Holy heartbreak, Batman. On Friday, at 9pm PST, Los Angeles residents will look to the heavens and see the sight of the Bat-Signal projected on the tower of Los Angeles City Hall. Sadly, there'll be no caped crusader rushing to heed their call; this is a heartbreaking declaration of love and honor following the death of one of Hollywood's greatest, the late Adam West.
The modern Batman may be a Dark Knight, with Ben Affleck's version even willing to take lives, but Adam West's version was different. As his family observed in a statement over the weekend:
“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight, and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero.”
The legend of Adam West transcended the small screen, with the actor renowned for his gentlemanly manner. Fans who'd crossed paths with West over the decades fondly remember the politeness and respect with which he'd treated them. Colleagues and Batman co-stars mourned the loss of a dearly-loved friend.
It's fitting that the Bat-Signal will shine in Los Angeles in Adam West's honor. After all, it's worth remembering that, in the age of Adam West, the logo of Batman meant something very different. His Batman logo didn't represent a broken, tortured soul; no, it stood for an oddly moral character, humorous and sometimes stern, who always pointed to the good in humanity. As the Bat-Signal shines on Friday, my hope is that we won't just remember Adam West; we'll remember what he stood for, his unflinching hope and belief in people, that was demonstrated so well through the wonderfully camp character he portrayed.
Meanwhile, fans can rejoice that we may yet get to experience Adam West's Batman one last time. Last year saw him reprise his role as a voice-actor in the animated film Return of the Caped Crusader, and he'd actually finished recording his lines for the sequel, Batman Vs. Two-Face. We don't yet have a release date, but that will give the world one last chance to pay our respects to the Bright Knight of Gotham.
Feel free to pay your respects to Adam West in the comments.