6:00am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77': Inside the Team-Up of the 20th Century
After teaming up with The Man From UNCLE and The Green Hornet, DC Entertainment's Batman '66 — the critically acclaimed comic book based on the fan-favorite Adam West TV show — is looking closer to home for its next team-up…but also across time. Hitting comic stores next week is the crossover fans have waited decades for: Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77.
The six-issue series, which collects the ongoing digital storyline in print for the first time, is written by its own dynamic duo: Batman '66's Jeff Parker and Wonder Woman '77's Marc Andreyko and pits the iconic TV versions of the two heroes against a threat that crosses the entire 20th century: Ra's al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins.
"Marc originally had the whole structure: 'Why don't we do six issues, and make it span three eras?' I loved that," Parker tells Heat Vision of the series. "And then it just seemed natural, who do we have that could be a good villain for every era? Oh, it's Ra's Al Ghul. This is a great time to have an immortal that Batman would normally fight and it makes sense for Wonder Woman to fight. He makes sense as a foil for both of those heroes, for me. His League of Shadows has its own kind of mythology, which sort of works for Wonder Woman."
The structure of three different time periods allows Andreyko and Parker to have fun with different parts of both Batman's and Wonder Woman's mythologies, including a chance to get period specific with Paradise Island, home to Wonder Woman's tribe of Amazons. "I was excited because I realized, in the '60s section, you can have everyone go to Paradise Island and that would be an excellent thing to explore," Parker says. "David Hahn [who illustrates the series with Karl Kesel] jumped right into it and imagined what all the Amazons would look like in '60s fashions. It's like how the TV show would've probably portrayed them."
For Andreyko, the series offered the chance to give the Caped Crusader a new reason to fight crime, with the first third of the series telling of the first meeting between Wonder Woman and a very young Bruce Wayne — a meeting that shows him a new way of dealing with problems. "Having Wonder Woman be an inspiration for Batman does make sense," he explains, "because Lynda Carter always played Wonder Woman as a character who wanted people to be the best that they could be. It's the opposite of grim and gritty."
The Wonder Woman '77 writer — who was responsible for the creation of last month's best-selling anthology Love Is Love — says that the team-up of the two properties seemed natural once his series based on the Lynda Carter series launched.
"After Wonder Woman '77 was a success, I reached out to my editors and said, 'We've got to do Wonder Woman '77 meets Batman '66.' But, I said, I don't want to do it unless Jeff Parker is involved," he says. "What he did when starting the Batman '66 comic was so great, in that he captured the tone and the feel and the joy of the show, but he didn't go for post-ironic or snarky about it. He didn't play up the camp, he just made it feel like the show! He made it look really easy, but of course, it's not."
Both writers says that working on the series was, in Andreyko's words, "a blast," and they're eager for another go-around if sales support it. "I know that, on our ends, creatively and editorially, we had so much fun working on this that I would revisit this world with Jeff immediately, no questions asked," he says. "Over the process of writing this, we've just gone, 'What if he did this in another one? What if we did this in another one?'"
The first print issue of Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77, collecting the first two digital chapters, will be available in comic book stores Jan. 18. Read a preview of the issue below.