I'm not normally one to do top ten lists, mainly because I get bored halfway through and I really like to avoid math whenever possible. But when Richard threatened to fire me unless I did my update in the form of a top ten list, I felt I had to make the big sacrifice. It's the least I could do for him after he took everything from me, including my dignity and self respect. As much as I hate top ten lists, and as wrong as it is to force me to do one, I feel like I have to make the best of this rotten situation. If I'm going to do something wrong, then I'm going to at least do it half-right. Because of this, the subject of my top ten list is none other than Batman, the most awesome bat-themed hero in the universe.

The fun thing about Batman is that before he became the menacing and brooding hero he is today, he had to go through roughly 50 years of the most retarded shit ever. They cleaned a lot of his embarrassing history up with the Crisis on Infinite Earths extravaganza, but the sordid adventures of yesteryear still remain ever-present in real world history. I don't know how anyone could interpret the subject of a man dressing up as a bat to avenge the deaths of his parents as being comedic in nature, but that's exactly what early Batman writers and artists did. They treated him as a big comedy fruit ripe for the molesting. I love Batman as everyone should, and not in the campy Adam West-style incarnations, but as the single-minded lunatic and jerk he really is. So naturally it causes me a lot of pain to look backwards in time and see my moody hero flying around in rocket roller skates or coming up with ludicrous gadgets that makes him look like a gay MacGyver with a costume fetish. Virtually every old issue had a gimmick like, "Hey, Batman is fighting space ostriches while bathing in his Bat-tub!" or "Holy moly, Batman is pregnant with bat-babies!" I realize comics were a different world back then, and Batman was aimed primarily at retarded young boys, but we can still look back and wonder what the hell was wrong with our comic-creating ancestors. Were they completely insane? Yes, pretty much.

I'm just going to shut up now and present to you the top ten most retarded Batman covers. As a caveat, there are probably even more retarded covers than the ones on my list, but thankfully I haven't seen every single Batman cover. Please don't mistake this list for some sort of scientific article from the Journal of Scientific Articles. This, like the oath of Batman, is one man's crusade.


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10. The 100 Secrets of Batman's Silken Cord
It is extremely fascinating to think that not only would you dedicate an entire comic to talking about a rope, but that you'd somehow derive 100 secrets from said rope. Obviously this issue wasn't just a long list of secrets, because no one would want to read that. But at the same time, how does marketing it as such help sell this comic? What kid is going to see this cover and jump in excitement over learning about Batman's rope? Maybe if this was about the Batmobile it would be more enticing, but who cares about a goddamn rope?

Then there is the matter of 100 secrets. I can think of one secret, and that's only if the rope is secretly made out of hemp. I suppose if the rope was involved in a crime or has magical properties, you could maybe come up with a list of a dozen secrets or so, but cripes, 100? Is the rope gay or something? Does it long to be a chain? What would happen if tied the rope to Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth? Would the rope have to divulge its secrets and be honest, or would they cancel each other out? Boy, I suppose this silken cord could easily have a lot of secrets now that I think about it. They should probably do an awesome post-Crisis on Infinite Earths reintroduction to the Silken Cord, and maybe do an ongoing series where each issue explores a different secret. One thing is for certain, and that's that this rope has so many secrets that it's liable to snap at some point!


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9. The Caveman Batman
It is not every day that you see Batman, Robin, and a caveman wearing a crazy tiger mask catapult themselves off of a tree branch to evade a woolly mammoth. As to how a situation such as that arises, well, it would take me the better part of a large university grant and sixteen years of research and theory to figure out. This is just such an overwhelmingly absurd idea that it defies all forms of logic I have at my disposal. I wonder if this cover is somehow the manifestation of God. Perhaps I should be worshipping this mysterious masterpiece, even taking the time out of my busy schedule to reenact this sacred ritual with my friends.

Another important question to ask is the nature of the Caveman Batman. Are they implying that, because Batman is in the past, he is now a caveman? Or, conversely, are they suggesting the gentleman in the tiger skin is the caveman equivalent of Batman? If so, why is he wearing a tiger outfit and not a batsuit? This cover raises more questions than it answers, which I guess would work to draw stupid people in.


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8. The Great Bat-Cape Hunt
Batman has a lot on his mind, so it's easy to see how he'd forget to NOT LET THE WIND BLOW HIS COSTUME OFF. Apparently Batman has a hidden weakness, and that's a sudden unexpected gust. It really makes you wonder why none of the super villains in Gotham City bought themselves a giant fan or set up shop in a wind tunnel. I'm sure Batman would have come up with a way to thwart the wind, though. Likely by wearing scuba gear or a mask underneath his mask, just to throw everyone a curveball.

Of course we can't forget that he hid a clue to his secret identity inside this particular cape. Why exactly would you want to leave evidence that you have a secret identity anywhere? I mean once that mask comes off, it's obvious he's Bruce Wayne. It's not like somebody is going to find Batman's corpse and not be able to identify it. IT'S BILLIONAIRE BRUCE WAYNE.

Let this be a lesson to heroes: make sure your costumes fit snugly and are kept away from open windows.


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7. The Armored Batman
I don't think the wind will be blowing his costume off now. Note the concerned and bewildered citizen who says what we're all thinking, and instantly takes note of the purpose of the steel chains. Believe it or not, that man is probably the sanest person in Gotham City. He instantly notes that Batman and Robin are wearing movement-restricting armor, which is obviously heavy, and then determines that the added weight would require additional support. That's where the chains come in. Had the situations been reversed, Batman probably would have shouted that the man was being pulled by giant magnets at the end of a chain leash and that the magnets were being remote controlled by a nefarious bank robber. Of course since Batman's will is stronger than reality, he would have been right. What kind of idiot would swing from buildings while wearing a heavy suit of armor? The kind of man with no respect for other people's property, that's who. Can you imagine how much damage he's doing to buildings by busting up facades with chain hooks and by throwing his weight around? Seriously Batman, your eccentric crusade is destroying Gotham's architecture.

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6. Sir Batman and Robin in King Arthur's Court
It really is amazing that time travel is so easy to take advantage of. You would think that if Batman did travel back in time, he would forever alter history, thus preventing the Batman that traveled back in time from existing, thereby creating a paradox. I'm no expert in time travel, though, and neither are the geniuses that concocted this grand caper. Batman goes back in time, joins the Knights of the Roundtable, and yet leaves no imprint on history that would alter the future. Amazing accomplishment!

Still, the story in this issue is probably 100% better than all the Batman movies combined. Maybe one day Tim Burton can adapt it for the big screen.


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5. Ride, Bat-Hombre, Ride!
This cover is kind of boring, but it goes along with one of the finest works of literature in history. Batman travels south of the border where he clashes with the rogue ways of his secretly corrupt Mexican counterpart, the Bat-Hombre. What we have here is an outstanding commentary way ahead of its time. Batman is, an essence, creating human bat-maquiladoras. He's outsourcing his image and demeanor to Mexican workers who obviously don't have their own billion-dollar secret identities. They work cheap, hard, and at great personal risk, all while crafting heroic deeds that get exported and sold as part of Batman's overall reputation. Say what you will, but Bruce Wayne is clearly a cunning businessman, and this story is beyond profound. Actually it's incredibly stupid. Sorry to lie to you like that.

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4. The Bat-Ape
Leave it to a brilliant detective and genius to train an ape to help him out. If Batman really needed help, wouldn't it be practical for him to, oh, I don't know, train another human sidekick? I fail to see what advantages a gorilla assistant has to offer that couldn't easily be matched or bettered by a capable human. While this partially satisfies my desire to see Batman crossover with the hit movie "Gorillas in the Mist," it still seems awfully embarrassing. Look at the world's greatest detective beg an ape to save him. Some hero.

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3. The Rainbow Creature
I like how, even in a episode so monumentally insane, Batman can still think soundly enough to deduce that the green aura is the cause of their two-dimensional curse. Sure, a giant walking scoop of Neapolitan ice cream just flattened him, but it didn't dull his senses in the least. This is where you see just how awesome Batman is, because in a situation like this, a lesser man would probably realize his internal organs were crushed and then die. Batman's will is so absolute that it defeats the very laws of the universe, and for that he is the most powerful being alive.

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2. Manhunt in Outer Space
There were quite a few space-themed Batman stories, and this one strikes me as having the single most idiotic cover of the lot. I still don't think Batman has any business going into space, even if it's the Justice League's fancy moon base. He's too human to be caught up crazy cosmic escapades. Maybe I'm being overly anal, but really, what's a masked vigilante who fights drug dealers and gangsters doing foiling evil alien warlords?

I really like how the best way to navigate a rocky alien surface is with rocket-powered roller skates. This is quite possibly the dumbest, most unsafe, and thoroughly deranged idea ever. I think at this point Batman's writers went completely insane and were literally tormenting the readers. Maybe they hoped to inspire such hatred that a mob of angry boys would descend on DC Comics HQ and burn it to the ground, or maybe they were just filled with hatred. Doesn't Batman have a Bat-Moonrover? Or Bat-jetpacks? Am I to believe that Batman intentionally picked the most childish and stupid way to travel across another planet? Would an astronaut be so stupid as to move across the moon on roller-skates? No, he'd fucking walk like a normal person. I personally would have rather seen Batman and Robin share a rocket-powered bicycle built for two.


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1. The Merman Batman
I can honestly accept a lot of things, but this cover is just as mind-boggling as a cereal bowl full of tiny sombreros. Everything about it makes my brain convulse and scream, as though it wants to tear away from the prison of my skull and free itself from the shackles of our inane logic and live in the freeform insanity of Batman logic.

"Yes, Robin," says Batman very matter-of-factly. "I've become a human 'fish!'" Well, fuck you, Aquaman! Looks like you're about as useful as a shoelace in a land of Velcro shoes now. The coolest hero of all is now a fish, so what makes you so special, Aquaman? Hey, Aquaman, why don't you just kill yourself? Actually Aquaman is smart enough not to wear a fucking cape underwater.

How did Batman get himself into this predicament? By being retarded.

I'm going to go ahead and blow my brains out now.

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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