September 8th, 2009

I'm Batman

Johnny Witts (yes, even more about this guy)

Shortpacked!: Always the scapegoat. 

Because Johnny Witts, the crime-boss who is always one step ahead of the Batman, is so hilarious, I thought I'd try to get all of Johnny Witts' appearances in comic books -- especially since there seems to be so few of them.  Just four, maybe!  On Saturday, the mail brought me his appearance in The Super Friends #26 (1979).  (Seemingly at least a decade after his prior appearance in... 1968(?), best I can tell.) 

So in Super Friends, Johnny Witts, the crime-boss who is always one step ahead of the Batman, enlists a bunch of felons to impersonate the Justice League and trick the Wonder Twins into telling him Batman's secret identity.  But even though Johnny Witts is the crime-boss who is always one step ahead of the Batman, he's a few steps behind the Wonder Twins.  They catch on pretty immediately.  Well, apparently Wonder Twins > Johnny Witts > Batman.

The best sequence in the book is when Johnny Witts arranges a meeting between who he believes is the secret identities of the Wonder Twins and who he believes is the secret identity of Batman.  (The meeting is in a "stately manor," though they don't say it's Wayne's.)  Witts rounds up his goons for their sneak assault on their unknowing target.  Johnny Witts thinks his handgun will be enough to take him out, but he's "taking no chances," and the other guys have brought their own weapons:

"I'll crush his skull with this crowbar!"
"I'll break his neck with my rope!" 
"I'll blast him with this grenade!"
"And I rip him apart with a spear-gun!"
And they do.  Simultaneously.  The man is lasso-strangled, shot, harpooned, grenaded, and beaten with a crowbar. 

Man, what is that guy with the crowbar even doing there, at the epicenter of all this gunfire and grenade shrapnel?  He's just embarrassing himself.

Anyway, the guy was (surprise) Superman in disguise.  The Wonder Twins' alleged secret identities were (actual surprise!) Marvin and Wendy in disguise!  Huh.

I also enjoy how Johnny Witts had moved on from his green suitcoat and bowtie to a more classy white suitcoat and green turtleneck affair.  He's also the crime-boss who's always one step ahead of fashion!

And today, Johnny Witts' first appearance came in the mail!  Hooray!  (Detective Comics #344)  It was a breakneck tail of Batman being outdone by Johnny Witts panel-to-panel-to .... oh, uh, hey, the story abruptly ends.  Um.  This comic book is missing a page.  No, seriously, it's missing a page!  

I wrote the ebay seller, hoping (in vain) that he'd, uh, know the end to it or something, but he was crazy awesome and refunded me.  So, hey!  (His eBay seller account is "funky25202," so if you need any random old comic books, I recommend giving him money.)

I guess I have to buy another copy of this issue, now.

(Just watch, it'll be a production-wide error.)