Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #6: “The End of Crime’s Tether”
Written by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman
Illustrated by Ty Templeton
Colored by Tony Aviña
Lettered by Wes Abbott
Cover by Alex Ross
All good things, right?
Here we’ve reached the end of the story Kevin Smith, Ralph Garman, and Ty Templeton (with a little help from Jon Bogdanove and Alex Ross) set out to tell, and it ends as satisfyingly as you’d hope.
I mean, it’s satisfying if you’ve always wanted to see a Bat-hovercraft, which I’m willing to bet you have.
When we last left our heroes, Batman and the Green Hornet were in Gotham’s Central Park, employing a last-ditch effort to stop a bomb unloaded by the Joker and General Gumm.
True to the Joker’s nature, this ends up just being a distraction, providing another taunt for our heroes. They’re nonplussed, however, and in true Batman ’66 fashion, the mystery begins to unravel through the usage of some Italian wordplay.
It’s probably safe for me to assume that the mystery here isn’t the main draw, but the team-up itself. Saying that, the plot does take a few twists in the final act that actually feel earned and effective rather than just arbitrarily thrown in to “have a twist.” I won’t spoil anything, just to say that the plot is actually pretty tightly focused. There might be some holes you can poke if you look closely enough, but come on, we’re just having a great time here.
This is probably the most difficult issue to review because if you’re already on board then you’ve probably been reading up to this point anyway, but I guess there’s the off chance that some people were waiting to see if it ended well before picking it up.
Well, yes it does. It’s worth it.
I’ve said this before, and it bears repeating: this story reads like a script straight from the Sixties in the best possible way. I’m not sure who contributes more to the overall feel of the dialogue, but I have no doubt that Smith’s scriptwriting background certainly helped in crafting such a solid tale. Even better that his trademark crassness isn’t on display at all, but there’s still life and personality to the characters and situations. There’s not a moment that feels phoned in or “paint by numbers,” and both Smith and Garman deserve plaudits for that. The series trademarks are all there, from the flowery dialogue to the puns to a surprise appearance during a Batrope wall climb, and I hope this isn’t the last of their work with Batman ’66.
Templeton’s art is as solid as ever (side note: the first collection of The Batman Adventures, which contains a few issues Templeton pencilled, has just been reprinted. Pick it up, as that run has some of the best Batman stories you’ll ever read), with great vehicle design, accurate and consistent characters, and simple but lively backgrounds. He was a perfect fit for this run, and that’s all there is to that.
Saying all that, there are some flaws with the issue and the story as a whole. There were a few notable editing errors in dialogue, with dropped letters or entire words missing. I counted two instances in this issue alone and remember two or three times from earlier installments, and for a high profile run like this that’s pretty sloppy.
As well as the story was told and as satisfying as it was in the end, they probably could have trimmed it down by an issue or two. There’s never a point where it feels like the story is carrying dead weight, but some of the fight scenes and escapes could have been condensed. Of course, you need to reach that desired graphic novel length, so a six issue mini is understandable.
There’s also the matter of the abrupt penciling changes in issue five. Templeton handled the first half, while Jon Bogdanove penciled the second. They were by no means bad; on the contrary, I loved the work he did and wanted to see more. It was only for that one half of that one issue, though, and I’ve not been able to figure out the reasoning behind it.
Those are all fairly minor quibbles, though. The strengths on display far outweigh and outnumber the weaknesses, and the second meeting between Batman and the Green Hornet is a story any Batfan can enjoy and should add to their collections.
- You love a good story, plain and simple.
- You love Batman ’66.
- You don’t mind learning a little Italian in your comic books.
Overall: An incredibly satisfying conclusion to one of the most anticipated Batman series this year, it has everything you would want from a Batman ’66 comic: laughs, over the top action, clever wordplay, and above all, heart.