But wait: can you apply this TV animation rule to comic books? Why yes. Yes you can. With the easy recitation of these four simple words:
BATMAN DID IT FIRST.
And then I know who you think about second: Arcade. Yes, Arcade! Before he was snuffing teenagers left and right, he was a million-dollar-a-hit hired assassin who would capture superheroes using a (hee hee hee) garbage truck and then he put them inside his giant pinball machine. Of Death! Just like he did with Spider-Man and Captain
Panels from Marvel Team-Up #66 (February 1978), script by Chris Claremont, pencils by John Byrne, inks and colors by Dave Hunt, letters by Tom Orzechowski
(Click second panel to extra-ball-size)
Yes...Arcade sure did that thing. Then he did it again with the X-Men! With the exact same pinball machine! Also, with the same author and artist. Geez, Arcade, get somebody new to write your material!
Panels from [Uncanny] X-Men #123 (July 1979), co-plot and script by Chris Claremont, co-plot and breakdowns by John Byrne, finishes by Terry Austin, colors by Glynis Wein, letters by Tom Orzechowski
Yep, that's the story where all the X-Men died and nobody ever saw them, ever again.
Great deathtrap, huh? Exciting story, suspenseful plot, innovative visuals. That is, if we didn't already know one universal truth:
BATMAN DID IT FIRST.
Panels from "Gamble with Doom!" in Batman #44 (December 1947-January 1948), pencils and inks by Jim Mooney, letters by Ira Schnapp
So there you have it, folks: not only did Batman run the gauntlet of the giant pinball machine first, the Joker has his invention stolen by Arcade. Good thing Joker hasn't noticed the theft of his intellectual property...if it was publicly known, the Joker might lose face! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! That was a little "Death of the Family" joke for all of you. At no extra cost!
I do hope you've enjoyed the first installment of Batman Did It First, a brand-new series of posts here on Comics Oughta Be Fun! I'd ask you to be here next time and join me for the following installment, but