This is the first installment of My Name It is Nothin’, a look at when comic books guest star celebrities, but their names are changed so as to avoid any legal problems. We begin with the time that Robin ended up breaking up the Beatles!
1970’s Batman #222 has an amazing cover by Neal Adams that seems like it is Batman and Robin finally getting to the bottom of the whole “Is Paul dead?” urban legend.
Back in the late 1960s/early 1970s, a bizarre urban legend popped up that Paul McCartney had died and the Beatles were covering it up, but were also including a few hints to let people know that he was really dead (why is Paul the only one walking out of step with the other three on the cover of Abbey Road? Huh? HUH?)
Batman #222 (by Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Dick Giordano) decides to address this issue head on.
The issue opens with Dick Grayson away at college (remember, at this point in time, Batman comics rarely had Robin in them, since Dick was away at college. So a Batman comic with Robin, as well, was a big deal whenever it happened) and it is a basic recitation of the various “Paul is dead” rumors, only the Beatles are called the Oliver Twists and Paul McCartney is Saul Cartwright…
I do like that Robin is cool with using Bruce Wayne’s fortune just to satisfy a hunch he has.
Anyhow, the Oliver Twists get invited to Gotham City and they stay at stately Wayne Manor…
However, their attempts to get Saul to sing by himself so that they could analyze his voice by itself to compare it with his old singing voice keep getting foiled and it is clear that SOMEthing is up…
When Batman and Robin try to investigate further when the Twists go to record at a Gotham City studio, they are shocked to learn that the Twists were never going to record there! It was all a trick to trap Batman and Robin in a deadly fashion! They survive, of course, since they are Batman and Robin, and they head back to confront Saul and the Twists. They go to Saul and see if he’s the one who set them up and then they are shocked to learn that Glennan (John Lennon) is the one who did it!
As it turned out, the twist with the Oliver Twists was that the only one who DIDN’T die was Saul! The rest died while visiting Asia and Saul replaced them with lookalikes because he missed his friends and didn’t want to go on as a solo artist.
The Glennan impersonator, though, did not want to risk losing out on this sweet gig, so he decided to try to kill Batman and Robin when it was clear that they were trying to prove the truth one way or the other.
In the end, Saul goes on to have a successful solo career (that Robbins came up with a bird-like name for Saul’s next group, while the real life Paul would name his next band Wings is a pretty neat coincidence)…
Okay, people, there are obviously TONS of great examples of this sort of thing in comic book history, so get thy selves to thine e-mail and send in suggestions for future editions of My Name It is Nothin’ to email@example.com!
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