Ah, the sixties: it was a period of dramatic social change, international men and women of mystery, and of course, the campiest Batman ever. Running for three seasons from 1966 to 1968, the William Dozer-created TV series starred Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. It also sent the dynamic duo on some of their wackiest adventures ever, pitting them against classic villains like the Joker (Cesar Romero), Egghead (Vincent Price), and several Catwomen.
Fans of the kooky show should pull their spare can of shark repellent from their utility belts, because West’s Batman is on his way back to Gotham. Members of the classic cast are reuniting for a brand-new animated adventure, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders.
The first teaser for the upcoming feature was released today (via EW). The clip begins with the imminent demise of Batman and Robin, as a nefarious nemesis has strapped them to a giant cafeteria tray. As the dynamic duo rolls towards their delicious doom (in a conveniently labeled “GIANT OVEN”), the quips fly faster than you can say ‘holy repartee, Batman.’ After escaping their brunch unscathed, the caped crusaders tease their cartoony return, which looks to include a menagerie of villains like the Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman.
With its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, the new cartoon throwback brings the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward to their classic roles. In addition, Julie Newmar will reprise her role Catwoman. Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders will bring the sixties iteration of Bats and the Boy Wonder back into the DC fold with a “Biff!” and a “Pow!” this fall. Fans can watch for the psychedelically lit (or not) bat-signal to light up Gotham on October 11 (on-demand) and November 1 (Blu-ray).
After DC’s grim Batman portrayals in recent years – including those of big-name stars Christian Bale and Ben Affleck – the retro-camp of West’s not-so-Dark Knight is nice change of pace. West and Ward’s lighthearted take on the crime fighters endeared the dynamic duo to a legion of fans, especially after running in heavy syndication during the '80s and '90s. While Bat-fans who prefer the grittier hero may click their tongue at the zany show, it unquestionably kept their beloved characters alive when the World’s Greatest Detective’s popularity dwindled during the '70s and early '80s.
Arguably, Adam West's cornier Caped Crusader also caused the backlash which lead artists like Frank Miller to create the duskier-toned The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke. Whether you prefer Batman in technicolor or covered in blood and shadows, the varied and divergent takes on the character are what kept him in the public eye - endearing him to millions worldwide, and making him one of the most recognizable superheroes of all time.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders comes to Digital HD on October 11 and will arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on November 1.