive to be. Tip of the hat to the crew at DC for providing such fun. Batman ’66 is available now digitally.
That’s it for this week, see you next!