|Just when you thought Robin couldn't dress any more like a total clown.|
... / Doo-dah, doo-dah / Batman battles big ol’ bees / All the doo-dah day
Batman hallucinates, like, non-stop. Over the course of a seventy-five year-long career, the Caped Crusader has been knocked daffy, poisoned, drugged, hypnotized, nearly asphyxiated, infected with viruses, bugs, venom, toxins and poisons so often that I can’t accept that he hasn’t been walking around in a fever dream since ’52. Anything that’s happened since, say, the start of the Comics Code? That’s been Bruce Wayne babbling from his hospital bed in one of Gotham’s less-notorious nuthouses (Like “Arkham Pines” or “Blackgate Acres” or something, somewhere where the rooms have no more than five gargoyles per inmate, so it doesn’t seem as intimidating).
That’s why you can’t trust any of the truly fantastic adventures Batman experiences, such as “The Valley of Giant Bees!” from Batman vol.1 No.84 (June, 1954). Batman and Robin are investigating a series of sugar robberies across Gotham, which you’d have to assume is the work of one of about a half-dozen sugar-themed costumed villains, even if Batman and Robin don’t specifically mention any of them. “Is this the work of racketeer ‘Sugar’ Caine, the Sugar Cube Mob or the deadly King Caramel?” None, Batman, it was the Cavity Creeps. Crossover time!
|Gotham City seems like a fun place.|
While searching for his lost partner, Batman discovers that the sugar thieves are human beings trapped in the hypnotic thrall of the mammoth bees (why not “bee-hemoths”, you might wonder). Encased in honeycomb prisons overnight, the humans are released by day to steal and store sugar, which is pretty much how modern Capitalism is gonna end up, if I've read my Marx correctly.
Using the batplane to make a strafing run on the hive, all Batman actually does is enrage the bees and send them swarming into the city, which they proceed to wreck like a bunch of dicks. Batman uses the power of dumb luck and Gotham’s endless supply of dopey but enormous props to drive the crusading bees away, courtesy of a “lifelike” giant spider parade balloon which I’m sure is the highlight of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade of Phobias Celebration. Also included but not pictured, balloons depicting cancer, snakes and syringes.
|You know, a terrible fall is how my father died. Now I have |
to wonder if he hallucinated giant bees at the end, too.
As a confusing story beat, upon returning to the Batcave, Batman and Robin discover a giant stinger-like protuberance emerging from the Batplane’s fuselage … could it be that there really WERE giant bees? No, it was a hallucination, we just settled this, Batman. Unless the bees are pulling an inception, I guess.