By Hunter T. Patrick
Holy crossover, Archie. Nothing is groovier than Veronica’s costumes mixed in with the exploits of the evil villains of Gotham City. This comic begins in Gotham with the dynamic duo facing off against the evil Poison Ivy. The first half focuses on the Batman ’66 world before going to the retro Riverdale, full of 1960s outfits. There is a dastardly new villain in Riverdale with the despicable power to control men. Zoinks. Okay sorry, wrong franchise. This issue serves as a prelude to what is coming up with the story setting up the villains of Gotham going to Riverdale. This issue boils down to setting up both worlds and leading towards the promised crossover. Expect a good number of villains and heroics, along with the good-natured Archie gang.
The writing is fun, as would be expected with this series. It is not dark and ominous, quite the opposite. Robin and Jughead have plenty of fun lines to say, as the two characters always seem to have. The writing sticks to either the Batman world or the Archie world as the two worlds have yet to collide. This is also where the pacing begins to be shown as both worlds are separate, and the comic is separated that way. There is not much overlap: it is either Batman or Archie’s world. The Batman world is much more hectic with the villainry, while Archie’s world is more down to earth. That is such a big difference in the two franchises which the comic does show in terms of their plotting.
Unlike the plotting separating the two worlds, the art remains constant for both franchises. There is no overly noticeable difference between the two. Batman ’66 looks somewhat like the TV show while Archie looks pretty close to Archie. It is easier in an art standpoint to copy 1960s Archie as that was comics as opposed to a live action TV show. The art looks like a good merger of the two. It does its purpose but not above and beyond. It does not blow things out of the park nor does it leave too memorable of a taste. It is not necessarily bad, but just plain average. This is what is expected, not anywhere near Eisner level, even though that would look awesome if it did go beyond the mediocracy.
This crossover left much to be desired for a strong intro. The Archie part felt stronger, but still not that strong. Once the two worlds collide then how things will develop will be more evident, but just for a first issue, it was not a strong Archie, nor a strong Batman ’66 comic on its own. There is hope in the later issues, but in the first, it was not as much of a dud as it was just average. There is so much potential, and it felt like ‘well this is a good idea, let’s just do it without much effort as the premise writes itself.’ No, the premise does not write itself.
Archie Meets Batman '66 #1
Archie Comics and DC Comics