When Bats Went Batshit Crazy

Bloggified by Jake on Monday, April 10, 2006

There is a proverb that describes friendship as "love with understanding." Aristotle believed, "Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies." David Tyson Gentry felt "True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable." St. Jerome said, "The friendship that can cease has never been real."

According to World's Finest Comics #182, Batman thinks "Sometimes friendship means having to pretend you are completely insane for a couple of days and letting your friend strip you naked a few times if that's what it takes to keep your said friend from trying to kill himself."

That's not an exact quote, but you'll see my point in a bit.

The story begins with an archaeologist in an unexplored region of South America discovering the Medallion of Rorna, a mystical amulet created by a Medieval European sorcerer and given to the king. The medallion allowed the person holding it to place a curse on someone, but only had six curses in it. The king used it in battle to curse the opposing leader, which caused the ground to open up and swallow the enemy king. Throughout history, it was used four more times, last by a conquistador who cursed an Incan king, drowning him so the conquistador could raid the king's treasury for gold.

I don't know much about ancient relics, but I'm pretty sure this is all taken from thoroughly researched historical texts. Kind of like the Bible was.

All you need to know is the medallion is priceless, is presently in Metropolis on a whirlwind world tour, is being guarded by minimum wage-earning security guards, and has one curse left. Also, you need to know where Superman is at this very moment.Yes, all the world's crises have agreed to wait for an hour or so while Superman and Batman prance about and perform vaudevillian superhero classics like "Who's on Monitor Duty?":

Superman: Hey, Batman, I hear we have some new members of the Justice League.
Batman: That's right, Superman, and as leader of the team, you should make sure you learn all their names.
Superman: Okay, well, help me out. Tell me the names of the new Justice Leaguers.
Batman: Sure thing, but I have to warn you. Some of these new superheroes have some pretty weird names.
Superman: Weird names? What do you mean?
Batman: Well, let's see. You've got Hoo's on monitor duty, Watt's investigating Lex Luthor, Eye Dontno's saving a Malaysian fishing village from a volcano--
Superman: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Who's on monitory duty?
Batman: Right.
Superman: Who?
Batman: Exactly.
Superman: Look, tell me what's the name of the Justice League member on monitor duty?
Batman: No, Watt's investigating Lex Luthor. Hoo's on monitor duty.
Superman: What are you asking me for? I don't know.
Batman: No, he's saving a Malaysian fishing village from a volcano.
Superman: Who is?
Batman: No, Hoo's on monitor duty?

While the comedy stylings of "Bats & Supes" wraps up with the big "Me and My Shadow" finale, one criminal decides to take advantage. Dressed in an Iron Man knockoff suit of armor, he flies into the museum, grabs the medallion, and flies away while the security guards bullets bounce harmlessly off his metallic outfit.

As smart as he may have been for planning his heist while Superman was otherwise occupied, he loses all points for his stupidity in choosing to hide out in a condemned building about a block away from the theater hosting the "Orphan Extravaganza Hosted by Joey Bishop and Featuring 'Bats & Supes' and Leon Redbone."

The duo quickly makes its way to the building, where police have the bandit cornered, but dare not rush in as he's threatened to curse them if they do, a threat he extends to the superheroes as well. Batman and Superman then turn around and suggest the police let the crook get away since any medallion responsible for the death of King Apala of the Incans is far to powerful to risk battling.

Or they charge in and emerge ten minutes later with the thief in custody. At least Superman does.It appears Batman is cursed to act like a wild animal, tearing things apart, snarling madly, and hurling his feces at passersby. Superman quickly devises a plan that involves taking off Batman's clothes.

No, really.Superman theorizes that the curse was placed on "Batman" and not "Bruce Wayne," therefore as long as Bruce doesn't wear his Batman costume, he'll remain perfectly normal. Unfortunately, when he tries to explain the situation to Bruce, the millionaire laughs the whole thing off, which leads Superman to Plan B.
Okay, I would have thought there might be a few other steps between "Plan A: Explain the situation rationally" and "Plan B: Commit your best friend to an insane asylum," but Superman is a busy guy, so he can be forgiven. Sadly, the risk of someone pulling off Batman's mask and revealing his secret identity is the only flaw in the plan, yet it's enough to scrap it altogether.

Though, come to think of it, if Superman has written off helping Batman and is willing to commit him , doesn't that pretty much mean the Dark Knight's career is over? If so, what's it matter if someone sees his face? For that matter, what kind of mental institution would let a man run around wearing a bat mask and cape?

Stuck without a convenient place to dump his loony pal, Superman invites Bruce to stay with him in Metropolis for a few days and proposes to his editor that Clark Kent take Bruce Wayne along on his rounds for a human interest story called "A Millionaire Looks at the News." This is a stupid idea, but since Bruce is a major stockholder in the Daily Planet, the story gets greenlighted.

Clark's first story is about a costume shop robbery. He quickly realizes the thieves are hiding in the shop, posing as mannequins. He leaves Bruce and changes into his Superman duds. After catching the first two crooks, though, the third has a surprise.How rare can Kryptonite be when a two-bit thug who robs a costume shop carries it around in aerosol form "just in case"?

Fortunately, Superman is saved when Batman accidentally knocks out the bad guy during another attack of the crazies.

Unfortunately, it seems Bruce swiped a Batman costume from the shop and the curse kicked in again, forcing Superman to chase him into an office building before someone gets hurt.No sooner can you say, "A curse can't give someone super gorilla strength! My suspension of disbelief has limits Cary Bates and Ross Andru!" when the elevator door bukkake scene in the last frame is acknowledged. It seems Batman used some acid from his utility belt to get through the doors, an act you wouldn't expect of a madman.

Of course, rather than investigate this, Superman opts to against strip his best friend naked and redress him, like a life-sized Ken doll.Clark Kent's assignment for the next day takes him to an auto testing ground. Sadly, we never get to find out how "A Millionaire Looks at the News" went over, but as Bruce Wayne's column didn't feature a banner headline detailing something Jimmy Olsen did, I'm sure regular readers of the Planet were thrilled for the change of pace.

At the testing ground, the X5-B, an atomic powered car capable of supersonic speed but prone to falling apart and exploding in a city-consuming mushroom cloud upon hitting even the slightest bump, is headed for a small crack in the track. Superman rushes to seal the fissure with his heat vision, leaving Bruce Wayne unattended for nearly eight seconds. As a result, Batman leaps from the grandstands and beats up some janitors like Ultimate Warrior cleaning house in the Royal Rumble, tossing them like they are children.

Unsure what to do, Superman grabs a chain and binds Batman to a railing, which should give you an grim idea of what's in store for Krypto if he doesn't stop digging up Perry White's flowerbed. A nagging problem comes back into play, though. What if someone takes off Batman's mask?Isn't that sweet? Superman couldn't bear watching Batman writhe about like a maniac in chains so instead he flicked him in the chin with fingertips capable of rending a Trident submarine in twain.

With Batman out cold, the story takes a "we only have a page and a half to wrap this all up" twist. Unable to control himself, Superman smashes through the lead door to the K-Chamber, a huge vault full of Kryptonite. Batman forces himself awake to stop the Man of Steel from certain suicide. Inside, though, all the Kryptonite looks like big grey rocks.Fourty-eight hours? Not only is this the first time anyone has mentioned there is a time limit to the curse, but it kind of makes you feel sorry for the various kings who've been struck down by it's powers. If King Apala could only have made his way to shore and stayed away from the river bank for two days, that conquistador would have been screwed with a capital "screw." And what about the king trapped in the fissure beneath his feet? If he didn't climb out within the allotted 48 hours, did the hole seal him in?

Robin, Batman, and Supergirl all explain to Superman how the crook cursed him to commit suicide the next time he was alone, adding that last stipulation because someone might try to stop Superman if he attempted to kill himself out in the open.

How? Superman can move as fast as the speed of light and lift a mountain. Who is going to overpower him if he drinks a raspberry Kryptonite smoothie? Ironically, the only way to make him vulnerable enough to stop him from killing himself would be by exposing him to the very same Kryptonite he'd attempt to use to kill himself.

Regardless, Batman knew about the curse and decided he couldn't leave Superman alone for even a minute. Instead of rationally explaining the situation to Superman, he opted to act completely insane, knowing Superman's Jimmy Olsen-watchdog instinct would kick in, not allowing him to leave Bruce nor Batman alone.

With the curse over, Superman is safe, Batman is sane, and the medallion is back on display.This panel is so random. Who the hell are these people? What kind of ideas is she afraid Harry's getting? What kind of ideas is Harry getting?

0 sarcastic replies:

Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)