Holy Teen Hijinks! Archie Meets Batman '66

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Archie Meets Batman '66 #1

It's a lovely summer day in Gotham City, as citizens throng the World's Science Fair, eager to see the technology of tomorrow!

But wait!

What's this?!?

Poison Ivy -- airborne aboard a flying snapdragon?

It's a good thing the Caped Crusaders are on hand to put an end to this botany gone bad! But the perfidious plant plunderer was merely a cover for another of Gotham's most dastardly villains to commit a crime, as that larcenous librarian, the Bookworm, uses the distraction to steal the world's first electronic book, capable of storing over twenty different books in their entirety! As Batman, Robin, and Batgirl wrap up the sultry siren of shrubbery, he makes his getaway, but he won't be free for long. Because crime doesn't pay in Gotham City.

That's a fact that's being realized by the greater villains of Gotham -- Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman, whose motto is "Today Gotham Tomorrow the World." But perhaps Gotham isn't the best place to start their planetary takeover, and Penguin suggests they try someplace less guarded -- like Riverdale. Sending that songstress of sin, the Siren, ahead to prepare the way, Riverdale's finest men, like Police Chief Keller and Mr. Lodge, fall prey to her mind control, leaving Veronica worried.

She's the only one concerned, however, as the rest of the gang has a more pressing issue -- getting Jughead fed so he can concentrate on his history exam! So she recruits Dilton Doiley, who has an emergency plan. Firing up his shortwave radio, he puts Veronica on it, putting her in contact with the one man among all men who can foil this sordid scheme: Batman!

Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci do a great job of keeping this adventure light-hearted, mixing the feel of both the 1966 Batman and the all-ages Archie series. I do feel there could have been more story packed into the twenty pages, and certainly if Veronica ever had a concern, Betty would have been beside her the whole way trying to solve it. Dan Parent nicely adapts the Batman characters into the Archie style while retaining the recognizable aspects of the actors who portrayed them -- which may get trickier when we have to tell Mr. Lodge apart from Alfred the butler!

Featuring a plethora of covers to choose from, ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 is a must-see for the kitsch factor alone. I reserve some quibbles about it -- I haven't read enough BATMAN '66 to know if Poison Ivy is supposed to be a southern belle in this bat-verse, but it was a surprising departure from her usual femme fatale aspect (which Catwoman has cornered in this franchise). Overall, it's recommended, and one I'll continue checking into as the series progresses.

4.0 / 5.0