Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Batman '66 #14

This issue sees the return of Jeff Parker as writer.  Thankfully, he turns in a story that is stronger than some of his other recent efforts.  Professor Overbeck, who is becoming a major character in this series, in conjunction with Batman, has created a Bat-Robot to take some of the burden of crime fighting off Batman's shoulders, allowing Bruce Wayne to have more leisure time.  With slight satirical nods to The Iron Giant and Robocop, the Bat-Robot rounds up Clock King, Louie the Lilac, and the Archer, allowing Bruce and Dick to go on a fishing trip. Next the Bat-Robot goes against a Joker-Riddler team-up, and an err in the robot's computations, causes the Giggling Gangsters the have the upper hand.  But Batman and Robin arrive in time to thwart the Laughing Larcenists.

Curiously, this issue has two artists.  Part 1 is drawn by Paul Rivoche, and he turns in excellent artwork.  A nice change of pace over the weak art of the last couple issues.  Part 2 is drawn by Craig Rousseau, and is not as good as Rivoche, but still good quality. 

As stated earlier, Parker turns in a stronger script this time. In addition to the mild satire of Robocop and The Iron Giant, he takes a jab at the Nolan Dark Knight films, where it seemed like Bruce was constantly looking for reasons to quit being Batman (perhaps it had to do with the fact Joe Chill was captured the same night as the murder of Bruce's parents, with Chill serving nearly 20 years in prison, thus eliminating Bruce's motive to become Batman in the first place.... but I digress). It was also great to finally see The Riddler back in these pages. My biggest critique of the series is that it is trying to be like the third and fourth seasons of the TV series, instead of the far superior first season. Symbolic of that is The Riddler sat out most of those seasons after dominating the first season, and likewise, The Riddler has been absent from most of this comic book series. This issue earns a B+.

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