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CSBG Archive

I Love Ya But You’re Strange – Batman and Catwoman in a Battle of Bad Puns!

Every week, I will spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories (basically, we’re talking lots and lots of Silver Age comic books). Here is the archive of all the installments of this feature. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

This week, we look at Batman and Catwoman in a pitched battle to determine who can make a worse pun!

In Batman #45, written by Bill Woolfolk and drawn by Charles Paris, some fellow has written an acclaimed book about the greatest female villains of literature and real life and a movie studio has decided to adapt it into a big screen epic starring their biggest female star (who would be the real life biggest movie star of 1947? Ingrid Bergman? Betty Grable? Claudette Colbert?) and Catwoman decides to terrorize the filming of the movie because she’s pissed about not being included in the book…

After messing up the filming of the Circe scene, we get a glimpse of Catwoman’s awesome puns…

Here’s a hint, Catwoman, when you have to go to such great lengths to explain the joke, it is likely not worth it.

Anyhow, after also messing up the Wicked Queen (from Snow White), Batman says that he’ll play Samson for the next scene, Samson and Delilah.

Now note that Woolfolk specifically took a moment for the reader to pause over how awesome the upcoming pun will be. And the pun in question?

Yes, she will cut off Batman’s “heir” leaving him helpless! Oh man, that’s bad. Batman is prepared to counter, though!

There’s power in his hair! Awesomely bad! By the way, it’s be hilarious if the pillars weren’t light and Batman just killed all of them.

I love this little send-off Catwoman gives Batman here…

“Yeah, yeah, whatever, Batman, shut the hell up.”

And finally, in a last scene, we learn that Catwoman’s whole petulant scheme had no point to it…

Good job, Catwoman! Or should I say, “Purr-fectly pointless!”

16 Comments

Hm, I don’t remember reading this one before; I think my golden age Batman reading left off in the mid-#30s. “The only odyssey you’re making is TO JAIL!” is such a great line! This is exactly the kind of story that would have been a seamless adaptation into an episode of “Batman: Brave and the Bold.” Greatness!

Terrific stuff. The Batman/Catwoman relationship has really suffered under the iron yoke of “realism” hasn’t it?

The gags in this certainly are not the peak of the narrative form, but they work as comics in a way that the nu52 often fails. That second page does a great job establishing the ship as a ship and then working with it. We get an establishing shot of a two masted ship, followed by Batman & Robin landing on the deck behind the first mast, followed by Robin using that mast, followed by Batman chasing Catwoman to the front mast, followed by Catwoman using the mast to knock Batman(and presumably Robin) overboard that is all in service of the lame pun at the end.

All of which helps to remind the reader about the essential playfulness of the relationship between this hero and this villain. The dialog, the art and everything else is vastly better today. However, a lot of what made these characters interesting in the first place is gone.

I think “Yeah, yeah, whatever, Batman, shut the hell up” is going to be my answer to everything from now on.

Freeze you later,
buttler

AWKWARD jokes

I don’t even get that “poor fish” one. Why am I so dumb? Can someone explain it?

“Later…Offstage, shepherd boy Robin is suddenly seized from behind” Oh, that’s just…that’s just wrong.

I imagine that Price is Right losing music playing at the end. duh duh DUHHHHHH!

I love how Catwoman dramatically escapes from jail, and then immediately suits up into her supervillain outfit to… do some light reading? God forbid anyone know that Selina Kyle can read, right?

Also, can any one but Batman get away with saying “I put magnesium powder in my wig, just in case”? I truly think not.

Good thing that Batman didn’t burn the whole frigging studio to the ground with that magnesium wig. That would’ve been hair-razing.

I made the mistake of binge-reading Golden Age Batman books from the beginning, every story chronologically. Not a mistake because thes stories were necessarily bad but rather because they simply were not meant to be read 200 pages at a time, they’re super- dense and can become a bit formulaic and predictable when read back to back.

What I found interesting was that every story was just as pun-filled as this one, and Batman punned just as often if not mor than Robin. I find it interesting that Batman’s punning has been retconned out of existence but Robin’s hasn’t. I think DC should retcon Batman back into being a punster, at least for his early career and flashbacks, even if they don’t depict him as punning now in present day stories.

T., that is pretty much what Morrison does in flashbacks to that era these days.

Travis, “poor fish” is just an old saying meaning “dunce” or “stupid person.”

I like the Golden Age stuff a lot more than anything in recent years but I agree with T, binging is not the best approach. Though I find that true of almost any series (including non-comics stuff)–squished too much together, recurring shticks and gimmicks become very obvious and annoying.

I’m been binging on Golden Age Wonder Woman lately, just because I’m reviewing the stories on my blog more or less chronologically. I am enjoying it, but I keep gettind tempted to jump to a different era for a while just for a change of pace. I’m not ruling it out, and I do leap to the present every now and again to talk about the newest stuff, but so far I’ve found that if I just put it down for a few days to read something else before going on to the next few stories, I can keep enjoying each story as it comes for sheer zaniness alone.

Whoops, I’ve been, not I’m been.

I find rereading one to three issues a week works best for me. With most stuff that keeps me from losing interest; with really great stuff it keeps it from being over too soon.

.T.

October 22, 2012 at 5:09 pm

http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/search/topic/topic/14587

“Green Hornet was always played straight and serious in the comics/strips/radio, so he was done that way for tv. Batman was as absurd, silly, goofy, and ridiculous as anything else that has ever appeared in comics, and so that’s how he appeared on-screen”.

http://newimprovedgorman.blogspot.com/2012/07/max-allan-collins-movie-reveiwer.html

“Wait til your fans see you in THAT getup!” You’re talking to a man who dresses like a bat, lady. He’s got giant pointy ears on his mask and some kind of teeth on his gloves. His belt would look outlandish on Hulk Hogan. Blue boots. You think adding a fake beard is gonna spoil the effect? Hell, the only guy who dresses worse than Batman has green hair and is certifiably insane.

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