Another very entertaining issue of this book, and this one was even better for me personally, as Jeff Parker sends Batman and Robin to London in the swingin’ sixties, baby!
Once again, Parker and artists Jonathan Case and Sandy Jarrell walk the line of parody very well here, and whilst these stories are a lot of fun, they don’t devolve into Austin Powers-level nonsense. The first story sees the Dynamic Duo heading to London to thwart the Mad Hatter in his plot to steal the Crown Jewels, and it’s just so much fun. Parker throws in some fun jokes about Britain, like how we drive on the other side of the road, and even stuff like how Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara have cousins in London works because of the crazy tone of the book. But as I’ve said before, this book isn’t stupid, and it treats the chase of Mad Hatter just as seriously as normal superhero books would.
It also surprised me by how clever it was in linking the two stories. In the first story, as Batman is chasing the Hatter, you see Big Ben ring it’s bells (yes, Big Ben is the bell, I know), and I didn’t make nothing of it, until the second story, where Batman reveals that it went off as a warning, and that Mad Hatter was working with another villain… The Clock King! I love how one little moment in the first story lead straight on the next, stuff in this book is not just random goofiness like it could be under a lesser writer. Batman and Robin defeat Clock King and his hilarious henchman, and it turns out that Clock King and Mad Hatter are brothers, which was a cool little twist.
This book is just so good, it puts a smile on my face, the art is fantastic, and the plotting is so strong, when, as I said, a lot of writers would phone it in and just go for camp. Jeff Parker is putting his all into this, and it shows. =