Archie Meets Batman ’66 #5
Michael Moreci (Writer), Jeff Parker (Writer), Dan Parent (Artist), J. Bone (Artist), Kelly Fitzpatrick (Colours), Jack Morelli (Letters)
Archie Comics and DC Entertainment
5 December, 2018
The Gotham villains have taken control of Riverdale’s adults, but fortunately Bruce Wayne knows someone who can help. As the Riverdale teens look for an escape from the villains’ nefarious party, they come face to face with none other than Batman!
And just in the nick of time, too. Batman needs the Riverdale teens’ help to navigate the area. Plus, Veronica Lodge has a pretty good idea where Jughead Jones, Robin, and Batgirl are being held by the Joker. When it looks like the heroes have the upper hand, the Gotham villains find them. But what’s this? The villains have new henchmen! Who can they be? Can the heroes escape the villains’ clutches and save Riverdale?
Finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for: the team-up between the Riverdale teens and the Gotham heroes. I really wish we hadn’t had to wait five issues for it, because it was so much fun to see the characters together.
There are several moments that added to my enjoyment of this issue. I love that Veronica gets to ride in the Batmobile with Batman, and even does the car’s starting sequence with him! It would have been very easy to put Archie in that position, especially as the covers have consistently promised Archie taking over the Robin role, but letting the female characters get in on some of the action is definitely the right move. And how typical of Veronica to shove Archie out of the way to get to Batman!
There’s also a great nod to Archie and Jughead’s close friendship, and Jug’s love of food, which put a big smile on my face. Then there’s Reggie Mantle, who has joined up with the good guys. Earlier in the series, he seemed to have become the Riddler’s side-kick, but fortunately, Riddler’s fake money has brought Reggie back to his senses. In one of the issue’s funniest moments, Reggie tries to extort Riddler. Even Riddler is impressed by Reggie’s gall!
It’s these little character moments that make this series so entertaining, especially as this issue is light on action. I would have liked some more considering the sheer number of characters here. But the focus of this book was more about the heroes living to fight another day.
I am left wondering again why Batman spent so much of this miniseries chasing after Bookworm and Footnote. What was the point of that subplot apart from a shoddy excuse to keep Batman away from Riverdale? Adding insult to injury, there is a moment in this issue where I really thought Bookworm would have an impact on the story, but nothing came of it. At this point, I don’t see how that thread can be reintroduced. It was a waste of time in what is already a short series.
The art is, as always, fantastic. The Archie comics characters look exactly like the classic versions of the characters, and the Batman characters are consistently well-drawn. There are a few more locations in this issue which makes the art look even more detailed than usual. Plus, a gorgeous double-page spread! Why haven’t there been more of those?
I have loved the colours throughout this series, and this issue goes above and beyond with its varied colour palette. There are so many colours, not just in the clothes and costumes, but also in the background. Kelly Fitzpatrick’s work is simply mesmerising.
I have to admit, I did not see that denouement coming. For this story to end on yet another twist so close to the end felt like a curve ball, but it’s who the villains manage to capture that was the biggest surprise. Without giving too much away, let’s just say the heroes are in dire straights going into the next issue.
This installment was fun, if not action-packed, and filled with plenty of memorable character moments that are true to the characters and this series. I am definitely excited for the conclusion to Archie Meets Batman ’66. Hope it’s a good one!