Sunday, September 20, 2015

Batman '66 Meets...

One of my favorite comics growing up was The Brave and the Bold. Every month, Batman would team-up with another hero for an adventure. According to Wikipedia, The Brave and the Bold became a Batman team-up book due to the popularity of the '66 live action Batman television series. The Brave and the Bold was part of the wave of Batmania. The Batman team-ups started with The Brave and the Bold #74 and ran through the 200th and final issue in 1982. The Brave and the Bold featured the first appearances of both the Justice League of America and Teen Titans. The book introduced Metamorpho and the Suicide Squad. Mark Waid and George Perez were part of a revival of the book starting in April 2007. This revival only lasted a few years, thirty-five issues, through August, 2010.

When the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold was launched, two comic book series set in continuity were launched as well. The first series reached twenty-two issues; the second series reached sixteen.

In 2014, after launching the Batman '66 title, DC Comics brought together Ralph Garman, Kevin Smith, Ty Templeton and Alex Ross for a comic book sequel to the second season two-part episode "A Piece of the Action/Batman's Satisfaction" featuring guest stars Van Williams as The Green Hornet, Bruce Lee as Kato and Roger C. Carmel as Colonel Gumm. The six-issue mini-series, Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet featured the team-up of The Joker and the newly christened General Gumm.

In December 2015, Jeff Parker launches Batman '66 Meets The Man From UNCLE. The Man From UNCLE was an NBC espionage series that ran from 1964 to 1968. It was also a Gold Key comic book series from May 1965 to April 1969. There were twenty-two issues in the comic book series.

The announcement of this second team-up series got me thinking: What other '60's combination television-comic book series could be the next for The Dynamic Duo? Below are my Top Five suggestions. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.

5) The Monkees

The British duo Chad and Jeremy made a number of appearances on '60's television, from The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Patty Duke Show, Laredo, The Dating Game and My Three Sons. They also appeared in the two-part "The Cat's Meow/The Bat's Kow Tow", where Catwoman steals their voices!

Batman was part of the '60's pop-culture, from the music scene to the surf scene.

The Monkees, an American version of The Beatles, was not just a half-hour NBC sitcom about a rock band. Dell Comics published seventeen issues between 1967 and 1969.

One of the cool things about The Monkees was The Monkee Men!

It would be pretty cool for Batman and Robin to meet The Monkee Men!

4) Get Smart

The '60's were all about spies. Sean Connery as James Bond; Patrick MacNee as John Steed on BBC in The Avengers; James Coburn as Derek Flint; Dean Martin as Matt Helm; Robert Culp and Bill Cosby in I Spy; and Don Adams as CONTROL Agent 86, Maxwell Smart in Get Smart.

Since The Dynamic Duo will be teaming up with Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin from UNCLE, it seems only fitting that they should also team up with another Dell Comics character, Maxwell Smart.

Maybe Batman and Robin and Agents 86 and 99 could come together to thwart a KAOS plot by Seigfried.

3) My Favorite Martian

My Favorite Martian was a brilliant sitcom. Bill Bixby, who would later star as David Banner - "physician; scientist" - otherwise known as The Incredible Hulk, played newspaper reporter, Tim O'Hara. O'Hara stumbles across the story of the century - a Martian on Earth! Ray Walston played The Martian, who becomes Tim's Uncle Martin.

Uncle Martin had some great powers and gadgets. He had a spaceship; a time machine; he could turn invisible, read minds and levitate things with a forefinger!

My Favorite Martian was a Gold Key comic book series that ran for nine issues from 1964 to 1966.

DC is no stranger to Martians. One of their most prominent aliens is J'onn J'onzz, The Martian Manhunter! J'onn was seemingly a combination of Superman and Batman.

It would be interesting for The Dynamic Duo to team up with Tim and Uncle Martin for either a '66 adventure or maybe a time travel story.

2) The Wild, Wild West

The Wild, Wild West was a steampunk James Bond. Or, "James Bond on horseback". Modern gadgets and gizmos re-imagined in the Old West, with Robert Conrad and Ross Martin as US Secret Service Agents James West and Artemis Gordon. Steampunk was a genre popularized by 19th Century authors Jules Verne, Mary Shelley and H. G. Wells.

Another Gold Key Comics title, The Wild, Wild West reached seven issues in 1966.

The Batman comics that inspired the 1966 live action series had Batman and Robin travelling back in time to the Old West. It would be interesting to pair Adam West's Batman with Robert Conrad's James West for a Wild, Wild West adventure - maybe involving Shame?

1) Star Trek

Star Trek is quite possibly the longest running series ever. Three seasons on NBC in the 1960's; six feature films with the original cast. A Gold Key comic book series that ran from 1967 to 1979. A Marvel Comics series that produced eighteen issues. Two separate DC Comics series, one that reached fifty-six issues, another that reached eighty issues. Most recently an ongoing IDW series, featuring new stories with the rebooted, re-imagined, original crew. A long-running novel series.

Although a fixture set three hundred years in the future, Star Trek: The Original Series is definitely a product of the 1960's. A starship; cool gadgets and gizmos; a pointy-eared Vulcan.

One of Star Trek's specialties is time travel. Either a slingshot around the sun or through The Guardian of Forever. It's quite possible that The USS Enterprise could visit 1966 Gotham and Batman and Robin. Maybe Gotham would be another City on the Edge of Forever.

Those are my suggestions. Based on television shows that were also comic book series.

Maybe you've got a suggestion or two. Feel free to share.