Holy Cow…Batman is Dead
Batman’s secret identity has been revealed. No, it is not Bruce Wayne. It’s Adam West.
Adam West died this weekend.
According to the Associated Press, he was 88 and had a short battle with leukemia. The role of Batman was only one this actor played, but that role made a big impression on lots of people.
Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck all have played the caped crusader, but to me Adam West will be Batman.
I remember every Wednesday night at 7:30 and again on Thursday at 7:30, sitting in front of the television to watch the ABC show. It was strange because the show was on two days a week. On Wednesday, Batman and Robin would meet a new super villain, played by some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. I was a kid, so I really didn’t know who these stars where. So years later when I saw Burgess Meredith in Rocky or The Twilight Zone, he was always the Penguin. I also think their were a lot of little boys, like me, in America who had a crush on Catwomen.
So one of these villains would fight the dynimic dueo on Wednesday. At the end of the half hour, Batman and Robin where facing certain death. They were trapped, maybe tied to a bomb, or on conveyor belt, heading to an oven where they would certainly die.
Suddenly the announcer would say something like: “Will Batman and Robin die in the 1,000-degree oven? Tune in tomorrow same bat time, same bat station.”
Thursday, at 7:30, Batman would do something to save himself and Robin. Don’t worry, by the end of the show, the bad guy was back in jail. The show was so popular ABC made a movie Batman. Yes, there was a Batman movie before Michael Keaton.
Here’s a three-minute clip from the first Batman movie.
Now, the Batman television show was a comedy. But I didn’t know that. The next day at P.S. 41 in New York City my friends and I would play Batman. We would put our coats around our necks and fight. Pow! Bam! “It’s my turn to be Batman; I was the Joker yesterday.”
When we watch the show today, the show was a comedy; but as a kid we didn’t see it. We saw action and adventure, no comedy.
It was odd that the villains, when they trapped Batman and Robin, they were helpless, tired up. Why didn’t they just take off their masks and see who they were? Why didn’t they just shoot them instead of leaving them tied to railroad tracks as the train was heading towards them?
Comic books, Adam West, superhero movies are all part of my life, my childhood. West was 88 years old. That may be old to some people, but Batman never dies. I expected Adam West to live forever. So I will be sad and smile today. Batman, my Batman, is dead. The Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman couldn’t kill Batman. But life is not a television show or a comic book.
Adam West, to me and all my friends, will always be Batman.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story)