Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rocky Grimes Week #7: Stone Cold

When last we left Bullwinkle and Rocky, er, I mean, Batman and Robin, Grimes had put them each into a stone-themed traps.

Robin has focus issues.

There are many ways one can imagine the modern day Batman escaping such a predicament (breaking the chair not least among them).  But this is the Golden Age Batman, where everything is about THEME and IRONY.  If you get put into a theme-trap, you darned well better use a theme-escape or you'll be laughed out of the Club of Heroes. "Hey, Batman," Hourman would shout across the dining room, "how'dja get out of that trap last week?  Oh, wait, don't tell me; sonic screwdriver, emmairight?  Just like the last four times. Haw haw!"  Hourman was always a jerk. Which is why Batman invented Miraclodisulfiram.  But that's another story.

Anyway, Batman cleverly uses a grindSTONE to escape his bonds and then goes to rescue Robin, where, rather than just jump in the water and cut him loose, he lets Robin drown for a while, while he comes up with some ridiculous rock-and-pulley system to haul him out of the water.  That way he's using a STONE to rescue Robin from the STONE trap, because THEME and IRONY.

Then they haul ass to the petrified forest out west where Parks (a nicely fitting name) is about to get beaten to death by a petrified log, courtesy of Rocky Grimes, who is DESPERATE that you should get the joke.

Rocky, take a tip from the Joker; if you have to explain the joke, just don't.

"Ugh, of course, he's running. *eyeroll*  Now I'll never make it home in time to listen to 'Chess Hour' on the radio.  God, I hate crooks."
Rocky flees, and Batman engages him on stone bridge over a yawning cavern; one wonders where this is headed. Hint: things aren't looking up for Rocky.

Sigh. Rocky, real villains do not say,
"Okay, pal, I'm gonna beat your face in for you."
I think I give up on you, you're never going to go very far. 
At least, not UP.

Rocky appears on the verge of triumph (don't they always?) until Mother Nature, who in the Golden Age had little patience for those with false pretentions to villainy, decides to indulge in some playful irony of her own:


Hailstones lead to headstone.  A thematic, ironical death for a thematic, ironical life.  Requiescat sub saxo, Rocky Grimes!

As Rocky Grimes Week draws to a close, let's review what we've learned from it all:

  • There's not really any theme or irony to your life; you're just imposing that on it in a vain search for meaning.
  • Commission Gordon is fat sissy stalker who knows everything about you.
  • Christopher Lowell was right: uplighting is the key to atmosphere.
  • Do not shout your own full name out loud while committing murder on a public street.
  • Revenge is a dish best not served at all.
  • One man with a machine gun could kill everyone at Gotham City Police Headquarters.
  • It takes a week or so to write about a Golden Age story, because that's how long it takes to read them.
  • Real villains can talk as grandly as they plan.
  • If someone in your gang threatens to squeal on you all, just shoot him; that's what the Penguin would do.
  • There will never by a League of Ironically Themed Villains because they all die at the end of their stories.


Other Michael said...

And the moral of the story is, don't commit crimes while stoned.

Nathan Hall said...

I'm not sure if the analysis was ingenous or igneous.

Hoosier X said...

Rocky Grimes is no Joe Coyne.

Bryan L said...

So Rocky was on the verge of defeating Batman? See, I TOLD YOU he should have been a fitness guru. Pounding stones has given him the rock-hard physique of a superhero.

SallyP said...

This...this really was pretty fabulous, all in all. I never would have thought of hailstones! That's GENIUS!

TotalToyz said...

Would Rocky Grimes' fascination with stones make him a hardened criminal?

Nathan Hall said...

Sally - don't take the improv wit of Golden Age writers for granite.

Unknown said...

The Gong (from Batman #55) was an ironically themed criminal who did not die at the end of his story. A man named Ed Peale (get it) he felt his life had always been ruled by bells, so he decided to make bells work for him and made them his crime symbol. Arrested at the end of the story (in a way that involves bells, of course), he is presumably sitting in Blackgate awaiting a revival by some modern writer.

Perhaps you could do a future article on his bell related crime wave.

Other Michael said...

I guess Mother Nature rocked Grimes like a hurricane.

Slaughter said...

What a odd ending - might as well have said "Rocks fall, (almost) everyone dies".

What a obsidian ending for poor ol' Grimes.

Did the guy who was going to be beaten to death with petrified wood die in the end?