Insects, Nazis and Sivana! Oh My!!

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John Byrne once produced a comic where Batman and Captain America teamed up to fight some insane scheme or other concocted by The Joker and Red Skull. At one point, it looked bad for the heroes until the Clown Prince of Crime discovered the Skull’s true motivations …

See, Nazis are such scumbags that even a homicidal maniac like The Joker can’t stand the rotters.

Thaddeus Bodog Sivana has a similar epiphany in the following Captain Marvel Jr. adventure, but in keeping with the mad scientist’s evil nature his main gripe with the Germans is that they’re interfering with his own plans to conquer America.

Throw in an army of monstrous insects and you have another Otto Binder classic!

“Captain Marvel Jr. Battles The Insect Giants” originally appeared in Captain Marvel Junior #12 (Fawcett, October 1943). Although Binder is credited with the story, I couldn’t find any information about the artist.

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Comedy Of Boners

Joker's Comedy Of Errors

I’m not a big fan of the whole Superdickery/What WERE They Thinking school of Internet comics blogging. More often than not, it’s a cheap and lazy ploy to generate a bit of heat by taking a perfectly innocent story or panel out of context and applying ungodly portions of snark to allow the writer to proudly state “Superman is a dick” or “Batman’s gay.”

Tee-frickin’-hee.

Still … there are times when a cigar is really more than a cigar. In a rather infamous issue of Adventure Comics, for instance, Steven Skeates and Mike Sekowsky purposely planted as many double entendres into a Supergirl story as the Comics Code could possible allow.

(And let’s not forget that doozy where Superman and The Dark Knight nearly got a little too chummy in the Fortress Of Solitude … )

I can’t help but wonder if the following story – “The Joker’s Comedy Of Errors” from Batman #66 – belongs in such august company.

I’m hardly an etymologist, and it’s entirely likely that “boner” meant nothing more than “mistake” back in the day. However, the sheer preponderance of the word – used in conjunctions with such notable imagery as leaning towers and wooden guns – certainly leads one to reasonably conclude that Batman co-creator Bill Finger was blowing off a bit of steam to alleviate the pressures of scripting so many Golden Age tales featuring the Dynamic Duo.

Decide for yourself, Time Bulleteer!

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It’s not just me, right?

(Best not answer that question, dear friends …)

From “The Joker’s Comedy Of Errors”
Batman #66
Written by Bill Finger
Pencilled by Bob Kane (figures) and Lew Schwartz (everything else)
Inked by Charles Paris
Published by DC Comics, natch.

Number One With A Bullet

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Batman 2

Batman 3

From Detective Comics #27
Story by Bill Finger; Art by Bob Kane

They say your first punch is always the most memorable!

Sure, “The Bat-Man’s” (looove that spelling!) inaugural adventure was a direct steal of a Theordore Tinsley-penned Shadow tale entitled “Partners In Peril.” The Dark Knight still had a certain … quality … that distinguished The Dark Knight from his pulp predecessor.

(Namely, a crushing left cross …)

I’m no fan of Bob Kane, but his crude pencils did achieve a weird air of menace that still can be found in  The Batman’s modern adventures.

Plus, you’ve gotta appreciate the little “ya-aaaaaaaa” as the evil-doer du jour meets his fitting end.