EXCLUSIVE: The clothes make the villain…
UPDATED 4/5/22: The late, great Frank Gorshin was born 89 years ago on April 5, 1933. Dig this groovy piece, which first ran in 2018. Right on. — Dan
There were few things more exciting as a kid watching Batman on New York’s Channel 11 in the ’70s than when Frank Gorshin showed up as the Riddler.
See, I liked Cesar Romero’s Joker and Burgess Meredith’s Penguin just fine. But I didn’t fully appreciate what those actors brought to their roles until I was much older.
Not the case with Gorshin, whose manic, spring-loaded kineticism was mesmerizing from the jump.
So imagine my giddiness at being able to see — to touch — an original Riddler costume that’s part of an extraordinary private collection of screen-used Batman costumes and props:
Yeah. That’s the real deal.
Now, the collection — which also features an original Batmobile and a replica Batboat, Batcopter and Batcycle — belongs to an anonymous owner we’re calling Alfred. It’s ensconced in a hidden location in New Jersey and we’ve already teased it for you. (Click here. You want to.)
It is, in all likelihood, the greatest Batman ’66 collection you’ll ever see. And hopefully you’ll get the chance in person: Alfred is considering a traveling exhibit.
In the meantime, we’re showing off the items one at a time over the coming weeks and months. For example, we’ve already given you an UP-CLOSE LOOK at Burt Ward’s Robin duds. (Click here for tons of pix.)
But as far as the villains go, I wanted to start with the guy who was Young Dan’s absolute favorite, the Riddler.
Just check this out:
Almost everything you see there is original. (Replica shoes and cane were added to complete the look.)
Oh, and that mannequin? That’s the amazing handiwork of Greg Maraio and a team of fellow artists, including Marc Spess, who handled the 3D rendering, molding and casting; Daniele Tirinnanzi, who did the custom color-matched glass eyes; and, David Costa of Dash-N-Dazzle, who provided the paint job:
Stunning. Absolutely stunning.
The best part is we’re just getting started.
With that in mind, do you want another tease?
Here you go:
— SNEAK PEEK: The Greatest BATMAN ’66 Collection You’ll Ever See. Click here.
— Dig This UP-CLOSE LOOK at an Original ROBIN Costume. Click here.
— 13 QUICK THOUGHTS: Why the RIDDLER Was the Perfect Childhood Villain. Click here.