Thursday, February 07, 2013

Killer Moth Week II, #4: Does a body bad

Do you know what this image is?

You do not.  But you will. And when you do the memory of it will haunt your nightmares forever.

But first, some happy business!  When last we left them, Killer Moth had just cut himself to ribbons crashing his desperately flailing limbs through a giant glass window in order to escape another Batman beatdown.

That fool!
This brings us to what I call the Golden Rule of Casual Causality. One of the characteristics of Golden Age comics is that, even though you can do “X”  a thousand times and have it produce result “Y” every time,  at some point you can do “X” and it will produce result “WTF?!”.  It's like every single thing that happens is actually one of those complex math statements where for ONE VALUE ONLY you wind up with "WTF?!" and for all other values it's just fine.    

(x3+ 4x2 +x) / (x/4-13)

Actually, this is a phenomenon in all superhero comics.  It’s just particularly egregious in Golden Age comics, because in those days child mortality was so high that writers didn’t have to concern themselves much with continuity. 
Batman and Robin, for example, break through windows pretty much daily, much to the dismay of Alfred and the delight of the Gotham glazier industry.  Honestly, I’m not sure they know any other way of entering a room.  And, of course, they are unharmed every time.

"I'd like a grande of dark roast to go!"
"Decaft or regular, sir?"
But when Killer Moth does it, it’s immediately obvious that he’ll be sliced to ribbons, even though he’s even more fully garbed than Batman (and certainly than leg-baring Robin).  Perhaps it just because, well, he’s Killer Moth.  Of course he’s going to fall miserably at something that Batman does effortlessly every day. 
Regardless, Batman reasons that at the upcoming social event for Museum Directors Who’ve Recently Lost a Fortune in Pre-Incan Moth Idols he’ll be able to spot which one is Killer Moth by looking for some sort of cuts on his person.  Because apparently these social events always end up in an ass-baring orgy, I suppose.

Tonight the part of Robin will be played by young Peter Falk.

Yes, Bruce, I agree; whenever I'm part of a group of people held personally accountable for rare and valuable historical artifacts that are stolen right from under our noses the very first thing I think is: "DINNER PARTY!"   

Stupid fop; no wonder no one ever suspects that Bruce Wayne is Batman.  It would be like finding out the Matthew McConnaughy is Batman.

Green Arrow, on the hand, I would totally believe.

Bruce, brilliant detective that he is, manages to eliminate Homer "Captain Kangaroo" Forsythe and Abel "Did someone remember to trim the crusts off my watercress sandwich?" Howe as suspects because they're not covered in cuts.  So it's down to Perry "Pickle-Ass" Winslow and Cameron "Milk, please!" Van Cleer.

"You; woman with two right hands; take my coat."
"Perry, I'm your wife!'
"Don't remind me."

Well, this being just “Frasier with more murder”,  some ridiculousness happens that causes Winslow to be covered in sharp wounds, like an attack by the non-lethal Golden Age Mr. Zsasz or an exploding quire of fine paper or hysterical empathy for DeGrassi’s Ellie Nash.

Oh, wait, no; the aforementioned ridiculousness is actually ... Killer Moth!

 "I, Killer Moth, am so clever! I cannot help admire myself, just as others do! HA! HA!"

What the hell's in those glasses? Sodium-19 on the rocks?

All those 'oops so and so is about to discover such and such's secret identity' games that Superman always played with Lois Lane?  Yeah, Batman plays those with Killer Moth.  So, Killer Moth=Lois Lane; put that in your conceptual calculator.

Once again Batman is stymied and unable to detectify whether Killer Moth is Perry Winslow or Cameron Van Cleer is Killer Moth.  Why not just punch them both in the face and see which one feels most familiar?  Anyway, all the directors sit down to have drinks after dinner and watch Winslow slowly bleed to death.

Killer Moth orders milk. M I L K.  For anyone else you'd assume that's just part of the "I'm so effete, I couldn't possibly be a caped adventurer" routine.   But Killer Moth actually IS a milksop. 

So in case you missed the implication in Howe's dialog balloon (or just nodded off while he was blathering), the PRE-INCAN MOTH IDOLS WHICH SOMEONE TRIED TO STEAL TWICE ALREADY ARE STILL NOT LOCKED UP AND THERE IS A MOTH-THEMED VILLAIN ON THE LOOSE.  No wonder there's so much crime in Gotham City; everyone there is really asking for it.  "Let's walk home from the theater through this dark alley, Mary!"  Morons.

Sure enough. while everyone is distracted because Winslow's finally bled out and keeled over, Cameron prestoes into Killer Moth to steal the remaining idols with Batman not far behind.  They catch up with him in .... the Hall of Electricity.

You did realize there would have to be giant light bulb at some point, didn't you?

By the way... one million candle power? Not as impressive as it sounds. Candles suck.

Anyway, Killer Moth shoots out the lights he can escape, and Batman has Robin turn on the giant black light bulb, just as if it's my brother's room in 1974.

"Dude; that poster looks freakin' amazing now...!"

Once again Killer Moth has escaped!  And this time without falling off or crashing through anything. 

OR HAS HE...!?!?

Because who would notice the Mothmobile in a swanky suburb?

"No, wait, the mask is attached to my eyeballs and---AAAAAIIEEEEEEE!"

Batman had already deduced who Killer Moth was! But HOW?!  

Because SCIENCE!

Science... and MILK.

Yes, folks, those are, in fact:


Sleep well tonight.

Starro's baby portrait, courtesy of Tad Williams.


Anonymous said...

When I read the part about the ultraviolet milk, I remembered the warning at the beginning, and said "oh dear God, please don't let it be ..."

... but it was.

And nothing will ever be quite as good ever again.

Anonymous said...

It's the flailing limbs that lead to injury when going through a window. Batman and Robin know that all you have to do is strike a dramatic pose and stick to it as you pass through the glass and you'll be fine. They also know Moth is an utter, flailing, failure.

r duncan said...

x=52, of course.

Bryan L said...

Wait. Coffee keeps Killer Moth awake? Isn't he running around at night in a costume anyway? So he wants to be ... less alert? I think we've got our answer for the window debacle right here.

Poor Killer Moth. If he had only been fortunate enough to be lactose intolerant, he'd rule the Gotham underworld now.

Nathan Hall said...

Batman says "rendevous with a moth," but rendevous with a mouth makes much more sense in this context.

He should just make the glowing lips his trademark as the KILLER MOUTH! That's all-around less ridiculous.

SallyP said...

I LOVE Science!!