Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Batman '66 Meets the Man from UNCLE #1

Batman '66 meets the Man from UNCLE.  This is a great concept. The first issue of this miniseries, written by Jeff Parker, sets things up nicely. In a unique narrative, Parker has Batman and Robin and UNCLE agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in separate story lines.  Needless to say they will cross paths soon, but its nice to start the story with two separate story lines than to jump right into a team up.  Batman and Robin chase an escaped Penguin, a great pick for this miniseries, seeing that UNCLE's adversary is THRUSH.  Meanwhile, the UNCLE agents are after a new THRUSH agent, Olga Queen of the Cossacks.  The inclusion of this weak third season villain is the low point of the issue.  There is a nice nod when Solo introduces himself using the alias "Ross Webster", the Morgan Edge-like character actor Robert Vaughn played in Superman III.  The art by David Hahn is acceptable, but at times misses the mark on the likenesses of Vaughn and David McCallum. The format of the story is closer to the Man from UNCLE TV series, which itself partially inspired the creation of the Batman TV series. In return, at the height of "Batmania", UNCLE took on a campier Batman tone. Since Warner Brothers owns the UNCLE franchise, via their buyout of Ted Turner who got the rights from MGM when they were selling their back catalog due to bankruptcy, I always wondered why WB didn't hand the property to DC to incorporate into their Universe. Indeed, Marvel's SHIELD was created as a rip off of UNCLE, so it would seem natural for DC to incorporate the original into it's universe.  It certainly would make more sense than its own lesser-grade spy agencies like Spyral or Argus.  All in all, this is a good start to what should be a great miniseries. The first issue earns a B.


David Hahn said...

Thanks for the nice review. For legal reasons, we could not use the exact likenesses of McCallum and Vaughn, so my take with the art was to get them close, but not exact likenesses.

-David Hahn

Shazamaholic said...

And thank you David for your work on this series!

Anonymous said...

S.H.E.I.L.D is not a rip off of U.N.C.L.E. The former is a U.S. organization, the latter includes all U.N. member nations. Nobody has a monopoly on secret agents.
Col. N. Furious