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WAM Updates are short, informal posts that put the spotlight on small, but exciting, Museum-related projects, such as the addition of a new painting or sculpture to a gallery. They also serve as updates on staff, new services or programs, and other WAM news.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Holy Alternative History, Batman!

With the arrival of fall, we’re turning a new page in the Knights! exhibition. To be more precise, we’ve installed a new Batman comic to accompany the costume made for Michael Keaton in the 1989 film Batman. Our first was a 1940 issue of Detective Comics. Now the saga of the Dark Knight continues with a 1943 issue of Batman. When it first appeared, Allied forces were battling Germany in Tunisia and Japan at Guadalcanal. The outcome of the war was still far from certain, and even the Caped Crusader was recruited into the effort. In the main story of this issue, Batman and Robin visit the historians of Gotham University for a glimpse of America’s future. Professors Proe and Con offer two possible visions—one a dark and violent world where Batman and Robin have to fight German and Japanese occupiers, the other a brighter future in which they prevent a planned invasion and bring about an Allied victory. Inspired, the Dynamic Duo rush out to invest in War Bonds, “as many as this money will buy!”

Many thanks to Ted VanLiew of Superworld Comics for the loan of these vintage Batman comics!

- Jeffrey L. Forgeng, Curator of Arms & Armor and Medieval Art

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