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I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Mummy Batman and Robin!

Every day this August I’ll be spotlighting strange but ultimately endearing comic stories, one a day (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of past installments of this feature.

Today we look a story from Detective Comics #320, by Dave Wood, Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris, titled “Batman and Robin — the Mummy Crime-Fighters.” With a title like that, how could this NOT be good?

Our story (which is from 1963, so not long before the “new” Batman) opens with Bruce and Dick on an afternoon drive in the country (as they are wont to do) when they come across an alien ship (which, oddly enough, they are also wont to do)…

This has a negative effect on the pair…

I love how Bruce is curious whether Dick is smart enough to realize that turning green might have an effect on their Batman and Robin ways.

So they pretend to investigate as Batman and Robin and…

Are they really through?!?

Oh yeah, mummy Batman!

But not long after Batman brags to Robin about how everyone is a sucker…

Later, Robin uses the fear of radiation to help Batman out…

I love the persistence of Vicki.

However, she is shocked to find…

and when she thinks she is about to nail Bruce and Dick…

I wonder why she didn’t question if the green skin was for real?

15 Comments

Didn’t realize how much the rationale for wearing the wraps was changed for their revival on Batman: The Brave and the Bold (where the Dynamic Duo wear buttermilk-soaked bandages because buttermilk-soaked bandages are the only thing that can repel the zombifying “pharaoh rays” fired by King Tut… which was insanely goofy enough that I’d just figured it was a direct adaptation of a Silver Age story, just with a different villain since King Tut wasn’t around until the Adam West show).

Truth is, I don’t know which is more ridiculous.

It’s ALL ridiculous. That’s why it’s so much fun.

I wonder if this is the source of the recent Brave and the Bold cartoon appearance of Mummy Batman — although in that, we dealing with King Tut — or, as they called him, the Pharaoh.

Interesting that Batman & Robin pretended to be using their bandages to block radioactivity. That same scenario was used for Negative Man of the Doom Patrol, which debuted the same year. Maybe Arnold Drake saw this story and liked the idea?

I love how Robin decides that changing his costume would be too obvious a give-away, but wrapping themselves up like mummies solves the problem!

was going to mention brave and bold did and episode where batman and robin had to wear mummy gear and think this is the source material . and love how vickie could get fooled by some green makeup after the effects of the radiation wore off.

Didn’t realize how much the rationale for wearing the wraps was changed for their revival on Batman: The Brave and the Bold

All of the “Tales from the Bat Files” shorts have changed the reason for the weirdness from the original source comic.

I hadn’t realized Vicky Vale stood around for so long. I always thought of her as a Golden Age character, despite her revival in the 1980s.

OK, Robin has to cover his bare arms and legs, but why in the world is Batman wrapped head-to-foot when only his face shows anyway? “Superheroes is da strangest peoples!!!”

randypan the goatboy

August 7, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Im surprised that the mummies didnt return during morrisons run on Batman.

Wow, fun.

I’m wondering, though, if they investigated the alien ship as B&R, why not just make it appear as though they got hit with the same ray and became green along with Bruce and Dick? If Vicki Vale is going to get all suspicious anyway…

Or am I thinking this out too much?

OK, Robin has to cover his bare arms and legs, but why in the world is Batman wrapped head-to-foot when only his face shows anyway? “Superheroes is da strangest peoples!!!”

Their cover story was that the whole bodies were emitting harmful radiation, so they had to pretend that accordingly and make their best Negative Man impressions.

I’m wondering, though, if they investigated the alien ship as B&R, why not just make it appear as though they got hit with the same ray and became green along with Bruce and Dick? If Vicki Vale is going to get all suspicious anyway…

Or am I thinking this out too much?

We all probably are, but it is my understanding that the connection between Batman and Bruce Wayne is emphasized way too often already in tales of those times. By rights people should know their secret IDs out of frequency of association alone.

So the logic must be that distancing themselves from the events that happened to their civilian identities would help in keeping the secret.

Sure, that is an horribly convoluted and risky way of attempting that. For one thing, the oddness of the radiation having two completely different effects while still being consistent during each exposition is considerable. For another, there is no warranty that other people won’t be exposed to it and therefore show what we must assume will be consistently green appearances.

Silver Age was just like that.

Bruce Wayne never looked more like George Clooney than here!

I like Robin’s crime-fighting style. “Run away or I’ll infect you with my hideous deformity!” Good show, old chum!

To be honest, when I saw “Batman”, “Robin”, and “Mummy” in the title, I was hoping we’d get some hot Hostess Cupcake action. Great Cheops!

…So shouldn’t B&R have given away their identities when Gordon summoned them to the commissary to send them to investigate the space capsule?

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