Review by Karl Verhoven
The first thing the writing combination of Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker do is subvert expectation for a Batman ‘66 story by setting the early portion during World War II, at a fundraising auction in the Wayne family mansion when Bruce is a youngster. From there the action jumps forward to the 1960s with chapter five, and to 1977 with the ninth episode. This is a clever way of incorporating all aspects of the 1970s Wonder Woman TV series, which began in the 1940s, then abruptly slipped forward to what was then the present as a way of saving costs on the period setting.
Andreyko and Parker cleverly tie this in with the 1960s Batman TV series having three different Catwomen. They allocate the Eartha Kitt version to the 1940s, while keeping Lee Meriwether in familiar territory and setting Julie Newmar in the 1970s. At the heart of their plot is the involvement of Ra’s Al Ghul, first seeking clues to immortality, then to the location of a Lazarus Pit that will bestow it. As the Wonder Woman was treated relatively seriously in her television incarnation, the script has to straddle a fine line, not dropping completely into the parody of the Batman equivalent, and Andreyko and Parker manage this. Their plot could strip out all the humour and still work. A Wonder Woman musical section is included, and it’s also nice to see the numerous supporting characters, even if this does require moving Nightwing back to the 1970s. We also have a female Chief O’Hara in that era, and Barbara Gordon as Police Commissioner, along with some fine sentimentality regarding a retired Bruce Wayne.
There is still room for some pompous Batman dialogue such as “This is Catwoman. Though a criminal I have hopes she will one day acknowledge the nobler side to herself I know to exist.” It’s greeted with appropriate derision by Catwoman. It might have been preferable if a German speaker had run through the Nazi dialogue before publication, though.
Everything is drawn in impeccable cartoon style by David Hahn. He also straddles the fine line between the realism of Wonder Woman and the larger than life world of the TV Batman, yet comes up with a style that is a disservice to neither.
The plot isn’t spectacular enough to make this an essential purchase, but anyone who experiences a warm nostalgic glow on remembering the TV series won’t feel short changed.