Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #1

by TalkNerdy2Me on January 18, 2017

Writers: Jeff Parker & Marc Andreyko

Artists: David Hahn & Karl Kesel

Colors: Madpencil

Cover: Michael & Laura Allred

Publisher: DC Comics


I’m still fairly new to the “capes and tights” superhero form of comic books, having mostly grown up reading Archie and Richie Rich and daily newspaper funnies. But I also watched superhero TV shows when I was a kid - I lived for The Incredible Hulk and Wonder Woman. I also learned to appreciate the deadpan humor of the old Batman series as I got older. So I was delighted to see a book based on that show, and doubly happy to see it come back for a story involving Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman. 


One of the things I most enjoy about this iteration of Batman is that it avoids the whole Frank Miller/Alan Moore, grim-and-gritty phase that the Dark Knight’s been going through since at least the mid-80s. In this flashback story, we actually get to see both of his parents functioning as members of their social class during the Second World War. There are no movie theaters or broken pearl necklaces or crazed hoodlums trying to tragically orphan young master Bruce. (Well, there’s the little matter of the Nazis, but more on them in a second.)


This adventure begins in the present with Catwoman stealing a book for a lady named Talia; Parker and Andreyko “purrfectly” capture the tone of her speech as well as the interactions between her and the Caped Crusaders. We also get to hear Alfred to tell a good bit of the flashback portion of the tale, as Talia and Bruce were only children at the time. My only real quibble with the storytelling is that it assumes some knowledge that I’m not always sure novice readers will have. For instance, Talia’s father isn’t named in the book until the very last page, it took me longer than I like to admit to realize who “Captain Trevor” was, and I just plain had to look up Etta. That said, it amused me greatly to hear Etta’s dialogue in my head as spoken by the voice of Harley Quinn from the animated series. I also appreciated that they kept the tone light enough that they managed to turn actual Nazis into mere cartoon villains with goofy outfits and funny accents.


The art and color by Hahn and Kesel and Madpencil were just as bright and vivid and sharp as I remember the show being. Also clever was the visual way Batman’s and Robin’s voiceovers of the flashback were represented in print (little Bat symbol and a grey box, yellow letter “R” and yellow box). The final, cliffhanger panel of the book made me gasp out loud at the size of the blade being waved at Bruce, and because the art and writing worked together to make me willingly suspend my disbelief and be entertained. I will indeed be tuning in next month, same Bat-time and same Bat-channel, to see what’s next for our intrepid heroes. 

Our Score:


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