As I've mentioned before, I was intrigued by the very different reactions of two sets of friends back in 1989. I first saw the movie with some diehard comic book fans, and we were all blissfully overcome with relief that the movie wasn't as campy as old tv show. But when, a week or so later, I saw the same movie with some "mundane" friends from the office, they were actually a bit confused and disappointed by the movie. They had been expecting something "funnier"--like the old tv show.
That expection, that comic book movies are supposed
to be campy spoofs, seems to have largely faded away today, but was pervasive back before the Burton movie. It's hard to overstate the lingering influence of the Adam West series on the popular consciousness. Long after the sixties, you still couldn't read a mainstream article on comic books or comic book movies that didn't begin "ZAP! BAM! POW!" or maybe something like "HOLY COLLECTIBLES, BATMAN!"
Nowadays, those references sound extremely dated.