Monday, November 30, 2015

Dynamic Duo Takes on More Adventures in "Batman '66 Vol. 4"

DC Comics takes us back in time with "Batman '66 Volume 4." The hardcover graphic novel collection includes issues #17 through 22 and Batman: The Lost Episode #1. A diverse group of writers and artists join forces to expand the world many of us visited week after week and afternoons as reruns.

In "Batman '66 Volume 4," the Dynamic Duo team up with Barbara Gordon to take on the worst enemies of Gotham City. They face off against The Bookworm, a deranged zombie creating Professor, The Queen of Diamonds, Lord Death Man and The Joker. They also face off against Two-Face for the first time ever!

An army of writers such as Jeff Parker, Mike W. Barr, and others provide readers with seven tales which take us back to a less grim time in the career of Batman. Just like the lighthearted series it's based on, it's more Caped Crusader and Dynamic Duo than Dark Knight. If you love the zany formula used in each episode of the show, then you'll fully appreciate the stories found in "Batman '66 Volume 4."

Several different artists including Joe Prado, David Bullock, Richard Case, and several others capture the fundamental elements found in each and every episode of Batman. Colorful villains and splashes of "Biff, "Bang," and "Pow" fill the action-packed panels of this fourth volume of the renowned monthly title. The imagery of the TV series is best suited for this medium because that's exactly what it really was. It was a comic book come to life onscreen.

The real treat within "Batman '66 Volume 4" is Len Wein's adaptation of Harlan Ellison's outline for a lost episode of the television series. The tale introduces Two-Face into the wacky world of "Batman '66." Artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez brings Ellison's vision to vivid life to give us all a look at what could've been onscreen.

"Batman '66 Volume 4" is rated E for Everyone. There's the usual comic violence and peril, but it's all in good fun. It's nice to see a book we all can all enjoy no matter what the age.

Bonus material for "Batman '66 Volume 4" features some extra goodies for comic book enthusiasts. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez's penciled pages are found in their entirety. There's also a "Two-Face Sketchbook" by Garcia-Lopez to gawk at. Harlan Ellison's unedited original manuscript for his Two-Face story is included accompanied by photos from the "Batman" TV series. Variant covers for different issues close out the book.

"Batman '66 Volume 4" captures all the colorful camp, humor, and comic book flare of the original television series. It really is the perfect vehicle for the legendary show to live on. What a perfect homage to everyone who was involved, some of which have passed away.

"Batman '66 Volume 4" is available now in print and Kindle editions.

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