Bat­man

The Pri­mary- Coloured Knight re­turns

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Dvd & blu- ray - Ian Berriman

The writ­ers were adept at au­da­cious al­lit­er­a­tion

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

1966- 1968 | PG | Blu- ray ( Ama­zon ex­clu­sive) Cre­ator: Wil­liam Dozier Cast: Adam West, Burt Ward, Alan Napier, Neil Hamil­ton,

Stafford Repp

Never throw away any­thing from your youth. Sell those Doc­tor Who jig­saws, get shot of that stu­dent record col­lec­tion, and you’ll end up with stab­bing pangs of re­gret once you re­alise that the things you dis­carded in the name of ma­tu­rity had value.

Many made this mis­take with the Bat­man TV se­ries. Phe­nom­e­nally popular in its day, its tongue- incheek ap­proach later made it an em­bar­rass­ment to comics fans touchy about be­ing viewed as im­ma­ture. To­day, hav­ing won the cul­ture war, and more se­cure in our geek­dom, we can ap­pre­ci­ate its many de­light­ful qual­i­ties. Like bril­liant per­for­mances: Adam West is a master of dead­pan de­liv­ery, and he’s backed up by an in­cred­i­ble roll call of guest- star vil­lains. The vi­brancy of great pop art – this is a se­ries that pos­i­tively throbs with glo­ri­ous colour. A love of lan­guage; Bat­man’s writ­ers had to be adept at au­da­cious al­lit­er­a­tion.

Yes, it’s for­mu­laic fare: the vil­lain will have an over- com­pli­cated, sur­pris­ingly small- beer scheme. Knock- out gas will put Robin in a jam. And, of course, there’ll be a punch- up – KAPOW! BIFF! But there’s a com­fort­ing fa­mil­iar­ity to that pre­set pat­tern.

Bat­man is best en­joyed like sweets, as an oc­ca­sional treat. Binge all evening and you’ll end up feel­ing a lit­tle sickly. In small doses, how­ever, it’s a hit of con­cen­trated child­hood joy.

Ex­tras: “Hang­ing With Bat­man” ( 29 min­utes), a beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated over­view of Adam West’s ca­reer, tack­les his trou­bles with typecast­ing and even­tual em­brac­ing of his iconic sta­tus, and is re­ally rather touch­ing. “Holy Mem­o­ra­bilia, Bat­man” ( 29 min­utes) showcases two in­cred­i­ble fan col­lec­tions ( pre­pare to be con­sumed with jeal­ousy), one of which is vis­ited by West. Other high­lights in­clude “Bat­ma­nia Born!” ( 28 min­utes), an ex­tended love let­ter fea­tur­ing a host of DC wor­thies; a ram­bling round­table dis­cus­sion be­tween West and the likes of Kevin Smith ( 43 min­utes); and 19 min­utes of “Bat- Rar­i­ties”, in­clud­ing the pi­lot for a pos­si­ble Batgirl spinoff and screen- test footage. The box set also con­tains a Hot Wheels Bat­mo­bile, a “scrap­book” of West’s pho­tos, an episode guide, and 44 trad­ing cards. An im­pres­sive spread, be­fit­ting the se­ries’ decades- long wait for a home en­ter­tain­ment re­lease.

Dur­ing the round­table, DC writer/ artist Jim Lee re­veals that he spent $ 4000 hav­ing a replica of Adam West’s cos­tume made.

Even the box is an ex­plo­sion of lurid neon fun.

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