Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Comes to Theaters for One Epic Day

Screengrab via YouTube
Screengrab via YouTube

If going to the theaters to watch The Killing Joke made you want to take a shower, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders will be more like a Mr. Bubbles bath. With toy submarines. And a puppy.


WB and Fathom Events announced that Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders is getting a limited one-day movie release on Oct. 10, a few days after premiering at New York Comic-Con and one day before its digital release. This comes just a few months after Fathom Events held a theatrical release for The Killing Joke, the divisive R-rated Batman saga based on Alan Moore’s comic.

Much like Batman ‘66 took us back to the nostalgic roots of the comic book series, Return of the Caped Crusaders pays tribute to Batman on TV. Adam West, Burd Ward, and Julie Newmar have stepped back in to reprise their roles as Batman, Robin, and Catwoman.

According to the plot description, the dynamic duo take on the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman in an epic but comical showdown to save Gotham City. The villains start a band. Our heroes are nearly killed by a TV dinner. Batman teaches Robin about the dangers of jaywalking. It’s like a giant hug in movie form.

The showing also features a new featurette about the legacy of Batman’s villains called “Those Dastardly Desperados.” You can find out about times and theater locations here.

After the mental and emotional exhaustion that was The Killing Joke, it’ll be awesome to see some good old-fashioned campy Batman on the big screen again. The good kind, not the bat nipples kind.




Redbrick Hellpigeon

Back in the late 80s, in the wake of The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke, and with the Tim Burton Batfilm about to be unleashed, the old TV series got a lot of flack and derision.

In part, this was due to the iconoclastic nature of the times. Comics had gone through their punk moment, lagging 5-10 or so years behind music, and to quote The Stranglers, ‘no more heroes anymore’ ruled the roost. This was the age of Watchmen, Marshall Law and The Punisher, and Swamp Thing being shagged half to death by a randy space island. It was time to kick down the idols.

Batman ‘66 became an embarrassment, a lurid ageing relative you pretended wasn’t there, or kept in the attic, as you embraced the ‘edginess’ and brooded like a morbidly depressed raven in a graveyard for children who died of consumption, and on a particularly rainy day. Of course, iconoclasm ultimately replaces one conservatism with another, so the 90s lurched into a shitty era of exit wounds, XTREME content, limited edition foil covers and grimdark as a marketing tool.

Arguably, we have not left that era, as the Snyderverse with its po-faced lack of irony demonstrates. Even Deadpool for all its surface naughtiness is, underneath, just another ‘alpha male wins the day and the girl’ story with swearing and gore by way of ‘adult content’. Way back in 1990, Grant Morrison sort of made a mea culpa for all this bullshit during his Animal Man run, mixed though it was with a pseudo-intellectual conceit and having his cake and eating it (and resurrecting his cat). But few seem to have got that memo, Groot and Squirrel Girl notwithstanding.

With that in mind, Batman ‘66, with its complete lack of seriousness and its emphasis on fun and auto-pisstaking, seems deeply subversive. If you want to be really rebellious, watch a harmless load of fluff and be happy. That is what the Comic Cult of Constipated Carnage has brought us to - with Burt Ward and Adam West riding to our rescue like King Arthur returned from a gleefully naff Avalon.