Another incredibly fun issue of Batman ’66, and at this point it’s actually quite hard to review this title. The plots are pretty much a load of enjoyable nonsense.
The main story here is actually not from Jeff Parker, and instead Tom Peyer steps in to pit Batman up against the villainous Bookworm, who is just hilarious. I especially love his henchmen, Endpaper, Bookplate and Joyce Carol, that is funny. Bookworm’s plan is to build up as much knowledge about Batman as possible, and create a ‘Batcylcopedia’ which will allow him to predict every move the Bat makes, as well as figure out just who it is under the mask. This being Batman ’66, his plan is unnecessarily overcomplicated, involving stealing a giant checkbook and attacking a matchbook museum, but since they all involve books, it makes sense. In the end, Batman is able to trick Bookworm into thinking that his secret identity is Alfred by using using terrible british slang. It was great to see that a writer other than Parker was able to nail the unique balancing act that this title requires, how it can’t be too dumb, and whilst Peyer did lean a bit closer to outright parody, he still got it spot on. The art for this story comes from Ty Templeton, who is one of my favourite, underrated artists. I loved the Spider-Man/Human Torch mini-series he did with Dan Slott, and he just has a classic style that suits a retro series like this one.
The second story, from Jeff Parker and Ted Naifeh is a slight affair featuring Batman and Robin going up against Olga, Queen Of The Cossacks and all of the Russian stereotypes that entails, but it was funny as ever, and included some very cool moments, like the visual of Batman and Robin riding bears, and also a very interesting 1-page interlude that showed Barbara Gordon at work in the Gotham Library and a strange magic book. These stories haven’t shown much in the way of continuity so far, but this scene indicates that we are going to see some more continuing plotlines, which is cool, there are only so many ridiculous villains.
This title is always a big barrel of fun, and it’s a pleasure every month, I think everyone should be reading it, whether in print or on the iPad, it’s so good.