Friday, November 14, 2014

Batman '66 #47 Review

Written By: Jeff Parker
Art By: Scott Kowalchuk
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: November 12, 2014

The Osiris Virus

One nice thing about the world of Batman '66 is that it doesn't try and change what's already been established for the time. While there are instances of taking modern day Batman villains and merging them into the campy and wacky world of Batman '66 the series doesn't like to stray far from it's established villain roots. Thanks to that little factor we've seen a lot of classic Batman villains make appearances throughout the series that otherwise didn't have enough battles with the Dynamic Duo before the series was cancelled after just 3 seasons (120 episodes). Batman '66 #47 goes back and revisits a villain that wasn't my favorite on the series, though I did enjoy his episodes quite a bit: King Tut. 

This time around, I'd actually like to start by talking about the art in this issue. This time around both the art and coloring was done by the same person: Scott Kowalchuk. On one hand, this definitely gives us a more complete picture of the art the artist saw in his head as he prepared the book, right down to the shade of gold on King Tut's headpiece. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about his art just yet though. While his art was definitely well received by issue scribe Jeff Parker, there were times I felt his art was less Batman inspired and more Bruce Timm inspired. That being said, I could just be critical since I've been binge watching the William Dozier series and have the characters appearances embedded into my brain, hopefully forever. Regardless, to me it feels like Commissioner Gordon in this issue is slowly turning into the Batman: The Animated Series Gordon that I have come to love over the years. Hopefully this is just my vision playing tricks. 

I won't knock Kowalchuk's art like Seth Rogan getting jettisoned out of his seat by an airbag--yet. What I will say, is that in the case of King Tut, the character is drawn looking a bit crazier than usual, but I guess that's to be expected considering how the King Tut persona came to return to existence. 

One thing I can say is Jeff Parker definitely gave Scott Kowalchuk a chance to show what he can really do by including a cameo in the book by the infamous Bookworm, originally portrayed in the series by Roddy McDowall. While that section of the book is short-lived it really gave Kowalchuk a chance to flex his drawing muscles in a sequence I know we would never see on the TV series. 

DC2 definitely proved that it was worth the money, at least this time around. There were several segments in the book where things were shown that would only look cool in DC2--from Dr. McElroy's pupils changing to appear like various pieces of ancient Egyptian imagery to the infamous BatTurn (Did you know that there's a BatChute pickup service that seemingly follows the Batmobile everywhere it goes? Neither did I!). 

Jeff Parker really hit one out of the park this week with The Osiris Virus even if the story is a month too late. This time around, King Tut want's to "kill" the citizens of Gotham and revive them "like the living dead", or as one of his cronies more eloquently puts it: Zombies, though that term is from another part of the world. That's right, DC Comics released what would serve as the perfect Halloween story....two weeks after Halloween. I can't hold Parker responsible for that but given the choice between this or last weeks Halloween morality tale as a Halloween story I'd take this any day. Parker continues to write the characters in a way true to their portrayal and create moments of zany antics that fit perfectly into the world of Batman '66

Bits and Pieces

DC Comics finally gave me a reason to care about DC2 finding a way to use the technology to help engage me into the story even more. Jeff Parker continues to show why he's the writer of the Batman '66 series and managed to write a King Tut story that I am incredibly excited to see the next part of, even if this was an issue that's a month too late. Seriously DC...zombies before Thanksgiving? Scott Kowalchuk is on the creative team for the book this issue and I won't say his art sucks, since it is merely different from the work of Shoonover that I grew accustomed to during the last arc, but I also won't give his work infinite praise until he shows something that really wows me. 


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