Tag Archives: Batman and Robin

Knocked Off His Perch

The prompt at our writers’ group tonight was to write a piece beginning with the line “It was the first time I killed a man”…..

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It was the first time I killed a man. I’d fought villains for years, of course, wrestling with the Penguin, struggling with the Joker, grappling with Catwoman.

And I’d fought their henchmen. With Robin by my side I had engaged in many a punch-up, filling the air both audibly and visibly with “Pow!”s, “Thwack!”s, and “Shit, that really hurt!”s.

But no-one ever died. The henchmen ended up in a pile, the villains ended up in a cell, and the Batpistol ended up unused in the Bat Utility Belt.

Then came that awful night. You could argue, of course, that I didn’t actually kill him. The Batsignal lit up in the night sky, Robin rushed into my room to tell me about it, and I hastily pulled up the sheets to cover my modesty and the fact that I was once again grappling with Catwoman.

Robin stepped onto the rubber suit that I had discarded on the floor, slid halfway across the room, tripped over the pair of pyramids presented by Catwoman’s equally discarded outfit, and shot out of the window.

I’m not sure why we had picked Robin as a name for him, but it certainly wasn’t because he could fly.

You could argue, of course, that I didn’t actually kill him, that it was an accident, but that didn’t make me feel any better. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t succumbed to Catwoman’s womanly wiles. It wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t strewn our clothes all over a polished wooden floor. It wouldn’t have happened if I’d given Commissioner Gordon my mobile number, so that he didn’t have to use that stupid Batsignal.

I raced down the five flights of stairs and out the front door of Wayne Manor. Robin lay sprawled on the gravel drive, surrounded by five letters spelling out the word “splat”.

You could argue, of course, that I didn’t actually kill him, because he wasn’t dead. This was Gotham City, after all, so as I stood looking sadly down at him he suddenly sat up and said “Holy High Dive, Batman!”

I hated it when he came out with crap like that, so I hit him. With a bat.

You could argue, of course, that I did actually kill him, except that being hit with what’s essentially a winged hamster doesn’t do a lot of harm, so fear not, the Boy Wonder will still be stunning our enemies with his fists, and our audience with his clichés next week at the same Bat-time, on the same Bat-channel.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companiable

Another camera-less attempt at the WordPress Photo Challenge…

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Doctor Groves looked at his patient. He took in the rubber suit, the black utility belt, the bar-eared mask, and he sighed.

He had already seen a Superman and a Spiderman this week. He had also seen two Napoleons, a Cleopatra, three Simon Cowells and a guy who claimed to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The difference between them and his current patient, though, was that this was the real Batman.

He had first been referred to Doctor Groves, Gotham City’s most eminent psychiatrist,  by Chief O’Hara, who was worried about this guy who had turned up at Police Headquarters claiming among other things that he fought with a penguin. But over time Groves had realised that he genuinely was a Super-hero. Yet still the Caped Crusader was here, lying stereotypically upon the psychiatrist’s couch.

Because Batman’s problem was not that he thought he was Batman.

“He helped me again last night,” said Batman.

“No, he didn’t,” said the Doctor gently. “We’ve been through this. Robin doesn’t exist. He’s your imaginary friend.”

“He’s not imaginary,” snapped Batman. “I told you, we fought side by side only last night.”

The Doctor leaned forward. “Tell me what happened,” he said.

“Well,” said Batman, “I was fighting Catwoman’s goons, watching the words “Biff!” and “Thwack!” appear in the air (curing Batman’s belief that this actually happened was a problem that Dr Groves was leaving for later sessions) when he suddenly appeared beside me, yelling “Holy Goon-Show, Batman!”. Then he got punched in the face.”

The Doctor was startled. “What, one of the goons could see him as well?”

“No, I punched him in the face,” said Batman. “Sometimes all that Holy This and Holy That gets on my nerves.”

He looked off to one side. “Sorry,” he said. Dr Groves felt the hairs rise on his neck.

“He’s here now, isn’t he?” asked Groves. Batman nodded. “He says “Holy Nut-doctor, Batman!” said Batman.

“I’m not a nut-doctor,” said Dr Groves. “They deal, er, down lower. Look, you’re Batman. The Dark Knight. You have the coolest car on the planet, your own signal in the sky, you can fight your way through a whole roomful of villains. Why would you need a side-kick who has no weapons, no special talents, and who spoils any element of surprise that you might have when approaching a villain’s lair by wearing something so bright that you can see it from two miles away on a dark night, if you’ll pardon the pun?”

“Er, well,” said Batman, looking, for the first time in many, many sessions, as if he had lots to think about.

“Seriously,” said Dr Groves. “If you want something red-and-green with a gift for repetitive phrases, then you should get a parrot.”

Time was up, so Batman stood. He paid for the session in cash, saying as he always did that it was lucky that he was carrying his Bat-Cash-Holding-Device with him. Doctor Groves actually had something similar, though he called it a wallet.

At the door Batman turned.

“See you next week,” he said. “Same bats time, same bats channel.”

Real Time

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “the illusion of reality”….

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He had many names.

Most knew him as Batman. Others referred to him as The Dark Knight. He was sometimes known as Bruce Wayne. Villains sometimes called him “that idiot in the tights.”

His mum knew him as Danny. He was eight years old. But he was Batman, and with his four-year-old brother Jason as Robin he fought the villains of Gotham City from his HQ in the Batcave, with its Spongebob Squarepants wallpaper and its poster of the Irish Euro 2012 Soccer Squad.

He fought the Joker, a giant teddy-bear of Jason’s.

He fought the Penguin, who was a toy penguin, bought for him after Happy Feet came out.

He fought Catwoman, a Barbie taken from their sister’s room. (He had once asked in a toy shop for Catwoman Barbie and the man had told him politely that there was no such thing, though just for a second you could tell that he was thinking that it wasn’t a bad idea). He used Skiing Barbie instead, at least she wore a one piece outfit.

He had the Batsuit, a gift from Santa. He had the Batmobile, a real sit-in car bought for his birthday by his parents. He had to pedal it to get it to go, but his Dad had told him that in the films Batman was also pedalling furiously as the Batmobile tore along, and certainly there is no evidence to the contrary. He had the Bat Utility-Belt, in which he usually kept a toy ray-gun, a toy Sonic Screwdriver (yes, that’s from Doctor Who, so what, crime-fighters regularly lend each other stuff) and a small carton of Sunny Delight, complete with straw.

Jason was an obedient if useless sidekick, much like the real Robin. As his older brother was his hero he would follow him pretty well everywhere, but occasionally he would explore other distractions. On one occasion, while they were in the Batgarden and Batman was thumping the Joker (shouting “Biff!” and “Kapow!” as he did so) he looked to see if Robin was dealing with the henchmen (a collection of now unused Cabbage Patch Dolls) and found instead that Robin was playing with dog-poo.

“Holy dog-poo, Batman!” he’d shouted, holding it up.

“Holy Jesus!” Batman’s mother had cried, racing out of the front door.

Danny’s dad had painted the Batlogo onto the bulb of his night-light, and as he snuggled down in bed each night, after a hard day’s crime-fighting, he would stare happily up at the Batsignal on the ceiling.

You could argue that all of this was the illusion of reality, that he wasn’t really Batman at all. But it was real to him, and that’s what matters.

It was the reality of illusion. It’s what keeps childhood so special.

Name Dropping

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “the decision”…

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“No way.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve made my decision.”

“Well unmake it,” said Dick Grayson. “There is no way that I’m going to be called Robin.”

“I don’t see why not,” said Batman. “It’s an excellent name.”

“It’s a dork’s name,” said Robin. “Let me present Batman – the Dark Knight, Thor – the Thunder God, and Robin – the Guy Who Looks Good On Christmas Cards.”

“No, you’ll have a proper nickname,” said Batman. “You’re going to be Robin – the Boy Wonder.”

“I am twenty-six years old,” said Dick icily, so icily in fact that it’s a pity that the name “Iceman” was taken. “Look, it’s not cool. In a world full of people called The Green Hornet, Wolverine and Captain America, I would be the equivalent of the Boy Named Sue.”

“And what would you suggest?”

“Well, what I’ve thinking,” said Dick, “is that I’m going to be a super-hero, and my name -”

“We’re not calling you SuperDick,” said Batman flatly.

Dick, as he would be known for the last time, sighed. “Ok, Robin it is then. Knowing my luck we’ll meet a villain called The Sparrow, with his bow-and-arrow.”

“Ok, that’s settled,” said Batman.

“But do me one favour. Just explain to me how you picked it?”

“Well, fortunately I had my Bat Random Name Generator -”

“Don’t talk shite,” snapped Robin. “There’s no such thing, and we both know it.”

“I found it in a Book of Baby Names,” admitted Batman.

“Very scientific. Come to that, how did you come up with your own name? Spider-man I get, the Riddler I get, but why Batman? Can you navigate by echo?”

“I must admit I had problems,” said Batman. “Most of the good names where taken. I flirted with the idea of Toyman, and toyed with the idea of Flirtman. I thought of wearing a metal breastplate and calling myself Tinman -”

“Stupid name,” said Robin.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. Then finally it hit me.”

“What did?”

“A baseball bat,” said Batman. “It fell off the top shelf where I kept it.”

“Pity it wasn’t an umbrella,” said Robin. “You could have called yourself “Rain Man”.”