When I was a kid, I had a couple of combination comic book and record sets -- in the back of the comic book would be a 45 record that had voice actors performing an audio play of the issue you were reading. In retrospect it's a strange idea -- the beauty of comics is the silent word on paper, the juxtaposition of images to create the impression of time, the ability of art and words to create in the reader all five senses, and combining that with an audio record is a bit of an abomination.
But hey, I was seven years old at the time, what did I know?
I recently bought a replacement copy from eBay of a Batman record book I had, and there's a truly appalling bit at the end of it. Here's a link to an MP3 recording of the relevant section, but I'll post the transcript below for those who can't get the link. It's definitely better to hear it, though.
Robin (in authentic golly-gee-whiz voice): I sure hope they put the Joker away a good long while for this one!
Batman (in solemn, earnest, Batman-As-Wise-Old-Cop voice): Robin, knowing the cleverness of this artful dodger, who can say for sure? Perhaps a frontal lobotomy would be the answer. If science could operate on this distorted brain, and put it to good use, society would reap a great benefit. Come, Robin. Into the Batmobile, and home!
I want you to take a moment and listen to, or read, that again. Yes, you're hearing correctly.
In a Children's comic book, Batman is advocating that we should give the Joker a FRONTAL LOBOTOMY!!!
I usually frown on the use of multiple exclamation points, but I think it's well deserved in this case.
A frontal. Freaking. Lobotomy.
Batman, in a grave and Very Serious voice, gently tells the children of America that cutting open a man's skull and removing his frontal lobes is jolly good fun and a sure-fire win for society. I think it's worth remembering stuff like this when we get all misty-eyed about the past and how "pure and innocent" we were back then. Folks, we were ripping out chunks of brain from bad guys in children's books!
Jiminy Christmas, I need to go lie down. What a world we live in. And I LIKE Batman!