By Nikolai Fomich
In 1994, Batman and I saved America.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. It was the first of July, and the Environmental Fund Celebration of Millville, NJ – where I lived at the time – was in full swing. Apparently, however, the good people of Millville had raised enough money to attract the attention of three infamous super-villains – the Joker, Catwoman, and the Riddler.
Though Batman nabbed the Joker, Catwoman got away. Meanwhile, the Riddler, strolling through a Millville park, learned of my close connection to Batman through overhearing some local kids – "Nikolai claims that his secret computer codes help Batman solve crimes!" Thanks a lot guys.
In retailliation to the Joker's arrest, the Riddler and Catwoman formed the "Super-Villain Liberation Party", threatening the destruction of the Statue of Liberty unless the Joker was released.
Needless to say, Batman and I put a stop to their dastardly scheme:
The Riddler – being the Riddler – had provided a clue as to how to deactivate the bomb. The deactivation passcodes turned out to be my info – name, date of birth, etc.
This comic, titled "Batman and Me!", was written by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Barry Liebman, penciled by Brad Rader, and inked by Mike DeCarlo and Dan Steffan. (Thanks guys!) I had entered some kind of contest and won – along with many, many others (the cover says "Special Collector Edition Serial No. 0006222"). But the cover also said "Nikolai Fomich in His Greatest Adventure." Which was awesome.
Though illustrated in the style of Batman: The Animated Series, the story had a lot more in common with the 60's Batman TV show.
From the themed-henchmen…
To the cameos – including Bill Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, hanging with a stereotypical and hilarious French ambassador…
To the puns, Catwoman repeatedly saying "Purr-fect", and Riddler establishing something called the "Super-Villain Liberation Front."
It also gave us Gilory.
Poor, deluded foolish Gilroy.
Yes, readers, in other words, this was every six-year-old's dream.
No, Batman. Thank YOU.
Happy 75th. And Happy Fourth of July.
Nikolai Fomich is a freelance contributor to Bleeding Cool and college teacher. He is currently researching African history for his comic book series African Odyssey, about a time traveling history professor from Africa's future. Alas, he does not have a Kickstarter…yet.