It’s a familiar tale: A group of super-teens from the future traveling back to the 20th Century to meet/recruit their idol, the greatest teenage superhero in history…
…Robin, The Boy Wonder? Okay, that’s different. Your Major Spoilers review of Red Hood And The Outlaws Annual #2 awaits!
Storytellers: Lee Allred & Michael Allred
Colorist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Wes Abbott
Editor: Jim Chadwick
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: 99 Cents
Previously in Batman ’66 Meets The Legion Of Super-Heroes: “In pursuit of the time-traveling criminal known as Universo, the super-powered kids from the 30th century travel back to the 1960s to enlist the aid of the “greatest teen superhero ever”–Robin, the Boy Wonder! But Batman’s hard-boiled nemesis Egghead has stolen one of the Legion’s unattended time bubbles and taken off to the 2900s. Looks like Batman has to head to the far-flung future with one group of heroes while Robin stays in the swinging sixties with another. Holy time-travel paradox!”
YOU HAD ME AT “ALLRED”
The moment this comic was announced, I was ready to order, as it falls right in my wheelhouse: A creator I adore, a super-team that I love, and a crossover with a series that I always felt deserved more love. This issue doesn’t disappoint on that front, as Alfred is greeted by a knock on the door of Stately Wayne Manor, and a strange group of teens who want to come in. He starts to rebuff them, but finds himself unable to resist, opening the Manor and even leading the strange kids to the secret entrance to the Batcave. Once inside, the six kids reveals themselves to Batman and Robin as the Legion, explaining that their hypnotic foe, Universo, has made his way back to the past. Unfortunately, their time-bubble attracts the attention of Batman weirdo Egghead (drawn here in a perfect image of his actor, the late Vincent Price) who escapes to the future in the stolen device. Batman and Robin are given their own flight rings , and the team splits in half to pursue the two bald evil-doers.
I FORGOT BURT WARD WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A TEEN
This issue is really a fun read, with the Legion using “future slang” that feels hopelessly outdated, which any Madman reader will tell you is one of Mike Allred’s favorite devices. The Legion is portrayed as young teens here, 17 years old at best, and the Allred brothers make each of them seem like the impulse, sometimes silly creatures that young teens are. Brainiac 5, for instance, refuses Batman’s suggestion that they follow his deductive skills rather than consult a computer, while Saturn Girl is taken aback at Robin’s admission that he doesn’t actually have any powers, and Shadow Lass is visibly grossed out when Batman references eating fish. The team assembled here is an eclectic one as well, eschewing many of the usual suspects for Shadow Lass and Ferro Lad (who actually references his death at the hands of the Sun-Eater) and given the Legion a freshness that the team can be missing, especially in retro-stories like this one.
THE BOTTOM LINE: GLEEFULLY FUN
With clever dialogue, a perfect handle on the meter and tone of Adam West’s Batman voice (RIP, sir), and the dynamic art and colors of the Mike/Laura team, this issue is off-the-charts fun for me. There’s even a board-game built in that is chockfull of references and clever bits, including cameos by Mxyptlk and J’onn J’onnzz, making Batman ’66 Meets The Legion Of Super-Heroes #1 a home run for me, earning 5 out of 5 stars overall. If we have to live in a remix mash-up culture (and, apparently, we do), it’s wonderful to see those mash-ups made skillfully and with love for both sides of the franchise equation…
Now, if we could only get DC to give us a regular Legion book.