The conclusion of Penguin’s first new comic book saga…
Cover by Mike Allred
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Tye Templeton
Coloured by Wes Hartman
Beware of spoilers!
After an issue that left me feeling like something was missing last week this weeks conclusion to the ‘Emperor Penguin’ lights a rocket under the pace and blasts this shorter story through to a baffling conclusion.
The Riddler arc which came before this lasted for three issues whereas this story is split in to two parts much like an episode of the old TV series. I’m not sure if this had been published but either way it came as a slight surprise to me; especially as part one felt like it had very similar pacing to the previous arc. Going in to this issue I had assumed we would get some exposition and then an exciting cliffhanger to take us in to a thrilling final part next week.
Jeff Parker’s story is still the shining light of this series. With ‘Emperor Penguin’ he has crammed the same amount of story as can be found in the previous arc but in two-thirds of the space. This issue suffers slightly from too much story when you think that there are only 23 pages and we have to rescue Batman; solve the crime, have the big fight and save the day.
I loved the introduction of a Bat-vehicle never before seen in the TV series. It was a perfect fit for the story and didn’t feel out of the ordinary for the universe in which the story exists and this is something that I know I keep saying but Parker deserves so much credit for inventing credible stories that feel like they could have been episodes of the series had the budget been available to them.
I do still have to nitpick some of the artwork but as I said in my review of issue #4 I am not criticising Tye Templeton’s artwork for being poor, This issue is again consistent, it’s that the lack of strong representations of West and Ward are still present here. There are such details panels of Burgess Meredith throughout both chapters of this story yet a recognisable image of Burt Ward is not present at all here and after five issues I’m longing to see a great portrait of the Dynamic Duo together.
It’s not enough to put me off reading further issues but it is becoming a bugbear of mine.
Batman ‘66 is definitely a fun read, there’s absolutely no doubt about that but it could be a brilliant read. It’s never going to be a hard hitting; gritty representation of Batman and Robin but it could take the pair and put them in settings that feel like they have been translated from comics of the 60s and 70s to really up the fun factor.
I mentioned this quite a bit in relation to the last issue but the missing DC² really has definitely impacted my enjoyment. It’s such a fun addition that fits the atmosphere of the tv series. The brilliant fight sequence in #3 is here followed up by a 2 panel page… a 2 panel page for a fight based in the world of TV Batman?! It’s just not enough.
Next week: Chandell’s Chanteuse!