Thursday, December 11, 2014

Batman '66, Vol. 1 Graphic Novel review



Batman '66, Vol. 1 Graphic Novel review
Jeff Parker and others (Authors), Ty Templeton and others (illustrators), D.C. Comics (publisher)

 Review by Joseph Tell

Life often imitates art in the comic book realm, as proven by the succession of comic book related box office hits. For Batman ‘66, however, art imitates life-in this case, a sensational TV show from the late 1960s. The spectacular art and clever narratives in Batman ‘66 reflect every aspect of the Will Dozier TV show, even down to the Joker’s painted-over mustache. Die-hard Batman fans either loved or hated this campy version of the character, but Batman ‘66 is a sure-fire blast from beginning to end. The action-packed stories, written by Jeff Parker, are Bat-tastic, and the varied roster of artists, most notably Jonathan Case, recreate all the iconic villains exactly as they appeared on the small screen. All the pop art camp of the 60s TV version of Batman is included here in the vivid, bright colors that made the series so unforgettable. Unlike the dark, modern take, this version of the Dynamic Duo is family-friendly, and the comic book medium lets Batman swing into action like he never could on the small screen. Batman ‘66 is heavy on nostalgia, but its fresh and unique approach to the classic show results in a great read. Batman ‘66 is a must-have for any Batman fan.


Special Thanks goes out to Emil from Queen City Bookstore and Artvoice newspaper.

BONUS SECTION:

I bought the full color Batman Chronicles Vol. 1 awhile ago at the Book Outlet. I wanted to post the covers and a few panels to show the original, violent, and deadly Batman. The original version of Batman is the best version in my opinion.


The first issue featured in Batman Chronicles is Batman's very first appearance in Detective Comics 27.


Detective Comics 28 didn't feature Batman on the cover.
But the cover's blurb, "This Month And Every Month... The Batman!" promised monthly Batman appearances in every issue.


Here's a great panel from the Batman story inside No. 28.



Here's another exciting panel from #29...this iconic image marks one of The Batman's signature entrances into a villain's hideout. Batman's first nemesis, Doctor Death, plays a recurring role in issues 29 and 30.





Once again, Batman is excluded from the cover of Detective 30. But the cover blurb promises "Another thrilling episode of The Batman in this issue!" Doctor Death returns from a fiery death, dressed in mummy-like bandages in issue 30. He then disguises himself as an old man to avoid being captured by The Batman. In the end The Batman captures the old man and reveals the old man's true identity, Dr. Death. 
Dr. Death's hideously burned face is green and resembles The Phantom Of The Opera in appearance.


Detective Comics 31 is a fantastic issue. The Monk was obviously influenced by Dracula and the Monk uses giant gorillas, influenced by King Kong, against Batman to no avail.


The cover of Detective 31 was referenced by Neal Adams for Batman 227.



Batman's origin was first told in Detective 33.







Detective 38 marked the first appearance of Robin, the Boy Wonder. The darkness of the Batman stories were lightened a little by the playfulness and fun Robin added to the action. After Robin appeared sidekicks became common for super heroes. Batman was given his own title after the success of Detective 38. B.C. Vol. 1 also includes all 5 stories that were in Batman #1.  The darkness of Batman's first few appearances and Bob Kane's great art makes Batman Chronicles Volume 1 a must read for any Batman fans. Unlike the modern day Batman, the original Batman never hesitated when he felt a villain needed to pay the ultimate price for his crimes. 



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