But no wait! You may share my surprise at having learned that Robinson, rather than constructing the character out of whole cloth, borrowed the shortest-lived Starman from Detective Comics vol.1 No.247, “The Man Who Ended Batman’s Career.”
|What makes it embarrassing is he has an erection.|
It turns out that Batman has become the victim of the “Phobia Pills” of Professor Milo, a character whom I believe later showed up making man-dogs and stuff on the cartoon. Listen, I’m not Jeff Rovin, here, I’m just getting along the best as I can.
Coating a bespoke batsignal with “phobia liquid” (Safeway store brand tequila, is my guess), Professor Milo shines the cut-out image of a bat in Batman’s eyes, resulting in the caped crusader developing a deathly fear of his nocturnal namesake. Unable to do so much as bear a bat-symbol on his chest or handle a batarang, he is taken back to the Batcave and dies of shock.
What really happens is that Batman adopts a two-pronged approach to his recuperation. He starts by adopting the gadget-laden alternate alternate identity of Starman, complete with his aforementioned Starship and afully outfitted “Star-Loft” headquarters. Apparently Batman had a whole bunch of star-themed super-weapons handy, which only makes sense because I guess starlight was also shining through the window of his library that night. I imagine Batman also has a backup superhero identity set up based on moonlight, the pleasant smells of a well-tended garden, and broken glass.
|The key is making sure no one gets suspicious when|
Batman asks them to hold a paper bat in front of
In the end, the gimmick works. Batman’s short-lived Starman identity is packed away for the next forty years, until Robinson could rejigger it for his Starman run. As for Batman’s mental health, he resolves the case by punching Milo insensate through the silhouette of a construction paper bat, which I honestly believe ought to be his new signature finisher.