Archie Meets Batman ‘66 #3 – Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci, Writers; Dan Parent, Penciller; J. Bone, Inker; Kelly Fitzpatrick, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Archie Meets Batman ‘66 has been a good example of how a comic doesn’t need to feel like a world-threatening disaster to deliver an entertaining and exciting read.
Archie comics are generally very low-stakes, and Batman ‘66 was always more concerned with delivering laughs and than thrills. That continues here, as the hapless Gotham villains decide to set up camp in Riverdale and use Siren’s song to manipulate the adults. The only problem is, the song doesn’t work on teenagers, and Archie and his friends are on the case when adults like Hiram Lodge and Pop Tate start acting oddly.
The last issue saw Barbara and Dick infiltrate Riverdale as new “transfer students”, going undercover. The teens are still banished from Pop Tate’s, which is now being used as a hideout for the villains, so they congregate at the Lodge’s to compare notes – and are able to get Hiram Lodge to approve the meeting by impressing him with just how wealthy Dick’s adoptive father is.
Batman, meanwhile, is off on his own adventure, investigating Bookworm and his henchwoman Footnote. He tracks her to Bookworm’s secret lair and winds up getting pulled into an elaborate set of literary-themed deathtraps. This is clearly Parker in his element, channeling the series of the original TV series like he did in the Batman ‘66 comic book.
The final puzzle, involving two levels, is a particularly clever twist. The villains seem to spend most of their time hanging around talking, but they do make a move on two Riverdale teens – targeting Dilton for his tech knowledge, and in an amusing twist, Jughead for his desperation for Pop Tate’s burgers.
Next issue will have Jughead vs. the Joker, which are words I never expected to write. Somehow, I don’t think Joker stands a chance. This is a low-stakes, lighthearted crossover event, and given the properties involved, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Parker and Moreci (whose Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive series from IDW is also highly recommended) are masters at capturing this series’ retro vibe.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.