Best Shots Review: BATMAN '66 MEETS WONDER WOMAN '77 CHAPTER 1 'A Vibrant Pop Art Mash-Up'

Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: Mike Allred (DC Comics)

Batman ‘66 Meets Wonder Woman ‘77 Chapter 1
Written by Jeff Parker and Marc Andreyko
Art by David Hahn, Karl Kesel and Madpencil Studio
Lettering by Wes Abbott
Published by DC Comics
‘Rama Rating: 8 out of 10

The Dynamic Duo and the princess of Paradise Island are poised for a team-up in the vibrant pop art mash-up that is Batman ‘66 Meets Wonder Woman ‘77 Chapter 1. Handling this new digital series are writers Jeff Parker and Marc Andreyko, both of whom adapt well to the sincere yet goofy tone of the two television shows. However, since this is a digital series and tops out at 10 pages, the pair aren’t allowed much time to offer readers much of a plot, merely the start and escalation of one. The limited page count aside, Parker and Andreyko pack plenty of fun, fan service, and beloved characters into this first installment.

Truly stealing the show however are the art team of David Hahn, Karl Kesel, and Madpencil Studio, who all lean fully into the Technicolor look of both shows. Instead of beaming through your living room TV, the team pours the story onto the page, allowing Madpencil to saturate this debut with vibrant colors anchored by David Hahn’s lean pencils and Karl Kesel’s nicely demarcated inks. Though a bit sparse when it comes to overall plot, Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 Ch. 1 still offers a delightfully colorful throwback to when heroes were groovy.

Credit: David Hahn/Karl Kesel/Roberto Flores (DC Comics)

Opening with a classic Batman '66 set up, Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman breaking into a swanky mansion, Jeff Parker and Marc Andreyko waste little time digging into their opening chapter. And with 10 ten pages, it’s a good thing too. Hired by a mysterious woman, Catwoman has pilfered an ancient tome (along with the woman’s necklace), but is quickly apprehended by the Dynamic Duo. But after securing Catwoman in a cell, Bruce Wayne is confronted by his past after a quick look at her quarry. It is here where Parker and Andreyko’s story starts to get cooking, but never manages to get to a full boil.

Credit: David Hahn/Karl Kesel/Roberto Flores (DC Comics)

After the quick and quippy takedown of Catwoman, the script shifts into a flashback to the 40‘s where the Wayne family is throwing a fundraiser auction in order to help the war effort. Unfortunately, their party has been infiltrated by Nazi agents, pursued by Diana Prince and her team, as well as a fan-favorite group of villains too dastardly to spoil here. As far as hooks go, it’s a tremendously fun one, and seeing the redacted baddies imported into this digital-first side-universe is great, but unfortunately this issue is all set up and not much else. Though very much in tone with its source material and armed with confident characterizations from Andreyko and Parker who is now a steady hand at the ‘66 Bat books, this first chapter feels much more like a well made appetizer instead of a hearty first course.

Credit: David Hahn/Karl Kesel/Roberto Flores (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

But while Parker and Andreyko’s script reads a bit threadbare, the artwork of David Hahn, Karl Kesel, and Madpencil Studio make Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 Chapter 1 a display worth marking your TV Guides for. Hahn, whose pencils look like a stylishly retro mixture of Joe Quinones and Michael Avon Oeming, gives this latest digital series a slick angular look that sets it apart from the previous installments instantly. Hahn’s pages, given further definition by the fine unobtrusive inks of Karl Kesel, adhere to the visuals of both classic TV shows, but don’t look so imitative that the originality of the debut is lost to the airwaves. But while Hahn and Kesel take inspiration and run with it, colorist Madpencil Studio takes the color palette of both shows and amps them up to eleven, trading the wavy UHF look of ’60s and ’70s television and replacing it with sharp digital fill ins that leap from the page. With polished character models and sumptuous colors, the art of Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 Chapter 1 keeps the light script afloat with plenty of panache.

While the marquee heroes don’t make the scene together in this debut Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 Ch. 1 still shows a lot of promise for fans of both classics. Writers Jeff Parker and Marc Andreyko are having a blast with the retro setting and classic characters while trying to make the most of their limited page count. Helping the pair along is an art team that revels in the optimistic tone and rich colors, delivering another snazzy entry into DC’s digital comic canon. Though absent on shelves for the time being, Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 Chapter 1 is still a debut worth seeking out digitally.

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