In honor of Mr.Silver Age entering this forum, I offer this topic.

 

As I was flipping through some "Showcase Presents" volumes, I got to "SP: Batman, Volume 2". With its artwork alternating from Carmine Infantino to *ahem* Bob Kane, it presented such great villains like Poison Ivy, Blockbuster and the Outsider to lame ones like the Eraser, Mister ESPer and the Birdmaster. The stories ranged from thrilling to clever to corny.

 

However, one story just kicked me in the ...shins. From "Detective" #355 (S'66), we meet the Hooded Hangman. Now we could hope that he was an evil take-off of the MLJ Hangman, but we're not that lucky. No, this Hangman is a professional wrestler and a masked one, at that. Apparently, on the Silver Age Earth-One, pro wrestling is a legitimate sport, viewed by an arena filled by men in suits, including Bruce Wayne. The Hooded Hangman wrestles with one stipulation. If he is defeated, his opponent can unmask him and reveal his true identity which seems to be the greatest mystery in sports. Too bad they didn't have the Internet back then. He has a chokehold called the Hangman's Knot that secures his undefeated streak.

 

Bruce and Dick actually talk about using their deductive skills to find out who this guy really is!! I guess they already solved the Jugde Crater and Amelia Earhart cases. Anyhow, Batman, solo, finds the Hooded Hangman near a robbery scene, tries to stop him and gets his grandfather-clock-to-the-Batcave cleaned by his opponent's wrestling moves. He didn't even use a steel chair!

 

Of course, there is a strange and convoluted plot going on that our Caped Crusader figures out and is victorious but it's their second encounter that almost made me choke on a pretzel. Responding to a call for help, Batman enters an alley only to find that the Hooded Hangman is there. Again they fight and after Batman escapes the Hangman's full-nelson and wallops him a couple of good ones, the Hangman darts through a door on the side of the building, locking it behind him and escapes.

 

Let me repeat this: He gets up, walks through a wooden door and eludes the Dark Knight by locking it. Batman does NOT try to break this wooden door down with a kick or anything. He does NOT use the explosives, acids or laser that are in his fabled utility belt. He doesn't even knock! He just stands there and is stymied by this impenetrable locked door!

 

Was he having an off day? Maybe he didn't want to damage private property. Maybe he didn't want to stake out the front door to see if the Hangman leaves that way or maybe the front door was locked. too!

 

Sometimes it seems like the Silver Age writers coast every now and then! Can anyone think of a DC or Marvel comic that has a plotpoint or situation that just makes you scream, "That's so stupid!". Silly ones count too if they're from a serious book. No "Jimmy Olsen", "Lois Lane" or "Ant-Man" examples please!

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Thanks for the welcome! I check in on Cap's board on occasion, but with CBG on walkabout for more than a freaking week by now, I figured I ought to sign up if I was going to stroll around more often.

I can think of a few stories that fit your description--I actually think of six (well, now four) of them each year and award them a Mopee Award. I steered clear of Jimbo and Lo stories for many years, because as you note, it's too easy to use them. But I finally decided they were too great to keep avoiding, and I've gone to that well a few times. Ant-Man too has won a couple, because how could he not? I don't think Stan was lingering over those plots.

These kinds of stories are easy to find in Super-Family titles, for sure. First, they often skipped so many plot requirements to get from Point A to Point B before Point C ended the 8-page story, and second, because there were so many of issues coming out. That meant they were turning out so many stories they didn't always have time to smooth over the jagged parts, and there are plenty of weird moments to choose from, with as many as three stories per issue. Superman was appearing in about as many titles as Marvel was putting out, so he was bound to have some goofy moments.

Julie doesn't have anywhere near as many moments, but he's had his share, and I think your Batman tale fills the bill. I'll have to add that one to my list of nominees.I'm always on the lookout for any I've forgotten!

-- MSA

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