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Author Topic: RIP Adam West
dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1459
Post RIP Adam West
on: June 10, 2017, 15:33

I expect that there are many of us here (including me), who, back in 1986, when "The Dark Knight Returns" was released, setting off a chain of events leading to the Tim Burton "Batman" movie's blockbuster success in 1989, were happy to see the 'campy' 1960s "Batman" TV show begin to fade in the popular consciousness as the defining concept of Batman.

But for me personally, despite the above, Adam West has remained the defining 'voice' of Batman, partly as a result of watching that old TV show in reruns as a kid in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and partly from the "Superfriends" Saturday morning cartoon. Those TV shows were my introduction to Batman.

I've never gotten sued to 'gravelly voiced,' un-self-consciously serious Batman in the current films. For me, Adam West's 'Batman Voice' will likely always be the defining one. As I have gotten older, I came to appreciate more the sardonic way he spoke as Batman, as if Batman himself were 'in on the joke' about the way he was dressed and perceived.

Tempest
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 389
Post Re: RIP Adam West
on: June 10, 2017, 16:09

Very deep and serious agreement with much of the above, Dan. Pour moi, as well, Adam West and Burt Ward set the marker for how superheroes (powered or not) should act and sound, with George Reeves filling out the trifecta. As with so many others, and as Grant Morrison has noted in Supergods, I was completely oblivious to any "sardonic" or "tongue-in-cheek" aspects and wanted only for the scrap scenes to initiate as soon as possible. I fricking lived for when that original '60s movie would come on, and even now, typing this, I can recollect and feel the fulfillment and anticipation when the credits (with live-action accompaniment, should, of course, any of us ever forget that Adam West was Batman) played on.

I read, in the notice on CBC, that West and Ward got back together to do the voices in an '89 animated piece that I was completely unaware of. Such a work, obviously, predates the Timmiverse by a few years, and I'll have to take a look as to its popular/critical reception, but there's some mighty powerful inclination to pick the thing up in any event. While I do have perfect acceptance of modern incarnations of Batman - Chris Nolan and Zack Snyder's versions, of course, are inhabitants of completely different universes - I do consider the voice scrambler Bruce Wayne/Ben Affleck uses in Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad to be completely legit and, in fact, something that a modern-edition Bruce Wayne would be a fricking nitwit not to use. Nonetheless, Adam West set the model to follow, and there will be none who have, do, or will eclipse him. I will watch the man's work and glory in it as a child would. Via con dios, Mr. West. 🙁

dan2448
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 1459
Post Re: RIP Adam West
on: June 10, 2017, 19:20

You reminded me of another career highlight, Tempest! I remember an episode of "Batman: the Animated Series" that was one of my personal favorites. It features Adam West voicing a Shadow-like pulp hero called, I think, the "Grey Ghost," who, as Adam West had been as Batman in real life, had been an inspiration for a whole generation of kids Bruce Wayne's age.

Tempest
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 389
Post Re: RIP Adam West
on: June 11, 2017, 00:39

Rather than go back and simply amend my first post on this, I figured this deserved its own independent announcement: the Batman movie with Adam West and Burt Ward I indicated was not, in fact, done in '89 - it was done last year, and with Julie Newmar doing Catwoman, and is titled Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. Reading up on the work on Wikipedia, it attempts to capture some of the goofiness that characterized the '60s series; while I would have much rather West, Ward and Newmar be given the opportunity to play the roles purely straight, Nolan/Snyder style, I do have to state that there is no way that I'm not going to be picking this up.

The Wikipedia piece also indicated that due to serious positive response to this work, a sequel was planned for release this year; I don't know, unfortunately, if this was completed before Mr. West's passing. If so, these (potentially) two works would stand as a last, wonderful callback for this Dynamic Trio.

Tempest
Cosmic Superhero
Posts: 389
Post Re: RIP Adam West
on: June 13, 2017, 15:02

Just wanted to add in one final bit; apropos of nothing, but it's perfectly obvious the crew who put Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders together knew their classic/modern Batman inside and out. Toward the end, Batman and Catwoman - who have experienced a very dichotomous relationship over the course of the story, ranging from scrapping each other to a full-out kiss - are wondering about a possible future together. Bruce suggests perhaps running away together; Selina replies with something like, "To Europe, where we'd sit in a cafe having tea?" Batman agrees, and Catwoman adds in, claws extended, "And we kill Robin." Having little bits like that thrown in - acknowledging other works and still able to turn tables on them - shows, for me, that the crew's first and only real goal with this was to have fun.

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