This is the latest installment of "See the Meaning," which is a feature where I provide the context behind notable out-of-context comic book panels!
I wrote about this a couple of years ago for Knowledge Waits, but I realized that it works for this column, as well.
Today, we look at the origins of this hilarious meme involving Batman and his distaste for chocolate ice cream...
Or I guess it is really just chocolate in general that Batman apparently dislikes.
While this specific version of the meme has been around for a few years, a more generalized version of it has been around even longer, with an additional few panels that lead to the kick showing up in 2014 on the awesome site, Superdickery, which spotlights examples of superheroes looking like jerks out of context (in reference to the classic Silver Age trope where Superman comic book covers would show the Man of Steel doing horrific things to his friends but once you read the comic, you discover that he did the horrible thing for a really good reason. Eventually, it got to the point where the covers would be developed BEFORE the story, with Mort Weisinger even letting little kids write in with comic book cover ideas and then the writers would have to come up with a way to get around the cover. Julius Schwartz used this "cover first and then the story to explain the cover" approach a lot).
That was just a general panel version, but the specific meme version popped up a year or so later and then was used as either a non-sequitur online or in response to someone mentioning chocolate and/or chocolate ice cream.
Anyhow, the full context of the page lets you know the truth. It is taken from the fifth issue of 2005's "Batman: Jekyll and Hyde" miniseries (by Paul Jenkins and Sean Phillips, with Phillips doing the back half of the series and Jae Lee drawing the first half) and when you see the whole page you can see that it is Two-Face that he is kicking, and not actually for his taste in ice cream, but because he's, you know, Two-Face...
It's pretty awesome that he is drawn in such a way that you seriously cannot tell that it is Two-Face, as that's clearly how the meme was able to succeed.
Want to know WHY Two-Face was eating chocolate ice cream and Batman was attacking him?