Year Eight

1946

 

Batman and Robin “Ch. 20: Twelvetoes” [Sunday newspaper strips 12/30/1945 to 2/3/1946]
New Year’s Day. Our story begins at the stroke of midnight. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred celebrate a quiet New Year’s in the Hall of Trophies. In the morning, a gangster named Twelvetoes is hired to run a certain beat cop, Skinny Sloan, ragged by having his gang commit random acts of vandalism. Twelvetoes has been hired by Sloan’s rival (he wants to marry Sloan’s fiancée), who knows that the underweight Sloan can’t lose any more weight or his fiancée will dump him. Batman and Robin assist the nervous Sloan in saving a suicide jumper that turns out to be one of Twelvetoes’ men. Batman, Robin, and Sloan nab Twelvetoes and his employees at a party above a Turkish bath.

–Batman #32, Part 3
Bruce makes fun of Alfred’s detective abilities, claiming that the butler has only solved cases by accident. Bruce then sends Alfred to walk the dog of a socialite acquaintance. Wow, Bruce is being a real dick to Alfred in this one! Desperate to prove his master wrong, Alfred vows to solve the next case using his intellect. As luck would have it, Alfred wanders into the middle of a bizarre robbery—some troublemakers make off with a load of turtle soup from the Sambell’s soup company. Alfred deduces that the culprits must work for a rival firm. Using the dog that he is walking, Alfred leads the police to Fernleigh’s Fine Soups where, sure enough, the stew-stealers are caught red-handed. Afterward, Bruce and Dick refuse to believe that Alfred was able to solve the case properly.

–Batman #32, Part 4
Bruce and Dick visit Professor Carter Nichols again. Nichols uses his avatar projection hypnosis method to send the Dynamic Duo just over three-hundred years into the past to France where our heroes meet The Three Musketeers and the Comte d’Artagnan. In the world of pre-Crisis Earth-Two, The Three Musketeers was not a fictional story by Alexandre Dumas, but instead, a true historical biography of the real Musketeers. Batman and Robin assist the Musketeers and help them in battle. However, the Dynamic Duo’s mere appearance causes time to change, and d’Artagnan is injured. When d’Artagnan gets injured, Batman disguises himself as the famous swashbuckler and fills in. Using their knowledge of the events of Dumas’ biography, Batman and Robin attempt to recreate events so that everything stays relatively the same. Writer Don Cameron does an impressive League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-style retelling of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers with Batman and Robin as part of the cast. In the original Three Musketeers text, the fair Lady Constance is poisoned to death. Batman, preferring a happy ending, decides to save Constance in this version, thus altering history and Dumas’ book before returning home. As Dick notes back in the present, Dumas, in 1844, decided not to include the appearances of Batman and Robin in The Three Musketeers, most likely because it probably seemed too crazy. Pretty awesome Cameron/Sprang metafiction here, especially for 1945-1946 Batman, which isn’t usually this layered (or layered at all). After the conclusion of this case, Batman puts one of the Musketeers’ hats on display in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #147).

Batman and Robin “Ch. 11: An Affair of Death” [daily newspaper strips 11/26/1945 to 2/9/1946]
Bruce goes to purchase an automobile and stumbles upon a hot car ring ostensibly led by the towering, twaddling Lockjaw, but actually led by his charismatic “translator” Echo. After Bruce exposes their stolen car ring, Lockjaw and Echo decide their best move is to assassinate the DA. The crooks break out hot-headed Gypsy small-timer Eduardo Trujillo out of jail to do the job, but when he refuses they kidnap his sister Juanita. Batman tries to save Juanita, but gets a noggin sloggin for his trouble. Batman then meets with Eduardo and Juanita’s father before regrouping at Wayne Manor. As per Batman’s request, Commissioner Gordon releases false info to the press claiming that DA Tim Logan is vacationing in a cabin in the woods. Batman and Robin prop up a dummy DA at the cabin site and are able to capture/rescue Eduardo. Robin the goes in-disguise as Eduardo and infiltrates the hideout of Lockjaw and Echo. Robin is exposed, captured, and left in a death trap, but not before reattaching a license plate to a stolen car in Lockjaw’s garage. Robin then escapes a near fatality and rescues Juanita. Meanwhile, the cops bust Lockjaw and his gang (Echo gets away) when they drive around in the highlighted stolen vehicle. The next day, Bruce—back on the prowl after his recent break-up with Linda—goes to the Trujillo silver shop and asks the beautiful Juanita out on a date. Juanita’s pop doesn’t seem too keen on the idea until Echo shows up and Bruce takes him down. During the altercation Echo accidentally shoots himself to death. Bruce then tells Daddy Trujillo that he knows Batman personally and guarantees that Eduardo will serve a lessened sentence. The dashing playboy then goes on a sexy date with Juanita.

Batman and Robin “Ch. 12: A Change of Costume” [daily newspaper strips 2/11/1946 to 3/23/1946]
Oh, classless 1940s hijinks of writer Jack Schiff. Batman and Robin steal some invitations to the 20th Annual First Ward Independent Political Association Ball. Wanted criminal Slugger Kaye will be at the costumed affair and the Dynamic Duo is looking to bust him. One catch—the Dynamic Duo must attend as a male and female. Thus, Batman will be Louis XVI and Robin will be Marie Antoinette! Robin has gone in drag numerous times before without so much as a peep for a complaint, but I guess since he’s at puberty age now, the idea of wearing a wig, pantyhose, lipstick, and giant fake boobs (which he does) is upsetting and embarrassing to him. At the ball, every male party-goer thinks Robin (as Marie Antoinette) is the hottest thing on the planet and the Boy-Girl Wonder is forced to dance with a bunch of dudes. When Kaye tries getting cuddly with Robin-Antoinette, his date—the titanic Hammerlock Hilda—gets jealous and starts a fight. Bearlike awkwardness and hilarity both ensue as a costumed rumble breaks out. Eventually, Batman and Robin capture Kaye with the assistance of the Gotham City Fire Department’s Commissioner Brodie.

–The Adventures of Superman “Is There Another Superman?” [radio show 1/29/1946 to 2/14/1946]
Batman and Robin help Superman investigate a series of mysterious bank robberies that the Man of Steel believes he himself may have committed during several strange blackouts he has suffered as an after-effect of his exposure to Kryptonite. The real robber is ultimately identified as a naive Russian strongman named Boris, who has been manipulated by a gang of crooks into committing the robberies on the pretext that they are are harmless publicity stunt. The gang is sent to prison, and Superman arranges for Boris to get a legitimate job. During this story Superman mentions to Batman that he writes with his right hand as Clark Kent and his left hand as Superman to help prevent anyone from discovering his secret identity by comparing his handwriting. Batman not only remarks on the wisdom of this strategy, but will begin doing this practice from now on (as referenced in World’s Finest Comics #60).[1]

–FLASHBACK: Batman saves the lives of Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones, and their unnamed newborn baby when the brakes go out on their car on the way home from the hospital (as seen in Batman #108, Part 3). The Joneses are so grateful they promise to name their son “Batman Jones.”

–Batman #92, Part 1
This tale occurs here because: One, Batman uses his “write signatures with left hand” strategy that he just learned from Superman; and two, Batman Jones has just recently been born. When we see Batman Jones in 1957, he is around twelve-years-old, placing Batman #92, Part 1 right here. Ok, on with the synopsis. Batman and Robin haven’t picked up their mail in days and are shocked and dismayed when they go to the post office and find huge piles of fan letters waiting for them. Overwhelmed, Batman rents out and office and a secretary, Miss Smith, and begins sorting and responding to the mail. Crook Vincent Crail, using a pseudonym, requests Batman’s signature for an autograph collection—trying to discover his secret ID. Batman signs with his left hand and mails him back. Batman then responds to a letter from a woman that says her son is trying to mimic Batman by doing dangerous “human fly” stunts. The Dark Knight stops the boy from hurting himself. After doing a newspaper interview, Miss Smith causes tons more fan mail to be sent to Batman. It also causes people to show up—including the Batman Fan Club—and send bizarre items to them as well, hampering their crime-fighting efforts. Mr. and Mrs. Jones also send a letter to Batman telling him that they are indeed following through with their promise to name their newborn “Batman Jones.” Despite being even more overwhelmed than before, Batman carries out an investigation into the autograph scam and busts Crail. Afterward, the global population starts sending less mail to Batman when it realizes that it causes problems for the Dynamic Duo.

–FLASHBACK: Batman, along with newspaper men galore, visits the home of the Joneses and poses for pictures with little baby “Batman Jones” (as seen in Batman #108, Part 3).

–NOTE: Penguin escapes from the pen (as referenced in the 2/10/1946 Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip).

Batman and Robin “Ch. 21: Oswald Who?” [Sunday newspaper strips 2/10/1946 to 3/10/1946]
Batman and Robin follow Penguin to a post office and finally learn his real name: Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot! Penguin explains that his dear old Aunt Miranda is visiting him, but she doesn’t know he is a crook! Batman reluctantly agrees to help Penguin out–for the elderly lady’s sake. After palling around with Penguin and his aunt all day, Penguin’s old cellmate, Stonehead, gets wind that Oswald has been hanging with the Caped Crusader and thinks his friend has turned stool pigeon. Stonehead rounds up a posse and goes after Penguin, but the combined might of Batman, Robin, Penguin, and Aunt Miranda is enough to stop them. After Aunt Miranda departs still believing her nephew to be a saint, Penguin goes back to jail.

Batman and Robin “Ch. 22: Hotel Grandeur” [Sunday newspaper strips 3/17/1946 to 4/21/1946]
Add director of an international brokerage firm to the list of Bruce’s responsibilities, which includes: head of Wayne Enterprises, majority stockholder in a clock company, majority stockholder in a shipping insurance company, author, producer, bank director, newspaper publisher, factory owner, stockholder in a book publishing company, and automobile manufacturer. Bruce heads to Gotham’s palatial Hotel Grandeur–the largest hotel in the city, which occupies an entire city block–to meet with a foreign diplomat from Germany. Naturally, some people have issue with loaning money to the Germans so soon after WWII, so they kidnap the diplomat. Batman and Robin rescue him.

–Detective Comics #107-108
Don Cameron’s weirdest tale thus far on our list—but with elegant penciling by Win Mortimer. Conman Bugs Scarpis is the Aleister Crowley analogue known as Scorpio. Scorpio and his team of robed and hooded cult followers lure rich investment bankers into their castle on the outskirts of Gotham where the bankers are dosed with a hallucinogenic gas and then hypnotized to think that Scorpio has taught them the secrets of alchemy. While in the glorious trance, Scorpio is able to embezzle money from their firms. When Batman and Robin invade Scorpio’s castle, Robin is hypnotized and nearly commits suicide, but the Dark Knight saves him. Eventually, the Scorpio and his fraudulent cult is shut down hard.

Ed Gregory is the best and toughest cop on the force. When he takes a bullet while chasing after a murderer named Torch Cleary, Batman and Robin are able to rush him to the hospital and he is saved. The same night, Gregory is promoted to detective and quickly apprehends Cleary. At a sensational rush-job trial, Cleary is found guilty and then executed less than a week later. When Detective Gregory–now an overnight Eliot Ness-type celebrity–goes after Bugs Brown and Flip Gurkin, the miscreants evade capture but leave a note claiming responsibility (falsely) for the murder that Cleary had been executed for. Gregory goes into a deep depression believing that he has made a terrible mistake. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin test out the brand new jet-powered Batplane with a little skywriting action before meeting with Commissioner Gordon and Gregory’s fiancée, Kitty Corliss. On their behalf, the Dynamic Duo not only apprehends Brown and Gurkin, but proves that Cleary was Gregory’s correct perp as well.

Batman and Robin “Ch. 13: The News That Makes the News” [daily newspaper strips 3/25/1946 to 6/1/46]
Reed Parker is the US’s most listened-to and sensational radio news reporter, famous for getting the first scoop on big news items. When Parker leaks information from a supposedly private Senate committee meeting, Batman and Robin apprehend the mob boss Edgar Poole before he can flee the country. Batman then travels to Washington, DC and meets with the beautiful bombshell, Senator Rae Raleigh. In DC, Batman disguises himself and has dinner with Raleigh, who tells him that Parker plans to report secret information regarding a foreign minister’s conference–information that could potentially cause a lot of backlash against the US by foreign nations. Ironically, the information, if leaked early, would be damaging to a group of unnamed political fascists (likely the Italian Social Movement) led by a man named Oronzo. Thus, both Batman (with Raleigh) and fascist assassins try to prevent Parker from making his broadcast. Eventually, Batman–although wanting to stop Parker’s “unpatriotic” broadcast–decides to heroically protect Parker, disguises himself as the journalist, and agrees to deliver the report in his place. Meanwhile, Parker, realizing he has a chance to discover Batman’s secret identity, meets with his would-be assassins within the fascist party and works out an arrangement. The fascists catch Batman, Robin, and Raleigh by surprise and capture them. After being restrained in a cabin at the edge of a mountainous ravine, Batman is unmasked and photographed. The cabin is then set ablaze and the evildoers drive down the mountain to deliver the camera to Parker. As luck would have it, Batman, Robin, and Raleigh escape and the burning cabin slides off the edge of its perch and crashes on the villains’ moving car below. Everyone in the car is killed, except for one man, who absconds with the camera. Raleigh reveals that she has terrible vision, so she was unable to see that Batman was Bruce. More luck comes Batman’s way as the man with the camera happens to be the one idiot in Gotham who has no idea who Bruce Wayne is. He delivers the film to Parker, but the camera is busted and the film has been overexposed, ruining the photo. The camera henchman is shot to death by cops and Parker wins up in jail. Oddly, Oronzo is never implicated (at least within the pages of this story).

–NOTE: Penguin escapes jail (as referenced in Batman #33, Part 1).

–Batman #33, Part 1
Three down-on-their-luck hoods–Melancholy Mike, Willie the Wag, and Ralph the Rook–decide to use Penguin’s notoriety to their advantage. They bet Penguin he can’t best Batman three times. Naturally, Penguin accepts the challenge and when the supervillain commits his first act of larceny, Mike, Willie, and Ralph pull off a huge gem heist while Batman is occupied with Penguin. Peguin avoids getting nabbed by using a web-shooting umbrella. Later, while Robin gets captured by Mike, Willie, and Ralph, Batman is defeated by Penguin again. When Penguin finds out he is being used by the terrible trio, he sends a clue to Batman that allows the Dark Knight to apprehend the trio with ease. Meanwhile, a free Robin not only prevents Penguin from robbing Fire Department Commissioner Brodie (referred to as Fire-Chief Brody in this issue), but also sends Penguin back to prison.

–Batman #33, Part 2
Batman and Robin have their first encounter with The Jackal–the Kingpin-esque, vampire-fanged boss of a group of terrorist looters. A week later, Bruce stalks one of Jackal’s men to a swing club for “hep cats” and learns that the looters plan to kidnap a famous Coast City seismologist, Professor Dorry Leaf. Batman and Robin rush to the West Coast, but are restrained–along with Leaf–by the Jackal and his crew. Leaf explains that an major earthquake is due to strike Coast City within hours and the Jackal plans to take advantage of the chaos. Batman, Robin, and Leaf escape in time to warn city officials so they can begin an evacuation. When the quake hits, it is devastating. Most of Coast City is leveled and the Jackal moves in to loot as much as he can. Just when things look dire for the Dynamic Duo, they are saved by Leaf. The Jackal falls into a fissure and gets crushed to death during an aftershock. It’s interesting how Coast City is demolished in both the Golden Age and Modern Age.

–NOTE: Joker escapes from prison (as referenced in Detective Comics #109). The Clown Prince of Crime is able to complete his successful jailbreak by dressing up and posing as Batman (as referenced in Detective Comics #114).

–Detective Comics #109
It’s been a week since Joker broke jail and his first move is to kidnap Robin and put Batman through a gauntlet of ludicrous death traps involving clues, poison arrows, buckets of acid, false staircases, pits with flames, pits with spikes, a poison quill-tipped Marotte, and a sadistic contraption that involves a noose around Batman’s neck attached to a rope that is counter-weighted with a bound Boy Wonder at the other end. After the Caped Crusader survives all of the near fatalities and frees Robin, the Joker is taken into custody. Batman and Robin then learn that Joker’s ultimate goal was not to kill them, but simply to stick Robin in a bag full of ants–they tickle! Afterward, Joker is sentenced to 100 years in the Prison for the Criminally Insane. Great story by Don Cameron that really captures the unplumbable depth of Joker’s insanity and showcases his intricate use of “popcrime” tactics. After the case is closed, Batman puts Joker’s noose into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #48).

–World’s Finest Comics #21
Dick gets a brand new camera and becomes an immediate shutterbug, so much so, he wants desperately to join the Camera Scoops Club, an organization that rewards top-notch photography. The club heads agree to give Dick membership, but only if he can snap a shot of Batman and Robin in action. When the Dynamic Duo discovers that one of the Scoops Club members has been using his camera to scout potential robbery sites for a criminal cartel, they go after him at his home only to get ambushed and bagged. Ultimately, our heroes liberate themselves and bring down the baddies. Robin is able to snap a picture of the bust via a rigged camera with a wire attached to the shutter (wonder if he influenced Spider-Man?) and, as Dick, gains acceptance in the Scoops Club.

The Adventures of Superman “The Story of the Century” [radio show 3/29/1946 to 4/14/1946]
April 1, 1946. Batman helps Clark Kent play an April Fools’ Day joke on Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and a few other of his esteemed acquaintances.[2][3]

–Detective Comics #110
When Professor Moriarty, a villain that models himself after Sherlock Holmes’ old arch nemesis, begins a campaign of terror against London, Scotland Yard sends a special message to Commissioner Gordon asking for the Dynamic Duo’s help. Batman and Robin (with Alfred traveling separately) arrive in London and are given the royal treatment by Scotland Yard, which includes a gift–the “HMS Batboat,” a modified mini British Navy man o’ war. When a snooping Alfred is kidnapped by Moriarty, Batman and Robin save him and take down the vile villain. Scotland Yard honors the American heroes by erecting a statue of the duo in their headquarters. I should note that writer Don Cameron treats Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty as fictional characters. This was retconned in Detective Comics #196 by Bill Finger, who decided that Holmes and Moriarty were a real life non-fictional part of the history of Earth-Two. (The stories of the Doyle-verse, including the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, were also a real life part of the histories of the DCU Earths of the Silver and Modern Ages as well).

–Batman #34, Part 1
Aging daredevil Marty Steele organizes a cross-country steeplechase involving cars, planes, and boats. The winner of the race must travel from Gotham to San Francisco on a winding path through the US. Batman and Robin unofficially enter the contest and compete against other oddballs such as the playgirl Glenda West and blind scientist Roy Damon, who uses “radar vision” to see. Midway through the race, Batman and Robin have a blockbuster encounter atop Mount Rushmore, perilously swinging from Lincoln’s face before fending off saboteurs. While I strongly doubt that Alfred Hitchcock was reading American comics in the 1940s, it is curious that this scene is replicated in North by Northwest nearly thirteen years later! The Dynamic Duo eventually wins the race, but since they were unofficial entries, the second-placer gets the winning title. Number two is a John Doe that unmasks to reveal himself as the elderly Marty Steele. He’s still got it. Afterward, the judges still give the winner’s trophy to the Dynamic Duo and they place it into their Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #48).

–Batman #34, Part 2
That incorrigible and garrulous Ally Babble is back and where Ally goes trouble is sure to follow. Such is the case when Ally gets his fortune read and runs around town trying to make the predictions come true. By simply following Ally’s trail, Batman and Robin stop several crimes.

–Batman #34, Part 3
Alfred accidentally mistakes Gotham’s DA, Tim Logan, for a crook, but ultimately (and also accidentally) helps DA Logan nab notorious tire thieves Slinky and Shifty.

–Batman #107, Part 2
This story takes place here because Robin gets romantically involved with a 14-year-old girl. During the time of Batman #107‘s publication, Robin would have been 26-years-old. I think you see the problem. Hence, this tale fits nicely here, with Robin about to turn 15-years-old. Here we go. Batman and Robin agree to perform in a benefit show set to occur in a week’s time. They visit the skating rink to view some of the other performers practicing. During the visit, the lovely Vera Lovely narrowly avoids a deadly skating accident when Robin swoops in and saves her, earning himself a kiss on the lips. Robin then begins going on dates with Vera (in between solving crimes with Batman). Unfortunately, Hollywood movie execs want Vera paired up with young actor Roddy Dale and manipulate the situation so that Vera splits with the Boy Wonder and winds up with Dale. At the night of the big show, thief Ben Keefe tries to steal some gems hidden in Vera’s skates, but the Dynamic Duo stops him. After the show ends, Robin and Vera confirm their legit love for each other, but Robin ultimately decides that he should “focus on crime instead of girls.”

–Batman #107, Part 3
Like the second part of Batman #107, the third part occurs definitively during a time when Dick is a young teenage school boy, hence its placement here. Superman finds a mysterious lead-lined alien box floating in deep space and gives it to Robin. When Robin opens the box, a gas comes out and ages him by roughly fifteen years! Dick is ordered to wait on the sidelines while Batman goes out to fight the returning Three Daredevils. Rather than wait, Robin puts on an Owlman costume that Bruce was planning on wearing at a masquerade. Batman and Owlman fight the Daredevils, but the villains escape. The next day, the town is abuzz with the news of the new Dynamic Duo. A few days later, Owlman tries to take down the Daredevils by himself, but gets captured at the home of Frankie the Fence. Batman follows, rescues Owlman, and defeats the Daredevils. Later, the effect of the alien gas wears off and Dick returns to his correct age, happily returning to grade school.

–Detective Comics #108 Epilogue
Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon attend the wedding of Detective Ed Gregory and Kitty Corliss.

–REFERENCE: Early May. Batman and Robin bust Duke Wilton for the second time (as referenced in Detective Comics #219). Wilton isn’t mentioned by name, but he appears in the issue, so we can assume it is he that is being referenced.

–FLASHBACK: Robin stops some teens from Boyville Reform School from robbing a department store (as seen via flashback from Star Spangled Comics #65). The next day, Bruce sends Robin to visit Boyville. Feeling something is off, Robin arranges with Commissioner Gordon to be sent undercover into Boyville as delinquent “Dynamite Denny Devlin.” Robin quickly learns that a bully named Beasley is teaching the kids at Boyville how to commit crimes, under the tutelage of grown-up crooks Torch and Scat. Beasley sends “Dynamite Denny” and another boy, Eddie, to rob a music school, but when they arrive, Robin convinces Eddie to help him arrest Torch and Scat. Back at the reform school, Robin busts Beasley as well. Later, Robin adds Beasley’s specially designed knife to the Hall of Trophies.

–FLASHBACK: This is the famous “Case Without a Crime” (also known as “The Case Without a Clue”—as it is called in Detective Comics #223). Bruce and Dick purchase costumes for a charity masquerade ball from Papa Brugel’s Costume Shop (as told through flashback in Detective Comics #112). That afternoon, the three employees of Papa Brugel’s—Eddie, Corrine, and August—realize that their cash register is $99 short. Thus sum is inconsequential, but the missing cash drives a rift of suspicion between the very tight-knit Brugel “family.” At the masquerade ball, Corrine dresses as Catwoman and pulls a prank that causes Bruce and Dick to switch into their superhero-ing gear. The Dynamic Duo learns that Corrine was simply trying to win the $100 best costume award in order to pay back the missing money. Batman deduces that Corrine is an ingénue and turns his focus on Eddie. The next day, Batman stops Eddie from competing in an $100-prize amateur wrestling match at a carnival. Batman disguises himself as Eddie and makes mince meat of the big galoot rassler. Afterward, Batman learns that Eddie is innocent as well. Later at Papa Brugel’s shop, Batman ascertains that Papa Brugel and August are also innocent as well, leaving the case an open mystery. The next day at Wayne Manor, Bruce finds a $100 bill in his wallet. Back at Brugel’s place, Bruce reveals that it was all a big mistake–Corrine accidentally gave him a hundred instead of a one. Oh, boy. Afterward, Batman puts his correct change, the one dollar bill, into the Hall of Trophies.

–NOTE: When a killer stalks teen idol and movie star Danny McGee, Robin disguises himself as McGee on the set of a new film in order to lure out the madman (as seen via flashback in Star Spangled Comics #66). Robin is quickly led to believe that the would-be-assassin is John Cory, better known as No-Face, an actor that wears a mask of bandages (similar to Hush’s mask in the Modern Age) due to a horrible facial disfiguration. After getting kidnapped by No-Face, Robin learns that No-Face is actually innocent and the real bad guy is McGee’s manager, Mr. Mellon. Mellon has been trying to kill McGee to claim life insurance money and wanted to pin the blame on the real No-Face. Robin, with McGee’s help, busts Mellon. Afterward, Robin puts the fake No-Face’s bandage mask into the Hall of Trophies.

–NOTE: Catwoman escapes from the clink (as referenced in the 4/28/1946 Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip).

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 23: Catwoman’s Grasshopper Chase” [Sunday newspaper strips 4/28/1946 to 6/16/1946]
Batman brings down the Thorn Gang, but can’t rest for long. Catwoman gains the backing of a large criminal combine and publicly dares Batman to chase her across the country. Of course, Batman agrees, first following her to Pittsburgh. In Pittsburgh, Catwoman escapes, but Batman realizes that she is working with a larger group and decides to let her keep on slipping away in order to eventually get to the rest of the bruiser squad. Thus a week-long trek of cat-and-mouse takes Catwoman and the Dynamic Duo through Nashville, Miami, Long Beach, all throughout California, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Minneapolis, and Chicago. Back in Gotham, Bruce nets (literally) Catwoman and the whole gang. After this case ends, Batman enters Catwoman’s mask into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #112).

–Batman #35, Part 1
Following her capture at the end of the 6/16/1946 Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip, Catwoman–inexplicably colored with blonde hair–is sent to women’s prison, but she easily escapes. After building a new secret headquarters that houses a giant maze dubbed “The Cat-acombs,” Catwoman regains the services of her old gang by convincing them she actually has nine lives. When Catwoman tries to rob a dirigible, Batman and Robin bring the old school Batgyro out of storage and foil her plans. Catwoman eludes getting caught and goes on a massive crime spree. Eventually, Batman and Robin find themselves trapped inside Catwoman’s labyrinth, but find their way out in time to chase the feline villainess once again–only this time, Catwoman winds up crashing a tractor off of a cliff to her apparent death. (Of course, she isn’t really dead).

–Batman #35, Part 2
Master showman Murray Wilson Hart builds an artificial island theme park off the coast of Gotham called Dinosaur Island. Dinosaur Island houses lush jungles, giant-sized dinosaur robots, and robot cavemen. Upon the park’s grand opening, socialite Mr. Breach proposes a contest–Batman and Robin versus the harsh wilderness conditions, wild savages, and raging thunder lizards in a thirty-six-hour survival contest. Batman and Robin have fought robot cavemen and dinosaurs before, so it should come as no surprise that they accept–not to mention that it is for charity and only an exhibition. Unfortunately, criminal Stephen Chase takes control of all the deadly robots on the island and the stakes immediately rise. After battling a horde of robots, the Dynamic Duo defeats the Tyrannosaurus-riding Chase and delivers the caged ne’er-do-well to the news media after the thirty-six-hour period ends. Following this adventure, Batman places his largest trophy yet—the now iconic robot T-rex—into the Batcave (as first referenced in Detective Comics #137).

[4]

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 26: Tire Tread Deathtrap” [Sunday newspaper strips 10/20/1946 to 10/27/1946]
Small-timer Andy Greer thinks he can pull a fast one and knock-off the Dynamic Duo. As Batman and Robin return from a public appearance upstate, they witness Greer running down an alley with a gun in his hand. Batman soon realizes that Greer is simply trying to lure him into a trap. With the tables turned, Batman and Robin easily take down Greer.

–Detective Comics #111
On their way back from yet another holiday, Batman and Robin help some Gladeville coal miners out of a collapsed shaft and learn that the corrupt mine owner, Julius Reed, has forgone safety precautions and regulations at the expense of his workers. When the workers organize, Reed sicks his mine security on them. Robin, along with some of the town’s leaders, corner Reed deep within the mine in order to have a chat with him. Meanwhile, Reed’s men capture Batman, forcing the Dark Knight to break free and take action. Eventually, the shaft collapses again and the town leaders save Reed’s life causing him to rethink his entire outlook on humanity.

–World’s Finest Comics #22
Nails Finney and his mob have been stealing radium all over town, but Batman can’t prove a thing despite tracking them to the tree-filled inner-city estate of Francis Van Orsdell. After several altercations with Finney and his gang, Batman takes a radiation detector to Orsdell’s grove and discovers that Finney, in conjunction with an arborist, has been hiding the toxic material in patched-up trees. During the final altercation, a giant oak tree, having had its guts removed earlier, falls upon the scoundrels and crushes them flat.

–Batman #35, Part 3
Dick complains that comic books are too unrealistic (!), so Bruce takes him to meet the editor of Crescent Comics, Jim Hale. Hale chats with Dick and asks the latter to contribute a story. Meanwhile, Big Ed Conroy has just finished serving his jail term and gets Commissioner Gordon’s blessing to start the Security Messenger Service, a security company that guards armored trucks–the organization consists only of reformed ex-convicts, mostly from Duke Ryall’s gang. Ryall, angry that he’s lost most of his men to the straight life, orders his remaining loyalists to stick-up Security Messenger Service. Batman then goes undercover as one of Conroy’s men and gets involved in Ryall’s next heist–the robbery of a glass factory’s payroll. Batman sheds his gangster disguise and is joined by Robin. The Dynamic Duo easily takes down Ryall. Afterward, the unimaginative Dick submits the details of the Ryall case to Hale as his first comic script. Hale is so impressed, he hires young Dick as a freelance comic book writer!

–Detective Comics #112
Batman places Duke Ryall’s Tommy gun into the Hall of Trophies. Our heroes then tour the Hall as they so often do and recall the the “Case Without a Crime,” which allotted them a single dollar bill that is encased in the Hall.

Batman and Robin “Ch. 14: Ten Day’s to Live!” [daily newspaper strips 6/3/1946 to 8/3/1946]
Banker Cappy Wren walks down the aisle with his new bride, a wealthy heiress, but during the ceremony his blunt physician Dr. Blunt announces that he only has ten days to live due to a mysterious internal disease. Cappy decides that his final ten days will be wild and crazy. With only nine days left, Cappy–wanting to play superhero–fills a bag with nitro glycerine and threatens known gangster Monty Flak into signing a full confession. Batman and Robin don’t approve of his methods, but they are thankful for the assist. After leaving Flak’s apartment, a gunman tries shooting at Cappy and his wife, but misses and runs off. Over the course of the next few days, more assassination attempts seemingly aimed at Cappy–orchestrated by the obese villain known as Mr. Fat–are thwarted by the Dynamic Duo. Batman dons a Mr. Fat disguise and learns that Cappy’s cousin, Mike, hired Mr. Fat to kill, not Cappy, but his wife. With Cappy’s rich wife dead, Mike–as the sole relative of Cappy–stood to gain her entire fortune. Mike is easily apprehended, but Mr. Fat kidnaps Mrs. Wren. After the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder defeat Mr. Fat and save Mrs. Wren, Dr. Blunt re-diagnoses Cappy with a clean bill of health–the adrenaline rushes and extreme nature of his final days were enough to alter his metabolism and shock his entire system into remission.

–The Adventures of Superman “Super Sleuth” AKA “Herbert Calkins of Scotland Yard” [radio show 7/22/1946 to 7/31/1946][5]
Batman helps Superman protect the secret of his dual identity from Scotland Yard detective Herbert Calkins, who suspects that Clark Kent is Superman. To deceive Calkins, Batman dresses up as Superman.

Batman and Robin “Ch. 15: Acquitted by Iceberg” [daily newspaper strips 8/5/1946 to 9/21/1946]
The devilish, chain-smoking criminal lawyer known as The Iceberg is the most notorious defense attorney in the nation, using any means necessary–usually illegal methods–to obtain acquittals for his clients. After going two-for-two and releasing a pair of degenerates that were clearly guilty, a frustrated Batman tries in vain to shake down Iceberg. When the newspapers announce that Iceberg will be defending his longtime friend John–whom is charged of murder–Batman prepares for the worst yet again. However, upon a preliminary investigation of the crime scene the Dark Knight realizes that John has been framed. At the trial, Iceberg is curiously not his usual suave self and appears to be blowing the defense. Batman ascertains that Iceberg is in love with John’s wife Flora, and has set-up John to take a murder rap to get him out of the picture. To make sure he is one-hundred-percent correct, Batman dresses up in full drag to disguise himself as Flora!–the Dark Knight is probably the butchiest-looking queen I’ve ever seen, but he manages to fool Iceberg until Flora’s dog Lucifer sniffs through the ruse. Iceberg tries to exterminate the Caped Crusader (still dressed as a lady), but gets tangled in Lucifer’s leash and falls off of a convenient cliff to his death.

Batman and Robin “Ch. 16: Deadly Professor Radium” [daily newspaper strips 9/23/1946 to 11/2/1946]
Like the earlier “Half Man–Half Monster” daily newspaper strip story (which featured Two-Face II), the canonicity of this episode is highly dubious. “Chapter 16” introduces us to Professor Radium II (Professor Zachary Knell), who gains the exact same powers as the previous Professor Radium (Henry Ross), hence the media’s immediate dubbing of him as Professor Radium. Unlike Ross, Knell is a bit more benevolent, acting as a Jack Kevorkian type and only killing those who are already suicidal or ill. However, like Ross, Knell is imprudent and batshit crazy. Knell starts using his unwise judgment to decide if his victims want to die or not. Batman and Robin set a trap for Professor Radium II at the Unhappy Men’s Club. When the supervillain is caught unawares he flees into the nearest building, an indoor shooting range, where he gets accidentally shot to death. The previous Professor Radium is never mentioned once in this tale and I’m almost positive (although I can’t remember from what issue) that Knell’s accidental killing at the shooting range is directly taken from a previous Batman comic. Based upon these factoids, this chapter of the daily strips might be non-canon. But if you ignore these controversial items or deem them pure coincidence, then it is kosher.

–Detective Comics #113
Batman and Robin abolish the racketeering operation of a mafioso named Blackhand, but Blackhand is able to kidnap the Dynamic Duo and begin a new racket, hijacking oyster dredging schooners. Blackhand and his pirates ram into Josephine Jibbs’ oyster ship and during the bedlam, Batman and Robin free themselves, but Jo is captured in their place. Our heroes eventually regroup, save Jo, and put Blackhand in the clink.

–NOTE: Goldplate Gorney is released from jail yet again (as mentioned in World’s Finest Comics #23).

–World’s Finest Comics #23-24
Dick has recently turned sixteen-years-old and is one of the most competitive athletes on his high school track team. However, in order to keep suspicion low, Dick–while more than capable–allows others to win each event. Meanwhile, Goldplate Gorney decides that the winning-est high school athlete in Gotham, Hugh Ross, must be Robin and his father, a former professional boxer, must be Batman. Gorney and his men kidnap Ross, forcing Batman and Robin to come to his rescue. After duping Gorney into letting Ross and Robin compete in gymnastics events to determine who the real Boy Wonder is, our heroes escape (with Ross’ help). The Dynamic Duo later sends Gorney back to prison.

Summer, 1946. Batman and Robin encounter a married criminal couple that are able to rob a mansion while its occupants are on vacation. Batman soon learns that the villainous couple has adopted a child that has a near-photographic drawing ability from a local orphanage and has used the child to obtain detailed sketches of rich mansion interiors that they later rob. Thus, Bruce initiates a plan that involves getting Dick sent to the orphanage. How, you ask? Well, Bruce starts physically abusing Dick in front of an outraged party audience and then claims that he is nothing but a “spoiled brat.” A day later Bruce publicly and legally disowns Dick and the latter is sent to the orphanage. A few days later, Dick is adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Thief after demonstrating his preternatural artistic talent. After a few more days of living with his new legal guardians, the latter duo attempts a robbery using one of Dick’s drawings as a map. Eventually, Batman and Robin apprehend the couple. Afterward, Bruce officially re-adopts Dick. I love how Bruce’s great idea helped nab the crooks, but has now permanently tainted his already poor public image as that of a child abuser.

–NOTE: Joker flies the coop as usual (as referenced in Detective Comics #114).

–Detective Comics #114
From one of his many hideouts, Joker puts out a newspaper ad challenging Batman and Robin to a “crime acrostic” contest, where the Harlequin of Hate will produce a heist-related clue beginning with the letters of his name each night for the next five nights in Gotham Square. For J, Joker successfully robs the Court of Justice and ties up the Dynamic Duo with a rigged-javelin. For O, Joker pinches from the Gotham Opera House’s performance of Othello and slips up the Dynamic Duo with oil. For K, Joker filches jewelry from a shop with the aid of a boxing kangaroo and a blinding kaleidoscopic light. For E, Joker uses extension tongs to capture Robin at Electrical Engineering Enterprises. Just as Joker is about to electrocute Robin, Batman makes a dramatic entrance and saves his life. Robin eventually lands the final punch that lands Joker back to prison. Thus, the newspapers complete Joker’s acrostic with an R for Robin.

–NOTE: The “chronic jailbreaker” Joker escapes yet again (as referenced in Detective Comics #118).

–Detective Comics #118
Summer, 1946. The date of this story is derived from the major league baseball game that takes place in it combined with Joker’s breakout-timing in relation to where he would be at this point in our chronology. Joker decides to commit a series of royal flush-inspired (poker-inspired) crimes. First, Joker robs a “diamond jubilee” at a dime store. Then, Joker and his goons drive an armored truck onto the stadium field during the MLB game between the Gotham Goliaths and the Metropolis Mammoths, steal the gate receipts, and evade Batman and Robin. Next, they skirt the Dynamic Duo once more and rob the tiara from a beauty queen. A day later, Batman and Robin chase Joker out West to the home of eccentric millionaire Rupert Dazel, also known as the Match King. Joker tries to steal the Match King’s rare diamondback terrapins, but the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder chase him into the desert. With the help of cowboy and ace fighter pilot Eddie Hoyle, Batman and Robin rustle up Joker at the Diamond X Dude Ranch and send him back to jail.

–REFERENCE: Batman endures an unspecified case and collects a projector or movie camera of some kind and a piece of torn paper or stone tablet containing hieroglyphics or Sanskrit into the Hall of Trophies. These items are first shown in Batman #38, Part 2 without any explanation as to where they came from.

–Batman #38, Part 2
August, 1946. Six years ago to the day, Batman and Robin solved the “Case of the Prophetic Picture.” Now, a copycat killer is slaying Pierre Antal’s clientele once again. Batman and Robin try to set up the killer the same way they did six years ago, using a dummy of Bruce to fool him. However, this time, the killer–a crazy psychologist trying to replicate the original crimes–is able to dupe our heroes and capture them. However, knowing that a radio broadcast that they recorded earlier is about to air any second, Batman and Robin unmask and reveal themselves as Bruce and Dick! Bruce explains that the real Batman and Robin asked them to fill in for them while they go live on the air. The crazy dude flips on his radio, hears Batman and Robin, goes even nuttier, and shoots himself in the brain. For a psychologist he sure was dumb. [6]

–NOTE: Joker breaks jail (as referenced in Batman #36, Part 3).

–NOTE: Penguin is inexplicably paroled and released from prison (as referenced in Batman #36, Part 1). There really is no explanation given for this. Penguin’s prodigiously lengthy prison sentence simply disappears—probably due to his independent wealth and superb team of tricky attorneys. If I were to guess, I would say that Penguin’s lawyers are able to pin his previous crimes on someone else. Lex Luthor used this tactic all throughout the Modern Age (although, clones or alternate Earth versions of himself were usually involved, and I’m certainly not going to suggest a Penguin clone in the Golden Age).

–Batman #36, Part 1
A free Penguin–for the first time in a long time not wanted by the police–decides to open up a fancy restaurant called The Nest. Sensing something fishy is going on, Commissioner Gordon, Bruce, and Dick patronize the eatery to get the inside scoop. The Nest uses a unique method of ordering where each visitor writes down his or her order and John Hancock on the sheet. When Penguin deliberately attempts to get arrested for petty crimes committed in plain view (and some entirely made-up crimes), Batman realizes that the villain is trying to return to jail. Putting two-and-two together, the Dark Knight further realizes that Penguin plans to deliver the signatures of the richest folks in Gotham to a famous forger that happens to be doing a stint in the Gotham slammer. After preventing Penguin from getting arrested several times, Penguin eventually does get hit with a thirty-day jail term for running a red light.

–Batman #36, Part 2
Famous stuntman extraordinaire Jerry McGlone goes missing and is presumed dead after a terrible riverside car crash while filming The Phantom Bandit–McGlone was stunting for the main villain character, Phantom Phelan. When a mysterious supervillain going by the name of Phantom Phelan begins terrorizing Los Angeles, Extra-Colossal Pictures calls for the assistance of Batman and Robin, who immediately fly to the West Coast. Batman learns that Phantom Phelan has been committing crimes right out of the unfinished Phantom Bandit film. When Batman and Robin cross paths with Phelan, they see it is McGlone. McGlone outwits our heroes by committing several daring robberies and defeating them in battle. Eventually, Batman and Robin catch McGlone and realize the silly truth of the affair–during his crash, McGlone had hit his head causing amnesia, but in his stupor he believed that he was actually Phantom Phelan. After a night in the hospital, McGlone’s memories return and he is exonerated.

–Batman #36, Part 3
Alfred apprehends a British villain named London Eddie.

–Batman #36, Part 4
Bruce and Dick are sent to Medieval England (by Carter Nichols) to investigate the history behind the mysterious Sir Hardi Le Noir, a lesser known knight in King Arthur‘s round table. Upon arrival in Arthurian Britain, Batman learns that no one has ever heard of Hardi Le Noir. Batman then proves he is honorable by besting one of Arthur’s best men in combat. Arthur then sends Batman, Robin, Sir Lancelot, and others to rescue Merlin, who has been jailed by Queen Morgan Le Fay. Batman, Robin, and Lancelot are able to rescue Merlin and capture the evil Sir Mordred, but Morgan Le Fay escapes. Afterward, Arthur knights Batman and bestows upon him the title of “Sir Hardi Le Noir,” creating a time paradox worthy of of a Bob Kane/Bill Finger Batman comic.

–REFERENCE: Late August. Batman is the guest of honor at Gotham’s annual “Batman Day” celebration (as referenced in >Batman #103, Part 1).

[7]

–Detective Comics #115
Ray Arliss has designed the perfect shatterproof glass house and is looking for financial backer so he can begin producing them across the nation. When Bruce and Dick are given a grand tour of the test home, a bunch of grenade wielding vandals–working for Arliss’ rival architect Basil Grimes–try to destroy it. Suiting up in their fighting togs, Batman and Robin chase away the violent pests and learn that Grimes has invented an all-steel structure that is in direct competition for a contract with Arliss’ glass building. After Grimes tries again in vain to crush the Arliss house, the Dynamic Duo and Arliss try a peaceful negotiation with Grimes inside his steel house. However, Grimes is pure evil and tries to kill them all. Batman cuts his way out of an airtight glass tomb using his diamond-encrusted ID badge. Batman, Robin, and Arliss then coat themselves in bulletproof glass and laughingly charge Grimes and his gang as bullets ricochet off their bodies. Grimes is sent to prison, and to add insult to injury, lightning strikes his steel house and melts it. The next day Bruce gives a ton of money to Arliss’ architecture firm.

–Batman #36, Part 1 Epilogue
Penguin is released from prison after serving a thirty-day sentence. When he tries to cash a bogus $100,000 check that he received from a forger while in jail, Batman and Robin catch him in the act and send him right back to the slammer.

–Batman #36, Part 2 Epilogue
Bruce and Dick visit their local movie theater and watch The Phantom Bandit, which features the stunt work of Jerry McGlone.

–The Adventures of Superman “The Secret Letter” [radio show 11/25/1946 to 12/3/1946]
After Superman goes missing during a recent adventure (one that did not involve Batman), a letter–having been arranged to be sent in the case that Clark Kent is unable to check in at certain intervals due to his death–is sent out to all of Clark’s friends. Batman helps Clark Kent retrieve the letter, which contains the secret of his dual identity–something Superman wants to share in the event of his actual death.[8]

–Batman #37, Part 1
Batman and Robin respond to a stick-up at Gotham Hospital, but the Dark Knight gets capped in the knee–the holdup man’s bullet “smashes” his knee bones! Dick gets Batman out of the hospital, re-dresses the unconscious Bruce in civilian clothes, and hustles him right back to the emergency ward. Claiming that Bruce was cleaning his gun at home and it accidentally went off, Dick is able to admit his guardian. After surgery, Bruce learns that he will be in a wheelchair for at least a few weeks an must stay at the hospital. After a few days, a cache of radium goes missing from the hospital’s radiological lab–obviously an inside job. Weeks pass as Bruce recovers. When he is able, a hobbled Batman solves the case and apprehends a nurse responsible for the crime. Afterward, another nurse accuses Batman of being Bruce Wayne and forces him to undergo an EKG test to see if it will match Bruce’s medical record. Thankfully, Batman is afflicted with dyspnea due to his knee injury and anxiety due to the possibility of being exposed, which cause his heart record to be completely different. It is noteworthy to mention that the normal recovery time for a serious knee injury varies, but usually averages around four months (with rehab time included). We know Batman is one tough SOB and we can only guess what “smashed knee bones” means, but Bruce must be laid up in the hospital for close to four weeks in this story. Likewise, one would have to ascertain that in the next few tales, Batman will be a bit gimpy.

–Batman #37, Part 2
Batman and Robin travel to Hollywood to film scenes for the Mammoth Pictures feature Crime Doesn’t Pay, produced by the Justice Department and directed by superstar director, Loring. While on set, the only print of Loring’s latest yet-to-debut flick, Heart’s Desire, is stolen and held for ransom. Eventually, Batman finds the lost film and he has a private screening with Robin and deems Heart’s Desire two-thumbs-down. The surprise of such a flop being the center of all the commotion leads Batman to deduce that someone attached to the movie doesn’t want it to premier. After setting an audio tap, Batman learns that the director, Loring, himself is behind the robbery.

–Batman #37, Part 3
Joker has been loose for a month now and finally rears his ugly mug with a new master scheme that involves placing Joker Signal spotlights all over town. When criminals are in trouble they can activate one of the signals and a giant beacon of light fills the night sky with Joker’s face in the middle–an obvious twist on the Bat Signal. That’s not all though. Joker debuts his Jokermobile and Jokergyro, using both vehicles to help crooks out of a jam and defeat Batman and Robin. At one point Joker steals the Batmobile which results in a high-speed chase where Batman and Robin drive the Jokermobile. The Dynamic Duo is able to outrace and outmaneuver Joker and send him back to jail.

–Detective Comics #117
Batman and Robin foil a highrise robbery attempt by the “steeplejack crooks” Logan and Fred, employees of the Skyline Steeplejack Company. However, Logan and Fred make a clean break before our heroes can identify them. Batman and Robin are able to track the mystery thieves to Skyline Steeplejack Company where they meet the organization’s benevolent owner, Bob Skelly. Ultimately, Batman and Skelly learn the IDs of the steeplejack crooks. The Dynamic Duo then battles the steeplejack crooks high atop the towering Millennium Building. Skelly saves the Dark Knight’s life, allowing the Dynamic Duo to defeat Logan and Fred–Fred is apprehended while Logan falls to his death.

–World’s Finest Comics #25
Bruce and Dick attend a fundraiser flight exhibition with the goal of raising money to kick-start production of a new “aeraquamobile” designed by engineer Frank Folland. Folland floats to the heavens in a hot air balloon only to get shot down by his rival and former partner, George Sellman. Batman and Robin borrow the original Wright Brothers airplane to save Folland (and destroy it in the process). Following other altercations with Sellman and his thugs both at Folland’s lab and at Folland’s second fundraiser event, Batman and Robin engage in a wild chase sequence that involves antediluvian transportation methods including a trolley car, steam engine locomotive, Model T, and a penny-farthing bicycle. When Batman is captured by the bad guys, who control both a submarine from 1620 and Robert Fulton’s original 1793 steamboat, Robin comes to his rescue in the brand new souped-up Batplane, equipped with Folland’s “aeraquamobile” technology. The Batplane could always turn into a boat, but now it can also morph into a submarine and a three-wheeled roadster! With these new advantages Robin easily saves Batman–and the Dynamic Duo saves the day.

–Batman #37, Part 2 Epilogue
Bruce and Dick attend the film premier of Crime Doesn’t Pay (starring themselves).

–The Adventures of Superman “The Phony Song Publishing Racket” [radio show 12/4/1946 to 12/13/1946]
Poco, a humanoid extraterrestrial refugee from the planet Utopia, is not only indebted to Superman for having helped save his life, but has assimilated into Earth culture and even gotten a job as Perry White‘s personal chef.[9] Unfortunately, Poco, being the comic relief character that he is, gets into trouble quite often. This time, Poco–who fancies himself a singer-songwriter–gets duped by racketeers that pose as record execs. Batman helps Superman rescue Poco when the crooks lock him in a refrigerated train car.[10]

–REFERENCE: Batman completes an unknown mission and adds a large wheel with a spiked hubcap into his Hall of Trophies. This bizarre item is first shown in Batman #38, Part 1.

–Batman #38, Part 1
Carter Nichols sends Batman and Robin back in time to 5th century BCE Athens to participate in the Olympic Games. In ancient Greece, the Dynamic Duo befriends a group of musclebound Athenians who are at odds with their sneaky rivals from Persia. When Robin and another teenager are kidnapped by the Persian warlord, Byrus, Batman not only participates in the Games, but saves his ward as well. The Dark Knight is also able to prevent the Persians from inciting a civil war between Athens and Sparta. For his accomplishments in the Games, Batman is awarded two olive wreath crowns, which he places in the Hall of Trophies upon returning to the present.[11]

–NOTE: Penguin escapes from jail (as referenced in Batman #38, Part 3).

–Batman #38, Part 3
Batman and Robin send Penguin back to jail. During a fire, Penguin saves Warden Doyle’s life, earning commendation from the governor and parole! However, Penguin’s parole officers are Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon and he must report to them twice a week. Penguin wants to go legit, but when the Peter Penguin cartoon–a lampoon mocking Penguin—becomes popular in theaters, Penguin goes ballistic. At his first meeting with Batman, Robin, and Gordon, the latter three seemingly calm Penguin down. Penguin soon winds up hired as the official spokesman for Peter Penguin and within a week or two, a huge Penguin Day Parade is held in his honor. Penguin uses the parade to get revenge on everyone who laughed at his animated avatar. Dozens of toy penguins explode across the city, setting off fiery explosions or releasing swarms of hornets. A few days later Penguin tries to disrupt the filming of the live-action Peter Penguin film. Of course, Batman and Robin are on hand. Penguin tries to pogo stick away, but the Dynamic Duo sends him back to prison again.

–FLASHBACK: Mid December, 1946. In early December, small-time gangster Joe Starr received a magickal premonition in the form of a mysterious newspaper from the future that told him he would die on December 13, 1947—the newspaper was actually a gag being played on Starr by his acquaintances. Struck with new found courage, Starr killed his boss, Trigger Smith, and took over his mob. Cut to now (mid December). Starr debuts as the gaudy cape-and-cowled supervillain known as Lucky Starr, complete with purple tights and yellow stars all over his body. Lucky Starr meets the Dynamic Duo and bests them in battle (as seen through flashback in World’s Finest Comics #32).

–Batman #39, Part 3
Christmas, 1946. Catwoman steals some pet cats and uses the first one (with fake tail attached) to gas the guards at the Natural History Museum. Batman and Robin are on the scene, but the Dark Knight gets knocked out. When one of Catwoman’s henchmen tries to execute the unconscious Batman, Catwoman prevents him from doing so. The Dynamic Duo then trails Catwoman up North to Moon Valley Winter Resort where she uses another stolen cat to disrupt a dog sled race. Batman and Robin don their white snow costumes and apprehend Catwoman’s mob. Inside the resort, Catwoman uses a third stolen cat (with its claws dipped in poison) to make the desk clerk faint. The Dynamic Duo enters the darkened safe, which Catwoman planned to rob, and apprehends her. While Batman escorts Catwoman out through the lobby, they wander underneath some mistletoe. Catwoman tries to kiss Batwoman and begs him to join her as “King and Queen of the Underworld.” The Caped Crusader declines and sends the hissing Catwoman back to jail. Later, Batman and Robin return the catnapped kitties back to their rightful owners. After that, they put a statue of the cat goddess Pasht (aka Bast) from the museum into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #69, Part 3).

 

 

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  1. [1]Credit to AARON SEVERSON
  2. [2]Credit to AARON SEVERSON
  3. [3]SEAN GREEN / COLLIN COLSHER: Like other Adventures of Superman radio show episodes, parts of “The Story of the Century” were never aired again after 1946 or preserved/archived, thus making parts unavailable. Thus, the synopsis is partly conjectural, based upon plausibility.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip story-arc from 6/23/1946 to 8/18/1946 entitled “Ch. 24: Half Man–Half Monster” is non-canon. The canonicity of this tale is dubious mainly due to the fact that it replicates Two-Face and makes no mention of the original Two-Face. In this story, at the trial of Lucky Sheldon—a criminal that Batman has busted earlier—Apollo testifies, and just like Harvey Dent, he gets half a face full of acid. Taking Sheldon’s lucky coin and scarring one side (just like Dent did) and then committing a series of double-themed crimes (just like Dent did) over the course of a week, Two-Face II becomes the scourge of Gotham City. Eventually, Batman does a dance of death with Two-Face II above a giant drive-in movie screen. Two-Face II falls and gets hung up in some wires, which strangle him to death. Further cementing this tale in the realm of the non-canon, Batman #68 directly refers to Paul Sloane as the second Two-Face with no mention of Harvey Apollo.

    Likewise, “Ch. 25: The Curse of the Four Fates!” from the Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strips from 8/25/1946 to 10/13/1946 can be removed from our timeline since it is merely a reprint of Batman #9, Part 1.

  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: This radio arc has multiple names—”Herbert Calkins of Scotland Yard,” “Herbert Kawkins of Scotland Yard,” “Super Sleuth,” and “Horatio F Horn: Detective.” Kawkins is likely a misspelling of Calkins. And the brilliant Superman historian James Lantz reminds us that most Superman radio listings are wrong in the fact that they completely omit “Super Sleuth,” incorrectly combining it with the previous story-arc entitled “Horatio F Horn: Detective.” “Horatio F Horn” ran from July 2, 1946 through July 19, 1946. “Super Sleuth” ran from July 22, 1946 until July 31, 1946. They are without-a-doubt two totally separate stories.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Also pictured in the Hall of Trophies are what appears to be a projector or movie camera of some kind and a piece of torn paper or stone tablet containing hieroglyphics or Sanskrit. I have no idea where either of these came from, but have added a note regarding them (see above). Also, the Hall of Trophies is drawn incorrectly and includes the windows of the murder victim’s penthouse from the previous panel. Jim Mooney simply erred here. Likewise, writer Bill Finger errs when he says Bruce had his damaged Antal portrait fixed right after the original case concluded six years ago. Bruce didn’t get the painting restored until last year.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman and Robin make an appearance in the The Adventures of Superman Radio Show episode entitled “The Dead Voice” which aired from 9/25/1946 to 10/16/1946. However, this episode reflected a completely alternate version of Robin’s origin and included the appearance of Dick’s still-living grandfather. Based upon these facts, this portion of the radio show is non-canon.
  8. [8]Credit to AARON SEVERSON.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: On Earth-One, Perry White is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet.  Here on Earth-Two, George Taylor is the editor-in-chief of the Planet‘s analogue, the Daily Star.  Perry White is the Star‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran lead reporter who merely acts as a fill-in/substitute co-chief from time to time.
  10. [10]Credit to AARON SEVERSON, ANTHONY TOLLIN, and S. MURFY.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Also pictured in the Hall of Trophies is a large wheel with spikes on its hubcap. I’m not sure where this came from, but as I have before with other random items, have included a note of reference above.

2 Responses to Year Eight

  1. Angus Livingstone says:

    I’ve been going through the Adventures of Superman radio show, and the Herbert Calkins storyline is collected on otrarchive.blogspot.ca under the title “The Super Sleuth”. I don’t know if that’s relevant to the timeline, as I was unable to find the episodes under the “Herbert Calkins of Scotland Yard” title listed above, and neither the aforementioned title nor “The Super Sleuth” is listed on Wikipedia as part of the episodes of the show, but in interest of simplicity and finding the episodes easier, I thought I would mention it. 🙂

    • Hi Angus, good spot there. This is quite confusing to me. It appears as though this was a radio arc of the AUSTRALIAN version of the Superman radio show, which had a bunch of unique episodes from 1949 to 1954. But that seems impossible since the arc is clearly from the American version of the show and is listed as taking place starting in July 1946—according to Old Time Radio Downloads (http://www.oldtimeradiodownloads.com/adventure/superman-the-adventures-of/taos-46-07-22-1338-the-super-sleuth-pt-01). According to the Superman Homepage, the story is sometimes incorrectly (and bizarrely) listed as “Horatio F. Horn: Detective.” Also, the same site shows the Scotland Yard man’s name to be Herbert “Kawkins” instead of Calkins. Lots of discrepancies. But after doing a more thorough search, it is clear that this arc had multiple names, but definitely was the July 1946 arc, curiously alternately named HORATIO F HORN (as wikipedia shows).

      UPDATE!! The brilliant James Lantz has all the answers. Wikipedia is wrong in the fact that is simply doesn’t list the super sleuth story (and combines it incorrectly with the previous story entitled “Horatio F Horn: Detective.”)

      “Horatio” ran from July 02, 1946 to July 19, 1946. “Super Sleuth” ran from July 22, 1946 until the end of the month. They are two separate stories. I have half a mind to fix Wikipedia.

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