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SECRET ORIGINS
The Eraser

With the country in the grip of "Bat-Mania," and Penguin and Joker becoming household names, DC was under pressure to create NEW supervillains for Batman and Robin to battle. At first it seems extra-ridiculous, but Penguin was based on a bird, and Joker was based on a playing card. So why NOT create a villain out of a pencil?

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BELOW: SPLASH PAGE!
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WHERE did the Eraser come from? Like so MANY super-villains, the Eraser took his criminal identity from a humiliating incident that ruined his life when he was just classmate of young Bruce Wayne's named Lenny Fiacso...
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Naturally, young Lenny grew up to be a clue-eraser. Wow. How stupid! Groovy Marvel comics would never make a villain that stupid, would they? Well...
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Oh, and then there's THIS...
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ANYWAY -- to start his new gig, Lenny took out classified ads that were truly weird. The type of thing you don't often see, even on Craig's List. And his fee was an outrageous 20 percent before taxes! I was not aware criminals paid taxes on their loot. As Robin admits below, "Boy, if that isn't CAMP, I don't know what IS!"
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In terms of POWERS, the Eraser's mask wasn't just an impossibly cumbersome decoration, it actually had a purpose! It could remove "everything -- even the almost invisible impressions made by your soles!" He explains all this to BATMAN, who is undercover, apparently as an organ-grinder...

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Another power: The Eraser had knock-out gas in his shoes, which were extremely pointy. Don't laugh! It worked all too easily on the disguised Batman!
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Naturally Baman and Robin defeat The Eraser easily, putting him in jail. Then Batman does something uncharacteristically cruel, and actually a bit depraved. He goes to the trouble of buying a giant eraser to help Mr. Fiasco "erase all the wrong he's done."
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But the lesson didn't stick, and Lenny Fiasco turned up AGAIN, in an episode of "Batman Brave and Bold," accompanied by a veritable legion of B and C-List Batman villains.

The Eraser charges at Baman, but Bats dodges him easily, and...
But nothing can erase the Eraser! He turned up again, courtesy of Grant Morrison, Lee Garbett, and Trevor Scott in Batman #682, January 2009 (freaky cover, below, by Alex Ross).
Mr. Fiasco is ready for his close-up!
BELOW: Original art for the page featuring the Eraser drawing seen above,
Batman #682, page 19, Lee Garbett pencils and Trevor Scott inks.
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