Bat-fans across the world were saddened at the passing of Adam West earlier this year. However, fans get a final treat from this much-loved actor in the form of Batman Vs. Two-Face, a sequel to last year’s Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, in which West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar reprise their roles as Batman, Robin and Catwoman in animated form. This film also marks the first significant appearance of Two-Face, who never appeared in the original 60s television series and is brought to life by another icon of 60s television, William Shatner. We took a look at the film and the legacy of Adam West.
Following on from the events of the last film, Batman and Robin are invited to Gotham State Penitentiary as the guests of Harvey Dent and Professor Hugo Strange, who has devised the Evil Extractor, a machine which absorbs the evil of a person into a huge vat. However, the sheer evilness of Batman’s rogue’s gallery causes the machine to overload, exploding in the direction of Dent who, despite Batman’s best efforts, has the left side of his face scarred and, thus, Two-Face is born. Two-Face is of course apprehended and rehabilitated back into Harvey Dent. However, in the Dynamic Duo’s battles with the likes of King Tut and the Bookworm, there’s evidence that Dent may be going back to his wicked ways again. All is not what it seems!
Batman Vs. Two-Face is a very entertaining piece of animation, it has all the hallmarks of the ’60s series, the performers are on top form – in particular William Shatner who hams it up brilliantly as the Two-Face alter-ego – as well as a few other gems for fans old and new, including Hugo Strange, a certain Dr Harleen Quinzel, and dodgy lawyer Lucille Diamond (as played by other ’60s Catwoman Lee Meriwether); the latter ending up in a Catwoman costume and loving it is a nice touch!
There is of course extras with this release including features and comments from Burt Ward and Julie Newmar, but also the Comic-Con Tribute Panel to Adam West himself. As Adam West’s final performance, this animated film was always going to be significant regardless. Thankfully, the film is very good and shows Adam West at his best. He is the Batman to many fans, being the first introduction to Batman for many. Batman Vs. Two-Face is great and is a fitting tribute to Adam West. In the words of the final dedication to him at the end of the film: Rest well, Bright Knight.BATMAN VS TWO-FACE / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: RICK MORALES / SCREENPLAY: MICHAEL JELENIC, JAMES TUCKER / STARRING: ADAM WEST, BURT WARD, WILLIAM SHATNER, JULIE NEWMAR / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW