Tuesday, April 2, 2019

If You Do This, You Might Be a Geezer: B is for Batman


In 2013, Cracked magazine posted an article online  titled, "5 Beloved Superheroes Who Are Actually Really Stupid." The article offered up various proofs of idiocy being their superpower, with varying levels of amusement. Thor, for example, "Thor has the distinction of being the only superhero who screams his secret identity at the top of his lungs while he's in public."  

Well, yeah, there's that.

Truthfully (or as truthfully as one can be in a discussion of complete fiction), that stuff doesn't bother me in the least. It's a comic book; a drawing. On it's best day, with it's best POW blazoned across the panel, it's still a drawing. This whole genre had so much more to look forward to in its future as it all went on to be televised and filmed. 

Special effects have come so far since the early days of comics. Back in the day, I loved comic books, too; you better believe that I didn't miss the chance to jump on the television and movie bandwagon. After all, I have to save my creative brain cells for this fine blog (cough). I can't go creative on inferred movie details, I need the full CGI. 

While discussing the movie "Iron Man" with a similarly aged pal, his conversation took a turn down memory lane and he started to tout the wonders of Batman. Not Michael Keaton...or Val Kilmer...or George Clooney...or even the much maligned Ben Affleck...nope, he didn't acknowledge any of the Batmen with their ever growing toolbox of special effects and fantastic skills.

He lauded all praise on Adam West's version of the beloved Bat dude. Yeah, that was some excitement in the 60s, but we have so much more Batmania available to us now. Why? Had he not seen Batman surfing with his Bat swim-boxers? 

I cringed for beach bathing Batman that fateful day. Sincerely, I was less embarassed seeing the AARP nude beach in the Caribbean (okay, it wasn't really an AARP nude beach, but I'll bet the majority were card carrying members...I thought that no one owned an iron to press their clothes...then I realized they weren't wearing any, and the speed of which I exited that area proved that I didn't really need my AARP card just yet).


But was it truly worse than some of his other wonders of tech? Most of Batman's special effects from the television show consisted of standing in front of a screen. Standing is not a super power, people. 

Or perhaps you were blessed with some of those oh-so-special post production gems, like this:


Looking at that picture, I can almost hear the dry, deadpan delivery of West...never even twitching a thinly penciled blue eyebrow all the while. 

But, it was the 60s and that was what we had. So, if we were sitting cross-legged in the front yard in 1967 discussing the latest, greatest Batman episode, I get it. I'm all in. Campy pleasures are pleasures, nonetheless.


In 2019, if you're still bringing up Adam West's Batman in the discussion of great superheros: 
1) You are a super fan, and I commend you on your staying power. Mr. West would be proud. And rightly so! You've managed to ignore a wealth of abilities and improvements in the genre! I mean, how did you miss it? Well played.
2) Unfortunately, I also have to point out to you...

YOU MIGHT BE A GEEZER.

I get it, really I do. As my public service, it is my duty to inform you that you are not on a path to geezerdom, so relax -- you've arrived. Have a seat. You shouldn't be on your feet so much. How's your fiber intake?


Check out some of the fine bloggers participating this month's challenge by accessing the master list on the Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge website.


25 comments:

  1. For some, the original can never be topped. My kids pointed out that I was showing my geezerdom when I mentioned that the new Mary Poppins was good, but couldn't compete with the old one.

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    1. That is SO true! And where young people are concerned, I firmly believe it is just the way their brain is wired. Everything is more intense.

      But you are TOTALLY correct about Mary Poppins...that was the first theater movie I ever saw and I dreamed about it for weeks.

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  2. The Batman TV series was high camp, but that cast of villains was incredible! Eartha Kitt. Cesar Romero, Frank Gorshin, Burgess Meredith, etc. And how could you not love Adam West's dry wit? ☺ Yeah, I'm definitely a geezer, but that said, I enjoy the serious Batman movies as well. (Michael Keaton and Christian Bale were the best ones.) He has always been my favourite superhero. Why? Because he's mortal, mysterious and melancholic. Makes for excellent drama!

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    1. Really, when you consider all the big names they have, you realize what a big deal it was at the time. The geezer designation is, in part, because we are the ones who remember when it was a big deal. Younger kiddos can't speak to the experience.

      But it does tag us...

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    2. We should be proud of our Geezerdom, yes? Three cheers for us! ☺

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  3. I did watch it as a kid and I am a DC guy. However, I will not bring Adam West up in high Batman praise. (Besides, Batman wearing swim trunks is the equivalent of the Fonz jumping the shark.) Not a geezer!

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    1. The Fonz did get himself into a few situations where I was embarassed for him...

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  4. Batman and Robin were my favourite superheroes in the comics when I was a kid and I loved the stupid TV show too. But yes, CGI has revolutionized the portrayal of our heroes!

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    1. All kids of that era loved that show (and that's our geezer tag).

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  5. Cherdo,

    It's Adam West all the way here! I loved the vintage TV show of my youth. Speaking of Batman, I like the new TV series Gotham. That's very well written and casted.

    Join me today for the second installment featuring the Bishop in my Little Mermaid Art Sketch series!

    Happy A2Zing, my friend! ;)

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    1. Ha ha ha...I would love to go back in time, so I can't fault you!

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  6. Watched it a lot for the sheer pleasure of seeing Robin, on whom I had a big crush. I think my favorite of the "new" version was Michael Keaton, but honestly I haven't seen them all. Nice B.

    Janet’s Smiles

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  7. I loved the old Batman in the '60's and I think I love it more now, mostly because I understand it better. Adam West's Batman and Julie Newmar's Catwoman really had the hots for each other, didn't they? Too bad it was the '60's and he and Eartha Kitt couldn't create that kind of heat...

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    1. Eartha Kitt made me think she really could pull off any evil plan. She was a great Catwoman.

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  8. Adam West was such a gracious man. I met him once when I lived in the Sun Valley area. You'll get a kick out of this. This is how he was listed in the phone book : http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/18951199_10155368457329049_7104509613886126750_n.jpg

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  9. I'm such a geezer I barely know who batman is.

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  10. You missed the great Christian Bale as Batman but Adam West is THE Batman. I did not see it when it first came out because I was too little. My mom remembers how the teenagers, where we lived(upstairs apartment) couldn't wait to come home and watch this show...it was a huge hit! I believe Heath Ledger must have watched Cesar Romero as the Joker because he does embody some of his traits from the series. I watched all the reruns and just watched a couple a month ago. Loved when they climbed up a building but what about Batman dancing the Batusi! Yes...those were the days. As for the naked beach...I bet many were Germans:)

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    1. Hey, he was a good Batman! And what about Tom Hardy??

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  11. And of course, the thing is back then we all loved camp. How many of us curled up in front of (the real) Dark Shadows? It was fun, and that's a great super power.

    PS, I've followed Thor a long time, still puzzled about the "shouts his secret id" thing. But, whatever...

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    1. Camp was a treasure of the 60s and 70s...I think they struggle with it now. It just lacks that ole' sumpthin' sumpthin'.

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo