Another very enjoyable issue of Batman ’66, Jeff Parker and his various artistic collaborators are really knocking this stuff out of the park. Much like last issue, this book features 2 stories, and both were a lot of fun.
The first comes from Parker and Joe Quinones, from his Wednesday Comics Green Lantern stuff through to his FF fill-ins, has become one of my favourite artists, and his cartoonish style is perfect for the tone of Batman ’66. This story focuses on the most famous of Batman’s villains, The Joker, as he is targeted by the mysterious Red Hood. It was great fun seeing a much lighter take on the Clown Prince of Crime, there’s only so much of a guy ripping his own face off that you can really take, and this goofy version made for a good alternative. Plus, how great was it that Joe Quinones actually drew in Cesar Romero’s moustache? Amazing.
It was also fun to see a 60s-style take on Harley Quinn. I noticed last time that Parker used Kathy Kane, and now Harley, he really is bringing in the whole of the Batman Universe into this madcap reality! As I’ve said before, crucial to this concept working is that it’s not all a joke, and the plot here, with the Joker planning an escape in his own subconscious was very clever and well-done, and even though Romero-Joker is not as psycho as the modern DCU take, he’s still shown as being a very dangerous foe.
The second story, with Parker being joined by Sandy Jarrell, is much more comedic, but that makes sense, given that the villain here is Egg-Head, so there are plenty of gloriously terrible egg-based puns. I loved how Parker got a little meta here, and had Egghead worry more about his puns than his plan to kill Batman and Robin. Unlike Joker ’66, Egg-Head is not a dangerous villain, he’s a joke, but crucially, he’s a funny one.
I’m really loving this book, and I would probably go as far to say it’s the best Batman comic out there right now, I like Snyder’s series a lot, but Zero Year is a bit of a drag, and this one has amazing art, , well crafted stories, a good sense of humour and most of all… puns! It’s egg-zemplary!