Woe To The Henchmen…!
The henchmen take most of the licks in any episode of Batman ’66. The big time villains tend to sit back and supervise, especially in the case of Catwoman, who usually just hisses and claws from the sidelines. You have to be pretty committed to the criminal lifestyle to connect with the Joker as a henchman though…even Cesar Romero’s Joker struck me as not really caring all that much what happened to the henchmen in his employ.
Remember…when in the Batman ’66 feature film, the bad guys experiment (on henchmen) with their Dehydrator, that can turn a person into colored powder, the Joker laughs. It’s the Penguin who advises caution in dustpanning the powder up, saying, “Remember boys…every one of them has a mother.” All you’re getting from Cesar Romero at that point is “Hoo hoo! Hee Hee!”
Being a henchman, you are pretty much certain to get hit in the face by Batman and/or Robin, sometimes kicked by an alley-oop move by the both of them. That’s pretty much got to be in your henching contract. That said…you could be dehydrated to powder, reduced to a two dimensional figure, or left behind as bait…all of those things happen too. It’s a pretty tough lifestyle, when you think about it.
I was thinking about yesterday’s art, and how it would be logical for a Silver Age.Adam West Batman to want a sidekick with Cap’s Silver Age Alien American powers. When you are rolling out with the Superfriends, or dealing with some problem in a “World’s Finest” issue, it would be a real balancer. Makes sense.
However, today’s art includes a bazooka. Why? If you’re a henchman, and suddenly Batman is rolling out with this Alien American Teenager that can bench press a Stadium, you ARE GOING TO UP YOUR HENCHING GAME. It just makes sense. Sure…the bazooka probably won’t hurt her much. But you know that your fists definitely won’t, because she dealt with that weird flying owlbear guy in the last issue. Maybe you’re hoping it knocks her into the next room, maybe you have the “you never know” mentality. I’m not sure. What I did know, while drawing this, was that the clown henchmen needed to bring their A-game of henching.
I also wanted the Cesar Romero Joker. Decades of Batman have taught me (and Cap) an intense hatred and distrust of clowns. I felt like there should be some kind of “old school” conflict with the Joker, under the mentorship of Batman…because some of you guys really clamor for “continuity” and ideas on why Cap is the way she is. I wish I could say there was a whole lot of planning, but being brutally honest, there is not. In this case, though, we do have a young Cap pummeling through the Joker’s henchmen with a smile on her face. To be honest, when i was a kid, doing that with Batman (who was of course Adam West) was kind of a dream idea.
I’ve gotten a whole lot of questions about why Cap isn’t wearing the Robin mask. A whole lot.
I mean…really, True Believers?
She’s orange. She has HUGE pointed ears. Her eyes have NO pupils. How is that mask going to be protecting any kind of Secret Identity? I’ve always felt that Cap just couldn’t have any kind of secret identity…I figure that she just kind of goes about her business, like Hellboy does, and either people notice or they don’t.
You have to figure that she either lives in the Batcave in a Bat-Guestroom with a Bat-Fourpsoter Bed (which would be bat shaped)…or somewhere at Wayne Enterprises Headquarters. Maybe a guest room at the Hall of Justice. Either way, the Robin mask does no good. You should know that.
I was also thinking that it would be tough for her to fight all of those henchmen, in the same way it’s tough for Superman. Regular henchmen are pretty much made of tissue paper to people with Kryptonian scale Silver Age powers. That guy getting “biffed” in Panel Two? He had better have one hell of a Dental plan, and a good chiropractor.
I liked that panel a whole lot. Lets take a closer look at it, with some sixties art treatment.
Obviously, it’s hard work being a henchman. Adam West is really leaning into that punch…so I’m willing to say that Thug Number Two also needs some serious benefits package on his henching contract.