The world of nerds, geeks, and dorks awoke on Sat., June 10 to sad and disheartening news. TV’s Batman, the late, great Adam West had died after a short battle against leukemia.
On second thought, really anyone who has ever enjoyed the work of Adam West felt the blow. West is best known for two roles: Batman from the 1960s and the parody version of himself on Family Guy.
Through his role of Batman, West was able to touch the lives of people spanning generations.
Though overly campy and over the top by today’s terms, the 1960s TV version of Batman is widely beloved by Batman fans and the general audience.
The TV series was a sucess likely because of West’s portrayal of the Dark Knight. West was able to tackle the iconic character with a straight face, despite the overwhelming camp-factor.
It was West who helped to bring the world’s greatest detective into the spotlight for a general audience. It was West who made the Caped Crusader a household name. His brief presence as Bruce Wayne from 1966-68 has had a lasting effect on pop culture.
Unfortunately, despite a few film roles, West was type-casted and was without work for many years, before finding a spot with the Seth MacFarlane animated comedy Family Guy.
I was lucky enough to meet the man a few years ago. The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo hosted the famed star. He had photo ops with fans and a spotlight panel where he took questions from fans and told stories about his time as Batman.
I spent literally hours waiting in line to meet the honoured guest, well him and Stan Lee – but that is another story. As I got closer and closer to the end of the line my excitement grew. I was going to meet Batman, and not just any, but The Batman.
I was practically giddy. You can see it in the photo that was taken. I was in a group with three other people, and I was one of the lucky ones to stand next to the man.
After the rush and overall excitement I will admit, at the time I was a little disappointed. West just sat in his chair and didn’t acknowledge us at all when we came up, not even a hello.
Looking back he probably didn’t have the time for pleasantries, even a simple hello. We were in, had our photos taken and out again. Did I mention how long I waited in line to meet the man?
I did get a thank you right before we left, and he did shake my hand. Even thinking about the simple handshake now, five years later, brings a smile to my face.
What made the experience even better was getting to sit in the original Batmobile. Yes, I got to sit in the the actual Batmobile, there is even photographic proof. And yes, it is as awesome and campy as it seems in the show. For example everything is labelled – just in case you forget where the emergency bat-lever is.
A statement from West’s family after his death states, “Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero.”
I think he was a Bright Knight. Even though, at the time, I was a little disappointed, getting to meet Adam West was a dream come true.
He will be missed and remembered.