Stephen King, arguably the godfather of modern day horror literature, has written a Batman story about an altercation with the caped crusader’s most loyal sidekick, Robin.
The story premiered on NPR’s newest podcast, Too Hot for Radio, and was read by guest actor Stephen Lang (Avatar, Public Enemies) and followed up by an interview from host Aparna Nancherla with Stephen King expert, Stu Tinker. The story, which can be heard below, starts around the 5:30 mark.
The short story originally appeared in the 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine and was included in King’s collection of shorts, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. The story follows a son and his father, who is suffering from Alzheimers, as they try to recall moments from their past. All his father can remember, however, is the time that they dressed up as Batman and Robin for Halloween and the events surrounding that night.
King has been a longtime Batman fan, penning an essay about why he always felt a kinship for the character over other superheroes, and has talked endlessly about the vigilante’s plight and his history in the comic book realm. What King liked most about Batman was that he was “just a guy,” as he wrote in his essay, and as such, was just as mortal as the people reading his story.
There are elements of Batman’s character woven into the short story, and the interview with Tinker following the story provides a little more insight into the character’s use within King’s story.
Too Hot for Radio is a weekly podcast on NPR that looks at fictional short stories from some of the most successful and prolific authors to date.