Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Jonathan Case
Review: The rise in the popularity of digital comics has been met by some with a fair amount of reluctance and hesitation. Many people, it seems, prefer the feel of the paper in the their hands and the tactile joy of browsing through a comic store’s racks for their latest purchases. But like it or not, digital is here to stay, and not only is it establishing itself as a delivery method with a huge amount of plus-points, it’s also taking steps to evolve, adding new features and strings to its proverbial bow. And I’m happy to say that Batman ’66, from Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case, is a shining example of just how far the medium has come in what has been a relatively short time.
In a similar vein to Marvel’s ‘Infinite’ digital comics, Batman ’66 is the first of DC’s digital titles to utilise their DC2 format, an enhanced digital style that includes fades, transitions, and layered images with each ‘swipe’ adding another speech bubble, movement or – fittingly, in this case – sound effect. It makes for a far more interactive and enjoyable feel than just swiping your way through static pages, and it’s a format that lends itself extremely well to an unashamedly ‘cartoony’ title like Batman #66, with its over-the-top action, dialogue and the aforementioned sound effects.
The book itself is an absolutely joy to read, and both Parker and Case have managed to recreate the ‘feel’ of the iconic 60’s TV show pretty much perfectly. Parker’s campy dialogue is perfectly pitched, while Case has put together some brilliantly realised character models that look like they were plucked directly from the show itself. The first chapters sees the Caped Crusader and his Boy Wonder trying to thwart a daring art heist by the Riddler (in all his Frank Gorshin glory), and provides no shortage of smile-raising moments along the way.
In a world where the vast majority of comics seem intent on becoming more ‘adult’ or ‘edgy’ in order to draw in viewers, it’s truly refreshing to see a title that revels in its own innocence and embraces the rose-tinted nostalgia associated with the classic series. This isn’t a reboot, or a re-imagining of a once-loved classic. This is a homage in every sense of the word, and anyone who ever had a soft spot for the antics of Adam West and Burt Ward (which, I’m hoping, would be everyone) truly owes it to themselves to pick this title up. You won’t regret it.
Fear not, though. For those of you who are steadfastly refusing to get on board with the digital ‘revolution’, the book will still be released in the good old fashioned paper format, with the first issue – collecting the first three digital chapters – hitting shelves on Wednesday 17th July. For the rest of you, the digital title is a strong indication of just how good the medium can be when utilised correctly, and – at just $0.99 (or 69p in real money) – is pretty much an essential purchase.
You can pick the title up NOW from Comixology.
And you can also check out our interview with the series’ artist Jonathan Case HERE.
The Author of this piece was:
Craig Neilson aka (CEEJ)
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