365 Reasons to Love Comics #31
One month down. Eleven to go.
I think we’ll finish up our look at supporting characters with today’s column. I feel we’re all getting a little burned out by them. Remember, though; just because your favorite hasn’t shown up yet doesn’t mean they won’t. The year won’t be over for a while…
Today! Everyone’s favorite Quasimodo-esque repairman!
31. Harold Allnut
Harold never gets any respect. Google tells me even the internet has (mostly) forgotten about him! Shameful. Harold was an awesome 90’s-era supporting character in the Batbooks.
He apparently first appeared, briefly, in The Question before moving to the Batbooks, which Denny O’Neil was overseeing at the time. The Penguin found out that the mute, hunchback Harold was a technological wizard and basically kidnapped him, forcing to help with one of his schemes. Batman managed to save Harold and he went back to the streets.
In Batman 458, Harold was about to get lynched because some parents thought he was up to something with one of the neighborhood kids, though Harold was just a friendly guy. Bats rescued him again and hired him to do all the tech work and repair stuff in the Batcave.
For a few years there, Harold was living in the Batcave with his dog, Ace– that’s right, the Bat-Hound. He lived mostly off chocolate bars, if I remember correctly. When Bruce had his back broken and AzBats came in, Harold got kicked out, but was still living in a hidden room in the Cave, tinkering away, helping out Robin and Nightwing when needed.
Detective Comics #650 was a Harold spotlight story, though he didn’t appear on the cover. In it, he discovers that the Batcave leads to the subway whilst daydreaming about dragons and stuff. It’s not bad.
Eventually, Harold just sort of disappeared. At least, I don’t know of any farewell issue. He returned, briefly, in the insipid Hush storyline, perfectly cured and able to talk, and then died. Or something. If it was up to me, it would be purged from the continuum, and ignored. And apparently, Loeb made his last name “Allnut.” Really? C’mon.
Harold may seem like a character worth pitying, but I don’t think so; his existence in the Batcave was mostly a happy one, and he was a cool genius and a rare pal to Batman. If only he could’ve been kept around… but I guess writers and editorial didn’t know what to do with him.
Anybody else dig the character of Harold?