Here in Polygon’s offices, you’d be hard-pressed to find an employee who wouldn’t take a stab at imitating executive editor Chris Plante’s cheerful way of saying, “Oh, hello!” It’s a joy and a compliment, something quintessentially Chris Plante-ian.
It turns out the members of the Justice League do that too, except they like to imitate Batman’s overblown bravado and the gravelly growl. All of them.
[Warning: This post contains minor spoilers for Justice League #1.]
Any good superhero comic needs good fighting banter, and Scott Snyder (Batman, Dark Nights: Metal) can write it with the best of them. In Justice League #1, J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, telepathically links the team so they can coordinate — and banter — while battling Neoanderthals across the globe.
First to get some digs in at Batman is the Flash, of course, who finishes the Caped Crusader’s snarky comeback before he can. Tom Napolitano’s lettering does a great job of conveying that Barry Allen has dropped into a different register when he says, “J’onn, I live in a cave. I know my damn rocks.”
Next is Wonder Woman with arguably the best contribution to the pile-on, when she growls, “I’m the [censored] Wonder Woman.”
Snyder’s making a cheeky reference here to an infamous and much meme-ified moment in Frank Miller’s 2005 comic All-Star Batman and Robin #1. In a moment that has been repurposed for hundreds of image macros, parody fan drawings and joking videos, Robin says, “Who the hell are you anyway, giving out orders like this?”
Batman answers: “What, are you dense? Are you [redacted] or something? Who the hell do you think I am? I’m the goddamn Batman.”
Cyborg, on the other hand, refuses to play the game. Not to spare Batman’s feelings, of course, but because he’s in the presence of a master.
“Yeah, Clark’s Batman is so the best,” Flash agrees. Batman protests immediately, only to have Wonder Woman and Aquaman agree with Flash.
It’s canonical, folks, and it can’t be taken back. Superman is the best at doing impressions of Batman. But that makes sense.
We all know he has a pretty good ear.