Sunday, May 31, 2015

Comic Review: Batman '66 #23

On the actual Batman TV series, which this comic is based off of, one of the most memorable gimmicks of the show was that every episode was a two-parter. In this issue, and a few others in the series, they have done exactly the opposite, taking two separate but sometimes related stories, and telling them both in a single issue. In this case, we have "Monsters A-Go-Go", with stories focused on Solomon Grundy and Clayface.

In the last issue, while I liked it, I had some issues with the way characters' voices, which I connected to having a different writer on the series. For this, Jeff Parker, the main writer for the series, is back on it, and all of my issues with how the characters sounded went away. Given how difficult of a balancing act this series is, I'm not surprised that the others have difficulty trying to get it to sound right, which I'm glad to see is back on track for this issue.

For the actual stories themselves, the first focuses on Solomon Grundy, a character I've never really understood the appeal of. There's not much in this issue to persuade me otherwise, either, as he is little more than a mindless zombie trying to kill Batman and Robin while they try to come up with a clever way to stop him. What it does that I like is bringing in characters that were not part of the TV series and adapting them to this world, keeping it from being hamstrung by the limitations it might have sticking just to what was on the series.

The second story takes False Face, who was in at least one previous issue, and through the magical power of weird science and plot magic, turns him into Clayface, who he has never had a connection to before. This is kind of an adaptation of a comic character who was never in the TV series, but also is returning to a villain we saw before, which has happened a couple times in this series, and adding to their story in bits and pieces. Turning him into Clayface and possibly killing him is a somewhat strange direction for that to go, but if they want to use him again, there's nothing to keep them from just bringing him back, so I'm not worried about that.

Both stories have a shared weakness with pacing, with the end of the story coming very suddenly, even though they could have easily gone on a bit longer. That's not to say that thereis no resolution, but that the resolution is sudden and, the moment it's resolved, the story ends, which is moving unusually quickly for this series.

Overall, this is a pretty average issue of this series, meaning that it is actually quite a bit of fun, but not one of the really good isses that I'm likely to revisit soon. 

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