Year Eighteen

1956

 

–Detective Comics #227
Batman and Robin bust Thayne and Borman, hired goons that serve crime lord Big Hugo. The next day, Batman begins an adjunct teaching position at the makeup school of his old mentor Barrett Kean. While Batman changes different costumes and disguises and regales the student body with his most famous tales involving the use of makeup, Lens Vorden, on behalf of Hugo, snaps a ton of photos, hoping to make a composite image that will reveal Batman’s secret ID. Robin catches wind of the plan and alerts Batman. The Dynamic Duo trails Vorden to Hugo’s hideout where Batman, dressed-up as Hugo, and Robin bust the crooks. Back at Kean’s school, Kean dresses up as Batman and continues the lecture. It is unknown whether or not Batman continues his adjunct position or if Kean continues it for him. Either is plausible for our timeline.

–Superman Family #216
Early February 1956. Perry White asks Superman to make an appearance alongside Batman at Lois and Clark’s third wedding anniversary surprise party. This obviously puts Superman in a pickle because he is Clark. But with Batman’s help they will pull it off. A few days later, the surprise is thrown at the Daily Star office with Bruce playing the role of Superman and Dick playing the role of Batman. Other guests in attendance are Perry White, Jimmy Olson, Lois’s sister Lucy Tompkins, Lucy’s husband George Tompkins, Lucy’s daughter Susie Tompkins, Doc, Flannelhead, Wilbur Wolfingham, Lana Lang, and Steve Bard. After the party wraps, Lois makes-out with “Superman” and Clark to determine who is her real husband. Sounds like some swingin’ fifties fun!

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #109 Part 3. Batman and Robin fight Verne Hainey’s gang again, but this time they are prepared. Batman sics a new invention called “the sleuth machine” on Hainey. The machine, fine tuned to track Hainey via radar and send the signal back to Batman, follows the crook to his hideout where Batman soon arrives and sends him to the slammer.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #98 Part 1. February 1956. Batman locates a witness, John Blair, needed for a trial in Gotham, but he’s in a remote mountain village that is snowed in. The Dynamic Duo rigs up the Batmobile with tank tread and snowmobile skis and collects the witness. To make it down the mountain, Batman and Robin build a makeshift plow out of tree branches and affix it to the front of the car. Blair makes it to the trial in time, but the Batmobile’s engine is damaged.

–Batman #98 Part 3
February 1956. The Batmobile is damaged from its recent trip to the snowy mountain village of Hilltown, which is bad luck for our heroes since there is a new racecar driving villain called The Racer in town. Batman puts a fake Batmobile outer frame on top of one of his regular cars, but it isn’t enough to take on the Racer, who easily evades them twice. Vicki Vale snaps a shot of the fake Batmobile, which worries Batman because Bruce’s motor registration number can be seen in the pic. Hoping to delay her from publishing the picture, Batman sends Vue Magazine a set of stories about his past exploits that deal specifically with the Batmobile, hoping it will take Vicki and her editor a while to write it all up. Eventually, Batman fixes the Batmobile, nabs the Racer, and throws Vicki of his trail.

–NOTE: Referenced in Batman #97 Part 1. Joker escapes from jail again.

–Batman #97 Part 1
Joker announces that he will be announcing each of his upcoming crimes with a riddle. After evading capture after a robbery at the auto race track and after a train heist, Joker tries to steal some money and escape on a weather ballon. Batman shoots down the balloon and hauls Joker back to jail.

–Batman #97 Part 2
Batman and Robin agree to play themselves for the live television broadcast of the reenactment of their war against Marty Kirk, who is set to be executed in a few hours. Batman and Robin film the first two parts and the watch the footage as it airs on national TV minutes later. As the Dynamic Duo prepare for the third and final sequence, Kirk’s henchmen kidnap rush onto the set and kidnap the other actors, threatening to kill them unless the governor pardons Kirk. On live TV, Batman, seemingly defeated, asks the governor to comply, which he does. Kirk goes free, but Batman soon busts him and retrieves the missing loot (missing since Kirk went to jail two years ago), thus explaining the reason Batman wanted Kirk free.

–Batman #97 Part 3
When Batman and Robin come across the scene of an attempted robbery and notice paw prints on the ground, they swing over to John Wilker’s cottage and pick up Ace the Bat-Hound! The Dynamic Duo follows Ace’s snout across town and learns that dog trainer Ross Millen has gone missing. The Dynamic Duo and Ace then locate Millen (and his dog Whitey) in the captivity of some robbers. The heroes free Millen and Whitey, after which Batman goes in disguise as Millen and Ace goes in disguise as Whitey to infiltrate the bad guys’ lair. The baddies are busted and Ace returns home to his master. After returning Ace home, Bruce puts a second trophy into the Ace case in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #103 Part 3).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #106 Part 1. Batman and Robin navigate to the bottom of the ocean in the Bat-Marine to snap some pictures of a sunken ship that was likely involved in a insurance scam. When the Bat-Marine becomes trapped in the wreckage, Batman and Robin leak oil to the surface in hopes that someone will see and rescue them. Sure enough, deep-sea diver Bill Seton spots the slick and saves the Dynamic Duo.

–Batman #98 Part 1
Bruce, Dick, and Professor Carter Nichols visit a Jules Verne exhibit, which includes a working model of the Nautilus and blueprints for a sonic raygun. When crooks working for the evil Simak steal the blueprints, Batman and Robin time-travel via the Nichols method to Paris in the year 1900. There they meet Verne, fill him in on what’s happening, and get him to design a defense for the sonic ray. Verne then accompanies the Dynamic Duo back to 1956! In present day, the anti sonic ray cone is built, allowing Batman to best Simak in a face-to-face confrontation. Batman, Robin, and Verne then nab Simak using the model Nautilus. Batman and Robin take Verne on a national tour to show him the marvels of the future before the famous writer returns to 1900.

[1]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #230. Batman poses for the master sculptor Brumer, who has been commissioned by the city to sculpt a new Batman statue for a new park.

–Detective Comics #229
Bruce and Dick watch highly rated TV show Man-to-Man, a talk show hosted by the charismatic John Waller. Bruce explains to Dick that Waller and his crew will be visiting the Batcave next week for a special edition of the show. A week later, Waller and his crew are driven in a sealed truck to the Batcave. We are told this episode of Man-to-Man is “unusual,” “unprecedented,” and that the crime lab is “revealed for the first time.” These descriptions might be true, but don’t forget that the Batcave has been written about in articles and books and been the focus of prior TV shows and museum exhibits. During the filming, the Crimesmith’s Mechanical Mobster robot gets activated and Batman and Robin tackle the monstrosity. After the Man-to-Man crew departs, Robin realizes that someone has stolen their microfilm file that contains “all their sleuthing secrets.” After a cursory investigation, Batman learns that one of the film techs was an impostor, Mart Mathers. Batman trails Mathers to the organ factory hideout of his boss, gangster John Creeden. Eventually, Batman and Robin don scuba gear and defeat Creeden in the bowels of an underground reservoir, retrieving the microfilm in the process.

[2]

[3]

Batman #99 Part 3
Batman dramatically narrates the tale of “The Phantom of the Batcave,” which occurred a few years ago, to an unknown listener.

–NOTE: Referenced in Detective Comics #230. A new red-haired and mustachioed Mad Hatter debuts and begins a crime spree that involves stealing dozens of famous hats. This new Hatter is so crazy and obsessed with copying the original that he even calls himself “Jervis Tetch,” which is the real name of the original Hatter.

–Detective Comics #230
Mad Hatter II attacks Batman at a luncheon at the Green Derby Restaurant and tries to steal his cowl to add to his collection of famous headgear. Robin stops Mad Hatter II, but the latter escapes. The next day, Batman returns to Brumer’s art studio to finish posing for the park statue that will be erected in his likeness and honor. Brumer asks Batman to remove his cape and cowl, which Batman does behind a screen. Luckily, Robin realizes that Brumer is actually the Mad Hatter II in disguise and chases him away, but not before the Mad Hatter II secretly sprays Batman’s cowl with a radioactive agent. (Mad Hatter II knows that Batman has a public appointment to tour an atomic plant the next day). Sure enough, the next day Batman’s radioactive cowl responds to the cobalt in the atomic plant, forcing the Dark Knight to remove it in favor of a hazmat hood. Mad Hatter II flees with the cowl, but Batman and Robin soon find him and bust him.

–Batman #100 Part 1 Intro
The city of Plainville changes its name to Batmantown and becomes a Batman-themed place to live. This prompts a visit from Batman, who puts on a good face while meeting the Mayor of Batmantown, but later tells Robin that he is concerned with the idea.

–Batman #100 Part 3 Intro
Batman announces that he will award a four year scholarship in a criminology program to the high schooler that invents the best new “Bat-weapon.”

[4]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #234. Bruce has always played a bit of polo now and then, but he now starts playing regularly and quite often. This is likely to keep up appearances with the socialite and business crowds that he travels in. Although, it is safe to assume, as a highly competitive person, Bruce probably likes to play polo.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #105. Early May. Batman, Robin, and Superman defeat some crooks in the GiantLand amusement park.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #126 Part 1. Batman befriends Alaskan mining tycoon Chalmers.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #102 Part 2. Bruce and Dick travel to Ancient Babylon via the Cater Nichols’ time-travel method in order to solve the ancient mysteries of the Babylonian civilization. In roughly 1044 BCE, Batman and Robin get involved in a small civil rebellion against the evil King Beladin. Batman, who is hailed as the bat god Zorn, helps depose Beladin and return the noble King Lanak to the throne, after which Beladin’s name is stricken from the record books. Bruce and Dick then phase back to the present.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #244. Batman and Robin respond to a police call about some bandits holed up on a movie lot. Batman debuts the Seeing-Eye Batarang, a Batarang that acts as a camera spy drone, flying overhead and snapping an aerial photo. Using the photo for a reference to attack, Batman and Robin easily bust the bandits. Afterward, they put the Seeing-Eye Batarang onto the Batarang board in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #244).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #242. Bruce attends a society gala and is filmed for a newsreel.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #106 Part 1. Batman and Robin apprehend an art thief at the museum, but can’t locate the stolen golden statuettes. When a baby in a nearby stroller starts crying, Batman checks under its blankets and finds the incriminating evidence, much to the surprise of the tot and his momma.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #103 Part 1. At a “Sportsmen’s Exhibition” in Gotham, some crooks swipe a diamond belonging to Indian monarch Rajah Vishti. Batman recovers the diamond and busts the crooks.

–Detective Comics #231[5]
When Birrel Binter escapes from jail (after being there for seventeen years!), Batman rushes out to catch him, but orders Robin to stay behind. Robin mopes around the Batcave and accidentally sneaks a peek at a photo in Batman’s personal file: a photo of Batman and a little Batman, signed by “Batman Junior, John Vance.” Robin goes to Vance’s apartment and finds Batman and Vance, now in his thirties, fighting Binter there. A confused Robin, with Batman and Vance, chases Binter back to his lair inside a theater prop warehouse. (Why are there so many theater prop warehouses in Gotham?). Binter escapes and Batman orders Robin to go back home. Eventually, however, the Dynamic Duo gets trapped in a dry-docked submarine only to escape and take down Binter. Batman then tells Robin the story of Batman Junior and how Binter was shaking down Vance to learn Batman’s secret ID.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #101 Part 1. Batman leaps from the Batplane onto a blimp to stop some gun-wielding aviators.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #101 Part 3. Batman goes on an unspecified case that nets him some new trophies (like literal gold and silver cup trophies) and a gladiator helmet.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #101 Part 3. A random man deduces Batman’s identity and mails him a cape and cowl with a label stitched on the inside that says “Bruce Wayne is Batman.” Before the man can reveal the secret to the public, he dies, taking the secret with him to the grave. Batman places the cape and cowl into the Hall of Trophies.

–World’s Finest Comics #82[6]
After watching Dr. Carter Nichols give a speech about the 17th century mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask, Superman flies to Gotham and asks Bruce and Dick if he can accompany them to the past to find out the truth. Thus, Clark, Bruce, and Dick jaunt back to 1669 Italy via the Nichols time travel method. (1669 is the historical date when the Man in the Iron Mask was jailed). There, Superman, Batman, and Robin join forces with d’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers to assault the Fortress of Pignerol where the Man in the Iron Mask is being held. (NOTE: WFC #82 completely ignores the fact that Batman has met and befriended d’Artagnan and the Musketeers before. This is completely wrong.) When the Man in the Iron Mask is moved to the Bastille, Batman and Robin sneak into King Louis XIV’s quarters at Versailles and accidentally knock him out. This allows Batman to pose as King Louis to gain entry into the prison. Inside the Bastille, the Man in the Iron Mask removes his helmet to reveal none other than Superman! Superman had smashed into the Bastille earlier in the day, rescued the real prisoner, Count Ferney, and replaced him. Once the real King Louis arrives, Superman explains that Ferney’s jailer, Bourdet, is the real criminal. King Louis puts Bourdet in the Iron Mask and sentences him to life in the Bastille. When they phase back to the present, Clark explains to Nichols that the Man in the Iron Mask was actually Ferney and Bourdet. As we’ve learned before, on Earth-2, Alexandre Dumas was not a novelist, but a historian and biographer. However, Dumas’ tale of the Musketeers’ rescue of the Man in the Iron Mask, who in his story was revealed as Louis XIV’s twin brother, must either be pure incorrect speculation or Dumas’ first flight of fancy into fiction writing.

–Detective Comics #230 Epilogue
A few weeks after the arrest of the Mad Hatter, Bruce and Dick watch as the super-villain is sentenced to a long prison stay and hauled off to jail.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #104 Part 3. Batman and Robin, using the Bat-Marine, save the life of Professor John Briggs, president of the 50 Fathoms Club, a group that only allows undersea specialists to join. Batman and Robin are made honorary members.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #103 Part 1. Batman helps Captain Hobart of the Gotham City Harbor Patrol to bring some submarine-operating pirates to justice.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #106 Part 1. Batman and Robin travel all the way to Coast City to apprehend some crooks. During a high speed pursuit, the crooks crash into a power pole, which disrupts power to half the city. Meanwhile, Batman takes a bullet in the chest and is rushed into emergency surgery under the care of gifted surgeon Walter Thorne. Thorne saves Batman’s life. Despite having a bullet dangerously close to his heart, Batman will make a miraculously fast recovery. We must, for the sake of some realism, assume that the Caped Crusader is sidelined for the next few weeks at least.

–Batman #100 Part 1
Batman nabs swindler Keene Wilder at the circus. Wilder spills the beans that mobster Dane Barsh is planning something big in Batmantown. Bruce and Dick disguise themselves as wandering acrobats and tryout for roles in the Batmantown Batman Pageant, easily getting the jobs. Despite Barsh’s suspicions, the Dynamic Duo busts him and his mob when they try a big heist during the festival parade. Afterward, Batman tells the Mayor of Batmantown to change the name of his city back to Plainville. Since the mayor is worried about commerce, Batman delivers a national television message exclaiming that Plainville is a great place to live. A few days later Batman and Robin return to check up on Plainville and everything is A-OK.

–Batman #100 Part 2
A saboteur screws with the landing of a shipment of zoo animals into Gotham, causing the animals to escape. Batman nabs a bunch of animals, including an ape with a diamond choker. The Dynamic Duo brings the saboteur, Ralph Kier, to justice. He had been trying to sneak the stolen diamonds through customs by sticking them on the ape and setting the animals free.

–Batman #100 Part 3
Batman and Robin collect all the new “Bat-weapon” inventions from the high schoolers entered into the Batman Scholarship contest. Most of them are dumb, but Batman and Robin narrow it down to four finalists. In order to decide which is the winner, they will test them in the field against mobster Stilts Morgan. Weapon #1 is an clear inflatable speedboat, which fails because it only has a fifteen minute fuel supply. Weapon #2 is a pair of suction-cup shoes, which don’t work in the rain. Batman busts Morgan with a good ol’ Batarang and heads home. The next night, the Dynamic Duo uses weapon #3, walkie-talkies with cameras and video screens, while fighting crooks in a warehouse. Batman and Robin bust the crooks, but the invention fails the test when the walkies’ signal cuts out. Two nights later, Batman uses weapon #4, the Bat-Kite, to take aerial photos of some helicopter baddies. The Dynamic Duo then use the Bat-Kite to scale a building and then to knock out the bad guys. Later, Batman awards the scholarship to young Jeff Keating and adds the Bat-Kite to his permanent repertoire.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #108 Part 1. Batman uses the Bat-Kite to scale a mountain and bust the notorious Fenton Brothers.

Batman #101 Part 3
July 1956. Hurricane Hannah strikes Gotham. Alfred accidentally gives Batman the cape and cowl from the Hall of Trophies—the one with his secret ID stitched on the inside. When the gale force winds of the storm blow Batman’s cape and cowl off and into the street, he quickly switches to a backup, but is horrified when Alfred calls and tells of his grave error. The cape first winds up in the hands of a French stuntman who wears it to help him gain a movie role. Thankfully, the stuntman is illiterate, but the cape blows away yet again. At one point, the cape gets stuck on a light post and casts a Batman-esque shadow that scares off some crooks. After that, a down-on-his-luck fellow finds and wears the cape, saves a cat that is trapped on a ledge, and is inspired to turn his life around. When Batman finally recovers the trophy cape, he is surprised to discover that the writing has been erased from the label! Clark Kent, in town to help out with the hurricane relief, pops up and tells Batman that he erased it with his super-vision. Good lookin’ out, Superman!

[7]

–Batman #103 Part 1
Late August. Gotham’s Annual “Batman Day” celebration is held. Bruce, being the man “closest” to Batman, is interviewed on live TV. During the interview a boom mike strikes him accidentally, scratching his chin. With Batman due up next, Bruce has no time to conceal the cut that would undoubtedly give away his identity. When Rajah Vishti gives Batman a sword as a gift, Batman distracts the camera close-up by dropping and breaking the gift. When Judge Albert Hagen gives Batman statuettes of the Dynamic Duo, Batman pulls the same stunt, “accidentally” breaking his gifts in order to prevent the camera from getting a close-up on his face. When Captain Hobart of the Harbor Police gives Batman a snow globe, Batman pulls the same stunt for the third time. Afterward, Batman covers his facial wound with makeup and then reveals to the public that he did what he did in order to “save someone he knows well.” Later, Batman puts the broken gifts into the Hall of Trophies.

–Detective Comics #234
Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon fight Jay Caird at the Gotham Research Center. Caird blasts the Dynamic Duo with a sonic beam and then steals the weapon. Gordon is shocked when Batman and Robin come-to but have complete amnesia and can’t remember who they are. Gordon then takes the heroes to the GCPD HQ and gives them all of his detailed files on them, hoping it will jog their memories. It doesn’t, but the master detectives eventually deduce that they are Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson! After regaining all of their memories, Batman and Robin take down Caird and earn the sonic ray blaster as the newest addition to their Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #238. The checkered-suit-wearing, death-trap-using super-villain known as Checkmate debuts to give Batman and Robin a hassle.

–World’s Finest Comics #83[8]
Batman, Robin, and Superman attend the annual Gotham Police Ball. Afterward, a man wearing a Humpty Dumpty costume collapses on the street, luring the Terrific Trio into a series of bizarre crimes and riddle clues that all revolve around a nursery rhyme theme. Eventually, Batman, Robin, and Superman discover that the “crooks” are actors and everything has been assiduously staged but harmless. What’s going on? R. Melville’s “Adventure Incorporated” is at work! Adventure Incorporated supplies its customers with a real-life simulation of whatever adventure they can dream up. In this instance, the McKenna Brothers wanted to play Batman, Robin, and Superman. Melville’s task was to ambush them with the fake nursery rhyme crimes, but the brothers got the date wrong and Melville ambushed the real heroes. When a legit gangster gets word of the McKenna fantasy, he decides that he can make a name for himself by attacking the fake heroes. But of course, the gangster is in for a big surprise and gets walloped by the real deals. Later, Melville explains everything to the Dynamic Duo and Superman.

–Batman #101 Part 1
Batman prevents his own assassination at the hands of criminal John Vair, who spills the beans that his boss Pack Purdy sent him to do the job in order to make sure the Dark Knight couldn’t interfere in a secret heist. To figure out what the heist is, Batman decides to disguise himself as Vair, report back that the mission has been accomplished, and stay on as Vair for a few days to ensure the ruse is believable. Robin heads out in a brand new Robinmobile (the old one hadn’t been used in ages) and Commissioner Gordon replaces the Batsignal with a Robinsignal. When the press reports that Batman is dead, Vair reveals his plan to rob a docked ship. Batman returns and busts his sorry ass.

–Batman #101 Part 2
Bruce and Dick attend a benefit show featuring the stars of vaudeville. During the show, all the money is stolen. Batman recruits the stars of vaudeville onto a superhero team to help him shake down suspects and help find the loot. The amazing team of Batman, Robin, Scortini the Magician, Elmo Forbes, Leo the Mighty, Carey the Wire-Walker, the India Rubber Man, and Victor Voice takes down mobster Jay Jandron and recovers the stolen receipts.

–Detective Comics #235[9]
Bruce and Dick clean out the Wayne Manor attic and find an old diary, sound film, and old Batman costume belonging to his late parents. The diary and film reveal that when Bruce was around three-years-old, his folks held a “winged creatures” costume ball where his dad, Dr. Thomas Wayne, dressed up in the proto-Batman costume! A gangster named Lew Moxon crashed the party and forced Bruce’s father to perform emergency surgery on him to remove a bullet from his shoulder. Thomas removed the bullet but then took it upon himself to punch out Moxon and take him to jail! Moxon is sentenced to ten years in jail. After serving a partial term—(it is impossible for him to have served a full term as Bill Finger writes in this story)—Moxon hires Joe Chill to kill the Waynes! Bruce is stunned and realizes that not only was his repressed memory of his dad’s Batman costume the subconscious inspiration for his own Batman costume, but also that his parents’ murders weren’t random at all! Batman then busts Moxon, but the crook has amnesia thanks to a head injury and has no recollection of the Wayne hit, passing a lie detector test to earn his freedom. An angry Batman hunts the released Moxon and wears his father’s old Batman costume. Moxon sees the Thomas Wayne version of the Batman costume and remembers what he has done. Moxon flees but runs into traffic and gets killed by a truck. Afterward, the Dark Knight places his dad’s Batman costume into the Hall of Trophies.

–Batman #102 Part 2
Crook Brand Bartor boldly walks the streets of Gotham wearing a Batman costume until he is arrested under the city’s “Anti-Batman Impersonation Laws” (which has been in effect for thirteen years now). At his trial, Bartor claims that an archeologist, Dr. Horace Haley, has discovered a three-thousand-year-old Babylonian cave painting that shows someone dressed as Batman. (This is Bartor’s defense, which implies that anyone should be able to wear a Batman costume if people were doing it three thousand years ago—a dubious claim even if it were true). Bruce and Dick quickly realize that the cave painting is a detail of one of their prior Carter Nichols’ time-trips to Babylon. Batman recalls that while on the Babylon trip he had been mistaken for the bat god Zorn (of which there was a large statue inside the Palace of the Hanging Gardens). The Dynamic Duo anonymously phones Dr. Haley and leads him to the spot of their adventures, now located in modern Iraq. There, it is confirmed that the remnants of the ancient Zorn statue exist. Bartor is jailed and the Anti-Batman Impersonation Laws continue.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #102 Part 3. A criminal puts explosives into a fake Stone Age hammer and delivers it to the Gotham Natural History Museum in an attempt to murder the head of the Anthropology Department. Batman busts the crook and takes the hammer.

–Batman #102 Part 3
Immediately after the previous museum case, Batman places the fake Stone Age hammer into his Hall of Trophies. While out on patrol, Batman and Robin nearly drive into the famous actor Carlin, who was playing the role of Goth the Stone Age Man when he hit his head and came to actually believe he was a caveman. The Batmobile is totaled and Carlin runs off. Later, the Dynamic Duo is shocked to discover Carlin has infiltrated the Batcave and claimed it as his own! Carlin nearly blows them to smithereens with the explosive fake Stone Age hammer trophy, but the Dynamic Duo bests him in combat. Naturally, Carlin bumps his head again and later awakens with no memories of his time as a crazed caveman.

–Detective Comics #236
Evil scientist Wallace Waley gets released from prison and sells a bunch of anti-Batman weaponry to crooks. The anti-Batman stuff—which includes the installation of a giant reflecting billboard that screws with the Batsignal, oil shooters to slip up the Batmobile, anti-Batarangs to slice up repelling ropes, and smoke machines to black out visibility for the Batplane—all causes problems for the Dynamic Duo. In order to fight back, Batman unveils a whole new arsenal: the Bat-Track (an armored Bat-Tank), jumping spring shoes, the UFO-like Bat-Aerodyne, the Bat-Flash Ring, and the cape parachute. Eventually, Batman and Robin bust Waley at the observatory.

[10]

–Batman #103 Part 2
Batman agrees to help out Ed Stinson with a start-up company that will act as an employment agency for ex-cons. With Batman’s support, Stinson is able to place a bunch of rehabilitated ex-cons in good positions. However, when Stinson’s workers all disappear overnight, along with stolen loot from their places of employment, things look bad for Stinson’s organization. But Batman sees that something is not as it seems, especially when the Dynamic Duo focuses on some crooks that get away with materials to make a camouflage roof net. Eventually, Batman tracks the materials to a hidden camouflaged cabin owned by crook Ralph Bellows, who had stolen the loot and kidnapped the ex-cons in order to blame Stinson’s company. Batman puts Bellows in jail and exonerates the victims.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #103 Part 3 and Batman #103 Part 3. Batman borrows Ace from John Wilker to help bust some clown crooks at the circus (as referenced in a newsreel film depicted in Batman #103 Part 3). After the circus heist wraps, Bruce puts Ace’s 3rd trophy into the Ace case in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Batman #103 Part 3).

–Batman #103 Part 3
John Wilker goes on long vacation, leaving Ace the Bat-Hound at Wayne Manor. Batman, Robin, and Ace track down wanted criminal Baldy Gore and put him behind bars. Afterward, Bruce puts Gore’s handkerchief, which Ace used to sniff him out, into Ace’s trophy case as the fourth official criminal trophy belonging to the trusty doggie. A few days later, some Hollywood bigwigs approach Batman about making a Bat-Hound film. Batman agrees to lend Ace to the picture in exchange for a large donation to charity. Not only that, but Batman and Robin agree to act in the movie as well. While Batman, Robin, and Ace begin immediate production on the flick, Baldy Gore escapes from Gotham Penitentiary,[11] throws on a wig, and pretends to be the prop man on the film, putting the Dynamic Duo in dangerous situations repeatedly. Eventually, Ace alerts the heroes and they send Gore back to jail.

–Batman #105 Part 3
December 1956—the year is specifically mentioned in the story. While suiting up in the Batcave, a strange missile shaped rocket-ship phases through the rock wall and lands on the ground in front of the Dynamic Duo. There is no pilot, but the craft has a Bat-symbol on its side. The Dynamic Duo enter the Bat-Missile, which immediately rockets toward GCPD HQ, powered by a telepathic link to its pilots. Downtown, Commissioner Gordon enlists Batman and Robin to go after wanted criminal Gunner Tharp. The Bat-Missile shoots all around the city and deep under the sea, phasing through buildings and living creatures alike. When word gets out to the public that Batman has a new phasing vehicle, Tharp decides to go on the lam and stay hidden. Wanting to lure Tharp out of hiding, Batman pretends to put the Bat-Missile to bed and returns to using the regular old Batmobile. Sure enough, Tharp comes out of hiding to challenge Batman, but the joke is on Tharp. Batman has merely dressed the Bat-Missile up to look like the Batmobile. With phasing power at his disposal, Batman easily puts Tharp and company in shackles. Back in the Batcave, the secret of the Bat-Missile is shockingly revealed. A Batman from the very far future appears and explains that he sent the Bat-Missile back through time to assist the Dark Knight. Now, using the final chromium units of his era, he has come to say hello (and goodbye) and retrieve his Bat-Missile. With a smile and a wave, the future Batman disappears back to his time.

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[14]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #239. Batman defeats the Magnet Mob, a highly unoriginal group that uses a giant magnet to commit crimes. Despite having dealt with giant magnets on several occasions before, Batman puts the Magnet Mob’s giant magnet into the Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #239. Batman defeats the Ball-Bearing Bandits. The Dark Knight then puts a giant ball-bearing into the Hall of Trophies.

–Batman #104 Part 1
Batman and Robin bust some bazooka-wielding gangsters that work for the notorious John Varden. The next day they go looking for Varden himself, but in the process, a smalltime private dick by the name of Thaddeus Crane accidentally stumbles upon an unmasked Dynamic Duo atop an apartment roof. While Crane vows not to tell their secret IDs, the fact that he knows quickly becomes public and he becomes the toast of the town. Due to his newfound fame, Crane gets hired on some big bodyguard/protection gigs that are way out of his league, prompting Batman and Robin to trail him and secretly prevent several robberies in his name. Batman then allows Crane to be kidnapped by Varden so that he can trail Crane again and get the jump on Varden. The plan works and Varden goes behind bars. Later, in the Batcave, Crane appears and removes a human-like mask to reveal none other than Alfred! There never was a “Thaddeus Crane.” The whole elaborate thing had been set up by Batman, Robin, and Alfred to catch Varden.

–Batman #104 Part 3
Batman and Robin attend their first 50 Fathoms Club meeting and learn about the supposed existence of a large fire-breathing Tyrannosaurus-like creature that lives in the sea off the coast of a small Pacific island, called Babonga by the locals. (This story is clearly heavily influenced by the Godzilla film, which would have been new and very popular at the time of publication). A few days later, Batman, Robin, and the adventurers of the 50 Fathoms Club board a ship and head into the Pacific with the goal of capturing Babonga alive. Sure enough, upon arrival at the aforementioned remote location, the towering Babonga appears and attacks the ship. After an dealing with an assault by a mystery club member and another confrontation with Babonga, Batman deduces that the mystery person doesn’t want Babonga captured alive. After a near-death experience in a bathysphere, Batman is able to knock out Babonga with a large dose of tranquilizer. Back aboard the ship above, Batman exposes club frogman Devoe as the villain and reveals the villain’s endgame: to kill Babonga and hold sole possession of Babonga’s egg, which only he knew about. The 50 Fathoms Club returns to Gotham with the living find of the century while Batman keeps the egg in an incubator in the Hall of Trophies, noting that it won’t hatch for another 100 years.

–Batman #104 Part 2
December 1956. Batman and Robin recover some missing diamonds belonging to Rajah Punjab only to be attacked by Sparkles Grady and his mob. During the melee, Batman breaks his ankle! (This break must be a small partial fracture in order to keep our timeline running smoothly. However, be aware that Batman is probably in a cast for a month and then rehabbing for a couple weeks after that, starting now.) With Batman sidelined, Robin substitutes for him as the host of the debut show at Gotham’s new open-air arena: The Batman Exposition. The Expo contains dozens of oversized Batman art pieces, including parade balloons, statues, robots, parade floats, and more. When Sparkles Grady, watching the festivities on TV, notices that Robin still has the Rajah’s diamonds attached to his utility belt, he goes after the Boy Wonder. Robin fends of a rogue giant Batman robot and captures Grady and his men using a blinding Batman firework and an oversized cape and cowl as a lasso.

 

 

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #98 Part 2 is non canon on Earth-2 (but canon on Earth-1) because Bruce is referred to as a “playboy.” Thanks to late 1970s retcons, Bruce is married at this point.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #99 Part 1 is non-canon on Earth-2 (but canon on Earth-1) because Bruce is referred to as a “playboy.” Thanks to late 1970s retcons, Bruce is married at this point.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #99 Part 2 originally took place here as well, but it cannot be canon on Earth-2 because it makes heavy reference to the contradictory fact that Batman never used guns in his crime-fighting career. On Earth-2, Batman did use guns early on, only adopting his “vow to never use firearms” until Year Three. Later retcons placed heavy emphasis on this fact. Thus, this part of Batman #99 must occur on Earth-1 only.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #81 originally took place here, but thanks to retcons, Clark and Lois are already married, hence the issue’s removal and move from the Earth-2 timeline to the Earth-1 timeline.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: For some, Detective Comics #231 is hard to rationalize on the Earth-2 timeline because it is written in 1956 (two years after Showcase #4, which debuts the proto-concept of Earth-1 and 2) yet still flashes-back to a Year One where there exists a Batcave and modern Batmobile. However, there is absolutely no way to prove that Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff ever had any intention of writing this story for a new Batman on a new Earth in 1956. In fact, the much more Bat-authoritative Bill Finger and Dick Sprang made the same continuity error as far back as 1945! Remember, as far as we know, nobody at DC definitively was writing a new Batman for a new Earth until after the debut of the JLA in 1960. Detective Comics #231 may be guilty of continuity errors, but it is not an issue effected by the retcons of the 1970s and 1980s.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #82, despite containing the egregious continuity error of completely ignoring the prior d’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers adventure, is indeed canon on Earth-2. Even though WFC #82 was written in 1956 (two years after Showcase #4, which debuted the proto-concept of Earth-1 and 2), there is absolutely no way to prove that its creators had any intention of writing this story for a new Batman on a new Earth. Remember, as far as we know, nobody at DC definitively was writing a new Batman for a new Earth until after the debut of the JLA in 1960. Much like Detective Comics #231, WFC #82 may be guilty of a bad continuity error, but it is not a comic book effected by the retcons of the 1970s and 1980s, so it cannot rightly be moved onto the Earth-1 timeline.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #233, which originally took place here, is non-canon on Earth-2 and must be moved to Earth-1’s timeline. Detective Comics #233 features the debut of Batwoman Kathy Kane! Thanks to retcons from the late 70s and early 80s, Batwoman has already debuted and retired by now. Therefore, this issue of ‘tec must be canon on Earth-1.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: WFC #83 is a new alternate version of the debut of Adventure Incorporated, which was first told in the Batman and Robin Sunday newspaper strip (“Ch. 10: There was a Crooked Man…”), which ran from 11/12/1944 to 12/31/1944. Thus, WFC #83 effectively renders that old Sunday strip arc (“There was a Crooked Man…”) non-canon. For anyone thinking that “There was a Crooked Man…” should stay canon on Earth-2 and WFC #83 should take place on Earth-1: That might wrap things up in a nice neat little package, but it would be wrong. There is absolutely nothing in WFC #83 that is effected by retcons from the 1970s or 1980s. Therefore, it cannot and should not go on Earth-1, no matter if it seems like an easy fix.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: The plot of Detective Comics #235 contains some continuity issues that must be addressed. First, the plot revolves heavily around Bruce finding and viewing an old sound film made before his parents were killed. Sound film would have been extremely rare at the time of Bruce’s parents’ murders in the mid 1920s. In fact, the type of sound film that is shown in ‘tec #235 most likely would have been impossible to produce in those days. However, since this story doesn’t contradict any of the various retcon changes from the 1970s and 1980s, it must remain canon on Earth-2. We must simply assume that sound film came into existence earlier in the DCU, or possibly that it was made available to the ultra rich. WWII technology was more advanced in the DCU than in real life, so it is a safe assumption to think that technology in other industries would be more advanced than in real life in the 20s too.

    Second, the plot of ‘tec #235 also revolves heavily around the fact that Lew Moxon serves a ten year jail sentence, which if true would mean that Bruce is around thirteen-years-old when his parents are murdered. In 1955/1956, it would seem that writers Edmond Hamilton and Bill Finger were trying to re-write past events so that Bruce was indeed a teen when his parents died—‘tec #226 also backs ‘tec #235 in this regard. However, all other writers during the 1950s reflect a version of events where Bruce is around nine-years-old when his parents pass on, which is what Bob Kane and Bill Finger wrote originally in 1939/1940. Why Finger changed his mind is beyond me, but in any event, only these two ‘tec issues show the idea of Bruce being a teen when his parents croak. Thus, that idea must be ignored as a continuity error and Moxon must be sentenced to ten years imprisonment but only serve a partial term. Now, please be aware, dear reader, that this is not a retcon timeline erasure moment. However, be aware that later 1980s issues, such as America vs. The Justice Society of America #1 and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 reflect the version of history where Bruce was around nine-years-old when his folks died (as Kane and Finger had originally intended).

    All of the events of ‘tec #235 are also canonized on Earth-1 thanks to shot-for-shot flashbacks shown in The Untold Legend of the Batman (1980). Because of this, many historians like to make ‘tec #235 non-canon on Earth-2 and only canon on Earth-1, thus providing an easy fix for the sound film problem and the Moxon jail term/Bruce age problem. However, this is wrong. I cannot stress enough that ‘tec #235 does not violate any future retcon changes and therefore must remain canon on Earth-2. (The flashback in The Untold Legend of the Batman, while exactly the same panel-for-panel, still merely becomes a “flashback notation” on the Earth-1 timeline. It does not move the story from one timeline to the other. Remember, references or flashbacks in new continuities work in a “copy-and-paste” fashion, not a “cut-and-paste” fashion.)

  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #84 originally took place here, but it violates several late 70s/early 80s retcons. One, it makes reference to Superman’s time as Superboy, something that is later retconned to only have happened on Earth-1. Two, it also ignores the marriage between Lois and Clark. Therefore, this story is non canon on Earth-2, but canon on Earth-1.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Gotham Penitentiary is not to be confused with Gotham City Prison (also known as the Gotham City Penitentiary) or the State Prison (also known as the State Penitentiary). Gotham Pen is by far the most secure prison in the Gotham City area, with Baldy Gore being the only person to escape from within its restrictive walls for the past ten years. The aforementioned Gotham City Pen and State Pen have been the regular homes to Penguin, Joker, and other big-time villains. Makes you wonder why they never went into the more secure Gotham Pen?
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #237, which originally took place here, is non-canon on Earth-2 and must be moved to Earth-1’s timeline. Why? Because the plot revolves around the fact that the public believes Bruce Wayne to be assassinated. In order to keep his secret ID intact, Bruce stays “dead” for a while and assumes a new false ID as a cabbie named Barney Warren. It would be impossible for this story to appear as it does without including Selina Wayne, who undoubtedly would have relocated with Bruce and been an integral part of this tale were her marriage a thing that existed in the 50s.
  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #85 revolves around Superman and Batman pretending to be fighting for the hand of the fair Princess Varina in order to create a ruse that will help them flush out some baddies. Meanwhile, a jealous Lois Lane and Vicki Vale follow. There are a few ways to reconcile this story on Earth-2, but they are kinda pretty big stretches. That being said, WFC #85 should be canon on Earth-1 instead—as it is in violation of the fact that Superman and Batman are both married.
  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #86, which originally took place here, is non-canon on Earth-2 and canon on Earth-1 because it ignores the fact that Clark and Lois are married and that Lois knows Batman’s secret ID.

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