BATBOOK OF THE WEEK: Batman Automobilia #65

AKA the issue with the Filmation Batmobile …


It started with Adam West and continued through comics and Megos. But Young Dan had a fourth Batman resource in the early ’70s: the Filmation cartoons.

I watched Super Friends because Batman and Robin were on it, and I watched Scooby-Doo hoping Batman and Robin would be guest stars.


But they were substitutes.

For me, the Batman cartoon was the one produced in the fall of 1968, after the ABC live-action show ended. (And I am not talking about the later, far inferior version that came out in the late ’70s.)


I didn’t catch it the first time around, on Saturday mornings on CBS. I was too young. But when it hit syndication on Channel 5 in New York by the time I was in kindergarten, I was mesmerized. (My recollection is that they simply called the show “Superheroes.”)

I was an AM kindergarten kid at Wayside School in Ocean Township, N.J. With both parents working, my babysitter Marilyn Tagliaferri would bring me to her house after school and there I’d sit, eating grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly for lunch in front of the TV, waiting for my sister and Marilyn‘s own three kids to come home after their full days of class.

In mid-afternoon — I always want to say 2:30 — the Batman cartoon would come on, sharing the program with Filmation’s Aquaman episodes. I’d sit there, cross-legged, rapt.

This was like a Batbonus. The Adam West show usually ran later in the afternoon on Channel 11 and that was more communal. But when the Filmation cartoons were on, it was just me, with the house and TV to myself.

At least that’s how I remember it.

Until now, I’ve never seen any Filmation Batman merchandise other than the home-video sets (which took forever to be released). Leave it to the folks at the U.K.’s Eaglemossfor whom no Batvehicle is too obscure — to produce a Filmation Batmobile and bring it Stateside this week.



I can hear that roar now:

ALSO ON THE BATSHELVES THIS WEEK: Justice League #43 — Batgod! We also get the so-much-fun Robin: Son of Batman #3. And if you passed on the single issues, pick up the Gotham By Midnight Vol. 1 trade paperback. It’s only tangentially a Batbook — it’s really Gotham Central crossed with the Spectre — but it definitely gives you that Gotham City sense of place — and it’s really good.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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