Tuesday, May 27, 2014


You mean "Batastrophe," Robin. Get out, you're walking.

Batman vol.1 No.214 (August 1969)
Batman’s a pussy magnet, there’s no use in denying it – he hardly has a female foe who hasn’t thrown themselves body and soul in front of the unstoppable freight train of his fight against injustice. Luckily for the most emotionally regressive of modern-day superhero fans, the threat of Batman ever settling down and getting married is nil to nuthin’, thanks to an editorial edict from his publisher’s current ruling caste which has muted the possibility of marriage and amped up the casual sex and frotting within its pages. Holy Prurient Interests, Batman!

However, the possibility of Batman tying the bat-knot was a regular go-to of the comics for a good forty years, primarily the material of imaginary stories, dream sequences and the occasional arbitrary look into the Caped Crusader’s future. In August of 196, however, it formed the premise of a plot to do away with Batman and the introduction of a term I’m truly glad was promptly discarded from the catalog of Bat-prefixed adages, “Bat-chelor”.

Er, were those all euphemisms?
The Sixties were still the days when Batman might offer himself up as the prize in a raffle, which is exactly what happens when one lucky female bidder manages to nab a dream-date with the Dark Knight in a charity auction. For a larf, try to imagine how that same storyline would work nowadays – dinner on the underside of a flaming zeppelin leaking Joker venom over the city, dancing at a ninja enclave where all the city’s infants have been ritually sacrificed to summon a demon god, drinks and soul-rending despair at the graves of his parents and son.

A clever con sees an opportunity in this, and turns Gotham’s well-meaning eligible gal population into a roving army by setting up daring, dangerous, lovely and lethal Cleo Starr, his accomplice, up as the agent of a “BATMAN MUST GET MARRIED” campaign. A million-dollar advertising project – on behalf of Women to End Batchelorhood”, ugh - gets the girls of Gotham up in arms – and placards – assaulting the Dynamic Duo everywhere they go, keeping them from defending the city from crime and, more than that, subjecting them to a veritable army of love-hungry dames. Ugh, girls, am I right? Luckily, Batman has a long history of enjoying the chance to slug slim-built women in the face – hey, don’t yell at me, yell at his writers! You think Poison Ivy’s a linebacker? Catwoman’s like 5’3”, Harley Quinn must weigh about one-ten, meanwhile they stack Batman like Refrigerator Perry built outta old radiators, that ain’t a fair fight.

Anyway, Cleo Starr manages to routinely save Batman and Robin from dying under a girl-wave, which is how I want to go, and moreso proves she has the chops to occasionally clobber actual crooks – it’s all part of the plan, because while her boss Starck wants Batman distracted to the point of assassination, Cleo’s in it to entice and entrap Batman into marriage – and it almost works!

Naturally, hustling Batman is a crime and Cleo has to go to jail with her criminal cohorts, even after she helps Batman reveal the plot and send them to the cooler. Luckily also being put away is the horrible portmanteau “Bat-chelor” which makes about a hundred appearances in this story and is accurately pronounced by dragging your fingernails across a blackboard made of cicadas playing bagpipes. 


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