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DC Comics will expand its digital-first comics line this summer with the debut of Batman ’66, a series based on the classic television series.
The announcement came last night in Hollywood, where Warner Bros. Consumer Products launched its Batman Classic Television Series licensing program during an event co-hosted by Junk Food Clothing and Meltdown Comics.
Inspired by the television series, which aired from 1966 to 1968 on ABC, Batman ’66 is written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Jonathan Case. In an ironic turn, Michael Allred, whose Adam West/Batusi cover (below) couldn’t be used for DC’s Solo because of legal issues, will be providing the cover for the first issue. Like the DC’s other digital-first comics, Batman ’66 will be collected monthly in print.
“The juxtaposition of offering a retro Batman ’66 comic as a current and modern digital first title is fun,” DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson said in a statement. “DC Entertainment is the most prolific producer of digital first comics and, as we work to create new and compelling content, this is a great way to also preserve the legacy of our characters. It’s exciting to roll out the new Batman ’66 comic as part of this bigger initiative with our Warner Bros Consumer Product partners.”
A disagreement between Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox had long prevented the release of any products based on the Batman TV series — or, indeed, even any DVD collections. However, as the Beverly Hills event and the torrent of licensing announcements demonstrate, the two companies have settled their issues.
“DC licensed the rights to all the actors from the 60s TV show (!), and we’re set to start reeling and rocking this summer,” Case writes on his website. “Really, if they let me develop with any superhero project, working with whoever I wanted, I honestly couldn’t have come up with a better fit: lighthearted, kid-appropriate, retro, and written by one of my favorite comics writers. The script Jeff’s writing for this series is gold. You can feel his love [for] the material, the era, the Julie Newmar.”