The alter ego of millionaire Bruce Wayne (Adam West) who donned mask and cape to become Batman, a crime fighting Caped Crusader on the fantasy adventure BATMAN/ABC/1966-68.
Assisted by his ward, Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) a.k.a. “Robin, The Boy Wonder,” this Dynamic Duo battled the evils of Gotham city including such nefarious no-goods as:
- The Penguin (Burgess Meredith)
- The Riddler (Frank Gorshin)
- Egghead (Vincent Price)
- King Tut (Victor Buono)
- Catwoman (Julie Newmar/Lee Ann Meriwether/Eartha Kitt)
Batman’s headquarters was located in the Batcave beneath stately Wayne Manor. It housed the Batcomputer, and the sleek atomic powered Batmobile.
Adam West later starred in the spin-off film Batman (1966) produced to cash in on the popularity of the TV series.
The Batman phenomenon also spawned the animated cartoon series BATMAN/CBS/1968-70/CBS/1977-78/NBC/1980-81 and BATMAN – THE ANIMATED SERIES/FOX/1992-93 as well as the successful motion picture adaptations Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) starring Michael Keaton as the brooding crime fighter. Val Kilmer, and George Cooney later replaced Keaton in subsequent movie sequels. Then came Robin & Batman (1997).
The animated series BATMAN: BEYOND/WB/1999 depicts a dark future with an older, disillusioned Bruce Wayne living alone in his mansion until a teenager steals his Batman costume to battle a sinister group of street thugs called “The Jokers.”
In the summer of 2005, the Batman franchise was totally updated with the movie Batman Begins. Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film retraces the origins of the character from the murder of his parents, to his martial arts training in the China, to his return to Gotham City as the urban vigilante, Batman (played by Christian Bale).
As Bruce Wayne mentor Henri Ducard (Liam Nesson) said,”If you make yourself more than just a man, you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely …Batman.”
Note: The Batman series was based on the comic strip created by Bob Kane which first appeared in the May, 1939 issue of Detective Comics No. 27. According to his comic-book origins, after Joey Chill shot and killed Thomas Wayne, (Bruce’s father) on June 7, 1924, Bruce dedicated his life to fight crime. His mother Martha died of a heart attack when she saw her husband shot.