Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Berlin Batman

My favorite item hanging on the Mises Institute walls is a framed display of The Batman Chronicles #11, showing the cover and a few excerpted panels.

It's a Batman comic book. So yeah, automatically awesome, but what else is there to say? I mean, it's the goddamn Batman!

Well, actually, that's from "All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder," and the Mises Institute's comic book is from a different Batman series, and on top of that is an "Elseworlds" story, which Wikipedia tells me was part of a series of comics putting superheroes out of their traditional settings.

This particular Batman story is about "Baruch Wane," a closeted upper-class Jew living in Nazi Germany. So what does Batman do in Nazi Germany? Well, he fights Nazis, obviously.

Well, the Mises Institute obviously doesn't like Nazis, what with the Nazis' general anti-freedom tilt, but that isn't why this particular issue is enshrined on the premises. You see, the comic book's dastardly Nazis are--among other misdeeds--planning to raid the library of a certain Economist and Austrian Jew. And now we see where this is going. If you'd like to see Batman try to save von Mises' library from falling into the hands of the Nazis, you can read an excerpt from The Batman Chronicles #11 here. has a brief review as well; it's a bit more in-depth than my treatment here.

The best part of this is that much of the story is true. The Nazis did seize von Mises' library, and it was subsequently taken by the Soviets before finally being recovered years later. Mises himself fled the country, making his way to America.

Incidentally, the Berlin Batman is Ron Paul's favorite superhero.



  2. Elseworlds stories are stories based in alternate universes in the DC Universe, with the intention of doing something drastically different than the norm. Famous titles include the Batman versus Predator (yes the alien dude from the movie Predator, apparently this comic is actually pretty good). Elseworlds can be really cool, but like other comics, some are better than others, like I personally disliked Batman: Thrillkiller. It's quite bad, although some people really like it.