As both a comic book and television geek for most of my life, I’ve noticed that for a long time there were two camps when it came to Batman: the bright, cartoony, “BAW! POW! ZAM!” crowd; and the Tim Burton/Frank Miller, “it looks like midnight even at 2 p.m.” cowled vigilante crowd — and being one meant hating the other. Thankfully, a greater appreciation for the 1966 Adam West/Burt Ward Batman television series’ camp style, upbeat theme music, and intentionally humorous, simplistic morality developed over time as Batman fans learned to appreciate having both “The Dark Knight” and “The Light Knight.”
Though reruns of the series are still being broadcast both in the United States and internationally, the series has seen a resurgence in pop culture popularity through comic book series such as Batman ’66, Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet and Batman ’66 Meets The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; introducing a new generation to the show. From the success of the comics came the direct-to-video animated film Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders; and from there comes this month’s animated sequel, Batman vs. Two-Face.
Bleeding Cool had the opportunity to speak with Ward on a number of topics, including the enduring appeal of the series after 50 years; working with the late West and how their time together is literally something for the record cooks; and facing off with legendary martial artist Bruce Lee:
The sequel of Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, this animated film is likewise based on the classic 1966 Adam West Batman TV series, and features that actor in his final film role before his death. When prison psychiatrists Hugo Strange and Harleen Quinzel try their new Evil Extractor machine on five of Gotham’s worst criminals, the toxic gas is accidentally absorbed by District Attorney Harvey Dent, turning him into the villainous Two-Face. More action and Silver Age silliness ensue as Batman and Robin must stop the corrupted lawmaker from taking over Gotham City’s criminal underworld.
DC Entertainment’s Batman vs. Two-Face stars: West (Bruce Wayne / Batman); Ward (Dick Grayson / Robin); William Shatner (Harvey Dent / Two-Face); Julie Newmar (Catwoman); Steven Weber (Alfred Pennyworth); Jim Ward (Commissioner Gordon / Hugo Strange); Thomas Lennon (Chief Miles O’Hara); Lynne Marie Stewart (Aunt Harriet Cooper); Jeff Bergman (Joker / Bookworm / Desmond Dumas); Wally Wingert (Riddler, King Tut); William Salyers (Penguin); Sirena Irwin (Dr. Harleen Quinzel); Maurice LaMarche (Egghead); and Lee Meriwether (Lucilee Diamond).
Batman vs. Two-Face is available for digital download, Blu-ray, and DVD today.