The Case of the Chemicals Indicated

I’d say that a funny thing happened on my way back from a long-overdue visit to
family in California, but it involves the Transportation Security Administration and wasn’t really funny — except insofar as it was Batman’s fault.

Batman figure, modeled on 1950s incarnation of the character, in plastic bubble packaging on cardstock

At the Bay Area fixture Cost Plus World Market, I picked up a figure like the one
shown here. I’d seen this line of figures before, on the Interwebs, in two varieties: a Batman ’66 set modeled on the characters as portrayed in the Adam West series, and Justice League members in the style of Darwyn Cooke’s designs for his comics project and later animated movie The New Frontier. They’re made in China, which
I don’t love, and the faces on most of the ones in the store were disappointing enough that I only got a single figure, this Batman, for my small and now rarely expanding collection. (Die-hard aficionados will surely note that the logo used here is “wrong”;
The New Frontier takes place in the 1950s and this logo debuted in 1970, so it’s retro but not the proper vintage of retro.)

So anyway, I had exactly one item in my carry-on luggage flying home that wasn’t
there flying out to San Francisco, and spoiler alert it was the figure. When TSA flagged my bag for inspection, I just assumed they were doing a random check. The screeners were apparently looking for something in particular, though, and didn’t know what that was until they started removing and swabbing various articles. I guess the figure’s plastic shares a chemical signature with stuff that, at least in certain quantities or combinations, you do not want on your airplane. We did make our flight, thankfully, figure included.

Yep, Batman got detained by TSA, which — darker incarnations notwithstanding, perhaps — is close enough to ironic for Alanis Morissette.

Related: Gotham City 49 Cents Spider-Man, Spider-Man / Use His
Face in a Frying Pan
If You Meta the Batman, Kill the Batman

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