Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Same Bat-Lie? Same Bat-Channel (…our Frustrations)!

This past January 15, we were "walking on air" or, like the Dynamic Duo above, "running on enthusiasm"! 

Why?  Because of THIS POST, that seemed to herald the coming of the 1966 BATMAN TV Series to DVD, at long last! 

Now, TEN WEEKS LATER, we're "running on fumes", because there has been NO ADDITIONAL word of this long-awaited Bat-event, from any news source of which I'm aware. 

I keep looking for NEWS... but I don't find any!
Was the whole thing merely a prank on the part of Bat-Mite? 

Would I prank MY IDOL, on such a serious matter, Batman?

Maybe it was all a plot by the nefarious, mind-controlling Emperor Joker

...Could be?
That'll teach me to put stock in a Tweet from former SIMPSONS writer Conan O'Brien -- with nothing more to back it up! 

Don't have a Bat-Cow, man!
I guess I'll just have to accept the possibility that we'll never have BATMAN 1966 in all its full-color Bat-Glory, on officially released, non-bootleg DVD. 

Is Batman doing the Bat-tusi... or is he silently wiping away his tears? 


joecab said...

Well *I* have faith! Hang in there, Joe! Surely the "Batman '66" comic book was a good sign.

Joe Torcivia said...

I’d tend to agree, but I doubt FOX (or even William Dozier) would have any claim on the comic book. For all anyone knows, or cares, it could simply be another “Elseworlds” – a clearly established precedent for DC Comics.

The actual show, on the other hand, has been the classic legal rights nightmare. And, nothing – save Conan – has actually indicated this has been resolved. I was excited, until ten weeks passed with no additional word.

Rusty said...

You have good reason to be suspicious when it comes to DVDs for this show, but Conan's announcement was so widely reported that there would have been a denial from some corner if it hadn't been true. And don't worry: Warner Bros. just name-checked the DVDs in this press release.

And on the tangent of the BATMAN '66 comic: There's definitely some manner of deal between DC and FOX regarding it. The comic's writer has referred to it saying there's some things he can't do in the comic because of it, specifically that he can't mimic the story structure of the show (this week/month's villain commits a crime, Gordon calls the Batphone, to the batpoles, etc.).

Joe Torcivia said...


Welcome aboard. I welcome and appreciate the comments.

I was not aware of any involvement on the part of FOX with the comic book but, then again, I’m probably as disconnected from DC Comics (of which I was once a huge fan), as I’ve been any time in the last several decades. How about the Dozier people? Were they part of the comic book deal as well?

All I DO know for certain is that I follow every day and, other than the initial Conan Tweet announcement, there has been no additional news for the past ten weeks.

You’d think, for something that should be this high-profile, there would be SOME additional news – particularly at the online site that specialized in this type of news.

However, there clearly is cause for hope...

Here’s a quote from the link Rusty provides. It certainly allows for optimism.

“*Home Entertainment – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will bring fans an array of new Batman titles throughout the year, including the highly anticipated release of the Batman ’66 TV series for the first time ever. Other new releases include animated films Son of Batman (May 6) and Assault on Arkham (summer 2014). Additionally, a 25th Anniversary Edition of Tim Burton’s Batman feature film will be released in the fall.”

This appears to have been released TODAY (March 27, 2014) – making it Ten-Weeks-and-One-Day after my earlier post. So, maybe someone at Warner reads my Blog! :-)

Rusty said...

And I appreciate the welcome.

The comic is part of the merchandising deal FOX and WB came to a couple years ago. I don't know if Dozier's people were part of that.

(The same merchandising deal that spurred the last round of "where are the DVDs?" and quickly got a "sorry, no DVDs" response from WB.)

The actors (or their estates) were involved in that deal, though. Jeff Parker, the comic's writer, has said it doesn't include the likeness rights for everyone, like the non-costumed characters (I guess they didn't see Alfred action figures and Chief O'Hara plush toys as big money-makers). Some of the villains, too. Largely those with only a single TV appearance, but I think they only have the rights for one of the Mr. Freezes.

If you haven't read the comic, you might give it a try, whether digital or in print. It's very fun and true to the show. Fantastic art, too.

Joe Torcivia said...

I did pick up the first three issues of the comic at New York Comic Con 2013, but have yet to get around to reading them. I have a feeling I’ve been missing something good. I’ll have to change that!

This is the unfortunate side effect of my RETIREMENT (link) from new comics.

Please tell me there is some King Tut merchandise in my future! I’d probably go for that!

Anonymous said...

I never take a talk show host's word for anything. Not since the Great Toilet Paper Panic of the 1970's.

Johnny Carson told a joke on the Tonight Show about a rumored shortage of bathroom tissue. The next day, there were runs on the stores. Soon, the stores sold out of toilet paper, causing a real shortage for a few days.

Maybe Conan's tweet had fanboys camping out in front of Blockbuster. Will we never learn. :) -TC

Rusty said...

Maybe! :)

Joe Torcivia said...


Oh, MAN! I’ve GOTTA get that comic! (Take Rusty’s link and see, folks!)

Victor Buono is one of my all-time favorite villain-actors – be it BATMAN, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, THE WILD WILD WEST, MAN FROM ATLANTIS… even PERRY MASON and THE ODD COUPLE!

…And now, he lives again!

Joe Torcivia said...


I, too, may “never learn”, since I turned Conan’s Tweet into a Blog post. …Thankfully, though, I have plenty of bathroom tissue. At least I *THINK* I do… Gotta go check!

BTW, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank all of you guys for your contributions – especially in this narrow space of less than a day’s time. As you may know from my previous post, and that I’ve only had THREE posts thus far in March, 2014, I’ve been forced to suspend Blogging for a while – and on the very first day I’m back, I get such a great welcoming from all of you!

Thank you, for that and your continued contributions to what we do here!

Now, let’s talk more BATMAN 1966 DVD stuff! I *WANT* those DVDs!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Victor Buono holds some kind of record for playing villains in TV action-adventure shows. afaik, he is the only actor to play recurring villains on both Batman and The Wild Wild West. And King Tut was the fifth most-often-used bad guy on the Batman TV series, and THE most often used villain who was specifically created for TV. (The Big Four-Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler-were, of course, all adapted from the comics.)

Buono also played the villain in the first Matt Helm movie, "The Silencers," in 1966. Maybe he (instead of Orson Welles) should have played Le Chiffre in the 1967 version of Casino Royale. That way, he could even have added a (sorta-kinda) James Bond movie to his resume'. And his campy acting style would have fit in with that movie's tone. (Although neither Buono nor Welles could have saved it from being an overblown mess.)

And, iirc, King Tut did appear in a 2009 Batman comic, although it was basically another character with the same name and a similar premise. The name "King Tut" itself was in the public domain. Tut also had a cameo in the Cartoon Network "Brave & Bold" series, although the character was re-named "the Pharaoh" because of the trademark dispute. Evidently, they could use a different character with the same name, or the same character with a different name, but not both.

BTW, my all-time favorite line of dialog from the Batman TV show was an explanation for how the Egyptology professor suffered the head injury that caused his delusion: "He got hit with a brick at a love-in." -TC

Joe Torcivia said...

I’d tend to agree on Victor Buono, TC. He’s always been MY favorite ‘60s-era villain-actor.

The only others who come close might be Malachi Throne and Warren Stevens. And, Stevens may get some extra points for being such a great villain (though he could just as effortlessly be a good guy) without being overtly campy – as such roles almost required.

King Tut also appeared more often than Mister Freeze and The Mad Hatter, both of whom were also created in the comics. A tribute to both the character and Buono’s unique talents.

Victor Buono also played TWO DIFFERENT villains on THE WILD WILD WEST. He was in the first episode, not as Count Manzeppi, as he is best (and rightfully) remembered. If only they’d done more with him.

Didn’t know about the Matt Helm film. Will have to catch that.

Which 2009 Batman comic was that? I may have that lying around unread in my collection.

I’ve always felt that the ‘80s villain “Maxie Zeus” was created to be a “more straight” version of King Tut. Zeus even appeared once in the original season of Bruce Timm’s BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES.

Not surprisingly, the line about the “love-in brick” is one of my most favorites too – perhaps only surpassed by Tut’s own exclamation: “I’ll be a Son of a …Byzantine King!”

Anonymous said...

"Batman Confidential" #26, Feb. 2009. The premise was somewhat similar to the TV character (a professor goes nuts and imagines himself to be an ancient Egyptian ruler), but they made him darker, to fit in with DC's grimdark house style.

Joe Torcivia said...

Aw, shucks. I never bought that title. Still just hung on to BATMAN and DETECTIVE at that time… and ignored what I’d (not wrongly, given my experiences with modern era DC) presume to be short-run titles.

I’ll have to look for that one too. Along with BATMAN ’66 # 8.

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten about Buono's appearance in the WWW pilot, "Night of the Inferno." But I just remembered that he was in the 1980 made-for-TV movie, "More Wild Wild West." He played a government official, "Dr. Messenger." When it was learned that the villain (Jonathan Winters) had invented a gadget that enabled him to turn invisible, Messenger wanted to recover it for the US. "We must close the invisibility gap!" -TC

Joe Torcivia said...

I don’t know why, other than I was about totally “out of TV” by 1980, but I never saw any of the WWW sequels. Victor Buono AND Jonathan Winters? I’ll have to see that, someday!

Gosh, this thread is full of things I’ve never read or seen… that you’d THINK I would have!