Batman…Leaving the Batcave one last time
“Robin: Where’d you get a live fish, Batman?”
Batman: “The true crimefighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin.”
The Batman character has certainly changed over the years. The series, and characters, that are on our minds this weekend, with the sad passing of Adam West, ran only three seasons beginning January 12, 1966, to March 14, 1968. Needless to say, my first remembrances of this classic were as a very young child myself. I can remember my two brothers running through the house shouting, “POW!” “Wham!” “ZOK!” (Yes, that was one, too!) “Splat!” and on and on they would go chasing each other through our small home. I was rather annoyed by the whole thing, and didn’t take much interest in the show unless Batgirl was on.
Her name also just happened to be Yvonne Craig, my first name as well, so, of course we had everything in common. (insert sarcasm here) If she was in an episode, I might sit down and watch it or sneak through the kitchen to get glimpses, not actually admitting I was interested in a boys crime-fighting show, naturally.
Fast forward a few years and I had a little blonde-haired, blue eyed boy of my own. He was fascinated with superheroes at a very young age. Super Friends was all the rage, bringing back old, beloved comic characters, all in one place. And, as luck would have it, Batman and Robin reruns were everywhere.
Even better? There were GUYS.
This iconic word served as a generic title for every super hero from Superman to GI Joe; our house was full of guys. You stepped on them, found them in precarious poses in your Lazy Susan, scooped them out of the bathtub, found them perched on window sills, where they had just scaled the wall to get in and save the world. Seriously, they took over my house. And this was still with just ONE little boy. The other two little tow-heads had not arrived yet!
Needless to say, whether by my own encouragement or not, we were Batman and Robin fans again. I have played the role of Lex Luthor, Robin, AquaMan, Wonder Woman, The Joker, and even Superman. But I do not recall EVER getting to be Batman. Only Kyle’s best friend and first cousin, Jeremy, was allowed to be Batman. And the only reason Kyle would succumb to that was because Jeremy had the costume.
Check out the backside picture. It’s just too much! The little guy, Michael was our good friend and neighbor who was also spending the night. He didn’t get the memo about the official pajamas but any good Mom can improvise and instantly add another super hero!
Robin: “You can’t get away from Batman that easy!”
Batman: “Good grammar is essential, Robin.”
Robin: “Thank you.”
Batman: “You’re welcome.”
Living in Indianapolis in 1986, the Dynamic Duo were appearing at a Comic Book Collector’s Convention. They had the Batmobile on display and the famous actors would be signing autographs.
We were in!
For two little five and six year old boys, meeting a real-live superhero was over-the-top in every way. We stood dutifully in line and Kyle and Jeremy were a tad bit nervous about shaking the hand of the two heroes who could put the Penguin on ice!
The closer they got, Jeremy became a little intimidated and wasn’t so keen on getting too close but he persevered. Meeting them in real life was kind of creepy and you had the foreboding that the Riddler would come leaping in with his hideous laugh and have us all tied up in question marks.
Jeremy getting his autograph!
Speeding forward in our Time Machine once more, Kyle called me yesterday morning. He is normally a texter so I figured something was up, hoping he needed a babysitter or wanted to chat about the awesome Worship Night on the Square that had just wrapped up a few hours before.
No. The conversation went something like this:
It was the end of an era, and hearing about the death of a super hero who was such a big part of your growing up years brings back so many memories, hopefully all good.
We reminisced a few minutes about characters and a few funny things but I hung up grateful that we had that in common. That he remembered if anyone would care that a piece of his childhood was no longer with us…it would be Mom.
It wasn’t long before I received a text from my youngest with a meme of the death of Adam West. Before the end of the day, they had all joined in the conversation and probably wondering where their Batman and Robin figures were stashed. (Don’t tell them, but I could put my hands on a few in just a couple of minutes).
Now, My Three Sons do not live in the past, they just have great childhood memories (most of them were great) and they love nostalgia. They might not look anything like their mother but they acquired my love for all-things-childhood.
And, true to their nature, Kyle and Jeremy are continuing their love for the Caped Crusader with their wee ones, Mister Miller and Norah Jayne. Miller’s nursery is all super heroes, and adorable! He started out early with Batman attire:
And then there is Batgirl, Norah Jayne gets in on the action at an early age too!
Do we have a take-away from the death of an actor, a character that brought a lot of happiness to many children (and adults) in his cape and ballerina tights? I think so.
Everyone is looking for a super hero. We all want to think there is some super power out there that can come and save the day, get us out of our messes and deliver us from our mistakes. Whether he comes in a Batmobile, or flying through the air faster than a speeding bullet, we want someone to step on the scene and bring instant calm to our chaos.
Unfortunately, Batman isn’t real, nor Superman, Spiderman or any of our comic book character icons. They make for great entertainment but that is where it ends.
But since this is a Christian blog, let me end this with some hope.
We DO have a super hero, friends. There is only One that can really walk through a wall and only One who can walk on water, or give the command for another to do so!
This Super Hero of our every day, every moment existence, LIVES to bring deliverance to our universe. He literally gave His own life, willingly, that we could also live an overcoming life and have eternal hope that we will live forever in a glorious place with the Savior of the World.
He will come running to you in an instant when you speak His name.
He will go to the depths to lift you up and carry you higher.
He can heal all of your diseases or give you strength to go through any trial.
He will give you wisdom for every situation and words to go in your mouth in a moments notice.
He will surround you with His presence, bringing instant peace to your circumstance.
There is absolutely nothing that He cannot do, or will do, for you, His child.
He put that cape on a long, long time ago. And He is patiently waiting for the day that YOU join Him and bring completion to His perfect work.
Remember today, Batman couldn’t save the world, and he can’t come back once death has claimed him. But Jesus did both and left us with the hope that we can overcome as He did, if we know Him.
As we see the world around us crumbling, we remember His Word to lift up our eyes! Look up!
One last tribute to Adam West. Same bat time, same bat channel!