Ripping One Off

After reading my recent blog on why we should rename polka dots to flamenco dots, my wife Kalo brought something very important to my attention: I had neglected to mention Polka-Dot Man (PDM). I pled ignorance, never a good defense but true in this case. If you’re not familiar with PDM, he’s one of Batman’s nemeses or, as one site describes him, “a minor supervillain.” PDM, cover name Abner Krill, was “known for committing grandiose crimes revolving around a bizarre theme of polka dots.” Even cooler (okay, I’m a comic nerd) is the fact that the polka dots on PDM’s supervillain outfit could turn into odd weapons and escape devices, a buzz saw dot, for example, or a one-man flying saucer.


PDM was also known as Mister Polka Dot (MPD). Over the issues he appeared in, PDM committed a series of weird robberies. Batman has a eureka moment and connects the dots of these crimes on a map, which form a stick figure. He and Robin go to the head of this figure (a map company) and catch PDM in the act. The Caped Crusader punches PDM out, crowing “Right on the dot! By now, you should be seeing spots before your eyes, Mister Polka Dot!” PDM’s fortunes plummeted after that. He became penniless and an alcoholic. Later, he made a comeback of sorts, joining a band of costumed misfits that included Immortus, Professor Milo, and the Condiment King. He eventually has a terminal encounter with a flying manhole cover and thus ends the brief and not-so-glorious story of Polka Dot Man.

Well, not quite. While he’s not listed as a character in in The LEGO Batman Movie, he does appear in this “trailer” for the Ultimate Batmobile Set. You can undoubtedly buy him to add to your Lego collection, should you feel the need.

While PDM has SVCC (supervillain cool cred), think how much better he might have been as Flamenco Dot Man. Certainly he would continue to plague Batman and Robin with his dastardly deeds, but now he could also torment them with videos of torrid flamenco performances. These would be very stylish, naturally, but they would also contain clues to where FDM’s next crime would take place, much like honey bees impart vital information through their waggle dance. In FDM’s case, the Dynamic Duo would have to puzzle out the meaning of each backswing, dig, heel-and-toe, and stamp.

FDM would also have a cool flamenco name to replace Abner Krill, something like Inigo Montoya (oh, right, that’s taken) or maybe Don Diego de la Vega (rats, also taken). Anyway, you get the idea.

Of course, FDM’s weapons would have to be different, too. Instead of a buzz saw dot, perhaps a razor-sharp tortilla, and instead of the flying saucer maybe a small, levitating stage on which he could perform “on the round” and escape at the same time, his movements controlled by his feverishly flailing boots. And finally, there’s the FDotmobile, the FDotplane, the FDotboat, and, for later in life, the FDotStairRider.

I’m hoping the folks at Marvel and/or Warner Brothers see this post and give me a call. Given the disaster of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman needs a strong comeback vehicle. This might be it: Batman v Flamenco Dot Man: Deadly Dance-off. The critical question to resolve now is whether their final confrontation would take place on So You Think You Can Dance or World of Dance. If you have an opinion on this, please share.