Batman

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  • Posts: 2,896
    I think you're right--a fourth season might have been as much of a disappointment as the third, especially if the budget had remained so low. The series also didn't adjust well in going from two-part stories to one-parters. This might have improved with another season, and perhaps the stories might have become a bit more serious, in the way that OHMSS followed YOLT, but I doubt it, unless the producers had a serious re-think.

    The first season of Batman worked because of its approach to the material. Many episodes were adaptations of late '50s/early '60s comics, often surprisingly close ones. Those comic book stories worked perfectly well on the page but would seem absurd if adapted with a straight-face into live-action--which is exactly what the TV show did. The humor was less in the absurdity of the material than in how seriously it was played for the camera. Adam West was the perfect embodiment of this--he was funny because he was so serious and deliberative. He could express an actor's irony toward the material without ever going over the top--like Sean Connery, he had a twinkle in his eye and relish in his voice. This enhanced the material instead of condescending to it, since his acting worked simultaneously on two levels, and this was true of the show itself.

    But when the press greeted the first season of Batman as "camp," that had a negative effect on the producers and network, especially after Lorenzo Semple was no longer editing every script. The suits didn't realize that the "camp" of the first season lay in playing comic book material with a straight face. Instead they began kidding the material by making it intentional corny and exaggerated. They mistook self-parody for camp. The writers began cranking out crass burlesques of Batman comics and villains rather than adapting the real McCoys with the straight-face that had provided the show's real humor.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,659
    We can blame the fraudulent Dr Wertham and the moral panic he caused in the '50s for almost all of that. Luckily, the tide was about to turn soon after the TV series.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,884
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    We can blame the fraudulent Dr Wertham and the moral panic he caused in the '50s for almost all of that. Luckily, the tide was about to turn soon after the TV series.

    I have two of his books after I reading in the Fortean Times about his inciting the moral panic over comics in the 1950s. I noticed that one of them even had a reference to James Bond in it.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,659
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    We can blame the fraudulent Dr Wertham and the moral panic he caused in the '50s for almost all of that. Luckily, the tide was about to turn soon after the TV series.

    I have two of his books after I reading in the Fortean Times about his inciting the moral panic over comics in the 1950s. I noticed that one of them even had a reference to James Bond in it.

    Interesting, @Dragonpol! What can you tell me about those books? Worth my time, or am I going to be doing weeks of hate-reading? ;-)
  • Posts: 2,896
    As Bill Finger noted: "I will say this for National Periodicals [aka DC], they had a code all along...so that when the Code Authority came along it was nothing very new to us." The Comic Code's negative effect was "not too much because, frankly, National has always been, and still is, a fairly conservative outfit compared to other companies. Conservative in the sense of trying to be clean, upright-good boy scouts...They're the MGM of comics and wanted to stay that way."

    Batman pretty much stopped being a dark character after 1940, when Robin came along ("You can't have a kid named Robin, with a colorful Robin Hood costume, running around in the night shadows; somehow it doesn't jibe"). The pulp influence over the character waned because comics in the Golden and Silver ages had a target audience of children. Not until the 60s, when adolescents took to Marvel, did that fundamentally change. After the TV had run its course there was no option left but to Marvelize Batman.

    Finger's thoughts about Wertham are also interesting:
    "Wertham was a first-rate psychiatrist and a good man in his field. However, he was like the old maid always looking for somebody under the bed. He saw sex and violence in everything. Also he was astute enough to cash in on it... I know a couple of students in his class at NYU [New York University] and they admitted to me that he was a kind of nutty character. I remember one story he had an objection to [that] I think I wrote: Superboy is jumping up a tree to get an apple for somebody and Wertham saw this as a sexual symbol. The tree was a phallus and the apple, balls.

    "...I knew many homosexuals but I certainly didn't think of Batman in those terms. I thought of it in terms of Frank Wharton, and Frank Merriwell and Dick Merriwell, his half-brother, who was the kid he was taking care of. Wertham got his views on the homosexuality of male heroes in popular culture from Gershon Legman's book, Love and Death, and he extended this analysis to literary characters like Ishmael and Queequeg in Moby Dick.

    "This is nonsense, really. In America we always talk about the Western hero and the pioneer kind of man—the Davy Crockett-types—as being loners. They're never really. They always have a sidekick. In all your Westerns you have a Gabby Hayes, or whatever. Certainly there's no homosexual relationship. It's just part of the American syndrome."
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited January 2023 Posts: 17,884
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    We can blame the fraudulent Dr Wertham and the moral panic he caused in the '50s for almost all of that. Luckily, the tide was about to turn soon after the TV series.

    I have two of his books after I reading in the Fortean Times about his inciting the moral panic over comics in the 1950s. I noticed that one of them even had a reference to James Bond in it.

    Interesting, @Dragonpol! What can you tell me about those books? Worth my time, or am I going to be doing weeks of hate-reading? ;-)

    @DarthDimi: I was looking on one of my bookshelves and found my first edition ex-library copy of Frederic Wertham's A Sign for Cain: An Exploration of Human Violence (1966). To be honest I've only really flicked through it but it certainly looks interesting enough. I'm interested in the treatment of violence in popular culture and this book covers that and more. No doubt nowadays he'd be called a reactionary but at the time I'm sure he was writing about the contemporary fears as regards violence. I think I also have his book The Show of Violence too somewhere.

    I suppose that you could say that's he's the comic book equivalent of how the late Paul Johnson was with his critique of Fleming and Bond. In his brief passing reference to James Bond in the first book mentioned above, Wertham even references the same sex, snobbery and sadism line of attack.
  • Posts: 9,788
    So who do you want as the villain for the Batman 2


    Honestly I think Mad Hatter and Hugo Strange would be perfect
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited January 2023 Posts: 5,869
    I'd be quite up for Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze @Risico007. I feel like environmentalism could be a clear theme given where we ended the last film and both those character fit that perfectly. Plus it'd be a nice nod to Batman & Robin like The Batman was to Batman Returns with The Penguin and Catwoman...

    ...but speaking of The Batman 2, I've been meaning to post all this for those who are interested :)


  • Posts: 9,788
    I am excited i loved the Batman it was my favorite Batman film
  • Denbigh wrote: »
    I'd be quite up for Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze @Risico007. I feel like environmentalism could be a clear theme given where we ended the last film and both those character fit that perfectly. Plus it'd be a nice nod to Batman & Robin like The Batman was to Batman Returns with The Penguin and Catwoman...

    ...but speaking of The Batman 2, I've been meaning to post all this for those who are interested :)



    I agree, I think more than enough time has passed since B&R to bring these characters back and give them the respect they deserve.
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns I am trying to get away from this mountan!
    Posts: 23,673
    BATMAN: The Doom That Came to Gotham Trailer (2023)
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    edited January 2023 Posts: 23,659
    This is one I'm looking forward to. Love the Mignola book, love Lovecraft. Oh boy, I'm very excited. I'm also very sad. It'll be the first new animated Batman film I'll be seeing since Kevin's passing, which still moves me to tears.
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns I am trying to get away from this mountan!
    Posts: 23,673
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    This is one I'm looking forward to. Love the Mignola book, love Lovecraft. Oh boy, I'm very excited. I'm also very sad. It'll be the first new animated Batman film I'll be seeing since Kevin's passing, which still moves me to tears.

    I am not familiar with the source material, the first thing that came to mind was Kevin Conroy when I heard the Bruce/Batman voice actor.
  • Posts: 1,574
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    This is one I'm looking forward to. Love the Mignola book, love Lovecraft. Oh boy, I'm very excited. I'm also very sad. It'll be the first new animated Batman film I'll be seeing since Kevin's passing, which still moves me to tears.

    I am not familiar with the source material, the first thing that came to mind was Kevin Conroy when I heard the Bruce/Batman voice actor.

    Please explain: Did Kevin Conroy do the voice work for this one before he passed ? Will this be his last Bruce/Batman performance ?
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns I am trying to get away from this mountan!
    Posts: 23,673
    Since62 wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    This is one I'm looking forward to. Love the Mignola book, love Lovecraft. Oh boy, I'm very excited. I'm also very sad. It'll be the first new animated Batman film I'll be seeing since Kevin's passing, which still moves me to tears.

    I am not familiar with the source material, the first thing that came to mind was Kevin Conroy when I heard the Bruce/Batman voice actor.

    Please explain: Did Kevin Conroy do the voice work for this one before he passed ? Will this be his last Bruce/Batman performance ?

    No it was a different voice actor for BATMAN: The Doom That Came to Gotham
  • Posts: 118
    I'm new to batman is justice league and batman vs superman and so on in the same continuity to 1989 batman the dark night trilogy and the batman?
  • Posts: 9,788
    I'm new to batman is justice league and batman vs superman and so on in the same continuity to 1989 batman the dark night trilogy and the batman?

    No the movie continuity is as such

    Batman 1989 - Batman & robin is technically one continuity

    The dark knight trilogy is a different continuity

    Batman v Superman - Justice league 2021 is a different continuity

    The Batman is a different continuity
  • edited January 2023 Posts: 118
    Risico007 wrote: »
    I'm new to batman is justice league and batman vs superman and so on in the same continuity to 1989 batman the dark night trilogy and the batman?

    No the movie continuity is as such

    Batman 1989 - Batman & robin is technically one continuity

    The dark knight trilogy is a different continuity

    Batman v Superman - Justice league 2021 is a different continuity

    The Batman is a different continuity

    @Risico007 ok kind like bond sort of?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,659
    Risico007 wrote: »
    I'm new to batman is justice league and batman vs superman and so on in the same continuity to 1989 batman the dark night trilogy and the batman?

    No the movie continuity is as such

    Batman 1989 - Batman & robin is technically one continuity

    The dark knight trilogy is a different continuity

    Batman v Superman - Justice league 2021 is a different continuity

    The Batman is a different continuity

    @Risico007 ok kind like bond sort of?

    Nah, absolutely not. Bond is far more cohesive than the Batman film series.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,884
    Risico007 wrote: »
    I'm new to batman is justice league and batman vs superman and so on in the same continuity to 1989 batman the dark night trilogy and the batman?

    No the movie continuity is as such

    Batman 1989 - Batman & robin is technically one continuity

    The dark knight trilogy is a different continuity

    Batman v Superman - Justice league 2021 is a different continuity

    The Batman is a different continuity

    @Risico007 ok kind like bond sort of?

    I suppose with Bond there's really only been two continuities so far - the classic era of 1962-2002 and the reboot era of 2006-2021.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,186
    I think it's pretty much accepted that there was a mild rejigging of dates forward in '87?
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,884
    mtm wrote: »
    I think it's pretty much accepted that there was a mild rejigging of dates forward in '87?

    Yes, well some fans here have said that there were soft reboots in the past each time that there was a change of actor in the lead role. You're right though in that there's a big jump in age between Moore and Dalton (about 19 years or so). I suppose it all ties in with the oroginal idea for TLD to have a reboot at that time with a younger Bond moving from the Royal Navy into the British Secret Service.
  • Posts: 5,850
    Let's not forget the 1960s Batman movie, with Adam West ad Burt Ward, which is in an entirely different continuity altogether.

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  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,659
    Gerard wrote: »
    Let's not forget the 1960s Batman movie, with Adam West ad Burt Ward, which is in an entirely different continuity altogether.

    86ae1c421d7cf0392c3ba6fc71aa3f2e.jpg

    Yes, and the entire Bruce Timm universe is something else too. It shares nothing with Burton's Batman except part of the opening theme of TAS. Then there's EARTH-31's The Dark Knight Returns and Year One, also animated. We also have a few animated Elseworlds stories. And so on.
  • Posts: 1,574
    And the Batman-on-film in the 40s long before the TV Batman - yet another continuity...
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,659
    Since62 wrote: »
    And the Batman-on-film in the 40s long before the TV Batman - yet another continuity...

    Proof that various iterations of Batman exist. The cinematic world of Bond has, perhaps 2, although I will continue to insist that there's hardly any serious continuity at all before the Craig years.
  • Posts: 118
    Risico007 wrote: »
    I'm new to batman is justice league and batman vs superman and so on in the same continuity to 1989 batman the dark night trilogy and the batman?

    No the movie continuity is as such

    Batman 1989 - Batman & robin is technically one continuity

    The dark knight trilogy is a different continuity

    Batman v Superman - Justice league 2021 is a different continuity

    The Batman is a different continuity

    @Risico ok kind like bond sort of?
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Since62 wrote: »
    And the Batman-on-film in the 40s long before the TV Batman - yet another continuity...

    Proof that various iterations of Batman exist. The cinematic world of Bond has, perhaps 2, although I will continue to insist that there's hardly any serious continuity at all before the Craig years.

    Yeah I guess they mention Tracy so there is some connection.
  • DragonpolDragonpol https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 17,884
    Risico007 wrote: »
    I'm new to batman is justice league and batman vs superman and so on in the same continuity to 1989 batman the dark night trilogy and the batman?

    No the movie continuity is as such

    Batman 1989 - Batman & robin is technically one continuity

    The dark knight trilogy is a different continuity

    Batman v Superman - Justice league 2021 is a different continuity

    The Batman is a different continuity

    @Risico ok kind like bond sort of?
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Since62 wrote: »
    And the Batman-on-film in the 40s long before the TV Batman - yet another continuity...

    Proof that various iterations of Batman exist. The cinematic world of Bond has, perhaps 2, although I will continue to insist that there's hardly any serious continuity at all before the Craig years.

    Yeah I guess they mention Tracy so there is some connection.

    I think lip service was given to continuity in the Bond film series, at least historically, with just enough linkages to show that it's meant to be the same person throughout.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,186
    Since62 wrote: »
    And the Batman-on-film in the 40s long before the TV Batman - yet another continuity...

    Played by, of course, Michael G Wilson's dad.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 13,165
    mtm wrote: »
    Since62 wrote: »
    And the Batman-on-film in the 40s long before the TV Batman - yet another continuity...

    Played by, of course, Michael G Wilson's dad.

    Yeah I meant to call that out as well @mtm. The first on-screen Batman.

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