Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Remembering the late Adam West

Long after the much too dated Batman serials of the 1940's were forgotten, Lorenzo Semple, Jr., William Dozier and Howie Horwitz developed an action-comedy version of the caped crusader to Television screens and cast the great Adam West as Batman/Bruce Wayne

West's Batman was a camp, dancing and delivered cornier one-liners than Schwarzenegger or Caruso ever would, but there ware many things that remained true to the Bat-mythos such as his defining detective skills sadly neglected by later incarnations by comparison. The show was a product of its time and while it can't hold up for viewing today, our memories of it while younger are fond and that's a legacy that Adam West, who passed way on Friday should be very proud of.

West had many small roles outside of Batman, but he accepted that the character had typecast him, however he embraced it rather than being embittered and accepted his status as a pop-culture icon in the 1990's and beyond. West understood and embraced how camp and dated this take on the character looked in later years and seemed to relish in every parody and tongue in cheek reference throughout his career, but never derided it. His list of voice credits as an animated Batman is extensive and he also played The Grey Ghost on Batman: The Animated Series as well as voicing the characters of Thomas Wayne and the mayor of Gotham in other series. He also voiced a parody version of himself as the mayor of Quahog on Family Guy for the past 17 years.

West defined Batman for a generation. While many of those born in the mid-late '80's will only define Micheal Keaton, Kevin Conroy or Christian Bale as the true Batman, for those born slightly earlier it has been and will always be Adam West.

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