Published: December 8th, 2015
Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Richard Case
Based on: Batman (’60s TV Series) by William Dozier, ABC
DC Comics, 176 Pages
Well, I’m up to the fourth of the five collected volumes of this series, so that means I’m sadly, closer to the end than the beginning. This has been a fun ride, as I am a big fan of the 1960s Batman television series. It’s true to the source material and just feels right.
So how does this volume fare in regards to the first three, which I have already read and reviewed?
Well, it has multiple stories that feature Roddy McDowall’s Bookworm, so that’s a huge plus, as he was my favorite one-off villain that was invented for the show.
Other than that, the book is a lot of fun.
This volume starts with a King Tut story that has a small cameo by Bookworm. We then get a story featuring Art Carney’s The Archer, which is followed by a story where Bookworm is the main villain. After that, we get the first comic book appearance of the television show villains, Professor Marmaduke Ffogg and Lady Penelope Peasoup.
The next story is my favorite one, thus far into the Batman ’66 comic series. It stars Cesar Romero’s Joker in a plot where he is a superhero with his own sidekick and a purple Batmobile. It’s a fun story that just feels right for the Romero Joker. Plus, it has small cameos from Vincent Price’s Egghead, Burgess Meredith’s Penguin and Julie Newmar’s Catwoman.
Following this great tale, we get a story that starts with the Penguin but leads into meeting the Caped Crusaders’ first Japanese villain, and exclusive to this comic series, Lord Death Man. He wears a cool skeleton costume and controls a horde of ninjas. This adventure also sees Batman go to Japan with Batgirl, as Robin is on the shelf due to vertigo from his encounter with the Penguin.
We then get a solid Penguin story and although he seems like he is monopolizing this volume in the Batman ’66 series, this is the first story featuring him as the primary antagonist.
Following all that great stuff, we get to the final chapter in this collection which features a famous comic book villain making his Batman ’66 debut, as he was never featured on the television show: Two Face.
Two-Face was originally supposed to appear in the Batman TV show back in the ’60s but he was considered too gruesome for network television. So finally getting to see him appear alongside the Adam West Batman and the Burt Ward Robin was pretty cool. And the story was a nice read, as it felt true to the Two-Face character without altering the Batman ’66 tone.
This volume in the series may be my favorite. It has the debut of Two-Face, my favorite Joker story and two appearances by the Bookworm. Not to mention a lot of Penguin and an Egghead cameo. The only real low point was the Ffogg and Peasoup story, as I wasn’t a fan of them on the show to begin with.
Pairs well with: The rest of the Batman ’66 comic collections.