The 1966 Batman television show was one of the most successful and influential adaptations of comic books to mass media of all time. Over the course of three seasons and 120 episodes, the series became a cultural force with its unique combination of tongue-in-cheek humor, thrilling superhero adventure and celebrity guest stars, and shaped the way the public would view the Caped Crusader for the next five decades. Now, in the midst of a well-deserved renaissance of the show, ComicsAlliance is proud to present The Batman '66 Episode Guide, an in-depth examination of every single adventure, arch-criminal and deathtrap cliffhanger of the series.
This week, the guide begins with the pilot episode, "Hi Diddle Riddle," in which the Prince of Puzzles has given up his life of crime... or has he?
If you've played one of the previous two LEGO Batman games, or really any of developer Traveller's Tales LEGO games, there's a certain degree of knowing what you're getting into with LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Though it certainly has a new coat of paint on it, so to speak, many of the mechanics and gameplay objectives are the same as they've always been.
The developers make up for that by giving players more of everything: playable characters, levels, collectibles, power-ups, costumes side quests, Easter eggs and locations. Mix that more-is-more mentality with an enduring charm and sense of humor, and you've got a pretty compelling package, albeit one that tends to bring out some of my worst tendencies as a player.
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is going to be a positively huge video game.
I got to see that first hand when I played a brief demo at DC's booth at Comic-Con International in San Diego last weekend. First off, it's got a huge playground for players to explore. The "Beyond Gotham" of the title refers to outer space, and the game will go to a whole host of different worlds. Then there are the playable characters--105 or so, according to the game makers, and they include characters in both their superhero guises and as their secret identities. A new feature enables players to change from Clark Kent to Superman using a phone booth, for example.
After decades of waiting, fans of the beloved Batman television show of the 1960s -- or Batman '66 as it is known -- will finally be able to own all 120 episodes on home video, and in high definition. After protracted litigation with series owner Fox, DC Comics' parent company Warner Bros. has set November 11 as the on-sale date for the completely remastered Batman '66, which will be available on Blu-ray, DVD, digital, and, of course, a super expensive collector's edition that comes with all sorts of groovy stuff, including a selection of photos from star Adam West's personal archives (when you're as mature and sophisticated as West, you get to have "personal archives").
There have been five men to portray Batman in the character's eight live-action feature-length films, from Adam West in Batman '66 to Christain Bale in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises. All five actors came with their strengths and weaknesses, but the best was Michael Keaton, who played the DC Comics superhero in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns.
In the first major scene of Batman '89, Keaton famously grabs a terrified mugger by the collar, holds him off the side of a building, pulls him close to his face, and hisses, "I'm Batman." As a 12-year old watching that moment on a VHS tape in my living room, I believed Michael Keaton. And I still believe him as a grown man watching it on DVD in my office 25 years later, even after having seen a half-dozen different Batman movies since.
I realize declaring Michael Keaton's performance as Batman to be not only my favorite Batman but the best Batman is a somewhat controversial statement, even (especially?) among my fellow writers at ComicsAlliance, but allow me to make my case.
There may be no better proof of just how much pop culture can shift in a quarter century than the above, 20-minute video Warner Bros. produced in 1988 to show ancient movie distributors who were not so sure a film about a dark, intense Batman would be something anybody would want to watch -- which is pretty funny considering just how massive and influential the film turned out to be.
From the It's About Darn Time Department: In the midst of a renewed push that includes licensed toys and comics, Warner Brothers has confirmed that Batman, the 1966 television show starring Adam West and BurtWard, will be released on home video some time this year. To say that this is pretty welcome news around here at ComicsAlliance is understating things quite a bit, since some of us have been waiting decades for a complete series set of Batman.
It's not entirely surprising news, though. With the licensing we've seen from the show over the past year, it felt like it was only a matter of time before everything was sorted out between Fox (the producers of the TV show) and WB (who own DC Comics and, therefore, Batman) to get the actual show back in the hands of fans. What is pretty surprising, however, is that the news was broken by Conan O'Brien on Twitter. Really.
One of the more unfortunate side effects of living in modern society is that we're expected to wear pants whenever we're in public. Seriously, they want you to do that every time you leave the house, even though that is clearly an unrealistic proposition for a society that has already perfected pajama technology. It's an undeniable hassle, but this month, Mattel released something that helps make it a little more awesome: a recreation of the classic Batman '66 utility belt, complete with a folding Batarang.
It's the latest entry in the tidal wave of merchandise that's been hitting shelves in the truly wonderful Batman TV series revival that we've been seeing over the past few months, and unless you're willing to get creative with your "Surf's Up" Batman action figure, it's the first one you can actually wear. Check out a video of the belt in action below!
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