September 19, 2015

BATMAN MEETS U.N.C.L.E. AVENGERS

It's been a busy week here at the Spy Vibe lair. Along with my usual teaching schedule, I've been working on an Avengers essay for an upcoming book in the UK, interviewing candidates for our new head of school, and writing reports and promos for some new programs. I'm happy to finally be able to share some interesting news items that crossed my radar recently. DC Comics Batman 66 line, which places the Caped Crusader in the colorful, pop art world of the 1960s TV series, is gearing up for two remarkable crossover events. It was announced that The Avengers (classic UK spy show) will be featured in a new mini-series with Batman and Robin. I must admit I can't quite visualize this concept. Although the color Emma Peel season became campier (and the show progressed down that line in the Tara King series), the tone was quite different from Batman. Adaptations of The Avengers often lose the charm of the original show in favor of cartoony exaggerations of what people think now about what Swinging London was like. Shades of Austin Powers, if you will? Still, as a fan of both Batman and The Avengers, my interest is certainly piqued. In more recent news, it was announced that The Man From U.N.C.L.E. will be featured in a miniseries with Batman and Robin starting in December. Apparently T.H.R.U.S.H. will be hiring super villains and our extended team of heroes must jet off to Europe to foil their plot. Again, I tread cautiously and hope for the best. From my perspective, U.N.C.L.E. began with some wonderful cinema-verite energy and edginess in the first season, which gave way to stagey camp when the series went to color. Hopefully a team-up with 1960s Batman in the comics won't simply repeat that trend and push the camp even further. I'm not sure how gun-play will work in the "pow-biff!" universe, for example. Even the first graphic released (below) seems slightly mismatched. The Batman series was so influential at the time, and we saw many shows, such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Lost in Space, try to build viewership by riding the pop-art wave. I really enjoy the pop aesthetics of that period, but again, remain cautious about how these new adaptations will turn out. The original shows succeed  I think, when the stories were played straight despite the campy trappings. I've read some cool Batman 66 stories (loved the issue with Lord Death Man!), so fingers are crossed. The Batman/U.N.C.L.E. comic will feature a story by Jeff Parker and art by David Hine. More news and images to come. See my interview with the Batman 66 Meets Green Hornet team, Ralph Garman and Ty Templeton. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: New Gillette 007 CoversPirate RadioSpectre Advanced PosterHonor Blackman at 90UNCLE SchoolIan Fleming MemorialRadiophonic ExhibitPortmeirion PhotosDoctor Who ExhibitFarewell SteedPussy Galore ReturnsDiana Rigg birthdaySherlock at 221BInvisible AgentSaint Interview: Ian DickersonSaint DoppelgängerFleming's TypewriterRare FlemingFleming's MusicIan Fleming's JapanJim Wilson Corgi InterviewFantomas DesignJeremy Duns on BondJohn Buss interviewAvengers Season 5 TitlesSaint VolvoMod Tales InterviewAgente Secreto ComicsDanger Man Comics 2Danger Man ComicsJohn Drake ComicsDer Mann Von UNCLEGolden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesThai Bond DesignBond vs ModernismArt of ModestyTokyo Beat 1964Feraud Mod FashionGreen Hornet MangaNo 6 FestivalAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy Olsen, Shakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers Interview, Richard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, Trina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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