Ottawa bat-fan pays tribute to Adam West

Aaron Reynolds heard about the death of Adam West as fans turned to his Twitter account to pay tribute to the star of the 1960s Batman TV show.

Aaron Reynolds, 42, runs the @Batlabels Twitter account highlighting jokes from the 60s TV show

Aaron Reynolds, left, met Adam West and Burt Ward, TV's Batman and Robin, at Fan Expo in Toronto. He never had the chance to meet West in Ottawa. (Photo courtesy Adam Reynolds)

As Adam West fans were reeling Saturday morning about the death of the television icon, there is one Batman aficionado in Ottawa who was particularly touched by the sudden loss. 

Aaron Reynolds heard about the death of West as fans turned to his Twitter account to pay tribute to the star of the 1960s Batman TV show.

Reynolds, who lives in Ottawa's east end, runs the @Batlabels Twitter account. The social media stream is usually a collection of jokes from the TV show for his more than 43,000 followers, but it has morphed into an online memorial after West's death.

"I'm sad. I actually made myself feel better by going through a whole bunch of clips of the show and trying to just really highlight what a remarkable comedic actor Adam West was," Reynolds told CBC News. 

"His timing is so perfect, his physical position and his moving his shoulder from one side to the other can be hysterically funny."

In this Jan. 27, 1989 file photo, actors Adam West, left, and Burt Ward dress as their characters Batman and Robin respectively during an appearance at the "World of Wheels" custom car show in Chicago. (AP Photo/Mark Elias, File) (Mark Elias/The Associated Press)

The Twitter account even caught the attention of the caped crusader.

Reynolds said he never met West in Ottawa, but he did make a trip to Toronto's FanExpo last September to meet his idol. 

"On my way in I'm saying, I have this Twitter account Batlabels and Adam West cut me off and said — 'I know you, you're from the internet!" Reynolds said. 

West had been scheduled to make an appearance at Ottawa's ComicCon last month, but cancelled shortly before the event. On Saturday, several people were tweeting at him — some from as far away as Spain — to share their grief.

West's acting career spanned six decades and he was one of television's first superheroes. 

Family members said on a verified Facebook page that West died Friday night after "a short but brave battle with leukemia." On West's Twitter page, the family wrote: "He was the greatest. We'll miss him like crazy."

Reynolds said long pauses and uncomfortable emotions that have defined comedy over the last decade were part of West's performance back in the 60s.

"As you watch Adam West, 50 years ago, that's exactly what he's doing. There's super-pregnant pauses and staring off into the distance moments where you really read in his eyes what he's thinking about."

He pointed to a scene from the 1966 Batman movie where Catwoman is unmasked, revealing Bruce Wayne's love interest.

"It's this remarkable, entirely silent performance of going through all these emotions and it's hilarious and it's sad at the same time," he said. "He did that while wearing a mask."

Reynolds said he plans on watching some Batman tonight with his seven-year-old as a tribute.

With files from The Associated Press