Deep within the secret batcave below Wayne Manor, this chapter opens with Batman and Robin attempting to uncover the plot mentioned by Bookworm in the previous installment. After examining the play on words, the dynamic duo deduces that Bookworm is set to strike against the Dickens Matchbook Boutique. Although worried that Bookworm may uncover his true identity, Batman postulates that “whatever the risk, a crime-fighter must fight crime!”
The next day, the duo is camped outside the boutique waiting for Bookworm to strike. He eventually shows up and enters the establishment threatening to strike several poisonous matches against his new costume. Quickly springing into action, Batman knocks the matches from Bookworm’s hand with a well timed batarang. The Bookworm escapes but the Dark Knight uncovers a clue left on the Batmobile, something that he deduces is set to target Gotham’s law enforcement.
Meanwhile the Bookworm continues to add more information to his bat-encyclopedia and talks with his henchwoman about possibly auctioning off Batman’s secret identity for millions!
The following day, another caper is executed by Bookworm in which he steals the newly commissioned handbooks to be used by the GCPD. Swinging into action the caped crusaders attempt to find Bookworm. However on a nearby rooftop the Bookworm is secretly watching the scene and noting several phrases spoken by Batman, “Rozza! Help the bulldogs while I search for Bookers!” Clearly something only Bookworm understands.
Later that night, Bookworm breaks into Wayne Manor in order to confront the unmasked Batman. He believes he has successfully deduced his identity. Strolling into the study, Bookworm accosts Alfred as he believes him to be the Batman. However this has all been a ruse in order to capture the villain. Batman, using slang only spoken at the Bangbridge University in Londinium, had fooled Bookworm into believing Alfred Pennyworth was the Caped Crusader. It is then that the duo reveals themselves and they subdue Bookworm and his henchmen.
While loading the Bookworm into the back of a police van, Batman suggests that with the giant checkbook returned Bruce Wayne may be making a sizable donation to the Gotham Prison Library…however Bookworm yells that he should burn the books. He is in need of turning off his brain and watching some TV.
Another great story of the ‘60s Batman! This Bookworm storyline has truly been one of best written for this series so far. It actually feels like the author has lifted an episode from the television series and transcribed it into a comic.
Again another one that made me laugh several times, this story continues to play on the absurdities of the classic series. From having deduced the play on words with Robin’s help, to a few classic “Holy…” quotes from Robin, these chapters have been truly laughable. Also the actual heists are so absurd that only Adam West and Burt Ward would be able to stop them: stealing poisonous matches from a Matchbook Boutique to stealing the handbooks of the GCPD and stopping them from operating “by the book.”
The writing was very spot on for the old TV series so I will applaud the writer on his work here. The art as well was very well done, and all the characters used within the story truly look like their counterparts from the show. In the end a very hilarious story that I would recommend to any fan of the show, they will most certainly will enjoy this continuation of the series.
Batman '66 Chapter #17:
Reviewed by Ryan Blair