TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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bat-rss
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TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

Post by bat-rss »

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This episode: BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT! We discuss two topics often suggested by listeners:

In 2013, not long before Batman finally came to home video, DC Comics began the Batman ’66 comic book series with Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case’s “The Riddler’s Ruse.” In a comic whose main reason for existence is nostalgia, is it forgivable to take advantage of the comics medium to do things the TV show never could have? Does the art invoke nostalgia - and if so, is it the right kind?

Then we consider the 1992 episode from the first season of “Batman: The Animated Series” “Beware the Gray Ghost”, featuring the voice of Adam West. What does it say about our nostalgia for childhood heroes? The power of the casting choice is clear, but would it mean anything to the show’s ostensible target audience?

PLUS: The Death Cab for Cutie version of the Batman theme, and your reaction to episode 132, “Women of Season One: Not Just “Poor, Deluded Girls”!

https://tothebatpoles.libsyn.com/135-ba ... -nostalgia
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gothosmansion
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

Post by gothosmansion »

Hi Guys. As always, thanks for the show.

I had no idea how long traffic cones have been around, since I've only been around since 1971. According to this, cones have been around since the 1940s, and I think they've been on the highway I had to drive to get to work since then. Yes, I love working from home!

https://www.dornbossign.com/sign-blog/t ... fic-cones/

I hope I don't seem like THAT guy (you know, the comic book guy on The Simpsons) but I would like to share some info on Batman the Animated Series. First off, on the Gray Ghost episode, the Toy Store owner/Bomber was voiced by Bruce Timm and modeled on him.

Don't think of Batman : The Animated Series as a kids show...Think of it like a 60s Marvel comic. Stan Lee tried to expand the fan-base to college age kids, but kept the stories where young kids could enjoy them. That is what the makers of Batman : The Animated Series did. A lot of the production crew grew up as comics nerds and the show is sort of "by fans for fans." The show really isn't that dark...I would say it is Bronze Age in tone, although some New Batman Adventures episodes, Batman goes into unlikeable Frank Miller-esque territory. Several bronze age writers, including Denny O'Neil, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Gerry Conway, Martin Pasko and Mike Barr wrote scripts for the show. Several episodes were straight-up adaptations of Bronze Age comics.

Also, don't try to pinpoint the show to a time-period. The decision was made to keep in what seems like a mix of time periods. There are computers and VCRs, but the screens are all black & white. The cars all look like they're from the 40s, and zeppelins share the sky with the Batwing.

As for the show's popularity, I was in college when it aired and almost everyone I knew, not just the comic book nerds, watched it, loved it and thought it was WAAAAYYYY better than the Burton films. Confession time...I thought it would be a kiddie show and didn't watch at the beginning. My then girlfriend, who was also a comics collector, said, "This one isn't lame like the cartoons they had when we were kids. It's cool." I watched it on her recommendation and was hooked after the opening. In fact, I got asked a lot of questions from other students who watched the show, since they knew I was into comics and had a little Bat-Knowledge.

The show was not syndicated. It aired on Fox affiliates for the first 85 episodes and The New Batman Adventures episodes debuted, paired with Superman animated episodes, on Kids WB.

A couple of final points. The Blu-Rays are in production order, so there are several weak episodes at the beginning. It took a bit for the show to find its footing, especially since the original script editor wanted a more Super Friends style show.

If you found having two Batmen weird on the Gray Ghost, you should watch the Brave & The Bold episode "Chill of the Night." Adam West is Thomas Wayne, Julie Newmar is Martha Wayne, Kevin Conroy is the Phantom Stranger, Mark Hamill is the Spectre and Deidrech Bader is Batman.

Sorry for such a long comment but I could talk about Batman : The Animated Series all day. Along with the 1966 Adam West Batman show, it is one of my two favorite Batman film adaptations ever.
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

Tim and Paul, Batman referring to Robin as "The Boy Wonder" is not a mistake or flub. During the wall climbing sequence link, jump to @0:30--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUuv_fEJMpI

Paul, you mentioned Al Milgrom's terrible David Letterman illustration...not a surprise, since Milgrom was so awful that he would screw up a straight line...drawn with a ruler...

"Good colon health during quarantine" ...now I've heard everything!

Abut the Gray Ghost episode: I always believed Batman was an ***Censored on this rated G site*** to Trent in that story; Batman comes off like some of the worst fans who are disappointed that a TV or movie actor is not the character they played, or shared the character's "honorable" traits. As a crimefighter, Batman is supposed to be as level headed and embracing reality more than anyone else, so his own nostalgia being a factor or not, he should have backed off from harassing / criticizing an aging actor. I guess Batman being a bad fanboy was part of the intentional commentary in the episode.
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High C
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

Post by High C »

Thanks for another thought-provoking show! I also thought the '66 comic imprint had a promising debut, but it fizzled out, IMO, other than some decent crossovers. Here is where I thought they went wrong:

1--Unlike issue #1, many of the issues featured two stories. Thus, we were back to the same old season 3 problem of hurried stories with little time for nuance or Bat-detective work.

2--I admit this is my bias, but I think using post 1966 Bat-foes such as Harley Quinn and Ra's Al Ghul was a mistake. I know there are people such as gothosmansion who enjoy both '66 Batman and Batman who interacts with those characters, but I don't think there are enough to make an imprint such as '66 Batman profitable.

3--Again, my bias, but the short shrift given to The Siren by the '66 comic was frustrating. Here was a PERFECT Silver Age-style comics character, for whom budget now was no limit (she could have an army of men in her power), and they couldn't come up with anything interesting to do with her besides use her as a plot point in the crossover epics. (Need a bunch of men neutralized quickly? Bring in Siren.) But develop her as a character? Nope. Not interested. Sigh.

Tim, was BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT a take off on BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO SEE IT when Fonzie jumped over the garbage cans? :lol:
BATWINGED HORNET wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:47 pm Tim and Paul, Batman referring to Robin as "The Boy Wonder" is not a mistake or flub.
Respectfully, I believe the point they were making was the same as what is seen in that clip--Batman only would use that moniker when introducing Robin to someone else, not in a direct conversation with his protege.
'I thought Siren was perfect for Joan.'--Stanley Ralph Ross, writer of 'The Wail of the Siren'

My hobbies include gazing at the Siren and doing her bidding, evil or otherwise.

'She had a devastating, hypnotic effect on all the men.'--A schoolmate describing Joan Collins at age 17
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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

Post by BATWINGED HORNET »

High C wrote: Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:44 am
BATWINGED HORNET wrote: Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:47 pm Tim and Paul, Batman referring to Robin as "The Boy Wonder" is not a mistake or flub.
Respectfully, I believe the point they were making was the same as what is seen in that clip--Batman only would use that moniker when introducing Robin to someone else, not in a direct conversation with his protege.
Ah, I see. Are we sure Batman's never referred to him as Boy Wonder in general conversation? I ask because O'Hara routinely addressed Robin as [O'HaraSpeak]"Buyy Whander" [/O'HaraSpeak] numerous times, so its not as if it was rare.
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bat-rss
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

Post by bat-rss »

Sure, Gordon and O'Hara addressed him that way, as did some villains. But I don't believe Batman ever did. It sounds very strange to me, coming from him.
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clavierankh
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES #135: Batman ’66 Comics, the Gray Ghost, and Nostalgia

Post by clavierankh »

It seems to me Batman wouldn't address him that way because he wouldn't want "?Boy Wonder" to go to his head.
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