WONDER WOMAN '77 Meets - And Mentors - BATMAN '66 In New Crossover

DC Comics February 2017 solicitations
Credit: DC Comics
Credit: Mike Allred (DC Comics)

The Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman and Adam West's Batman now exist in the same world, as the two TV heroes (and some friends) are teaming up to fight crime together in Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 by writers Jeff Parker and Marc Andreyko and artists David Hahn and Karl Kesel.

DC's digital-first series Wonder Woman '77, written by Andreyko, has given new life to characters and concepts from the '70s Wonder Woman TV show starring Lynda Carter - and the title even got an endorsement from Lynda Carter herself.

That title's debut followed in the footsteps of Batman '66, written by Parker, which became one of DC's hit digital-first series by giving new life to the '60s Batman show - including the beloved Batusi.

Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 already launched on digital, but its first print issue is being released this week. Newsarama talked with Andreyko and Parker to learn more about the premise of the miniseries, how the two characters are linked in this new continuity, and whether readers might see more team-ups.

Credit: David Hahn/Karl Kesel (DC Comics)

Newsarama: Is there a big difference between the worlds these two books take place in? There's a lot of campiness in the old Batman series, but are there similarities?

Marc Andreyko: I don't think the difference between them is very big. I think the tones of both shows were a very positive and fun and empowering.

The Batman show fell a little bit more into comedy. But the way Jeff has brought the Batman '66 world into that comic, and with us collaborating, we've been capturing the lightness and fun and the color of the Batman TV show, but without getting to snarky or campy or looking down our nose at it.

Credit: David Hahn/Karl Kesel (DC Comics)

Jeff Parker: Even though, obviously, the Batman show had more humor in it, the characters are kind of the same in the way they take themselves and their roles so seriously. They're not anti-heroes at all.

Even though adults can smirk a little at it, but kids always picked up on the idea, "Yep, that's what Wonder Woman's supposed to do, and that's what Batman's supposed to do."

That's what I like about it. And we keep that tone. We never make fun of the world they're in.

I do think we moved Batman and cast a little closer to the tone of Wonder Woman's show, but that works well, because Batman works well just about anywhere, as we've seen in all the different Batman projects DC has done. It's weird how he can morph into anything.

We don't do the big "POW!"s or crashes so much in this.

Credit: David Hahn/Karl Kesel (DC Comics)

Andreyko: But there is a lot of humor in the book, especially in the flashback during the first two issues. Adam West adult Batman's narration gets some quips in about the failings of a 12-year-old wannabe superhero.

And we do have some tips of the hat to things - the Batusi will make an appearance in the book.

And as we get into the '60s and '70s, things get a little bit brighter and broader, because that's what happened in the '60s and '70s.

Nrama: So you tell stories that take place in all three of those time periods?

Credit: David Hahn/Karl Kesel (DC Comics)

Andreyko: Their first meeting takes place in 1944 during the first season of Wonder Woman. The second meeting takes place in 1966 during the height of the Batman show. And the third meeting takes place in 1977, which is when seasons 2 and 3 of Wonder Woman took place.

So we go through three distinctly different time periods and try to have tethers as to what makes these characters timeless and capture the tone of their respective show well and the feel of the era that they're in.

And because the first two issues of the print issues take place in 1944, and Bruce Wayne is just a 12-year-old in short pants, Wonder Woman has a deep, profound effect on who he becomes when he's Batman.

So we were able to circle the wagons and make these characters linked in a way that makes perfect sense and adds some history and shared universe stuff that all comics fans loved, but also, none of it feels forced.

It's amazing how these two worlds snap together.

Nrama: I know you two have been writing the voice of Adam West and the voice of Lynda Carter for a while now, so was it pretty easy to keep that in place as they met each other?

Parker: It's interesting that you don't have to try very hard if you watched these shows all the time, which we both did. You just write it, and if it doesn't sound like Lynda Carter or Adam West in your head, you rewrite it.

But usually, we can get into that mode pretty fast.

Credit: DC Comics

Andreyko: Yeah, we're both a couple hundred pages deep in writing these characters, so hopefully, by this point, it's like an automatic reflex.

And I think probably both Jeff and I, as kids, imagined these two meeting each other and what would happen.

Parker: I would have lost my mind if that had happened on the show.

You've got to remember that all we had was these two shows. Now, my kids can watch the CW and there's Flash, there's Green Arrow, there's every other character in DC's Legends of Tomorrow, there's Supergirl. God, I would have lost my mind. I would have never left the house. I don't think I did anyway.

Nrama: And all the animated series.

Parker: All the cartoons! They have everything!

Andreyko: We've become so saturated with this stuff that my mom knows who Groot is. That's insane, the level of permeation that we've achieved with superheroes.

Nrama: OK, let's talk about the story in the miniseries. Who do they come up against?

Parker: Ra's Al Ghul and, well, it's not the League of Assassins. It's the League of Shadows in our version.

Andreyko: And Talia, who may or may not be good or bad.

Credit: DC Comics

Parker: Yeah, she might try to kill you, or save you. It depends on her mood at the moment, and how it affects her.

We have a ton of female characters in this, which is great.

Nrama: Is there a lot of action?

Andreyko: Oh yeah. We've got Nazis and mythological creatures. We've got the '70s. So yeah, there's all sorts of action.

Parker: I have the patience of a squirrel, so something has to happen pretty fast or I just wander off.

And Marc seems to like to choreograph scenes like that.

In fact, I think the slowest part of the book is the very beginning, where we have to kind of set up everything and show you how this universe works. And then, bam! We're off and running.

Nrama: Will these characters meet again?

Andreyko: Hopefully! Collaborating with Jeff has probably been the smoothest collaboration I've ever had in my career. We were actually tossing the chapters back and forth between each other. We've had conversations where we're like, did you write this or did I write this? And we're still not sure. That's a really good sign.

When you're collaborating, trust is a really important thing, and I really look forward to when I get a chapter from Jeff because his skills and the sense of fun is, I think, the biggest thing I admire about his work. It's just been a joy. It hasn't even been work.

So I don't know how he feels about it, but I'd love to work together again on these two characters.

Credit: DC Comics

Parker: I feel the same way. It's really cool. It's been fun to throw each other ideas and then see how the other works with it. It's been a lot of fun.

Andreyko: Working with Jeff has almost been like being an actor in improv, where you do things to set the next line up and to make each other look good. That's what it's been like, and so I look forward to his hand-off each time we write a chapter.

And the artists, David Hahn and Karl Kesel, have been doing fantastic work. David Hahn has been doing the work of his career, and I've been a fan of Karl's work since high school.

Parker: I think as much as we're enjoying it, I think the readers will.

Andreyko: It's a really fun book that honors these characters, but celebrates them at the same time. The purity and sense of heroism of this makes it truly an all ages book in every sense of the word. It's just been a great experience, and I couldn't be prouder of it.

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