With the recent release of “The Batman” to cinemas – and now to HBO Max – the online debate has been reignited: “Which Batman movie is best?”
Of course, there are hardcore Christian Bale / Christian Nolan fans. These movies were critically well-received and Nolan is a master of film. If you want to see a real brain-bender, his “Memento” still ranks among my personal top-5 films of all time.
The classic Tim Burton series still has a broad group of advocates, although the 90s series of Batman blockbusters definitely sees its popularity wane as Burton and Keaton exit the franchise. Still, many fans regard this era of Batman movies in high regard.
The one era of Batman I don’t hear in the discussion ever is the 1966 “Batman: The Movie”, starring Adam West in the lead role. While I think this movie is tragically missing from the conversation, I wanted to check in and make sure that it’s just not a case of nostalgia. After all, there are still some people who have warm feelings for George Clooney in “Batman & Robin” that I can only explain to myself as an affinity for the film because it hit them at just the right age.
So, for our latest podcast, we re-watched “Batman: The Movie” with someone who came of age in the more modern age of Batman franchises.
Personally, I would say that Adam West deserves to be ranked – and to be ranked pretty darn high – among actors who have brought the Caped Crusader to life on the big screen. But, how would that hold up – watching it again with a casual comics fan of a different generation? Is there something that modern audiences will still enjoy about the Dynamic Duo?
And, most importantly, is there any “through line” connecting this Batman that’s, decidedly, from a different era to the more modern takes on the hero?
In this episode, we’ve got:
- A recap of Batman: The Movie (1966) – the good, the bad, and the just plain silly
- Hero hindsights – What do Adam West and Burt Ward bring to the characters of Batman and Robin, and how do they stack up in the annals of Batman movies?
- Rogues Recap – With The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler, and Catwoman all working to confound the heroes and take over not just Gotham, but (gasp) THE WORLD, how does this super-villain squad fare in the overall oeuvre of Batman films?
- What are the common threads from Batman: The Movie that survived through the ages and are still present in 2022’s “The Batman”?
So join us, as we dive head-first into BATMAN: THE MOVIE!
This episode is recorded in front of a live studio audience.
No kidding, we really do have a live studio audience. His name is Ryan and he’s here to talk about Batman. And to correct last episode’s disparaging remarks about a classic DC character – Leslie Thompkins.
This week, the Casual Comics Cast reviews of the following comics and beers:
• Red Sonja and Vampirella meet Betty and Veronica number eight, by Dynamite Comics
• Quantum and Woody number one, by Valiant Comics
• All Luck Comics number one, by All Luck Comics
• Skittley Bittley Bop, from Hoof Hearted Brewery
• Opera Cream Stout from Platform Beer Company
• And Bierwolf, from Great Lakes Brewing Company
Plus, other comic-related nonsense!
So, settle in with your favorite beverage and enjoy the show!
As I’ve been keeping up with this blog, I’ve had to do more research than I previously thought. At first, I thought this was a lark, and I’d be able to make silly comments about comics “on the fly” as the kids say. However, I’ve spent way more time than I thought poking through the internet searching for references and/or just the right image for a blog post. Believe it or not, I’ve spent hours to create a single post. And, having re-read some of them, I wouldn’t blame you for not believing it.
One valuable insight emerged from this journey of self-discovery. I finally figured out why I always liked Marvel much better than DC. The older DC comics are just too darn stupid. I’m not saying that you won’t find silly, crazy, or dumb Marvel Comics. They just never sunk this low.
To illustrate my point, here are the five worst Batman comic covers I’ve come across in my year-and-a-half of blogging (casually) about comics.
5: Batman and Robin ride bucking broncos (for no apparent reason)
What in the name of sam hill is going on here? Have Batman and Robin joined a rodeo with a dual ride event? Have they traveled back in time and they’re trying to tame the last of the wild horses? The hot red background that is currently blistering my retinas gives me no context.
4. Batman, Fashion Maven
Why does Batman have a costume in every color imaginable? What is that weird looking TV mounted on the wall behind him? Is the Dark Knight really checking himself out in that mirror? The look on his face tells me he really wants to ask “Does this cape make my butt look big?”
3. Penny Farthing Race Day
Was this a common thing in the early days of Detective Comics? Just having Batman and Robin riding stuff over a glowing-hot splash of color? What is Batman so mad about? He seems like kind of a spoil-sport. Just because Robin won this unofficial race (I don’t see a finish line, so I imagine they were just racing down the Bat-driveway to the Bat-curb) he’s all peeved. You don’t have to be the best at everything Batman. You can forgive yourself for not spending several years honing your body into the ultimate penny farthing racing engine.
2. Worst Disguise Ever…
I’m with the lady in the red dress. Wait a minute… Maybe we’re in the Matrix. They’re not tricking the bad guys into thinking they’re mummies. But why is Robin wearing his domino mask under the bandages. That’s just not practical. This is actually an issue I might look up at some point. The nonsense quotient is strong with this one.
1. Worst heroes ever
I know that The Penguin is a villain, but really… There’s a human being getting electrocuted right in front of you. If he doesn’t fry from the power lines, he’ll probably plunge to his death.
Does his grisly death give you a chuckle, fellas? Try not to find it so hilarious, dynamic duo.
Anyone else got any terrible Batman covers to share?
How’s a casual comics fan supposed to get into a Batman title nowadays? Last I heard, “Batman” is some kind of multi-national conglomeration. Maybe “Batman ‘66” can deliver that same Bat-action of the TV show without the weight of the continuity and mythology that drowns casual comic readers. Read the rest of this entry