The alternative to buying the two hundred buck Blu-Ray set is back once again, as Warner releases Batman Season two, Part One on DVD. Same bat time, same bat channel, just with lesser definition. I can definitely tolerate it not being blu-ray quality, and for folks looking for a less expensive alternative to owning the series, Warner is ensuring that they get their money’s worth by releasing every season in two separate parts. The series is about as good as ever, and depends on two factors: Either your nostalgia for the show, or your threshold for camp.
This Batman, starring Adam West as the titular superhero, is filled with camp and sixties surrealism, and imagines the Batman universe through incense and peppermint, beatnik, Andy Warholish lens. Nothing is too unusual for this adaptation, and that’s viewed through the casting and the series inherent habit for depicting the world as a living and moving comic book. Much of the violence is softened with splashes of “Thwap!” and “Pow!” on the screen with every blow the caped crusader and the boy wonder land on their foes, and it never ceases to amaze at what sort of onomatopoeia’s they can come up with in an effort to avoid monotony. The casting is some of the best aspects of the show, teaming the more fresh-faced West and Ward, against seasoned veteran character actors like Burgess Meredith, Julie Newmar, and Vincent Price.
The aforementioned respective list chews the scenery in their roles as famous Batman villains like the Penguin and Catwoman. We also get to meet lesser known and made up villains like Shame, King Tut, and Egghead. The series is approached like a serial with two part episodes at every turn, matching the pair of superheroes against their villainous scum. Every episode always finds the pair at the tail end of a devious trap or calamity, and they always manage to make it out. Season two is widely considered the best of the series, and it offers up some of the more fun material, as well as some of the best performances from the all star cast. “Batman” is still a surreal and batshit crazy iteration of the Dark Knight, and one that still has its fair share of fans and supporters. I, for one, still find it a charming and funny take on the caped crusader, and I think more hardcore Batman fans will, too.