Adam West: Farewell, Old Chum

by Alan Rapp on June 13, 2017

in Essays 

Adam WestFor two decades Adam West was Batman. While Batman’s rebirth in Tim Buton’s 1989 film began DC Comics’ attempts to distance themselves from the campy 60s incarnation of their most recognized star, including a long-standing refusal to release the series on home video, DC thankfully softened their stance in recent years allowing a whole new generation to discover, or rediscover, TV’s first Batman in new comics, toys, and (finally!) the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the show.

Adam West’s death last week to leukemia leaves a large hole in the chronology of Batman. There can be no doubt the series, and his performance as its star, helped bring the comic character (and comics in general) to mainstream audiences. For three years, 120 episodes, and one feature film, Adam West and Burt Ward patrolled the streets of Gotham as customed crime-fighters. Following the show’s cancellation, West would reprise the role of the Dark Knight Detective in multiple cartoons such The New Adventures of Batman, Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show, and The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians.

While the role typecast the actor for much of his career it also brought him to a world of fandom, many of whom still saw the actor as their Batman decades later. West career spanned more than six decades. Although Batman is by far his most-recognized performance, his recurring turn as an animated version of himself on Family Guy certainly helped introduce him a brand-new generation. Regardless of how you were first exposed to Adam West, his place in Batman history is cemented. He will be missed. Farewell, old chum.

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