|Swingin' around like that is just punishing innocent people who choose that moment to look up.|
The recent referendum for Scottish independence resulted in a narrow but decisive “No” vote, which is a real shame since I’m pretty sure Scotland could have walked away with Batman in the arrangement.
|That brave young boy.|
Because of the constant truck of coincidence which typifies comics, know that the castle in question is bedeviled nightly by bats and known locally, therefore, as Batmanor, which I think was the original title of Downton Abbey. Imagine that, all the downstairs staff is the Outsiders, serving the Bat-Family upstairs, in celluloid collars. Geo-Force getting in trouble with Alfred because he’s a shitty butler, then inhaling sharply on a cigarette he dashes off to fumble with one of the new footmen. It writes itself.
Meanwhile, this highlands-and-heathers tale also writes itself, inasmuch as it descends a checklist of old Scottish tropes for Batman to encounter: there’s a haunted castle, of course, and an appearance by a Loch Ness Monster (who, inevitably, turns out to be a robot submersible used for nefarious purposes by a local crook) and copious use of bagpipes being confused for the screams of the dying, apparently.
|There are no words.|
As for the temporary lord of Batmanor, Batman’s job is to uncover the lost “royal gold” which the McLaughlie clan was meant to have delivered to the king, but bollixed it up. That’s British for “fucked.”
Actually, an even-cursory glance at Scottish history didn’t seem in the cards during the plotting session, since the gold is only ever intended for “the king” so as to fight “the wars.” In fact, the gold was supposed to have been lost 400 years ago, during which time … well, listen, I’m no expert on Scottish history, but if we’re strict about the “400 years” and assume there’s little-to-no rounding of the number going on, then the gold was intended for King James around the time of the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. See, this blog is good for something!
Ultimately, the gold is found, having been melted into clock weights and set up in the nearby clocktower, a hiding place also discovered by fake detective and actual American gangster “Smoothy” Mathers, whose gimmick was his addiction to the healthful, satisfying flavor of smoothies, probably.
I’ll get pilloried in comments if I don’t mention that Alan Grant and Frank Quitely revisited the essential premise of the story in a 1998 graphic novel, Batman: The Scottish Connection, but that one didn’t end with Robin gleefully torturing Batman with bagpipe music, so I consider it inferior at every level.
|...and that's when Batman dumped Robin into the Atlantic from 60,000 feet up.|