Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Juggling that all-important work/life balance.

In some ways, it’s reassuring that Batman isn’t ultimately skilled in absolutely everything. He may be the world’s premiere detective, athlete, martial artist, driver, pilot, chemist, inventor, cocksman, puppeteer and Tuvan throat-singer, but there are some skills which still escape him. Baby-sitting, as a for instance, might fall outside of his wheelhouse.

That's not a baby, it's a tiny Patton Oswalt.
Still, baby-sitting is exactly what he’s roped into doing in the pages of Batman vol.1 No.93 (August 1955), in the adroitly titled story “Batman, Babysitter!” (Which was the working title of Batman, Inc, I believe). When Bruce Wayne’s cousin Jane is in dire straits – hold on, Bruce Wayne has an uncle and an aunt? Surely that should have figured into the story before now. They could have raised him and we would’ve had Harry Potter instead of Batman, I imagine – she leaves her fat, cantankerous, middle-aged-man-looking baby in the custody of Bruce, Dick and Alfred. “I’ve decided to let you and your butler Alfred care for him” she announces, having somehow burst into the manor and avoiding the death-traps and security measures. Surely she should’ve be mauled by Ace the Bat-Hound by now.

Being a pair of swinging bachelors – by which I mean “they swing from rooftops” – Dick and Bruce are poorly prepared to care for a baby. The pursuit of milk for the hungry tyke (and thanks, Jane, for not bringing a fucking diaper bag or nothing with you. Either Alfred should call Child Protective Services or Batman should investigate this) leads to Batman and Robin chasing down a milk truck in a highs-speed chase and, later, the Caped Crusader milking a cow in full “Dark Avenger of the Night” get up. There must be a fetish video for this kind of thing.

"We'll have to kill him."
Worse than that, however, is that Batman’s cousin-nephew-whatever manages to suss out his uncle-cousin-whatever’s secret identity. He begins shouting “BATMAN” every time Bruce shows up unmasked, which brings terror and dread to Batman’s life because this is one of those stories where Batman isn’t smart enough to protect his dual identity from a baby.

A solution to the problem seems to present itself when the baby accidentally pops open the secret compartment to the Batcave and begins fiddling with an enormous, deadly “Artificial Lightning Generator” (“Used by the Electric Mobsters,” according to the sign posted to its base). Why the Dynamic Duo left the thing plugged in is anyone’s guess, but Robin barely manages to save the baby from being burnt to identity-guessing baby bacon with the decisive action of hucking him into an oversized nearby birdcage. The Batcave is weird.

Anyway, the kid’s mom ultimately comes to pick him up, the kid blurts out “Batman” when he sees Bruce Wayne, mom puts two and two together so now she lives in the Batcave’s “People who found out Bruce’s dual identity” dungeon, eating MRE’s whenever Alfred remembers to drop one through the hole and pooping in a bucket. No, wait, I mean they come up with an unlikely excuse (“Dick has been calling your baby ‘bad’ for several hours, and now the baby just likes to transfer that abuse onward,” basically, is the excuse. “We were playing Batman” would probably have worked just fine) and then everything went back to the status quo, the stupid, stupid status quo …

Robin unleashing his own shattering force.

1 comment:

John said...

I've got to look for the issue with that Tuvan throat-singing competition.

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