One of the (many) great things about the 1960s Batman TV series was the colorful rogues gallery who took on the Dynamic Duo. In addition to legendary comic book villains like the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman and Penguin, producers of the series created their own assortment of baddies, often portrayed by Hollywood icons. Among the more inspired casting choices: Tallulah Bankhead played Black Widow, Milton Berle was Louie the Lilac and Vincent Price camped it up as Egghead.
One of those iconic guest villains is making the leap to Batman '66, the weekly digital series from DC Comics: Chandell, memorably played by Liberace.
When last seen — in the 1966 episodes "The Devil's Fingers" and "The Dead Ringers" — Chandell was a concert pianist blackmailed into becoming a criminal by his twin brother, Harry. Batman and Robin eventually sent him to jail, but he's a free man now. "He's contributing to the arts in Gotham by playing piano on work-release. Repaying debts to society," says Batman '66 writer Jeff Parker, who concedes that May's Behind the Candelabra motivated him to revive the flamboyant character. "I'll admit, it was around the time that Soderbergh movie was coming on HBO with Michael Douglas as Liberace, even though we don't use the likeness of Liberace. And I also have to admit that this is a bait and switch, Chandell isn't the real villain of the piece. It's the Siren." (That character, a singer who could control men with her voice, was played by Joan Collins.)
For a preview of this latest chapter of Batman '66, click here. The full chapter will be available Wednesday at readdcentertainment.com and via the DC Comics app, the iBookstore, Nook Store and Kindle Store.
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