Loyal readers may recall the following surprise message in the Mar./Apr. 2020 issue of Current Affairs:
It has taken many months of intense and at times acrimonious negotiations. But, readers, we have done it. We have officially licensed “The Adventures of Batman and Robin” to print in the magazine. It was not easy. TABR is a hot intellectual property, and its owners demanded a hefty fee. We have been forced to place a mortgage on the Current Affairs building, and to sublet floor space to dubiously ethical companies. We do not wish to discuss the sum we spent (though it can readily be found in the deals section of industry publications), but it amounts to over 150 percent of what we typically expend in a full year on printed content. We are confident, however, that holding exclusive rights to one of the world’s most popular comics will be well worth it in the long run for the boost in circulation that it provides. The first installment we have received from the artist, “The Bat-Man and the Robin Take An Unexpected Journey,” can be found on page 75. Installment #2 will be printed in our summer edition. We hope that your enjoyment of this seminal franchise more than compensates for the exorbitant sum we have been forced to spend licensing it!
We are happy to report that we were able to withstand the punishing licensing fees for fully three issues before we were forced to file bankruptcy. Please enjoy all three installments of The Adventures of Bat & Robin as the staff packs up the office.
The second installment was released with the following note in the front matter of the May/June 2020 issue:
The Further Adventures of Batman & Robin
We were pleased with the audience response to our syndicated Adventures of Bat-Man and Robin comic in the March-April edition. “Certainly not the Batman and Robin I grew up,” said one reader. “I like the colors,” said another. In the face of such overwhelming public enthusiasm we have decided to renew the series.
The final entry appeared in the July/Aug edition of the magazine with the following text in the front matter:
We regret to announce that our licensing contract for the famous “Bat-Man and the Robin” comic expires with this issue. We are pleased, however, to bring you the final installment of the series (pp. 56-57), which we hope will clear up any lingering plot holes and resolve all doubts. We are grateful for the flood of reader correspondence about “The Bat-Man and the Robin,” which have confirmed our impression that introducing it would set off a flutter (no pun intended) of attention. We hope to inspire waves of fan-fiction, highlights from which may be printed in future editions.