Superman/batman 8 3rd Print Variant : Books

As the Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin have the most enduring partnership in superhero fiction. For decades, the deep, abiding friendship between Batman and his young partner has been the focal point of countless stories from comics to film and beyond. Like any old friends, Batman and his various Robins have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years too. While most of their arguments have been fairly minor, the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder have come to blows every now and then.

Since 2008, Batman’s biggest slap has been the stuff of Internet legend. As the “My Parents are Dead” meme, this panel of Batman unleashing a resounding slap on Robin has been traded around online countless times. While the context of the panel is usually ignored, the original story grounds the meme in a tragic story.

The “Bat-slap” was originally published in 1965’s World’s Finest #153, by Edmond Hamilton and Curt Swan. In the alternate reality tale, “The Clash of Cape and Cowl,” Bruce Wayne believed that a young Superman was responsible for his father’s death. Wayne became Batman to avenge his dad and adopted Dick Grayson, who became Robin. After Robin expressed his support for Superman, Batman slapped him and used the Crime Doctor’s hypnosis machine to erase his memory. With no acknowledgement towards Robin’s good works, Wayne sent his former ward to grow up in a Gotham City orphanage.

Although it’s largely been overshadowed by the success of Teen Titans Go! , Young Justice became a fan favorite with its serious take on the adventures of DC Comics’ teen heroes. In the 2012 season finale, “Auld Acquaintance,” several of those young heroes and sidekicks had to face off against their adult counterparts. Using mind-control technology derived from Starro alien biology, Vandal Savage and Klarion the Witch Boy sent Batman and the rest of the Justice League after Robin and Young Justice.

While the other heroes fought in the background, Batman clashed with Dick Grayson. Although Robin used his agility to counter Batman’s raw strength, he couldn’t avoid all of the Dark Knight’s blows. After landing near his teammate, Superboy swung Robin around so he could take out Batman with a single high-powered kick. After that left Batman unconscious, Grayson used kryptonite to help Superboy take down Superman too.

After Dick Grayson grew up to become Nightwing, Jason Todd took his place as the second Robin. In Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo’s landmark 1988 story “A Death in the Family,” Todd’s short, troubled tenure as Robin came to an end when the Joker killed him. In 2005’s Batman #635, by Judd Winick and Doug Mahnke, Todd returned from the grave to menace Batman as the Red Hood.