|Weird-ass game of Twenty Questions.|
I'm sure, like me, when you're confronted with the image of the Caped Crusader admitting to his teen partner "Yes, Robin, I've become a human fish," you read it in the same triumphant voice in which Bruce Wayne once spoke "That's it, I shall become a bat!" As though it's an alternate origin for an entirely different, absolutely new vigilante avenger of the night - part bat, part fish, all man!
"Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot" thinks the crimefighting billionaire one night while resting in his study, adding "But also several of them share a severe allergy with seafood and shellfish"
|Batman does not live in your belt, Robin.|
Unfortunately, what actually happens to Batman in the pages of Batman vol.1 No.118 (September 1958, "The Merman Batman" -- not to be confused with "Wet Hot Ameriman Batman") is carelessness. Pursuing some crooks down at the docks on a particularly stormy night, Batman is climbing a metal ladder when he's suddenly struck by lightning and knocked into the filthy waters of Gotham harbor. And that's the end of Batman, good night!
|Robin, disposing of his tormentor once and for all.|
As far as explaining the bizarre circumstances, Batman's keen deductive skills take the day off to go antiquing. "That accident has somehow transformed my physical structure" he explains, incuriously, from inside a man-sized aquarium tank, adding that the strange event must have been triggered by "the combination of the lightning and the chemicals in the capsules of my utility belt!" He concludes "I've become a human fish!" Well, that's an exaggeration, Batman. For one thing, fish rarely wear belts.
Not one to let a little setback like "asphyxiating in an oxygen-rich environment" keep him from crimefighting, Batman dons a fishbowl helmet filled with sinkwater and returns to his pursuit of the original offending bad guys. It doesn't take long for one of the brilliant criminals to come up with the devious plan of smashing Batman on the head with a big thing. The crack in his helmet leaves the cowled figure sputtering, soaking wet and gasping for breath on the floor, like me when I lost my virginity.
This doesn't last long, though. Robin manages to keep Batman drenched until the fish-thing just plain wears off. It's not a very satisfying conclusion to such a weird circumstance, but then again there wasn't a very satisfying explanation for how he got the powers in the first place.