Comic Reviews, Comics, Reviews

Batman’66 Volume 3 Review

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I always liked Adam West’s portrayal of Batman. It felt on point and moreover..it felt natural. This is the Batman that I remembered, making lots of puns and having a good time while taking down villains. That being said, the serious Batman from New 52 or the DCAU is certainly a classic as well. Both versions certainly work well when given a good story to back themselves up. Volume 3 of Batman’66 plays out as you would expect it too. It doesn’t take any risks and simply follows the formula along. As such, nothing’s unexpected, but it’s still a good story like the first two volumes.

This one brings 6 issues so let’s take a look at hoe they fared. One of them saw an old Egg themed villain return, but he has now evolved to a level where he can use his mind for abilities like telepathy. Batman and Robin must now figure out a way to defeat this foe since the guy can basically defeat them with a glance. This won’t be easy…that’s for sure. My problem with this issue is simply the fact that the villain was portrayed to be way too powerful. Defeating the heroes with a glance is just too much and as a result, it’s hard to really believe the ending. It felt like plot hax was everywhere. That’s why you never want to make villains too powerful unless the heroes get some kind of power up as well.

One of the better stories definitely involved a big Batman robot that will help make Gotham city a nicer place. Batman trains the robot and decides to leave it to its own devices. The moral involves how robots can’t adapt to the situation, which you probably could have guessed from the get go. It’s obvious, but still fitting and I was glad that the robot didn’t randomly turn evil. I was actually expecting that the entire time so I was glad to be proven wrong. Maybe this was the best story in the collection.

Another issue involved a team up between the Penguin and Widow Black. These two are a dangerous tag team and actually defeat the heroes rather easily. The part that I don’t really buy is how quickly the Penguin betrayed her. Sure, Batman reminded him that he would be betrayed eventually, but didn’t he realize that from the get go? I feel like the writers had no idea on how to save the heroes since Batman and Robin were literally put in a sticky situation. Regardless of how realistic that ending may have been, it was good to see a new(ish) villain to the series. This isn’t her first appearance in media or anything like that, but I definitely don’t remember this villain so it’s probably been a while. She’s not the greatest, but more variety is a good thing.

Another all star is definitely the issue where a TV show of Batman and Robin is produced. This leads to a lot of dicey moments for the heroes since villains are beginning to fear them. They don’t want that. This isn’t the 90’s after all! They decide to shut down the program, but find out that it is being run by a villain. This was certainly an entertaining story and I always like the idea of villains using TV to wreck the heroes. It is a solid strategy and almost worked. If anything, the villain should have stayed undercover a little longer. The heroes wouldn’t have dared to have attacked him. A running gag was that the heroes would do “The Bat Business” to the villains, which makes them cower in fear. Considering that the heroes reluctantly hit the villains a little, it could be anything. I feel the comic was hinting towards tickling and that used to be a big joke back in the day, but thankfully that era has passed.

Next up, we saw the return of Batgirl! Batman and Robin are always eager to have another hero to help out, even if it makes Robin look a little worse in comparison. The Joker and Catwoman are teaming up this time so that means double trouble for the heroes. I’ll admit that this comic was surprisingly uneventful though. I can’t really remember the plot even after seeing the cover and the summary. I just remember Batgirl being in it and the quick team up as the heroes had to break up some fights. Not a bad comic, but not really a very good one either. Still, it is a Batman’66 comic that basically follows all the tropes so it’s your standard stuff.

Finally, Marsha decides to leave the Brady Bunch and make a name for herself. She wants all the jewels in the world and actually manages to enter the Bat Cave!!! Luckily for the heroes, She decides not to go for his secret identity since the cops could have been alerted. Not her best decision, but now the Dark Knight can rest easy as he takes her down once and for all. The villains weren’t actually that tough as Marsha can’t fight, but the tension of her possibly knowing his identity (Or coming close) really makes the issue.

It was a fine collection of issues. This volume’s definitely not as good as the Green Hornet crossover, but that…was a crossover. You can’t expect the normal volumes to come close. As far as going against volumes 1 and 2, I’d say that 3 is more of less the same. The thing with Batman’66 is that almost all of the issues are essentially interchangeable. It all comes down to whether you like the style or not. I still love seeing all of the puns and Batman ends up putting everyone in their place even when he only fights reluctantly. He wants to help all of the villains out after all. He makes for a great lead. Robin’s mostly just here to get humiliated and you can feel bad for the guy, but I suppose that he tries. He just tends to almost let the secret identity out a lot, which can certainly be disastrous.

The cover may be very underwhelming, but the art in the actual issues is still solid. It’s easy to really get into the flow of things and you’ll feel like you’re back in the 1960’s. The art does a good job of emulating the classic style and the overall comic is better off for it. I doubt it’s very difficult to draw from the artist’s perspective compared to other styles, but the finished product is really what counts.

Overall, This is a solid continuation from the first two volumes. At this point, you know whether you like the comics and its premise or not. It’s a lot of fun and is filled with many puns, but some Batman fans may still not be used to this happy version of the character. It’s a comedy over action volume as that is the direction that the series is typically focused on. It works quite well and I know what I want to happen in volume 4. We need Superman to appear. This series is typically very realistic, but now that it’s in comic format, I feel like adding Superman wouldn’t be super out of place. It could actually work if handled well…don’t you think?

Overall 7/10

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