Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BATMAN LEADS AN INTERESTING LIFE : THE INCREDIBLE GLASS MAN

Once I had a love and it was a gas ...
It's frequently argued that Batman possesses the single greatest rogues gallery in comicdom, and while there are a few close rivals -Spider-Man and The Flash both stand out as valid competitors for the title - it's generally true that the Bat-villains occupy a space in pop culture unmatched by any other group of collected baddies.

Of course, for every Joker, Penguin and Two-Face, there's a half-dozen near-misses and also-rans. In fact, for every Two-Face I think there are twelve lesser, forgotten villains. Because of the two faces, you see. Doubles. Anyway.

The guy's gimmick is he fishes for compliments.
Among Batman's weirdest but lesser-known foes is Glass Man, a fractured-faced criminal with a mug like a "Before" picture at a cosmetic surgery clinic for disco balls. Debuting in World's Finest vol.1 No.28 ("Crime Under Glass" May-June 1947) the semi-translucent scoundrel starts his career by sending deadly, delicate tokens of pure - and poisonous - glass to several prominent Gotham City businessmen. A tiny glass observatory for a prominent astronomer, a little glass skyscraper for an architect, and a wee widdo glass electric dynamo for a local power magnate - all with a deadly kiss of poison on their sharp edges! Sort of like those little metal model kits you can buy at Hobby Lobby, but at least ten percent more likely to kill you. Maybe eight.

Thanks to a tip from a local lawyer who's hep to Gotham's booming vengeance scene, Batman and Robin are tipped off to one final attempt on a local life - a tiny glass unicorn sent to one Laura Wingfield by one of her gentlemen callers. NO WAIT I mean a local auto manufacturer, which is the truly chilling revelation - Gotham City has an auto industry. No wonder the place is overrun by crime, its local industry probably collapsed back in '88. You've seen the Michael Moore documentary "Bruce and Me," right?

To make a long story short, I'll let you know that the auto manufacturer guy is actually the murderer, and he framed a local glass manufacturer for the crimes. Why, then, he's obsessed with using glass as a weapon - glass marbles to trip up the Dynamic Duo, molten glass to burn them, and hurriedly blowing glass globes to entrap them which I DON'T THINK THAT'S HOW THAT WORKS - is left up to the imagination. We certainly can't ask him, because Batman straight-up blinds the dude and then lets him walk into an open furnace.

This is a wasted opportunity, since the Bat-crew left a lot of terrible puns on the table, not the least of which was Batman exploiting his enemy's glass jaw. Ho ho, see how great a joke that would've been? It certainly wouldn't have diminished the whole comic and everyone working on it, no ...

Revell's least-successful motto.

1 comment:

cup king said...

"As clever as a glass mask".

That's not a saying I've used much lately.

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