V for von Mises
| Dick Langlois |
My Father’s Day present this year was something unusual: issue number 11 (Winter 1998) of something called The Batman Chronicles. (My sons are both into comics and graphic novels, though it was apparently my wife who stumbled onto this on the web.) The issue is a slim comic book featuring “The Berlin Batman,” wherein the story of Batman is reimagined as having taken place in pre-war Nazi Germany. The hero is Baruch Wane, wealthy Jewish socialite and decadent cubist painter, who becomes Batman by night after his parents are killed not by a robber but by anti-Semitic violence. His mission, of course, is to fight the tyranny of Nazism, which in this issue involves — and here’s the punch line — trying (in the end without success) to save the papers of Ludwig von Mises, which have been confiscated by the Nazis. The episode goes into great detail about why the work of von Mises was a threat to the Nazis and to authoritarians of all stripe.
This comic may be old news to many readers, but I found it amusing. The author, Paul Pope, is apparently well respected in comics/graphic novel circles for, among other things, a more elaborate reimagining of Batman in a totalitarian future.