It would be easy to dismiss DC’s Batman ’66 as an attempt to cash in on the current wave of nostalgia for the campy TV classic and its recent release on DVD and Blu-Ray. But doing that would sell short this fun, digital comic book take on the series which while it doesn’t perfectly capture the fun of those early episodes, still does a nice job of keeping the spirit of the TV show alive.
Collecting together five printed issues (apparently multiple weeks of the digital comic), this collection feels a bit like what the TV show might have done if it had a bit bigger budget or more time to film. The first story involves the Riddler and sees Batman using the Batrope and Batarang to climb from a moving Batmobile to the Riddler’s crop duster plane that is being used for nefarious activities. It’s impressively rendered on the comics page and it’s one of those things you feel the TV show would absolutely have loved to have attempted but couldn’t.
Interestingly, the order of the first two major foes the Dynamic Duo faces mirrors that of the original television series. And there are more homages and smart references to come in the pages, reminding me of the early first season of the show. The comic even tries to add a bit more of a sinister aspect to the TV version of the Joker and bring in the Red Hood as a character. While this isn’t necessarily the biggest hit of the collection, it’s still interesting to see the comics try some new and interesting twists and tie-ins to larger Batman mythology.
Reading these collected issues, I couldn’t help but enjoy myself. Pure nostalgia, but also a lot of fun. It’s easy to see that the creative team behind this series loves the original series — and that love translates into the product presented here.