I never understood the popularity of the old Batman television show, fleeting though it may have been. I suppose some people thought it was funny. It was too stupid even to be funny. That poor anemic, droopy Batman with his stiff dialogue and tiny budget had none of the 'suspension of disbelief' necessary for even a comic book hero.
You've heard of 'suspension of disbelief'? It's the hallmark of fantasy
writing. That's when a fantasy story sets you up in some kind of comfort zone where you can buy into the premise and then sit back and relax and enjoy a story of something that could never happen. In Peter Pan, for example, we first see the Darling children as they prepare for bed in a sweet and normal bedtime scene before a flying boy with a fairy friend flies into the window and takes them all away.
Poor Batman was flabby looking in a skinny sort of way. Not a good look for a crime fighter. We really couldn't buy him as a millionaire or a super hero. He was stiff and clumsy. The villains were silly and the plots thin.
But the kicker for me, back in the day, was that at the end of part one of each episode there would be the cliffhanger where the villain had captured Batman and was dangling Batman (and usually Robin) over a vat of something that would kill him once he fell in. A candle would be burning through the rope as the villain left the scene, laughing his fool head off, and Batman would use his utility belt somehow or another to escape.
And I always thought, "If you want Batman dead, just shoot him before you leave." The fact that nobody ever just shot Batman in the head was the stupidest part of the show.
I suppose we were just supposed to think that the villains were crazy or maybe 'sporting'. I think it was just very lazy writing. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel, Same Bat Plotline.
But then yesterday, when I was talking about St. Jonas of Hubahem, it occurred to me that there are quite a few saints who had the Batman treatment.
St. Sebastian was tied to a tree and shot full of arrows. The villains left, but Sebastian was rescued by St. Irene who nursed him back to health. When St. Sebastian went to give his tormentors what for, they finished the job with clubs.
St. Catherine of Alexandria was tied to a wheel but that didn't work so she was beheaded.
St. Florian was flayed alive and set on fire. That didn't work so he was thrown into a river.
St. Cecilia was locked in her own bathroom in an attempt to steam her to death. When that didn't work someone was sent in to behead her. That didn't work either, at least for the next three days. St. Cecilia had time to put her affairs in order before expiring.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Move over Batman villains. Make way for the pagans and the heathens.