Why Adam West is Secretly Everyone's Favorite Batman

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Adam West Batman

In 1939, the world was forever changed by the creation of the caped crusader. Batman debuted in the 27th issue of the comic book Detective Comics and soon evolved into the vigilante with a stringent moral code as well as a sense of justice.

The name Batman truly became a household name in 1966 with the creation of the live-action television series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. This series managed to bridge the gap between teenage and adult fans as the show gave something to everyone.

Despite only having three seasons and a few spin-off movies, Adam West’s portrayal of Batman is still beloved today with many people still claiming that he is their favourite Batman. Ultimately, this begs the question of why this campy version of Batman favoured over the darker portrayals.

A lighter side to the character

Most modern adaptations of Batman portray a tormented and troubled vigilante that is dealing with an enormous amount of grief. Throughout the comics, Batman loses many people in his life but none of the deaths are natural or accidental. Before the story begins, Batman (as Bruce Wayne) loses both his parents in a robbery gone wrong. If this wasn’t bad enough, he loses his second Robin sidekick, Jason Todd, at the brutal hands of the Joker.

This ultimately leads to many depictions of Batman and Bruce Wayne as angry, disturbed and untrusting. The Tim Burton Batman films are gothic and dark, whilst Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy showcases an aggressive and violent Batman. There haven’t really been any lighthearted versions of Batman since Adam West’s portrayal - except the kooky Joel Schumacher films.

Instead of focusing on the darker elements of his past, Adam West’s Batman focuses his energy on hope and justice instead of vengeance. In the Batman television show with Adam West, the character is not afraid to be goofy and enjoys spending time with those he cares about. It’s refreshing to have a Batman who wants to make a difference in the world but does it with a smile.

A human Bruce Wayne

Everyone knows that Bruce Wayne is a billionaire who could rival Jeff Bezos with his amount of wealth. The later adaptations showcase Bruce Wayne as an arrogant billionaire playboy that almost seems closer to Patrick Bateman from American Psycho at times. However, Adam West’s Bruce Wayne has never been showcased like this.

Despite still being a billionaire, his character was stoic, clever and confident without ever being arrogant. Adam West portrayed the character as kind, approachable and mindful of those around him with no fear of trying to inspire people where possible. Bruce Wayne in the Batman television series feels more like an actual human rather than some exaggerated angsty fictional character.

Perfect for all ages

There’s no denying that the later Batman adaptations and movies were definitely not for kids. Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns were incredibly dark with horrific imagery that could scar adults. Christopher Nolan’s trilogy did not contain scary visuals, but the films had a huge amount of gore and violence that was unsuitable for younger audiences.

Adam West’s Batman finds the right balance of campy with action to deliver something truly unique that was perfect for all ages. Whilst the show had some driving moments for children such as championing the importance of homework and drinking milk, the show also had fun with these moments delivering them in a humorous tone.

There’s no denying that the Batman television show was comical, but it was also entertaining with a mixture of action and comedy. This was the sort of program that you could watch with your family or even by yourself as the show is just easy to watch.

A pop-culture icon

Adam West eventually became a legendary figure himself with satirical portrayals in Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, Futurama, 30 Rock, The Kings of Queens and The Fairly OddParents to name a few. However, his portrayal of Batman did not die with the cancellation of the television show.

Shows such as The Simpsons, Animaniacs, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians and SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show brought back Adam West’s portrayal of Batman. Just before his death in 2017, he even starred as Batman in the animated film Batman vs Two-Face showing that the demand for his portrayal was just as strong as it was in 1966.

In 2016, Adam West’s Batman became forever memorialised within the iGaming world with Batman & The Riddler Riches which led to five other games such as Batman & Catwoman Cash, Batman & Mr Freeze Fortune, Batman & Batgirl Bonanza, Batman & The Joker Jewels and Batman & The Penguin Prize. Each of these titles features classic Batman villains facing off against Batman in a new and exciting way.

Forever Batman

Before Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, Kevin Conroy and Michael Keaton, there was only one Batman. Adam West was truly an icon and he completely enriched the lives of many through his portrayal of Batman. Whilst it can be seen as a sad tale that he was type-cast throughout the rest of his career as the caped crusader, he never saw this as a negative and completely embraced this.

Adam West incorporated the humility, charisma and charm of Bruce Wayne and embodied them into his personality. There are many reasons why Adam West is secretly everyone’s favourite Batman, but it can be narrowed down mainly due to the legendary persona of Adam West. Batman is a character that will live on forever with many iterations but there will only ever be one Adam West.