Batman Christmas 2011

17Apr12

Among the gifts Emily (mother of four and author of THIS BLOG on farm living) sent one was a Batman shirt for me, and the other was this: the Fisher-Price Little People DC Super Friends Play ‘n Go Batcave Playset.

It comes with a little “Baby Batman” and a “Baby Joker,” who sit in cars and can race down the ramps. I immediately assumed that the change of direction wand on the course was to keep the two rivals apart — Batman would take the gray track while the Joker would take the yellow path. Henry showed me how wrong I was.

After driving the cars up and down for a while, my 2-year-old parked the Batmobile and the Joker car in the cave area and declared them to be “Home.” He then sat patiently while Batman and Joker “ate burgers.”

At first, my inner comic book nerd wanted to explain how these are bitter enemies, and that the Joker is a murderer who only lets Batman live to torment him. But then after 4 seconds of thought, I reconsidered and decided that I kind of love Henry’s set up. On one hand, the Heath Ledger Joker has tainted my viewing of this toy’s “Baby Joker,” as I can’t keep from thinking how this little infant-faced toy wants to “put a smile on that face!” Yet on the other hand, there’s something to letting my son play and assume that people would be friends. And if I wanted to really read something into all of this (which I do), I would argue further about the merits of having superhero characters be designed for kids in mind, instead of the post-”Watchmen” era where superheroes must be perpetually dark and adult.

Come on. My son’s getting a cape for Christmas for crying out loud. It’s a kid’s thing. Why should it be that bad for adults to like a kid’s thing? And that means superheroes can be just fun and it’s OK for me to wear the cape that he gets.

Anyway, I’ll proudly play with my son’s toys and wear the retro-looking Batman shirt (even though it’s clearly a 2000′s-era Batman on the front… I’m guessing “Hush” era maybe, but the distressing suggests a 1970′s Batman. And… nerd.).

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