13 days, the 13 best Batman stories. It all starts with some Batman ’66…
In celebration of Detective Comics #1000 and Batman’s 80th anniversary this month, we’re counting down the 13 GREATEST BATMAN STORIES EVER — from all media — as selected by a panel of 16 experts, including such luminaries as former DC publisher Paul Levitz, legendary Batman artist Neal Adams and Batman: The Brave and the Bold producer James Tucker. For a complete rundown of how the vote was conducted and the full list of panelists, click here. The countdown will run daily across 13 days and culminate in THE ULTIMATE BATMAN READING AND VIEWING GUIDE, which will feature every single Batman story cited by our panel.
The TOP 13 BATMAN COUNTDOWN kicks off with an episode from the 1966 TV show starring Adam West:
13. BATMAN ’66: “THE PURR-FECT CRIME/BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME”
Written by Stanley Ralph Ross and Lee Orgel. Directed by James Sheldon.
This Season 1 two-parter featured Julie Newmar’s first appearance as Catwoman and to some fans – like me — it’s the 1966 Batman TV series’ high-water mark. The ep boasts everything that made Batman ’66 great and then some — a zippy plot, great villain, sex appeal, fun mystery, classic adventure, comedy, two spectacular death traps and, yes, even pathos.
Just as importantly, the episode was responsible for bringing Catwoman back into the spotlight. Nervous DC editors shelved her amid the great comics scare of the ’50s but Newmar’s appearances on the show — not to mention later performances by Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt — firmly re-established the Feline Fatale as not just a major Batman villain but as his great, star-crossed love.
The episode topped 13th Dimension contributor Anthony Durso’s list: “Reruns of the Adam West Batman introduced me to the character. Julie Newmar as Catwoman gives it an edge over the pilot episode with the Riddler. She was probably my first crush in kindergarten. Plus, it was a View-Master reel!”
NEXT: The #12 PICK is…