Year Seven

1945

 

–Detective Comics #96
Stoney Peters and his band of thieves fend off Batman to pull off heist at a loan company and hightail it to rural Middleton to hideout. Coincedentally, Alfred has just begun a month-long leave of absence to attempt to make it as a private detective in Middleton. Unfortunately for Alfred, Peters pegs him for a rube and Alfred not only unwittingly aids Peters in a robbery but winds up behind bars as well. When Batman and Robin venture to Middleton and go after Peters, Alfred escapes from jail to aid them, but gets nabbed by Peters. Eventually, Batman, Robin, and Alfred combine their forces to defeat Peters and his group. Alfred gets credit for bringing down Peters and is pardoned.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 11: Holy Smoke!” [Sunday newspaper strips 1/7/1945 to 2/18/1945]
Batman and Robin visit with forest rangers in the Rocky Mountains and help put out a large blaze in the woods. Batman questions ex-convict and pyromaniac Neil Gage as an arson suspect, but Gage flees the scene. Batman and Robin then save Gage and his girlfriend in another arson conflagration and realize the real arsonist is a bank robber named Kale, whom they easily defeat in time to get in some quality camping.

–NOTE: In a reference in Batman #30, Part 1. Penguin escapes from prison.

–Batman #30, Part 1
Midwinter, 1945. Batman and Robin meet with the newly elected governmental head of Gotham, Mayor Carfax, and devise a plan to lure Penguin out of hiding.[1] The plan involves holding a king penguin ceremony at Gotham Municipal Zoo. Naturally, Penguin shows up, prompting an epic chase all over town. At midnight, the Dynamic Duo corners Penguin and his thugs in a department store, but the super-villain ties them up, stuffs them in-between some mattresses, and lights them on fire. Subtle. Of course, Batman and Robin escape unscathed and send the bird villain back to jail.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 12: A English Sassiety Skoit” [Sunday newspaper strips 2/25/1945 to 3/18/1945]
When some con artists overhear Alfred and Dick chatting in the park about Alfred’s twenty-two-year-old niece that he has never met before, but corresponds with regularly, they decide to take advantage of the situation, believing Alfred to be a wealthy magnate. As it turns out, Alfred had been telling his niece that he was indeed rich. When the con artist “niece” arrives at Wayne Manor, Bruce decides to do his friend a favor and suits up in a butler’s uniform and pretends that Alfred owns the estate. After a sob story about being blackmailed and needing money to deliver to villains in the junkyard later that day, Alfred gives her a large sum of Bruce’s cash. The Dynamic Duo–and Alfred–then oversees the drop-off and learns that Alfred’s “niece” is a faker working for a criminal gang. After busting the baddies, Bruce and Dick give an embarrassed Alfred the day off and they serve him for a welcome change.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 13: Rustling on a Reservation” [Sunday newspaper strips 3/25/1945 to 4/29/1945]
Bruce and Dick return to New Mexico for a vacation (their second trip to New Mexico in less than a month) and are forced to suit up as Batman and Robin to deal with some cattle rustlers that have been plaguing the local Pueblo tribe. After initially being mistaken for rustlers themselves by the Pueblo leaders, they realize their error and invite Batman to participate in various religious ceremonies. When the rustlers attack again, Batman and Robin take them down with some help from a youngster named Featherfoot. Afterward, Robin and Featherfoot are allowed to go through the ceremonial rite of passage usually only reserved for prominent adults in the tribe. After the ceremony, Batman is made an honorary chief of the tribe and given a fancy headdress, which later goes into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #69, Part 2).

–The Adventures of Superman Radio Show “The Mystery of the Waxmen” [2/28/1945 to 3/15/1945 radio episodes]
While pursuing an Axis spymaster named Zoltan in Metropolis, Batman is encased—Star Wars carbonite-style—in wax along with several Allied scientists. Fearing Batman’s safety, Robin and Alfred travel to Metropolis where they leave a note for Clark Kent asking for Superman’s help. Robin is soon tossed into a rowboat near the docks by Zoltan’s men and left for dead. Superman finds Robin at the docks and nurses him back to health, while at the same time discovers the secret identities of both Batman and Robin! Later, Superman and Robin rescue Batman and the trio takes down Zoltan. Superman now knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne, but Bruce still doesn’t know who Superman is. This item was also shown in more detail in a flashback from World’s Finest Comics #271.[2][3]

–NOTE: In a reference in Batman #27, Part 1. Penguin escapes from the slammer again.

–Batman #27, Part 1
Penguin takes on a seventeen-year-old apprentice, the son of a criminal acquaintance of his. When the teen displays an aptitude for writing and drafts a biography of Penguin, the supervillain, in disguise, attempts to sell the manuscript to a publisher’s. After being denied, Penguin steals a truckload of paper, captures the Dynamic Duo, and attempts to publish his life story with the aid of a counterfeiter. Batman and Robin escape from Penguin’s manor with help from Penguin’s apprentice, who has no love for crime. Batman eventually apprehends Penguin after a duel atop the giant clock of the towering Gotham Trust Building–a locale that Batman has fought at on numerous occasions prior to this. Part 1 of Batman #27 also adds to the list of Bruce’s fiscal/occupational responsibilities–he is 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, and stockholder in a book publishing company.

–Batman #27, Part 2
While Bruce and Dick are visiting friends, Alfred has another classic Pink Panther-esque adventure where he accidentally helps the police bust Pistol-Packin’ Pete. (I should mention that this actually predates Pink Panther by seventeen years!)

–Batman #27, Part 3
Trouble is afoot at the Explorers Club of Gotham. One of its members is found murdered inside their headquarters amidst a World’s Fair-like diorama of South Africa. After the mystery killer–one of the members–tries and fails to pin the crime on a known crook, Batman and Robin begin an investigation and learn that a deceased famous explorer has hidden clues to the combination to the club’s safe, which holds a vast fortune as a reward for anyone who can gain entry. Thus, Batman begins an elaborate scavenger hunt through the many dioramas of the club, while at the same time outs the dastardly Felix Landry as the murderer. Batman, having earned the large cash prize, then donates it all to charity.

–Detective Comics #97
Where do I even begin with this convoluted Joe Greene mess? Batman publicly swears to take down the ruthless gangster known only as The Slasher. When he finds him, the Slasher is apparently dead by suicide and has left a note exposing the the whereabouts of his partners, Benny the Gimp and Joe the Nutcracker, and claiming that his third partner, Nick Petri, has fled town. After a detailed investigation and an encounter with a mystery crook who claims ownership of Slasher’s killer canine named Fang, Batman begins to realize the truth. After locating the Slasher’s safehouse and discovering that his gang had been feuding over a cache of stolen jewels hidden in a safe rigged to explode inside the lair, Batman and Robin are attacked and knocked out by the mystery man–a facial plastic surgery-altered Slasher, who has faked suicide by killing and mutilating a hobo to take his place. The Slasher, the Gimp, and the Nutcracker all wait for Petri to return to the house and open the safe–only Petri knows how to open it without detonating the bomb. When Petri gathers the riches, his former pals leap out to get what’s theirs. Meanwhile, the Dynamic Duo shakes off their cobwebs and starts duking it out with all four baddies. Petri tries to throw the bomb switch on the safe, but it doesn’t work because a flood deactivated it a while ago. Game over, crooks.

–World’s Finest Comics #17
Super-genius Darby Deems, with his over-sized brain and PhD, becomes radio analyst Dr. Dreemo. After analyzing the dreams of his guests, Dreemo uses his superior intellect to find their weaknesses in order to exploit them and rob them with the aid of his criminal gang. The Dynamic Duo encounters Dreemo during a robbery attempt, but the latter evades capture. Bruce decides to go on Dreemo’s radio show to test the doctor’s ability. Sure enough, after hearing about one of Bruce’s legit dreams–involving a tall sword-wielding, bat-winged superhero that saves Bruce from a giant talking spider and an evil magician–Dreemo deduces that Bruce is Batman! Later that night, Batman cooks up a batch of his own version of Scarecrow’s Fear Gas and makes a preemptive strike on Dreemo. Batman and Robin was gas masks, break into Dreemo’s home, dose him with Fear Gas, and then listen while the villain freaks out and spills the beans about his operation. However, during the wild affair Batman is shot by one of Dreemo’s henchmen and the villains abscond with a knocked-out Robin in tow. Batman then attacks Dreemo yet again, rescues Robin, and sends the bad guys to jail. Oh, Batman uses a dummy of Bruce Wayne and a dummy of Batman to fool Dreemo into thinking that he isn’t the Dark Knight.

–Detective Comics #98
When wealthy bank president Casper Thurbridge goes missing for over a week, Batman and Robin snoop around his mansion and run into thieves–Silvers Silke, Soapy Waters, and Squint–robbing Thurbridge’s safe. Silke and Waters get away with the loot, but Squint is nabbed and spills the beans that his buddies are hiding out in a hobo community called Paradise Jungle. Going in disguise as homeless bums, Batman and Robin travel to Paradise Jungle and find the eccentric Thurbridge contently leading the relaxing “hobo retreat village.” Thurbridge had been sick of his responsibilities and left the city to build a safe haven for hobos near the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Gotham–actually on property owned by Bruce. Batman and Robin expose Silke and Waters as crooks and they are expelled from Paradise Jungle. Later, when the Dynamic Duo tries to bust the villains, Silke and Waters get the upper hand and nearly kill the heroes in the process. After trying to incite a coup against Thurbridge, Silk and Waters are defeated and brought to justice. Later, after returning to his bank duties, Thurbridge purchases Bruce’s plot of land near the tracks and continues the Paradise Jungle project.

–Batman #27, Part 1 Epilogue
Bruce reads an advance book review of the soon-to-be-released Penguin biography, written by Penguin’s former apprentice.

–NOTE: In a reference in Batman #28. You guessed it—Joker escapes from the slammer.

–Batman #28
Joker opens up Shadow City, a secret section of Gotham that holds many themed casinos. When Batman learns of the mysterious Shadow City, he tails millionaire acquaintance Felix Lathrop–who has received a private invitation–to the gambling haven. After riding atop a limo through a pitch black city lane, Batman and Robin emerge in a brightly lit block with several Oriental-themed casinos. Inside one of them, the Dynamic Duo witnesses Joker trying to swindle Lathrop. Our heroes take the fight to Joker and shut down his operation. They also learn that the private limo ride to Shadow City was a fake trip via conveyor belt–the car, surrounded by darkness, lowers down a freight elevator into a huge underground bunker dressed up to look like a city block containing casinos. A few days later Lathrop quits gambling and starts up a crime fighting foundation with Batman and Robin as directors.

In another edition of “The Adventures of Alfred,” Alfred goes to visit a friend and winds up inadvertently apprehending the entire Murton Gang.

Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon send Alfred’s friend GCPD Sgt. Shirley Holmes undercover to flush out the ringleaders of a racketeering enterprise. Everything is going swimmingly and Holmes has gained the criminals’ complete trust until Alfred runs into her at a restaurant and says hello, addressing her by her real name. Batman and Robin eventually rescue the more-than-capable Holmes and shut down the racket. Holmes then goes on a date with Alfred.

After preventing jobless ex-con Danny the Dip from committing suicide, Batman addresses the nation via radio and implores employers to give those who have paid their debt to society a fair chance in the work world. The next day, Batman (presumably at his PO box) receives hundreds of supportive letters from former crooks and an invitation from a senator to speak in Washington, DC. This prompts Robin to exclaim his excitement to visit DC since he’s never been there before. But Robin must have taken one too many bumps on his noggin–he’s been there a few times, met FDR and J. Edgar Hoover, and once even participated in a parade in is own honor down Pennsylvania Avenue. Anyway, a few days later Batman and Robin drag a trailer filled with Danny the Dip and his ex-con buddies to Washington, where they visit the tourist sites. That night, mobster Boss Skye kidnaps Batman and Robin and locks them in a warehouse. When the Dynamic Duo fails to appear at the Senate, Danny and his buddies not only rescue them, but help them deliver Skye and company to the FBI as well. Batman then delivers a rousing speech on the Senate floor that supports passage of a bill that will help ex-cons gain employment in factories.

–FLASHBACK: From The Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special #1. April 15, 1945. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt has died three days earlier. Batman and the original Justice Society of America members attend a private burial ceremony for FDR in Hyde Park.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #18. It’s Robin’s fourteenth birthday and Batman gets him a Batpoon—a harpoon attached to a rope, not what you thought it was.

–NOTE: While Batman isn’t involved in any overseas conflicts at this time, it is worthwhile to note that the war in Europe ends on May 8, 1945. WWII continues in the Pacific.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 14: The Gopher: King of the Underworld!” [Sunday newspaper strips 5/6/1945 to 6/17/1945]
Batman and Robin tangle with The Gopher, a criminal mastermind that orchestrates burglaries from underground power mains, gas mains, and sewers. Batman meets the Gopher—who actually wears a gopher mask complete with buckteeth and whiskers—after getting caught by his hoodlums. Upon escaping from a straitjacket, Batman duels with the Gopher, who gets electrocuted to death on the subway tracks.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 15: The Tale of the Tinker Diamond” [Sunday newspaper strips 6/24/1945 to 7/22/1945]
Diamond cutter Jonas Brock holds the world’s largest uncut diamond, the Tinker Diamond. Unfortunately, knaves have kidnapped his son and demand the diamond in exchange for the boy. Batman suspects fence Blinky Meggs as the perpetrator of the abduction and accosts him at his shop only to get bagged and hauled off to the quarry. Robin trails Batman to the quarry, helps him escape, and helps save Brock’s son. Batman then busts Meggs at the public gem cutting of the Tinker Diamond and makes it to his society club (as Bruce) just in time to be honored with a special dinner ceremony. Afterward, Batman is either given the Tinker Diamond to hold for permanent safe-keeping or given a replica of the diamond. We will later see the Tinker Diamond (or its replica) in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #69, Part 2).

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 8: The Karen Drew Mystery” [daily newspaper strips 4/30/1945 to 7/7/1945]
This is a rare tale where Bruce doesn’t suit up as Batman even once. Bruce meets the gorgeous Karen Drew at a party and is completely smitten with her, enough so that he eagerly accompanies her home after a night of doting and dancing. Oh, in case you forgot, Bruce is still engaged to Linda Page—but he’s cheated on her before, so a trist with Karen isn’t out of the question here. Anyway, Bruce is surprised to find a man—Karen’s fiancé Dan Mitchell—waiting at Karen’s apartment and even more surprised when she apparently shoots Mitchell to death behind closed doors. A panicked Karen handcuffs herself to Bruce and convinces him to flee from the police. After traveling to suburban Middletown, the chained-together-couple meets with some men of ill repute who have kidnapped Karen’s father, a shipping magnate that refused to smuggle illegal goods for the dastardly hooligans. Bruce learns that the smugglers gave Karen an ultimatum: kill her fiancé or her father gets plugged. When the bad guys receive word that Mitchell is still alive (Karen shot blanks) they try to kill Bruce, Karen, and her pop, but the latter trio escapes. Later, after a chase, Bruce takes down the smugglers at a blacksmith shop. Later still, Bruce pines over Karen.

–NOTE: In a reference in Detective Comics #99. Penguin busts outta the joint yet again.

–Detective Comics #99-100
Penguin, based out of a refrigeration plant, kidnaps three people and claims that unless he is paid a ransom he will chemically freeze them to death. Bruce learns of the sinister plot when Penguin sends one of the victims, in frozen suspended animation, in a coffin to Bruce’s shipping insurance company. Batman and Robin go after Penguin at his icy lair and rescue the hostages–the frozen plot was a bluff, the victims in suspended animation were merely wax replicas. Ultimately, Penguin and his ruffians wind up back behind bars.

Batman and Robin trail some gem smugglers twenty miles north of Gotham to a mansion in Crow’s Nest, home to famous mystery writer Reginald Scofield. The Dyanimic Duo tangles with gun-toting smugglers immediately upon arrival in Crow’s Nest and gets tied up along with Scofield. After freeing himself from his binds, the Caped Crusader locates a hidden passage behind Scofield’s safe and fights more scallywags outside the house. Inside, Robin and Scofield glean that the leader of the criminal clique is Scofield’s butler, Digges. Just before Digges can off Robin and Scofield, Batman lassos his gun and saves the day.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #35, Part 3. Batman and Robin apprehend mobster Big Ed Conroy.

–Batman #29
Adam Frank–also known as the “First Man”–hires a crew consisting of Second-Story Sam, Three-Fingers Tuttle, and Four-Eyes Fogarty in order to commit “first” themed crimes. For example, Frank and his bullies make their debut at the telephone company’s first ever direct line call to South America and evade Batman and Robin as well. Frank then robs a Shakespeare first edition and makes fools of the Dynamic Duo again. Frank is successful yet again at the premier of an ice show. However, Frank’s luck runs out at the grand opening of the Museum of Sculpture where Batman and Robin bust him.

Alfred responds to a personal ad and gives lessons to a man who wants to be a butler. It turns out that the man is trying to infiltrate high society houses to rob them and is a part of the infamous Crustmore Gang. In typical accidental fashion, Alfred nabs the whole gang.

Bruce, Dick, and Alfred return home from a fishing trip to discover that Wayne Manor has been cleaned out by thieves. When the news of the robbery hits the news agencies, broke private detectives Hawke and Wrenn are on the case–only they decide to dress up as Batman and Robin (imagine a skinny Batman and a fat Robin with a bald spot). The real Dynamic Duo then tails the fake Dynamic Duo and the latter comes across the robbers, Corky Huggins and Catspaw Carlin, who immediately chase them off into hiding. The real Dynamic Duo then pounces on the filchers, but they speed away in a car. Both Dynamic Duos catch up with Huggins and Carlin at a seedy pool hall and in the chaos, the genuine articles take down the villains. Feeling generous, the real Batman gives full credit for the capture of Huggins and Carlin to Hawke and Wrenn.

When a mailman gets shot in the arm during a fight between Batman and some jewel pilferers, Batman volunteers to finish his route. While delivering letters, the Dark Knight stumbles upon the supervillain known as The Scuttler, who has kidnapped a man in an attempt to intercept a registered letter containing the plans for a new secret invention worth a ton of moolah. Batman frees the abductee, but the Scuttler runs off. Later, Bruce and Dick learn about how the mail works by reading a book about the mail (sigh) and, using this knowledge, nail the Scuttler for good.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 16: A Pretty Amnesiac” [Sunday newspaper strips 7/29/1945 to 9/9/1945]
Late July, 1945. Batman and Robin rescue a beautiful woman from several men who are trying to capture her, but she bumps her head and is stricken with amnesia. With no ID and no memory, but a fluency in multiple languages, Batman makes it his public mission to help her remember. While visiting Gotham’s French Quarter, the rogues try to abduct the mystery woman again, but Batman fends them off again. After another altercation in Little Italy, the desperate amnesiac gives herself up to find out the truth. The vile shysters tell her that she is Helen Smithers, daughter of missionaries and raised by a wealthy Chinese family, and they want access to her surrogate family’s fortune. Batman and Robin save Helen and the Caped Crusader gets a kiss for his effort.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 9: Their Toughest Assignment” [daily newspaper strips 7/9/1945 to 9/1/1945]
Many of Batman’s 1940s adventures are mired in silliness, but this is really his first pure comedy tale. Due to the housing shortage linked to WWII, there aren’t any apartments vacant in Gotham. This poses a problem for the Dynamic Duo, who are tasked by Commissioner Gordon to find a residence for philanthropist Big Ed Parker’s daughter, Jean. After scouring the city for pads in and out of costume, the Dynamic Duo meets an assortment of strange characters acting strangely, including a celebrity couple in a domestic dispute that involves the wife trying to shoot herself. Our heroes soon decide that they should bust a gangster and take over his apartment. Not long after, Batman and Robin send See-Saw Smith to jail, thus freeing up his lavish flat. Jean arrives and is escorted to her new place, but it’s not long before Batman learns that Jean is a fraud. Jean is actually Elise Wells, a friend of Jean’s that is taking her place because the real Jean didn’t want to move to Gotham (her dad was forcing her). Before that mess can get sorted out, a duo of wanted murderers break into the apartment in search of Smith’s loot. Batman and Robin are looking worse for wear after a scuffle with the gun-toting hooligans, but Batman is able to hang a “for rent” sign in the window, which causes a group of apartment seekers to stampede into the room, mowing down the bad guys in the process. In the commotion, Elise takes it upon herself to award Smith’s apartment to a random old lady. Back at GCPD HQ, Gordon says that the real Jean Parker is on her way now and orders Batman and Robin to begin the search anew. Batman and Robin literally faint with comedic vaudevillian pratfalls to end this farce.

–REFERENCE: In Star Spangled Comics #110. Mid August, 1945. Batman is in Gotham during the end of the war, but it is worth mentioning that World War II officially ends with the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945. Back in the States, Batman and Robin are awarded several medals of honor for their various contributions to the war effort.

–World’s Finest Comics #18
Mid August 1945. Professor L.M. Brane is the secret leader of the Crime Specialists, an organization that uses specific types of disabled villains to complete successful robberies. For instance, a bunch of midgets (or little people if you will) steal some radium and avoid Robin’s pursuit. Later, after knocking out a section of the city’s power grid, the Crime Specialists are able to beat up the Dynamic Duo with the guidance of a few blind men. Don’t ask me how that worked. The next day, Robin pretends to be a midget and attempts to join the Crime Specialists. Robin’s plan to infiltrate the group fails when he smokes a cigar, can’t handle it, and blows chunks! Later, Bruce, as a guest of Brane, is a main figure in Gotham’s celebratory WWII Victory Parade along with several other millionaires. Bruce deduces that Brane is evil simply because he wears a monocle and deftly switches into his Batman gear. Brane attempts to orchestrate a robbery of the parade guests by communicating with deaf henchmen through the din. Batman and Robin stop Brane’s disabled chicanery and send him to jail.

–FLASHBACK: World War II has recently ended and Wheels Mitchum returns to crime, using a decommissioned Navy vessel to hide stolen cars (as seen through flashback from World’s Finest Comics #27). Batman and Robin eventually nab Mitchum, who tries to pin the auto thefts on a man that he has murdered and faked it to appear like a suicide. Batman testifies against Mitchum in court and even acts as lead prosecutor, quickly condemning the crook. Mitchum tries to run, but the Dynamic Duo sends him to Death Row.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 17: Devil’s Reef” [Sunday newspaper strips 9/16/1945 to 10/21/1945]
Batman and Robin spend a week chasing the evil Miller Gang from Gotham, all across North America, and back to Gotham again. After locating their secret hideout in the island caves off Devil’s Reef, Batman collars on of Miller’s men and ties him up. Alfred, who happens to be clamdigging at Devil’s Reef, comes across the bound fellow and unties him. Batman, Robin, and Alfred wind up tangoing with the Miller Gang and the Dark Knight is able to trick the coterie using a doctored treasure map. Our protagonists get off the island by turning Batman’s cape into a kite that is spotted by the Coast Guard.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 18: Gotham’s Cleverest Criminal” [Sunday newspaper strips 10/28/1945 to 12/9/1945]
Joker escapes from prison and gets in a gang war with rookie super-villain and new rival, The Sparrow. The Sparrow, hoping to make a fool of Joker and ruin his credibility, sends a note (addressed from Joker) to Commissioner Gordon claiming that Joker will steal a Stradivarius during a sold-out concert performance. When nothing happens, the newspapers poke fun at Joker. An angry Joker, looking to redeem himself in the eyes of the public, tries to pull off a huge heist, but Batman stops him. The Sparrow’s identity is then revealed as a female–a beautiful blonde bombshell who kidnaps Joker, hauls him off to a mill, and tries to kill him. Batman and Robin save Joker’s life, but the Joker gets away. Later, Joker and Sparrow try to outwit each other and rob the Melgon Library, but Batman outwits them both and sends each to prison.

–Detective Comics #100 Epilogue
Reginald Scofield’s newest adventure novel, entitled Jewels of Death, is released with a special dedication to Batman and Robin.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 10: The Warning of the Lamp!” [daily newspaper strips 9/3/1945 to 11/24/1945]
Bruce and Dick meet Finlay Gribbidge, owner of a cattle ranch out in the sticks, and learn that his superstitious cantankerous wife, Cassandra, believes that his life is in danger unless he sells the ranch. Her spiritual guide, a Middle Eastern conman that goes by The Lamp, has been influencing Cassandra, who in turn has been influencing Finlay. The Lamp wants to convince Cassandra to convince Finlay to sell the ranch, which has a profitable copper vein beneath it, to his accomplices Minnow and Soapstone. Bruce and Dick immediately begin a serpentine investigation into figuring out if Finlay is truly in danger. When the Lamp catches wind that Bruce and Dick are meddling in his affairs, he sends his henchmen to attack them at Wayne Manor. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred easily detain their attackers. Meanwhile, the Lamp decides to cut out the middlemen and winds up murdering Soapstone and Minnow. At the Gribbidge Ranch, the Lamp tries to kill Bruce, but he survives. Later, Batman kidnaps Finlay, disguises himself as the cattle rancher, and meets the Lamp face-to-face for the first time. Eventually, Batman and Robin track the Lamp down in a town an hour outside of Gotham. After a brief fight, the Lamp accidentally runs off of a cliff (he took out his night vision contact lenses). Bruce and Dick then have dinner with the Gribbidges.

–NOTE: In reference in Detective Comics #102. Joker gives himself an early discharge from the penal institution.

–Detective Comics #101-102
While Bruce and Dick are out shopping, a mom dumps her twin babies on them and promptly disappears. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce discovers that the babies’ stroller contains more than just the little tykes–it has jewels that have been recently stolen, supposedly by a store clerk named Roger Rainer, who is in lockup downtown. Batman, Robin, Stella Rainer (the infants’ mom and wife to Rainer) visit Rainer in jail and learn that he has been setup by three hoods. Across town, Alfred babysits the little ones and is accosted by the trio of villains, who are after the rest of the jewels, which are hidden in a bouncy ball. The bad dudes kidnap Alfred and the twins, but Batman and Robin save the day.

Joker and his men steal J. Bullion Stickney’s riverside mansion and hold it for ransom–yes, Joker uproots the foundation, lifts the base onto rollers, and floats the entire house to a new camouflaged location. After a skirmish with Joker, the Dynamic Duo barely avoids sinking into oblivion in a pit of quicksand and then follows a pigeon (one of Stickney’s pets) to the mansion’s new locale. Batman and Robin then easily defeat Joker. A few days later, the house is returned to its proper location.

–Batman #30, Part 2
Batman and Robin stumble across reformed thief, Joe Jones, while he is busy returning stolen money to a safe. Jones explains that he has gone straight because he is getting married. In that very instant, his old gang, led by Hush-Hush Bodin, bursts in and shoots Jones. Batman and Robin rush Jones to the hospital and then go to meet his fiancée, Ann. However, Bodin and his gang have set our heroes up and ambush them. The injured Jones sneaks out of the hospital and helps the Dynamic Duo defeat Bodin.

–Batman #30, Part 3
While Bruce and Dick are away on a trip, Alfred gets mistaken for a Hub City gangster known as The Baron and is kidnapped by rival gangsters. When the real Baron makes his presence known, a gunfight erupts and all of the bad guys are incapacitated. Alfred gets credit for apprehending all the villains even though he didn’t lift a finger.

–Batman #30, Part 4
Angry old paraplegic Jasper Quinch has a lot of pet peeves, such as bossy subway guards, people who wear big hats in movie theaters, bad barbers, drivers who go through puddles and splash pedestrians, and many more. Quinch hires the obnoxious, loud-mouthed lunatic Ally Babble to “take care” of all of these problems, which the nutjob proceeds to do in hooligan fashion. Batman and Robin chase Ally Babble all around town, but can’t reign-in the laughing madman. Meanwhile, crooks Hoiman and Shoiman follow Ally Babble around as well, but use him as a distraction while they commit various robberies. Eventually, Ally Babble helps Batman and Robin nab Hoiman and Shoiman. Old Man Quinch is so annoyed with Ally Babble by the end of the story, he rises out of his wheelchair to shove the bastard–yes, Quinch is miraculously healed. Yay!

–NOTE: In a reference in Batman #32, Part 1. Joker breaks jail again.

–Batman #32, Part 1
Late Summer, 1945. School is about to begin again and it is fraternity rush time at Gotham City College. Joker decides to use the circus-like atmosphere to his advantage. Posing as college freshmen and wearing outlandish costumes, Joker and his bullies rob a jewelry store. Bruce happens to be at the jewelry store to purchase a birthday gift for Linda Page, so he immediately suits up as the Dark Knight. However, Joker is able to easily capture Batman. Later, Joker tells Robin that he must follow his orders or Batman will be executed. First, Robin has to shine shoes, then he has to sell ear muffs on the street, then he has to sell the winter gear to a dry goods store located next to a jewelry shop. Not only do these tasks make Robin look insane in public, they help Joker rob the jewelry shop. Robin is then ordered to go to the Bon Ton and purchase girlie dolls (a task very embarrassing for the fourteen-year-old tough guy) with a bunch of pennies. The pennies have been rigged to explode and when they do, Joker and his delinquents, dressed as firemen, try to rob the Bon Ton’s jewelry department. Fortunately for Robin, Batman has escaped and helps put Joker back in prison.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #103, Part 1. Late August. Batman is the guest of honor at Gotham’s annual “Batman Day” celebration.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and the Bold #197. Linda Page ends her engagement with Bruce and breaks up with him indefinitely. Besides the mention in The Brave and the Bold #197, we know that the relationship between Bruce and Linda ends since we won’t see her again, except for a brief appearance in The Brave and the Bold #197, which takes place in 1955. This breakup is kind of a big deal, especially since Bruce and Linda were together for five years. But alas, Bruce’s secretive nature, ostensibly idle playboy lifestyle, unavailability, general disregard, and infidelities have led to the ever-patient Linda’s “enough-is-enough” mentality. Bye, Linda!

–The Adventures of Superman “Dr. Bly’s Confidence Gang” [radio show 9/4/1945 to 9/24/1945]
Gang leader Dr. Bly (also known as Dr. Blythe) orders his accomplice Dixie LaMarr, a perfect double for Lois Lane, to kill a federal agent and frame Lois for the murder. Batman and Robin join forces with Superman and Metropolis’ top cop Inspector William Henderson to apprehend Dixie at an amusement park. The heroes bring the criminals before a judge, thus exonerating Lois of all charges.[4] Note that this radio episode was also adapted into a text-transcription/comic book combo story in World’s Finest Comics #223. However, while the radio narrative is transcribed verbatim, the accompanying images add the retcon of Batman present at the final courtroom scene with Dixie and Dr. Bly, something that didn’t happen in the original radio broadcast. Not only that, the images incorrectly depict Batman in his Silver Age yellow-oval costume, which doesn’t make sense for this timeline, but was likely done specifically to adapt the “Dr. Bly” radio episode onto the Earth-1 timeline.

–Detective Comics #103
The former dean of Gotham University, Professor Gray, now runs a one-man confidential consulting and advice service known as Trouble, Inc. Unfortunately, Sam Slick and his team of brutes have been listening in on the private conversations and use the info to blackmail Gray’s clientele. After a scuffle with Slick’s men at good ole Colossal Studios and another outside of Gray’s office, Batman and Robin eventually catch up with the jerks at a boathouse outside of Gotham where, with assistance from Gray and a little serendipity, our fair heroes win out in the end.

–World’s Finest Comics #19
Joker escapes from incarceration, tussles with Batman and Robin, steals the Batmobile to get away, and then allies himself with the malefactor known as The Velvet Kid. The Velvet Kid is a mob boss ostensibly turned straight, but in reality he is still a mega heel. With the Joker’s secret backing, the Velvet Kid organizes the Citizens’ Committee for Law and Order. The first meeting is attended by Mayor Carfax, Commissioner Gordon, Warden Doyle, and the city’s richest men and women, including Bruce. While the meeting transpires, Joker robs all of the attendees’ homes, including Wayne Manor. Batman and Robin are then lured into a trap by the Velvet Kid, which involves Joker unleashing a swarm of South American vampire bats on our heroic champions. In the end, however, Joker and the Velvet Kid wind up back behind bars.

–Detective Comics #104
Ex-cons Fat Frank, Toby the Inchworm, and Opy Keel start a new racket that, technically, is completely legal. On giant billboards across Gotham, all of which Toby the Inchworm legally owns, the rapscallions advertise scathing and incriminating factoids about certain high profile criminals and crooks. These high profile folks then pay for the ad space, thus obtaining the privilege to erase their billboards. Despite realizing that they have no legal authority whatsoever in this case, Batman and Robin begin a campaign of systematic destruction against Toby’s signs–the GCPD even turns a blind eye when Toby complains. Frank, Toby, and Keel then begin putting up ads for what appears to be a selfless leftist attack on corrupt senators and banking officials (which seems like a totally legit heroic thing to do), but oddly enough, Batman and Robin are riding their fascist high-horse to the max in this tale and continue the wanton illegal destruction of Toby’s property. In the end, Batman erects his own giant billboard that highlights the criminal records of Frank, Toby, and Keel. Almost immediately, the three ex-cons are run out of town. Afterward, Gotham officials place a towering sign at the edge of the city limits that depicts Batman and Robin with the text: “Gotham City! Warning to Criminals! Do Not Enter!”

–FLASHBACK: From Star Spangled Comics #85. Batman and Robin shut down the gambling operation of twin brothers, Ace Pollard and Mike Pollard, and send them to jail.

–Batman #31, Part 1
Alfred decides to play detective and goes into a seedy bar and butts his nose into gang business. Stubby Stubbs and his right hand man kidnap Alfred and drive off with him in a truck only to crash off of a ravine. Police arrive at the scene of the accident and Alfred gets full credit for apprehending the bad guys.

–Batman #31, Part 2
Batman and Robin shut down Knuckles Donegan’s gang, but Donegan goes missing. At Wayne Manor, Alfred informs Bruce that an entire town in the Everglades has literally disappeared overnight. Believing Donegan to be linked somehow to the Everglades disappearance, Batman and Robin fly down South where the Dark Knight poses as Donegan. Disguised as the mustachioed rascal, Batman is taken deep into the Floridian swamp jungle where an assortment of wanted crooks have moved the entire village of Alhambra (using a method of building moving that Joker used recently in ‘tec #102). Alhambra has become a hidden safe haven for reprobates on the run. After Batman is exposed, Robin tries to help out, but they both get captured and nearly devoured by carnivorous plants mutated with agar-agar–strange since agar-agar is merely a gelatinous algae. Eventually, Batman, Robin, and an army of Miami cops reclaim Alhambra and fill the paddy wagons.

–Batman #31, Part 3
Silver John Staddon is a thief that is known for poisoning dogs and stealing silverware. Big Tim Stevens only steals cheese. These men both have unique trademarks associated with their crimes and all have been active recently. Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon also realize that both men have a last name beginning with S and both are listed next to one another in the official police files. Besides cops, the only person who has access to the files is an elderly scrub woman (janitor), Mrs. Dalling. Upon Batman’s first visit with Dalling, the latter appears to be a sweet old lady. But Mrs. Dalling is one nasty old hag, who in reality, has recruited a gang via illegally accessing the S-section of the police files. After initial capture and inevitable escape, Batman and Robin hunt down the S-gangsters and Dalling, who curses like a sailor when handcuffed.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #31, Part 4. Batman goes on a public trip out West to deal with an unspecified case.

–Batman #31, Part 4
Bruce and Dick watch a Punch and Judy puppet show at a carnival run by the ever-argumentative scoundrels–the husband-and-wife duo of Peter Punch and Judy Punch. After Batman and Robin expose their carny gang as a veritable salmagundi of swindling grifters, Punch and Judy, hoping to get rid of the Dynamic Duo, organize a event in Central Park where Batman and Robin will perform circus stunts for charity. While Batman leaps out of a plane with a faulty parachute, Punch and Judy string up Robin and steal the charity money but are double-crossed by their accomplice, Pete. Batman activates a backup chute, glides to earth, rescues Robin, and sends the wretches to prison.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #105. If ya didn’t already know, Bruce is head of Wayne Enterprises, majority stockholder in a clock company, majority stockholder in a shipping insurance company, an author, a producer, a bank director, a newspaper publisher, a factory owner, stockholder in a publishing company, and an automobile manufacturer. Bruce’s treasurer embezzles $3 million from Bruce’s motor company, effectively ruining Bruce’s businesses. Bruce is forced to sell his holdings and personal effects to pay off his investors. Completely broke, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred move into Bruce’s downtown apartment. Desperate for cash, Bruce removes the diamonds from his platinum ID badge and hocks them at a pawn shop!—not all of them (he leaves a precious few).

–Detective Comics #105-106
Unbelievably, Batman and Robin don’t go after Bruce’s thieving treasurer that put them in the poorhouse, but instead go after murderer Simon Gurlin. Batman asks for police assistance, but is denied when he flashes his badge sans the diamonds he hocked–the cops think he is a fake Batman! Without any money to gas up the Batmobile, Dick gets a job at a newsstand and Alfred starts mowing lawns. Batman and Robin eventually follow Gurlin to his hometown of Lansboro, but they crash the Batmobile. After performing in the circus to earn enough dough to fix their wheels, the Dynamic Duo finally arrives in Lansboro and busts Gurlin and his henchmen. Upon returning to Gotham, Bruce and Dick learn that the feds have caught Bruce’s corrupt treasurer. Bruce’s cash is returned and he is able to salvage his business empire. I should mention that the trees seem a bit leafy and green for November (when issue #105 was released) but it is best to simply ignore it.

Seven years ago Todd Torrey, librarian at the main branch of the Gotham City Public Library, snapped and murdered his co-worker. Ever since then, Torrey has been hiding-out nearby and sporadically haunting the library via its many secret passageways. After an attempt on the life of GCPD Inspector Laurence by the so-called “Phantom of the Library,” Batman and Robin warn former DA and now judge, Judge Logan, that he may be next on Torrey’s hit list.[5] Sure enough, Torrey attacks Logan at the library, but Batman and Robin are there to protect him. During the altercation, Torrey falls from a swinging chandelier, hits his head, and succumbs to his injuries.

–REFERENCE: In the 4/3/1946 Batman and Robin daily newspaper strip. Since Batman has recently sold the diamonds from his platinum police badge, in order to make it official again, the ID is engraved with “BATMAN P.D.”

–The Adventures of Superman “Looking for Kryptonite” [radio show 12/4/1945 to 1/8/1946]
The war is over, but traces of Nazi supervillainy remain. For instance, Nazi agent Heinrich Melch AKA “Henry Miller,” due to having received injections of liquified Kryptonite, has been transformed into the superhuman known as The Atoman (originally called The Atom Man). Superman battles the Atoman and recruits Batman and Robin to help him retrieve pieces of Kryptonite that have been stolen by the “Crescent and Star Gang.” During the process of reclaiming the Kryptonite, Batman learns that Superman is Clark Kent! Eventually, Batman, Robin, and Superman defeat the Atoman and shut down the activities of the “Crescent and Star Gang.” Afterward, Batman and Superman agree not to tell Robin the Man of Steel’s true identity—maybe they fear he would spill the beans under torture or something? Who knows. Batman and Superman eventually do tell Robin that Clark is Superman shortly after this, as the Boy Wonder will be aware of the secret in upcoming stories. Some finer details of this tale are also referenced in World’s Finest Comics #271, which shows Superman’s final battle against the Atoman. After Atoman’s defeat he appears dead but is actually in a state of suspended animation. Superman clothes the villain in his lead-lined orange lightning insignia costume and buries him in a coffin. Unknown to the Superman, Atoman will awaken decades later (in the early 1980s) and complete an interdimensional time-leap to Earth-One—but that’s a story for the Silver Age chronology.

–World’s Finest Comics #20
Bruce hangs out at the Cosmopolitan Club and learns that coin collector and shop owner Mark Medalion recently sent some hired adventurers to a spot in the Atlantic not far from Gotham. The adventurers located a undersea treasure, but were immediately hijacked by pirates. Batman and Robin visit Medalion’s shop and witness the thieving hijackers steal a treasure map the wheelchair-bound Medalion. The Dynamic Duo takes another map and heads to the bayous of Louisiana where they brave the gator-filled swamps, defeat the villains, and retrieve the treasure–a chest filled with Aztec gold coins. Upon closer examination, however, Batman sees that the coins, while indeed made of pure gold, are not four-hundred-years-old but brand new. Back in Gotham, Medalion rises out of his wheelchair, revealing himself as counterfeiter Lew Cronin. Cronin had earlier melted down stolen bullion into fake treasure and hidden it across the US. Posing as the crippled Medalion, Cronin had planned (as he had before) to hire teams to retrieve the treasures, thus giving him legal claim to “legit” gold. Exposed, Cronin catches our heroes by surprise and nearly fries the Dynamic Duo in a kiln, but crime doesn’t pay. Cronin gets beat down and goes to jail.

–Detective Comics #116
It’s another trip to the past for our heroes courtesy of Professor Carter Nichols! This time, the Dynamic Duo is off to 13th century England where they meet Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men! Batman and Robin gallantly assist Robin Hood and his outlaws to defeat the Sheriff of Nottingham. Batman brings a pile of medieval weaponry back to the future as collectables. Among the trophies taken: a medieval knight’s helmet (as referenced in Batman #34, Part 4), a giant flail (as referenced in Batman #41), some spears, a horseman’s long-staff battle-axe (as referenced in Detective Comics #147), and several medieval outfits that will all go on mannequins (as referenced in Detective Comics #158). The Dark Knight puts all of these treasures into the Hall of Trophies.

–Batman #44, Part 2
Bruce meets with his acquaintance, famous explorer Rex Lamarr, and recent college grad Bill Jordan at the Natural History Museum. Jordan is excited to go on his first professional expedition overseas on behalf of the museum, but he is diagnosed with a heart condition and relegated to working inside the museum. A few days later, Batman and Robin tangle with the international supervillain known as The Globetrotter. Back at the museum, the Globetrotter captures Batman, Robin, and Jordan, but the trio escapes and are able to drug the Globetrotter and his henchmen with a rare African plant taken from the botanical wing in order to subdue them. The next day, Bruce has the doctors retest Jordan’s heart, and they find that he is fit as a fiddle. A few days later, Bruce, Dick, and Lamarr see off Jordan on his first official expedition. Afterward, Batman puts an African Hando Pygmy shield and spear set, liberated from the museum, into his Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #34, Part 4).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #34, Part 4. In an unspecified case, Batman collects what appears to be either an extended reach grabber or some kind of lobster claw staff. The Dark Knight adds this item to the Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #34, Part 4. Penguin escapes from prison and attempts to use an umbrella that squirts out napalm. Robin uses a shield made of asbestos to protect himself and the Dynamic Duo returns Penguin to jail. The “liquid fire umbrella” goes into the Hall of Trophies.

–Batman and Robin “Ch. 19: Alfred Claus” [Sunday newspaper strips 12/16/1945 to 12/23/1945]
December 23, 1945. Batman and Robin chase after the Larson Brothers and obtain their only clue, a card with an address on it. They go to the address, but are captured by the Larsons. Meanwhile, Alfred befriends a young boy who is too poor to receive any Christmas gifts this year. Alfred gets the boys address on a card, purchases some gifts, and returns to Wayne Manor where he dons a Santa Claus outfit. Of course, Alfred grabs the wrong card and prances into the deadly lair of the Larsons. The appearance of the bumbling Alfred Claus with a blinding flashbulb allows Batman and Robin to defeat their captors. Later, Alfred (still playing Santa), Batman, and Robin deliver gifts to the disadvantaged little tyke. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce develops the picture that Alfred snapped as he entered the Larson hideout and adds it to the Hall of Trophies along with the used flashbulb that was used to take the photo (as referenced in the 12/30/1945 Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip).

–Batman #33, Part 3
Christmas Eve, 1945. A heavy snowfall paints the town white and Batman and Robin take to the streets in a reindeer drawn sleigh. The Dynamic Duo recruits three down-on-their-luck men to play Santa Claus for three different charity events. One of the men, Jim Jocelyn, has escaped from an insane asylum—wrongfully sent their by his conniving cousins who wanted access to his wealthy fortune. When the Jocelyn cousins learn that their Uncle Jim is playing Santa, they decide to take him out. Unfortunately they don’t know which event Jim is performing at. Thus, the vile cousins kidnap all three Santas, and even manage to abduct Batman and Robin. The Santas, after being lined up, pull a Spartacus and all claim to be Jim Jocelyn, giving the Dynamic Duo enough time to emancipate themselves and kick some ass in front of an entire theater of overexcited kids.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #34, Part 4. Joker escapes from prison and concocts a scheme that involves wearing a sad clown mask. Robin sees through the ruse and the Dynamic Duo sends Joker back to jail. The sad clown mask goes into the Hall of Trophies.[6]

–Batman #34, Part 4
Having had such success on recent adventures, a cocky Robin begins bragging of his superhero prowess—to which Batman replies by offering him a challenge. Batman, with a twenty-four hour head-start, will disguise himself as a crook and blend into the Gotham underworld. Robin’s mission is to track him down and apprehend him. Despite Batman’s best efforts to hide in a seedy hotel, Robin is able to locate the Caped Crusader in less than a day and is about to take him down following a scuffle when gunfire erupts on the street below. Batman and Robin call a truce and bust the crooks. Back in the hotel, the Dynamic Duo discusses the continuation of the game, but Batman cheats and knocks Robin out with sleeping gas. Robin awakes locked in a cell inside the Batcave. Batman bets that he can’t escape and leaves. But when the Dark Knight returns, Robin is not only free, but lassos Batman to win the contest! Batman then orders Robin back into the cell for another challenge: the Boy Wonder must escape again, but using a different means. After two hours and no progress, Robin gives up. Batman reveals that the cage door was unlocked—the answer was simply to walk out.

–REFERENCE: In the 12/30/1945 Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip and Batman #38, Part 2. In a move long overdue, Bruce relocates the Hall of Trophies from Wayne Manor into the Batcave (as referenced in the 12/30/1945 Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip). Every single item is moved to the Batcave except for Bruce’s portrait painted by Pierre Antal. The damaged Antal is restored and then Bruce hangs it above the fireplace in the manor (as referenced in Batman #38, Part 2).

 

 

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: The new mayor goes unnamed in Batman #30, but we will see him again over the course of the next two years. In Detective Comics #121, we learn that the mayor’s son is named Chadwick Carfax. Thus, the mayor’s last name is likely Carfax as well.
  2. [2]SEAN GREEN: An interesting note about World’s Finest Comics #271 and the flashback to the conclusion of “Mystery of the Waxmen.” Since its original air-date, the conclusion to “Mystery of the Waxmen” has never been replayed (or apparently preserved), nor are scripts available. Therefore, it is highly likely that the “lost” conclusion to “Mystery of the Waxmen” was pieced together (or remembered or totally re-invented) by writer Roy Thomas in 1981. Backing this theory is a feature in World’s Finest Comics #223 (1974) about the early meetings between Batman and Superman on the Adventures of Superman series. The feature includes partial scripts from the second Batman/Superman radio story (“Dr. Bly’s Confidence Gang”). WFC #223 states that, to provide the “Dr. Bly” script, DC editors consulted the DC vaults (home to the most complete Superman files in the world), but ONLY for that SECOND story. Thus, the implication is that the original radio meeting between Batman and Superman (from “Waxmen”) was unavailable in 1974, further giving credence to the idea that Thomas’ “first meeting” excerpt from WFC #271, written six years later, was mostly made up.
  3. [3]SEAN GREEN / COLLIN COLSHER: Also note that the bulk of the Adventures of Superman radio show either stated outright or heavily implied that Batman and Robin were residents of Metropolis. This made it convenient for writers to put the Dynamic Duo quickly alongside Superman for narrative purposes. Originally, writers did the same thing for the first handful of World’s Finest Comics issues as well. Obviously, that was retconned and so should the radio show be retconned as well. Batman and Robin live in Gotham. Superman lives in Metropolis. Duh.
  4. [4]Credit to AARON SEVERSON, JAMES LANTZ, and SETH GREEN.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Judge Logan is NOT Gotham’s current DA, Tim Logan. It is possible that they are related, but they definitely are different characters.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Bill Finger and Dick Sprang, in Part 4 of Batman #34 makes reference to both Joker’s sad clown mask scheme and Penguin’s napalm umbrella. However, I cannot find any previous stories that they are actually referencing, hence the two notes placed here. This is curious since at no time prior has any Batman writer or artist added something to the Hall of Trophies that hasn’t been taken directly from a Batman tale of the past, no matter how obscure. Nearly every item that has ever been shown in the Hall of Trophies (besides various guns) can be found elsewhere (i.e. has a specific point of origin). Besides the sad clown mask and napalm umbrella, Part 4 of Batman #34 also includes what appears to be a blue claw staff or extend-o-reach claw grabber. Who knows where this item came from? I sure don’t, but I’ve added a note (see above) prior to Part 4 of Batman #34 to partially explain its existence. Be aware that while the adding-in of brand new unexplained trophies is novel in this issue, this practice will start happening quite a bit from this point forward.

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