In Remember to Forget, we spotlight comic book stories that I wish I could forget, but I can’t, so I instead share them with you all!
Recently, I detailed the first times that Wonder Woman had an outright team-up with Batman and Superman (not counting just being on the same team with them in the Justice League). In the case of Batman, it was Brave and the Bold #78. I said in that column that I would write another column about just how crazy Brave and the Bold #78 was and, well, this is that column.
The issue was written by Bob Haney and was drawn by Bob Brown and Mike Esposito. It is a perfect example of Bob Haney’s infamous “Haney-verse” approach to writing Brave and the Bold. Essentially, Haney would treat any superhero who appeared in Brave and the Bold as completely fair game in terms of characterization. Haney did not feel as though he should have to worry about how other writers wrote the characters, for as long as they were in Brave and the Bold, they were under his control. So you would often have instances where characters acted wildly out of character when they teamed up with Batman in Brave and the Bold.
One of those examples was this issue, which introduced the villain Copperhead (a great design by Brown and Esposito).
Copperhead was a clever villain. His modus operandi was that he would only commit crimes when he KNEW, without a doubt, that Batman was preoccupied with something else (like another crime). Batman tried to think of a way to catch Copperhead. So the next day, Wonder Woman and Batgirl show up in Gotham City each declaring their love for Batman…
So Wonder Woman and Batgirl shower Batman with gifts to prove that they love him the most and they keep it up so much that Batman is horribly distracted and unable to promptly respond to a bank robbery. Ultimately, this leads to the Copperhead to strike at a time when he knows that Wonder Woman and Batgirl are fighting over Batman.
Then Haney unveils the first twist of the comic – this was all a ruse to make Copperhead THINK that Batman was distracted so that he would strike. Batman asked Wonder Woman and Batgirl to PRETEND to be in love with him so that it would look like they distracted him! How, exactly, you pitch two women that pretending to be in love with you is part of a plot is beyond me, but hey, he’s Batman, he probably is very convincing (“No, you see, Wonder Woman, the only way that we can stop the Riddler is if you and I sleep together. It’s all for justice, you understand.”).
But Copperhead, at the last minute, doesn’t take the bait, so Batman tells Wonder Woman and Batgirl to put the fake contest back on…
And now here’s the second twist of the comic book…this time Wonder Woman and Batgirl fall in love with Batman FOR REAL!
Yes, it really is that insane. They just get caught up and determine that they ARE in love with Batman. And now, due to the Copperhead monitoring them, he finds out that they each left proof of their secret identities in a well as a tribute, of sorts, to Batman, and he rushes to get them! Luckily, Wonder Woman destroys them before he can read them. She then manages to track him to his secret lair, but he then knocks her out. Her presence there, though, allows Batgirl and Batman to track him there, too. He knocks out Batgirl, but Batman seemingly manages to catch him, but then he shocks Batman with some deadly poison!
Luckily, Batgirl has an anti-venom handy once she comes to and she saves Batman’s life and they both arrest Copperhead. He is all mad that Batman beat him specifically through the help of Wonder Woman (who tracked him to his lair) and Batgirl (who saved Batman’s life)….
You have to love their farewell to Batman. “Sorry we fell in love with you!”
What a bonkers issue, and not in a good way. It was almost in a good way. All they had to do was keep it that they were playing along and this would just be a fun “I Love Ya But You’re Strange” story. But then they had to fall for him for real like a bunch of morons.
If anyone else has a suggestion for a story that you wish you could forget, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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