I’ve seen Batman Unlimited Toys on shelves for over a year and been confused as to what unseen version of the Caped Crusader they were for. Well now we know (and knowing is half the battle!). The toys are tied to a new straight-to-DVD film (and eventual series?) hitting stores on May 12th. Apparently aiming for a younger audience, I have mixed feelings about the design of the characters. I appreciate the cartoon keeping the classic blue and gray look of Batman, but the enlarged and distorted Bat-symbol on his chest just seems odd. I’m pleased to see the show has gone with Red Robin’s pre-New 52 costume, and Green Arrow is passable enough, but what’s up with the anime-influence design of both Nightwing and Flash? With the movie finally hitting shelves on May 12th you can expect to see more toys including Batman’s robot dinosaur who eats criminals. Yeah, that’s a real thing.
In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen with the first episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Although it would take the show a few episodes to permanently embrace the Silver Age style which would become its trademark, “Rise of the Blue Beetle!” does feature an odd space story and a super-hero origin setting up the show’s premise of Batman teaming up with a different hero every week (as was the concept of the comic from which the show took its name).
Widening the cast of villains, as the show did in the 1960s, to allow more variation unfortunately sometimes leaves you will bad guys like Lord Marmaduke Ffogg who arrives in Gotham City with his Londinium fog to plague the Caped Crusaders in the older sections of the city.
As expected given its guest-villain, Batman ’66 #19 is a mostly forgettable affair. There are a few bizarre touches like FFogg’s ridiculous giant pipe (which somehow steals Time Lord technology as it appears far larger on the inside), but I found the art of Leonardo Romero very inconsistent throughout the issue. Given that the story (with a villain whose motives are questionable at best) can’t stand on its own that leaves the reader with a very mixed bag. The villain’s henchwomen, and their obvious attraction to Robin, are actually more entertaining than the main villain.
Batman ’66 fanatics may want to pick it up as it does still capture the feel of the series and highlight one of the show’s lesser-known villains. Hit-and-Miss.
After Batman saves Wayne Tower from exploding, the Anarchy storyline continues as the villain decides to enlist the people of the city to help create the chaos he so desperately wants to achieve. It’s hard not to think about V for Vendetta (the so-so movie not the terrific graphic novel) as Anarchy somehow leaves blank masks on every doorstep in Gotham enlisting others to redefine themselves and fight back against the system. The derivitive plot twist isn’t helped by the final panel where the police gun down an innocent kid… which somehow becomes Batman’s fault? Um, what?
On the plus side Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato offer some beautiful panels, but even the tease of what the Mad Hatter‘s story has to do with Anarky isn’t enough to keep my interest once the masks are put in the hands of the people of Gotham. As I’ve already seen this story maybe I’ll take a break from the comic for a few months to see what it might have in store after the Dark Knight Detective after this arc runs its course. Hit-and-Miss.
In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we continue to look back at the more memorable moments of the 1966 Batman TV-series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. Based on a 1964 comic story, “The Thirteenth Hat” would introduce fans of the show to another Batman villain with David Wayne making his first appearance as the Mad Hatter. Despite offering the show a menacing villain with a different bag of tricks and motives (which work despite not being at all tied to Alice in Wonderland), the character would only make one more two-part appearance later in Season Two.
Lost in his delusional state as King Tut once again, the history professor turned super-villain unleashes an ancient plague upon Gotham turning the local populace into mindless zombies for their new pharaoh to control. Thankfully for the city’s inhabitants, Batman is up on his Egyptology and exploits an obvious flaw in the villain’s latest mad scheme.
King Tut seems to be a favorite of the Jeff Parker and other writers and artists as the villain makes yet another appearance in the comics while several other classic characters have seen far less attention. Much like his previous appearances, the standard set-up applies as Batman and Robin outwit the deranged pharaoh and conveniently knock the man on the head leading to him recovering his wits once again (almost as conveniently as the original hit which transformed him back into Tut at the beginning of the comic). The zombie plague is a bit bizarre, but Parker has fun with the concept having the mindless citizens bury the Dynamic Duo alive leading to their triumphant resurrection in time to foil the villain’s plans once more. For fans.
After taking down a delusional Mad Hatter, Batman turns his attention to a crime that Harvey Bullock has been persuing for weeks without any real leads other than graffiti left as a signature for each crime. The death of a Wayne Enterprises’ executive brings the detective and Batman both to Wayne Tower just in time to discover what explosive situation Anarky has left for them.
After a couple of months off, Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul return to Detective Comics with the opening of this new arc. I’ve never been a huge Anarky fan, but the villain does have his uses especially if (as this issue suggests) this is the first time he’s been active in Gotham City.
The method which the super-villain uses to turn the office building into a bomb works (at least for a Batman comic book), although we still don’t know why he has chosen to target a building full of Bruce Wayne’s employees or what Anarky’s end game might be. Worth a look.
In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we continue to look back at the more memorable moments of the 1966 Batman TV-series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) returns to Gotham to cause more mischief by stealing the diamond tiara of the recently crowned Queen of Beauty during the Miss Galaxy Pageant and kidnapping a visiting dignitary (Reginald Denny) while dropping clues for Batman and Robin as to the villain’s real endgame.