Or should that be Adam We?
Whilst drafting my last fantasy bake post about my favourite Superman, Christopher Reeve, sad news came in of the passing of Adam West, my favourite Batman.
I think that we become quite emotionally attached to our perception of characters in childhood; I have a friend who was disappointed with the depiction of characters in the Lord of the Rings films because they didn’t look as she had imagined them and their voices were all wrong compared to the voices that her Dad gave them at story time. For me, Christopher Reeve is Superman, Adam West is Batman, and all others are simply imitations.
I’ll admit that Adam West’s Batman was a little camp…
OK, a LOT camp.
But Batman is a comicbook hero. The original 1940’s comics were rife with humour and cheesy one-liners despite the vigilante nature of the protagonist; this is a grown man, a millionaire/billionaire who dresses up as a bat to go after the baddies. I loved Michael Keaton’s Batman as the humour was still there but Christian Bale’s whole “I’m Batman” schtick isn’t one that I’ve been fond of. It took itself a little too seriously for my liking.
It feels as if Frank Miller’s version of Batman in the ‘Dark Knight Returns’ graphic novel series (1986) has become the industry standard for the character. All that darkness and brooding works fabulously well on the big screen but it’s been done to death and I flat out DARE Hollywood to revisit the 1940s-1960s original version of the character. Go on…
Couldn’t we all do with a little camp, self-aware Batman movie? On Father’s Day, I needed a film to work across a few generations of family and settled upon Batman (1966). I could not have picked better. Adam West’s Batman, thanks to repeats on television, was beloved of my Father in the 60s, my Husband in the 70s, by myself in the 80s and by my little Brother in the 90s. We had ALL grown up with Adam West playing Batman.
He was handsome, he was hilarious, he played Batman straight and gave us generations worth of laughs. Holy buttercream, Batman; I’d love to bake you a cake.
As a bonus Monday morning treat, I cannot resist sharing this clip of the sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman (played by Julie Newmar). It’s one of the few HD clips that I could pinch from YouTube and it is glorious. Do I need any other excuse?
My challenge to you this new week is to look at everything life may throw at you through Technicolor glasses, keep it camp, and ask yourself ‘what would Adam West’s Batman do?’ Kick some ass and smile.