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  1. #31
    Spectacular Member tv horror's Avatar
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    I never got a chance to view the series until the late eighties however I did see the movie on its release back in 1966 (aged 7) and I was hooked. I WAS Batman, I remember many an hour imagining that my friend and I were fighting crime that was the secret of the 66 Batman he was our hero. My parents and siblings would buy me Batman related toys or the costume and I was off into my World of the imagination what great times. My only wish was that I could have met the great man himself failing that, thank you Adam West for a great childhood.
    Hail Hydra!

  2. #32
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    Default Ongoing Irrelevance of Adam West's Batman

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR News View Post
    Once reviled for its campiness, the 1960s TV series is a testament to the character's limitless versatility and the importance of comics in pop culture.


    Full article here.
    Make a case for this TV show anyway you want but it put action/adventure much less superhero related projects behind for years. Nobody could make anything that wasn't wink wink low brow comedy masquerading as satire. Who cares if Warhol thought it was hip he basically hated mainstream culture anyway and his endorsements were based as much on what he chose to ridicule as to what he liked. Second rate budgets ,cheesy efx, and vaudeville humor. No way this show was ever anywhere near Wild Wild West, Man from Uncle, Bewitched, Addams Family, or Avengers. I started watching Tim Burton's Batman last night and it still is basically a homage to camp. Better production values with a fun cast but still mired in camp.

  3. #33
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alton View Post
    Make a case for this TV show anyway you want but it put action/adventure much less superhero related projects behind for years. Nobody could make anything that wasn't wink wink low brow comedy masquerading as satire. Who cares if Warhol thought it was hip he basically hated mainstream culture anyway and his endorsements were based as much on what he chose to ridicule as to what he liked. Second rate budgets ,cheesy efx, and vaudeville humor. No way this show was ever anywhere near Wild Wild West, Man from Uncle, Bewitched, Addams Family, or Avengers. I started watching Tim Burton's Batman last night and it still is basically a homage to camp. Better production values with a fun cast but still mired in camp.
    You just gave a great list of shows I loved but they would almost all be ridiculed today. The same guy who gave us Batman also gave us a more dramatic take on the Green Hornet and it totally flopped. But, by ten years later, we had the Hulk which was at the time considered a massive change in the superhero television show to serious drama although it is considered often campy today. Burton's Batman was considered a serious take on Batman at the time but, watching it again a few years ago, it felt very camp, which it not how it felt in 1989. But things have changed so much since then with the DKR movies that Burton's Batman now seems campy. Superman the Movie seemed realistic in characterization at the time compared to what had gone before but now feels campy.

    Maybe it did give us ten years of camp but there was no other way a superhero show would have worked in the 1960s. Change takes time. It opened the doors for superhero shows.
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    Given the context, I'm guessing you meant that a lot of people feel the stuff now isn't as good as it was then.

    I find that age is a great generator of nostalgia and, the more the world moves away from my youth, the stronger it gets.

    I was a little kid when the 1960s Batman show started. In fact, it was my introduction to Batman.

    By the time I was a teenager, I hated the show because "That's not what Batman was supposed to be". When I first heard about Michael Keaton being cast in the movie, I hated it because, Keaton being primarily noted for comedies, I assumed they were again going with a comedy version and that wasn't what Batman was *supposed to be*.

    When the Post-Crisis era started, I loved it with a few exceptions, largely because it was new and of my young adult era.

    In the overall scheme of things, I prefer the shows nowadays because they have consequences from episode to episode and the relationships change and develop. In the old shows, you could generally shuffle the episodes like a deck of cards and show them in any order and it would make no difference because nothing changes and there are no consequences from anything that happens.

    However, when it moves too far from the world you grew up in, and age becomes a factor, you tend to get nostalgic.

    I don't know how big Batman '66 is with younger people. The comic reading crowd tends to be a somewhat older lot now and I strongly suspect that the readers of Batman '66 and Wonder Woman '77 and so on are probably towards the oldest end of the comic reading crowd. Likewise people buying the Batman '66 show and the new animated movie.

    I don't necessarily think the stuff back then was better than the stuff now. But it's still a nostalgia thing.
    I was surprised when Adam West died by how many younger people said West was their first Batman and parents saying West is their kids Batman. It seems like Adam West's Batman has been a version parents have used to first expose their children to the characters for decades now. Adam was my first Batman but I eventually begun gravitating to the comics, Batman 89, and later Batman the Animated Series and then the Nolan films as an adult. I guess I mean is Adam is usually peoples first Batman and but we all usually move on to other versions while keeping fond memories for the man who was our first Batman.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokerz79 View Post
    I was surprised when Adam West died by how many younger people said West was their first Batman and parents saying West is their kids Batman. It seems like Adam West's Batman has been a version parents have used to first expose their children to the characters for decades now. Adam was my first Batman but I eventually begun gravitating to the comics, Batman 89, and later Batman the Animated Series and then the Nolan films as an adult. I guess I mean is Adam is usually peoples first Batman and but we all usually move on to other versions while keeping fond memories for the man who was our first Batman.
    What has happened is that movies like Batman Begins, the Dark Knight, Dark Knight Rises, Batman versus Superman and, going back a ways, the Tim Burton movies come out. There's an advertising blitz with all kinds of action figures sold based on movies the children are not allowed to see. "But you're buying me the toys. Why can't I see the movies?" "Well, because the movie companies are despicable money grubbers who won't make the movies for you but still want to rake in every stinking cent they can by making toys based on the movies. Um, forget I said that. Actually, these toys are just general Batman toys and, if we go all the way back to the 1960s, here's a live action version of Batman that you can actually watch."
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    As for the costumed villains, the BATMAN TV show is probably responsible for many of them being revived at all. At the time the series first aired, the Riddler had just recently been revived after remaining nearly defunct for almost two decades. The Penguin had been revived not long before that, after almost a decade of disuse--and the Mad Hatter had been brought out and refurbished only to be put back again. Only the Joker had remained in almost continuous publication since his debut. The TV show revived Catwoman well before the comics got around to it.

    For good or ill, because of the TV show--those weirdly costumed crooks are now closely associated with the Caped Crusader and have become virtually a requisite for any screen adaptation.
    Quote Originally Posted by WontonGirl View Post
    The costumed crooks are associated with the Caped Crusader because they have always been associated with the Caped Crusader.
    It depends what you mean by "always." For me, I didn't know Batman existed until that January 1966 Riddler show that kicked it all off. I thought Batman was a new character and only once I started to buy the comic books did I learn anything different. And believe me, for a seven year old kid it was crazy-making trying to figure out the whole history of the character and why he looked so different in the Giant comic books.

    But it's probably all that confusion that got my nose twitching like the Elongated Man and set me on a course to figure it all out for myself. So maybe having a crazy mixed up history is what creates a comic book fanboy.

    So, in my personal timeline, it seemed like Batman always had those costumed crooks. But if you look into the history of the character it's not that simple. And first we have to sort out what we mean by "costumed crooks."

    Is Alfred Stryker wearing a costume? What about Frenchy Blake? Doctor Death? The Monk? Dala? "Napoleon"? Le Duc d'Orterre? The Tong mastermind? Professor Hugo Strange? Count Grutt? The Joker? The Cat?

    You can see that over the space of the first year, the Batman villains evolve. But I'm not sure that even Joker or the Cat fit what we later think is the costumed crook. Yes the Joker has white skin and green hair, while his clothes are a little out of date--but it's not really a costume. In 1940, there would have been several older gentlemen who dressed like the Joker. The Cat is a cat burglar, but she doesn't wear a costume, although she does wear a cat's head to diguise herself.

    Even a character like the Penguin isn't wearing a costume--he's wearing a suit which would've been common in the 1940s. So the idea of a costumed villain is something that develops through the 1940s. And I'd say that the main thing about the old villains is that they look behind the times. In that they seem to be inspired by movies from the 1920s and 1930s. I guess that those movies had a strong influence on Bill Finger's imagination. But the source material isn't that old--it would be like a writer of today being inspired by Sam Raimi and Joss Whedon.

    And while these types of stories appear with some regularity in the 1940s, they aren't the only kind of story or even the main type of story for Batman. Most of the Batman stories are detective stories where the villains are regular mobsters and thieves.

    This holds true in the 1950s, with the addition of family stories and science fiction stories. There are more crooks that wear actual costumes, not opera outfits--like Killer Moth. But then a lot of villains just wear suits from the Bob Kane tailors--like Deadshot--sometimes with a mask. These costumed adversaries don't dominate--and there's a variety to the kind of Batman stories we get.

    Jack Schiff gives the costumed villain a boost in the early 1960s--with Catman, Clayface II and a renovated Mad Hatter. But when Julius Schwartz takes over as editor, he tries to get away from so many costumed crook stories and steering Batman toward straight ahead detective tales. However, in 1966--to please the new readers like me, used to a weekly diet of gaudy garbed rogues--the number of costumed crooks stories increases. Then, as soon as Batmania goes bust and BATMAN is off the air, Schwartz cuts down on most of the colourful criminals--to get away from the "camp" label--and we get grounded bad guys once more.

    I'd argue that Ra's al Ghul and Talia are not costumed crooks. They might be flamboyant--but Denny O'Neil was harkening back to the kind of criminals in 1930s pulp detective novels. It's only around 1973, with the success of "The Joker's Five Way Revenge," that a new trend in costumed crooks develops and the pace of kitschy criminality picks up again.
    sorry 🍁

  7. #37
    Astonishing Member Powerboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    It depends what you mean by "always." For me, I didn't know Batman existed until that January 1966 Riddler show that kicked it all off. I thought Batman was a new character and only once I started to buy the comic books did I learn anything different.
    I think that's a common experience for those of us who were around back then. Batman was a brand new character, this version is who he was and the Riddler was his main opponent because that's who he went up against first in the show. I think the Riddler was my favorite Batman opponent because he was the first and because of that Frank Gorshin laugh.
    Superman was a beacon to the world.

  8. #38
    Astonishing Member Starter Set's Avatar
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    Ah, Adam West Batman...i started watching this show during the 80's, when i was a kid, and back then french tv used to air quite a lot of old 60's, 70's American tv shows like Zorro, Star Trek (TOS obviously, and of very poor visual quality if i may add), Cosmos 1999, the green hornet and all that jazz.

    And already, for little 8, 10 years old me, Batman was horribly dated. That wasn't cool, wasn't the program i was the most hyped to watch but still, it was curiously entertaining and i did was in front of my tv when that show was aired.

    Now, watching it again decades later, i found myself enjoying it even more. (with the added nostalgia effect)

    So yeah, i don't know, there is something special about that show for sure.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powerboy View Post
    I think that's a common experience for those of us who were around back then. Batman was a brand new character, this version is who he was and the Riddler was his main opponent because that's who he went up against first in the show. I think the Riddler was my favorite Batman opponent because he was the first and because of that Frank Gorshin laugh.
    Yup this show made me a fan of the character.

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