–REFERENCE: In Batman #40, Part 2. Bruce gets a new attorney named Henry Bush.
–Detective Comics #119
An escaped convict takes advantage of three crazies in a Washington, DC mental institution—one thinks he is George Washington, another Ben Franklin, and the third Abraham Lincoln. The convict pretends to be Marquis de Lafayette, gains their trust, breaks them out of the institution, and convinces them to help him commit various crimes against “traitors” of the Nation. Batman and Robin travel to Washington, DC and fight with the forefather wannabes, but are unable to apprehend them. The next day, Batman learns that only Lafayette is the actual criminal in the group. Ultimately, the Dynamic Duo struggles with “Lafayette” and his madmen atop the Capitol Building. Realizing that “Lafayette” is a not their friend, “Washington,” “Franklin,” and “Lincoln” help Batman and Robin put him back behind bars. The three delusional mental patients then quietly return to their asylum.
–World’s Finest Comics #26
Batman and Robin run down and tie up some of mob boss Sparks Farrell’s men, who divulge that Farrell is planning on kidnapping teenage Prince Stefan of Valonia on behalf of the dubious Baron Ferric. Batman hovers above the Prince Stefan’s ship in the Batplane while Robin swings down to warn the prince. Upon entering the prince’s chambers, Robin realizes that they look exactly alike. Prince Stefan, eager to play the exciting role of Robin, seizes the opportunity by knocking Robin out with anesthetic gas. Prince Stefan then switches clothes with Robin and joins Batman back in the Batplane. OK, I guess whoever wrote this–the script was uncredited–forgot about Detective Comics #19 where Robin switches places the young Emperor Taro of Atlantis. Why multiple youthful royalty bear resemblances to Robin is beyond me. Anyway, Robin wakes up dressed as the prince and can’t convince anyone otherwise, so he plays along and is celebrated in a parade and given the key to the city. Meanwhile, Batman spends an entire night with fake Robin and, aside from continuously noting that he is acting annoying and “queer,” can’t tell the difference! Another quick interjection: I’m assuming that Batman and “Robin” didn’t go back to Wayne Manor that night otherwise the Dynamic Duo’s secret identities would have been exposed. What did they do all night? Who knows. I can see why the script to this story went uncredited. The next morning, Batman and “Robin” return to check on Farrell’s men, who apparently have been tied up by the side of the road all night. Thanks to Prince Stefan’s inability to fight, Farrell’s men escape. Concurrently, Robin (as Prince Stefan) is kidnapped by Farrell and held at a warehouse. Batman and Prince Stefan (as Robin) bust into the warehouse and the Dark Knight is shocked to see double Boys Wonder! Batman, Robin, and Prince Stefan beat up Farrell and his cronies and race to Washington, DC in time to bust Ferric as well.
–REFERENCE: Lucky Starr outmaneuvers the Dynamic Duo again (as referenced in World’s Finest Comics #32).
–Detective Comics #120
Penguin escapes from the state pen and a week later is hired by noted ornithologist, Professor Boyd, who is a recluse and doesn’t know that Penguin is a famous supervillain. Penguin immediately commits a robbery using rare birds to assist him, including a saw-whet owl and some New Zealand black wood hens. Penguin later captures Batman and Robin at the Boyd estate and tries to sic a falcon upon them. A deus ex machina, in the form of a feisty kingbird, saves our heroes from deadly talons. Batman and Robin then follow Penguin to a photography lab where the latter attempts to steal a cache of silver nitrate. After releasing a swarm of birds inside the lab, Penguin rides off on an ostrich. Back at the Boyd estate, Penguin goes after Boyd’s money stash, but thanks to a previously set trap rigged by Batman, Robin, Boyd, and a helpful umbrella bird, the villain winds up back in jail.
–Batman #39, Part 1
Gang boss Roger Ryall is able to capture Batman and Robin, but is unable to kill them when a kitten crosses his path. Ryall, a sufferer of gatophobia, freaks out and is dragged away by his henchmen to the nearest shrink. While at the office of Dr. Richter, Ryall obtains information about the phobias of the wealthiest Gothamites. The next day, Ryall uses their fears to take advantage of them and rob them blind. When Batman and Robin catch on, they begin by teasing Ryall with a box with a kitten inside it, which prevents a burglary. Later, Ryall and his men attempt to steal from a man who has a fear of monsters by dressing up in elaborate creature costumes. Unknown to Ryall, Batman, Robin, Dr. Richter, and the man-who-fears-monsters have set up the crooks. Batman and Robin show up in big cat costumes and chase Ryall into a room full of felines. Ryall is so scared, he has a heart attack and dies.
–Batman #39, Part 2
When gangster Iron-Hat Ferris is branded as a stool pigeon by his former comrades, they decide to enact a cruelly outré punishment straight out of The Man in the Iron Mask–they put a “shandemaske” over his head and weld it shut. Batman and Robin are put on special assignment from the DA, who is worried about the upcoming election against fiery upstart Henry Kendall, to apprehend Ferris. Ferris fights and defeats Batman atop Gotham’s version of Times Square, thus earning the nickname, “The Man in the Iron Mask,” from the press. Despite the fact that Batman was unable to apprehend Ferris, candidate Kendall is able to! But instead of being a hero and turning him in–a move that surely would have won him the election–Kendall ties him up, saws of his mask, wears it himself, and goes on a massive crime spree as The Man in the Iron Mask. Kendall’s logic here is that a crime spree right now will make the incumbent, DA Tim Logan, look bad. I still don’t understand why Kendall himself had to play the villain. Oh well. Batman and Robin tango with The Man in the Iron Mask yet again, and again they are defeated, but this time the Dark Knight sticks a tracer on the villain’s mask and follows him to his hideout. The Dynamic Duo arrives and is surprised to see a bound Ferris without the mask. Batman beats up The Man in the Iron Mask and reveals him as Kendall. The metal-domed Kendall panics, runs out into a thunderstorm, and gets struck dead by lightning.
–The Adventures of Superman “The Monkey Burglar” [radio show 2/12/1947 to 2/25/1947]
When an masked acrobatic teenager begins committing daring crimes in Metropolis, the Dynamic Duo and Superman are called into Metropolis Police Department HQ. The MPD throws the heroes a curve ball and arrests Robin for the crimes! Superman eventually convinces the MPD to release Robin while Batman and he search for the real criminal. Robin, while staying with Jimmy Olsen, then gets kidnapped by gangsters Spider and Jonesy, who are the villains responsible for coercing an innocent gymnast, Billy Riggs, into committing the Monkey Burglar crimes. Eventually, Batman and Superman rescue both Robin and Riggs and apprehend Spider and Jonesy.
–REFERENCE: Either Batman or Robin (or both) complete an unknown mission and later place what appears to be a green beanie or skull cap with a pom pom on its top into the Hall of Trophies. This strange item is first shown in Star Spangled Comics #66.
–Star Spangled Comics #65-66
Alfred dusts off some items in the Hall of Trophies and inquires about parts of the collection, including a strange knife and the mask of No-Face. Robin gladly regales Alfred with the stories of his solo adventures that netted both trophies.
–Detective Comics #121
Batman and Robin are called to GCPD HQ via, but when they arrive they are shocked to find Chief Inspector Vane behind Commissioner Gordon’s desk. Vane tells them that Mayor Carfax has demoted Gordon to a lowly patrolman and appointed him (Vane) as the new acting commissioner. Vane, under the mayor’s orders, then confiscates Batman’s ID badge and smashes the Bat Signal! After checking up on Patrolman Gordon, Batman and Robin visit the mayor and learn what has occurred. The mayor’s gambling addicted son, Chadwick, owes a ton of money to big time conman Sure Thing Smiley. Unable to pay the debt, the Carfaxes were served promissory notes that forced the Mayor into demoting Gordon and disassociating the GCPD from Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo tries to bust Smiley and his gang, but winds up getting captured. At Smiley’s lair, the Dark Knight tickles the crook’s gambling bone. Batman bets Smiley $100,000 that he can “fire a bullet at Gordon’s heart”–sans protective vest–with a gun and not kill him. If Batman is successful, Smiley has to cancel the money owed to him by the Carfaxes. If Batman fails, Smiley is a hundred grand richer and Gordon dies. Smiley accepts and releases the Dynamic Duo. Men and women (and even shoeshine boys) affiliated with the GCPD, putting their full faith in Batman, gather and donate a sum total of $100,000 to the pot within less than a day’s time. Batman’s ruse is all about semantics–the Dark Knight does indeed “fire a bullet at Gordon’s heart,” but a previously set up plastic shielding stops the slug. Batman and Robin then take down Smiley and his mob. Gordon is reinstated as commissioner, Batman is given his badge back, and a replacement Bat Signal is put into operation.
–REFERENCE: Lucky Starr defeats the Dynamic Duo yet again (as referenced in World’s Finest Comics #32).
–Detective Comics #122
Catwoman escapes from prison and goes after three very rich businessmen in the debuting Kitty Car. When the businessmen don’t respond to threats, Catwoman sabotages each one of their businesses. Fist, Catwoman disrupts a fur shipment at the airport, then ruins the circus, and then scoots over to New York City to sink some cargo ships. In NYC, Batman and Robin capture Catwoman’s henchmen and chase her to the top of the Statue of Liberty. From Lady Liberty’s torch, Catwoman abducts Robin via a helicopter and later sends a note to Batman and Commissioner Gordon demanding the release of her men. Batman refuses, tracks Robin to a cabin in Bay-Shore Marsh, rescues him, and chases after Catwoman yet again. The villainess is able to make a clean getaway. Note that Catwoman’s favorite pet cat, Hecate, debuts in this story as well.
–NOTE: Joker escapes from jail (as referenced in Batman #40).
Bruce and Dick sit in the studio audience for a live broadcast of the bizarre TV show called The 13 Club, where “club members” dare to perform various superstitious acts of bad luck. Joker, watching the program, sends an urgent message to the show claiming that he will personally terrorize each member of the club. Bruce throws on his vigilante togs and addresses the cameras as Batman, stating that he is now a member of the 13 Club and dares Joker to try something funny against him. Joker then systematically begins attacking the club members all over town. After a few days of destruction, Batman and Robin confront Joker at the State University, where they just barely avoid getting electrocuted in a giant lightning rod chamber in the school’s science building. Batman and Robin are then able to prevent the assassination of the final two 13 Clubbers at a construction site and bring Joker to justice as well.
Bruce thinks his attorney, Henry Bush, is skimming off the top when it comes to monetary affairs at Wayne Enterprises. In order to test him, Bruce orchestrates an elaborate ruse where he fakes his own death. Dick is in on the ruse, but plays along with it and doesn’t bother to tell Alfred, who genuinely is upset. With escaped convict Beetle Boles terrorizing Gotham, Commissioner Gordon is desperate for Batman’s help. Dick and Alfred shuffle over the the local gym to scout for a replacement Dark Knight. As “luck” would have it the acrobatic Adonis named Bill Randall (Bruce in disguise, and also a nod to a previous Batman replacement—the deceased Sgt. Bill Randall from the Batman & Robin newspaper strip dailies from 6/5/1944 through 8/12/1944) is on hand. Dick hires “Randall” for a secret job and later is escorted into the Batcave via a series of secret tunnels originating from a dilapidated shack a few miles away. “Randall” agrees to be the new Batman and begins an intensive training session with Robin. Later that night, Batman, Robin, and Alfred take down Boles and his gang. Later still, Bush arrives at Wayne Manor to read Bruce’s will. When he lists a large sum of money to be deposited into a dummy charitable organization (his own account), Bruce makes his dramatic return, shocking Bush and causing Alfred to nearly have a heart attack. Once Bush is behind bars, Bruce explains that he needed to keep Alfred in the dark because it was Alfred’s sincere sadness that fully convinced Bush that he was really dead. Are you kidding me? The multiple news articles and obituaries heralding Bruce’s demise weren’t good enough? This entire scheme seems like it was simply one colossal goof on poor Alfred.
Bruce and Dick attend a performance of Pagliacci and naturally, a poison gas canister is set off in an attempt to kill star Colin Vanning. Vanning survives, but two of the cast are killed. Everyone involved with the theater is a suspect, prompting the “Mystery of the Grand Opera Murders.” When real bullets are mysteriously loaded into prop guns at the performance of Tosca, Batman and Robin decide that they should substitute themselves in place of the singers for the next show. The director is disgusted when he hears the Dynamic Duo sing, but reluctantly agrees. At a particularly crappy version of Il Trovatore (thanks to a silly Batman and Robin) another attempt on Vanning’s life is made from the raters. The mystery attacker also tries to poison co-star Mildred Starr. At the next opera, Samson & Delilah, Vanning collapses and dies in the finale. Batman then reveals the truth of the matter. The solipsistic Vanning had learned recently that he had a heart condition that would no longer allow him to belt out high-pitched arias anymore. Thus, he went a little nutty and was trying to kill his fellow actors. Sensing that Batman and Robin were getting close to cracking the case, he literally sung himself to death.
–Star Spangled Comics #67
Robin responds to a mysterious ad in the newspaper calling for all Boy Wonders (sic)—I thought it was Boys Wonder?—and quickly finds himself, along with a child violin prodigy and a teenage science whiz, in a building filled with death traps. Robin and the boys fight their way through room after deadly room until they make it to the end. Robin is surprised to find scientists from Gotham College at the controls. After pumping them for information, the scientists reveal that everything in the house of traps was actually fake and harmless and was all set up as a gag by Bruce! Back at Wayne Manor, Dick rigs up a trap of his own for revenge. When Bruce comes home a bucket of water falls on his head and he topples onto sheets of flypaper!
–FLASHBACK: Early May. Batman busts model train enthusiast cum notorious smuggler Tracks Carlin (as seen via flashback in Detective Comics #155). The Dark Detective puts one of Carlin’s train sets into the Hall of Trophies after wrapping the case.
–FLASHBACK: Batman and Robin save construction worker Joe Baily from a demolitions avalanche gone awry (as seen via flashback in Detective Comics #152). Vicki Vale (!) is on hand to snap a picture, but Batman and Robin won’t meet her for a while.
–REFERENCE: Batman and Robin apprehend criminal Charlie Fox (as referenced in The Adventures of Superman radio show episode from 6/14/1948 through 7/6/1948).
–FLASHBACK: Batman and Robin prevent a museum heist by Chesty Merkel, Merkel’s unnamed partner, and night guard Joel Benson (as seen via flashback in World’s Finest Comics #29). Merkel and his partner escape, but Benson is caught by the Dynamic Duo. Batman testifies at Benson’s trial, where Benson is charged with the murder of a fellow museum guard (even though Merkel’s partner is actually guilty of the slaying) and sentenced to Death Row.
–The Adventures of Superman “Superman Vs. Kryptonite, Part 1” [radio show 5/14/1947 to 6/1/1947]
Recently paroled racist political boss Big George Latimer threatens to attack Superman with Kryptonite, prompting Superman to enlist the aid of Batman and Robin. However, the Dynamic Duo is unable to prevent Latimer from using the Kryptonite and kidnapping Superman! Latimer and his men steal Superman away to Gainesville, Florida and continuously dose the Man of Steel with liquid Kryptonite, which keeps him subdued and confused and slowly erases his memories. Afflicted by the haze of the Kryptonite, but still relatively powerful, Superman, under the name “Bud Smith” is recruited by a minor league baseball team.
–Detective Comics #123
The new supervillain called The Shiner (lame name, I know, but he also wears a yellow polka dot mask, so I guess it fits the overall lameness) steals some radium and tricks the Dawn Patrol, a group of antique airplane enthusiasts, to fly the goods to Canada. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin investigate the Ross Radium Company, where everyone seems to be a likely suspect. Batman later disguises himself as one of the Shiner’s henchmen, but the villain sees through the charade and captures him. After Robin rescues Batman, the Dynamic Duo flies into action alongside the Dawn Patrol, who realize their employer is crooked. The Shiner is defeated and unmasked as the Ross Radium Company manager, Mr. Smythe.
–FLASHBACK: Lucky Starr outwits Batman and Robin yet again (as seen through flashback in World’s Finest Comics #32).
–World’s Finest Comics #28
In Glass Town–a village near Gotham comprised only of glass factories–one of the presidents of a prominent glass works, George Stevens, begins making threats against his business competitors and lost clients. When Stevens’ competitors and former clients begin getting murdered, Batman and Robin are on the case and soon confront the perpetrator, a new supervillain complete with a bizarre Pablo Picasso-esque mirror mask, known as Glass Man. Batman and Robin assume Stevens is the Glass Man, but after a lengthy sparring session, Glass Man is unmasked and revealed as one of Steven’s former clients, the auto manufacturer, Mr. Judson. Judson also had beef with one of Stevens’ former clients, Horace Manders, and decided since Stevens was handing out threats this was the perfect opportunity to murder Manders and place the blame on Stevens. In order to make it more convincing, Judson began killing off the others on Stevens’ threat list. Panicked after getting caught, Glass Man accidentally runs into a vat of molten glass and is burned alive.
–The Adventures of Superman “Superman Vs. Kryptonite, Part 2” [radio show 5/2/1947 to 6/27/1947]
Superman, as amnesiac minor league baseballer “Bud Smith,” has been missing for nearly a month (!) in Gainesville, Florida. Now, the Kryptonite victim is shuffled up to the Metropolis Titans MLB team. With such exposure, Batman and Robin (and Jimmy Olsen) find Superman–who has been held captive and been manipulated by gangster Big George Latimer–and help him regain his memory. Superman escapes Latimer’s basement hideout by bursting out through the roof–an act which collapses the entire building, killing Latimer and his henchmen. Later, Batman, Robin, and Superman dump the Kryptonite into the ocean.
–REFERENCE: June 2, 1947. Batman and Robin investigate the murder of an orchid grower named Rudley Bates (as referenced in Detective Comics #177). Batman uses a centrifuge to extract some dust from a jacket found at the scene of the crime. With this evidence, Batman fingers Monroe Peel as the killer. However, after some secondary forensic work, Batman rescinds his prior findings and exonerates Peel. The crime goes unsolved.
–NOTE: Joker escapes from jail as usual (as referenced in Detective Comics #124).
–Detective Comics #124
Joker’s latest scheme involves crimes that are based off of popular song titles. Joker does a crime a day as the radio plays “Old Man River,” “June in January,” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” During the “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” day, which naturally involves clogging up a chimney at a silk warehouse, Joker kidnaps an intervening Robin. Batman locates Joker’s hideout, but gets captured as well. Batman and Robin soon escape and battle Joker at the electrical science exhibit at Gotham’s Hall of Wonders, where the Harlequin of Hate–to the tune of “Stormy Weather”–attempts to harness pure lightning to unleash upon the city. Back in jail, Joker gets an earful of “The Prisoner’s Song” thanks to the Dynamic Duo.
–FLASHBACK: Batman and Robin save Edwin Cole from homicidal crooked casino owners that he has exposed as cheats (as seen via flashback in Detective Comics #152). Vicki Vale is on hand to snap a picture, but Batman and Robin still won’t meet her for a while.
Penguin is unfathomably paroled and released from prison for the third time in less than twelve months! Seriously, he is one of the most notorious and prolific criminals on the planet and he keeps getting out legally!? Anyway, Penguin and his partner Buzzard Benny (called Mr. Buzzard in this story, we last saw him way back in Batman #11!) open a bird shop and begin gifting wealthy men all over the East Coast with fine feathered friends. Batman and Robin immediately check up on each bird gift and are right to do so because each cage housing the birds is rigged with explosives or flash grenades. After Penguin scores two successful robberies, Batman visits Buzzard at the bird shop and mercifully beats some information out of him. After Robin prevents another explosion at the home of an art collector, he joins Batman at the artificially-snowy mountain retreat known as Snowbird Lodge and finds his mentor knocked-out courtesy of anesthetic gas. Penguin and his goons steal a ton of cash and bobsled away to their getaway car at the base of the mountain. The Dynamic Duo causes an avalanche with the Batplane that stops Penguin dead in his tracks and ultimately sending him back to the slammer. This time Penguin is sent to an out-of-state penitentiary (as mentioned in Detective Comics #126). Vicki Vale is also on hand to snap a picture of Penguin being hauled off to jail, although Batman and Robin still won’t meet her for a while yet (as referenced in Detective Comics #152).
Oh boy, this story. Okay, so just outside Gotham there is a tiny town called Midget City where only midgets live. When it gets taken over by Moose Miller and his mob and is used as a home base for committing crimes all over the East Coast, Batman and Robin are on the case. Naturally, they find themselves in Midget City battling Miller and his boys. The Dynamic Duo is defeated, but Miller is rattled enough to move his base of operations back into a secret location in Gotham. Batman enlists the entire population of Midget Town and marches into Gotham, beginning a systematic search for Miller. Eventually, Batman and his army of over a hundred little people take down Miller. Afterward, Batman is given a tiny house as a reward from the inhabitants of Midget Town, which he gladly places in the Hall of Trophies. I absolutely must mention that, while Bill Finger’s concept of Midget City is ludicrous (and offensive) enough, artist Jim Mooney takes it even further and envisions the little people in this tale as grossly lilliputian creatures–most of them are barely one or two feet tall and they drive toy cars. Sheesh. Had Jim Mooney ever even seen a little person before?
The day after Batman and Robin crush a new Gotham crime racket, Bruce is visited by a Martian (yes, from Mars!) named Thun Dran. The scaly green-skinned humanoid explains that he knows Bruce’s secret identity, having watched the adventures of Batman and Robin from afar for years. Dran further explains that Martian tyrant Sax Gola has formed a brainwashed army of followers and is trying to take over the entirety of Mars. The alien begs Bruce and Dick to help and they agree. After boarding a hidden spaceship our heroes blast off at light speed. En route to Mars, Dran teaches Batman and Robin how to speak Martian. Once in Mars’ orbit, Gola actives his mind-warping ray, which causes Dran to wig out and crash the ship on the Martian surface. Batman and Robin use the remains of the ship to ward off Gola’s snake-mobiles and then drag the unconscious Dran out into the red desert where they meet and join up with the resistance, a group of Glass Men, warriors with transparent crystalline bodies. Batman and Robin then don metal helmets and jet-packs and confront Gola. Gola brainwashes the Dark Knight into his slave via the mind-wiping ray, but Robin jets away. Back at the resistance, the anti-Gola leaders explain to Robin that it would take days to mobilize the Glass Men. Robin flies back with two scientists to try his best to thwart Gola, but all seems hopeless–that is, until Batman reveals that he isn’t brainwashed after all (thanks to his lead lined helmet) and was only faking it the whole time. Batman easily takes down Gola and ends his reign of terror. A few days later, Bruce and Dick are back on Earth where they laugh about their first ever interplanetary adventure.
–REFERENCE: We must assume that the Martians, having reached a difficult decision, return to Earth and erase Bruce and Dick’s memories of their recent trip to Mars. When Batman and Robin next deal with the scaly green-skinned Martians (in Batman #78, 1953) they will have no recollection of their prior encounter with them (in Batman #41).
–World’s Finest Comics #32
Early July, 1947. Lucky Starr and his gang tangle with Batman and Robin again and capture the Dynamic Duo on a rooftop. Of course, Batman and Robin escape and ransack the apartment of one of Lucky Starr’s stooges to find out what his next move will be. Batman fights Lucky Starr for the final time on the precarious heights of a unfinished bridge and finally captures the supervillain. A month later, Lucky Starr will be sentenced to death with the date of execution set for December 13, 1947–linking his fate to the gag newspaper that predicted his demise on that very day.
–Star Spangled Comics #69-70
When a US Army freight train carrying an atomic bomb is derailed, the bomb is stolen by the hulking “World’s Strongest Woman,” Little Eva. Batman and Robin split up to cover more investigative ground, but it’s Robin that finds the A-bomb first. Eva and her henchman capture Robin, throw him into a water tank at Eva’s carnival, and takeoff in a blimp that houses the live nuclear warhead. Eva then threatens to detonate the nuke unless the US government pays her a million bucks. Meanwhile, Robin escapes, commandeers a plane, and boards Eva’s blimp, which is hovering in the sky above the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Robin knocks out Eva but accidentally releases the A-bomb. The nuke detonates on the water, spewing forth a towering deadly mushroom cloud, and forcing up a small radioactive landmass to the surface of the sea. Instead of getting serious grief for letting an atomic bomb explode, Robin is hailed as a hero and the terrible poisoned island in the middle of the Atlantic is named “Robin’s Island.”
Dick writes and directs a movie with his friends for a student film festival at Gotham High School. After shooting at Shark Island, Dick’s buddies capture some crooks on camera holding some stolen goods. When the crooks later realize their mistake, their boss, known as The Clock (William Tockman), accompanies them in an attempt to kill Dick’s friends and destroy their film. Robin beats the tar out of the Clock and his cronies and sends them to prison. A few days later, Bruce attends the Gotham High School Film Festival and watches Clocks of Doom, a Dick Grayson joint.
–REFERENCE: Batman shuts down Duds Neery‘s mob at his Gotham HQ and the boss goes on the lam (as referenced in Batman #42). While on the run, Neery learns Batman’s secret ID is Bruce Wayne from super sleuth Officer Dan Grady.
–Detective Comics #125
When a bunch of parolees immediately go missing after being released from prison, Batman goes undercover as a prisoner on his way out. Batman, still in disguise, is offered a job by some fellows who appear as legitimate businessmen. He is flown to a secret factory location somewhere on the West Coast and joins the other missing parolees in a forced labor camp, where the wheelchair-bound super-villain known as The Thinker commands a small army of stormtroopers. (This Thinker is not to be confused with Flash’s arch-rival, the original Thinker, Clifford DeVoe.) At the factory, the parolees are basically back in prison conditions and make weaponry to sell to mobs. Thankfully, Robin has followed Batman across the country and is able to save the Dark Knight from the firing squad when the Thinker exposes him as a fraud. Riding in the Thinker’s tanks, Batman and Robin mobilize the parolees into an army of their own and defeat the supervillain’s squadron. In the final showdown with Batman, the Thinker gets electrocuted and perishes.
–NOTE: Star Spangled Comics #72 takes place now and while Batman isn’t in it, Robin is rescued by him afterward. In issue #72 a hurricane blows Robin off course and he crashes the Batplane on a deserted Caribbean island. Robin is stranded without communication for nearly a month (!) until a group of fugitive Nazis show up to claim the island as the home-base for the new Third Reich (the Fourth Reich?). A long-haired Robin defeats the Nazis one-by-one, eventually knocking out their leader with a giant metal swastika. Repeat that sentence—A long-haired Robin defeats the Nazis one-by-one, eventually knocking out their leader with a giant metal swastika. This story is truly amazing. Afterward, Robin joyously calls Batman from the German submarine and is soon picked up by the Dark Knight.
–FLASHBACK: Batman and Robin shut down a waterfront mob operation and save the life of Martin Tate, a member of the mob that was trying to go straight (as seen via flashback in Detective Comics #152). Vicki Vale is on hand to snap a picture, but Batman and Robin still won’t meet her for a while. Tate, a sufferer of a split-personality disorder, will later become the costumed supervillain known as The Goblin.
–REFERENCE: In The Adventures of Superman “Batman’s Great Mystery” [radio show 2/3/1948 to 2/17/1948]. Batman and Robin use a voice recorder to defeat the one-shot villain known as The Umbrella Man. Credit to site-contributor Angus Livingstone on this one.
–World’s Finest Comics #29
A month or two ago, Death Row inmate Joel Benson escaped from prison only to suffer amnesia. Adopting the name “Jim Brown,” Benson started a new clean-cut life in a small suburb of Gotham. Cut to now: Batman apprehends Chesty Merkel’s partner, who claims responsibility for Benson’s Death Row murder charge. Benson sees his image and story in a newspaper and remembers everything about his past. Despite a reduced sentence if he should turn himself in, Benson decides to return to crime and joins up with Merkel again. Benson and Merkel try to rob a construction payroll, but Batman and Robin apprehend them. During the heist attempt, Merkel kills a man in cold blood. Both Benson and Merkel are charged with the crime and both are sentenced to death.
–NOTE: Penguin escapes from jail (as referenced in Detective Comics #126).
–Detective Comics #126
Penguin joins up with the hosts of a bird-lovers radio show and begins blackmailing famous singers, asking them to donate thousands of dollars to the show under the threat of “stealing” their precious voices. Batman and Robin are unable to stop Penguin from using a special choking gas to cause several prominent singers to go hoarse. Eventually, the Dynamic Duo nabs Penguin at the opera’s performance of Faust.
Catwoman escapes from jail and begins a string of cat-themed crimes, first evading Batman and Robin at the rodeo, then at the White Cat Coal Company, where the villainess actually captures our heroes. Later at the Cat and the Fiddle dance club, Batman awkwardly shakes and jives with a bunch of hep cats dressed up as cats, and then easily sends Catwoman back to prison. Vicki Vale is on hand to snap a picture of Catwoman being hauled off to jail, although Batman and Robin still won’t meet her for a while yet (as referenced in Detective Comics #152).
Bruce saves a child from a burning building but suffers optic nerve damage from the smoke, causing a temporary seventy-two-hour blindness. When Duds Neery, who has learned Batman’s secret ID from super sleuth Dan Grady, reads of Bruce’s injury in the newspaper he decides to play a deadly game with the Dark Knight, inviting him to a confrontation. The sightless Batman accepts and kicks ass for a while (thanks to an earpiece and Robin guiding him from afar), but is eventually captured along with the Boy Wonder. Neery’s gang begs him to unmask Batman to confirm his ID, but the crazed Neery decides to continue his game instead, typing up the location of his next heist, showing it to the blind Batman, and then burning the note. After leaving, Batman reveals that he had switched on a Dictaphone and recorded the typing noise. Back at the Batcave crime lab, Batman deciphers the note via audio and shows up to stop a surprised Neery. Still unconvinced that Bruce is not Batman, Neery dares Batman to shoot a cigarette out of his hand. Officer Grady, waiting in the wings, blasts the cig in half, fooling Neery into thinking the Caped Crusader has done it. Batman, Robin, and Grady then go after Neery, who falls off a fire escape and dies. A day later, word has hit the press that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Batman, still blind, makes a public appearance and throws bulls-eye after bulls-eye at a magnet-rigged dartboard to prove he isn’t Bruce Wayne. Oy vey.
Doctor Hercules breaks three lifers out of prison–Jawbone Bannon, Whitey Drebs, and George “Four-Eyes” Foley–to help him manage three giant remote-controlled killer robots of his own design. Batman and Robin fight the first robot at a movie studio and can’t stop its immense power. However, they are able to damage it and send it running home. When they encounter the second robot at the art museum, Batman comes equipped with a bazooka and blows it into scrap metal! For his failure in this second heist, Foley is murdered by Hercules. During the third and final robot attack, Batman and Robin lure the clunky behemoth to the top of the Gotham State Building while a storm is brewing. Lightning strikes the metallic monster, destroying it. Hercules, Bannon, and Drebs are later apprehended.
–World’s Finest Comics #29 Epilogue
Joel Benson is executed in prison. Bruce and Dick read about it in the paper.
–All-Star Comics #36
Despite being honorary members of the JSA, Batman hasn’t met with or interacted with the team in five years (since April 1942!). However, when Johnny Thunder calls in sick and the Atom injures himself in a basketball game, Superman and Batman substitute for them, respectively. The JSA tackles a case regarding the recent drowning death of five prominent business professionals and tradesmen–Ed Findley, Mat Matwell, Saul Philpotts, Arch Erdner, and Ben Stanley–all five of which have been resurrected as criminals! The team splits up to go after each of the re-risen with Batman tracking former detective Ed Findley. Bruce meets the cool Findley at a black-and-white-tie gala in the Midwestern city of Zenith. Later that night, Findley dons the domino mask and purple attire of his new supervillain persona, The Grim Marauder, battles Batman, and captures him in his lair. Findley explains that he and his friends had indeed perished in a river flood while on a Southwestern camping trip. However, the river in question, known as the Koehaha, is supposedly composed of the mystical “Stream of Ruthlessness,” which not only contains restorative reanimating powers, but also causes those who bathe in it to go mad with villainy. We later learn that the Koehaha River contains a high level of “free oxygen” (meaning you can’t actually drown in it) and it is dosed every hundred years by the Native Americans with the drug habis indica (which causes the madness). Batman frees himself and apprehends Findley. Meanwhile, the other JSAers entrap the other four villains. Back at JSA HQ, the villains are detained and Green Lantern reveals his discovery that a sixth man, Calvin Stymes, out for revenge against the five for a twenty-year-old college prank gone terribly wrong, deliberately caused the drowning of the others with knowledge of the Koehaha River’s effects. Back at the Koehaha River, all the villains and heroes gather and after a skirmish, Stymes sets off some explosives that accidentally cause his own death. Flash gives the remaining five men an antidote for the habis indica weed and Superman plugs up the flow of the river with a giant boulder. All-Star Comics is also retold via flashback in Infinity Inc #5.
–Detective Comics #218
Late August, 1947. This issue goes here because Robin must still be a teenager and also because Bruce mentions that the first day of school is coming soon. Wilton Winders knocks out and steals the new inventions of scientist Dr. Richard Marsten, a gas that can instantly cause someone to age rapidly and a separate gas that can instantly cause someone to rapidly de-age (although the de-aging process causes one to forget any knowledge learned in the number of years lost). With these gases, Winders clouds Batman and Robin, causing them to switch ages! A 32-year-old Robin and a teenage Batman then chase after Winders, who begins selling his de-aging gas to rich folks (without telling them the side effects, of course). Eventually, the Dynamic Duo gets close to nabbing Winders, who turns himself into an old man in order to hide. Weak and feeble with age, Winders is easily caught. Afterward, the effects of the aging gas are reversed by using the de-aging gas (and vice versa). Dr. Marsten then awakes from unconsciousness, having suffered brain damage that has made him forget the formula for his inventions.
–REFERENCE: Late August, 1947. Batman is the guest of honor at Gotham’s annual “Batman Day” celebration (as referenced in Batman #103, Part 1).
–Detective Comics #127
Bruce and Dick are on hand to witness a “scientific miracle” as Doctor Agar has invented an amazing shrinking gas. Sure enough, during a demonstration Agar seemingly shrinks a large rabbit. Soon after, Agar kidnaps and shrinks a millionaire Gothamite and threatens to shrink the entire city unless he gets cash in hand. Batman and Robin go after Agar, but are captured and knocked out. When they awake, they are only a few inches tall, forced to contend with a giant-size world and a giant-size house cat! Well, not actually. Agar’s bunny-shrinking demo was a mere stage magic trick. Likewise, the Dynamic Duo is not really miniature. Agar has simply placed them into a specially designed mammoth-size room that houses a large black panther, thirty-foot-tall furniture, colossal telephones, and log-size pencils. Upon discovering the epic ruse, Batman and Robin take down Agar. Afterward, Batman puts a giant inkwell into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Star Spangled Comics #126).
–World’s Finest Comics #30
The famous “Case of the Penny Plunderer!” Penny-themed gangster Joe Coyne tries to rob a rare stamp and coin exhibit, but the Dynamic Duo thwarts his attempt using a giant penny. Later at his penny arcade HQ, Coyne evades capture yet again using his patented method of throwing handfuls of coins at people. Batman (in the Batplane and Robin (water skiing behind him) catch up with Coyne at Gotham Harbor and corner him in a warehouse, where he goes down without a fight. Of course, this case provides Batman with arguably his most famous of trophies, the giant 1947 penny, which he prominently displays in the center of the Batcave (as first referenced in Detective Comics #137).
–FLASHBACK: Batman and Robin solve the “Bermuda Diamond Smuggling Case” (as referenced in Detective Comics #205). Afterward, they put Blind-Man Stokes’ fake glass eyes into the Hall of Trophies (as seen via flashback in the same issue).
–The Adventures of Superman “Pennies for Plunder” [radio show 11/27/1947 to 12/26/1947]
Daily Star substitute-editor-in-chief Perry White has recently been elected Mayor of Metropolis and gained the wrath of racketeer Slippery Joe Solitaire. Solitaire kidnaps Mayor White and is able to nearly kill Superman with a nuclear strike via US Navy atomic weaponry one mile out of Metropolis Harbor. Batman and Robin scour the harbor in the Batboat and eventually find the lifeless Superman, hanging onto a pulse by a thread. While Superman recovers, Batman and Robin go after Mayor White aboard a casino cruise only to get captured by Solitaire and his henchmen Muscles McGraw. Superman shakes off the radioactive after-effects of his attack, zips over to the casino cruise and saves Batman, Robin, and Mayor White. (Superman eventually busts Solitaire in the next radio show episode, which is not on our timeline because Batman is not a part of it.)
–The Adventures of Superman “Batman’s Great Mystery” [radio show 2/3/1948 to 2/17/1948]
Batman tells Robin and Alfred that he will be going away and if he doesn’t contact them within a week’s time, he will be dead! Without another word Batman disappears. After a week and no response, Robin and Alfred frantically search to no avail for five days before contacting Superman for help. That very night, Batman appears at a lecture hall in Metropolis and delivers a racist anti-Marshall Plan speech! Superman and Robin are mortified, but are even more shocked when Batman punches-out the Boy Wonder. It’s not long before everyone realizes that the real Batman has been kidnapped and imprisoned by Mr. Jones (Mort Beeler) and that the bigot Batman is just a faker. Beeler not only has abducted the Dark Knight, but he has found out his secret ID. Robin is soon taken by Beeler as well. The nefarious gangster then threatens to kill Robin unless Bruce hands over his bank account information. Bigot Batman then proceeds to travel from bank to bank draining Bruce’s funds. Eventually, Beeler and Bigot Batman are accidentally killed when they attempt to set Batman and Robin’s prison cell ablaze. Superman arrives in time to save the Dynamic Duo from the fire.
–NOTE: Joker escapes from the pen (as referenced in Detective Comics #128).
–Detective Comics #128
Batman and Robin send the recently escaped Joker right back to jail, but no bars can contain the Clown Prince of Crime, and Joker easily escapes again! A few days later, calling himself “Rekoj” again (for the first time since Bat Year Two) Joker begins a series of “reverse-themed” crimes where he alerts the media of big-time robberies and then commits the robberies after-the-fact. After knocking-off a jewelry store and a horse show, Joker forces the Gotham City Chronicle to publish news that he has successfully stolen a gold shipment. The Dynamic Duo apprehends Joker atop the speeding gold train before escorting him back to prison. Vicki Vale is also on hand to snap a picture of Joker being hauled off to jail, although Batman and Robin still won’t meet her for a while yet (as referenced in Detective Comics #152).
–Batman #46, Part 1
Late October, 1947. Joker treats jail as a revolving door yet again and skips outta prison to enact a series of greeting card-themed crimes, prompting each heist with a Hallmark card invitation to Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon. A birthday card serves as the prelude for Joker’s successful robbery of a millionaire’s birthday party, much to the chagrin of the Dynamic Duo. The next day, Joker delivers a wedding invite to Batman and Robin and later sticks-up the nuptials of a wealthy Gotham couple, defeating the Dynamic Duo again. After Joker challenges Batman with a Halloween billboard the next day, the Caped Crusader gears up for another encounter. On Halloween night, Joker goes in drag and wears a witch costume with hopes of stealing all of the funds from a charity masquerade. This time, Batman and Robin are ready and debut a small army of motorized flying bats (!) that help collar Joker and send him to jail.
–NOTE: Penguin escapes from the pen (as referenced in Batman #43, Part 1).
–Batman #43, Part 1
Angry that Catwoman and Joker get all the headlines, Penguin robs the Gotham Chef’s Club’s Annual gala by releasing a swarm of blackbirds from a giant pie and announces that he will begin a series of crimes based upon fowl from popular fiction. The first crime, based off of Treasure Island, involves the successful robbery of Captain Flint’s Buccaneer, a pirate-themed restaurant. Later, Penguin succeeds in his Goose That Layed the Golden Egg theft at a rooftop farm and his also able to capture the Dynamic Duo in the process. After saving Robin from a rigged-crossbow deathtrap, our heroes escape and confront Penguin in a giant penguin-shaped blimp in the skies above Gotham–he blimp represents the roc from A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. After boarding the gigantic blimp, Batman and Robin crash it into the harbor and confine Penguin behind bars once again.
–Batman #43, Part 2
Batman and Robin chase wanted killers Jim Brady and Al Rorick into the subway where the latter duo takes control of a chain of subway cars. The Dynamic Duo is able to board the speeding line, but Robin is detained by the bad guys. Batman rescues him and they regroup in one of the rear cars, donning disguises as a homeless man and paperboy, respectively. The costume changes don’t fool Brady and Rorick for a second and Batman and Robin are held at gunpoint. Just as Brady and Rorick are about to force Batman and Robin to jump out of the moving car, one of the passengers sneakily hits the emergency brake and switches out the lights, giving the Dynamic Duo time to take down Brady and Rorick. Batman is then able to prevent a head on collision with another train the exact same way he did way back in Batman #13, using his bat symbol chest emblem to form a makeshift Bat Signal alerting the oncoming train to stop. Brady then accidentally shoots his partner to death and runs onto an electrified rail, which instantly fries the poor bastard. Afterward, Batman and Robin chat and laugh with all of the subway riders that experienced the harrowing adventure.
–Batman #43, Part 3
When famous criminals from the past–Jesse James, Genghis Khan, John Dillinger, and Captain William Kidd–suddenly appear and begin a campaign of terror, Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon visit Professor Carter Nichols, who explains that someone has stolen his newest invention, a device that can bring items or people from the past into the present. Batman and Robin are defeated in battle several times against the historical foes, but Batman finally realizes that they are phonies. The real Carter Nichols was kidnapped by gangsters who had intended on using his new time machine technology. But when they couldn’t figure it out, one of them impersonated Nichols and the others dressed up as famous crooks of history. Fighting fire with fire, Batman dresses up as King Arthur, Robin dresses as Giocante de Casabianca, and two GCPD cops pose as Kit Carson and John Paul Jones. The four “heroes of history” then take down the villains.
–Detective Comics #129
Batman and Robin track some jewel thieves to Goodwin Island, a small island principality owned and operated by the eccentric Judge James Goodwin. Modern technology is banned on the island and everything, from the people to the architecture, is from the 1890s. After having their utility belts and the Batplane confiscated, the Dynamic Duo begins their investigation which targets crook Diamond Dan Carson. When Carson and his gang go on a rampage with modern weapons, Batman improvises, turning an old fire carriage into a metal-reinforced tank with which he is able to take down Carson.
–World’s Finest Comics #31
Veteran war pilot and artist-by-trade Eddie Brand has a terrible accident which gives him the super power of x-ray vision. Initially, Brand uses this new power for a vaudeville act, which Bruce and Dick attend. But soon, due to the stress of his unique ability and pressure from gangsters, Brand becomes one of Gotham’s top criminals. During a fight with Batman, Brand uses his x-ray eyeballs to scan Batman’s true identity, but thankfully, Batman is prepared and is wearing a disguise underneath–also, lucky that Brand doesn’t scan a bit deeper. Batman then lures Brand into a trap and captures him. Meanwhile, Brand’s partners-in-crime dump thousands of pictures of the face of Batman’s secret ID over Gotham from a plane–of course, these pics, painted by Brand, are of the disguised face. Later, Brand is cured of his x-ray powers and Batman speaks on behalf of the criminal, at the behest of his girlfriend, and influences the jury to find him not guilty.
Batman #43, Part 2 Epilogue
Bruce and Dick discuss how all of the victimized passengers (from the subway hijacking that took place a few weeks ago) are doing fine now.
–Detective Comics #130
Batman and Robin witness a murder/robbery by known criminal Duds Deblin, who steals a mysterious intricately designed emerald box from rival Joe Foster. After evading capture, Deblin returns to his HQ inside Club Saturn, a colossal floating casino that stays aloft high above Gotham via a giant helium balloon dome. At Club Saturn, Deblin is murdered by Jenkins, on assignment for his boss Roger Gormet. Jenkins steals the box and delivers it to Gormet, who opens the box only to immediately drop dead of a heart attack. Batman and Robin show up and beat up Jenkins, but while they do, gangster Snag Corlin snatches the box and drives away. By the time the Dynamic Duo catches up with Corlin, the panicked crook gets mowed down by a car. Batman takes the box and has the US Army Post Office x-ray scan it using an inspectoscope and learns its secret. The box was filled with jewels, but its lock contained a tiny needle that administered a poison to anyone that opened it (and a note explaining that “you are now poisoned” more-or-less). The box came from elderly Briggs Carson, whose son had been killed during a robbery by Foster, Deblin, Gormet, and Corlin. Thus, the box was his perspicacious way of enacting revenge. After the case is wrapped, Batman puts Carson’s box into the Hall of Trophies.
–Batman #46, Part 1 Epilogue
Christmas Eve, 1947. Batman and Robin playfully mock Joker by sending him a Christmas card in prison. Joker is pissed.
–Batman #45, Part 2
Christmas, 1947. Model prison inmate Eddie Rogers gets a twenty-four-hour parole pass to see his girlfriend Laura and kid brother Timmy for Christmas, but on the ferry he is assailed by his old crook buddies. Luckily, Batman and Robin are on hand to chase off the baddies. However, Eddie is badly hurt, so the Dynamic Duo takes the unconscious parolee back to the Batcave. After rummaging through his personal items, Bruce learns from a letter that Rogers is on parole for a night and was going to visit his lady and bro, having lied about his jail sentence and said he was away in the Navy. Bruce, who happens to be a dead ringer for Rogers, decides to fill in for him and visits Timmy and Laura, even stealing a kiss from the latter. But in the middle of their blissful night, some cops investigating a nearby mugging bust in and blow Rogers’ secret. “Rogers” then goes to police HQ to stand in a lineup, but Robin shows up and gets him off the hook. Back on the street, Batman and Robin shake down the crooks who attacked Rogers earlier on the ferry and learn that they work for Scarface Malone, who is still in jail. The Dark Knight sees only one option—he continues his masquerade as Rogers, gets arrested, and is sent back to prison in his place. In the joint, Batman learns that Malone and a cadre of inmates were planning an elaborate breakout, but Rogers was the lone holdout. Batman then dons his plastic slip-on Bat costume, which the editors tell us is “so pliable that it can be rolled into a tiny ball and hidden.” Ummm, where do prison inmates hide things that can be balled-up? The amazing suppository Bat costume! This might be Bill Finger’s greatest invention yet. Anyway, Batman, seemingly energized by pooping out his costume, defeats nearly a dozen armed prisoners with reckless abandon, thus preventing the breakout and earning the real Rogers a full parole.
–FLASHBACK: Batman and Robin examine the bloody crime scene at the Wheat Exchange Bank, where John “Lippy” Fabian, Arthur “Boodle” Benson, Jeff “Nitro” Blake, and Ned “Weasel” Harris left behind a pile of corpses to steal $483,000. Batman vows to bring the murderers to justice (as seen through flashback in Batman #49).
- COLLIN COLSHER: In Detective Comics #119, Robin says to Batman that they should donate some of their trophies to the Smithsonian. Since so many artists decide to draw the Hall of Trophies in different ways and will continue this practice into the next several decades, this provides a wonderful explanation of why we might see certain items in the Hall of Trophies only to never ever see them again.↩
- Credit to JAMES LANTZ↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: What appears to be a green beanie or skull cap with a pom pom on its top is on display in the Hall of Trophies (in Star Spangled Comics #66). I have no clue what this is or where it came from, but I have, as I’ve done with other mystery trophies, added a special note above.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Batman and Robin only appear in flashback in World’s Finest Comics #27, which occurs now. In this issue, Death Row inmate Wheels Mitchum sells his life story, which includes quite a bit of the Dynamic Duo, to a tabloid on his final day before being executed.↩
- Credit to JAMES LANTZ.↩
- Credit to JAMES LANTZ.↩
- Credit to JAMES LANTZ.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: A few notes on the Mars of the Golden Age. It is unknown if Thun Dran’s race is the same as J’onn J’onzz’s Green Martians. Both peoples are humanoid and green-skinned, although Dran’s species have tentacled arms and scaly chests. J’onn J’onzz’s race were shape-shifters, so anything is possible. We also see the lower warrior class known as the Glass Men. These Glass Men might be creations of Dran’s scientists–again, it is unclear. The same goes for the giant black panthers seen in this issue. Furthermore, a wide variety of Martians that com in many different forms appear in other Golden Age DC books. Thus, it is safe to assume that there a vast amount of different species and races on Mars. Also, a kermesse of low-brow pulp science fiction that predates the first moon landing depicts interplanetary adventure with the hero strutting around on a foreign planet without need of oxygen. Such is the case in Batman #41 as Batman and Robin can breathe they air just fine on Mars. For the purposes of linking this tale to later continuity where the laws of physics and science are more readily adhered to, we must retcon Batman #41 so that the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder wear some sort of breathing apparatuses.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Star Spangled Comics #72 tells us that Robin is stranded on the island for many weeks. Not only that, his hair grows to such a Samsonian length it seems as if he would have been their for several months. However, much like the Modern Age “Venom” story-arc where Batman doesn’t shave for one month and emerges with a huge viking beard, I’m pretty sure artist Curt Swan exaggerated the image dramatically. Robin could only realistically have been gone for a few weeks, probably a month at most.↩
- ANGUS LIVINGSTONE: During The Adventures of Superman radio show arc “Batman’s Great Mystery,” Robin mentions to Clark Kent that he and Batman worked on a case that involved them using a voice recorder against a villain Robin refers to as The Umbrella Man two months prior to the case. This could perhaps be the Penguin, or another one-off villain entirely. I’m willing to lean a little closer to a one-off villain, as Superman had a recurring villain in the radio show that he fought called The Laugher, who seems to be a Joker rip-off, so it wouldn’t surprise me that Umbrella Man isn’t the Penguin. Hell, they might have even taken an umbrella and added it to their Hall of Trophies—they have a ton of umbrellas in there anyway.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In case you didn’t know, Roy Thomas confirms in the wonderful 2004 book All-Star Companion: An Historical and Speculative Overview of All-Star Comics that habis indica was simply a replacement word for cannabis. This adds a special paranoid type of silly Reefer Madness quality to this story, where marijuana is ingested, turning normal respectable people into unfathomable monsters.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Daily Planet was retconned to Daily Star during the Silver Age reboot/multiverse expansion in the 1960s.↩
- Credit to JAMES LANTZ, AARON SEVERSON, and SEAN GREEN.↩
- Credit to JAMES LANTZ and AARON SEVERSON.↩