Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Batman '66 #53 Review

Written by: Rob Williams
Art by: Ruben Procopio
Cover Price: $1.99
Release Date: January 7, 2015

A Stand Up Guy (Part 2)

It comes as no surprise to me when writers in any medium choose to use the plot device of a villain turned good to push a story forward.  What I always question is why the characters of the universe accept the change in status quo that they are presented with despite their knowledge of what the bad-guy-turned-good is capable of. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but when I see that, it seems like stupidity on the part of the citizens of the world: in this case Gotham City.

At its core, this issue is about Jokerman (not the song by Bob Dylan) and his adventures "protecting" Gotham City and its people. With his own "youthful ward" he finds his way onto the right side of the law, going so far as to convince Batman and Robin its time for them to retire: something Bruce and Dick are more than happy to do.

Thus the city is left under the watchful eye of Jokerman.

Enter The Pillager and Larceny Lad--two villains hell bent on collecting whatever money Gotham's banks have to offer. While not original characters from the 1966 Batman TV series, the two do fit in well here. It's Jokerman who steals the show, though.

Penned by Rob Williams, the story has a lot of heart and isn't bogged down with the same cheesy sixties punchlines and jokes that usually litter this comic as a quick dose of nostalgia. I'm not saying I dislike the jokes by any means, just that its nice to have a break from them from time to time.

Reading the first issue, I felt a curve ball had been thrown at me. What is Rob Williams doing here? I couldn't find a logical path, but I am very happy with how and where he chose to end this journey. It's fitting.

Ruben Procopio is here on pencils and colors. While I love his renditions of Batman and Robin in the appearances they do make, I couldn't quite get behind his interpretation of the Joker. I know its supposed to be Caesar Romero but at times I just couldn't see it. There were also little goofs in the art that I never thought I would notice, but I did. While they don't detract from the project as a whole. they are distracting when they do pop up.  I wouldn't necessarily say Procopio brought his A-game, but overall the art is well done, issues not withstanding.

Williams and Procopio make a great team and know how to bang out an awesome, albeit slightly flawed, book. If I saw another issue of the series with their name on it I would gladly pick it up and read it, although I would hope the continuity issues with the art (at times) were more non-existent.

Bits and Pieces

Overall, Batman '66 #53 is a nice break from the monotony of the series, which it felt up until now was running on nearly the same plot devices for over 50 issues that the TV series did for 120 episodes. Anytime a new plot device or character is introduced into the series it's welcomed by this reader with open arms, if only to try something new.


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