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Batman is dead.

For the record, this Batman was one Lenny Robinson of Maryland, according to the Washington Post. Robinson had the best of intentions for impersonating Batman: he liked to cheer up hospitalized children. It's hard to imagine Bruce Wayne having a problem with someone borrowing his likeness for something like that.

Robinson was killed last month after experiencing trouble with his "Batmobile," a customized Lamborghini. Robinson's car was struck by a Toyota Camry whose driver apparently didn't notice the sportscar stopped in his lane in the middle of the night. Wearing all black to remain unseen by criminals is a double-edged sword.

I hope that this tragedy will make people realize just how dangerous the Batmobile really is. In the comics, Batman wrecks it about once a year during high-speed pursuits. Even when Batman is driving safely, the car is routinely the target of super-villains. It's destroyed by Penguin in Batman Returns, Riddler in Batman Forever, Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin, and the Joker in The Dark Knight. I don't know who was driving that Toyota Camry, but it seems that any Batmobile might be a magnet for trouble.

This world is a worse place anytime a Batman dies. So if there's any lesson to be learned from this disaster, maybe it's this:

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This season, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens is calling himself "Batman" and his new pal Chad Ochocinco "Robin." Owens gave himself this moniker during an interview earlier this year, fully expecting Ochocinco to willingly accept the role of Robin. Word to the wise, people: no one who thinks that they could be Batman will ever settle for the role of sidekick. (In fact, according to, Ochocinco flatly refused to dress as Robin for the Cincinnati Enquirer 2010 football supplement, forcing the editors to try a secondary approach and get the two to pose beside a Chuck Barris batmobile.) This can't end well.

Last week, before the Bengals lost their season opener in a blowout loss to New England, USA Today reported that the Dynamic Duo have taken to nicknaming their quarterback, Carson Palmer, "Alfred," as in Bruce Wayne's butler. That's a little demeaning, isn't it? This won't end well.

And yes, I know that Batman and Football Month is already half over and this is the first post to mention Batman. (And it still combines him with football!) What can I say? 2010 has been a bad year for Batman fans. At least the year is mostly over. All's well that ends.

Footnote: Over on the fantasy blogs, Adam Rank wrote, "remember that one episode of Batman when Robin saved the Caped Crusader? Yeah, me neither." I'm not going to get into disproving the fallacy of that statement because I think it makes my point pretty well. Better get used to second-string status, Ochocinco. You're now at the mercy of people who think Batman is cool but have never read a comic book. I'm sure that somewhere someone is already making "Batman and Robin are gay" jokes at your expense. How well can you take that in the end?

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As you may or may not know, I've begun selling paintings on eBay (under the clever eBay id "wriphe"). I started this last year off and on, but now that I've got a little more space around the house to work on several canvases at a time, I'm listing again a little more aggressively. I'll post here when I've got a new painting up for sale (like today, though the painting that I listed today is not the painting pictured below).

Hot Wheels Batmobile

The above picture (Batmobiles are awesome) is about actual size on a 1024 x 768 monitor. Nifty, huh?

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To be continued...


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