Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh-etc, etc. Get ready for a return to a different era of BATMAN. DC Entertainment, Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case are ready to bring back the Adam West/Burt Ward version of Batman you all know and love (with the groovy Mike Allred doing covers). Jeff spoke with us at WonderCon but we had to find out more as the first issue is being released this week, July 3, as part of DC's 'Digital First' series of comics.
Jeff Parker: Riddler led off the TV show and really set the tone for it all, so I thought it was fitting that he also do that with our series. And by Riddler I specifically mean Frank Gorshin Riddler. Gorshin really threw himself into that part, he was hysterical and menacing in equal doses.
Catwoman, I have to admit I was impatient to get to Julie Newmar Catwoman so I went ahead and wrote her in the first one too. She appears in part two of the three chapter story. Jonathan Case absolutely delivered on the art with her scenes, the way she slinks around and commands attention.
CV: How was it decided which "Catwoman" would be used? Was it because of the general 'timing' these stories take place?
JP: We actually have likeness rights to go with any of the Catwomen actresses. I led with Julie because she's really a cornerstone of the show, but you'll also be seeing Eartha Kitt's version too.
CV: Besides watching old episodes of the TV show, did you do any other prep or research to get into the feel of the time period?
JP: No (I mean I definitely watch the show) because I want the book to feel classic and somewhat timeless. Everything looks of the era aesthetically, but we don't refer to history of the time or things that would make you hyperaware of the 1960s. I want kids to be able to read it and not think of it as period fiction.
CV: We spoke back in March and you mentioned the possibility of Killer Croc or other characters that weren't seen in the show. From the solicits it looks like the Killer Croc story got pushed back?
JP: Yeah, I think they just want to establish the world of 66 more with TV villains first. That will just help to define how to do a show-version of comics criminals like Two-Face, so it's a good move.
JP: Yes. So far I don't have lots of Harriet, but she's there. Alfred gets all involved though, like he did in the show. I always liked that no one though it was weird that Batman would have the Wayne butler tagging along. Or that the same voice would answer for Wayne Manor that answers for the Batcave when calling on the red phone.
When at home, Alfred keeps things running tip-top, so everything is ready to go.
CV: Is there an established quota of how many BIFF, BAM, POWS, etc you're allowed to use?
JP: I believe the rule is the more the merrier!
CV: Do you find yourself humming or singing the theme song when writing?
JP: Mainly when writing the fights, it always kicks in then. And if we've done it right, you'll hear it in your head as you read them.
CV: Will there be the big cliffhangers at the end of each issue/episode like on the show? Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel?
JP: Not in the same way, we actually are supposed to avoid being too close to the structure of the show in that way. Which works fine because formula gets repetitive in a way that you don't get the surprises you need. So we have most of the elements you remember, just not ordered in the same way all the time. You could come in on a death trap to kick off a story, for example.
Make sure you check out the first issue this Wednesday on the DC app and comiXology. A printed version will be available in July.