Maybe some versions of Batman murder their adversaries and ask thoroughly unwholesome questions like, “Do you bleed?” But the 1966 TV Batman played by the singular Adam West always upheld virtues like justice, fair play, and civic responsibility while keeping his wrath limited to a comparatively harmless “Pow!” or “Crash!” or “Biff” and so on.
In June, West joined Cesar Romero, Eartha Kitt, Yvonne Craig, and Frank Gorshin in the big Gotham City in the sky. Luckily for us Batdorks, he finished his voice work on Batman vs. Two-Face – the second animated movie set in the Batman 1966 universe — before it was time to put away his utility belt, Batarangs, and Bat Shark Repellent once and for all.
Batman vs. Two-Face comes with historical significance, even apart from West’s final appearance as Batman. Harvey Dent never showed up on the ’60s Batman show, although rumor has it that he was scheduled for the scratched season four with Clint Eastwood attached to tackle the role. So outside of the comics, this direct-to-DVD offering slated for an October 17 release marks the inaugural meeting of Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent, as far as the 1966 Batman universe is concerned.
Burt Ward and Julie Newmar reprise their roles as Robin and Catwoman, respectively. Meanwhile, William Shatner’s lends his voice to Dent. Personally, I have a difficult time imagining Captain Kirk as a villain. Then again, when Luke Skywalker makes a much better Joker than Ben Linus, maybe it’s unwise to base our expectations for animated Batman films on the cast members’ careers outside of Batman-related things.
And maybe it’s unfair how Aaron Eckhart’s Two-Face wound up overshadowed by a Joker with charisma on a cosmic scale, whereas Shatner’s Two-Face encounters no such obstacle. But as the disfigured psycho said himself, “The only morality in a cruel world is chance.” Tough break, Eckhart!