Rating: 4/5 – A Great Trip Down Memory Lane (even if Catwoman is suspiciously absent!)
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Al Sparrow.
Collected from BATMAN #53, 73, 121, 140, 169 and 171, and DETECTIVE COMICS #230, 346 and 359.
Holy Collected Editions, Batman! Here’s an idea a long time in coming. In fact, it’s really surprising that it took DC this long to do it. Maybe the recent news that, after decades of legal wrangling, the Adam West Batman series from the late 1960s is finally making it to DVD spurred the publisher into action. Perhaps it’s a reminder that there once was a time where Batman’s stories were fun-loving goofy romps in the spirit of the beloved television series. Whatever the case, this is a nice collection that demonstrates how the comics helped influence the show.
Longtime bat-fans will spot the influences almost immediately, from the Joker developing his own gag-filled utility belt to the Mad Hatter’s attempts to get Batman’s cowl for his own collection. Indeed, this book was as much fun to read in order to search for clues that may have made it to the soundstage as it was to just sit back and read for pure entertainment value.
The only real missing piece of the puzzle is in the shape of Catwoman, suspiciously absent from the stories contained in this trade. Sure, she’s there on the beautiful needs-to-be-a-print-I-can-buy-hint-hint cover by Amanda Conner, but there’s nary a Catwoman story to be found within. The book is very Joker and Riddler heavy (including the origin story of the latter), but also contains a Penguin story, the origin of Mr. Zero (later to become Mr. Freeze), the aforementioned Mad Hatter tale, and finishes up with the origin story of Batgirl. Catwoman’s lack of appearance may have good reason – it’s possible a story didn’t exist that influenced her TV persona – but it’s definitely noticeable in this collection.
If your idea of Batman involves large POW, SOCK and BIFF letters, a sidekick fond of saying “Holy _____” at every possible opportunity, and of course the Batusi, this collection should probably already exist on your shelf. If you haven’t picked it up yet, prepare yourself for a great look back to Batman’s early comic years and enjoy a look at the stories that helped make one of the most beloved chapters in the Caped Crusader’s screen career.
Reviewed by: Al Sparrow
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