I ran across these photos of the testing done before the Adam West - Burt Ward Batman TV show went on the air, and I think they're pretty cool.

They apparently put together the Batman costume first and tried it out, and then decided to "update" it to the yellow-oval version (and shorter ears). Meanwhile, having put together the Robin costume later, it looks pretty set.

The ears were a good call, considering they already looked like they were about to droop in this shot. Granted, that would've added one more satirical note, but it might have been too much to take.

As it was, my biggest complaint about the show was the fact that they put Batman's emblem on his sternum, rather than up higher where it would have looked more heroic and drawn attention away from his rather unheroic stomach.

Has anyone seen any other shots?

-- MSA

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Commander:

I never said it made sense, only that it was said.



ClarkKent_DC said:
Lee Houston, Junior said:

Of course everyone knows the yellow oval came into the series when Julius Schwartz took over as editor of the Batman titles. Yet since it was a Bronze Age retcon to the mythos, Mr. Silver Age might not know that Bruce Wayne once said he put extra protection (later, body armor/kevlar) behind the symbol, so bad guys would have something to aim at but he would still be safe if they did.


I always thought that was dubious. I mean, it puts an awful lot of faith in the marksmanship of some thugs, doesn't it?


Lee Houston, Junior said:

Commander:

I never said it made sense, only that it was said.


I think you're responding to my comment rather than the Commander's ... in any event, I'm not quibbling with you. I'm just saying the notion that putting a bullseye on your chest to improve your safety presumes that the people shooting at you will actually hit that bullseye -- when there's no certainty that they are good enough shots to hit it, or that they would even try, or that they won't hit other parts of you while trying.

I really think it was a poor attempt on some writer's part to explain something that didn't need explaining, or to give a complicated rationale for something that had a much simpler reason -- it looks cool!

 I really think it was a poor attempt on some writer's part to explain something that didn't need explaining, or to give a complicated rationale for something that had a much simpler reason -- it looks cool!

There was another reason for it too, beyond a 'neat idea', or a need to explain a sartorial switch.

 

Frank Miller (for it was he) used it in a cliffhanger in Dark Knight Returns.  On one page we see Bruce getting one in the chest from a sniper's rifle, and then once the shock sinks in, we see him falling with the armor plating now exposed.  (I can't remember if it happened in adjoining issues, or adjoining chapters within an issue or what, but still.)  So it was part of the mechanics of his story.

 

Within comicbook logic there's a smidgin of sense in it, also.  Batman seems very confident that he can avoid individual bullets when the baddies are spraying them around like confetti at a wedding (- something to do with distracting the shooters with his cloak perhaps?), whereas he has less protection if some cool-headed dead-eye dick takes the time to lock him into his sights.  Sniper's probably do aim for the chest, as it's a bigger target than the head.

 

For what it's worth, I used to find that it was much easier to hit the bullseye on a dartboard if I covered it with a piece of white paper, even though it shouldn't have made any difference.  The yellow oval would 'draw' fire towards it.

 

Batman pushes the odds of his survival to the very brink at all times, so I can see why he'd try any little thing that can tweak them in his favour.

...I have read that , when ABC commissioned the Batman series , it was because , after the then-perpetual Number 3 of the " Big Three " TV networks had a large success with a night-time half-hour serial series in a soap opera mode , Peyton Place , ( W/a young Ryan O'Neal and MIa Farrow ! ) run twice a week and three times weekly at its height , they decided to try an adventure-oriented serial...and , going to the comic strips for inspiration , tried to do a Dick Tracy nightime series .

  It was only when that fell through that ABC ( Dozier & Fox ? ) decided to go for Batman .

Figserello said:

 I really think it was a poor attempt on some writer's part to explain something that didn't need explaining, or to give a complicated rationale for something that had a much simpler reason -- it looks cool!

There was another reason for it too, beyond a 'neat idea', or a need to explain a sartorial switch.

 

Frank Miller (for it was he) used it in a cliffhanger in Dark Knight Returns.  On one page we see Bruce getting one in the chest from a sniper's rifle, and then once the shock sinks in, we see him falling with the armor plating now exposed.  (I can't remember if it happened in adjoining issues, or adjoining chapters within an issue or what, but still.)  So it was part of the mechanics of his story.


Yes ... but the behind the scenes reason for that was that DC wanted him to draw the Batman costume with the yellow oval and Miller didn't. So he drew it in the first issue and made a point of Batman having his shirt get shredded -- the better for Batman to require a new costume for the rest of the story that didn't have the yellow oval.

I guess it isn't very noteworthy that since Bruce Wayne has returned, so has the yellow oval again.

I think by now most people assume the yellow oval was there from the beginning and removing it was something new they decided to try. There may even be fans that think the tv show came before the comic book.

I'm still torn over which would have been a cooler place to hang out, the Batcave or the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise.

Depends on whether you like hanging out with a large crowd or just a couple of buddies. And remember Batman would blindfold you before letting you in or out.

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