Greetings, Wonder Warriors! Not too long ago here at Wonder Woman Wednesday, we told you about DC’s epic, digital-first crossover event between Wonder Woman ’77 and Batman ’66. We now have the first two installments under our utility belt. Co-writers Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker offer a unique take on the first meeting of the Amazon Princess and the playboy millionaire Batman.
The story has a childhood Bruce Wayne encountering an adult Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Ra’s Al Ghul – who duped Catwoman into stealing a pair of valuable books that the Nazis also wish to acquire. I give credit to the writers for capturing the feel of both shows quite well. The dialogue managed to be appropriate, yet not dated or cheesy. (As a writer, I wouldn’t be able to resist taking the camp level to the Nth degree. I guess that’s one of the reasons no one asked me to write it!) You could easily be reading an actual meeting of the TV icons. (And any chance to see Robin in short pants is fine by me!) I’d love to see Batman swing into the ’70s and bust out some “Bat-Bell Bottoms” (but again, nobody asked me!).
The series pairs Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman with Adam West and Burt Ward’s Batman and Robin. How groovy is that? It is written by Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker, with art by David Hahn and Karl Kesel, and with equally groovy covers by Michael “Doc” Allred.
Co-writer Jeff Parker took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about this momentous crossover.
Michael Fitzgerald Troy: First of all, thanks for agreeing to this interview. When did you develop an interest in comic books, and when did you start working as a pro?
Jeff Parker: I liked comics since I could crawl. I learned to read with them. But being paid to make them took a while. I started getting work right after college. I had been going to conventions and showing my art around for years during. It would be a few more years later before anyone read my scripts.
MFT: Who are some writers you admire or take inspiration from?
JP: Carl Barks, Alan Moore, the Hernandez Brothers, Harvey Kurtzman, Otto Binder, Arnold Drake, Milton Caniff, Walt Kelly— that’s just the comics writers, of course.
MFT: How did you get involved with Batman ’66?
JP: Jim Chadwick at DC contacted me about it. I think the editors had floated my name once the rights issues were being resolved, which I’m grateful for. I immediately had opinions on how it should be done.
MFT: I watched the “psychedelic” Batman ’66 film on Netflix not too long ago – with the crazy shark and everything. It was the most! Having all of the villains together was a blast. I may not win the popular vote, but does it get any better than Caesar Romero’s Joker?
JP: He’s great, but I’m still most wowed by Frank Garshin as The Riddler. It’s easy to see why they led off with him on the show (hence I did, too, in the comic), because his energy sets the tone for everything.
MFT: Based on the popularity of Batman ’66 and the success of Wonder Woman ’77, it seemed like a no-brainer. Whose mindless idea was it to team them up?
JP: Marc Andreyko’s! He was determined to make it happen.
MFT: How was it working with Andreyko? He has such a great sense and the right vibe for the character.
JP: He really does, and it’s fun working with him. He realizes that flexibility while crafting a story leads to great opportunities and moments; that’s a trait of really good writers. He also comes up with lots of things that I slap my head over, wondering why that didn’t occur to me. Marc is a natural.
MFT: Any chance for Superman ’78?
JP: You know, to many people that’s simply “Superman.”
MFT: I really dig your writing. Any other projects you have going that you’d like to share with us?
JP: I’m still working on Future Quest, the event comic with all the Hanna Barbera action characters of the ’60s like Jonny Quest and Space Ghost; that’s building to a big showdown. And I’m planning some new books to announce in 2017.
Thanks, Jeff! Behind every great writer, there’s a great artist. And in this case that artist would be a David Hahn. David was equally kind in answering a few questions for Wonder Woman Wednesday.
Michael Fitzgerald Troy: Are you aware of the “Radioactive Boy Scout” Dave Hahn?
David Hahn: Yes, painfully aware. 🙂 He died this past June, though.
MFT: What was your first interest in comics and who were some of your influences artistically?
DH: I wasn’t interested on comics as an art form until my early 20s when I discovered, all in one summer, AKIRA (Epic reprints), Love and Rockets, and the Justice League. Artistic inspirations always come from the more design-centric artists, like Alex Toth, but my main go-to artists of inspiration are Cory Walker, Andrew Robinson, Enrico Marini, Pascal Ferry, and Stuart Immonen.
MFT: How did you come to work on Batman?
DH: Out of the blue, DC editor Jim Chadwick reached out to me and offered me the Batman ’66/Man from UNCLE job. I had not, until that time, had the opportunity to work with Jim, so it was quite a nice surprise to be tapped for that job.
MFT: How did you land the Batman Meets WW ’77 gig?
DH: I think doing Batman/Man from UNCLE led easily to getting the Batman ’66/Wonder Woman ’77 job. Our creative team was such a good fit all around; it seemed like a natural choice to keep up the momentum.
MFT: Since this is for Wonder Woman Wednesday, can you share some of your thoughts on the character and how you liked working on the character?
DH: Wonder Woman has always been a DC A-lister, but doing the ’77 version is a different take than doing any other Wonder Woman. I’m not just drawing my take on the Wonder Woman, but drawing my take of Lynda Carter’s take on the character. Carter’s portrayal on the TV series is a very strong, but earnest and friendly take on Wonder Woman, and I try to capture that in the little moments in the story whenever possible. One thing she does that I have yet to find a way to reproduce in the comic is after she spin transforms from Diana Prince into Wonder Woman, she almost always (and subtly) taps her tiara and lasso to make sure she has them.
MFT: You seem to be all over the map as far as creatively? Do you prefer writing or art?
DH: I prefer to write AND draw my own stories, but if it was one or the other, I’ll stick to the art. With the art, I know I can always create and produce. With writing, I worry that I only have a finite amount of interesting stories I could tell before I’d become creatively bankrupt.
MFT: Any other projects you’d like to share with or readers?
DH: Currently, I’m working on a huge comic project called Aztec Empire with Paul Guinean. It’s the accurate telling of the conquest of the Aztecs by the Spanish. I’m also wrapping up the final digital issue of my post-apocalyptic sasquatch story, Dayglow.
And there you have it! Special thanks to Jeff Parker and David Hahn for their time and thoughts. I’d love to see a Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 animated feature. I’m sure all the key players would be interested. Until that happens, make sure to check out Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 from DC Comics.
Also be sure to check out the “I Am Wonder Fan” Facebook page. And be back here, same Amazon time and same Amazon channel, for another exciting Wonder Woman Wednesday.