3. Batman's insane dad joke odyssey

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Neal Adams' work on Batman in the 1970s is the stuff of legends -- almost as good as his vaunted Mr. T comics. So it made sense for DC to give Adams free reign to do whatever the hell he wanted for a long-form story. It turned out that "whatever he wanted" happened to be a baffling 13-issue Batmanifesto that veers from brilliance to the depths of insanity from panel to panel. Batman: Odyssey is hard to describe -- it's so much more than goofy dad jokes, but also not much more than that.

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Even moreso than the violent, psychotic Batman of Frank Miller's All Star Batman and Robin, Adam's Batman in Odyssey vacillates from silly to deadly serious to prankster general to a split second from shooting someone in the head with a gun. As abridged above, near the end of series he pretends to blow up Robin. Even Deadman -- who is currently possessing a genetic experiment that thinks he's Anubis the Egyptian god of death because everything in this comic is something I never thought I'd type  -- thinks Batman has gone completely fucking nanners. To be fair, his dialogue is pretty suspect; when Batman sees that Robin was alive and not blown up by the god-damned bomb that he rigged him with, he says "You scared the string out of my knees!" Earlier Batman feared that Deadman was giving him "the old hairy eyeball... planning to stick an ice pick in my ear." In short, Batman in Odyssey talks like deranged grandfather on a coke binge.

And it gets weirder.

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Batman and Robin have always had this latent homosexuality thing going on, but in Odyssey it's as subtle as a shirtless man waving a banana in your face. You're not mistaken -- that's Alfred Pennyworth motioning his hands like a penis going into a vagina, while Bruce Wayne hides his crotch with his shirt and blushes like a pubescent boy. Don't forget to look in the corner for a conspicuous image of a man's face pointed towards Bruce's crotch! As if I had to tell you guys.

There's so much more down the Odyssey rabbit hole, it's best if you start from the beginning. But we're not done yet...

 

2. Robin makes a terrible Batman

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Nightwing has only been around since the 80s, but that doesn't mean Dick Grayson was stuck as Batman's sidekick the whole time. Decades before that short period when Dick officially took over as the Batman, the Robin of Earth-Two grew up and became... a really awkward grown-up Robin. Instead of taking over the Batman mantle when Bruce retired, this version of Dick decided to keep going as Robin while still swiping parts of Batman's old look. Why he thought that the yellow cape and domino mask were worth keeping is anyone's guess.

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Grown-up Robin manages to look ridiculous for any occasion, whether it's conversing with a chesty Robin from Regular-Earth or sitting cross-legged on Superman like he's riding a magic carpet. You don't see Grown-up Robins these days because everyone has since realized that the name and character are inexorably tied to youth -- when a Robin grows up they get their own name, like Red Robin or Red Hood. But Grown-up Robin is just wrong, like calling Bow Wow "Lil'" when he is in fact no longer "Lil'."