Strange Times & Places: Batman & Captain America

Happy Independence Day from Strange Times & Places, where this week we’ll be visiting a world the Sentinel of Liberty coexists with the Dark Knight Detective during World War II – the world of John Byrne’s Batman & Captain America!

How’s It Different?

It’s hard to categorize, but I suppose I’d call this one a Royale With Cheese. Neither Batman nor Superman’s histories are particularly different from canonical material that portrays their 1940s adventures (when Batman is said to have had some…), they just simply happen to coexist.

What’s The Story?

Batman & Robin are hot on the trail of The Joker, who is pulling a series of jobs far outside his usual thuggish M.O. – targeting personnel and materials being used by the top secret Gotham Project in the creation of the atomic bomb! Someone’s clearly pulling the Clown Prince of Crime’s strings, and the U.S. government has a suspect – conspicuously clean Gotham Project benefactor Bruce Wayne. They’ve recalled Captain America and Bucky from the European front to go undercover and catch Wayne red-handed, but it will take the combined might of these Dynamic Duos to tackle the REAL culprit

Best of Differences

  • Cap is introduced to the tale helping Sgt. Rock and Easy Company take down a massive, sci-fi war machine of the Third Reich. It’s a cool sequence and a nice little crossover within a crossover.
  • The Joker, in a move lifted straight out of the excellent Rocketeer flick, is incensed to find out he’s been working with a Nazi spy (in this case, the Red Skull). Odd though it may be, it’s pretty cool to see the Clown Prince of Crime show SOME scruples.
  • The comic ends with an epilogue (apparently suggested to Byrne by Roger Stern) of Batman & Robin II (Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, Jr.) rescuing Captain America from the ice, Avengers style. While the rest of the story is a rollicking good time, something about this capper just captures my imagination – the idea of a crossoververse that takes a page from Byrne’s other elseworlds bat-tale, Batman & Superman: Generations, is too interesting to ignore…even if Bats and Cap are the only heroes mentioned in this particular tale.

Come back next week for a new installment of Tokusatsu Gesundheit!

About Chris Walker

Chris Walker (@back2past) is affectionately referred to as Back to the Past's social media lackey. He's all over finding nuggets of pop culture news, wherever they may be hiding!

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