It was an interesting 2018. I pretty much thought I was through with these, sold off almost my entire collection (except for a few sentimental issues), and resigned myself to just reading a handful of titles – my regulars if you will. As you might’ve guessed if you follow the site, one of those characters I like to follow is Batman. He’s become a pop culture icon, with an incredible origin that’s remained pretty much unchanged for his 80 years of existence. Who can forget that iconic moment in Detective Comics #33 when Batman’s origin is first revealed, of how a wayward bat flew through an open window in Wayne Manor and inspired Bruce Wayne…
Of course over the years this moment has been tweaked and refined a bit. Probably the next most iconic moment would be seen in Batman #404, the first part of the Year One story arc by Frank Miller. It’s just full of energy…
Awesome. Now in this version you get a bit more drama to the scene. It’s no just Bruce Wayne lounging in his playboy mansion robe thinking how best to spook thieves and murderers. Now you have a young Bruce Wayne, bleeding from his on a catastrophic first night out fighting crime, looking for an inspiration, a reason for living. And he gets it. Soon his faithful butler Alfred Pennyworth would come by, answering the summons of his bell, and the Dark Knight’s career would truly begin.
Not only that, but here we get to learn a bit more of the bat that burst in on Bruce’s life, whom I affectionately call Speckles. Speckles majestically lands on a bust of his father and Bruce Wayne smiles. It’s an omen, clearly.
Then in 2019, celebrating Batman’s 80th year, we get a refresher to this moment Detective Comics #994…
Pretty dramatic stuff that someone whose been reading Batman for years would get. It’s a nice refresher.
On the other hand, you know what someone who hasn’t read much of Batman would think?
WHY THE FUCK DOES ALFRED HAVE A DEAD BAT ON HIS HEAD???
Seriously, when I first saw this panel I just laughed out loud. Just look at it. Just what is going on here? Did Alfred just walk in, see the dead bat on the floor and say to himself, “You know what, I’ll cheer Master Wayne up,” as he stuck the animal on his head. Look at Bruce Wayne’s face. That’s not the face of a man inspired. That’s the face of someone who has seen way too many bats on his butler’s head and he’s just sighing “Not again. Just take it off Alfred, you look ridiculous.”
Thanks for reading.