The Guardian

Adam West’s campy Batman was a joy. Modern superheroes – why so serious? | Jack Bernhardt

By rebooting the caped crusader as dark and edgy, the anti-authoritarian genius of the original has been lost: it’s time to bring back the Pow, Bam and Smack
Adam West and Burt Ward. Photograph: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

We all know that the character of Batman is the 21st-century version of Hamlet. It’s a given. Every great Hollywood actor must at some point attempt to put their own spin on the enigmatic crime-fighter. If Laurence Olivier were alive today he would have dressed in the cowl, given a hammy monologue about the duality of man, all while beating up Killer Croc (played by John Gielgud).

With each rendition, Batman’s humanity gains another dimension: Christian Bale demonstrates Man’s tortured soul, Michael Keaton reflects Man’s extravagant showiness, and George Clooney represents Man’s desire to get a lucrative sideline selling Nespresso.

In this cavalcade of Batmaniacal acting talent, one is always dismissed out of hand. Adam West, the original screen Batman, who died last week, is remembered

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