King’s sequence of Bane’s time in his cell is particularly jarring. Bane is trapped in a cell over the course of his life from age 4 to age 17 which floods each day with the incoming tide and pushes the captive into the iron grate that covers the top of the cell. It’s a brutal, horrifying sequence.
The thing is, the Batman that we know and love from the words and art of teams like Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams, Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers, Doug Moench and Kelley Jones, Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo and more may never have seen the light of day if not for the boost in attention the Batman TV series brought to the character.
And let's get real here, as absurd as things may have gotten on that program from 5 decades ago, stranger things have happened to Batman in our beloved comics, even the especially dark and gritty ones.
At its peak, the Batman TV show was a program with a specific point of view, a world beset by the most bizarre villainy defended by two crime fighters who took their work seriously. Playing it straight is what made the sillier aspects of the show more palatable and helped it to stand the test of time to remain a fondly remembered creation from a simpler time.
Kudos to Adam West and Burt Ward for bringing their version of Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder to life and in doing so, paving the way for some many other versions of their legend to persist and flourish in comics, movies, games and more.
One significant way the TV show influenced the Batman comics was the introduction of Batgirl. Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Gotham City Police Commissioner James Gordon, would not make her debut on the Batman show until the 3rd season but producer William Dozier was looking ahead to the future when he asked comics editor Julius Schwartz if he could introduce a new Batgirl character in the comics to lay the groundwork for her television debut.
So Batgirl made her first appearance in Detective Comics 50 years ago this week.
So happy birthday, Barbara, AKA Batgirl!