Tagged: Adam West

How much would you pay for Batman ’66 on DVD?

They’re going to have to make a difficult decision with the pricing on the release of Batman on DVD – do they go high and run the risk of people choosing not to buy it, or go low and maximize sales?

Let’s comparison shop. There’s 120 episodes. How much are other classic / cult TV series charging?

[[[The Wild Wild West]]] had 104 episodes, and its box set list price is 100 bucks (and used to be a lot higher), but currently discounted to $50.  That’s 96 cents an episode, 48 discounted.

[[[The Man From U.N.C.L.E.]]] was 105 episodes, and its box set lists at TWO hundred dollars, currently discounted to $140.  or $1.90 / 75¢ an episode.

[[[Get Smart]]] had 138 episodes, and its box set is $125, marked down to $79 –  90 ¢/57¢ per episode

And [[[Star Trek]]] (TOS) had only 80 episodes and it’s getting 140 dollars, marked down to $75 – $1.75 /93¢ per episode.

[[[The Twilight Zone]]] had a whopping 156 episodes (including a season of hour-long ones), and its box set is three hundred dollars, marked down to $161.  You’d expect it to be more, and it is, but it still comes out to a rather high $1.92 / $1.03 per episode.  But the TZ set offers a LOT of extras, including complete episodes of the recently produced radio series, adding value.  They made a no-frills set with no extras that comes out at only $1.08 / 82¢ per episode

So there’s no single formula.  If you go the high end of UNCLE at two bucks an episode, you’re looking at nearly two hundred and fifty dollars for the set, down to about a hundred if you go with Get Smart‘s ninety cents an episode.

We’re not sure how many special features they’ll be able to include either.  Adam West, Burt Ward and Yvonne Craig are all still around and happy to talk about the show, so they can do commentary.  But save for Julie Newmar and Eli Wallach,  none of the actors who played the major Special Guest Villains are around any more. There’s a number of second-tier folks who are still around – Lesley Gore if you want to reach a bit, and Sid Haig played one of King Tut’s henchmen.   Our own Glenn remembered a few more – John Astin and Joan Collins both played one-time villains – Astin played the Riddler when Frank Gorshin wouldn’t appear, and Collins played the enchanting Siren, and  Glynis Johns as Lady Peasoup, but whether or not they’ll be available for commentary is questionable.  Personally, I hoped that some clever-dick went and got some interviews with some of the actors under the assumption the DVD would happen some day, but odds are we’d have heard about them.

Odds are there’s not too much behinds the scenes footage, so save for an interview format documentary with the heroes (and almost certainly one called “Bat-Mania”), not too much else could be added.

Here’s the thing: Bat-fans have been clamoring for this series to come to video for decades.  The audience is guaranteed.  Only an exorbitant price could scare them away, convincing them to wait to the inevitable price drop.

My prediction? They’ll go for “Collector Sets”.  There will be a “basic” set with just the discs, which may still be upwards of $100, almost certainly over $75.  The special collectors sets will include a mini-statue, a prop replica, or maybe a special box.  I can envision a fold-out box designed to look like the utility belt.  That’s the one they’ll try to get two hundred and up for,

Assuming you’re not one of these hard-liners who swear you never watched the show (i.e., a liar) or just think it was too campy to warrant owning (i.e., another liar), what’s the top price you’d pay for the set?

Batmania Returns in 2014

The much anticipated home video release of the 1966-1968 Batman teleivsion series has been confirmed by Warner Home Video. A complete box set of the trend-setting 104 episodes will be out later this year in a date to be determined.

The announcement was made on the Conan O’Brien Show complete with a breaking news tweet.

Conan O'Brien tweets Batman TV Series coming via WBHELast year, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox reached an agreement to allow licensing from the ABC series to begin which spawned action figures, Barbie & Ken Collector’s Set, the well-received comic book Batman ’66 from DC Entertainment, and related merchandise. There were high hopes that the DVD announcement would be made at last summer’s Comic-Con International but it was not to be.

No details have yet been released regarding how this arrangement was completed but it has been long understood that there were legal entanglements between DC, 20th Century Fox, and Greenway Productions, the latter being William Dozier’s production company which actually created the pop series.

Dozier had been asked to turn some comic hero into a television series and after attempts with others failed, they settled on Batman, whose sales had been slipping for years as the static art from co-creator Bob Kane and his ghosts failed to keep up with the maturing look of comic books and the writing had gone down hill, mired in science fiction concepts unbefitting the world’s greatest detective.

He decided to play it as straight as he could and with Lorenzo Semple, Jr. at the typewriter, they came up with an approach that worked. The story would be split in two, with the first thirty minute part concluding on a cliffhanger with Dozier’s own narration promising results if fans merely tuned in “same bat time, same bat channel”. One show split up ion this manner had not been done before but ABC, then a distant third in the ratings, was desperate to try anything.

The series arrived on January 12, 1966 after being in development for less than a year. However, it shattered the ratings charts and became an instant smash success, spawning countless forms of apparel, books, records, and other collectibles. It turned journeyman actor Adam West into   a superstar and newcomer Burt Ward into a youthful sex symbol. All manner of actors, actresses, and celebrities clamored to play villains on the series or make cameo appearances during the famed climbs up buildings.

The series arrived at a time when pop culture was enjoying a colorful renaissance, inspired in part by an art movement fronted by Andy Warhol and a renewed interest in super-hero comics. It used odd camera angles, a bright colorful palette (at a time when color TV was still considered something new), and had jazzy music. Kids adored the action sequences while adults cackled at the corny jokes and seemingly ludicrous plots. There was something for everyone.

The show quickly spawned a big budget film which arrived in August 1966, between the first and second seasons, allowing the producers to add a Bat boat and Batcopter to the growing arsenal of bat-themed weapons. It also pitted the Dynamic Duo against a quarter of foes, something heretofore untried on the series.

By that fall, though, the bloom had quickly faded and ABC was scrambling to find ways to sustain interest in the series. They asked DC for a Batgirl and rather than resurrect Kathy Kane, editor Julie Schwartz and art director Carmine Infantino created Barbara Gordon, who was introduced in Detective Comics #369 that November. Yvonne Craig, a dancer turned actress, nabbed the role and became an object of lust for young boys everywhere when she arrived the following September.

Even though ABC reduced the series to a single night, the ratings continued to plummet and the show was canceled, airing its final episode in March 1968. Soon after it went into syndication and it has been playing on some channel, somewhere ever since.

Dennis O’Neil: Old Bats Never Die

O'Neil Art 130502ZAP! BAM! POW!

I’ve written a lot about comics these – holy septuagenarian! – past 47 or so years, but I’ve never before used the faux sound effects lead that appears above. So. okay, why now?

I’ve always assumed and will continue to assume until the universe corrects me, that the aforementioned lead, perpetrated by a legion of journalists ever since comics have come to the attention of the multitudes, was inspired by the Batman television show that was aired on ABC from 1966 to 1968. Clever, y’know. Catchy. The video folk, in turn, got the faux onomatopoeia from old comic books; the stunt was, they superimposed these sound effects, lettered in garish display fonts, over fight scenes. The overarching agenda was to spoof Batman comics, particularly the Batman comics of the previous decade, by juggling contexts and emphasizing the goofy.

Batman as self-satirizing comedian? Okay by me.

But this form of comedy was much of a particular time and place, a brief, shimmering few years when the nation was in an experimental and iconoclastic mood. The mood changed – don’t they always, darn ‘em! – and after three seasons, Batman-the-television-star left the airwaves, and Batman-the-comedian joined the ranks of the unresurrected.

I’ll testify that comedian Batman deserves a place in the Batman pantheon and I’m sure that the show has its partisans, maybe fierce partisans. But is the world clamoring for a return of this odd form of humor? As I suggested a paragraph ago, it was unique to time/place Or so I’ve been believing.

People at DC Comics apparently believe I’m wrong. Our friends at the Comic Book Resources website inform us that “DC Comics will expand its digital-first comics line this summer with the debut of Batman 66, a series based on the classic television series.”

A number of ways this could go. Try to recreate the spoofy sensibility of the original. Do the comic as a period piece. Play Batman as a comedian using contemporary humor. Structure the stories as the old tv episodes were structured, with a cliff hanger half way through the story. Or do self-contained stories, the kind that were a staple of the old comics. Or do open-ended serials. Preserve the cast of the original. Recast with Batman’s current supporting characters. Mix and match all the preceding or – astonish and delight me with something I haven’t thought of.

I can’t help wondering how this project originated. From whence came the idea – editorial department or marketing department? Or some department in California? Not that it makes a lot of difference; there’s no mandated origin site for good stuff. But if there’s a reason to be skeptical, it might be that folk who can get projects going remember the joy that got from some entertainment when they were children and believe that the entertainment was supplying the job and not their own curiosity and innocence and, further, that they can recreate what they liked and, further still, that today’s audience will respond to the same kind of entertainment.

Let’s open our minds and see what happens.

Note: Thanks to Darren Vincenzo for alerting me to this column’s subject.

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman








Michael Davis: The Death Of Batman

From the second I saw the original Batman television show I was hooked.

Just that quick, Batman had replaced Spider-Man as my absolute favorite superhero. Bruce Wayne replaced Peter Parker, Dick Grayson replaced Gwen Stacy and the Joker replaced Dr. Octopus.

When the TV show became corny to my friends, I was still a fan. I didn’t care that they had all switched to the Green Hornet. Yeah, Kato was cooler than Robin and the Green Hornet was just, well he was just cool, but Batman was still my guy.

When Michael Keaton was cast in the 1989 film I was all in. When people started bitching that Mr. Mom was going to play Batman like a joke I didn’t care. I just wanted to see Batman on the big screen. Batman the movie was one of the first DVDs I ever brought and this was when DVDs cost a lot more than they do now.

I’ve seen every episode of every Batman animated series. I own hundreds – maybe even more than a thousand action figures. Without a doubt the single action figure I own more of is Batman.

I write this in my office under a framed 1966 Batman movie poster. To the left of the poster is a cabinet full of porcelain and bronze action figures, of the 18 figures in the cabinet there are four Batman’s and that is the only figure that is represented more than once.

I was very close once to buying a replica of the 1966 Batmobile. How close? I was filling out the paperwork when I realized I was buying a fucking Batmobile.

What kind of asshole buys a fucking Batmobile when he lives in Manhattan and rarely drives the car he already owns? Hell, what kind of asshole buys a fucking Batmobile anyhow? For about two hours I was that type of asshole and a few years later I regretted not buying the car and yes, on occasion I still think I’m that type of asshole.

I own every single Batman movie on DVD and some even on VHS. I’ve watched and own every single Batman TV episode. On many occasions during late nights in my studio I watch from episode one until I stop working. I once did more than 24 hours of watching the show. I was high on coffee and Adam West and loved it.

There has not been one Batman movie I have not seen the opening weekend. In most cases I’ve seen the movie the day it opened, except for the current one. I had every intention of seeing The Dark Knight Rises the opening weekend. I wanted to go to an all day screening of all of the Christopher Nolan Batman films with my dear friend and business partner Tatiana El-Khouri that would climax with The Dark Knight Rises but I was too busy.

I missed that boat and with it I think I missed my one chance to see the film I’ve been waiting well over a year to see. I hear the latest Batman may be the greatest yet. I fear I may never know because I have no intention of seeing it.

I was unable to write my column last week and it’s most likely a good thing that I didn’t. Undoubtedly because of the Aurora shootings and my personal experience with violent crimes my article would have been a hate filled call for revenge against the shooter and his friends and family.

Yeah. His friends and family also.

I’m well aware (now) that makes no sense, but in my initial rage it made all the sense in the world. My piece would have been filled with all sorts of reasons to just beat the living shit out of the crazy motherfucker who committed this sick act.

My heart goes out to the victims of the massacre. There is nothing and I mean nothing that can prepare you for the news that someone you love has been murdered. Trust me. I know.

Because of my history and the way my stupid mind works I simply cannot bring myself to go see The Dark Knight Rises.

I hope and pray that I’ll get over this but I fear that is not to be. I have issues and as much as I love my ComicMix audience I’m not prepared to give you the low down on the details of those issues that prevent me seeing The Dark Knight Rises because of that revolting motherfucker’s actions.

Alas, the people the madman killed and their families are what is important and what we should be thinking about. On a much and I do mean much lesser note that coward with a gun also killed Batman for me. My favorite superhero has now been corrupted in my mind.

To many I’m sure it seems silly for me to give that asswipe the power to corrupt one of my favorite things but unfortunately I have no defense over how I feel. If I associate something with something that’s bad I’m powerless to stop it as much as I try to do so.

I take some comfort in the knowledge that America has rejected the bastard and the hold he has over me is insignificant for America has made The Dark Knight Rises a big hit.

Bravo America. USA!! U S Fucking A!

My demons are mine alone and I rejoice in the fact that the film is doing well in spike of the doings of a limp dick psychopath.

I stop people from telling me about the movie. Not because of my issues but because I’m going to make every attempt to see it. If I don’t manage to see it on the big screen then I will endeavor to watch it when it’s available on pay for view if not then I’ll try and see it on DVD. If those efforts fail I’ll try and watch it on HBO.

Somehow, somewhere I’ll see that movie. That sick motherfucker may have won the battle in his demented mind, but America has already won the war and as for me, I’m determined to win my personal battle.

I don’t know a lot but I do know this, crazy sick assholes do not make the rules, they just make noise. Today that bastard may have killed Batman for me but everyone knows that killing a superhero is just temporary.

I’m sure that Batman will be back in my life and I’m just as sure that the shooter will be forgotten and his victims remembered at the same bat time on the same bat channel, forever.

WEDNESDAY MORNING: Mike Gold Goes To A Party!


MARC ALAN FISHMAN: Batman Versus Spider-Man

In honor of Marvel’s next big event, I’ve decided to take a week off of thinking hard. Instead I’ll do what they’re doing: Wasting your time by forcing two characters to fight for your entertainment.

Of course I don’t have the resources to produce artwork. Nor do I have the time to create an actual script. Instead, I’ll just take this idea to a few different levels, and ultimately create enough sweeping declarations to get some beautifully angry comments. I love beautifully angry comments.

In this corner: Bruce “The Rich Kid” Wayne and his amazing belt of knickknacks! That’s right, it’s everyone’s favorite powerless pugilist… the billionaire with bats in his belfry, The Batman!

And in this corner wearing skin-tight underwear and a mask without a mouth hole… Marvel’s favorite orphan, Peter “I was a jerk once, and I’m paying for it every day…” Parker! That’s right, it’s the web-slinging, science-spitting, devil-befriending behemoth… The Sensational Spider-Man!

Now there are a few ways to tally the fight. Since I’ve got inches of column to waste, let’s start with the obvious: In a street fight with absolutely no planning, Spider-Man would stomp Batman into a bloody pulp. Bats may have one of the greatest minds in comics, but at the end of the day, no amount of gadgets and Kevlar will out-match a fighter like Spider-Man. Not only is Spidey more agile, he’s also got superior strength and maneuverability. Batman can use all the kung fu in his repertoire, but Spider-Man has the actual super-powers.

I will concede this though: if these two were pitted against one another and had any chance to plan the bout, Batman would knock Parker out like the Orkin Man. Batman’s tactics, gadgets, and ability to use his terrain to his advantage trumps Spider-Man’s physical prowess. And while Spidey is a super-genius… a brilliant fighter he is not. Simply put, with any amount of time to prepare, Brucey’s coming out bruised but boastful.

Fan-service aside, how about we put these two against one another by way of the TeeVee. On the silver screen, Bats takes the trophy. Spider-Man had a few live action cameos on the Electric Company, and a simply too-terrible-to-believe live action show. Batman had Adam West. And you can say what you want about those kooky cavalcades with Burt Ward… but the zeitgeist here nods towards the cape and cowl when it comes to overall quality. Somedays, you just don’t have a place to throw a bomb.

When the battle gets animated, that’s really where Spidey gets killed. Not for lack of trying. The late 60s gave us a decent Spider-Man cartoon. Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was… a larf. In the 90s Fox Kids gave us a series that started strong, but became hampered by way-too-long season arcs, and an entirely forgettable last season – that saw the trope of guest stars used piss-poorly. In the mid-late-aughts the Sensational Spider-Man was fantastically done, but cut way too short. In contrast, Batman started slow (in the Super Friends, and then helping out Scooby Doo), but finished amazingly. Yeah The Batman in the early aughts was an atrocity, but Bruce Timm’s animated Batman Adventures wrote the bible on quality cartoons. And The Brave and the Bold was a campy trip that started off too-kiddie, but quickly found its footing in the hyper-kitsch fan-service delivery. By my count Bats wins by four Emmys.

OK, so Bat’s wins the battle of the silver screen. How about we take a trip to the movies? Consider my math: Spider-Man 1? A minus. Spider-Man 2? A solid A. Spider-Man 3? … D. Now over at the Batcamp, let’s take stock. The Adam West Bat-Movie? Don’t count. The Burton Bat-Films: B. The Schumaker Schlock? D… if I’m being nice. The Nolan-verse? Well, if there’s a grade above A, I’d give it. At the end of the day, there’s been more guano out there than there’s been Spider-poop. So I tip the hat to the wacky web-shooter in the battle of the big screen. And he can take that win to the sock-hop.

But how about where it really counts? On the page. I guess I’m sad to say I don’t have the proper license to weigh in on that particular bout. As I stated last week, my exposure to Spider-Man in comics-proper is poor at best. Admittedly I have a very extensive Bat-Collection, so I’m more than likely biased. Given my knowledge though of Spider-Man’s bullet-list of plot threads, I might still be inclined to tip the hat back to the Bat. He does have a few decades more history to draw on though, so it may very well be an unfair fight.

I will say this: In the time since my birth, Batman has had his back broken, his mantle stolen, his sidekick murdered, his life unraveled by several secret societies, his bastard son joining his menagerie, and has survived two or ten universal resets.

In that same amount of time, all I’ve really heard about Spider-Man that really stuck was that he nixed his marriage to Mary Jane to save Aunt May. And there was a clone saga people didn’t like. And he had an Iron-Spider suit. And a black suit. And a cosmic suit. And at some point was tied to an ancient race of animal totem warriors or something. In terms of only recognizable milestones (that haven’t been universally hated) … Batman would take the crown. Prove me wrong.

So there you have it. A few hundred words on an amazing battle. So it’s time for you weigh in. Was I too favorable to Time-Warner’s titan? Does Spider-Man have more going for him than a six-pack and a quip dictionary? Who has the better rogues gallery? Who has the better friends? Man, this could be a whole new column next week. I guess it depends on you, the gentle reader of my column.

At the end of the day, in the battle between Batman and Spider-Man? The winner is you.

SUNDAY: John Ostrander


REVIEW: “Justice League: Doom”

justice-league-doom1-300x402-7902089If you’ve been a fan of Warner Bros.’ direct-to-DVD DC Universe movies, you are no doubt eagerly awaiting the February 28th release of Justice League: Doom. ComicMix’s own Glenn Hauman and Mike Gold attended a press screening of the movie, along with the mandatory press conferences and post-game roundtable discussion. We decided to take a conversational approach to our preview – not quite a review, as we’re avoiding spoilers. Still, if you’re extraordinarily anal retentive (the fanboy/fangirl affliction), you might want to just look at the pictures.

Glenn: The story, and the universe, felt familiar – not just because we’ve known these characters forever, but because it was Dwayne McDuffie’s take on them, his POV from Justice League and from Justice League Unlimited. One of those “you don’t realize how much you miss it until it’s gone” things.

Mike: DC’s animated universe came about organically, from the original Fox Batman Adventures through Doom… with major exceptions like that Teen Titans and that unnecessary and initially unwatchable The Batman series a couple years ago. Dwayne played a major part in that Justice League animated universe to be sure, but those Batman and Superman series created the foundation of this universe, as well as the bouncing off point for many of the actors.

Glenn: Speaking of the DC animated universe: one thing that was weird for me, throwing a new bit of unexpected unfamiliarity, was meeting Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman for two decades, because he just doesn’t quite look the part in real life – he looks more like the Scarecrow. I found myself mentally covering up his face from his nose up, superimposing a cowl on him. Or am I just that weird?

Mike: Yeah, Conroy is pretty skinny and he’s got a great face. But I think he’d be perfect as Jason Blood or Orion of the New Gods.

Glenn: Conroy as Jason Blood, live action? Oh, that works really well.


The Point Radio: Adam West On DARK KNIGHT

We’ve got more with TV‘s original BATMAN cast including Adam West weighing in the upcoming DARK KNIGHT movie, Burt Ward on creating that catch phrase. Plus DC whores out WATCHMEN in a big way and Marty McFly may be landing on Broadway.

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Monday Mix-Up: “The Brave And The Bold: The Lost Issues”

The patron comic book of Monday Mix-Up has always been The Brave And The Bold, a comic book that delighted in mashing up weird combinations of characters, usually Batman with characters that made almost no sense to combine with, like Deadman, Kamandi, Jonah Hex, Sgt. Rock, Adam Strange, Lois Lane, Scalphunter, the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Unknown Soldier, the Guardians of the Universe, the Joker, R’as al Ghul, and the House of Mystery. This tradition has been carried on in the TV series [[[Batman: The Brave And The Bold]]], which has included many of those combinations and added Space Ghost to boot.

But for some, those combinations just aren’t going far enough. For those, we present The Brave And The Bold: The Lost Issues. Now you can find the missing team-ups with Batman and Jack Bauer, Iron Man 2020, Spider-Man 2099, Harvey Birdman, Groo, Galactus, Dirty Harry, Darth Vader, and Adam West.

Not to be outdone, if you delve into the archives you can also find all the missing Marvel Two-In-One issues where the Thing meets Young Justice, Vampirella, Wallace & Gromit, Tintin, the Warlord, Snoopy, the Spirit, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Walking Dead, and Thing #2 and Thing #1.

Steve Carell Is Crazy And Joel McHale Quits

We’re back from the madness that is ComicCon and there is plenty to talk about. Steve Carrel, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stine all weight on in their version of CRAZY STUPID LOVE. Then we give you “rapid fire celeb chat” from ComicCon as we talk to Kate Beckinsale, Adam West, Katee Sackhoff, Anna Torv, John Noble, Piper Peabo and even Joel McHale who claims he is quitting – but we know it’s a joke!

Check out The Point Radio for constant pop culture updates – and please check us out on Facebook right here & toss us a “like”.

The Point Radio: Blood Of The Innocent – Comic To Film?

The Point Radio: Blood Of The Innocent – Comic To Film?

Director BRECK EISNER has a pretty full plate these days. He’s about to tackle remaking the all time classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, and he’s on the verge of taking one of our favorite comics to live action. Breck talks about Snake Plisskin and our own Mark Wheatley – and connects the dots. Plus, sadly Seth Rogan has channeled Adam West. 

And be sure to stay on The Point via iTunes - ComicMix, RSS, MyPodcast.Comor Podbean!

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