Saturday, October 16, 2021

On The Air: Batman: The Audio Adventures (2021)

 Batman: The Audio Adventures is a light-hearted homage to old time radio and the seminal Batman: The Animated Series, which marks its 30th anniversary next year. Yes, it's a podcast, but it is also available on HBO Max.

The cast has a decided Saturday Night Live flava, past & present, including Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, Kenan Thompson, Melissa Villasenor, head writer Dennis McNicholas, and Progressive Insurance pitchman Chris Parnell (Dr. Rick) as our narrator. Also heard are Jeffrey Wright (What If....?), John Leguizamo, Rosario Dawson, Alan Tudyk (Resident Alien, Harley Quinn, etc.), and Ray Wise (ex-Fresh Off The Boat, Reaper).

To help promote the series, DC issued a 1-shot prequel this week, written by McNicholas, Bobby Moynihan (ex-Saturday Night Live, DuckTales), Ike Barinholtz (ex-MadTV), Paul Scheer (ex-Fresh Off The Boat), and Heidi Gardner.

Now, let's scope out the opener:

Wright, who will be seen as Commissioner Gordon in next year's "The Batman", is virtually pitch perfect as Batman, and there's no mistaking Meyers as Jack Ryder, who may or may not be The Creeper in this iteration just yet. Of the cast, Scheer has some comics experience with Boom! Studios & Marvel, and Leguizamo has been dabbling of late as a writer.

The comics 1-shot is an 80 page special for $10, and worth every penny.


Batman: The Audio Adventures, the podcast/HBO Max series: A. The comic book gets an A+.
We reviewed DC's Justice League Infinity when it was released in July, and thought it was a triumphant return to form for an animated universe series. However, more than halfway through this 7 issue miniseries, which ends in January, the wheels have fallen off, as it's more of a DCAU take on Infinite Frontier, but with the added nausea of revisiting a Super Friends trope from the 80's, as seen in the current issue, #4. In 1984, someone at DC or Hanna-Barbera thought it would be a cool idea to have Darkseid lusting after Wonder Woman. Barf me out, if you please!!!

Revised rating: C.
Archie Comics' Archie Halloween Spectacular, on the heels of a Betty & Veronica volume with a similar theme last month, introduces a new witch character, Castrella, who figures to be an adversary of Sabrina, Archie, and the gang down the line. As usual, the rest are reprints, but it's going to be a while before they go back to the "New Riverdale" format from 2015-20.

Rating: B.
Acclaimed, respected writer-artist Bill Willingham is back at DC, scripting a 6 issue Black Label miniseries that brings back one of Fables' most beloved characters, Bigby Wolf, who crosses into Gotham City, and you know what that means. A clash, then team-up, with The Batman. I think I may be investing in those Fables trades just to fill up the library. Anyway, the miniseries begins as you'd expect, as the two sleuths cross paths hunting for a serial killer who may just be a werewolf of some kind....

Rating: A.

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