Tuesday, October 7, 2014


The Caped Crusader’s everyday rogues gallery is filled with enough fright masks and freaks to establish itself as a pretty significant sideshow attraction, but – for some reason - there’s no shortage of mummies among his roster of baddies. Vampires you can see, vampires make some thematic sense, but there’s just something about the mummy. As the kids like to say.

And then there's this mummy, whose
sculpted abs irresistibly draw Robin's
focused gaze. 
Back in Batman vol.1 No.57 (Feb-Mar 1950), for instance, Batman meets an alleged 3,000 year old mummy bandit named Kiron, but who amusingly gets dubbed “Mister Mummy” in the middle of the story and I’m going to assume the title stuck. Apparently released from an archaeological dig in part sponsored by Bruce Wayne, Kiron is revealed in backstory provided by the portly Professor Brinks to have been “the John Dillinger of his time,” by which I believe he means Kiron was a badass, horse-dicked motherfucker. A master of the chariot, as well as (judging by the one panel in which we see him alive) the whip and the bow and arrow, Kiron robs the pharaoh blind before succumbing to his only weakness – arrows in his whole body! How did the Pharaoh’s men know??

Unwrapping Kiron at a Gotham City society function – I believe they planned to make him into soup, a la the Victorians. There’s something very Victorian about Gotham City … maybe it’s the sexual mores – the former Egyptian bandit leaps to his feet! Yes, he’s alive! Alive … and stealing! Having been robbed of the treasures of his tomb, he elects to steal another fortune from modern day Gotham. Yes, Kiron is an advocate against imperialist acquisition of foreign antiquities. I’m on his side.

Yeah, the clue is "This guy's a Swede."
Naturally, the revived mummy in modern day Gotham isn’t actually the reincarnated Kiron – for one thing, he was mummified, he doesn’t even have organs any more. For another thing, Mister Mummy goes around with one arm unwrapped, providing Batman with the vital clue that it’s a fake Kiron – a vaccination scar on his arm! Yes, Batman adroitly observes that whomever is bounding about in the mummy wrapping cannot be an actual ancient Egyptian thief brought back to life because of the barely perceptible vaccination scar on his upper arm … oh, and also he was white. I mean, he had his bare arm out of his costume the whole time, it wasn’t exactly a mystery, Batman just didn’t even notice. World’s Greatest Detective my ass.

The detecting might be less than stellar, but we’ll give Mister Mummy points for death trap engineering; he pits a bound Dynamic Duo against a drugged lion decked out in a mask of Kiron’s face, expecting the animal would be angry and confused upon waking and would, ideally, murder Batman and Robin. Listen, I’m no genius, but I did break the secret identity of Mister Mummy before Batman did, so take it from me when I say: That plan has quite a few moving parts, you know? Maybe just shoot them next time.

Still, as mummy encounters go, it’s got nothing on his Hostess Twinkies ad wherein Batman and Robin save a professor and his beautiful daughter from the advances of a fairly articulate mummy monster. Luckily Robin has a “special mummy ray gun” which I’m pretty sure is the same gun I got, and which I just call “a gun.”

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