Episode 95: Holy Lava!: June 18, 2023

Black Widow Strikes Again
March 15, 1967
"The Black Widow uses her cerebrum short-circuiting device to rob bank after bank in Gotham City. Batman and Robin soon catch up with her, but actually capturing the villainess proves harder than expected. Despite her nerve paralyzer spray, and two remote-control dummies that try to throw the Dynamic Duo off course, they finally make it inside the Black Widow's lair. But soon after entering, they are trapped in a giant web with two deadly black widow spiders."
56 minutes

RD: Prefers Scarlett Johansson. I don't know about that. Like Vince I'm all about the Golden Age beauty if I can help it. (Also like her calling everyone 'dahling' since she was bad at names I too call everyone 'pal'.)

Oh, you meant Black Widows. ... Yes, this is the main sticking point about the character, seeing as Stan Lee helped create her four years earlier (1964), becoming a recurring Avenger two years later. This Black Villain on the other hand was just a one-off.

RD was once again on vacation with the family down in Universal Orlando. This put a delayed toll on the body when he returned home. He tried the Jurassic World VelociCoaster with hungry and enraged velociraptors. The slogan: "What can go wrong?" Mrs. Deal tried to read about it online and could only find certain troll comments. 

Vince: "Speaking of butterbeer,"
RD: "I needed some to get through this show."

Narrator: "Another groovy day in Gotham City and everything seems just right in our teeming metropolis. But there's a new face in the crowd...the face of Black Widow!" (:08)

To further compound the character, she pulls up to a bank branch in a motorcycle with sidecar (as driven by her goon Tarantula) with Other Black Widow's red hourglass symbol on it. RD's friends on Facebook told him it's the actual black widow symbol.

And she got Bookworm's theme, appalling RD.

Inside the bank Widow asks the manager (named Irving Cash) to open a savings account in her name of Mrs. Max Black. She then zaps him with her Cerebrum Short-Circuitor to make him put $30,000 of the vault money in it.

RD: "As a supervillain, that's not much of an ask."

And of course the money comes in a burlap sack with a dollar sign on it. 

Unable to prevent her walking out (I guess his security is just as incompetent as everyone else in town), Cash personally goes to Gordon's Office to report the theft.
Cash: "There was this strange vibration and then I'm handing her thousands. I couldn't stop myself."
O'Hara: "It was as though the devil himself was at work on you."
Gordon: "Or someone just as clever."
He figures out and remembers this is the Black Widow's doing, despite this being her sole appearance. Even the Narrator called her a "new face".
Cash thinks this calls for the "Dynamic Duet", offending the Undynamic Duet to no end.

Narrator: "At this moment, within the walls of stately Wayne Manor, an unveiling is taking place."
Holstered Aunt Harriet hands Dick a pair of her black pants.
Harriet: "I've decided to go mod. Now what do you boys think?"
Bruce: "Tres chic, Aunt Harriet. Every bachelor in Gotham City will be staring."
Harriet: "I wanted to get a miniskirt, but the sales girl wasn't sure I had the face for it."
RD: "What drugs were these people taking?"
Alfred: "Carnaby Street has come to Wayne Manor, madam."
He then attempts to speak what RD considers 'carnie': "Mr. Gordon Commish is calling." Somehow the Duo know what he means and retire to the study to answer the call.
Harriet: "There they go, healthy as normal and I'm such a beatnik."

Even the Duo are confused by the name Black Widow, but nevertheless, "to the Batpoles!"

Gordon: "Black Widow wins her victim's confidence by pretending to open a savings account. Her methods of overpowering include hypnosis, drugs, and other artificial brain stimuli." (:19)
This requires Batman to bring out his hairdryer Brainwave Bat-Analyzer.
Batman: "Judging by her past modus operandi, Robin and I suspect that Black Widow may have short- circuited a portion of Mr. Cash's brain thereby rendering him incapable of making judgments."
Cash: "Oh, this is worse than I thought! First my money, now my brain!"
Batrman: "Easy, citizen."

They put him in the hairdryer Analyzer and flip random switches to determine his cerebellum has been affected. Cash demonstrates this by trying to get up while still in the thing.
Gordon: "That secret weapon of hers, she could clean out every bank in Gotham City, and we'd always be one step behind her."
O'Hara: "Me men are clever, goodness knows, but where the human brain is concerned, they're just not equipped." (Emphasis mine.)
Batman gives Cash two pills to fix his brain damage while O'Hara massages Cash's scalp.

Narrator: "Meanwhile, in the web of an underground grotto somewhere in Gotham City, Black Widow  and her spidery companions are enjoying the fruits of Black Widow's labor of love."

Widow still needs to hit more banks, much to Tarantula's chagrin. Another goon named Trap Door hangs out of a...trap door. "I got lonely."
Other goon Daddy Long Legs: "I don't know how you do it, Blacky. I tried robbing banks when I was  younger but I always got nailed before I was out the door."
Widow: "Happiness can't buy money. Heh. Poor sweet Max."
Cue evil laugh.

In the Batcave the Batcomputer is taking rather a long while on processing data on Widow, much to Robin's impatience.
Batman: "Bother you? It should. (To the camera) Just as it should bother any red-blooded American  citizen who recognizes the law and obeys it."

Meanwhile Widow hits another bank, controlling the manager (Irving Bracken) for $40,000 in unmarked bills.

Robin (reading the print-out): ""Black Widow Lingerie. Black Widow Weeds Removal Service. Black Widow Black Top Company. Black, Widow and Black Attorneys." But not one single bank. Seems to be hung up on the word "black."
Batman: "Maybe the Bat-Analyzing gears need oiling."
Gordon calls to report more robberies.
Batman: "I'm almost tempted to let her...Letter! Give me the names of the banks Black Widow has  robbed."
The list is in alphabetical order (Robin: "No wonder the Batcomputer couldn't figure out her plan, it was too easy!") so the next one will be G.
Batman: "Tell Chief O'Hara and his men to sit on their tuffets, so to speak, and stay away from the  Gotham General Bank and Trust. Repeat, stay away. Robin and I are less likely to frighten this spider  away."

The branch visit gives an excuse to have their window celebrity, a "citizen" teller played by George Raft, another pioneering "gangster" actor. He also had a gimmick of flipping a coin, which he also does here while trying to get the Duo to open an account. They get him to take them to the vault which contains the manager (Irving Leghorn) standing with a Tommy gun. He is so relieved that he jumps on Batman for a hug, which he does not take well. The Duo ask him to "act naturally" when Widow visits, which he takes to continue acting like a complete idiot. 

Of course instead of Widow visiting it's Aunt Harriet, "one of Gotham City's most law-abiding and respected citizens."
Harriet: "All I wanted to do was open a small savings account for my nephew Dick Grayson. There's always Beneficial."

THEN Widow comes in. 
Batman: "So, Black Widow, we finally meet." (emphasis mine)
She tries to zap him.
Batman: "Don't waste your energy, Black Widow. Robin and I have been wearing anti-short circuiting  brain Bat-electrodes since your first day in Gotham City."
So she slowly takes out and sprays a giant Instant Nerve Paralyzer to stun Batman and just walk out. Robin is stunned too so he can't do anything - oh wait, he wasn't. He just stood there like a fucking idiot.
Batman: "Feels...like...a paralyzing dose...of spider venom. ...It should...wear off...presently."

Thankfully he predicted this, and installed in the Batmobile an "odor-sensitometer radar circuit."
Robin (badly dubbed all of a sudden): "Holy olfactory."
Batman: "The oil-and-gas mixture from her motor bike will register on the sensitometer and be picked up as a blip on the radarscope. All we have to do is follow that blip." 

The scent leads to a fake house that opens its secret entrance in a wall to let Widow through just before the Duo show up. (:34) They see an elderly couple on their porch and think they can help.
Widow, seeing this while fully cocooned in her lair, turns on her Dummy Lip Activator to voice the couple who are actually mannequins to try and divert them.
Widow (also badly dubbed): "Say, aren't you that Bat fellow and that Robin fellow who are constantly fighting evil? Keep up the good work. Frank and I are both categorically against evil."
Batman (also badly dubbed): "Thank you, senior citizens."

They return to the Batcave, where of course Batman has recorded the bad ADR on his Bat-Tape Recorder in order to analyze it.  

So they go back to the house. (Holy Padding!) The old "couple" is still there rocking.
Robin: "Three hours and they're still going strong."
Batman: "Thought they'd be off their rockers by now, eh, Robin?"

They linger in finding the secret entrance, allowing Widow to prepare her goons to await them in a game of "spider and the fly" i.e. a fight. Paul goes ham out during this flying all over the set while the audio has more fits. 

Batman: "So, latrodectus mactans, commonly known as Black Widow, caught in your own web, eh?"
Widow: "Oh, there is nothing common about me, Dynamic Doll. And as for being caught in my own  web may I give you a tiny, little piece of advice? If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider run alive."

Since the Duo don't want anyone to stay alive, she activates a giant spider web, trapping the two.

Widow: "Dearheart, you may be caped, and you may be dynamic, but to me you are a crashing bore. So voila. (She summons two horribly fake giant spiders.) I had them skip their dinner so they would thoroughly enjoy  you. And now my lieutenants and I  are going to tunnel into my vault and count our lovely loot."

Cue the Duo doing their best with the "spiders" like they're in an Ed Wood movie.  

Narrator: "Is Black Widow about to succeed where countless other crooks have failed? Or can Black Widow's widows be stopped before dinner? For the answers to these and other creepy questions, tune in tomorrow! Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel!"

Vince thinks getting Bankhead was a big thing for the show but at the cost of everything else.

RD found another Batvertisement, this one for Lava soap. (:40) Vince wonders why Gordon keeps a spare bar in his desk. RD is amazed the packaging hasn't changed too much over the years. The Bros are tempted to buy some bars. 

RD had reconstructed an arcade machine for the initially unreleased Marble Man: Marble Madness II.

AEW is expanding to five hours a week, adding to WWE's seven. As the Bros point out you can have too much of a good thing (and not just in wrestling).


  • Special Guest Villain: Black Widow (Not the competition's) ((Miss) Tallulah Bankhead)

  • SPEAKING OFs: 1. Butterbeer
  • Window Celebrity: 1. George Raft
  • Entertain The People: 1
  • Screen Shares: 4. RD, Vince, Vince, RD

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