FW Team-Up: Batman and the Atom

Siskoid and the First Strike The Invasion! Podcast’s Bass Levesque combine forces to cover one of the weirdest team-ups in Batman history! Bob Haney and Jim Aparo’s “The Corpse That Wouldn’t Die!” from The Brave and the Bold #115, starring the Dark Knight Detective and the mighty Atom! It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced!

Listen to the Team-Up below, or subscribe to FW Team-Up on iTunes!

Relevant images and further credits at: FW Team-Up Supplemental

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13 responses to “FW Team-Up: Batman and the Atom

  1. What an outrageously fun story. I have to admit that I liked this one, at least in part, because it reminds me of my all time favorite episode of The Brave and the Bold animated series, Journey to the Center of the Bat. Come to think of it, I also enjoy movies like Fantastic Voyage and Innerspace. So, I must just have a thing for size changing stories that involve exploration of the human body. I wonder if there’s a proper name for this subgenere? I personally can’t think of anything that wouldn’t sound gross or perverted.

    When it comes to an Atom team up, I’d like to see the Silver Age Atom team up with the Golden Age Atom. The story would involve a powerful super villain taking out all of the Justice Society, except for Golden Age Atom. Golden Age Atom enlists the aid of Silver Age Atom to save the day. Together, they concoct a plan where Silver Age Atom uses his shrinking power to make it appear that Golden Age Atom has developed super powers. This catches the villain off guard, allowing the two heroes to take him out with an old fashioned one-two-punch. Because the story would be written by Bob Haney, you wouldn’t even have to worry about how Silver Age Atom ends up on Earth 2.

    1. Come to think of it. I think they did something similar in the opening segment of a Brave and the Bold episode, which involved Batman, The Atom, and Felix Faust or some other mystical villain. So much for originality.

    2. I was thinking something along the lines of “anatomical explorer fiction”, but I like “inner space opera” better. It’s much less likely to be misconstrued.

  2. Dudes (and Bass)! Great show! Who doesn’t love the Atom. Such a fun story for the big brained tiny superhero. I’m going to go out on a limb that Bob Haney isn’t a neurologist.

    Also, another slam on BATO! I like where your mind’s at, Siskoid.

  3. I kept waiting for you guys to get to the Khunds, until I realized this wasn’t an episode of INVASION!

    It’s ironic that Haney was given the B&B assignment, as opposed to Batman or Detective. His cheerful disregard for established continuity probably wouldn’t have caused as much problems if he hadn’t been writing a book that forced Batman to interact with the bigger DCU every issue.

    Although now that I say it, I have no idea if it ever was a “problem.” Did fans at the time care? I could go back and check out the letter columns, but I wonder if anyone was really bothered by the random elements Haney shoved into his stories.

    Haney’s B&B stories are essentially a 70s cop show if it had been produced by Irwin Allen–a tough, gritty crime procedural, which also sometimes had the time and money to interject crazy sci-fi concepts. Aparo’s work here is, as you said, top-notch. He brought such power and vitality to these stories.

    1. I think the disregard of the multiverse (Wildcat should be on Earth-Two, etc.) did get some letters in B&B, but that’s probably about it. It’s only in later years that fans started to look at the DC characters’ histories as a grand narrative, after the Marvel creators came over and brought that notion with them. In hindsight, the Haney stories stick out more because they are pretty wild in some of their portrayals and out-of-continuity additions, but honestly David V. Reed’s Batman tales of the same period are just as nuts and often very less satisfying.

      Chris

  4. I’m not sure how a question of “who came off better?” turns into a question about “whose story does this feel more like?” While I can see an argument to be made for this feeling more like a Batman story than an Atom story, Batman can’t really be said to have “come off better” in a story where he has practically no agency for most of the action. The Atom wins that question, hands down.

    Alternative take: Despite not being an active part of the story, Batman *does* get all the credit and (ahem!) rewards, as you guys noted. Batman *definitely* comes off better than Atom, who does all the work and no one even finds out about it.

  5. Had always heard about this story but never read it so thanks for covering!

    As you say, Haney probably read about the parts of the brain and decided to incorporate it into a story. But for me, this stuff and vocabulary were the path to more comics. Wow your parents and say you learned it from comics = more comics!

    “I couldn’t remember where I left my shoes but luckily my THALAMUS kicked in! Also, ligtherage is the method of bringing in imports on flat boats!”

  6. I have a great memory of this and all of the Haney-Aparo team-ups. Very guilty childhood fun for me. What I did like about B&B was THIS characterization of the Batman. A bit caped crusader, the cop’s best friend, and a little Dirty Harry rolled into an awesome and very simple costume. Haney rarely used super-villains – mobsters, smugglers, terrorists, tin horn dictators, neo-nazis, white-collar criminals – which informed us that the JLA and allies did more than just wait for meta-human prison breakouts. They were fun, one and done, and, what the hell, how do I know that you can’t animate a human body by stimulating the nerve centers. It was a great concept and a great use of the very under rated Atom character.

    Zaney like a Fox! (But not Gardener Fox.)

  7. You cats did a far out episode! I liked that you gave credit for Batman on the story despite he is brain dead through the majority of the story. Poor Atom still could not compete. :)

  8. Well, that’s one way to do a team-up. Props to Siskoid and Bass for doing a fun episode on a fun but wacky comic! Felt like Innerspace meets the game Manual Samuel. Thanks, guys!

    To be contrary, if F&W does a BATO podcast, I would be ALL IN!

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