Mask vs. Mask, part 1

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know I enjoy a good sexy pro wrestling comic book (a good sexy pro wrestling anything, really.) Above is a comic book cover I’ve seen online many times before and I’ve always been curious about — Batman playing the helpless ragdoll jobber as some buff, homo-sexy masked Hangman dominates and “tops” him. Well lo and behold, one of my loyal readers recently sent me an email that included images from this very comic book published in 1966 — “Detective Comics #355” — along with the following note:

“I liked the recent feature on the website that enclosed pics of Batman and Superman in a bear hug. I have a very old Batman comic where he takes on The Hooded Hangman in a wrestling match – The Hangman finished him on the rooftop and unmasked Batman.

So below is a recap and images from this very erotic Hooded Hangman vs, Batman comic…

The comic opens in the middle of the rooftop encounter between Batman and this huge, muscular, spectacular Hooded Hangman, which actually occurs at the end of the comic book. I think they wanted to get our attention and turn us on immediately on Page 1 to keep us interested, then go back and recount the whole story from the beginning.

The homo-erotic tone is enhanced by the dominance of the more-powerful male over the vulnerable hero and the entanglement of their limbs, with Batman’s legs hooked around the Hangman’s ankles as if they’re fucking, and the Hangman’s big arms encapsulating Batman’s arms in an embrace (which isn’t really how a “Full Nelson” is applied but I suppose it looks sexier this way, or is perhaps easier to draw.)

Next we flash back to several days earlier when Batman and Robin attended a local pro wrestling show…

Wow, Bruce and Dick are drawn to look like a pair of really beautiful pretty-boys! No wonder people have been Shipping them for over 50 years!

Bruce tells Dick that he is eager to see the hunky Hangman unmasked (presumably to find out whether this Hangman — the source of his obsession — is a looker.) In the foreground of the above panel, we see another male in the audience with a stiff cigar jutting out of his mouth — a phallic symbol implying an erection as the men all stare longingly at the bodies in action in the ring.

Whew, what a hot match full of writhing naked torsos, some kinky breath-control, and the muscular jobber on display as the Hangman gropes his flesh and the men in the audience gaze at him. I’m sure I’d be all worked up and require some Alone Time in my bedroom if I had seen this comic book as a youngster..

For a comic book published in the 1960s, I’m surprised by the blatant depiction of homo-sexual attraction between Bruce Wayne and the Hangman — a surprisingly modern storyline from an era when dudes were not supposed to be “tempted” by other dudes. The act of unmasking another male, of uncovering his “secret identity,” his latent desires, implies exposing or “outing” him — of revealing his hidden homo-sexual tendencies. Ironically it is Batman who is exposed here through his words and actions. By going to watch the Hangman wrestle, by mentioning how tempted he is to unmask the Hangman, by frequently chasing him and tussling with him (see below, Bruce Wayne reveals his own man-crush on the Hangman.

Later that evening, the “manhunter” Bruce Wayne tells Dick to stay home and finish his homework while he goes out to patrol the streets in his Batman costume. We sense that Bruce is hoping to run into that Hangman who attracted and excited him so powerfully at the rassling show earlier. And sure enough, our “mighty manhunter” catches the Hangman, still gloriously shirtless, robbing a pawn shop!

Batman gives chase, hoping to get his hands on the object of his desires, but the Hangman has other ideas. He snatches up Batman rather passionately, gasping his bodysuit as if to rip his clothes off…

Batman’s wish is fulfilled when he gets to fight (i.e., fuck) the big Hangman, who is depicted in very domineering and sensational muscle poses, his physique proudly on display. Damn, I’d be even gayer for wrestling and super-heroes than I already am if I had gotten ahold of this wrestle-porn as a youngster!

Above, Batman is drawn in a reclined position before the Hangman, his legs beginning to part…

I certainly enjoyed seeing the Hangman wearing pro style tights and using classic wrestling moves to destroy the Caped Crusader, such as this dramatic overhead “Airplane Spin” followed by an Irish Whip into the corner. The great Batman as a ragdoll jobber — what a turn on!

Now it’s Batman’s turn to be unmasked — to be outed by the Hangman. We get the sense that exposing Bruce Wayne’s face will also expose his gay desires, his secret crush on the Hangman. But just when the villain reaches longingly for our submissive hero’s face, he hears police sirens and runs away. He certainly doesn’t want anyone to witness the crimes he was about to commit on his willing admirer!

Stay tuned, Caped Crusader fans — this love story will continue in the next exciting episode of Mask vs. Mask! Will our hero get his hands on the Hangman’s hood? Will Robin realize that daddy’s discovered a dreamier, more dominant “dick”? Tune in to find out! Same Bat blog. Same Bat channel!

To Be Continued…

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6 Responses to Mask vs. Mask, part 1

  1. Dee says:

    Just an FYI……this issue #355 of Detective Comics was printed in 1966. Otherwise I agree that the issue is hot i it’s own way!

  2. admin says:

    Dee, thanks for the heads up on the correct publication date. I have corrected it to “1966” within the article.

  3. outfitter says:

    Good article. I’m still agog over the price of the comic book…12 cents! I guess that qualifies as a ‘cheap thrill’, huh?

  4. Sean Pford says:

    Buff masked wrestler in super hero comics…I’m in.

  5. ringwrecker says:

    Great find. We need more tantalizing wrestling comics, with a lot of submission holds.

  6. Joe says:

    A fantastic post! I wish I had had the foresight to buy this comic in ’66.