There have been a lot of different Batmen over the years, even though he’s (mostly) been Bruce Wayne the whole time. There Batman we know best is the darker, gritty version born in the 80s under the likes of Frank Miller and Alan Moore, which was reborn in 00s thanks to Christopher Nolan. However, like the much-maligned Joel Schumacher campfest sequels of the mid-to-late 90s, there’s also a light, playful Batman, most famously portrayed in the 1960s Batman TV show starring Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin.
Now, West, Ward and Catwoman herself Julie Newmar are reuniting 50 years after the show for an animated film based on it, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. It also sees the return of the show’s iterations of the Joker, Penguin and Riddler. The retro throwback compares and contrasts well with another recent Batman animated film, the R-rated Batman: The Killing Joke, which reunited Batman: The Animated Series stars Kevin Conroy (Batman) and Mark Hamill (The Joker) while going even darker than the original Alan Moore-Brian Bolland graphic novel. This looks about as far in the other direction as possible. Batman is a pop culture legend precisely because of this; he’s a Rorschach test for writers and fans.
Will you be checking out Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders? It hits digital October 11 and home video on November 1. Here’s the trailer!