Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Batman At My Mom's House

In addition to protecting the good citizens of Gotham City, the legendary Batman also keeps watch over my mom's house. 

OK, this particular Batman action figure (not a doll, an ACTION FIGURE!) belongs to one of my cousins. So being in arrested development as I am, I began to interactively engage with it in an imaginative manner (not play with it but INTERACTIVELY ENGAGE...oh, never mind). 

So I began to pose Batman to keep my mom and her house safe from the Joker and his plot to steal all her coasters and doilies.  

My mom is a fan of Batman. Or rather THE Batman, the ONE TRUE Batman!

THIS Batman! 

She knows there are different versions of Batman out there in the world including her son's comic book collection. But they don't count. No, the only Batman that counted, the REAL Batman was the one brought to life by Adam West.  

Comic book fans have a love/hate relationship with the Batman TV show and the Adam West Batman.  On one hand, it was a colorful, fun romp. On the other hand, Batman is not supposed to be colorful or fun and as sure as hell doesn't ROMP anywhere! 

Oh the elitism of the hard core comic book fanboys.  The Batman TV show may have been fun when we were little kids but as we grew older, more sophisticated (or more pain in the ass, if you will), the Batman TV show became an embarrassment, a Caped Crusader albatross around the neck of the Dark Knight Detective.  

As I and other fans have gotten older, I think we now have a more measured acceptance of Batman by way of Adam West. It was campy and silly but it was fun, wasn't it? And there is the very real possibility that without that campy and silly TV show, we may not have Batman at all today.  

Batman on television in the 1960's had a certain charm that is currently being recaptured brilliantly by writer Jeff Parker in DC's digital first series, Batman '66.  I'm thinking I might get a trade collection for my mom's next birthday. Which will be the 2nd time I will try to get my mom to read a Batman comic. 

The first time was in 1978. DC published a 64 page Batman Spectacular with three ALL NEW stories. The 3rd of these stories was a prose story written by Denny O'Neil with illustrations by Marshall Rogers. That story was "Death Strikes At Midnight and Three". 

Trying to convince my mom that Adam West was actually NOT the way Batman was supposed to be was a futile effort. The idea that she would sit and read a Batman comic did not seem likely. But perhaps THIS story stood a chance, written in PROSE, not with word balloons, thought bubbles and caption boxes.

For the complete story of "Death Strikes at Midnight and Three", click here courtesy of the ol' Groove Agent.  

So I asked my mom to read it. And afterwards when I asked for her opinion, I was quite surprised. "It was a very good story," she said. "I actually enjoyed it."

But then she added, "But that Batman is still not as good as Adam West."    

Well, what are you gonna do? 

But you know what? That's cool. The thing about Batman over the last 75 years is that he has been an amazingly adaptable character to so many different kinds of stories. Batman can put down drug dealers. He can match wits with super villains. He can lead an army. He can fight alone. His path takes him from the worst kind of personal tragedy to the most fantastic adventures.  Batman is a hero for the ages because he can speak to some many ages, young to old and everything in between. 

And sometimes, Batman guards my mom's house. 

Be good to one another. 

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You


Tomorrow Batman Week continues here on the blog with another look at It Came Thru Bruce Wayne's Window. But for reals this time, OK? 

And tomorrow is Batman Day so be sure to get your Bat-tree up and deck the Bat-halls with lots of Bat-holly.  

Watching Television: Super P.I.s, Zombie Realtors & More

Hey, I'm still working to keep my New Year's resolution to watch MORE television. How is that going? _________________________...