Batman famously does not use guns to kill. In fact he generally does not use guns at all, unless you count grappling guns or things like that. This is why it always looks bizarre when a boom-stick is in his hands. One of these scenarios is seen in Detective Comics 573 from 1987 when we see Batman using a shotgun to defend himself. We also get to see the bratty kid Jason Todd with multiple bullet shots through his body as he lays on the ground. So this issue has all sorts of gun entertainment.
Detective Comics 573 is about the Mad Hatter being paroled from prison. As you might predict he swiftly goes back to his old ways and hatches up a plan. He gathers some henchmen (which is impressive how quickly he was able to do this) and robs a bunch of rich people at a dinner party or something, then lights the place on fire. You know, typical villain stuff. To follow his trail Bruce Wayne (Batman) announces that he is going run for councilman. He makes sure the newspaper is phrased “Wayne Throws Hat in Political Ring” to get Mad Hatter’s attention. Does it work? Hook, line and sinker. Mad Hatter decides to attend Wayne’s election party by providing some seemingly harmless straw hats that say “Wayne for Councilman” on them. In reality though they are remote controlled flying buzz saws that threaten everyone’s lives.
This is where the fun starts happening. In a silly sort of way cops start shooting at the flying hats with shotguns. One gets nicked in the arm with one of the spinning hats and drops his weapon. This gives Batman the opportunity to defend himself by using the shotgun to block the blades from hitting him. By the end of the issue, Mad Hatter takes some desperate gun shots in batman’s direction but ends up hitting Robin instead. We find out in the following issue how badly Robin was injured as Batman reminisces about his parents being shot and killed while he was a child. For some reason Batman’s origin story needs to be told repeatedly by different artists as they give their own visual interpretation. The reason for this is unknown but it probably originated from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller which popularized the pearl necklace breaking as it is pulled off the neck of Bruce’s mother.
Beside Batman using a shotgun there are a couple of other humorous things in Detective Comics 753. One is that there is a fight in some sort of sports museum or something. This place happens to have a comically gigantic pool table which is just plain absurd. Our caped hero literally kicks around some enormous cue balls to knock over some henchmen. Another interesting thing I have noticed in this comic is Robin eating chocolate cake. I suppose this is fitting since Jason Todd is a child but there is something I find amusing about superheroes gorging food. There is also something peculiar about Bruce’s butler Alfred, experienced in Special Forces and combat, being reduced to serving Robin a slice of chocolate cake. Be sure to get this comic to see it for yourself.
What are your thoughts on Batman with weapons? Leave a comment below.