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.
Batman 66 - Page 2
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.
50 years ago today, the classic Batman TV series premiered, kicking off a three-year run as one of the greatest adaptations of comic books ever made --- and while Adam West and Burt Ward's earnest, stentorian heroes were the stars, I think it's fair to say that the real attractions came from the villains. The bizarre heists, the deathtraps, the colorful costumes and scenery-chewing monologues made them favorites not just for the fans, but for the actors lining up to take roles on a pop culture phenomenon.
But as is so often the case when we start talking about a fantastic roster of characters, it inevitably leads to the question of just who was the best. Was it Julie Newmar's purr-fect Catwoman? Frank Gorshin's surprisingly intense riddler? Victor Buono's King Tut? Heck maybe it was even a long-shot candidate like Bookworm! It's too hard to pick, which is why we're leaving it up to you. Check out the villains and vote below to crown the true King or Queen of Crime!
I honestly thought I was out. After years of buying Lego sets and never having time to put them together, I finally thought I had broken the habit, but now? Now we know that there's a 2,500-piece set based on the Batman '66 Batcave coming out, and I don't just want to buy it, I want to make it the centerpiece of my home.
Officially announced this morning --- timed, no doubt, for the 50th anniversary of the show's debut on January 12, 1966 --- the Classic TV Series Batcave set doesn't just include the Batcave. It's got the Batcave, Wayne Manor, the Batmobile, the Batcopter, Batman and Robin and their civilian alter-egos, three arch-villains and Alfred. And it might be the single greatest toy that I've ever seen. Check out the images below to get a good look, and find out about all of its features!
The camera, tilted diagonally, pans across the crowded dance floor of a nightclub called What A Way To Go-Go as Batman casually walks in through the front door. The music continues, but the dancing stops, as Gotham citizens take notice of the world's most famous crime-fighter in their midst. One of them shouts and points, almost fainting, a cigarette girl offers to check his cape, and the club's owner comes over to personally welcome him, asking if he'd like a table. "I'll stand at the bar," replies Batman, standing in the middle of the crowd in a cape, mask and tights, a bright yellow utility belt full of batarangs and explosives around his waist, "I shouldn't wish to attract attention."
That, according to interviews, was the scene where Adam West understood exactly how to play the role that would make him famous: Reserved and stilted and almost painfully square despite the inherent ridiculousness of everything around him. And fifty years ago today, on January 12, 1966, that scene was broadcast as part of the debut of Batman, the television series that would define not just its title character, but --- for better or worse --- the place of superheroes in American pop culture for at least a generation.
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
The comics, sci-fi, gaming and fantasy communities’ talents for homemade disguises, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics were definitely on display this weekend at Wizard World New Orleans, and we were there to check out the show, and capture some of the stellar cosplay on display.
Batman seems only to get grittier and grittier these days, but did you know the classic 1966 series actually coined the name “Mr. Freeze”? Or that Robin’s famous catchphrase got upwards of 350 uses? Slide down the pole and suit up, as the 36th episode of ‘You Think You Know TV?’ fights crime with style for the original Batman TV series!.
When it's up for... pre-sale! Eeehehehehehe!
Okay, so maybe my sinister clues aren't quite supervillain material, but how else am I supposed to let you all know that Tweeterhead has released some new images of its upcoming Riddler maquette? I mean, just look at those wide eyes and that crooked grin! This thing demands a level of theatricality, just like Frank Gorshin did every time he zipped up those green tights and started hounding the Dynamic Duo. And if you're the kind of person who wants a tangible reminder of that criminal career, then get ready to open up your wallet, because this thing is up for pre-sale starting tomorrow.