What, really? Seriously? Yes. Seriously.
I gotta tell you, I love birthdays and today’s mine.
I don’t mind getting a year older. I just enjoy celebrating the best things in my life. And when it comes to the world of comics, that means Batman.
So why do I bring this up, aside from a cheap attempt at some birthday wishes?
It’s because I was browsing through the web recently and found an image that I’d never realized was as powerful and meaningful as it was.
It’s this — the most essential Batman image of the Bronze Age and, all things considered, probably my life:
Why? I’ll explain in a sec. Allow me to back up quickly:
When I was a kid, I got the Mego Batmobile but it came in this package:
That package ruled. I loved it and I wish I still had it. Look at Batman and Robin! Look at the villains! Look at the Gotham City background and traffic!
Anyway, for years I was ignorant of the fact that there were other Batmobile packages — and one of them looked like this:
Eventually I saw it, but I never really paid much mind to it.
Until that time I saw it recently — when I was hit by a bolt of recognition that the illustration is the ultimate nexus of everything that made me the Batman fan I am today, and probably you too.
1. It was illustrated by Neal Adams, the greatest Batman — nay, comics — artist ever.
2. It’s Mego.
3. The Batmobile is based on the Batman ’66 design by George Barris.
Neal Adams. Mego. The Adam West Batman show. Those, folks, are the three foundational pinnings upon which a lifetime of Bat-obsession is based.
Now, is this the best Batman image ever? No.
It’s probably this:
Or maybe this:
Or, hell, I don’t know, pick a thousand others.
But there is no single image that encapsulates the joy, mystery and wonder of Bat-fandom more than that simple drawing of Neal Adams’ Batman and Robin roaring off in the 1966 Batmobile, off to chase down their 8-inch Mego Super Foes.
— How ADAM WEST, NEAL ADAMS and MEGO Made Me a Lifelong BATMAN Fan. Click here.
— Neal Adams’ BATMAN Meets Adam West. Click here.