Make Gotham Goofy Again?

by Brendan James

As fans explode over the casting of Ben Affleck for the next Batman film, Noah Berlatsky wishes the franchise would return to its campy roots:

[T]he truth is that the most sophisticated and knowing Batman we’ve had thus far isn’t Frank Miller’s or Alan Moore’s or Christopher Nolan’s. It’s Adam West’s. … Batman’s omnipotence in the television show isn’t a function of his popularity. It’s a multi-level gag. Wouldn’t it be fun, the TV Batman asks, to live in a world where the fuddy-duddy scions won’t run stop-lights, where they’d rather die than blow up a handful of baby ducks, and where they can always get the right answer out of the bat computer? And isn’t it also more than a little ridiculous to hope for that world and its paunchy, bat-eared dad? Trust me, Adam West assures us, and I will pretend to save you.

Thus we have the conclusion of Batman: The Movie from 1966, in which Adam West in the batsuit accidentally swaps all the brains of the members of the UN Security Council one with the other. Having completely screwed everything up, he quietly declares victory and leaves — which is a much more insightful take on American imperial adventures than anything you’re likely to find in Iron Man.