Batman & Robin: “Laugh, Town, Laugh!”
And a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all of my readers who have chitlins. We haven’t been blessed with human kids, but we have our hands full with our fuzzy babies. The Feline Mafia and Björn the Wonder Hammie essentially showed their appreciation by lounging on me all day. Go me. And for those of you WITH mommas that you can show some love to, I hope you at least gave them a jingle to say you love them.
Moms tend to be the unsung heroes in our lives.
Spent the weekend beating the crap out of Witcher 2, a game that, despite my not being familiar with the first one, has impressed the heck out of me. Geralt = Awesome.
I also finally finished watching all 11 seasons of Frasier and have now embarked on watching Cheers. Yes, I know. Where on earth have I been? Generally nose-deep in a book or a comic. I felt a need for a little pop-culture injection.
Plans proceed apace on book 2, and the finalization of distribution for Minutes To Midnight as well. Still working on my miniatures, etc, etc.
Which brings me to today. I have an announcement.
Much as I love our beloved Batsy, I’ve noticed that quite a few of the early issues are less-than snark-worthy. So starting today, I’m going to fast forward through ones that find me struggling to provide the snark in favor of issues that WILL make me laugh. Don’t worry, I’ll still be going in chronological order. With over 60 years of material, it’s not like I’ll be skipping from #60 to #600. As much fun as it can be to see our favorite broody!bat take down the mob!baddies, one of the biggest draws (for me, anyway) to his story has always been the colorful, over the top, crazy baddies who antagonize him.
And who better to start with, than his arch-nemesis?
NANANANANANANANA – ONWARD!
After issue #60’s debacle, our heroes are in serious need of some relaxation. Because, really, the pair can’t seem to catch a break. This issue decides to open with an upbeat note:
So Happy!Hanson is dying. And he has a lot on his mind:
With that, he dies, and everyone is sad:
The next day, a rogue’s gallery of comedic talent is rounded up for the reading of the will:
Seems Happy!Hanson left behind a vast, untold secret wealth, but he’s making it “fun” to figure out. See, everyone in the room gets a clue about the location and they all have to work together:
After a little clarification, (alone, the clues mean nothing, but the winner of the joke-off gets all of them to get the prize), they all disperse, clues in hand, to work on their comedy routines. Meanwhile, we head across town, where a familiar face is busy playing a game of solitaire:
But we soon discover, devious!Joker has other plans for the cards:
Later that night, devious!Joker stuffs dirt and dust into the keyhole to his cell door and attaches his makeshift bomb on the other side. In the morning, when the guard comes by:
Torch in hand, the guard gets to work burning the lock while devious!Joker prepares for the inevitable:
(In case you’re wondering, like I was, this is totally a real thing. Mad props.)
There’s an explosion, and suddenly the Joker is free!
Soon, the news is all over about Joker’s escape, but also, too, is the news about Dead!Hanson’s will. Inevitably, Free!Joker hears about the latter:
And he vows, then and there:
While Offended!Joker is busy making plans, we skip ahead a night and set our sights on the titular heroes of this tale. Or rather, their alter egos:
Just then, the bat!signal blares into the sky and our dynamic duo race home:
Hopping into the bat!mobile, they listen to the police scanner and head to Freddie!Banter’s house where they come upon a grisly sight:
Of course, it’s not just the dead body that’s of interest here. No, there’s also something else to look at:
Commish!Gordon gives the book to Batsy:
And then Gordon gives Batsy ANOTHER gift:
The next day, another body is found, as is another Joke book, and shortly thereafter, the three remaining members of the five initial comedians all show up in Gordon’s office begging for protection from this madman. Gordon assures them that they’ll all get detectives assigned to them, and then mentions that Batsy is ALSO on the case. Later that night, Batsy pays a visit to Denny!Jackson’s home, and is having a nice conversation with the butler when they’re interrupted by a phone call:
Aaaand… off at the music shop, Joker and his goons swoop in on the unsuspecting comedian and gets him all tied up:
Just then, our heroes show up to save the day:
Robin distracts the henchies by throwing records at them, and Batman focuses on Joker:
It doesn’t take long before Desperate!Joker starts freaking out about leaving before his weird device explodes, but Batsy assures him he’s got it all under control:
They manage to stop the Doom-o-nome, but the Joker gets away while they’re distracted:
Back at Police HQ, Batsy and Robin inform Gordon that Joker’s already gotten three clues, so it might be best if THEY guard Buster!Parks (the second to last clue-holder) personally. So the next day, while they’re busy with Buster, we peek in on Claude!Tilley who is curious about whether the Joker would dare show up at his place:
Outside, a man wanders by in stilts:
Once out of sight, however, things take a more nefarious turn:
But no sooner does he have the clue in hand, there’s another attack across town where our heroes are busy protecting Buster!Parks:
Batsy manages to break a nearby window for some fresh air, and once they’re both clear-headed again, they hop into the bat!mobile and head off to the 34th St. Pier our obtuse henchie decided to mention. Unfortunately, Joker has gotten wise and posted a lookout, so our heroes have to come up with another plan:
Somehow, they manage to make it across the waves with no one noticing them clomping about and sneak onto the boat:
(Snarkstress note: Yes, I’ve read JLA vs. Avengers. Thank you.)
While Batsy throws punches, Robin throws… puns:
Robin saves the almost dead Parks while his partner takes on Joker, but just as he’s getting Parks secured, Joker snaps a net over Batsy and traps him. Like a fly in a web. Which leaves our poor Robin in something of a dilemma:
Looks like Robin must choose: Batsy or Parks? He waffles, and then:
Robin keeps on with his futile efforts to revive Parks while Joker takes Batsy hostage:
Meanwhile, back at his lair, Joker studies the clues until he figures out the answer. Right around then, Batsy starts coming to and Joker lets him know he’s got a very special murder planned for him. Two doors, one leads to freedom, the other to death. A smart assed remark from Batman flicks on a lightbulb in ol’ Joker’s noggin:
Joker hurls a knife to the ground and disappears behind another door, choosing to let Batman figure a way out of the trap while he goes to get the fortune. Minutes later, Batman contemplates his options:
As an added wrinkle, a poison gas suddenly starts filling the room to hasten our clever!Batsy into making a decision:
Seconds later, Batsy opens the door with the knives:
Yes, the knives weren’t real.
After the gas in the other room dissipates, Batsy steps into the Tiger room:
Meanwhile, across town at the Grand Hotel, Joker stops by to pick up his prize:
Batman and Robin appear, catching the Joker off guard mid-sulk, and proceed to bring him to justice:
Again the cops cart off Joker, but we’re left with a very pertinent question: