Seventy-two years ago, the criminal fraternity first faced a scourge that would go on to cut a swathe through organised crime, terrorism, violence and psychopathy.
Yes, today is the anniversary of the first appearance of Batman.
Superman is my favourite superhero, but even I have to admit that Batman is the coolest. This is largely because I love Grant Morrison’s run on JLA, in which he had to justify Batman’s inclusion on a team that included characters who can break planets and run fast enough to travel in time. His answer: make Batman a tactical genius who has a plan to take down anyone, including himself. Somewhere along the line he ended up taunting enemies who should have been able to break him in two. Half the time he didn’t even bother taunting, he just hit them with a dismissive “Hh”.
My favourite expression of this (other than Bats giving a really nasty bad guy motor neurone disease then punching him – long story, but justified in its badassery) is when Batman’s plans are used to take down THE most powerful villain in the DC universe. He’s protected by an apparently inpenetrable forcefield; the only heroes left are an archer and a guy who can shrink to the sub-atomic level. They should be doomed…
But Batman realised that if the bad guy could see through his forcefield, then it meant light could pass through. Shoot an arrow at the forcefield, shrinky guy shrinks to the size of a photon, goes through the shield and into the bad guy’s eye. Which I loved, because it was such a simple plan and yet totally unexpected.
And that’s why all us comic nerds started using the phrase Uber-Bat.
So many happy returns, Batman. May your war on crime never falter.
Criminal scum may now return to this blog. It may now be safe.