Year 2

(1968)

 

–NOTE: In Detective Comics #311. Catwoman officially reforms, retiring from a life of crime.

–REFERENCE: In DC Super-Stars #14. Batman and Robin bust and escaped Two-Face, who fully establishes himself as a crazed double-themed super-villain.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #85. Batman meets and befriends Vue Magazine photographer Vicki Vale, who is obsessed with finding out his secret ID.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #208. Linda Page breaks-up with Bruce. Bruce rebounds and begins dating Vicki Vale, who is desperately trying to find out Batman’s secret ID and is convinced that Bruce is Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #208—originally told in Batman #73, Part 2. Bruce’s new girlfriend Vicki Vale is hell bent on proving that he is Batman. Vicki rushes over to Wayne Manor claiming that her life is in danger. While Alfred tends to her, Batman and Robin visit Vicki’s apartment. Upon arrival, Batman spots a hidden microphone planted by Vicki with the intention of recording Bruce and Dick exposing themselves as superheroes. Batman turns on a fan to block out any conversation and then rummages through Vicki’s apartment, finding a few snapshots of gangster Keys Bennett’s new hideout. Batman and Robin bust Bennett then realize that Vicki set them up at her apartment. Batman shoots back and records a false message as Bruce that makes it seem like he definitely isn’t Batman. Later, Vicki gloats, expecting to expose them. Of course, with the new dialogue, Bruce wins and his secret is safe.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Super-Stars #14—also referenced in Batman #234 and originally told in Detective Comics #80. Batman recaptures an escaped Two-Face, who gets plastic surgery and makes a full healthy recovery, regaining his sanity in the process.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #131, Part 2. Batman busts one of the senior partners of the Gotham Gem Company, Ted Greaves. Greaves is sentenced to two years in prison.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #225. Gotham shuts down its City Prison and reopens a brand new “escape proof facility,” which Batman and Robin tour. Note that the old Gotham City Prison is left abandoned and will be referred to as “Old Gotham City Prison” from this point forward. The new prison is simply known either as “Gotham City Prison” or “Gotham City Jail.” There also exists a “State Prison” (also called “State Penitentiary”) just outside of Gotham and also an Alcatraz-like “Gotham Bay Prison” on an island in Gotham Bay. Gotham Bay Prison is also referred to as “Gotham Island Prison.” Therefore, I will refer to it as “Gotham Bay Island Prison.”

–Detective Comics #225
After capturing criminal John Larrow, Batman prepares to depart for a short absence in Pacific City for a Criminologists’ Convention. While he is gone, the Gotham Gazette sponsors a special fundraiser for the Police Widows and Orphans Fund where the highest donators will get to act as “Batman for a Day!” The four winners will accompany Robin, wear a Bat-costume that has an exposed face hole, and work out of a temporary Batcave. The first substitute Batman is Jasper Smively, a nerdy Harold Lloyd lookalike. The next is ham actor Rodney Random. Luckily, nothing too crazy happens and everything goes smoothly. Day Three Batman is none other than Commissioner Gordon! Gordon proves that he’s got some spunk in him and proves himself to be quite a rough-and-tumble character when need be, punching out a bunch of crooks. When John Larrow supposedly plans something sinister from within the walls of the brand new Gotham City Prison, Robin telegrams Batman to come home early. Batman comes back immediately and, as Bruce, donates an ample amount of moolah to the GCPD and earns the right to be “Batman for a Day.” Batman, Robin, and Alfred stop Larrow from enacting an elaborate escape plan.

–World’s Finest Comics #80
The Gotham Gazette is going out of business unless it can increase readership. Editor John Hall pleads with Gazette director Bruce Wayne for help. Instead of dumping a ton of cash on him, Bruce decides to seek pro-bono help from the Daily Planet. Chief Perry White loans Lois Lane (who becomes the new temporary Gazette editor) and Clark Kent to Gotham. There, Clark competes with Bruce (who becomes a reporter as well) to get the best stories. Simultaneously, Superman and Batman search Gotham for the mysterious criminal known as The Mole, who kidnaps Robin and digs an underground tunnel into a bank vault. Superman redirects the tunnel into Gotham City Jail (Gotham City Prison) while Batman rescues his partner. Before any other papers can pick up the story, the Gazette prints and Superman distributes it at super-speed, thus increasing readership to continue business.

–Batman #98, Part 2
Bruce takes Dick to the Millionaires’ Club. There, a burglar enters, steals some maps drawn out for an upcoming yacht trip in the South Seas, and leaves before Batman can nab him. Thus, Bruce signs on for the trip abroad. Sure enough, the ship is hijacked and all of the yachters are deserted onto an uncharted island and told that they must pay $1 million each to get off of it. Bruce suits up as Batman, pushes bat-shaped SOS bundles of sticks into the sea, and helps his fellow hostages steal some rations from the hijackers. But each time Bruce suits up as Batman, he comes closer to exposing his secret ID. After several days on the island, Robin shows up to make a rescue. He and Batman take down the hijackers and are able to fool the millionaires into not thinking that Bruce is Batman.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman, Robin, and Superman take on the Wreckers Mob, which attempts to destroy a bridge. Superman makes a giant bow out of trees and shoots Batman like an arrow across the sky. The flying Batman lands on the Wreckers’ plane and busts them. Superman keeps the bow as a trophy afterward.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #81. Batman and Robin stop an malfunctioning Solar System model from spinning dangerously out-of-control at the planetarium.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin chase some crooks to their undersea hideout using the Batplane-turned-Batsubmarine.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #99, Part 2. Bruce and Dick meet and befriend Professor Carter Nichols who has developed a complicated “hypnosis method” that allows the subject to astral project an avatar of oneself into the past (or into the future). In other words, Nichols has invented a type of time-travel that works via a combination of his own unique metahuman mental ability with a high-tech device that emits an energy beam.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #107. Batman and Robin go on several unspecified time traveling trips to test Professor Carter Nichols’ “hypnosis method” avatar machine. These trips are never shown in the comics, but they definitely occur. Furthermore, since WFC #107 says that Batman and Robin go on “many” time-trips in this Year Two (1968) and throughout Year Three (1969), we have to simply imagine other time-trips listed below and sprinkled throughout Year Two and Year Three. Of course, there may have been unspecified trips to the future in too, but for simplicity’s sake, I’m imagining only backward treks.

–Batman #99, Part 1
Batman and Robin chase after Penguin again, who has been tormenting them on-and-off for the past month-and-a-half, but track him to one of his abandoned lairs. Penguin then sends hatched bird eggs to Commissioner Gordon as clues about his next crime attempts. After several days of egg/bird crimes thwarted by Batman and Robin, Penguin’s final egg turns out to be an alligator egg. This bad luck puts him behind bars.

–Batman #99, Part 2
Reporter Jack Farr finds an old half-torn newspaper clipping that shows a picture of Batman and has a headline that reads “Gila Bill, Wanted Outlaw, Shot and Killed by Town Marshal Bat Ma—”. Farr accuses Batman of having been a gun-toting marshal out West before appearing in Gotham. Batman analyzes the clipping and determines that it is at least 75-years-old. Thus, Carter Nichols sends Bruce and Dick back to the Wild West circa 1880. In Plain City, Utah, Batman and Robin take down bandit Pecos Pete, which earns Batman the job of interim Town Marshal. After Pete escapes, Batman disguises himself as Pete to flush out his boss, Gila Bill. Batman, in his Bat-Stagecoach, chases down Gila Bill, who is then gunned down by new state-appointed Marshal Bat Masterson. The headline makes sense now and Bruce brings a complete copy back to the future with him. There, Farr is convinced, although no one seems to care that there is still a man dressed as Batman in the picture.

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #141—and also referenced in World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman, Robin, and Superman find and deactivate a bomb placed on an amusement park carousel. The owner of the park gives the carousel as a trophy to the heroes, which Superman keeps in his Fortress of Solitude.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #81. One day before Ka Thar’s arrival, Batman and Robin save a plane that is about to crash into the sea.

–World’s Finest Comics #81
Great historian Ka Thar travels from the year 5956 CE to the present in a proto-Mobius Chair. (This retcon-moved Golden Age tale says the present year is 1956, but that must be ignored). Ka Thar tells Batman, Robin, and Superman that his own history records of the exploits of the World’s Finest Trio clash with those of his rivals. Thus, Ka Thar has come back to 1968 to force the heroes to re-do their cases the way he wrote about them. And if they refuse, he will expose their secret IDs. Thus, while Superman re-does several missions in Metropolis, Batman and Robin start up in Gotham. Ka Thar begins with the most recent case, the plane rescue from a day ago, and will work backward from there. Batman and Robin tow the plane they saved and dump it into the ocean. Using the Batplane’s ability to morph into a submarine, the Dynamic Duo then re-rescues the plane. Next, our heroes re-do their amazing feat at the planetarium when they stopped the out-of-control Solar System model. After that, Ka Thar orders Batman to break Slaney out of jail just so he can bust him a different way. Batman has had enough. Instead of actually releasing Slaney, Batman disguises himself as the crook while Robin wears a beefed-up and heavily padded Batman disguise. Using this ruse, Batman and Robin bust the Slaney Mob and fool Ka Thar at the same time. Batman, Superman, and Robin then finally call Ka Thar’s bluff, making him realize that if he exposed their IDs then his history book would really be false. Ka Thar admits he was wrong and leaves for the future.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin defeat the giant Burglar-Machine, a spider robot that is controlled by thieves. Our heroes keep the Burglar-Machine as a trophy afterward.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin solve an unspecified case and collect a horse head statue as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #208. Vicki Vale breaks up with Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #510—originally told in Batman #49. Batman and Robin defeat the debuting Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), who tries to steal a priceless trophy from the Gotham Yacht Club. After his arrest, Batman and Robin put the Mad Hatter in a sanitarium where he will rot for the next thirteen-and-a-half years.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #161, Part 1—originally told in the Golden Age only Detective Comics #230. With Jervis Tetch locked away in a sanitarium, a red-headed mustachioed copycat immediately emerges, taking the original Mad Hatter’s Alice in Wonderland hat-themed super-villainy to a further extreme. Mad Hatter II (a John Doe that even goes so far as to call himself “Jervis Tetch”) debuts to battle Batman and Robin. Batman is present for the second Mad Hatter’s quick trial by jury, which sentences the villain to hard time. We won’t see Mad Hatter II, also known as Hat Man, for another four years.

–Detective Comics #233
The Dynamic Duo responds to a robbery at the new Gotham Air Terminal, but are shocked to witness the debuting Batwoman bust the crooks and take off on her Batcycle. The next night, in front of a large crowd, Batwoman not only upstages Batman during another robbery attempt at a movie premiere, but saves his life as well. Later still, Batwoman saves Batman’s life for a second time during a criminal altercation. That night, rich socialite and former circus daredevil Kathy Kane throws a fancy party, which Bruce attends. Bruce flirts with the gorgeous Kathy. Unknown to him, Kathy is none other than Batwoman. Not only that, Kathy has her own Batcave built underneath her mansion as well. (Detailed information about the Batcave is limited and of course its location is totally secret, but its existence has already become a part of the Bat-mythos and entered the realm of public information). When the Batsignal lights up the night sky, both Bruce and Kathy depart and costume-up. Batman, Robin, and Batwoman then have a triple-team-up and take down Hugo Vorn’s mob. Afterward, Batman deduces that Batwoman is Kathy and he confronts her in her Batcave. Kathy vows to retire as a crime-fighter (but of course, this won’t happen). Kathy then gives Batman a big framed portrait of Batwoman, which Batman hangs in his Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin defeat the Boomerang Bandits, who use a giant boomerang as a weapon. Afterward, our heroes keep the giant boomerang as a trophy.

–World’s Finest Comics #84
When Superman goes missing, Batman and Robin travel to Metropolis. There, Superman appears before them and explains that he can’t make public appearances because Thad Linnis, a crook from Superman’s youth, has threatened to expose his secret ID if he does. Batman drops a life-saving bombshell: When Bruce was seven or eight-years-old, his family vacationed in Smallville and he trailed Superboy in an attempt to discover his secret ID. Linnis was present during that time and Bruce knows that Linnis doesn’t really know Superman’s ID. Superman recalls meeting the raven-haired junior detective back in the day, but this whole time he never knew that it was Bruce. Superman then easily defeats Linnis and his mob, who attempt to use a super-tank to attack the city.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin solve the “Reynolds Case” when Robin uses the brand new Bat-Glider. The Bat-Glider goes into the Hall of Trophies afterward.

–Detective Comics #237
Bruce and Batman are both invited to dedicate the brand new Gotham Bridge. Batman makes his speech before the large crowd while standing next to a lifelike dummy of Bruce and using ventriloquism to speak for it. During the speech, a bunch of thugs shoot at the stage, hitting the dummy and knocking it into the river below. Batman catches them, but the world is convinced that Bruce is dead. A day later, Batman, rather than risk outing himself, takes the new secret ID of cabbie “Barney Warren” and moves into a modest apartment. Batman and Robin apprehend the Hot Car Mob, but afterward, the Dark Knight ends his partnership with Robin. The next day, the Bruce Wayne dummy washes ashore and Robin collects “Barney Warren,” bringing him to police HQ. There, an unmasked Bruce makes up a story about how he used the dummy to “protect himself” from racketeers that were after him.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin bust an escaped Joker and collect an over-sized dice shaker and pair of dice as trophies.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified case and collect a treasure chest and a sarcophagus as trophies.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #97. Batman goes after criminal Ace Logan, but the crook makes a clean getaway.

–World’s Finest Comics #85
Batman and Superman are tasked with greeting and protecting the Balkanian Princess Varina during her trip to the States. A couple days later, Princess Varina arrives and not a moment passes before it seems as though Batman and Superman are competing for her affections. As the tour winds its way from Metropolis to Gotham, Batman and Superman try to outdo each other with wild exploits. Why? They know that the princess is in love with Captain Stefan, her commoner bodyguard. Knowing that the marriage would send Balkania into civil war, our heroes were trying to interject themselves into the mix to sway her eyes away from Stefan. Batman and Superman prevent Stefan and Princess Varina from eloping. But when crooks try to steal Varina’s jewels, Batman and Superman take them down but make it look like Stefan is the hero. With Stefan a hero, the Balkanian parliament allows his marriage to Varina and everyone lives happily ever after.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin bust an escaped Joker again and collect a giant Joker face in the process, which they hang on the wall of their Hall of Trophies.

–World’s Finest Comics #86
Batman, Robin, and Superman agree to perform for the Gotham Police Show. During the show, which is held in a giant amphitheater built by Superman, the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel show off the combined trophies that they have taken during their tenures as crime-fighters. It’s hard to tell which trophies go with which hero in this mish-mash of items that are mixed together, but I’d guess that Superman has a lot more since he has been active as a hero for over a decade already. For example, the multiple meteors, giant seashell, and apatosaurus seem like Superman trophies to me. Moving on, Batman and Superman reenact a bunch of their previous adventures for the crowd, but fail each time, prompting Lois Lane’s suspicion of a saboteur. Eventually, Batman and Superman reveal that they’ve been botching their own acts in order to ruin a film being shot by swindler Henry Bartle, who was planning on releasing the footage of the heroes under false pretenses. After Bartle is shuffled away, Batman, Robin, and Superman redo the show correctly.

–Batman #105, Part 1
While chasing the criminal Curt Briggs, Batman goes down with a sprained ankle. Robin busts Briggs solo, giving the baddie a serious amnesia-inducing knock on the noggin in the process. Kathy Kane, wearing her Batwoman costume en route to a masquerade, shows up and assumes that Briggs is an injured, amnesiac Batman. Robin lets both Batwoman and Briggs think that he (Briggs) is the Dark Knight because he needs to find out the hidden location of Briggs’ loot. Batwoman, in an effort to fix-up the confused “Batman,” takes him to her Batcave and begins “retraining” him. Eventually, Briggs regains his memory, but continues to play the role of Batman, leading Robin and Batwoman into a trap at the Gotham Chinatown Museum. The real Batman appears, despite his injury, secretly using a dummy leg to stand upright. This surprise appearance is enough for Robin and Batwoman to get the jump on Briggs and his gang. Afterward, Kathy puts her costume into retirement once again—a retirement that won’t stick. Later, Kathy visits Bruce, who claims to have suffered an ankle injury while dancing.

–World’s Finest Comics #88-89
Joker has just been released from an insane asylum—(Joker has only committed zany robberies thus far and wouldn’t yet be considered a lethal threat)—and moves to Metropolis. There, he joins up with recently paroled Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch-enemy! The dastardly duo claim that they are going straight and are starting a business together. A suspicious Batman, Robin, and Superman travel to LJ Industries where Luthor and Joker show-off their new line of cyborg worker drones, known as Mechano-Men. After several public demonstrations with the Mechano-Men that make Superman and Batman look foolish, Bruce pays Luthor and Joker a visit, claiming that he needs the Mechano-Men to retrieve a shipment of diamonds that was lost at sea. During the false job, Superman switches places with one of the Mechano-Men and infiltrates LJ Industries. However, Luthor and Joker see through the ruse and make fools of our heroes yet again. Then comes the day of a big Mechano-Men stadium show, when Luthor and Joker finally strike by using some extra Mechano-Men to commit a big robbery. Superman tricks the villains with two of his own Mechano-Men, dressed like the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, camped out at the stadium. The real heroes bust Luthor and Joker.

Millionaire John Mayhew invites the world’s greatest international superheroes to Metropolis to become a superhero team, The Club of Heroes. Batman, Robin, and Superman join England’s Knight and Squire, Argentina’s Gaucho, France’s Musketeer, and Italy’s Legionary. Mayhew decides that whoever can complete the greatest anti-crime feat in the next few days should become the team’s chairman. Each hero, however, is very selfless and modest, and refuses to take public credit for their actions in the following days. When a super-powered masked superhero called Lightning-Man debuts in Metropolis, Mayhew invites him into the Club of Heroes. Unknown to Mayhew, whenever Lightning-Man is around Superman passes out cold! As Superman takes a back seat, Lightning-Man becomes the primary protector of Metropolis. The Club of Heroes then fights some crooks in stolen tanks, but Lightning-Man handles them himself, thus earning chairmanship of the team. Later, Batman solves the Lightning-Man mystery. A chunk of a Kryptonite asteroid floating in Earth’s orbit had been causing Superman to black out, during which time his natural instinct to be a hero caused him to don the Lightning-Man outfit. Since we never see or hear from the Club of Heroes again, we must assume that the venture goes belly up shortly after this.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #90—originally told via flashback in the Golden Age’s World’s Finest Comics #87. Superman confronts Elton Craig, a caped-and-cowled criminal that has obtained Kryptonian superpowers by taking Kryptonian power pills, which he found attached to a meteor. The pills were originally sent to Earth with baby Kal-El by Jor-El (Superman’s father), but they were separated from the baby’s rocket upon entry into planetary atmosphere. Superman attempts to corral Craig, but goes down, effected by Kryptonite. Superman tries to counter the effects of the K by taking a power pill, but the pill has K-dust on it, which weakens him even more. A powerless Superman phones the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin then each take a power capsule, which gives them super powers! The super-Dynamic Duo then battles Craig to a stalemate as Superman can only helplessly watch. Later, while Super-Batman and Super-Robin deal with a deadly thunderstorm and a zoo-break, Superman locates Craig’s hideout and confronts him. Batman, Robin, and Lois Lane all arrive just in time to help bust Craig, whose powers fade away. Likewise, Batman and Robin lose their temporary powers. Superman, recharged, asks Batman to hold the remaining power pills in the Batcave for safekeeping, which he does.

–World’s Finest Comics #90
When a national news bulletin goes out telling of Elton Craig’s escape from prison, Batman, Robin, and Superman are on the case. Much to their surprise, so is Batwoman, who prevents Craig from taking a hidden Kryptonian power pill by taking the pill herself! A super-powered Batwoman then easily busts Craig and, sick of the boys club bossing her around, decides that she will use her temporary powers to find out the secret IDs of Batman, Robin, and Superman! Thus begins an epic game of cat-and-mouse all over Gotham, but the Dynamic Duo eventually remains hidden. The Caped Crusader then digs out a false Batcave beneath the mansion home of an acquaintance, which is enough to fool Super-Batwoman into thinking that Batman is John Martin. Batwoman then turns her attentions on Superman, resulting in a chase that spans the entire northeastern region of North America. Eventually, Batwoman learns that Superman is Clark Kent, but is then fooled by Bruce, who shows up in disguise as Clark. Batwoman loses her superpowers and everyone’s ID is safe. Afterward, Batman apologizes to Batwoman and gives her his blessing to continue fighting crime on a full-time basis.

–Batman #110, Part 3
While chasing after Len Landers and his Mob of Thieves, Batman winds up getting caught in a radioactive explosion at the Gotham Electronic Company’s experimental lab. Batman survives the blast but becomes completely intangible. He can’t touch anything or anyone—instead, he simply phases through objects à la Kitty Pryde but without the ability to turn her powers off. After using his new phasing ability on a couple rescue cases, Batman and winds up (along with Robin) stuck in a Landers Mob cage. Batman phases through the bars but is unable to strike his opponents. Landers takes-off but tells his man to kill Robin should Batman follow. The Boy Wonder literally stands inside Batman’s intangible body making it look like he has vanished and only Batman remains. The stunned guard is fooled, enters the cell, and gets trapped, allowing the Dynamic Duo to leave. Later, using a bizarre machine of his own invention, combined with the harnessed power of a lightning strike, Bruce is able to undo his condition—which is a good thing since he was getting quite hungry. Batman and Robin then bust Landers.

–Batman #111, Part 2
Commissioner Gordon calls Bruce into GCPD to meet his (Bruce’s) father’s cousin, Bruce N. Wayne. Cousin Bruce is a famous private detective that has come to Gotham on official business, but he wants to whip his lazy playboy relative into shape while he’s in town. The next day, Bruce tags along with Cousin Bruce as the latter investigates a science criminal named Varrel (no relation to the Varrel Mob or the Golden Age villain Jim Varrel). When Cousin Bruce runs into trouble, Bruce secretly becomes Batman and saves him. The next day, despite Bruce taking dive after dive during a sparring session, Cousin Bruce starts to think the lazy playboy might actually be a front to mask the Dark Knight. Later, as a trustee of the Gotham Science Foundation, Bruce sets up a false formula bait to lure out Varrel. At the exhibit hall, Varrel shows up on cue. Batman KOs him, dresses him up like Bruce and puts on a show for Cousin Bruce to fool him. After Cousin Bruce leaves, Batman removes Varrel’s Bruce disguise and hauls him to jail. Cousin Bruce leaves town.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #112, Part 3. Batman and Robin take on Professor Achilles Milo. Milo has medium length blonde hair and won’t go to his signature dyed-black bowl-cut look (which he sported in the Golden Age) until later.

–Batman #112, Part 3
Batman gets drugged with a rare Amazonian plant and goes into a coma courtesy of Professor Achilles Milo. The drug causes Batman to become listless, depressed, and suicidal. Robin must show Batman that he has a reason to live for within 24 hours or the effects will be permanent. Thus begins a lame Shutter Island type ruse. Robin and Commissioner Gordon put Batman into a mental institution where he is forced to view Gordon awarding a fake Batman (Alfred in disguise) and Robin an award on TV. Batman snaps to his senses, breaks out of the nut house, and makes his way home. At Wayne Manor, Alfred (now disguised as Bruce) and Dick tell Batman that he can’t possibly be Bruce Wayne. A confused and dejected Batman runs off into downtown Gotham. There, the Dark Knight nabs some crooks while Robin and fake Batman watch on. Batman then stows away inside the Batmobile’s trunk and infiltrates the Batcave, exposing Robin and Alfred’s ruse. 24 hours have passed and Batman is A-OK.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #183, Part 2. Batman busts an unnamed crook, earning the fella five years in prison.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251. Batman scales the tall Gotham Building to rescue a knocked-out electrician who is trapped under a large electrified TV tower antenna. An unnamed GCPD cop watches in astonishment.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #249. The dashing masked thief known as The Collector debuts and runs circles around Batman and Robin.

–Batman #114, Part 3
Batman and Robin perform for the Annual Charity Circus. There, a trained ape named Mogo goes wild, causing a distraction while the gate receipts are robbed. With no suspects, the cops haul-in Mogo’s handler Arthur Harris for questioning. Mogo escapes and follows Batman and Robin home. After appearing in the Batcave, Mogo puts on a cape and cowl and Batman and Robin decide to take him along for the investigation! Batman, Robin, and Bat-Ape (!) expose Roder (Harris’ assistant) as the culprit and bust him. Roder had been cahoots with the criminal Vanning mob.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #115, Part 2. Batman defeats The Robber Robot.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251. Batman and Robin prevent some thugs from stealing a jeweled doll house from a doll show. Vicki Vale is present.

–Detective Comics #249
The Collector fails to rob the Gotham Museum thanks to Batman and Robin, but he gets away. Later, Commissioner Gordon, with a completely ludicrous and nonsensical plan, asks Bruce to falsely out himself as the Collector in order to bunk up with inmate Squint Neely, who has obtained a blueprint of Gotham Prison. Bruce’s undercover mission will be to locate the hidden location of the blueprint. After his arrest and super-speedy-rushed trial, Bruce is sentenced to prison and put in a cell with Neely. Within a day, Bruce locates the hidden schematic in the laundry room. However, Neely slips and falls to his death and Bruce gets blamed for killing him! On the outside, the only man who knows Bruce is working undercover, Gordon, gets in a car accident and goes into a coma. Another super-speedy-rushed trial occurs and Bruce is put on Death Row, set for execution a mere three days later! Robin, with claims that Batman is on an overseas case, recruits Batwoman to help catch the real Collector and prove Bruce’s innocence. Batwoman proves her skills as a detective equally match those of the Dynamic Duo’s and cracks the case. The Collector winds up behind bars, Bruce is freed, and Gordon wakes up. This honestly might be the worst Batman story written in the 1950s. Yechhh.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #115, Part 2. Batman defeats the Blimp Bandits.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251 and World’s Finest Comics #141—originally told in Batman #83, Part 3. Batman and Robin are thrown into a bizarre “psychological testing lab” by crooks. While stuck in the lab, Batman and Robin must survive the pressures of a giant bear trap and a giant bowling game. Of course, the Dynamic Duo not only survives, but beats their captors.

–World’s Finest Comics #93
Evil scientist Victor Danning attempts to steal good scientist John Carr’s newest invention, a semi-completed machine that will supposedly be able to increase someone’s brain power. Batman, Robin, and Superman intervene. The machine switches on—(it only works on Superman)—and sucks Superman’s super-thought ability out of his head and transfers it to Robin! Later, Danning and his men flood the city with a giant pump and then strike using a “submarine car” complete with Kryptonite torpedoes. Super-genius Robin guides Batman and dumb Superman into battle, driving Danning away. Later, Danning sets off underground explosions in an attempt to learn the location of the Batcave, but Robin guides Superman to prevent it from happening. Next, Robin builds a giant pair of binoculars to increase Superman’s super-sight ability so he can find Danning’s hideout. Ultimately, the binoculars fail. Danning, Robin, and Superman then all wind up back in Carr’s lab, where Batman (disguised as Carr) gets the jump on Danning. Batman uses the machine to transfer Superman’s brain power back into his skull and also takes some of Danning’s intelligence and gives it to Robin. Then it’s off to jail for Danning.

–Superman #128, Part 3
Lois Lane bids $35,000 and wins some Superman memorabilia at an auction. Along with the memorabilia, Lois is gifted some movie props, including a Kyrptonian outfit. In an attempt to discover Superman’s ID, Lois puts on a blonde wig and the costume. Appearing in a “spaceship,” Lois pretends to be Superman’s long lost babysitter, Rama. The trick actually fools Superman into revealing his ID, but he calls a favor from Bruce, who comes to Metropolis and disguises himself as Clark to stymie Lois. NOTE: Bruce says a weird line that makes it seem like they’ve never done this trick before. They have.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251. Batman uses a sheet of bulletproof glass to shield himself from a hail of bullets, allowing him to bust some gangsters. Another unnamed GCPD cop watches.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #255. Batman and Robin befriend the eccentric Professor Hale, who is set to open his Mechanical Museum of Natural History, a museum filled with animatronic dinosaurs, animals, and more.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #115, Part 2. Batman and Robin chase after the debuting Phantom Bank Bandit, but he goes into hiding, although remains separated from the loot he stole.

–Batman #115, Part 2
Batman and Commissioner Gordon come up with a plan to flush out the Phantom Bank Bandit (identity unknown), believing that the Bandit will need the assistance of a master detective/bodyguard to gain access to his loot. Therefore, Batman publicly announces that he is starting the Batman Private Detective Agency, where he will hire out his services for a fee (to save up money for Robin’s future college fund). A massive ad campaign begins with TV spots, billboards, and sky-writing planes. Over the course of the next five days, Batman works five more high profile cases. On the sixth day, businessman Jim Morley takes the bait after a fake police phone call and hires Batman. A day later, Batman exposes Morley as Jim Megan aka The Phantom Bank Bandit. Batman chases him and Robin KOs the villain.

–Detective Comics #250
Batman busts John Stannar’s mob, but Stannar flees north of Gotham. There, Stannar witnesses an alien spacecraft crash. After receiving a telepathic message from the craft, Stannar is gifted with an assortment of sci-fi gadgets, including a freeze-ray that he uses to escape the Dynamic Duo again. Stannar then uses a device that gives him super-strength to free his mob and defeat Batman. The next day, Stannar uses “4D tongs” to steal a platinum records being awarded to musician Sonny Sims. Later, Stannar makes a fool of Batman again using a special super-magnet and a machine that makes things weightless. Later still, Stannar activates the final alien gift, a supposed “destruction weapon.” However, Stannar learns the hard way that it was all a test. Upon activation of the “destruction weapon,” all the other gadgets vanish with a trace. Humanity is clearly not ready or worthy of the alien’s presents. Batman and Robin haul Stannar to jail.

–Detective Comics #251
Commissioner Gordon and Vicki Vale, among others, witness a meeting between a bizarre humanoid alien and what appears to be an unmasked Batman outside of a UFO. Much to Gordon and Vicki’s surprise, Batman appears to be an alien too! (The aliens are actually made-up mobsters with a made-up helicopter trying to discredit Batman in the eyes of the public). After the “aliens” scram, Gordon and Vicki accuse Batman of being from another planet. After Batman fails a blood test to prove he is human (rigged by the mobsters), Gotham’s populace immediately loses its faith in the Dark Knight. Later, after following the trail of a phony insurance racketeer, Batman flushes out gangster Brand Ballard as the perpetrator of the alien hoax. Batman wears an alien mask to confuse Ballard’s accomplices, allowing him to defeat both them and Ballard. Afterward, the public learns the truth.

–Detective Comics #255
Professor Hale invites Batman and Robin to his Mechanical Museum of Natural History the day before its grand opening. Via phone, Hale tells Batman that he has some hidden evidence that will expose criminal activity by “a jackal” that is close him. But when the Dynamic Duo arrive at the museum, Hale has been murdered. Thus, a classic Golden/Silver style whodunnit kicks off and Batman chases a bunch of red herrings while dealing with tar pits and animatronic dinosaurs, lions, mammoths, and more. Eventually, Batman exposes a witch-doctor mask-wearing fiend, museum secretary Carl Danton, as the killer. Danton had been embezzling funds and had lost a stolen necklace to Hale earlier in the day. The next day, Bruce and Dick visit the grand opening of the museum, which still takes place.

–World’s Finest Comics #94
When Lex Luthor breaks jail, Batman and Robin rush to Metropolis to assist Superman, but to their surprise Superman has already partnered up with newcomer Powerman. If you are wondering why Powerman looks exactly like Atoman (the orange masked lightning-bolt-insignia-costumed Nazi villain from Earth 2), don’t worry, I have answers. As we learn in World’s Finest Comics #271, when Kal-L defeated Atoman in 1945 on Earth 2, the epic exchange of violence sent interdimensional vibrations through the Bleed into Universe 1.[1] Superman received those vibes and had a vague dream about his counterpart’s battle. Hence, the idea to build a crime-fighting robot partner and dress it in Atoman gear. Eventually, Batman and Robin take down Luthor, who wields a laser canon and some Kryptonite. Superman then reveals that Powerman is a robot, built to help him on cases where Kryptonite might be involved.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #117, Part 1. Batman and Robin defeat the Harbor Pirates, who attempt but fail to skewer our heroes with many harpoons.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #171—also referenced in Untold Legend of the Batman #1 and The Best of DC #14 and originally told in Detective Comics #140. Career criminal Edward Nigma becomes the costumed Riddler, earning the attention of the Dynamic Duo. Batman—wearing his yellow-oval costume as he is sometimes randomly wont to do in these early days—and Robin match wits with the Riddler, who unleashes wild clues and giant puzzle traps upon them.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #171—also referenced in Untold Legend of the Batman #1 and The Best of DC #14 and originally told in Detective Comics #142. The Riddler immediately follows-up his debut by striking again at the Dynamic Duo with various puzzles, riddles, and traps. His coup de grâce involves luring the heroes into a giant glass maze. Unfortunately for the Riddler, Batman busts him and puts him behind bars.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman and Commissioner Gordon seal off the cellar beneath police HQ to prevent escapes from the jail cells above. The cellar leads into the sewer system. Batman and Commissioner Gordon each keep keys to the cellar just in case it needs to be opened due to emergency.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #146. Bruce visits his old family friend, the man who discovered Krypton via telescope decades ago, scientist Dr. Thomas Ellison.

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: The Bleed is the tesseract space that exists in-between and separates all the universes in the Omniverse. Marvel Comics refers to the Bleed as “The Superflow.” It’s all so very menstrual, but what cosmic magick isn’t, right?

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