Batman is a god amongst superheroes.
While Superman probably has more a widespread, superficial appeal and Spider-Man is generally the pick for kids, The Dark Knight is undoubtedly the most significant comic book character in the world. There is just too much to love about Bats: his persona, his costume and gadgets, his rogues gallery, his psychology, his grit. Thije Prins is just about the only person on the planet who claims not to like Batman, and honestly, I think he’s secretly been playing Arkham City and collecting Batman Inc. all this time now.
With his widespread exposure, the hero Gotham deserves finds himself strewn across decades of material and product, from screen to print to merchandise and so on. Not every image or story featuring Batman will be top-notch, that is a given, but for some reason it’s more hilarious because it’s Batman.
I think the reason for that is Batman’s versatility, not only as a character, but as a commercial property. Amazingly, he is able to exist in many opposite worlds simultaneously. Batman: The Brave and the Bold versus Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns for example. Or Batman as loner versus Batman with his record number of sidekicks (“The first truth of Batman” for you Moz freaks!). Batman as a world’s greatest detective versus Batman as a kung-fu master versus Batman as expert inventor. Bruce Wayne versus Batman. Batman, the craziest guy in the room versus Batman, the sanest guy in the room. He’s portrayed as many things, and through the years, put in some silly ass situations.
Weird Batman Shit is not a blog about scatplay. It’s a highlight of the zanier DC stuff I find around the interwebz. Some of it I gathered from other comic related sites and blogs, other pieces are just oddities I found of my own. Almost all of it is from the Silver Age.The first installment started out as bit of a short one, but the more I started looking at it the more outrageous shit I found. Let’s just start it off.
Yes, Batman does carry Shark Repellent
First some background. Back in the 1960′s Batman movie starring Adam West, our hero is attacked by an ambitious shark whilst dangling from the Bat-Chopper (or whatever). Robin assists by handing him an aerosol can labeled “SHARK REPELLENT” (notice there is also Manta-Ray and Barracuda equivalents). Batman then proceeds to spray the living fuck out of this thing. I would act no differently.
You might asked: WTF DOES SHARK REPELLENT DO? IS IT JUST SPRAYING SOME SHIT INTO A FISH’S EYES?
No, it clearly functions by subduing the shark, possibly putting it asleep, and covering the beast in a chemical that EXPLODES WHEN CONTACTED BY WATER. It’s like the plot to Die Hard With a Vengeance except one of the components is H2O. It doesn’t just repel sharks from Batman, it repels them from the mortal plane. Shark life, unlike human life, is expendable for the safety of Gotham, clearly.
So that was pretty much it. You’d hear the shark repellent joke if someone was wearing a costume at a con or if there was a Aquaman vs Batman debate. Just seemed to be runoff weirdness from the old Batman TV show. Batman would never carry shark repellent, right? Wrong, Wrong!
In Batman #117, written by Arnold Drake and drawn by Sheldon Moldoff, The Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder are transported to an alien world (more on that later) to pursue a thief, and encounters a few sea monsters.
Batman is dutifully prepared.
This was written in 1958, a good decade before the exploding shark clip. Bruce Wayne figured he might need to repel sharks. Fucking Batman. I do wonder how many sharks he experimented on.
Anyway, back to the whole alien planet thing. Here’s the cover to that issue:
Fucking jet-skates. A guaranteed death trap. I bet you that’s how Jason Todd really died. And dude in the tablecloth jacket is even more scared of the Dynamic Duo because they’re on them! ”
“Oh, don’t worry, it’s just Batman and Rob- NO! JET-SKATES!”
So that little Gazoo looking dude on the cover, his name is Tark, per Jimmy Pukecoat. Well in the interior story, titled “Manhunt in Outer Space”, his name is Garr. Say what? How did lettering work in those days? Did the same guy do the cover and interiors? Maybe GARR is an organization or something. Green Alien Renegade Revolution? Galactic Aerospace Rogue Rangers? Goddamn Ass Ram Rods? Yep, probably that last one.
In addition to those ridiculous, hideous space-monsters that Batman dispatches with repellent (slash explosive), I also come across this:
Utterly perfect. Replace the Batcave’s giant penny with an enormous lemon. Start the internet petition!
During the late fifties and early sixties, Batman encountered multiple aliens, real and fake. Just think about a Batman/alien mash-ups in today’s comic culture. It’d be like a four month crossover. They used to tell three stories in one issue back then. Damn, comics done changed
So ONE final thing from Batman #117, I’m not one for the homoerotic Batman/Robin jokes but:
Why do Bruce and Dick sleep four feet away from each other when they live in a fucking mansion? I bet Alfred knocked really loudly that morning.
Thus ends my first WBS! I had fun, and look forward to dropping another Weird Batman Shit on you soon. Most will be from comic books, but not all. If it’s not funny or interesting to you then fuck off. But read ATTWZ, please and thank you!