Another hugely entertaining issue of Batman ’66, and this time both stories have a fun historical feel.
The first, longer story sees Batman and Robin going up against the villainous King Tut. The Dynamic Duo spot him sailing down the Gotham River in his barge, and try to bring him in, but he tells them he hasn’t actually committed any crimes. So how does he have so many valuables and gold on board? Tut gives Batman a piece to examine, and it turns out that it’s not been stolen, but is in fact only 12 years old. How is this possible? Time-Travel baby! I love that this series went a bit more sci-fi here, and once again did the kind of story you know the actual 1966 TV series would have loved to do if they had the budget. Batman and Robin track King Tut down to the Museum, where it turns out that an Ancient Sarcophagus also serves as a portal to Ancient Egypt himself, where Tut is trading chocolate for gold, which is just awesome and hilarious.
Perhaps the best scene in the issue was when Tut throws our heroes into the Nile, leaving them to be devoured by crocodiles. But of course, Batman prepared for this, and in fact altered his famous ‘Shark-Repellent Spray’ (from the movie!) into ‘Crocodile-Repellent Spray’, which is… yeah, I can’t believe Jeff Parker actually went there. What’s next? The return of ‘some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb’? Oh wait, The Dark Knight Rises already did that! Tut is eventually forced to abandon the past when one of his henchman drinks a magic potion in one gulp, insulting his hosts, and back in the present, Batman and Robin are easily able to defeat them. However, the henchman who drank the potion, who is driven into a rabid brute, escapes. I imagine he’ll return, these stories don’t have much continuity, but they do have some. The story ends on a clichéd note, with Batman and Robin having accidentally led to themselves being included in hieroglyphics, but you have to love stuff like that.
The second story sees Batman and Robin go up against a Cowboy-themed villain called ‘Shame’ (I guess it’s a play on Shane? I dunno) who has been on a crime spree across the west. This story was very funny, and I loved how Parker made fun of Shame’s attempts to live a Cowboy life, and how inaccurate his perception was. I especially liked his Native American henchman subverting expectations by actually being a physics genius who had been driven to a life of crime. The story ends with Batman in a showdown with Shame on top of a moving train. Will Batman draw? He has one of Shame’s guns, but of course he’s sworn never to use one. Luckily, Robin saves the day with a precisely timed Batarang. This was a light story, but as I said, it was funny, you have to love any story where Batman wheres a Cowboy hat and rides a horse.
Ruben Procopio draws both stories here, and his cartoonish style is a great fit for the tone of Batman ’66. Also of note is that he uses a different style for each story. The King Tut is drawn traditionally and coloured by Lee Loughridge, but the Shame story looks to have been fully painted by Procopio, which is awesome, and gives it the look of an old Western book cover.
Batman ’66 just delivers pure comic book entertainment every month, if you’re looking for superhero comics with a light touch that nevertheless don’t turn into outright parody, this is the book for you.