Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Bat-trap fetishists, you'd best be getting to your local comics emporium in search of a copy of BATMAN ADVENTURES #9. (It's been out for a month already, but you should still be able to find it somewhere or other.) I heard about this one from the always-handy PERILS OF BATMAN Yahoo group, the "Files" section of which contains a few scans of sample pages in case you don't want to shell out the $2.25.

But the full story is totally worthwhile: our heroes are in the clutches of yet another deathtrap set by yet another faceless villain, and Batman begins flashing back through one past peril after another--page after page of near-misses. ADVENTURES is ostensibly a kiddie comic, but the writing is excellent and the story is surprisingly self-reflexive and post-modern and such--the kind of joke that few 8-year-old batfans would be likely to get. (Not unlike the '66 TV show, for that matter--Batman has a long history of working on several levels at the same time.) Smartass Robin keeps asking where the bad guys get the money and time to design, budget, and create all these elaborate contraptions; it's sort of like the scene in the first Austin Powers movie when somebody asks why they don't just shoot the International Man of Mystery instead of subjecting him to some amazingly complicated--and easily escape-able--trap.

But, as all good perverts know, it can be way, way more fun to take the scenic route sometimes instead of the shortcut. It's like asking why you don't just hop into bed with somebody and skip all the time and expense of building and stocking a dungeon or fleshing out a role-play scene. If you have to ask, you may well never understand the answer.

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