The crossover that should have happened fifty years ago is finally available in the year 2016! Your Major Spoilers review of Batman ’66 Meets Steed And Mrs. Peel #1 awaits!
BATMAN #66 MEETS STEED AND MRS. PEEL #1
Writer: Ian Edgington
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Editor: Kristy Quinn
Publisher: DC Comics/Boom Studios
Cover Price: 99 Cents
Previously in Batman ’66 Meets Steed And Mrs. Peel: “As Bruce Wayne shows the beautiful head of a UK electronics company the sights of Gotham, they are interrupted by the felonious feline Catwoman! Unwilling to leave Miss Michaela Gough unprotected, Bruce resigns himself to the fact that Batman cannot save the day. But some new players have arrived in town-though even as the catsuit-clad lovely Mrs. Peel and her comrade John Steed take control of the situation, nefarious plots continue apace!”
THE BOWLER AND THE BAT
As a general rule, I’ve had a preference to wait for the printed versions of DC’s digital-first books, but I’ve slowly been adjusting to the idea of having weekly chapters, thanks to ‘Batman ’66’ and ‘The Legend of Wonder Woman.’ When this series was announced, it was pretty obvious that I’d have to be reading it as it was released, given my affection for The Avengers of yore and the Caped Crusaders of Gotham. This issue opens with Bruce Wayne and Michaela Gough (named, I’m certain, for the longest-serving movie-version of Alfred, Michael Gough) at a gemstone exhibit, discussing their upcoming joint business ventures. The rare gemstones attract the attention of Catwoman, who arrives to loot the place of as many pretty stones as she can.
Of course, as her mooks are mowed down by a woman in black, she discovers that she’s not the only leather-clad lass in the building, and it’s NOT Batgirl.
BATTLE OF THE CATSUITS
Matthew Dow Smith does a very good job in capturing the difficult-to-reproduce features of Diana Rigg, and delivers strong facial expressions throughout the issue, but his action sequences feel a little bit static, even with Mrs. Peel kicking her way through the cat-themed baddies. (The resemblance of Miss Gough to Doctor Who companion Amy Pond doesn’t feel entirely coincidental, either.) As the issue ends, Catwoman is in custody, and a mysterious person watches the proceedings from the shadows, clearly a bigger bad of the ongoing arc. Robin and Alfred get a little metaphorical screen-time here, and Steed a single line, but given that it’s the first chapter, equivalent to a half-issue of a standard comic book, I am sanguine knowing that another chapter will be available in just a few days.
THE BOTTOM LINE: AN INTERESTING START
In this era of mash-ups and cross-pollination of licenses, this is one crossover that makes perfect sense, both culturally (both series are touchstones of late 60s TV made legendary by years of syndication), aesthetically (Catwoman takes the time to compliment Mrs. Peel on her catsuit) and story-wise, and I’m looking forward to seeing what dire complications occur to keep our two duos busy for the rest of the story. Batman ’66 Meets Steed And Mrs. Peel #1 makes perfect sense, delivers an intriguing beginning and some interestingly impressionistic art from Dow, earning a better than average 3 out of 5 stars overall. I’ll be checking this one out every week, as I think it’ll be an entertaining red…