There’s an awful lot this series has been doing right: the dialogue is fantastic, the characterizations are spot-on, and the distinct visuals give it a unique look. The plot may be moving along at a bit of a deliberate pace, but it’s still intriguing and loads of fun. For that, Edginton, Smith and team must be commended.
For all its qualities, there has been something missing. That something?
I love it when the creative teams on ’66 do things that wouldn’t have been possible on a Sixties television budget, and a midair battle with rocket-powered robot men ranks up there with the best of them. This installment is pure fun from beginning to end, thanks in no small part to the great aeronautical chase and acrobatics on display.
Edginton’s writing, it should come as no surprise, is just as snappy and genuine as ever, and he perfectly balances humor (“What’s to be done? We can’t outpace them in this gasbag, and I’m all out of bees!”) with genuine understanding of the characters (“A laudable sentiment but you can’t save everyone.”) That latter quote especially stands out, as Mrs. Peel, who delivers the line, unintentionally zeroes in on Batman’s mindset: given a chance, everyone should be able to change, even the worst of the worst criminals. They may not change, but they can.
It’s a throwaway line, though, and there isn’t any follow-up, but that’s never really been the point of the series; everything is appropriately tongue-in-cheek with brief flashes of genuine emotion and character development, making the latter ring more true when it occurs.
For an issue that’s mostly a high-speed chase over the ocean, there’s a lot of greatness here: a great Batman, a great Robin, a great Steed and Peel, great villains, great action, great dialogue, just a great time all around.
- You love Batman ’66.
- You love Steed and Peel.
- Airships, guys. Airships.
Overall: A fast read, and enjoyable through and through. This has been one of the most consistently enjoyable Batman ’66 arcs in recent memory, with each installment moving the story forward while bringing something new to the table. I like to say that there are worse ways to spend a dollar, and that’s certainly applicable here. Read and enjoy, chums.