Publisher: Archie Comics
Writer(s): Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci
Artwork: Dan Parent (pencils), J. Bone (inks)
Colours: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Lettering: Jack Morelli
Release Date: 27th March 2019
Archie Comics have always had a lot of fun with their crossover mini-series, with the likes of KISS, Predator and The Punisher getting the Riverdale treatment in recent years. And now, the latest property to visit the world of Archie and his pals is Batman ’66, which might very well be the most perfect idea for an inter-company crossover so far.
Co-writers Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci wholeheartedly embrace the camp, quirky nature of both properties right from the get-go, penning a story where the villains of Gotham City, fed up with having their elaborate schemes repeatedly foiled by the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder, decide to set their sights on Riverdale. It’s a fun romp from start to finish, packed with gee whiz optimism and cheesy puns aplenty. The story itself sees Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson going undercover at Riverdale High to find out exactly what’s going on, while Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman enlist the help to Siren to mind control the adults of the town into obeying their every command.
Both Parker and Moreci are clearly having an absolute blast with the silliness of their story, with Joker trying to brainwash Jughead, The Riddler recruiting Reggie Mantle as a henchman, and Dick and Babs stirring up a lot of teenage hormones with their arrival. The gags all feel authentic, and while there’s certainly nothing too ground-breaking going on here, it’s still a quick, enjoyable read.
On the visual side of things, Archie Comics stalwart Dan Parent nails the look of both properties perfectly, from the distinctive look of the inhabitants of Riverdale to the neat little details – such as The Joker’s infamous Cesar Romero moustache – of the Batman ’66 crew. There’s certainly not much in the way of subtlety or nuance going on, but everything is lively and in-your-face, and captures the spirt of the source material well. It’s also worth pointing out that colourist Kelly Fitzpatrick does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of making this series pop quite as loudly as it does, with a bright, striking palette that infuses the pages with a real sense of energy and enthusiasm.
At the end of the day, if you’re a fan of either property then you’ll likely get a real kick out of this. It’s lively, funny and gloriously tongue-in-cheek from start to finish, which is pretty much all you could ask for from a crossover between these two franchises.