Batman on TV
I can confidently say that people who don’t know Batman, or at least recognize that whole cape and cowl thing, were either just born yesterday or have lived in a cave – coincidentally like a bat – until now. There is simply that whole appeal surrounding Bruce Wayne and his superhero alter-ego that gets millions of people hooked on his adventures, which DC Comics and Warner Brothers are more than happy to indulge for the right price. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the property was at one point or another handled by some of the greatest creators in the history of the medium: a fact that sweaty damn nerds would not shut their artificial cheese-encrusted lips about and almost always invoke when you tell them how ridiculous Batman is for the most part (or superhero comics in general for that matter). That’s exactly the thing, though, as it is exactly thanks to creators like Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Tim Sale, etc. that the Batman franchise has become what it is today; it’s not the other way around. The thing is, I actually believe that had those same creators done the same things for other, lesser known properties, then they’d be enjoying Batman’s status as DC’s number 1 property as well. Then again, I’d be lying if I said that the Batman character didn’t have any appeal whatsoever without all the legends that have written or drawn it. After all, those drooling fanboys do inevitably shell out the money even for the crappiest Batman story out there, so much so that the Dark Knight Detective can now just coast through its reputation. Although what reputation that is, I do not exactly know.
However, since I’ve mentioned creators that have made the Batman property great over and over again – even long after they’re tenure on it has long passed –, then perhaps one of the greatest artists to take on the mantle is none other than the late, great Adam West himself. The man legitimately contributed a titanic amount of popularity to the character without which the DC Comics franchise would have long since rotted in the funny books. I personally think that it’s an insult when nerds who worship the property think that “Adam West is Batman.” That implies he’s nothing without the whole bat shtick, as if Mr. West would have been nothing without that role, like it was a privilege for the man to dress up like a nocturnal rodent. Sure, it gave the actor his break, but in the end it did more harm to him than good. Hell no, Adam West didn’t become iconic because of the cape and cowl. It’s the other way around.
If not for Mr. West’s charm, then it wouldn’t have been as ridiculous, entertaining, and ultimately iconic as it is today. And I’m not just talking about the TV show from the 60s, considering the influence of that legendary program blew the whole property up, which extended and continues to contribute to the character to this day. Adam West is Batman? Please. Batman is Adam West.