Archie Meets Batman ’66 – Jeff Parker, Michael Moreci, Dan Parent, J. Bone, Kelly Fitzpatrick & Jack Morelli (Archie Comics)

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Holy Riverdale Batfans, in Archie Meets Batman ’66  the Caped Crusader, the Boy Wonder and their erstwhile partner in two fisted jurisprudence Batgirl head to the home of Archie Andrews to foil the dastardly machinations of Underworld United! Having grown tired of constantly being thwarted by the Guardian of Gotham, the Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman, with a little help from Siren, deciding that success lie elsewhere, turn their attention to Riverdale in a nefarious plot that involves mind control and the slow(ish) but sure takeover of the small, sleepy town. And it probably would have worked like a charm if it wasn’t for Archie and his meddling friends, who having a sixth sense for super-villainy send out a distress that brings Robin and Batgirl, and later Batman, to their aid in the fight against the frightful foursome.  It’s a battle that pits Riverdale against itself, with Archie, Batman and the gang on one side and the criminal masterminds and grown-ups on the other, that following a flurry of furious action, double-dealing, treachery and trickery see’s law and order emerge triumphant*.

Archie Andrews and Batman ’66 taking on the forces of darkness together is the stuff that dreams are made of. Parker and Moreci plunge their readers straight into the tail-end of the swinging sixties, and admittedly while things weren’t quite as groovy in Riverdale as they were in the various enclaves of Flower Power, if they’re cool enough for Archie, Betty, Veronica, Dick, Bruce, Barbara and Jughead, then rest assured they’re more than cool enough for you, me and everyone else.  Thanks to the sublime retro art and dazzling colours of Parent, Bone and Fitzpatrick, the books looks and feels exactly like a missing multi-part episode of the first series of Batman. The dialogue, characterisation and plot are pitch perfect,  and Archie Meets Batman ’66 doesn’t miss a single beat as it incorporates and utilises every single much loved Bat cliché and  Archie stereotype into its pulse pounding, blink and you’ll miss it, detail heavy story.  Okay, so Arche Meets Batman ’66 doesn’t reinvent the wheel or forever alter the four colour paradigm, but it was never meant to. It’s a love letter to the show and the comics that originally brought its central characters to life, a heartfelt testament to the much simpler, crazier days of yore when anything could, and usually, did happen in the pages of the funny-books and on screen and it’ll put a smile a mile wide on the faces of even the most hardened cynic.  Bat-tastic… Tim Cundle


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