Issue #72, Detective Comics (February 1943)
Batman & Robin: “License For Larceny!”
It was another glorious weekend here in greater Seattle, with balmy temps and sunlit skies. And do you know what we did? We spent it inside our cave here at Hus Af Snark, being antisocial geeksters. Because that’s what we do around here sometimes.
Well, okay, so maybe not entirely antisocial. But our interactions with the populace at large were mainly abbreviated and punctuated by long stretches of “I don’t wanna be around people right now”-ness.
I blame Gamefly.
No, hear me out.
See, if you aren’t familiar, Gamefly has a similar interface to Netflix. You pick the games you want to play, put them in an ordered queue and watch the availability. The THEORY is that when game #1 on your list is available, and you are up for a new game to be sent to you, the queue dictates that the next game sent your way is, naturally, #1 on your list. Or rather, that’s how it *should* work.
You already know about my inability to get my hands on Assassin’s Creed 2. I keep getting the “other” titles in that block (Brotherhood, Revelations) and while I have been enjoying the crap out of them, I kept waiting on AC2 to show up. It was #1 on my list. It said “now available”. So when I sent AC: B back, one would assume that I would be getting AC2.
This is not what happened.
I received, instead, The Amazing Spiderman. Because, apparently, why not?
Don’t get me wrong, it was on my queue for a reason. I *do* want to play the game. But I have this little… quirk. See, when I start a series (and this is *anything*: books, television shows, games, movies, etc.), I need, on some fundamental level, to get through ALL OF IT before I can move on. Call it OCD. Whatevs. Point is: Spidey was not on the gameplay agenda until I’d gotten Ezio out of my system. Literally and figuratively. And Gamefly, gods love ‘em, seemed determined to thwart that.
It made me… twitchy.
Dragon suggested we buy the game, after I bemoaned for the millionth time how utterly woe and dark my life was without having the completion. And so, we went to Gamestop. $14 later, I was cheerfully petting the gently loved cover of AC2 and chirping about Ezio. Because he is awesome. And win.
And that, as they say, was that. Because I’ve been playing AC2 all weekend. Dragon was working on Nemesis book 2. And doing laundry. And dishes. And I, his game-addicted wife, was busy stabbing people in the face with my hidden blade and leaping off tall buildings into piles of hay. This is why he married me.
We also caught up on our sleep deprivation from the previous week. And moved everything from one storage unit to another. AND managed to go outside to watch the Perseids because LAST year, we only saw ONE shooting star and it was all cloudy. This year? Gorgeous doesn’t even begin to describe the conditions outside and OMG WE SAW A BUNCH OF SHOOTING STARS! *space-geek flailing* I even downloaded an app on my iPhone (yes, I have gone to the dark side) and we oohed and aahed at the constellations it brought up when we pointed the camera at the sky.
Because we are weird. And it is awesome.
But you already knew that.
NANANANANANANANA – ONWARD!
When last we saw our heroes, they were busy cleaning up the mess left behind by The Joker outfoxing them time and again, getting in a little “The More You Know” Lecture series time with the locals, and delighting everyone with Emo!Batsy’s insanity leaking out all over the place causing a riot of awesomeness and win. But I hear you asking, what’s a bat to do in his down time? Because we’ve all seen that vacationing is just right out of the question (as are trips to the carnival), and surely, Brucie does something constructive with his time off, right?
It appears that our Brucie wants to test the veracity of this guy’s claims (and, if they’re true, he makes more money. Win/win, right?) so into the office they go, where they’re greeted by this guy:
Shmoozy!Larson reassures them that he’s legit, and that’s all Bruce needs to hear:
After a hard day’s fleecing, amidst a controversy of comic speculation, our baddie du jour decides it’s time to call it a day, dons his purple trench and heads for home:
He scurries home, constantly checking over his shoulder to be sure he isn’t pursued, as you do, and sits down at the vanity when he’s safely inside his own house to decompress:
Underwhelming!Transformation complete (apparently, Larson is a student of the Clark!Kent school of disguise), Judge!Larry heads off to round up his henchies and have a little meeting:
He heads to the back room where all his minions-to-be are gathered and makes a shocking announcement. It seems being a criminal just isn’t paying the same dividends it once did, so now:
Someone pipes up with a pertinent question:
It doesn’t take much convincing for everyone in the room to agree with this dastardly plan of action. Seems Judge!Larry is done dealing with petty crime…it’s all high brow from here on out:
But, as with all new regulation, there are always a few outliers who just don’t want to play by the rules. Lucky for the criminal underworld, Judge!Larry has a plan for that too:
Testimony is supplied by a witness and the reprobate is fined and released with just a slap on the wrist. Unpleasantness done, Larry retires to his chambers to continue with his licensing scheme. He’s interrupted by Gas-Pipe!Grogan who, it seems, is in a bit of an uninspired quandary:
Luckily, Larry has a solution:
Speaking of Commish!Gordon, he’s busy pacing the floor at home, worried about the rising crime in the city when there’s a ring at his door:
But when he opens the door, he finds a welcome committee of a different sort:
While they ransack the place, outside, Gordon’s expected visitors finally show up, but are on high alert:
They peek in the window, see the crime-in-progress, and immediately leap into action:
It doesn’t take long for them to dispatch the baddies, untie Gordon, and figure out that there’s more at play in this scenario than a few intrepid criminals:
Commish!Gordon has never heard of Judge!Larry, but Batsy is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. Unfortunately, all of the henchies are determined to stay silent:
They get all gussied up and head down to Larson’s office to collect his winnings:
Larson is generous with his secrets, claiming it’s all about investing wisely and letting other people do the work for him. Brucie thanks him and they head home, none the wiser. But Larson isn’t done with them yet:
But our incognito!heroes blithely skip along, unaware of the danger:
And for the first time in, well, ever, we get a good look at Brucie’s bachelor pad:
The baddies swarm our duo, and Bruce lashes out, unafraid:
Bruce quickly realizes that he has a secret identity to protect, so when one of the other henchies clocks him on the noggin, he goes down like a sack of potatoes. Young!Dick, catching the subtext, follows suit:
Once the baddies flee the area, they recoup, compare notes, and head off to catch their criminals:
Grapple hook meets car bumper, and the Bat!Plane whips the car into the air to take it for a little dunk:
Our heroes quickly land to meet the soggy!goons as they make their way to the shore, fists fly, and so do baddies:
While they’re securing their cargo, they discover another license, only this time, it’s for Bruce Wayne:
The next day, one of Judge!Larry’s stooges rushes into his office to report the failure of Iron!Jaw’s crew:
Once the “boys” are assembled, Larry hands out three licenses to commit three robberies over the next three days, only there’s a catch:
But they don’t question him and go forth to cause chaos. Naturally, our heroes hear about it in the papers:
They wait on the rooftop later that evening, watching as a baddie makes his way into the factory before making their move:
Suddenly, the lights flick on and our heroes discover that they’re surrounded! A fight breaks out and it’s revealed there is ANOTHER wrinkle in the plan that Batsy wasn’t expecting:
Batman quickly realizes that he’s outgunned:
It doesn’t take long until Judge!Larry makes an appearance to taunt our hero for his ineptitude:
They’re piled up into the car, guns trained on them in the backseat, and off they go to the murdering fields, but things quickly go awry:
It’s the cavalry! On bikes! And they want to have a little chat with our baddies:
Before the henchies can shoot the police, Batsy and Robin use their heads:
As the state troopers wrangle up the group, Robin voices the question we’re all asking:
Seems the solution is super simple:
And lest you think the case is truly over, there’s one more startling realization to be had for our hero: