6 ways the Army was the perfect primer for 'Batman'
The whole world mourned June 9 at the news that Adam West, the Army veteran and actor who brought “Batman” to the silver screen, had died at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer.
Adam West was born, and drafted into the Army, as William West. In the military, he was in charge of standing up TV stations at San Luis Obispo, California, and Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. But if it seems odd that the star of a farcical show like the 1966 version of “Batman” got his start in the Army, it was actually the perfect way to prepare for such a ridiculous show.
Here are six reasons why:
1. Renaming everything to some arbitrary standard like “bat cuffs,” “bat time,” and “bat channel,” makes sense for anyone who has had to relearn names for Velcro, Duck Tape, and zipper
Batman wore a bat belt that contained bat pills and bat cuffs which came in handy for the show that played twice a week at the same bat time, same bat channel. While all of that seems like nonsense to civilians, soldiers are used to fastening “hook and loop fasteners,” taping items down with “100 mph tape,” and securing their blouses with “slide fasteners and tab thongs.”
Those are ridiculous ways of referring to Velcro, Duck Tape, and zippers, which are all brand names that the Army can’t use in official doctrine. So young Billy West would have gotten used to using the Army names. It was probably easy to start calling everything “bat” later in life.
2. Dealing with a group of ne’er-do-wells like the “Batman” villains is old hat for anyone who has dealt with an Army squad
Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Archer, and other crazy villains were always hatching insane schemes in the Batman TV show. But, once again, the Army would’ve prepared the future Bruce Wayne for this.
Soldiers decide to get high with spice and bath salts? Yup, sounds about right. Troops smuggling liquor overseas by pouring it into Listerine bottles and mixing in food coloring? Seen it. Enlisted hijinks are basically Silver Age Batman ridiculous, just without the fancy gadgets and costumes.
3. Having to mentor a grown adult while treating them like a child is how all specialists deal with new privates
One of the more awkward truths about the Batman is that Robin, the Boy Wonder, was actually a 21-year-old man when the show began. The grown adult Adam West had to act like mentoring another grown man while treating him like a child wasn’t sort of weird.
But again, the Army is perfect preparation for this. After all, most specialists have only been in the military for a few years and they can be assigned responsibility of a private first class who has been in the Army a couple of years. So, 24-year-old supervising 20-year-olds.
4. Spending all of your time with an attractive lady without giving in is easy for any NCO who had to ignore their co-ed lieutenant’s good looks
One of Batman’s greatest villains was Catwoman, who definitely had a thing going on with Batman. But Batman refused to give in to it (though he almost kissed her once, and a later incarnation of Batman ran off to Europe with her).
But any specialist or sergeant who has pulled overnight duty with an even moderately attractive officer knows what it’s like to weigh the consequences of “fraternization” over and over. Chances are, young and attractive Billy West had to say no to a few female sergeants and officers, or at least find the right place to give in without getting caught.
5. Only in the military and “Batman” can the little stuff be crucial during an emergency
You know, just like a sergeant major yelling about gloves during a firefight or reflective belts during literally anything.
6. Working within made-up rules is easy for anyone who has dealt with UCMJ and Rules of Engagement
While the details of the case seem insane, Billy West probably sat through the Uniform Code of Military Justice briefing where soldiers are told they technically can’t engage in anything other than “missionary”-style sex because of Article 125.
Really think anyone who was briefed on Article 125 will be thrown for a loop by Gotham’s insane judges?
This is why Iran is smuggling boatloads of weapons into Yemen
The top US admiral in the Middle East said that Iran continues to smuggle illicit weapons and technology into Yemen, stoking the civil strife.
This is why Trump wants a massive military parade on Pennsylvania Avenue
President Donald Trump's trip to France for the country's Bastille Day parade in July left him wanting to replicate the experience back home.
The Navy just fired more commanders connected with ship collisions
Just before hearings on Capitol Hill, the US Navy has fired two senior commanders in the Pacific region in connection with recent deadly collisions.
'The man who saved the world' dies at 77
Stanislav Petrov was on the overnight shift in the early morning hours of Sept. 26 when the computers showed US had launched five nuclear missiles.
This is the fictional country the Russians are training to fight
Just like the U.S. trains to fight in Atropia, Centralia, and North Brownland, the Russian military gears up to fight Veishnoriya to protect its interests.
9 struggles infantrymen know all too well about mail drops
While you're deployed, mail becomes a commodity. Emotions can roller coaster as that mail truck rolls in, though — you never actually know what you'll get.
Putin is keeping a watchful eye on the Zapad exercises
Putin attended the week-long war games with Belarus that have demonstrated the Russian military's resurgent might and made neighboring countries nervous.
This video of a Russian helicopter accidentally firing on observers is crazy
Two people were hospitalized with heavy injuries after a helicopter accidentally fired on observers, likely journalists, of the Zapad '17 exercises.
This is the story behind one of the most successful fighters ever built
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle was the pinnacle of US air superiority, incorporating advanced technology to create a fierce multi-role fighter aircraft.
THE MIGHTY SURVEY GIVE-AWAY
We want to hear your thoughts. Complete our survey for a chance to win 1 of 5 gaming consoles