Issue #44, Detective Comics (October 1940)
Batman & Robin in…“The Land Behind The Light”
I certainly couldn’t have timed this better, what with it being Halloween and all! And here I was, wracking my brain trying to figure out if I should just skip ahead to a particularly creeptastic issue of DC with which to celebrate the holiday. Psh. Amateur.
Here at Hus af Snark, we spent the weekend geeking out over Batman: Arkham City and putting the “laughter” in “slaughter” as I butchered a poor, defenseless pumpkin:
The cats have barely escaped costume-ization, only because I don’t think I’d be able to keep the cackles at bay while watching them impersonate fainting goats the second the costume went on. It’s like they forget how to stand upright entirely, preferring to drop to their sides and turn baleful glances our way.
We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do this evening, but something tells me it will involve hard apple cider toasts and The Nightmare Before Christmas (among other scarier offerings). We considered passing out candy, but in years past there’s been poor turnout, what with the folks here deciding that somehow, Trunk Or Treat in a parking lot is more fun. *stops self before going on a “What happened to my Halloween?!?” rant.*
Either way, we do hope that YOUR Hallow’s Eves are full of fun and excitement.
But now? Now it’s time to take a turn for the decidedly weird…
When last we saw our Bat and Bird, they were taking out the trash in a city full of criminal refuse. In this issue, we open with a somewhat familiar sight:
The minutes tick by, slower and slower:
Eventually Batsy returns, with news:
Once changed, the pair head off into the foggy night to track down the residence of Madman!MarC/Ko:
No sooner do they step through the front door (instead of, y’know, scaling to the upper window as would be the usual case), than Madman!MarC/Ko pops into existence in front of them:
Ranting about the fourth dimension gets Batsy’s attention, and the pair listen intently while Dr!Crazy shows off his dimension machine. When they aren’t impressed enough, he takes it a step further:
When Dr!Crazy doesn’t return from his little hallway stroll, Batman decides it’s time to give him the benefit of the doubt:
Of course, they don’t care about what the movies tell us about entering the light, and so they discover first hand just why it’s such a bad idea:
Giant!Gorl carts the pair off to the castle, where he decides that the oversized dungeon is the perfect place to stash these “small ones” until they can later decide what to do with them:
Our heroes quickly determine that they’re small enough to squeeze through the bars at the top of the door, and manage to do so unscathed. Then it’s off on a mad-dash through the castle to escape. When faced with two doors, the pair split up briefly to investigate only to find themselves in dire trouble when a giant cat appears from nowhere:
Just as Obvious!Batman is reminding Oblivious!Robin that they are “in a land of giants, so everything is large compared” to them, they’re scooped up, yet again, by a Stealth!Gorl, who carts them off to his Giant!King:
Gorl and the King speculate that our heroes must be “Small-Ones” bred giants, and thus need to be destroyed. Batman ain’t having any of that nonsense, so he decides to take action:
While Gorl is distracted by a bat-kick to the schnoz, Robin manages to trip him up a bit, giving Batman another opening:
Robin dispatches another guard with his sling, and they employ the double rope takedown:
Batsy decides to add insult to injury by beaning the King in the face with a soft fruit:
Then they grab some utensils as weapons and head to the window to escape:
Once on solid ground, they beat a hasty retreat, only to have Robin snatched up in the talons of a giant condor just as they’re clear of the castle. Our quick-thinking Batsy steals a model plane from a pair of Giant!Boys:
He kills the condor with his knife, barely manages to catch Robin as he plummets back toward the ground, and then they fly off into the swamp:
Batman forks the crocodile in the eye and soon, they stumble upon a tiny city full of tiny people and Madman!MarC/Ko!
Beleaguered by the giants and unable to defend themselves, our heroes decide it’s time to teach these little peeps the value of kicking some righteous giant ass via the combined efforts of slingshot and airplane:
One of the giants escapes and heads after Robin, and he’s as sure as Giant!Chow when suddenly:
Happy Halloween, Batfans! Until Thursday!