Saturday, August 21, 2010

Would Blagojevich be a classic Batman supervillain, or a one-time two-bit geek?

I know this is a thought that will be regarded as heresy by comic book geeks the world over. But to me, Batman is that cheesy comic parody from 1960s television. Adam West and Burt Ward rule!

Not that I plan to be among those people in Rosemont on Saturday to see the pair. The idea of spending time at a cocktail party with two aging actors strikes me as being a bit depressing (although the idea of hanging with Julie Newmar – no matter how old she may be these days – is enticing).

I’M REFERRING TO the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con event being held this weekend, giving various comic characters a chance to show themselves off in hopes of making some significant extra cash. People wishing to go to that Batman cocktail party will have to cough up $20 and pay for their own drinks, in addition to the $25 admission fee to the event itself.

Of course, most of the attention that event has received in recent days is because of one of the other attractions. Rod Blagojevich.

He’s going to be on hand for about six hours on Saturday in Rosemont, signing autographs and giving away pictures of himself, along with engaging in some brief chitchat with people who attend.

The event’s organizers claim there is nothing odd about inviting Illinois’ former governor. They say their event is about pop culture, and that Blagojevich has now become much more than just a government official. He is a personality in and of himself.

I DON’T KNOW if I think that highly of Milorod.

But I have been wondering if it is all too appropriate for Batman and Robin to be in Rosemont on the same day as Blagojevich. Because a part of me wonders what kind of Batman supervilian we could concoct from the persona of Rod Blagojevich. I have no problem envisioning the Goofy Guv being included on this Rogue's Gallery of criminal masterminds who were defeated by Batman.

During his three years on prime-time television (and in reruns throughout the decades that these days air on WWME, channel 23), Batman took on regulars such as the Joker, Penguin and the Catwoman. But he did battle with such lesser personas as the cowboy Shame (played by Cliff Robertson), Louie the Lilac (Milton Berle) and Bookworm (Roddy McDowall) – who may have been the most literate criminal mastermind to exist in Gotham City.

So how would it be such a stretch for Batman to have to fight off the schemes of The Goofy Guv (alias, Miles Roderick Blagoyawhatever)?

ENVISION BATMAN FEELING the need to rid mighty Gotham of corrupt politicians engaging in schemes meant to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense. The real-life Blagojevich persona wouldn’t need to be tweaked all that much in order to turn him into a super-villain.

Think about it.

The Joker was a hideous clown, while Catwoman was a sexy feline. That pompadour atop Blagojevich’s head would be his visual trademark. Perhaps they could even come up with a gimmick by which the Goofy Guv would use all that mound of hair in order to hide weapons to try to fight off Batman and Robin.

He would dress in overly flashy suits that probably cost a lot of money, but don’t have enough true class to show what a pretender he is at being a respectable part of society.

WHEN TIME COMES for Batman and the Goofy Guv to brawl (BAM! POW! SWOOSH!), he’ll strip down to a jogging suit and try to run away using his incredible stamina. Of course, Batman will have the Bat-mobile to use to catch him.

When it turns out in mid-episode that the Goofy Guv actually manages to capture Robin, thereby requiring Batman to come rushing in to his rescue, we will see some scheme by which Robin is dangled from the ceiling, while being tortured by Elvis Presley’s music being played at deafening sound levels.

All the male villains had a female cohort. The Goofy Guv would have Chatty Patti – who will leave you speechless with a stream of profanity if you get too close to her man.

Of course, all of Batman’s villains had comical henchmen to help in their criminal schemes. That would be a problem for the Goofy Guv, since as far as I can tell, no one in Illinois government likes him enough to want to have anything to do with him. The Goofy Guv and Chatty Patti would have to ride solo.

NO HENCHMEN IN pompadoured wigs and jogging suits for the conniving couple.

In the end, Batman always prevails. That would happen with the Goofy Guv as well. And I can picture the perfect Batman-type ending.

All Batman has to do is reach into his utility belt and produce an aerosol cannister of hairspray remover. One spray of that at the Goofy Guv’s head, and his hair becomes such an unruly mess that it falls over his eyes – thereby leaving him blinded long enough for Batman to capture him (while Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl manages to chase down Chatty Patti on her purple motorcycle).

Which would be the appropriate outcome, because I can’t help but think a real crime is taking place this weekend up on Rosemont.

REMEMBER HOW I said people have to pay an extra $20, plus the cost of their drinks, to attend that Batman cocktail party? By comparison, people who want a Blagojevich autograph will have to pay an extra $50 and an extra $80 to have their picture taken with the Goofy Guv.

The idea that Milorod is worth more than television icons like West and Ward must be a crime against our society’s pop culture.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Just to acknowledge fact, Rod Blagojevich did put in several hours Saturday at the Comic Con, signing autographs, wandering the grounds and joking with the people to whom a fun day is getting to meet “Bo Duke” and “Captain Kirk.” The Chicago Tribune managed to capture the sight of Blagojevich sitting in the driver’s seat of the Batmobile (photo eight in the gallery), which makes me wonder if Adam West should knock some sense into Rod for that alone.

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