If there's one thing that has made the nightmare of existence worth it over the past few years, it's been the revival of and new appreciation for the classic Batman television show. Between the long-awaited release of the series on DVD and the new adventures that have been running in the Batman '66 comic book, it's been a good time to be a fan of what is unquestionably the greatest mass-media incarnation of the Dynamic Duo. But in a few months, we're getting something all new and amazing.
On October 11, Warner Bros. will release Batman: Return of the Caped Crusader, a new animated movie that's not just based on Batman '66, but also features original series actors Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar, reprising their roles as Batman, Robin, and Catwoman.
Now that I've rewatched the entire series as an adult, I have a very hard time picking out my single favorite story arc from Batman '66. When I was a kid, though, there was no question: It had to be the three-part story where Batman and Robin sailed across the Atlantic to far-off Londinium to battle foggy crimes in merry old England. If nothing else, I think that it appealed to my childhood sense that our country's greatest export was costumed crime-fighting.
Now, though, it's time for England to repay the favor by sending their own dynamic duo to the fair shores of Gotham City --- and that's exactly what's happening in Batman '66 Meets Steed and Mrs. Peel, the '60s TV crossover that pretty much had to happen. Check out a preview of the book's second chapter!
When it came to 1960s action television, two campy crimefighting series captured the attention of audiences the world over. The first was Batman, the legendary Adam West/Burt Ward series that brought the Day-Glo hijinks of the comics to TV. The other is The Avengers, a long-running spy/science fiction --- or "spy-fi" if you will --- series from Doctor Who co-creator Sydney Newman.
The best known seasons of The Avengers paired Patrick McNee's "top professional " John Steed with Diana Rigg as the stylish "talented amateur" Mrs. Emma Peel. Although they've starred in their own comics before under the title Steed & Mrs Peel (to avoid confusion with those other Avengers) --- including comics written by Mark Waid and Grant Morrison --- now the pair cross paths with the Dynamic Duo in Batman '66 Meets Steed & Mrs. Peel, by Ian Edginton, Matthew Dow Smith and Jordie Bellaire. Judging by this first chapter, readers are in for a treat.
So on the one hand, the "Premium Format" figures from Sideshow are sculpted with a realism that's almost frightening. If you're not expecting to see them lurking on a bookshelf, you can very easily glance at them and think that your home is currently being invaded by foot-tall versions of Batman and Catwoman who stepped right off the television screen. But on the other hand, having a home that's being attacked by tiny Batman characters is kind of everything that I've ever wanted in my life.
It's a good thing, then, that Sideshow just released photos of their newest Premium Format figures: Batman, based on Adam West, and Catwoman, based on Julie Newmar, going up for pre-order this week.
Ever since he made his debut in 1940's Batman #1, the Joker has been the arch-criminal among arch-criminals, the one villain who can truly lay claim to being Batman's nemesis. As a result, he's made quite a few appearances across other media, serving as the antagonist in movies, television, and even a handful of video games.
Now, with Jared Leto set to take the role with a new interpretation rooted in questionable tattoos and on-set method-acting antics, it's time for us to finally sit down and figure out where we stand. For that, we turn to you, dear reader, as we ask that you cast your vote to tell us which mass media Joker performance is the undisputed best!
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.
This week the bats are out of the belfry as we look at five of Batman’s greatest team-ups!
Batman ‘66 sure is getting around a lot these days, having recently crossed over with other classic '60s properties like The Green Hornet and The Man From UNCLE. Now, this summer, Gotham’s greatest crimefighters are teaming up with the sharpest spies from across the pond in Batman ‘66 Meets Steed And Mrs. Peel.
The classic DC Comics hits keep on coming from Tweeterhead. The company just announced the Batman Classics Collection, based on the art of Dick Sprang, will finally get its Batman. To this point the line had consisted solely mostly of villains, but now the statuesque Gotham will finally have its Dark Knight defender. But Tweeterhead isn't just growing its comic book line, and will also add another egg-centric member to those nefarious n'er-do-wells from the 1966 Batman television show to its roster of rogues.
The Sprang-inspired maquettes both look solid, and give us a glimpse at a Batman we don't see a whole lot of today. While DC has typically been fairly good about paying tribute to the classic artists and their interpretations of icons like Batman, there just aren't a lot of Dick Sprang collectibles out there. Tweeterhead's commitment to the style extends far beyond a single limited statue, too, which helps paint a picture of the entire Batman universe as portrayed by Sprang in the 1940s.
Norman Saunders is undoubtedly best known for his work as the artist on the infamous Mars Attacks trading cards, but in the mid-'60s, he had more on his plate than just a ludicrously violent alien invasion. With Batman on television and Batmania reaching a fever pitch as a result, Saunders and Topps produced multiple sets of trading cards featuring the Caped Crusader --- and as you can probably tell by the fact that they involve Batman and Robin fighting a dinosaur in the image above, they are amazing.
Sadly, they're a little difficult to track down these days, although to be honest, I would gladly pay good money for an art book that collected them. Until then, we can take a look back at some of the best, focusing on the ten standouts from Saunders' Blue Series, in which Robin is nearly branded, and the Riddler performs the amazing feat of trying to steal from a rainbow.
Q: It's the 50th Anniversary of Batman '66! Can you rank the best episodes? -- @TheKize
A: I wrote a fair bit about Batman on Tuesday to mark the actual day that it made its debut back in 1966 --- and, you know, I've written a whole bunch about it in general --- but you know what? You're right. The 50th anniversary of what is arguably the single greatest superhero show ever produced is something that's worth celebrating for a while yet. But ranking the best episodes? That's a tough one.
It's not that I don't have my favorites, you understand, but with 120 episodes produced over three seasons, mostly divided into the two-part adventures punctuated by a deathtrap that would serve as the show's trademark, there's just too much to choose from. Even at its worst, the show was still fun, and with that many great performances and ludicrous plots, narrowing it all down to a top five is a pretty difficult task. Difficult... but far from impossible.
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