|"I was going to take the crooks to jail on a magic chariot!"|
Batman's biggest fan in the Fifth Dimension has always been Bat-Mite, but the fact is that the mischievous, all-powerful imp has always been a bit fickle. Having failed on a number of occasions to earn Batman's appreciation for all of his assistance, Bat-Mite has thrown his magical weight behind other heroes in order to show the Caped Crusader just what he's missing.
Typically, these have been other Bat-Allies like Bat-Girl, Batwoman and Ace the Bat-Hound (a choice which I think we can fairly call a genuine Hail Mary Pass). However, as of Batman vol.1 No.161 (February 1964, "The Bat-Mite Hero"), Batman's unwanted otherworldly sidekick throws his weight behind an all-new hero branded with his name and face.
|His boredom is an ominous thing.|
Three different contenders end up putting on the red suit and enjoying the magical whims of Bat-Mite, a character who is basically a baby dressed like a leather ferret. I never understood what the insignia on Bat-Mite's chest was meant to be, but I assumed it was some sort of electric fart. Basically, what I'm saying here is that the costume could be worse.
The first character is a passer-by named Jerome Withers - scrawny, gawking and awkward, he caps off his debut by stepping off of a magical flying carpet and promptly falling off a building. What we've just managed to explain here is why the rooftops of every major comic book city aren't crowded with amateur super-heroes - they're all on the streets, mashed into a fine jam.
Bat-Mite's second sucker ends up being "The Blond Bombshell," the so-called "King of the Ring" of professional wrestling, and probably sued out of existence by Vince McMahon for copyright infringement. Doing it for the publicity, Bombshell captures a trio of crooks thanks to Bat-Mite magically transforming their car into a stationary horse-drawn chariot, which then takes flight towards the nearest police station. I feel like there must have been a more efficient way to handle that.
Strong was supposed to be a college athlete turned private detective. Upon appearing to have defeated a couple of gunsels, he says the following to Bat-Mite: "How did you like that shot? Ha ha. It was just like the one I made to win the decathlon medal in basketball ..."
Possibly the weirdest part of this story is that Batman had to explain the decathlon blunder to Bat-Mite and, by the transitive property, to the reader. I hate to imagine the kid so bereft of contact with the outside world that he'd find this story gripping and also think basketball was a decathlon event ...