Eternal Yellow Sunshine of the Kryptonian Mind, Part Two

Bloggified by Jake on Sunday, May 22, 2011

Previously, Superman challenged Batman and Robin to figure out his secret identity, which necessitated his erasing his secret identity from their Batbrains with a Superbraineraser. Despite Superman's cheating and completely missing the point of his own challenge, Batman figured out he was Clark Kent in two days. This made Supes declare he could figure out Batman and Robin's alter egos in the same 48 hour time frame without using his superpowers.

So, what's his plan? To fly after Batman and Robin and learn the location of the Batcave... since apparently the ability to fly is not a "superpower" today.

But Batman is prepared for Superman's liberal interpretation of the rules.

Oh, shit! Batman don't play! This may all be in good fun, but Batman will fucking kill you, Supes!

Completely tapped for ideas, having exhausted all of one, Superman turns to Batman's playbook. The plan to find Superman's true identity kicked off with a public appearance, but the Dynamic Duo is to busy fighting murderous clowns and acid-scarred former district attorneys to waste time opening grocery stores.

But since Superman has no other fresh ideas, he stays up all night building a Batman Museum.
Remember, crafting an entire building and creating and collecting enough Batman memorabilia to fill an entire museum overnight through the combined use of superspeed, superstrength, and flight are not superpowers.

While the mayor and various other Gotham officials arrange a hasty dedication ceremony and rezone the area where Superman dropped the building, the Last Son of Krypton shrinks himself down and goes to visit a bunch of other Kryptonians in Kandor. There, he borrows a Kandorian telepathic hound from a pet store.

Like bloodhounds follow scents, Kandorian telepathic hounds track their game by picking up on brainwaves. So to recap, Superman's plan is to do exactly what Batman did, only find an encephalograph that will run itself so he doesn't have to learn any technological mumbo jumbo.
It's not very clear why Batman and Robin feel the need to escape their own ceremony, but considering they were able to tunnel their way out of a building that's only existed for a few hours and build a handy trapdoor to cover the exit, maybe Superman's speedy construction of the Batman Museum could be accomplished without superpowers after all.

The better strategy seems to be remaining in their superhero identities all day. If Batman and Robin remain at the ceremony, then go on patrol, and spend the evening in the Batcave defragmenting the Batcomputer's hard drive, Superman will never learn their true identities without snatching the masks off their faces. Of course, Batman has a reason for running away... to totally rub Superman's nose in his own ineptitude.
Anticipating Superman's plan to boost his own plan, Batman anticipated that he should figure out a way to convert the encephalograph from a receiver to a transmitter. That's like turning your TV into a television station.

However, this scene raises so many questions. How close are Gotham City and Metropolis? I'd always assumed they were at least in different states. Looking it up, it appears that they are either on opposite sides of New York City or across Delaware Bay from one another. Either way, it's safe to assume they are at least a few miles apart. Since Kryptonian dogs gain similar superpowers to Kryptonian people when they arrive on Earth, how is it Batman and Robin are able to outrun Superman and the telepathic hound all the way back to Clark Kent's apartment? And how does Superman not recognize that the dog is leading him up his own stairs and into his own apartment until he actually opens the door? And once Superman gets shown up, why not turn it off and continue pursuit since Batman and Robin must be right around the corner?

Apparently, it's because he's plunged into a terrible super-depression.
Superman gets so distracted by his inability to accept that anyone might be better at something than he is that he forgets what he's doing in the middle of a task that should take him about seven seconds and has to be reminded to stop a falling satellite from crushing a neighborhood.

Recognizing this as a genuine threat to humanity, Batman tells Robin he is concerned about Superman's mental state and tries to call the whole thing off.
Superman starts to reveal that he's been visiting the Bureau of Vital Statistics because it holds a vital key to finding the Caped Crusader's secret identity, but is interrupted by a cartoonishly Hispanic man who asks "Super Hombre" to chase off the killer whales that are ruining his unnamed nation's fishing waters.

The next day, Batman and Robin find a mysterious golden dome in Metropolis. When they approach it, alarms go off. Superman steps out and explains that the alarm system is set to go off anytime anyone wearing a grey body suit with a blue cape and cowl or a red shirt with green panties and a yellow cape approaches. He escorts them inside and shows them a computer from the Bureau of Vital Statistics and explains that it's going through the 1960 Census data and will be able to determine Batman's true identity from that.

Batman and Robin have a brief sideways glance to one another and agree there's no way Superman can figure out their secret identities from census information, but Superman just laughs and warns them not to try to sabotage the computer while he's away on a top secret supermission since he will know if they come anywhere near the building... in their costumes...
Unable to think of any possible way to foil a security system designed specifically to recognize the colors of their costumes, Batman and Robin have no choice but to bumrush the computer building in their civvies. The only thing missing are the "Hello, My Name is BRUCE" and "Hello, My Name is DICK" nametags. As they approach, however, they find that Superman wasn't on a secret mission at all but has been hiding inside with the computer waiting for Batman and Robin to take the bait. Presumably, in the hours that passed several banks were robbed and countless people perished and Lois Lane fell off three buildings and Jimmy Olsen drank a radioactive potion that turned him into a bunny rabbit and a handful of people grew concerned that Clark Kent had just vanished around lunchtime and never came back to the office.

Superman has a good gloat about how smart he is and how he's proven himself the equal of the world's greatest detective while Bruce and Dick "Aw, shucks" for all they're worth and curse themselves for falling into the oh-so-clever trap. But when Superman flies away to spin the Earth backwards and undo all the tragedy that's befallen mankind while he hid out waiting to surprise Batman, the Dynamic Duo breaths a sigh of relief that the contest is finally over.
And thus the lesson: The only way to win with Superman is to let him beat you quickly so he stops wasting your fucking time.

Lots of love to Gregg Schigiel for the Bunny Olsen

2 sarcastic replies:

Amferreira said...

How can Superman borrow a dog from Kandor, wouldn't the dog be very small?

Jake said...

For some reason at this time Superman was able to temporarily increase the size of one person or object from Kandor at a time. I think maybe he had to leave someone else (i.e. Jimmy Olsen) behind in shrunken form to make this work.

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