Batman '66 Meets...

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In July, after Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 6 wraps up that mini-series, the Allreds' Batman '66 Meets the Legion of Super-Heroes will be released. A Legion Time Bubble from the 30th Century makes it's way back to '66 Gotham!

I'm excited that the Legion is making a comeback!

I'm also hoping that this isn't the final team-up for The Dynamic Duo.

There are other characters I would love to see introduced into the '66 continuity.

Just in case you haven't been keeping up, Jeff Parker introduced Clayface, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow and Solomon Grundy. (I don't want to spoil any of these origins. I highly recommend tracking down the trade paperback collections at your local comic book store!)

Harlan Ellison's original pitch for Two-Face was turned into a one-shot - that also introduced the Trophy Room in the Batcave! Batcave '66 sports a robot dinosaur! And, a giant penny!

There's been a sequel to the Green Hornet episodes. The Caped Crusaders have met other '60's fixtures such as The Man from UNCLE and Steed and Mrs. Peel.

I can't recommend this crossover with Wonder Woman enough. Not so much for the tie-in to the new film. It's a brilliant period piece. It starts during WWII, Wonder Woman's first season on ABC. Then shifts to '66. The final chapters bring it forward to '77, her second and final seasons on CBS. Princess Diana is as much an inspiration as the bats in the caverns beneath Wayne Manor and the one that flies in through the open window and lights on the bust of Thomas Wayne.

But what if Batman '66 were similar to the Arrowverse? ABC cancelled the series following a weak third season. Yvonne Craig's Batgirl was the original "Cousin Oliver": the character that was introduced to liven up a series, but instead turned out to be counterproductive. Legend has it that NBC was interested; but, the sets had already been struck. The Peacock Network wasn't at all interested in the cost of rebuilding those sets. What if they'd gotten the series in time? That could be possible in a Batman '66: Season Four comic series. Just like a Smallville: Season Eleven. There've been a few television series that continued another season as a comic book.

What if a Season Four opened with Dick Grayson on an Egyptian dig with archaeologist-adventurer Carter Hall? Himself a re-incarnated Egyptian ruler, Prince Khufu. Another member of the dig, Yale's Professor William McElroy - the whole point of Dick Grayson being on the expedition. I'm thinking this could be a subplot leading up to the return of King Tut - versus the re-incarnated Prince Khufu, now known as Hawkman! It would be The Dynamic Duo and the Winged Warrior(s) versus King Tut. It might be interesting, considering King Tut will be teaming up with Two Face in the sequel to last year's Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. It would be tricky, Tut would have to hold his own against Batman and Robin, and Hawkman and Hawkgirl - with maybe a cameo by Batgirl or Barbara Gordon. Or not. Maybe Tut pulls together a cabal with Bookworm, The Mad Hatter, Clock King and Lisa Carson (Lee Meriwether back as a different character) Maybe he uses enforcers Killer Croc and Solomon Grundy. I'd kinda like to see Batman '66 feature the Carter Hall Hawkman just to see those two face Tut.

If you're a Golden-Age fan, JSA or All-Star Squadron fan; or, a Brave and the Bold fan, what do you think of Gotham Museum's new curator?

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Wonder Woman Fun Fact

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We're all talking about Wonder Woman - that's awesome. I'm a Batman fan. Adam West's Batman. But I realize now that since 1939, there have been NINE actors to play Batman in live action. Lewis Wilson and Robert Lowry in the old black and white serials; West in the '60's; Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, Bale; and now Ben Affleck. Also included is Jack Smith from an obscure 1964 parody film called Batman Dracula. If you want to throw Dick Gautier in there, standing in for Adam West in the '70's Women's Equal Pay PSA - you probably could. That's JUST the adults that have played The Dark Knight.

Lyle Waggoner is famous for ALMOST playing Batman, losing the TV series role to West. He moved on to the role of Steve Trevor opposite Lynda Carter a decade later.

David Mazouz from Gotham opens up all the young men that have played Bruce Wayne in the origins - you know, the flashbacks to the Wayne's murder.

Kevin Conroy leads the pack of all the voice actors in animation. He wasn't the first. The late Olan Soule, who made a cameo on the '60's Batman series was. Since 2000, there's been a ton of actors to voice The Caped Crusader.

I'd argue the same is true for The Man of Steel.

Since 1942, how many actresses have played Wonder Woman? Three. Cathy Lee Crosby, Lynda Carter and now Gal Gadot. Adrianne Palicki infamously filmed a 2011 pilot for NBC that went nowhere. Eleanor "Ellie" Wood Walker infamously filmed a pilot as Wonder Woman in 1967. The Amazing Amazon is a domestic engineer. You can watch it on YouTube. I have to confess, I have not watched it. It just looks painful.

There are a number of actresses that have voiced Diana in animation. Legendary voice actress first played her on The Brady Kids in '72. Shannon Farnon voiced her in the Super Friends series that started in '73. Susan Eisenberg voiced her in the Cartoon Network Justice League series. Since 2001, there have been more voice actresses for animated versions of Wonder Woman.

At any one time, Batman and Superman have anchored at least four comic book titles. Before the Batman Knightfall storyline and The Death of Superman storyline, there was The World's Finest, The Brave and the Bold, DC Comics Presents and Justice League of America - on top of the two Superman and Batman books.

Remember when DC launched Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman three years ago? I remember it, because I got a copy for my teenage daughter. She'd just come home to us forever at the end of May 2014 and here was a new Wonder Woman comic in August. I got her the first three issues. The book lasted a total of 17 before being cancelled.

She does appear in more than her own title. She's in Superman/Wonder Woman, Justice League and Trinity.

But it's a bummer that interest is so low that she doesn't have two or four books plus her own team-up book like Superman and Batman.

I'd love to see a Black Widow movie. Scarlet Johansson has been awesome. So has Colbie Smulders. I haven't binge-watched Jessica Jones or Agents of SHIELD yet. Supergirl is in my Netflix queue. The first couple of episodes rocked.

I grabbed Whiteout and started re-reading it. The movie could have been better. I'm not sure why it was decided to combine both stories into one single film. Kate Beckinsale was pretty awesome.

As a dad with a daughter, the one thing Gal Gadot can do is get us all to look at Wonder Woman and female heroes differently.

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Superman, when he was a BOY! No Flights, no Tights.

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June 1st, 1938. A couple of crazy kids from Cleveland realize a dream. Superman, created by Jerry Siegle and Joe Shuster makes his debut in Action Comics 1.

Growing up, George Reeves was pretty cheesy in reruns. Adam West was in color. He fought Catwoman, The Joker, The Penguin and The Riddler. He may not have fought a lot of his darker rogues, but he fought pert near all his rogues. I've never seen the Superman movie serials, but The Man of Steel never fought Luthor, Brainiac, Bizarro or Zod on the small screen. It was mostly crooks and gangsters that he was rescuing Lois and Jimmy from.

Luthor, Brainiac and Bizarro did show up in the Super Friends cartoon.

Gene Hackman's Luthor was pretty much a staple of the Christopher Reeve films. A "sort of" Bizarro Superman did make an appearance in Superman III.

Tim Daly's Superman (The Animated Series) rocked! That reminds me, I need to read through my Superman Adventures collection...

My son, Justin and I bonded over Smallville. My wife and I brought our first son home from Kiev, Ukraine just as Tom Welling was wrapping up his tour of duty. That first season was pretty cool. There is an argument that can be made that the show was unfavorable toward blacks. Most everyone that Lionel Luthor screwed over in that first season was black. One of the first season villains was a black man. Your mileage on that may vary.

Here's what I would have liked to have seen. In that first season, it would have been cool to see the All-Star Squadron. Olympic great, Amazing-Man (Will Everett) has retired to Smallville to run a sporting goods store. That sells camping gear. A threat from out of the past comes back to haunt him and his family, maybe a grand-daughter Pete and Clark's age. Johnny Chambers, Libby Lawrence, John Law, Justin Arthur and Robert Crane would make a brief appearance to help Will and Clark out.

They would have to do this, without revealing themselves. Remember the Smallville motto, "No flights, no tights".

The point would be more to inspire Clark with heroism. Show him that heroes have ALWAYS been around. Heroism isn't confined to things like World War II. There is a never-ending battle, every day.

Will Everett could have become a recurring character. Since Pete's family was hustled off the series, given the "bum's rush".

I think you'll agree that somewhere toward the middle, Smallville kinda lost it's way, until it discovered "Young Justice Titans" and the Justice Society. It did finish on a high note.

I'd really like to know what you think of the idea of introducing a few All-Stars to Smallville. Even though the series has faded into memory.

(I promise I'll get all caught up on Superman's appearances on Supergirl! That's my goal to bond with my daughter, Bella!)

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Why I Broke Up With Archie

Trying to get over a break-up. Messy. Unhappy.

I just broke up with Archie.

We go way back. I first met Archie in the waiting room. Both my older brothers had braces. So, I'd go along. Archie was pretty chatty, telling stories. He seemed to have more fun and adventures than I did, even on a slow day. We were pretty close friends all through middle school. We drifted apart when I started hanging out with The New Teen Titans. Then there was a Crisis on Infinite Earths. Then I got married and started paling around with Jack Knight.

Archie and I reconnected a few years ago. My wife and I were adopting, and Archie was at a crossroads. Part of him wanted to finally propose to Veronica, another part of him wanted to propose to Betty.

My wife and I adopted three kids. I'm not sure what I was doing when I heard he'd died. I couldn't believe it.

I think he was just looking for a fresh start.

He got one with Mark Waid. I read a little of Waid's stuff. He'd introduced Impulse, Bart Allen in The Flash. He'd brought back Barry Allen - or did he? Now, he and Fiona Staples had given Archie a new look and a fresh start. Like he was in the Witness Protection program or somethin'.

Things were good. Things were great.

Until recently.

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I'm not sure what it is about this storyline that bothers me. It feels like a gut-punch. I want to enjoy it. I want to stick with Archie. He's been a good bud. He's really turned things around lately. I think Mark Waid has had a lot to do with that. There's something about this that feels more like a Stunt and an EVENT, than just another Day in the Life and adventure. I knew that his What If proposals were Stunts. I really kinda wanted to see what would happen. If he could go through with it and pull it off. I knew he'd be happier with Betty than Veronica. That's as old as time. That's the same question as "Ginger or Mary Ann". We all want Ginger, but deep down, we know who we'd be happier with.

I'd heard that Ms. Grundy had died. I'd heard about Archie dying too.

I remember when Ted Knight died. It wasn't an EVENT or a Stunt. It was part of some Grand Guignol. His final battle with The Mist. That was a month or two after my dad died from prostate cancer.

Maybe it's the idea of death that bothers me so much.

It's comics. In other comics, characters die, or cheat death so much and so often that it doesn't seem to matter much any more.

Maybe since it's Archie, the idea of death means a little less innocence.

I broke up with Archie at 19. I'm really genuinely struggling with it. A good story's a good story. Everything's so loud about where there's a good story. I don't know that a good story should be Loud.

Are you going Over The Edge with Archie? If you are, why? Don't spoil it, I may change my mind and see where this is going. I may stop back in Riverdale for a malt at Pop's, and catch up on things.

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Here's Why I'm Super Excited About Black Lightning, Cloak and Dagger and Runaways

I'm an old, short, bald white comic book fan. I'm old school. My era is The Bronze Age. From around '72 to '86. I started reading comics after Gwen Stacy died. The first Spider-Man comic I got came in a polybag with Iron Man and The Hulk. Spider-Man fought The Tarantula. The character was kind of a politically incorrect stereotype. But the name and costume were pretty cool. Spider-Man versus The Tarantula! The issue ended kinda weird. Spider-Man ended up on a bus where he saw (a) Gwen Stacy (clone). The Jackal chains him up and throws him off the bridge. I never got the next issue to see how Spider-Man got out of that death trap. I know that's hard to imagine, but it's true. Maybe one day, I'll track down both issues. I wore that comic out.

Probably the landmark character of the '80's was Cyborg. I didn't read Black Panther or Black Lightning in the '70's. But The New Teen Titans by Wolfman and Perez? I was there. And I loved it. I loved the Tales of The New Teen Titans mini-series!

Black Lightning made a big comeback in '83. With Metamorpho as part of Batman and The Outsiders! That, and Amazing Man on The All-Star Squadron - awesome!

Here's why I'm excited about The CW bringing Black Lightning to live action. Yeah, I think it's great that DC and Tony Isabella have worked things out. Jeff Pierce is a great character. A teacher. Well, now I guess he's a principal in the new series. With Arrow and The Flash featuring mostly white dudes; and, Supergirl featuring a white girl, it's nice to see some diversity other than Jason Rusch on Legends of Tomorrow.

I still remember that issue of Justice League of America issue where they hazed Black Lightning. They didn't tell him they were interested in recruiting him for the team. They tested him without him knowing and then when they did say, Hey, we think you're awesome, we'd like you to join, they had pissed him off, so he turned them down. Imagine that. I don't think they've done that to any other character before, or since.

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I have three kids. Two boys and a girl. None of them read comics. My boys play video games. My daughter is Keeping Up With The Kardashians. My son Justin is the only one into super-hero movies and TV shows. He and I bonded over Smallville. He loves The Flash! We love the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We've all watched Kickin' It together. I was kinda bummed that close to the end they let the black kid and the girl go. It'll be kinda cool to see the girl from Kickin' It in Cloak and Dagger. I'm gonna say that. Hey, isn't that the girl from Kickin it? That's kinda cool! Cue three teenagers rolling their eyes.

I am really excited to see Hulu's Runaways! Talk about diverse. I'm hoping that it draws all three of my kids in!

Like I said; I'm an old, short, bald comic book fan. My three kids are adopted. My boys are from India, by way of Ukraine. My daughter is Ukrainian. I'm pretty sure they'll be glad to finally(!) identify with the characters they see.

'Bout time, right?

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Batman '66 In The Twilight Zone

"Kirk Langstrom (Man-Bat) is a chemist working in Research and Development at Wayne Enterprises. Obsessed since childhood with bats. He will face his fascination...in The Twilight Zone."

Batman '66 has made a pretty impressive comeback. Celebrating 50 years with the release of the original series on Blu-Ray and DVD, a sequel to the '66 feature film - with a sequel to that coming soon! - and a line of merchandise! Chuh-ching! Merchandise! Then, there's the comic book tie-in series.

Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet was uh-maze-balls! Kevin Smith, Ralph Garman, Alex Ross and Ty Templeton producing a sequel to the Season Two "A Piece of the Action/Batman's Satisfaction" crossover episodes, featuring guest-stars Van Williams and Bruce Lee.

Batman '66 Meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E. followed. The crossover mini-series was notable for combining newly introduced characters Poison Ivy, and The Scarecrow, as well as introducing a longtime Bat-rogue into the '66 continuity. Hugo Strange had previously been introduced as Dr. Hugo at Arkham with Harley Quinn.

Next, Batman '66 Meets Steed and Mrs Peel. Lord Ffogg returns, along with Mr. Freeze and Catwoman. The Dynamic Duo cross the pond to work with The (British) Avengers to thwart a threat to the crown. Miss Gough is indeed an interesting character.

Now, Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77! There are two Wonder Woman crossovers to tie-in with the 2017 big screen debut of the Amazing Amazon. The other is a Andy Mangels' team-up with The Bionic Woman. The Batman/Wonder Woman team-up spans several decades, from Wonder Woman's original debut during WWII, through her revival in '77. Ra's al Ghul, Talia al Ghul and the Lazarus Pit have been introduced. The Lazarus Pit is located on Paradise Island. As of this writing, issue 5 is due to release, the cover teasing a drastic change for The Boy Wonder.

What's next? The Allreds are all set to follow the current team-up with Batman '66 Meets The Legion of Super-Heroes!

Then what?

Here's what I would like to see.

I'd like to see the introduction of more characters, like Julie Madison. Jeff Parker has done some amazing things with the '66 continuity. He introduced Killer Croc, Clayface (Hagen) and Solomon Grundy, along with Poison Ivy and The Scarecrow. Two-Face was introduced in a one-shot from a pitch by Harlan Ellison.

What if...Julie Madison were introduced? As appearing in a Rod Serling thriller. While working on that, Kirk Langstrom develops the Man-Bat serum.

The Batman rogues have been presented as tragic figures. At least in places such as Batman: The Animated Series. When he was first introduced, Kirk Langstrom was a tragic, sympathetic character. Not the villain he's become. He was somewhat tragic in BTAS; he was a complete rogue on The Batman animated series. I'd like to see the return of the more Jekyll and Hyde version, rather than the Hyde-Hyde version.

Have you been following the Batman '66 series and the crossovers? If not, I highly recommend it. Jeff Parker and the other writers and artists involved have really been doing fun stuff. It's worth a read!

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