Great Moments in Comics History: World’s Finest Comics #153

World's Finest Comics #153 (1965)


Batman’s not the best at expressing his emotions in a positive way.


  1. How come Batman can bitch slap Robin and he’s still the most popular super hero around, but Hank Pym hits the Wasp and he is ruined as a character forever?

  2. Oh man saw too many (crappy) memes with that image in 2012 I feel like puking now…

  3. And with this, the Internet was born.

  4. I wouldn’t’ even put Hank Pym beating on Wasp in this conversation in comparison with Batman slapping Robin.The Avengers showed straight up domestic abuse.The Wasp would show up at meetings with sunglasses on because her eye was swollen shut and Pym would always verbally abuse her.He was a c*#k sucker by all means in the 80’s!

  5. Isn’t Bruce not quite himself in this issue? I’ve never read it, but his quote about “proving Superman’s guilt” seems just as out of character as slapping Robin. Even for Golden Age Batman.

    To compare this to the Hank Pym abuse seems a little silly. Even if Bruce often slapped Robin, it was the forties. Compared to the level of awareness regarding household abuse in the present time, these people were blind and deaf. Even in the eighties, spousal abuse was only just beginning to come into the light, hence why the Pym beating was an actual controversy (for comics), and this is just some good ol’ Golden Age fun! No one can see the black eyes under the domino mask.

    • Actually Pym was having a mental breakdown at this time, so he wasn’t quite himself either.

    • Well, I don’t know what’s going on with Bruce in this panel (I was thinking mind-control/possesion, etc.), but my point was the era in which it takes place is the glaring difference. This is a guy slapping a kid in the forties. Sad, sure, Wrong, absolutely. But common, and unfortunately, not a big deal at the time. The Pym abuse was intentionally written to raise awareness and convey a very modern human flaw in an otherwise noble hero. Whether they intended it to turn into the decade-spanning scandal that it did is irrelevant. What we’re seeing here was perhaps the emotional climax of a single issue, Bruce possible breaking point in which he lashes out at his partner. Pym-lovers everywhere will argue that Jan was on the receiving end of a similar breaking point, and they’re not wrong. The difference is that in the eighties the world could understand that it was wrong, and Shooter knew that (whether he says so or not). The Pym issue turned into a debate that is still fueling discusion thirty years later. The Batman issue turned into a meme. I think that says it all.

      We’ve been over this. Josh wrote a lengthy peice on it last year which was followed by a lengthy discussion. I’m not defending Batman. I’m not saying Golden Age Bruce Wayne is a better person than Bronze Age Hank Pym. We all know that’s obviously true :). I don’t hate Hank Pym or think he’s a wife-beater. All I’m saying is that timing is everything, and I personally don’t feel that comparing this to to that is entirely accurate.

    • I don’t buy the ‘commonplace at the time’ argument. Othello was a douche for hitting Desdamona. Being abused feels horrible no matter the date, no matter how commonplace. If I’m being beaten, the fact that it’s 1945 and my neighbor’s also being beaten doesn’t make it hurt less.

    • @John42: Not even close to what I was saying. Anyone who goes on the internet and defends abuse of any kind in any era is an idiot. But perhaps I wasn’t being articulate enough. The action is the same in both cases. The statements (or lack thereof) being made, and the reactions (or lack thereof) are entirely different. We frown at spousal abuse. We smile at sidekick abuse. Perhaps the fact that the Janet slap is still a controversy and the Robin slap is a meme says more about our modern society than it does about our past.

      Didn’t mean for this to turn into a thing. I think we’re done here.

      I hope so, anyway.

    • @WheelHands, I apologize for over-simplifying and I now see your point. I have a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase “not a big deal at the time” and feel compelled to point out that while it might not be a big deal to the society-at-large it’s a really big deal to the victims.

      Once again, I now realize that what I was reacting to had nothing to do with your point, so I’m stepping off the soap-box too.

    • No worries.

  6. Hey guys, let’s not do the Hank Pym thing. We’ve had the debate before, and it didn’t turn out pretty.

    On the topic at hand, I feel lied to. I had assumed the “MY PARENTS ARE DEAAAAAAAD” edit was the original.

  7. Aside from the socio-political issues raised by this…

    Storytelling-wise, if the panel was flopped, the balloons could be rearranged to read in a more logical order. Then Robin’s line could end in “ow.” He also wouldn’t be giving a speech after he was hit.

    Although “unh!” would be more dramatic.

    • How ’bout a new weekly column that’s the equivalent of a MAKE COMICS podcast? Keep it simple: Josh, or better Paul because as the new kid he’s desperate to prove himself, picks a Silver Age sequence of just one or two panels that one of the artist friends of iFanboy redoes in just a rough, blocking sketch, that shows how modern storytelling would change things.

      Same thing each week, their choice to rewrite dialogue or leave it out entirely. Quick sketch and the artist plugs whatever project he has coming out.

      Yes? No?

  8. I am just sick of the word “meme”.

  9. Nice! I always wondered where this was from.

  10. The meme is so much better than this. Seriously, I wanted the line “My parents are dead!!” to be a real thing.

  11. Batman had a similar reaction when Robin ate the last Hot Pocket.

  12. Damian would not put up with this abuse.