I very clearly recall, back in 1982, seeing the cover of the second issue of ‘Who’s Who In The DC Universe’, featuring the Earth-1 and Earth-2 Batmen together, and my friend sarcastically complaining about how Batman should never smile.  Of course, at that point in time, it had been at least a decade since the Bat had been anything but grim and serious, so there was no real reason for a couple of eleven-year-olds to have any idea that smiling Batman used to be the norm.  Nowadays, kids can find ‘Brave And The Bold’ Batman, ’90’s gothic-retro Bruce Timm Batman, Robert Pattison’s upcoming solo movie, grimdark Ben Affleck, and even Adam West’s campy version whenever they like, which is great from my perspective but makes me wonder if it somehow harms an overall “Batman Brand”, leading us to today’s recursive query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) actually prefers a Batman who expresses emotion, especially since he’s supposed to be the street-level vigilante, asking: Do you have a problem with smiling Batman?


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. not necessarily, but it’s definitely got its time and place. Dick Sprang’s run, Adam West, anytime Grayson’s wearing the cape, no problem.

    i think normal-ass, regular-continuity, modern-day Bruce Wayne Batman smiling is the most unsettling thing in the world, because you know he’s got something up his sleeve.

    • addendum to the above, anytime he smiles on BTAS or JLU……you KNOW he’s about to do some stuff. and that’s awesome and terrifying.

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