I'll be the first to admit, comics are pretty dark these days. There have been way too many times that I've had parents come in the store with young children, asking about age appropriate comics for them, in the hopes that the kids will take interest in reading. Sadly, I usually tell them there really isn't anything other than a handful of books based off of animated series. The thing is, comics have grown up. There's no denying it.
Still, just because we're all grown up, that doesn't mean all we want to read is hyper violence, death, dismemberment and foul language. We had a Batman comic in which he asked someone if they were retarded because they didn't know he was, and I quote, "The Goddamn Batman". Mature comics have their place, imprints like Vertigo and Max, and other companies like IDW or Avatar. That kind of content really doesn't need to be in our Batman, Spider-man, or Green Lantern comics. Enter DC's latest Batman title, a book based off of the Batman television show from the 60's, complete with all the innocence, and BAM!s and POW!s that come along with it.
Batman '66 is another of DC's "digital first" titles that is finally seeing print, which for people like myself who aren't fans of digital comics and still prefer print comics, is exciting news. Taking the reins on the title is writer Jeff Parker, who throughout his career has primarily been a Marvel guy, which means that while I'd heard tons of great things about him, I'm not too familiar with his work. After reading this first issue, which was a Riddler story that easily could've been an actual episode of the show, I can completely understand the praise. There's nothing dark, the plot isn't overly convoluted, every character acts as they should, and to put it simply, it's just a fun read.
Joining Parker on Batman '66 is artist Jonathan Case. The only other thing I've seen that he did was a comic adaptation of the Green River Killer novel, which I haven't read. His art is a suitable fit for the book, as he has fully embraced the 60's look of the hair and costumes. Their was some strange coloring in the first half of the book, the characters were surrounded by weird outlines, but that thankfully went away.
Being as these are digital first stories, it appears as if the print versions will be taking 3 parts at a time and putting them together, which basically works well because it's like getting a full episode in each issue. Provided the digital stories don't go past three parts, of course. While it's admittedly a little early to be singing this book's praises after only one issue, the simple truth is that I'm just that in love with it already. It's a fun, refreshing breath of fresh air, and is a reminder of what comics were like when most of us were first discovering them. I'll read this forever.