The classic incarnation of Batman is back once again in a crossover with the Green Hornet. As soon as I saw this collection, I knew that I had to check it out. The Adam West Batman show was pretty great and the comics have done a good job of capturing why this series is so much fun. As good as the first two Batman collections were, this one is the best. Whether it is the added hype of the crossover effect or just the fact that the writing has gotten better, this is one collection that you don’t want to miss.
It was just another day for Batman and Robin until they learned that some rare items were leaving from Gotham to another city. Bruce Wayne felt personally responsible for this and decided to go onto the train as well. Gotta keep up the Wayne reputation right? The Green Hornet in his alter ego also decided to come along under the pretense of a story for his newspaper. The two heroes try to out hype each other as they brag about the local heroes (or villains in the Green Hornet’s case) until someone breaks into the train. The General has arrived and his glue weapons could mean the end for the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin prepare to stop him, but the Green Hornet is in their way. As far as Batman and Robin know, the Green Hornet is just another criminal. Can Batman drop him while also dealing with the real villains? Speaking of which, the General is not alone. He is joined by the Joker and stopping both of them will be difficult.
This comic is a blast to read from start to finish. It really feels like you are looking at a new Batman episode from the good ole days. The heroes are constantly making puns, but also reminding each other about defending the law. Batman can barely even stand the thought of working alongside the Green Hornet since the masked man is a known criminal. Seriously, the comic is incredible and the dialogue is easily top notch. You’ll thoroughly enjoy the issues and even the villains have honor as they outsmart the heroes using technicalities instead of tricks.
It almost goes without saying that Batman makes for an excellent main character. He really embodies truth, justice, and the American Way in this collection. He always stands up for what’s right and he gives everyone a fair shake. It’s just what he does and Batman never backs down from a fight. The Green Hornet may have surprised him in round 1, but it’s safe to say that Batman bounced back from that. In a fair fight, I don’t think that the Green Hornet would last very long. Batman also proved that his Batcave and its gadgets are better than the Green Hornet’s.
Robin is essentially the Yes Man on Batman’s group. He always agrees with Batman although you can hardly blame him since the Dark Knight tends to always be right about everything. Robin’s a good sidekick and this is really how he should be portrayed. He can fight and he’s also smart, but he’s just not ready to match Batman in those categories yet. Give him a little time and then he’ll be all ready to roll. His counterpart in the form of Kato wasn’t quite as likable. I found him to be rather arrogant and undeservingly so since he’s not a great fighter. I’d say that he’s weaker than Robin when you think about it. He likes to quote philosophers to psych out the opponents and get some subtle burns in. Kato’s not a bad character per say, but I do find him to be rather annoying. Of course, it helps that I’m on team Robin so the burns get personal.
As for the Green Hornet, he’s a fun hero to have around. He’s similar to Batman although he’s not nearly as heroic. The Hornet is still a hero, but he pretends to be a villain to deal with the crooks. I wonder if it’s a plan that Batman would approve of since it skirts the lines of the law. Telling Batman his secret would have saved them all a lot of hassle, but I can see why he wouldn’t want to divulge such a big secret so easily. So, I don’t blame him for that. The Hornet is a fun foil to Batman and I’m guessing that his old comics would probably be a lot of fun as well. I wonder if he has an ongoing at the moment to match up with the Batman’66 stories.
The art on the covers is trying very hard to look like it’s a live action piece to match the TV show. I’m not crazy about how it looks so I’m glad that the art inside of the issues is normal. It flows rather easily and while Batman’s uniform can still take a little getting used too, it looks sharp. Likewise with the rest of the cast. The art is simple and managed to pull off the TV show vibe that they are going for. The fights are certainly fun to look at.
I almost forgot to mention the villains! The Joker definitely looks like the mastermind of the operation even if he doesn’t get as much screen time as The General. The Joker can hold his own and I was satisfied with his portrayal as he showed a good amount of wit and skill. The General isn’t quite as charismatic and comes off as a generic villain. That being said, his plan was quite good and it would have succeeded against the average hero although the final demand for the millions was rather suspicious.
Naturally, Batman and Robin ended up fighting Green Hornet and Kato on one occasion. The battle was a quick one hit knockout so Batman and Robin fans would likely be disappointed by it. I can safely say that I wasn’t thrilled by it either. Although things essentially equaled out by the end, I just don’t see such a tactic working on the Dynamic Duo. If you ask me, Batman and Robin would win the fight quite easily and you could say that they had the upper hand in all of the other skirmishes. While the outcome wasn’t quite as accurate as I could have hoped, I appreciate the fact that the crossover actually picked a winner instead of making it a generic stalemate. Nothing’s worse than a tie…
Overall, This is a great crossover! From how the characters are portrayed in the collection, I have a feeling that each comic title could holds its own. I’ve already read two Batman’66 volumes so I can say with confidence that it is a good series. I haven’t read any Green Hornet issues so far, but if there are any retro styled ones where the characters act like they do in this collection, it would definitely be a lot of fun. If you’re a Batman fan, you really need to pick this title up. The constant stream of quality dialogue will keep you going and the art is sound. This is a style that I hope more comics emulate in the future and hopefully the library will pick up more collections for the Batman series.