Opinions. Everyone’s got ‘em. Sometimes a lot of people have the same one, and especially when it comes to pop culture, and especially on the internet, there is often a “group mind” effect. A collective opinion forms on certain works, and woe betide the odd person who goes against the grain. Well, I’m willing to go against the grain. Sometimes I think the collective opinion is wrong — not just something I disagree with, but fundamentally wrong in some respect — and I’m willing to play Devil’s Advocate and say so. And if you agree or disagree with me? Please, say so! This blog has an equal-opportunity comments section, the more commentators the merrier.
So let’s talk about comic books, and their screen adaptations. Specifically, let’s talk about Batman. Let’s talk about the 1960s comedic, camp, “Can’t get rid of a bomb” Adam West Batman. The TV series ran from 1966 to 1968, and the spin-off movie was released in 1966 between the first and second seasons. Now, West’s Batman might not seem controversial at first; certainly a lot of the mainstream loved him and still does. A lot of us grew up on him (in re-runs in my case), and the notion that somebody might hate the Adam West Batman may seem strange. But I was a comic book fan for a number of years (technically, I still am, I just can’t afford to be; being a dedicated comic book fan is seriously much more expensive than being a movie fan). And I’d join comic book communities on the internet, just as I do with movies now (though I never had a comic book blog of my own.) And time after time, far more than I ever saw any praise for the old Batman, I saw mockery, derision, disgust and outright hatred. “Batman should be serious”, “Batman should be dark”, “Adam West ruined Batman, and it took Frank Miller and Tim Burton to repair it.” For a certain apparently-large section of the Bat-fan demographic, expressing a liking for Adam West is like going to a Metallica fan-site and asking “So, how about that brilliant Justin Bieber?”
I’m not about to tell someone that they should like Adam West’s Batman. If they don’t like camp or a comedic Batman, that’s their opinion, and welcome to it. But I do think they should at least respect it. Continue reading