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c. 1965-1968

Batman TV villains who popped off the screen

For some of us, there was and is only one Batman, and he was dressed in blue-grey tights.

You can keep your Christian Bale super-intensity and your CGI-fest extravaganzas. For some of us, there was and is only one Batman and he was dressed in blue-grey tights. And he faced some very strange foes indeed.

Batman first flew into this world in 1939, created as “The Bat-Man” by DC Comics’ Danny Kane, artist, and Bob Finger, writer. Their original design, it’s worth noting, was almost exactly replicated for the the 1960s TV Batman and Robin — much more so than in any modern cinematic rendering.

The ’60s TV Batman and Robin, masterfully portrayed by Adam West and Burt Ward, were, lest we forget, wildly, wildly popular. Camp and comedic the series certainly was, but it was also electrifying and, unlike the darkness of the current crop of Bat-films, it popped off the screen. Just as the comics themselves, it was a technicolor televisual feast.

But when it came to bad guys and bad girls, TV’s Batman had perhaps the most colorful array of enemies of any superhero. Perfect small-screen material, allowing costume designers to run riot with color, shape and form.

Here is but a handful of their creations. Holy nemesis, Batman.

1966
‘Mr Freeze’ – Otto Preminger
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images
1967
‘The Riddler’ – Frank Gorshin
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images
1967
‘Egghead’ – Vincent Price
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images
1967
‘The Black Widow’ – Talullah Bankhead
Walt Disney Television / Getty Images
1966
‘The Minstrel’ – Van Johnson
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images
1966
‘The Joker’ – Cesar Romero
Walt Disney Television / Getty Images
1966
‘The Penguin’ and ‘Chickadee’ – Burgess Meredith and Grace Gaynor
Walt Disney Television / Getty Images
1966
‘Zelda the Great’ – Anne Baxter
Walt Disney Television / Getty Images
1966
‘King Tut’ – Victor Buono
Walt Disney Television / Getty Images
1966
‘Chickadee’ – Grace Gaynor
Walt Disney Television / Getty Images

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