Monday, December 1, 2014

Review: Batman '66 The Lost Episode

This special issue has bronze age greats Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez taking a rejected Harlan Ellison treatment for the TV series featuring Two-Face, and transforming it into a Batman '66 comic book story. To top it off, included are Garcia-Lopez's pencil pages, and Ellison's original treatment.  On the critique that the regular series is too much like the third season episodes, and the just concluded Green Hornet team up is strongly in a second season style, Wein's script kind of reads more like a bronze age era comic book story rather than an episode of the TV series.  The creative team have inserted some bronze age moments that are out of place for the TV continuity, like Robin using the Batcycle as transportation.  The camp is kept to minimum, more in line with first season episodes, but I think had Two-Face been used on the show, he wouldn't have had such a graphically disfigured face, as Garcia-Lopez drew him. The show would have been more inclined to simply paint half his face green, with no scarred flesh or damaged eye.  Despite this mash up of TV show and bronze age comics, the script is excellent, and the artwork is some of the best we've seen on the Batman '66 franchise.  The unaltered pencils are even better than the finished artwork, and it's easy to see why it was included.  Finally, there is the Ellsion treatment itself. While somewhat bare bones, reading it, I could easily picture it as a TV episode, more so that the comic book version.  The treatment captures the rhythm and pattern of the TV show better than Wein's script. This special issue is very unique and well done and earns an A.

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