Saturday, January 25, 2014

Batman '66 #26 Review

Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Ruben Procopio
Cover Price: $0.99
Release Date: January 22, 2014

Oh, What a Shame

Shame is a very obscure Batman villain and that is such a...well, shame.  Though he appeared in four TV episodes as well as two episodes of Brave and the Bold, I never have heard anyone mention him.  For the uninitiated, he is a villain who fashions himself an outlaw of the Old West.  Though he is a bit of a coward, he claims he's second to none with his six shooters and often bends the rules when confronting Batman.  The thing I remember most about his television appearances though, was his purple polka dotted bandanna. Priceless.  Well, I'm glad to say that Batman '66 #26 features The Conniving Cowboy of Crime, bandanna and all.

I mentioned last issue that Jeff Parker was toning back the campiness factor a bit and giving readers a better plot and book in general.  This is again the case this week and I am grateful.  The campy humor is always going to be in Batman '66 book, but Parker is letting the material speak for itself.  Because of that, we are getting issues that could be right from the television series, not parodies of them.

This issue has a bunch of funny moments, but my favorites involve Shame's Indian partner, Thunderhawk.  He's a Yale graduate that keeps showing his scholarly roots, much to Shame's dismay.  Of course, Batman knows Thunderhawk's full resume (why wouldn't he?) and promises to help clear his name in a mistaken identity/Fission Research incident.  Only in a Batman '66 review could I write that and know it makes total sense.

One thing I must note.  I was so glad when Batman gave a reason why they are out West.  It made total sense and gave the book an organic feels that it sometimes just doesn't have.

The art of Ruben Procopio is different from what we've seen in Batman '66.  Most artists have varied between a cartoony look to a look representative of the TV Series.  Procopio takes inspiration from the source material and gives the readers a look reminiscent of the covers of Old West dime store novels or even the works of Charles Marion Russell and Frederic Remington.  Kudos are in order.

Bits and Pieces:

Batman '66 #26 is a really good issue showcasing a obscure but fun Batman villain.  Jeff Parker and Ruben Procopio give readers an old west tale that is fun and entertaining.  In the end, that's what I look for in this book so mission accomplished.


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