Today we have plenty of choices when it comes to live action superhero entertainment. Whether you want DC or Marvel, movies or television, there is much to choose from. It was not the case for me growing up.
Really the only choices I had were Batman and the Hulk. Although I only watched Batman in reruns (it was cancelled the year I was born), it was a regular in our household. It was not unusual for me to walk into the kitchen humming the Batman theme song.
The man who made Batman come to life was Adam West. West recently died and that is something that makes many superhero fans sad.
It is true that Batman was very campy and far from what we see in recent portrayals of Batman. It is also true that West brought a lot of campiness to it. But that is part of the charm of the series.
I have been rewatching the original Star Trek series which ran approximately the same years as Batman. It was a time when entertainment didn’t take itself so seriously. Perhaps this was because there was so much turmoil in the real world. Entertainment was a means of distraction and escape. Today entertainment is used to focus and intensify the emotions created in our violent and uncertain world.
Batman was a fun series (better than the Hulk) because of its colourful cast of characters. But it was also because of West’s larger than life acting. What he brought to Batman reminds me of what William Shatner brought to Star Trek and what Charlton Heston brought to the Planet of the Apes.
Adam West brought a lot of joy and happiness to many generations. He will be missed.