Luke Owen reviews Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1…
In 1967, television history was made when two masked crime fighters met in a historic crossover. Now, superstar filmmaker Kevin Smith and actor/comedian Ralph Garman join forces with artist Ty Templeton (BATMAN ’66) to bring these two iconic characters and their famous partners together again. Set in the continuity of that earlier team-up, Batman, The Green Hornet, Robin and Kato must go up against a very different General (formerly Colonel) Gumm. What crime could be so deadly as to force these rivals to put aside their differences and join forces again? And what surprise does Gumm have up his sticky sleeve?
The Batman ’66 series has been a good little romp that works as an excellent tribute to the vastly-under appreciated 1966 series of Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward. It’s never really fallen outside of those who would seek out this sort of comic anyway, but with a big name director Kevin Smith and the hilarious Ralph Garman (a self-proclaimed Batman ’66 obsessive) writing the script, perhaps it will finally be read by more than a handful of people.
Playing off the television angle where Batman crossed paths with The Green Hornet, Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1 does exactly what the rest of the series has been doing, but seems to do so with a bit more love and care. It really helps that Ralph Garman knows this series better than anyone on the planet and when you’re reading it, your internal monologue instantly puts the correct voices over the correct faces. Fans of the duos podcast Hollywood Babble-On should probably know what to expect when diving into this comic.
However it should be noted that this is not your typical Kevin Smith book, which is bound to please a lot of the comic reading world. No matter how much Smith loves a character, he is lambasted by the geek community for “ruining” classic characters by adding his unique and often childish stance on things. His decision to have Batman reveal that he once wet himself was met with huge outrage, but that level of immaturity is not on display here – which is funny given that Batman ’66 is where you can drop in some clever innuendos and get away with it. Smith’s name may be front and center, but Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1 very much feels like a Garman was the driving force.
The artwork from Ty Templeton is superb and he has always captured the look and feel of the original series while never forcing the point. Likewise the cover by the legendary Alex Ross is a marvel to look at and a fitting style for the comic its designed for. The digital download version of Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1 obviously helps the flow with its animation, so it would be interesting to see how the story and art works when flat on the page.
Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1 is a very niche comic, but DC have hired two guys who can put it out on main street with some heavy promotion in order to drive sales. It may seem like a genius marketing move, but both Smith and Garman ‘get’ this task and have taken to it like a grappling hook to the side of a building. Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #1 is very funny with a sweet nostalgic edge. Heavily recommended old chum.
Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth’s co-editors and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.