In the hallowed annals of comic history, there have been only two comic characters that are so malleable that you can plug them into any situation and it wouldn’t seem strange or disrespectful to the legacy of the character. Yes dear reader, as you no doubt clicked on this article on purpose, I speak of Batman and Archie.
Archie and his gang, the gee-whiz, aww-shucks Golden Age characters, have been through every incarnation conceivable as of late: Horror Zombie Archie, Overwhelmingly Hot Teens Being Hot And Doing Sex Stuff Archie, Rebooted Modern Times Archie, and now, with this comic, a return to roots.
Batman has also been through the ringer of different styles: Pulpy Noir Batman, Goofy WIFF BANG POW ’66-era Batman, Gritty Definitely A Psychopath Frank Miller Batman, Gothic Burton Batman, Zack Snyder Murder Batman, I’m The Goddamned Batman Batman, and now, with this comic, a return to goofy Batman ’66 roots.
It’s a no-brainer to have these two characters, their universes, and these specific versions of each other collide. If a fan of either in any capacity, this crossover will have a Cesar Romero-esque Joker smile stamped across your face the entire read.
Issue 2 picks up with Veronica getting in contact with the only person that can help Riverdale and it’s current epidemic of residents turning into mindless zombies under Siren’s song– THE BATMAN. While more townsfolk fall under the villainess’s spell, Batman assigns Batgirl and Robin to infiltrate Riverdale High in a 21 Jump Street situation, while the other villains attempt to recruit for their evil deeds.
Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci are clearly having the time of their life writing these characters, bringing back classic Batman ’66 villains like Bookworm and getting playful with the cheesy 60s-era Batman and Robin banter, not missing a single opportunity to make those goofy alliterative statements we’ve all culturally come to know and love (“Holy Parental Panic, Batman!”).
The art is stunning as well, Dan Parent’s pencils almost a carbon copy of old Archie strips, sparse and cartoony but with enough detail to really sell characters in both universes; his Batman and Robin unmistakably look like Adam West and Burt Ward and guess what? He cares enough about this universe that he even draws in Cesar Romero’s mustache he painted over in the TV series (he refused to shave it, if you’re curious).
Archie Meets Batman ’66 is high camp, a masterful blending of two characters and franchises that belong together. It’s so unabashedly itself, gleeful and goofy, you owe it to yourself to read this comic for the novelty of character interactions alone.
P.S. I only wish this comic came out years earlier if only to see how Grant Morrison would’ve fit this into the Batman mythos.
Writers: Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inks: J. Bone
Colors: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Letters: Jack Morelli
Archie Meets Batman ’66 issues 1 and 2 are currently in shops.