INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a suggestion for a future installment!
Today, we take a look at the time that Batman’s moron friends were tricked into believing Batman was an alien.
1958’s Detective Comics #251, by Sheldon Moldoff, Charles Paris and an unknown writer, opens with Commissioner Gordon and Vicki Vale both seeing what appeared to be an alien space ship and then Batman with his mask off, revealed to be an alien!
First off, there’s likely a good reason that the writer for this issue is unknown. Whoever it was, he/she wrote Batman as sitting down. Clearly they didn’t know anything about Batman and therefore their name should be forgotten by history.
Anyhow, Batman’s friends luckily aren’t TOO gullible…
but something weird with his blood test? Obviously he’s an alien! Batman says he’s not an alien, but why would he tell the truth? You can’t trust an alien superhero! No one would trust an alien superhero! Next thing you know, Batman might be hiding an S on his chest or something!
Also, “of course an alien would get a young Earth lad to help him” is so awesome, reasoning-wise.
The rest of the story mixes in various stories by the Commissioner, Vicki and other Gotham cops about instances where Batman did things no human could do…
Batman naturally figures out that this is a plot by the mob to make people not trust him, which it is…
I love how the writer (who didn’t even know enough not to show Batman sitting down) throws out the explanation for the crooks’ plan like it is totally logical for a helicopter to work that way. Also, you have to love the public’s paranoia.
But how does he prove it?
I love this bit here where Batman suggests that it is a bad guy plot, but as Gordon notes, that’s just what an alien would say!!
The best thing about all of the stories is that while the rubber-suited one honestly did not have an ready-made explanation, EVERY OTHER ONE had a rational explanation that Batman told them at the time. But you can’t trust that guy, ya know?
In the end, Batman wins the day by pretending to BE an alien, thus making the crooks doubt the guy they hired, so they end up confessing to everything…
They faked the blood test results by sneaking into the doctor’s lab earlier and putting chemicals into the instruments used for blood tests. I wonder how many other aliens were discovered before Batman uncovered this clue? “Your blood! It has chemicals it shouldn’t! Alien!!! And you! Your triglycerides are good, but otherwise, you’re an alien, as well! Alien!!”
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