Thursday, 30 June 2016

Batman (1966 version) (5 Stars)

This is the best Batman film ever made. Normally I accept other opinions, but in this case I make an exception. However much anyone tries to convince me that the films starring Michael Keaton or Christian Bale are better I won't listen. Adam West was born to play Batman. If you think any of the other films are better you're wrong. 'Nuff said!

The film is camp. That's often said as a criticism. People say that the Batman comics are dark and serious, not camp. Obviously they haven't read many of the comics. The original comics, which began in 1939, were very dark and menacing in their character. This continued until 1961, when the comics took on a lighter tone. It wasn't until 1977 that the writer Steve Englehart restored the old dark character to the comics. This means that this film, a spin-off of the Batman TV series, was accurate to the character of the comics as they were written in 1966.

I only found out when listening to the film commentary today that Catwoman, one of the villains in the film, wasn't a common character in the comics at the time. She first appeared in 1940 and was a regular villain until 1954. That's the year when the Comics Code Authority was founded. It was then deemed inappropriate for a woman to be evil. I don't know what to say to that. As a result she disappeared until 1966. She was a popular character in the first season of the Batman TV series, which led to her being re-introduced into the comics.

Catwoman finally became established as a major character in 1993, when she was featured in a mini-series in the DC anthology comic Showcase. The success of this series led to her being given her own comic in the same year, which ran until 2001. Incidentally, if you own a copy of Catwoman #1 check out the letter page. A letter from me is printed. Yes, it's the same Mike Hood. I wrote the letter to Showcase, and it was printed in the first issue of Catwoman.

In 2002, after a gap of a year, Catwoman's comic was relaunched, starting again from number 1. She was given an updated costume, including goggles which varied in size until the artists decided what looked best. In my opinion goggles look bad on her whatever the size. I hope she'll lose them soon.

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