You know, I feel that I'm often too negative here on What Were They Thinking (the place where we look at the stupidest, most ill-advised things in comic book history), so today we're going to start out by taking a look at one of the greatest moments in comic book history; the time Batman knocked out Guy Gardner in a single punch. Here it is:
These four panels are perfect in pretty much every way. It tells you everything you need to know about both characters involved. Guy Gardner is a ass-hat who can't back up what he says and everyone is happy to see get put in his place, whilst Batman is a legitimate Badass (capitalised) who can lay out another "superhero" in a single punch and not lose his train of thought, or even really care that he just laid a guy out.
So, what we can take from that is that Batman has an unimpeachable aura of awesomeness that puts other lesser beings to shame. He isn't the kind of guy to wet himself on his first mission is he...
So, The Widening Gyre. I have no idea what a gyre is, nor why it should be getting wider, nor do I really have any inclination to care. What I'm interested in is the three W's that make up the title of this missive; Wee, Weed and Weirdness. The Weirdness part is all fairly self-explainatory, considering the other 2 W's involved, so let's talk about the former shall we, as it's already been brought up.
So, everyone remembers Year One right? You know, one of Frank Millar's two Batman masterpieces of the 1980's, possibly the best origin story ever committed to comic books, certainly one of the greatest stories in the history of comic books, that shows the first year of Batman's life and how he first met Jim Gordon and how they teamed up to take on the Falcone crime family and the corruption in the Gotham Police Department? Remember? Thought so. Well do you remember that scene where Batman gate-crashes a party where Carmine Falcone is hosting the police commissioner and the mayor and warns them that their time will shortly be up? Classic scene right? Yeah. Did you know Batman actually pissed himself during that scene? No? Well according to this story he did, he says as much himself:
I mean, at least it explains the dark underwear he wears outside of the light grey bodysuit, it means the stains won't show through. Oh and the other guy (who is called Baphomet, but is actually the villain Onomatopoeia pretending to be a superhero) then relentlessly mocks Bats for his incontinence, which is not very nice now is it precious. But honestly, what is the point of this? You take a classic scene, one of the most badass moments in comic book history and inject this puerile immaturity into it. Why have Batman piss himself? Are you trying to make Batman more human? Batman, contrary to what his name might suggest, is not a man. A man can be killed. Batman is an idea, a symbol. Batman is the kind of guy who punches out other superheroes if they step out of line, he's the kind of guy who gets a ring from the Sinestro corps then punches Sinestro in the face because why not, who can fight a god to a draw despite having no superpowers, who doesn't die, just gets sent back in time to kick ass throughout history. Batman is the kind of guy who would stand in one of the zig-zags in Darkseids laser vision just because he can, HE DOES NOT PISS HIS PANTS OVER A FEW GANGSTERS! Oh and while we're on the subject of things Batman can do and can't do, the bit at the start of this story where Etrigan beats him in a fight, totally unrealistic. As we all know, Comic Book Rule #1 states: "I'm Batman", and therefore Batman wins LOL. Not even Darkseid can successfully put down the Dark Knight so how is a lesser rhyming demon meant to stand a chance?
Anyway, that's the wee part of this taken care of, so what about the weed? Now the author of this particular crime against comic books was Kevin Smith, a film-maker, author and comedian who has a rather public love-affair with Mary Jane, and I'm not talking about Spider-Man's wife. As a lover of the ganja, grass, hash, pot, whatever you wish to call it, our "author" decided to write the entire thing whilst he was as smoked as what he was ingesting, never a good thing for a comic making sense. But it gets better because Mr Smith felt it necessary to include his favourite past-time in the comic. I mean, he was writing a Batman comic and Batman has an enemy who can literally make plants grow, what else is any self respecting pot-head meant to do?
So, Poison Ivy takes over Arkham Asylum, making the place overgrown with plant life as a way to defend herself from the aforementioned rhyming demon, whom she'd annoyed in some way. So when Batman comes to investigate, Poison Ivy conjures up some of them there marijuana plants and messes with their biology so Batman gets stoned without smoking them. It then gets strangely sexual before our doped up hero goes off to fight (and lose) to the demon. I mean... ok, maybe Etrigan can have that one on reflection because Batman knows how to fight people on drugs but not how to fight whilst on drugs. Either way, what was Kevin Smith thinking when he was writing this? Apart from "dude, this is like, totally awesome dude. Now, like, where's my lighter dude? I need to, like, light myself another splif dude." Is it any wonder this "story" never got finished after he just stopped writing it half way through?
I'm annoyed now. Can we just see Batman OHKOing Guy Gardner again please?
Ahhhhhhh, so much better.