Saturday, September 26, 2015

Happy Batman Day

Today is apparently "International Batman Day." There is also a "Wonder Woman Day," dedicated to raising money and awareness for domestic violence programs. It would be awesome if "Batman Day" was for victims of gun violence, but as far as I can tell, it's just a day for DC Comics to remind everyone how awesome Batman is.

The illustration above is a recreation of the cover to Batman Family Number 4. This comic is dear to my heart because it's the first comic book I can remember. I have the distinct memory of my father coming home with this comic for me. It was 1976. I was 4 1/2 years old. I don't think it was the first comic book I ever saw because I remember thinking "Cool! A new comic!" rather than "what's this?"

Somewhere in my mother's house I still have it, now tattered, missing its cover and several pages. A few years ago, I came across an intact copy at some comics show. I bought it, but didn't actually re-read it, because I'm sure the contents are not great. I remember bits and pieces of the stories. The Batgirl story had criminals after a guy who was going into witness re-location program and at the end he had plastic surgery to get a new face, a concept which blew my four-year-old mind. In the Robin story, he was running around in the snow at Christmas time, and at one point mentioned how cold he was in those short sleeves and green hot pants. Fatman was clown who spoofed Batman. I don't remember the Phantom General story, but the internet tells me that he was a Nazi war criminal with a hypnotic monolcle.

There was also a truly awesome spread of fan costume redesigns for Robin.

Unfortunately, the scene on the cover - three rogue Santas in a toboggan cold-cocking Robin and shooting at Batgirl on her Bat-sled - does not actually occur inside. This comic is dated April, so would have been on the stands in Spring or early summer. I have no idea why it would have had a Christmas theme.

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