Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 Review

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It’s time to look at the big crossover between the retro Wonder Woman and Batman series. As they both starred in different eras the comic decides to have adventures that take place in both along with a third that he even sooner. It’s cool how the series was able to tackle all 3 eras and even added a sense of continuity by making them all connect to each other in some way or another. If we ever do get a Justice League comic with these characters it would definitely be intense!

The first comic takes place when Batman was still just a child. The Nazi’s wanted to obtain a book he owned that would lead to the Pit of Eternal Youth and many other places including Wonder Woman’s home. Ra’s Al Ghul and his criminal organization also wanted this info. Finally, Wonder Woman and government agent Steve Trevor also showed up to grab it. Batman’s in a little over his head here, but he needs to try and get the book to safety while also looking out for Talia. Although little does he know that Talia can certainly fend for herself as she was already taught much about martial arts when she was a kid.

It’s a fun comic and probably the only time we will see Batman’s parents for a while. Talia was probably the highlight here as it’s a nice look at how she could have been as a hero if not for the guidance of Ra’s. She probably would have been an even better Batgirl than the one we are all used to. Wonder Woman had a pretty easy time mowing down the opposing troops herself. Protecting the kids would probably be the toughest part and even that seemed rather simple for her as well. Even Steve got to contribute a bit.

The middle story has Ra’s make his way to Paradise Island. No man can arrive there without an escort so Batman convinces Catwoman to take them there. The villainess has a rather large role in both the second and third stories as she even gets a redemption arc. Her fans will likely be pleased as she does tend to go back and forth a lot but at the end of the day she always does have a lot of potential for good. Batman is rather skeptical the whole time as he should be, but doesn’t make a scene. He also doesn’t have much choice since she asks for sanctuary on the island and Wonder Woman grants it to her.

There’s not too much to say about this comic as it’s very to the point. The heroes fight with Ra’s and his team. We do get a cameo from Wonder Girl which was cool as she stood up to Ra’s. Naturally the comic does its best to keep Ra’s away from Wonder Woman because he wouldn’t last a second against her in an actual fight. Honestly that’s why Batman’s villains stay back for most of this collection as well. They can give the Dark Knight some trouble, but Wonder Woman? They are of no consequence to her and that’s considering that this isn’t even close to her strongest incarnation.

In the final story we have Wonder Woman head back to Gotham because Ra’s has returned once more. You have to respect the fact that he keeps on coming back for more each time. The guy just never gives up. Unfortunately she finds out that Batman has retired and now Robin is the only fighter left. Wonder Woman can’t accept this and convinces Batman to come out of retirement. Granted, he basically has to make this choice since Ra’s finds out about the Batcave and brings the fight to him. A more serious Bruce Wayne rejoins the fight and it’s a pretty fun climax.

This is the story that ends off the collection and it’s certainly a great pick for it. Aside from the fact that the stories were intentionally chosen in chronological order, it just feels like the most epic adventure from the 3 with the highest stakes. Ra’s is finally taken out of the equation as well so in theory the heroes no longer have to worry about him. That will certainly be a big relief for them.

The characters were all on point as you can probably guess. I’d say that Wonder Woman looks the best here as she looks out for humanity and saves the day many times. Batman isn’t as impressive since he gave up at one point, but did recover quickly and beyond that he looked solid as always. Robin still tries hard whenever he pops up and it was nice to see him as Nightwing. He deserves his share of respect at that point since he is a veteran and the heroes give it to him.

The artwork looks pretty solid throughout the issues. The character models are on point and the action scenes look nice as always. It’s not quite up to par with the mainstream DC adventures but it does a good job of recreating the look of the old shows. The panels all stand out so it’s always easy to see what is happening at a glance. Even though there is quite a lot of pages in this collection, it will all be over very quickly with how solid the writing and pacing are. This will come to no surprise as both individual series were always very good in these two areas though. If anything the writing is why these titles got so big in the first place.

Overall, This collection hits all the right notes. It’s a crossover where both heroes get a lot of tim to shine. It’s definitely interesting to see a more serious Adam West here even if you will miss the light one from the second story. I suppose that is definitely setting him up to play the role of Batman in Justice League as one more people would be familiar with from newer stories. That or since he was re inspired by Wonder Woman, he will go back to his usual style in time. Either way, hopefully we actually do get a Justice League story soon. That would definitely be a lot of fun.

Overall 8/10

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Wonder Woman ’77 Volume 2 Review

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It’s time to look at the next volume of the Wonder Woman ’77 series. Sadly this will be the end of her solo adventures but at least we will have some crossovers coming up. From the various retro DC series this one has always been very popular and probably only loses out to the Adam West show and maybe the old Superman serial but I’m inclined to say that it may edge that one out. Wonder Woman’s stories are fun and this comic is pretty solid as well with only one story being rather lackluster. It’s a good volume that I’d recommend to anyone.

The first big comic sees Clayface attack Wonder Woman’s home island. As the island is basically made on clay this becomes very dangerous. He becomes so powerful that only Wonder Woman can stand up to him. Clayface is actually very powerful so it’s nice to see him getting some good respect here. His abilities are really only limited by his imagination after all. It’s a good way to start the collection off and we’ve never really seen these two characters duke it out before.

The next comic is the weaker one as we go to an animal sanctuary where it turns out that hunters have been eradicating all of the animals. Wonder Woman goes in to help and finds out that the web of lies stretches out quite far and wide. The villains have been pretending to help the animals all along as a cover. Wonder Woman stops this madness, but not before there are some casualties. It’s handled as well as it can be I suppose, but definitely a story that could have been skipped and the volume would have been better off for it.

Next up we have a politician who has gotten quite a large following. People are defecting from the U.S. just to hang out with him on the farm. The government gets suspicious and sends in Diana Prince since there is no way that this is legit. People are giving up everything their own up to this complete stranger as well. The villains don’t like this and decide to attack. It turns out that they were using aliens to mind control the citizens which is definitely an interesting tactic. The aliens were strong but they were definitely no match for Wonder Woman.

On the next adventure we have a bunch of crooks trying to sabotage a boat. Diana and Steve are sent in undercover but how can they make a move without breaking their cover? Well it might be difficult for Steve but Diana has a lot of speed so she can handle herself pretty well. It’s a fun enough thriller story even if there isn’t much of a sense of danger here since Wonder Woman can end the threat at any time if need be. In the meanwhile she is just focusing on handling this like an agent.

Following that up is a story about a villain with psychic powers. He can mind control anyone near him and this makes him a tough threat to stop. After all Wonder Woman can’t afford to hurt his host too badly. That’s why she decides to allow herself to be mind controlled to fight him on the astral plane. It’s a pretty good plan and makes for a solid fight scene as well. This is probably the only opponent to give her a real tough fight in this series so this guy was no joke. (Clayface also gave a pretty good fight to be fair so maybe I should say the 2nd toughest fight) It’s probably the best comic of the volume. There’s quite a lot of action here.

Next up a musician accidentally scores a tape with a lot of confidential government secrets. The terrorists who initially got the tape naturally want it back now, but will they be able to get this guy to talk? Well, probably but fortunately Wonder Woman is on the case. She quickly shows up to end the threat, but it also gets complicated when a patient who is near death wants to hear the guy play. The villains still don’t have an excuse here, but the patient didn’t ask for this so the heroes allow her to hear one last song. It was a nice enough story even if the musician doesn’t seem as nervous as he should be in such a situation.

Finally we have a space mission. As always we have governments fighting each other as everyone wants to be the first in space. It appears as if the Russians have launched an attack on America, but Wonder Woman thinks that there is more to this. She infiltrates their base where they believe the same thing about the Americans. It turns out that a super villain has been manipulating everyone and this fighter has a jet pack. Wonder Woman is still able to win fairly quick, but it was a fun comic and one of the better ones. It was nice to see Wonder Woman also using some detective work to win the day.

The art is quite solid as always. It seems to change a bit from comic to comic, but there were no issues that looked bad or anything like that. The character models seem right and the fight scenes look good. At the end of the day that is the important part. The size of the collection is also pretty good as well and it manages to fit in quite a lot of stories.

Overall, This is definitely a comic that I would recommend to all readers. It has action, suspense, and doesn’t really step into any holes. I’m not sure if I’d put it above the first collection, but it’s a good sequel. I have the crossover with Batman ’66 coming up so I’m looking forward to checking that one out. Crossovers tend to be a blast and I believe the best one from the retro adventures is Batman meets Green Hornet so far. We’ll see if this one is even able to top that one.

Overall 7/10

Wonder Woman ’77 Volume 1 Review

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Unlike the Batman’66 series, I don’t know much about the old Wonder Woman show. Still, if it was anything like the Batman comics, I knew this would be a winner. It’s definitely a fun comic and while the art isn’t quite as good as you’d hope, it has its moments. Hopefully this series did/is doing well so it keeps on going. We could use more retro comics like this. Next they need to bring in a Superman ’55 series or something.

There are only 2 issues in this volume but it’s as long as any Batman’66 comic so I guess they’re all triple length. They definitely feel like long comics and even have multiple stories inside so that’s cool. The first story has Wonder Woman go up against the Swan. The Swan was crashing a party so WW had to quickly step in. The fight actually lasts for a little while and was a good way to kick off the adventures. Villains who use super voices are definitely formidable opponents to be sure, but it can’t beat classic super strength.

The next story was also pretty solid as Wonder Woman wakes up to find out that someone else is playing the part. It’s always a pretty interesting premise as you have to wonder which reality warper is messing around this time. It’s pretty disheartening to be benched to the sidelines when you’re used to being a starter. Also, no worries it isn’t a dream or something like that. Either way I’d probably say that it’s the best story in the batch. It was just nice and interesting all the way through.

Following that is the return of the Cheetah. She feels bad because her exhibit was cancelled at the last second so the museum could do a feature about Wonder Woman. As a result, she found the Cheetah costume/artifact and became a super villain. As a result, this is a different Cheetah than usual. Wonder Woman still defeats her with minimal effort, but it was a good comic. I’m always up for another version of Cheetah since it means that eventually a good one will pop up.

The next comic really stood out because of the artwork. It looked a little different this time. Some of the faces could still be way off at times, but I thought the villain’s design was handled well. Her name is Celsia and I’ve never heard of her before so it’s possible that she was made up for the issue. She has Ice and Fire abilities which is always a nice combo since she can now counter most elements. She manages to give Wonder Woman a good fight and it’s always nice to have a villain that is trying to defy corporate. It was probably the second best story of the bunch and even added in the shady government subplot to keep the characters honest.

Finally, we end on a serious note with a very short last comic. Solomon Grundy shows up to help a lady who is in a bad relationship with random joe #45. Wonder Woman fights him for a bit, but then finds out the reason for Grundy’s appearance and helps justice be served. It’s definitely a pretty dark comic for the usually happy Wonder Woman stories and was probably a short story that was released to raise awareness. WW even quickly reminds the girl that she should testify in court to make sure the guy is put away and to embolden others. A good story even if it seems a little out of place next to the others. It’s only a few pages long at any rate.

As mentioned earlier, the art is definitely a step down from Batman’66. It’s going for one of those quasi live action looks where everyone is super realistic. I never think that’s a good option for a comic and this was no exception. It’s not really bad or anything and once in a while the visuals will look good, but I do think it holds the series back just a bit.

Also, this may just be due to the show being like this as well, but Wonder Woman doesn’t make nearly as many one liners and wisecracks as Batman and Robin. She’s also not a super goody goody like them either so the writing isn’t quite as funny. She’s a noble hero, but the comic doesn’t do much else for her. She is also a little more naive than the other heroes which leads to multiple misunderstandings which in turn get the villains to show up. Of course, Wonder Woman is still a good character though and I didn’t mind Steve as a supporting character either. It’s a little hard to gauge how strong Wonder Woman is here, but she at least does have some degree of super strength. As such, I want to see the next volume give her more of a super villain to go up against. The fights will never get too massive since that’s not the point of these retro comics, but even if it’s brief it would be fun to see a quick super powered tussle.

Overall, it’s a good start for the Wonder Woman comics. If each issue stays this large, it should have no problem getting a bunch of trade paperbacks. I look forward to seeing the rest of Wonder Woman’s cast show up. Also, the more volumes it gets, the more I will be used to the characters and that should help the series get better and better. Switch the artist and the series will probably jump up a star instantly. I haven’t read a great many Wonder Woman comics aside from the old Golden/Silver age stuff so it’s good to have read a modern adventure from her. I look forward to the next volume whenever it pops up. Final note, I looked the series up on Comicvine and even though the trade says that it is only 2 issues inside, online it shows up as being the first 13. I guess they were all parts and merged into these issues, but that definitely explains quite a lot.

Overall 7/10