Batman '66 #19
written by Jeff Parker
art by Leonardo Romero
"The Villain of Vapor Street"
Better than the previous issue of Batman '66 which told two short stories, I enjoyed the focus on this singular story with a singular villain, Professor Marmaduke Ffogg.
The artwork is really nice. I like the amount of detail which stays nice and light compared to the weight of the lines for the figures, and I like the compositions, too. Leonardo Romero even makes the weird pig-nose version of Batman's cowl look decent.
This issue was lots of fun for many reasons and it's why I chose it as my Pick of the Week. Batman '66 obviously is a period piece but in the story the characters are dressed in an even earlier period costuming for a local neighborhood festival. Things go awry very quickly as the villain, Professor Ffogg, makes a grand entrance onto the stage. I enjoy how the "muscle" for Ffogg are a group of young women dressed like school girls. They pack a mean punch, they also melt and swoon at the sight of the boy wonder, yet they never forget their duty to Ffogg. Lady Penelope Peasoup is also great as the sister of Ffogg, who wields a cane for smacking people upside the head.
Ffogg's main goal in the story is to take control of Gotham City and be able to plunder it as he likes. To do so, he uses his chemical fog that he produced to cause the people who breathe in the fog to go crazy and chase after Batman. That'll leave any businesses and homes unguarded. With the help of a blind woman, Batman and Robin are able to track down Ffogg in the end and put a stop to him. I liked the blind woman a lot. She was an interesting character that just seemed like a background character. She sat on some stoops and fed a whole bunch of pigeons while holding onto her Batman logo mug. But then it turns out that she's the one to tip off Batman and Robin to Ffogg's current location after he dashes off and away from the maddening crowds.
The story is a bit silly and over-the-top with the type of violence it displays but that's indicative of how it's deriving from the 60s television show. Overall, I enjoyed reading this issue a lot. The cover by Michael and Laura Allred is really great, too.