- Cover by Mike & Laura Allred
- Script by Gabriel Soria
- Art by Dean Haspiel
BEWARE OF SPOILERS
We last left our dynamic duo back in ‘66 in an adventure from which they were absent. In Batman ‘66 #15 published back in October Batgirl was at the forefront of the story in a side adventure that pitted her against Ertha Kitt’s Catwoman.
Fast forward to 25th June 2014 and issue #37 has finally hit your tablet. In recent months our heroes have faced Bookworm, Mr Freeze and seen a return appearance by The Joker which also marked the first major team up of Batman, Robin and Batgirl since the digital first series launched.
I have to admit that although I have stuck with the series my passion wained for a while as the magic began to wore off. The quality of the series has maintained itself throughout but has overall stayed away from taking risks or straying too far off the formula that helped make it a popular series amongst Bat-fans.
Issue #37 marks a step in the right direction, albeit a slightly zany and interestingly meta step. Our villain is a character called Fred Fillips an apparently deranged writer-director-producer who creates a hugely successful TV series based on the adventures of Batman that represents him in a way he doesn’t necessarily agree with.
Mirroring the disapproval that some comics fans have about the severe camping-up of Batman for television in order to make him a hit this story sees Gotham swept up in a storm of Bat-fandom with hit songs and catchphrases becoming part of the faux-zeitgeist whilst a tuxedo wearing, black and white Batman violently smashes his way through crimes in the weekly series ‘The Dark Knight Detective’
Soria’s script maintains the status quo of the previous issues in the series and successfully navigates it into original waters with the creation of Fillips and the LesiDu Studios. This is one of the more inventive stories that the series has told and the script doesn’t bring the quality down although doesn’t pop off the screen quite as much as I would have liked.
The artwork is one of the series better examples. There’s no reliance of character likenesses at this stage in the series, we’re far enough away from its inception that likenesses of Ward and West are no longer a necessity. The characters have developed a comics-based individuality that makes this seem more like a new, original Batman comics title than a cross-media continuation of the show.
The animated panels continue to push the boundaries of digital comics and recreate some of the atmosphere of the TV series but we’ve seen the limits of what the medium can currently offer already and this technology continues to not catch on with other publishers. Will this continue? Or will we see less and less of this style of comic until new technology comes along to surpass it?
A good story taking the caped crusaders to new territory, 3 stars.