Friday, April 20, 2012

Wolf Week #4: Wayne versus Wolf

Okay, assume you are a rich and famous athlete in the DCU. So rich you hang out with Bruce Wayne...
and a Comic-Relief Fat-Cat.
Since it's 1974, Ollie Queen is waiting in the parking lot to beat the crap out of this guy, purely on principle. Or better yet, to make Hal do it.

And it turns out that the alternative therapy you had for your recurrent headaches has exacerbated your latent lycanthropy, and now you are a full-blown werewolf. Do you:
  • (a) go public with your plight and seek the help of the innumerable scientist institutions would kill for the opportunity to study/cure you, including STAR Labs?
  • (b) pool your resources with some of your wealthy Club buds like Bruce Wayne and create a Lycanthropic Understanding & Protection in the United States society, while simply locking yourself away one to three nights a month?
  • (c) volunteer for the Creature Commandos, then sell the movie rights to your life for a boatful of money, becoming even more rich and famous?
  • (d) beat the crap out of and/or sue the pants off of Prof. Milo, since you are not only really really strong but also really really rich?
Well, if you are any kind of reader of comics you know that the answer is going to be (e) enslave yourself to the deceitful, criminal quack who caused your problem to begin with, willing to kill on his behalf, in the naive hope that he can and will cure you. Because if people were smart enough to solve their own problems in a normal way, they wouldn't need the Stupid Bronze Age Batman to save them. So Anthony *snort* Lupus bribes Batman to visit him with a charity check...
Newsflash, Tony; truly rich people do not look for their own tax loopholes. They have people for that. Heck, I have people for that.

...whereupon Batman gets all hot and bothered ...
"Well, Batman, why don't you... take off your shirt and have cold beer?"


... and rips the attractive athlete's shirt off with his own hands right before lying face down on the floor.
Slash fic really ain't all that difficult, folks. Particularly in the 1970s.

Later, Batman wakes up in chains at a construction site.
I had a dream that started like that; I was Batman. And the construction workers were also kind of the Village People. You know how dreams are.

Anyway, Batman dodges the werewolf's first attack with a standard Gumby-flop:

"Thank you, waiter; may I see the dessert *unnff*?"

Gumby-flops were very common in the 1970s, when characters were much more limber because artists did more drugs. So was the Bat-bitchslap, but we'll go in to that another time. Then he picks the locks to his chain with a pin he grabs with his teeth from the nearby mud because, obviously, Prof Milo and Anthony Lupus removed Batman's utility belt and other gadgets before the chained him in the middle of a public area. Oh, wait... THEY DIDN'T.
"Its endurance level is unnatural!" Gee, Batman; I wonder why. 
Stupid Bronze Age Batman.

Well, then! Since the villains were that stupid, obviously Batman just whips out his Werewolf-Repellant Bat-Spray or some such and --
Who thinks to karate chop a werewolf?! I have seen a lot of werewolf movies; in none of them does the logical solution ever seem to be "I will karate chop the werewolf". Stupid Bronze Age Batman.

Oh, what am I thinking? This is the 1970s with the Stupid Bronze Age Batman, who was all about karate chops and choreographing his fight scenes rather than ending or winning them. Batman uses nothing from his utility belt at all. He doesn't even use a cellphone (or a 1974-style bat-communicator) to call 911 or animal control, because some tranq guns would solve this situation fairly quickly. So after the eighteenth time the werewolf shrugs off one of Batman's attacks and nearly kills him, the Stupid Bronze Age Batman thinks, "Hm. This opponent seems to be stronger than others. Hey...he's a werewolf! "
Ladies and gentlemen; the World's Greatest Detective!

Eventually, once his arm's been nearly yanked off, Batman finally decides to take to higher ground, reasoning that he'll be much safer from the werewolf. Because there's no way the werewolf could climb up after him... EXACTLY AS HE DID IN THE FIRST PANEL OF THE STORY. Naturally, the Stupid Bronze Age Batman is surprised.

"Yeah, thank goodness this stupid monster growls. If he were, say, an ordinarily second-story man with a a gun or even a billy club, I'd be way dead by now!"
Case in point:

Low-rent Loser "Bigger" Melvin (Batman #251),
the Man Who Could Have Killed Batman;
Stupid Bronze Age Batman.

Bronze Age Batman may be stupid but he's hella strong. Politically correct or not, I believe the technical term for this is 'retard-strength'; I suppose it's nature's way of compensating for the loss of other senses like "enough common sense not to try to karate chop a werewolf". Anyway, retard-strong Bronze Age Batman simply throws a piece of flat-tipped rod of rebar right through a freaking werewolf.

That's... quite a pitching style, Batman. Apparently Batman is the Josh Outman of the DCU. If only he weren't such a terrible bat-man...

I forget, does DC have a designated hitter rule? No, that must be Marvel.

Unfortunately for Batman, he's taken his best shot and the werewolf just shrugs it off. Batman is injured, hasn't called for back-up, and is about to get beaten to death by a werewolf holding a big chunk of rebar.  Stupid Bronze Age Batman.
What will become of our Caped Crusader? Who can possibly save him now? Only one answer, since it's the 1970s and this is the Stupid Bronze Age Batman: God. More on Him tomorrow.


Bryan L said...

Heh. Lycanthropic Understanding & Protection in the United States society.

Also note that Tony has incredibly hairy forearms. How Bruce could have missed diagnosing him as a werewolf is beyond me.

Nathan Hall said...

Maybe I misread the previous installment of this series, but I thought Professor Milo only wanted Lupus to kill Batman - not drug him, take him to a construction site, and fight with him there.

I mean, couldn't Lupus have just put a real poison the the drink? Torn him apart while he slept? Chained him to concrete - and dropped him in Gotham River?

It seems like Bronze Age Batman's greatest advantage is that his enemies are stupider than he is.

Scipio said...

Prof. Milo specifies that "he wants Batman to see what's coming!"

Which, I suppose, is more important than , say, having Batman know Milo was behind his destruction.

Honestly, it's all just a thin excuse for a Batman-fights-a-werewolf scene.

SallyP said...

Oh now this is just starting to get silly.

Citizen Scribbler said...

Please tell me you're going to cover the sequel as well. I've actually re-read that one recently in Detective #505. I've got a whole bunch of Batman comics from this era. As a kid, I was so psyched to be pulling all these Batman issues from the 50 cent bin and I remember wondering why they were so different from the Grant/Breyfogle I had been spoiled with. Batman seemed a It certainly had a focus on the potential for fallibility in crime fighting.

I would also recommend the "Crime Olympics" arc as being of interest from this period.

-Citizen Scribbler

Anonymous said...

"Who thinks to karate chop a werewolf?! I have seen a lot of werewolf movies; in none of them does the logical solution ever seem to be 'I will karate chop the werewolf'."

I present the movie "Werewolf":

Scipio said...


Okay. I stand corrected; now I have seen someone try to karate chop a werewolf in a movie.

Accursed Interloper said...

"It seems like Bronze Age Batman's greatest advantage is that his enemies are stupider than he is."

Earth-One people just aren't like us, at all. Their stupidity varies much more randomly, from minute to minute, between idiot and savant, and the more brilliant they are, the greater their imbecilities.
Also they ALL suck at facial recognition (so much so that a simple domino mask will fool them for decades), and they are amazingly incurious about unmasking captured unconscious mystery celebrities.
It's probably a side-effect of the fact that none of them ever ages.

Jason G. said...

I was really enjoying this entry until I came across the 'retard-strength' comment. It's like when you're listening to a charming senior citizen tell an amusing story about the past and then she suddenly embarks on a racist rant about the Japanese.

Your comment wasn't politically incorrect, it was just mean-spirited and disappointing.