Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

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Introduction: Batman Begins

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pp. 1-12

A little over a month after ABC’s action-comedy series Batman debuted on January 12, 1966, Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin bemoaned that the highly rated show had been “merchandised beyond the dreams of avarice . . . shaping our televiewing for years to come” and was a “tasteless, witless . . . bore . . . born of a devout...

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1. Bat-Civics

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pp. 13-38

With the country swept up in the “Batmania” inspired by the television series, a feature-length Batman movie was released in the summer of 1966. In one scene, Batman and Robin narrowly survive an encounter with a submarine manned by the Penguin (Burgess Meredith). Back on land, Batman telephones the Department...

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2. Bat-Difference

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pp. 39-68

There is perhaps no more useful lens through which to examine Batman’s struggle to maintain ideological flexibility at a time of seismic changes in American society than that of gender. The dynamic of emergent, dominant, and residual American values activated by viewers’ memories of Batman and shifting ideas regarding...

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3. Bat-Casting

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pp. 69-98

As the example of Eartha Kitt in the role of Catwoman indicates, casting directly informed Batman’s parody of good citizenship, confirming the central paradoxes of both national and consumer identities. American identity is defined by individualism and participatory democracy that requires...

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4. Bat-Being

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pp. 99-122

The debut episode of Batman, “Hi Diddle Riddle” (12 January 1966), offers one of the most iconic moments in the show’s short history. Pursuing the Riddler to Gotham City’s newest discotheque, What a Way to Go-Go, Batman dances with a young woman he suspects...

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Conclusion: Batman Forever

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pp. 123-128

One of the most interesting aspects regarding Batman is that, since its debut, so many Batman fans have identified themselves as “anti-fans” of the series. That is, Batman has been routinely regarded by such fans as the ultimate “bad” Batman text, the one that most egregiously violates a perceived essence of the character...

Notes

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pp. 129-134

Bibliography

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pp. 135-142

Index

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pp. 143-147