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Superman Gives Batman A Twisted Birthday Present | CBR

In every installment of I Love Ya But You’re Strange I spotlight strange but ultimately endearing comic stories. Feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you have a suggestion for a future installment!

Today, we look at the bizarre “present” that Superman got for his good buddy Batman on the celebration of their 1000th case together.

In Superman Annual #11 (by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons), Batman had a special flower made and named after Superman’s home planet…

That was a thoughtful present by the Dark Knight for his buddy, the Man of Steel.

However, years earlier, Superman had a much odder present for Batman!

In World’s Finest Comics #155 (by Edmund Hamilton, Curt Swan and George Klein), Batman and Superman are about to celebrate their 1000th case and Gotham and Metropolis decide to do sort of a World’s Fair to celebrate their team-ups. However, Batman puts the kibosh on the festivities when he reveals that some of their recent cases were actually solved by a new superhero known as Nightman. You see, when Batman was sleeping the other day, he had a drone recording footage of the city and he discovered this new hero, Nightman, cracking a case with Superman and Batman determines that Nightman is a better crimefighter than him…

Superman can’t see who Nightman is under his lead-lined mask, so they decide to give Batman a test – prove his mettle by finding out Nightman’s identity! Batman takes up the challenge and even adds an odd little wrinkle where he notes that he’ll retire if he can’t do it! Dude, don’t add on extra punishments for yourself!

Batman quickly figures out a number of clues about Nightman’s identity, like his height, that’s he’s human, that he has dark hair and that he must have some sort of law enforcement role.

Batman narrows it down to a few suspects but none of them pan out. Finally, though, on the day of the celebration (coincidentally the last day Batman had to prove Nightman’s identity), the two have a fight that was won by Nightman…

Superman congratulates him, but he knows that Nightman is not the REAL Nightman! Yep, Nightman is actually BATMAN!

As a present, Superman hypnotized Batman into becoming Nightman so that he could solve this mystery…

Of course, this great present involved making Batman think that he was failing at the job and pushing him to the point of quitting, but hey, what’s a little torment between friends?

I wonder if there are enough examples of Batman and Superman giving each other messed up presents like this to do a Drawing Crazy Patterns?

If anyone else has a suggestion for a future I Love Ya But You’re Strange, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

In their spotlight on bizarrely awesome comics, CSBG shows the time Superman gave Batman a twisted anniversary present involving hypnosis.

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