Who’s ready for more stories inspired by the classic TV series?!
Well, the solicitation for this issue certainly said we would be getting more of the villainous cowboy Shame this issue and the cover definitely shows Shame’s boots, but alas there is no Shame to be found within Batman ’66 #9. However, it does feature two very unique and entertaining stories that I’ll talk about now…
Zelda’s Great Escape
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Craig Rousseau
Colors by tony Avina
“Zelda’s Great Escape” features, of course, Zelda the Great, an escape artist-themed villain made famous by Anne Baxter, who also played Olga Queen of the Cossacks on the Batman TV series. Much like Batman #165, which was also adapted into an episode of the Adam West show, this adventure gives us a villain whose biggest crime is a lack of imagination. Rather than try to come up with a new act, Zelda captures the Dynamic Duo and places them in death-trap after death-trap just so she can take notes on their escape and incorporate the same feat into her show (in which she goes by the name “The Great Griselda”). This adventure really felt fresh. Rather than the usual heist, we’re simply treated to the thrill of watching Batman and Robin out-think their foe time and time again. While Batman and Robin make their repeated escapes– in which they are again and again subdued by mustachioed henchmen– Zelda spouts her twisted philosophy to Dick Grayson’s potential girlfriend, Haley. It’s funny, imaginative, and it even comes with a bit of that BANG! POW! Action that everyone will be looking for. The artwork by Craig Rousseau has a more cartoonish quality that fits the lighthearted narrative well and the characters are expressive enough to drive home some of the book’s best jokes. However, I do wish that we could’ve seen a few more detailed backgrounds and there were a few panels in the closing fight sequence that looked a bit sketchy. The last 3 pages in particular do not appear to be rendered as well as what came before. As always, Tony Avina’s vibrant colors add a great deal of life to the ’66 World, but I do wish we could see some more of those retro screentone coloring effects from the first couple issues of the series.
The Butler Did It
This is actually my 2nd time reviewing a Batman story titled “The Butler Did It”
Written by Tom Peyer
Pencils by Chris Sprouse
Inks by Karl Story
Colors by Tony Avina
Writer Tom Peyer digs deep into the ’66 roster for this one! Alfred is visited by his ne’er-do-well cousin, Egbert, who is the spitting image of Alfred himself. Although he has recently paid his debt to society following a previous transgression, Egbert has yet to learn his lesson and decides to take Alfred hostage, become his doppleganger, and enjoy the cushy life of a butler. As you can imagine, much hilarity ensues as Egbert tries to wipe the furniture in silver polish or tell the crank-callers on the red phone to “Shove off!” Naturally, the Dynamic Duo grow wise of Egbert’s scheme, but how do they take him down without raising suspicion about their secret identities or endangering the missing Pennyworth? This was another great short story that had plenty of laughs and legitimately clever moments. I also greatly appreciated the esoteric choice of villain! One thing the Batman ’66 series is doing exceedingly well is make full use of its large cast of characters– things never get stale! Also, the artwork by Chris Sprouse is excellent and showcases richer detail than the Zelda episode, particularly with the environments and spot-on likenesses to characters from the show.
- You’re a fan of the classic TV series (don’t be scared of the #9, anyone can pick up any issue of Batman ’66, they all stand alone)
- You want something lighthearted, creative, and funny!
- This comic is not only for you but for your kids. It’s a great all-ages book
- You suffer from Rogues Gallery Fatigue. Tired of seeing the same ol’ same ol’ A-list villains? This comic features two stories with Zelda the Great and Egbert Pennyworth, two characters most folks have never even heard of before
I thought this was a really entertaining read. I especially liked the unconventional villain choices! If you want to get some bang for your buck and are a fan of the classic TV series then you won’t regret picking up this issue with not one but 2 lively adventures. Out of all the many, many Batman titles, Batman ’66 definitely brings something different to the table.