Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: Batman '66 #17

This issue has writer Jeff Parker turning in another mediocre story, this time featuring King Tut. The plot has to do with Tut using an Osiris Virus to turn Gotham citizens into... zombies! It comes off as a feeble attempt at capitalizing on the current pop culture zombie fad, especially when you consider the virus served the same purpose as Tut's Abu-Rabu-Simbu-Tu potion from the TV show.  Tut also has a ridiculous sarcarphagus automobile that looks like a rip-off of the Joker Mobile from the TV show.  Mayor Linseed appears in this story, once again portrayed as an African-American (more in line with the mayor from Batman Forever), causing a continuity gaffe with not only the TV show, but with Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith's superior Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet miniseries. One positive thing, in Parker's previous Tut attempt, I critiqued that he actually made Tut too toned down.  Here, Tut is back in full Victor Buono glory.  Even so, this is one of Parker's weaker efforts, and the art by Scott Kuwalchuk gives issue number 12's Dario Brizuela a run for the money on worst artwork in the series.  DC powers-that-be, again I must request that you bring in Andy Fish to take over writing this title, with Ralph Garman on hand to do fill in's.  You have to base this series on the superior first season, and the constant failure to do so will kill this series sooner rather than later.  Better quality artists need to be brought in, also.  Over all, this issue earns a D.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet #6

The final issue opens with Batman and The Green Hornet about to detonate via Batzooka a missal launched by the Joker and General Gumm before it hits Gotham Park.  However, the bomb turns out to be a joke, shooting off postage stamps.  The four heroes deduce the villains are going to kidnap Franco Bollo.  After a Bat-Climb (with window cameo by Richard Nixon), the heroes discover they are too late.  As the villains try to escape via plane, the heroes arrive in a Bat-Hovercraft, neatly avoiding the gummy glue around the plane, preventing the police from arresting Joker and Gumm.  The heroes chase the villains away and rescue Bollo.  In gratitude, he offers to drop his lawsuit against the two cities for an out of court settlement of three million dollars.  After the payoff, Batman and his cohorts bust in, knowing that Bollo was really Gumm in disguise all along, putting an end to this case.  This final chapter is somewhat marred by rehashing a similar plot twist from the episode The Joker Trumps an Ace/Batman Sets the Pace, where the Joker impersonated the Maharajah of Nimpa, while the real Maharajah was on a secluded hunting trip.  This is the second issue in a row to "borrow" a scene from a Joker episode.  It makes you think that writers Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith were running out of ideas for a six issue story arc, and perhaps should have done a four issue arc instead.  Never the less, their script, and this miniseries, is an improvement over Jeff Parker's efforts in the regular series, albeit Garman and Smith seem more entrenched in the series' weaker second season, rather than the far superior first season (Parker, on the other hand, seems entrenched in the awful third season, although the one thing in his favor is he avoids using the TV show's all too rigid storytelling formula).  As usual, Ty Templeton does an excellent job on the art, although he could stand to get Burt Ward's likeness a little better.  Alex Ross' cover painting is a masterpiece, of course.  But it's the recycling of ideas in the last two issues that bring the miniseries down a notch. Even so, I would like to see Garman write some issues of the regular series.  This issue earns a B-.

On a side note, I was hoping to review Batman '66: The Lost Episode today, but all the issues received by my comic book store were damaged and sent back. So it will have to wait until next month.  Ironically, it is also noted the long awaited Batman DVD set has some errors: a missing tag on the episode Marsha's Scheme of Diamonds  and several missing "next week's villain" bumpers.  (I wonder if Chris Nolan and/or Zack Snyder is paying someone off to mess up these classic Batman items?)  I am sure Warner Brothers will be providing corrected replacement discs, as they have done so before, when the Superman movie box set included the bare bones version of Superman III instead of the deluxe edition, and when the Elvis movie box set likewise included the bare bones version of Jailhouse Rock instead of the deluxe edition.  Also, when a Popeye volume included a few cartoons with the old AAP TV opening titles instead of the restored Paramount titles.  Warners is actually very good about replacing discs.  But on the other hand, if they had better quality control, they wouldn't need to issue so many replacement discs for so many different titles in the first place.