–Detective Comics #275
Batman faces one of his greatest challenges yet: Zebra-Man. Scientist Jake Baker has created a machine that endows him with “control over the lines of force,” which covers him with a glowing zebra like black-and-white pattern all over his body and endows him with the power of magnetism and diamagnetism, meaning he can pretty much control anything Magneto-style. Only by using a special control belt is Zebra-Man able to maintain control over the unwieldy “lines of force.” After dominantly besting Batman twice in a row, Zebra-Man is confronted by the Dark Knight at his hideout. There, Batman gets zapped by the “lines of force” machine and becomes Zebra-Batman. With the exact opposite charge of Zebra-Man, Batman cannot go near him. Also, without the control belt, Batman’s powers threaten to rage wildly. After finding out that Zebra-Man will strike at the Gotham Storage Company next, Batman rigs a manhole cover outside of the building with an electromagnetic charge. When Zebra-Man stands near the manhole cover, Batman is able to nullify their polarity, allowing himself to get near Zebra-Man, punch him out, and take his control belt to shut off his own powers.
–Batman #130, Part 1
January—this story takes place on the anniversary of Batman’s first official mission, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate.” The City of Gotham decides to honor Batman for his “birthday.” Obviously, nobody knows his actual birthday, so the city government decides to celebrate it on the second anniversary of his first ever case. To start the day of praise, Batman attends a gala being thrown by the Jewelers Insurance Underwriters and is presented with an award scroll. During the ceremony, someone douses the stage with water and steals the scroll and a jewel encrusted Batarang medallion. Batman then attends a “Batman birthday” event at the Pleasure Island amusement park, but things go awry again when a fireworks display mocks the Dynamic Duo and a silver plated cow trophy is stolen. Later that night, at a packed Gotham Stadium, Batman and Robin keep a keen eye out for the saboteur thief while accepting a giant birthday cake. The villain makes his presence felt again, having rigged the cake to act as quicksand when Batman and Robin stand atop it. Despite the rigged cake, Batman is able to prevent the bad guy from stealing charity money and then put him behind bars.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #354. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified mission that involves aliens. This mission nets them a few space-communication devices, which they store in the Batcave. Note that this is the “Year of the Alien Encounter” for the Dynamic Duo. Sure, they’ve seen a bunch of extraterrestrials already, but ETs, spacemen, UFOs, and bizarre creatures of the cosmos will fill up much of the synopses below. Note that, while not shown on our chronology below, Batman and Robin will likely keep other super-radios and outer-space-communicators from some of their upcoming alien encounters.
–Detective Comics #276
When a new portly crook called The Hobby Robber plagues Gotham, Batman, Robin, and Batwoman are on the case. While Batman and Robin fight the Hobby Robber’s gang at a rare stamp and coin display, that mischievous little magick imp Bat-Mite returns to cause trouble. Later, Bat-Mite introduces himself to the lovely Batwoman and then interferes with her during a confrontation with the Hobby Robber’s gang. In her Batcave, Batwoman angrily tells off Bat-Mite. The next day, the Hobby Robber’s gang responds to a fake ad put in the newspaper about some rare books being shipped into Gotham. The Hobby Robber himself shows up to steal the box, but quickly realizes that the Dynamic Duo is inside waiting to ambush. The Hobby Robber captures the Dynamic Duo and places them into a tank filled with toy boats that fire real ammunition. Batwoman and Bat-Mite arrive and rescue Batman and Robin. Bat-Mite leads a small army of dolls into combat against the Hobby Robber’s gang, leaving Batman, Robin, and Batwoman to take down the leader. Afterward, Batwoman kisses Bat-Mite, who blushingly poofs back to the 5th Dimension.
–World’s Finest Comics #107
Batman, Robin, and Superman challenge a towering fire monster made of lava that appears on a small island in the Mediterranean. While Superman slugs it out with the creature, Batman and Robin find a bizarre crystal device in the extinct volcano from which the lava monster emerged. The device telepathically tells the Dynamic Duo the origin of the beast. About 2,000 years ago, in a distant planetary system, alien astronomers watched the cosmic birth of a living fireball in space. This fireball launched the seeds of its spawn (fire monsters) across the galaxy onto several planets, including Earth. The aliens traveled the galaxy snuffing out the creatures, but when they arrived on Earth (in 336 BCE), they saw that the creature there had fallen into an active volcano and become dormant. Unable to access the inside of the volcano to destroy the monster, the aliens did the next best thing. They recorded the telepathic message in a nearby cave attached to the volcano. Along with the message they buried a weapon that could be used to defeat the monster, should it ever come alive, and they gave instructions on where to find it and how to use it. Now that the volcano has become inactive, the monster has finally emerged. When Batman discovers that the weapon is missing, he visits Professor Carter Nichols, who has improved his time-traveling methodology. Nichols’ machine now actually physically sends people through time, rather than using an avatar projection. The time-travelers are now also equipped with return-button time box belts that can send them home whenever they want. With his new tech, Nichols sends the Dynamic Duo back to 336 BCE. There, our heroes learn that a merchant sailor named Sethy took the weapon to Egypt as a gift for Pharaoh Khababash almost as soon as the aliens buried it. Batman and Robin make it to Egypt, steal the weapon from the Pharaoh, and re-bury it inside one of the Great Pyramids. Then they attempt to go back to 1970 via their return-button time box belts, but the boxes are broken, trapping them in the past. A safeguard on the boxes activates an alert in Professor Nichols’ lab, which allows him to view their actions in 336 BCE. Nichols calls Superman, who then uses his inexpressible speed-powers to break the time-barrier and rescue his friends. In Egypt, Superman fixes the time boxes, forming a “time-field” that takes the trio back home to 1970. In the present, Superman retrieves the weapon and turns the fire monster to dust.
–Batman #129, Part 1
A new super-villain called The Spinner has struck Gotham. While Batman and Robin fight the Spinner, Batwoman goes undercover to investigate a con-artist fortuneteller named Swami Ymar. The next day, Batman and Robin fight the Spinner again, who sends a giant top spinning toward them. Later, Batwoman spies on Ymar, who tells a disbelieving client that the Spinner will strike at a windmill shortly. After being tipped off, Batman and Robin converge on the only windmill outside of Gotham. There, the Spinner traps Batwoman and straps her to a giant fan. Batman and Robin rescue her and snare the Spinner, who is unmasked as Chicagoan ex-con Peanuts Gilson. Gilson, however, explains that the real Spinner ordered him to wear the super-villain costume. Batman, Robin, Batwoman, and Gilson rush out of the windmill, which blows up. The real Spinner was hoping to kill off Gilson in the timed explosion so as to make the cops think he was dead. Batman quickly deduces that Ymar is the real Spinner and busts him.
–Batman #129, Part 2
Batman and Robin bust two crooks from Midville at the circus. When Dick’s old chum from Haly’s Circus, Sando the Strongman, refuses to cooperate with Batman’s investigation, Dick decides to have a chat with him. Sando reveals that he’s protecting his son, Andy Sando, who goes to college in Midville and hangs with known felons. Batman and Robin visit Midville and learn that gangster/club owner Art Colby has stolen diamonds and framed Andy, causing Sando the Strongman to take the fall for his son. Batman and Robin have trouble fending off Colby’s men until the Strongman, out on bail, shows up and clears house. After finding a crucial piece of evidence, Batman crashes into the hideout of Limey Lou, exposing him as a fence, and exonerating the Sandos.
–Batman #129, Part 3
Batman offers to protect a sewing machine company that is the supposed target of some thieves. Sure enough, the thieves enter and promptly get busted. Outside, the eccentric Merriweather Jones warns a GCPD captain about the crime in progress, which he says he had a psychic premonition about. At GCPD HQ, the captain tells Batman to keep an eye on the suspicious Jones. It’s not long before Jones appears before a judge, but no charges are filed. The next day Gotham News reports a front page story about Jones being a psychic, putting him on the radar of gang lord Red Eye Regan. Later, Jones predicts a crime at the Atlas Signal Company. Batman and Robin bust the crooks with the help of some prototype Atlas Signal police robots. The next day, Regan kidnaps Jones and forces him to be his psychic guide. At the scene of Jones’ kidnapping, Batman finds a penny clue left behind by Jones. Batman trails Jones to the Lincoln Bank where Regan’s men attempt a robbery. There, Batman, Robin, and some undercover GCPD officers stop the theft cold in its tracks. Afterward, Jones reveals that his psychic powers were very real, but they have disappeared completely. Batman places Jones’ penny into the Hall of Trophies.
–Batman #130, Part 2
Movie studio consultant and medieval weapons expert Graham suffers an injury on set and is taken to the hospital. After coming-to quite insane, Graham runs off. Batman is informed that he is loose and might be dangerous. A week later, The Master of Weapons, a super-villain that dresses like a medieval executioner and uses ancient weapons, appears. The Dynamic Duo fights the Master of Weapons, who uses ballistas, caltrops, catapults, onagers, and taper axes to commit two successful robberies. Batman, although defeated, is able to tag the Master of Weapons with with a scent capsule. Ace the Bat-Hound is able to track the aroma, leading the Dynamic Duo to Old Gotham Prison, which was abandoned two years ago when the new prison was constructed. There, Batman, Robin, and Ace defeat the Master of Weapons. The swerve in this tale is that there is no swerve—the Master of Weapons is unmasked as Graham.
–Batman #130, Part 3
Batman and Robin are shocked when they are called to a zinc works to find two green aliens and, protruding from a foggy cloud, a giant green hand scooping up piles of zinc. Batman and Robin are easily defeated by the giant hand, which is controlled by the aliens. The next day, after the giant hand has stolen copper and platinum, Batman meets with the country’s best scientists to form a plan of action. Later, Batman, Robin, and the GCPD have a stalemated face-off against the aliens and their hand, but Batman is able to ascertain that the aliens are a hoax. Batman and Robin then trail the “aliens” to a warehouse on the edge of Gotham where they learn who the true master of the aliens really is: none other than an escaped Lex Luthor! Batman gains control of the giant hand, which is actually a remote-controlled flying robot, and uses it to deliver Luthor to police HQ.
–Action Comics #270, Part 2
(This goes here because it must occur before Superman #142.) For over two years, Superman’s teenage cousin Kara Zor-El has been his secret sidekick, Supergirl. Using the secret ID of orphan Linda Lee, Supergirl has assisted Superman from the shadows and replaced herself with a Linda Lee Robot to avoid suspicion each time. Only a select few people know of Kara’s existence. On the eve of Kara’s 16th birthday, Superman decides to finally reveal Supergirl’s existence to Batman and Robin. (He’s long ago told Supergirl about the Dynamic Duo’s secret IDs as Bruce and Dick.) For her Sweet Sixteen, Superman has organized an elaborate adventure and surprise party. After Supergirl secretly helps her friend get adopted, she gets a distress call from Krypto the Superdog and flies into deep space to find him being attacked by a spaceship. (Superman is remote-controlling the ship.) Then, Supergirl is summoned to Atlantis by Superman’s ex-girlfriend, mermaid Lori Lemaris. Under the sea, Supergirl helps Lori, Lori’s husband Ronal, the hunky Jerro, and the Atlantean Protection Squad defeat a criminal (actually Superman in disguise) that wields Neptune‘s stolen trident (actually on loan from the sea god). Batman and Robin then play their part, sending out a distress call, which they know Supergirl will intercept, claiming that they are trapped in the Batcave due to a cave-in. Supergirl travels at super-speed and “rescues” Batman and Robin, completing an action that normally would take hours in a mere three seconds. Supergirl then visits Superman at the Fortress of Solitude where he gives her a tiny lipstick container that can hold her costume. Superman then leads her to a special room for the big SURPRISE! Superman, Lori, Ronal, Jerro, Krypto, and Batman and Robin (who technically meet Supergirl for the first time) shower her with birthday gifts. Amazingly, Batman and Robin give her a Batgirl costume! This is crazy since this story predates the debuts of Bette Kane and Barbara Gordon. Superman also reveals that her adventures from earlier in the day were all a bit of fun. The citizens of Kandor also send some birthday love to Supergirl from their tiny bottle city as well.
February 6—Chinese New Year celebration. A Kryptonian fire dragon, which has been living on a floating chunk of Kyrptonite ever since Krypton exploded, lands on Earth. Lois Lane sees the creature burn off Clark’s clothes, revealing his Superman garb underneath, seemingly exposing his secret! Superman tosses the fire dragon into space where it immediately eats a Red Kyrptonite rock, which causes it to return and follow Superman around like a lost puppy—albeit a giant puppy that breathes fire. Superman sics his Superman Robots on the dragon, but the dragon destroys them all with ease. Superman then makes the best out of a bad situation and uses the dragon to save lives and bust crooks. Later, Batman and Supergirl dress like a doctor and nurse, respectively, and bandage up an “injured” Clark to fool Lois into disbelieving he could be the Man of Steel.
–Detective Comics #277
A humanoid alien explorer crashes his spaceship on Earth, accidentally releasing the deadly blob monster known as the Kraal, which he had captured on a distant planet. The Kraal splits into three separate monsters and begins terrorizing Gotham. Since the first Kraal feeds on electricity, Batman gets Mayor Alan Dent to authorize shutting down Gotham’s power, allowing the Caped Crusader to douse the weakened and starving blob with nullifying liquid rubber. The second Kraal feeds on heat, leaving an icy trail in its path. Batman, using a tasty ray of sun beamed by a solar mirror, lures the Kraal into a NASA test refrigerator, where it is frozen and incapacitated. Batman and Robin then fight the third Kraal, which feeds on water. Meanwhile, the alien explorer takes back the first two Kraals, but is attacked by an angry mob who blame him for bringing the Kraals to Earth in the first place. Batman saves the alien and realizes how to defeat the Kraals. Batman uses an alien device to fuse the Kraals back into a single blob, rendering it harmless. A few days later, after the US government has fixed the alien’s ship, the Batman and Robin see him off.
–World’s Finest Comics #108
When a mysterious green fog causes crooks Midge and Beaver to disappear outside of Gotham, Batman investigates. At the site of the disappearance, the Dynamic Duo is shocked to find a giant cartoonish anthropomorphic torch (which looks like a towering Olympic torch that Mickey Mouse would have given life to in Fantasia). The torch monster instantaneously builds a sprawling yellow highway towards Gotham, upon which tiny robots (coming from inside his body) scramble. Using the Batplane, Batman and Robin stop the robot invasion. When Superman arrives to help fight the bizarre creature, it disappears into a thick green fog. In its place appears a towering flying robot with dual propellers. The flying robot tries to send more tiny robots into Gotham via floating bubble transportation, but our heroes smash all the spheres. Next, a group of mean-faced robot spiked orbs (in a circle formation linked by coiled wires) show up to fight. The orbs use special rays that increase the gravity around Batman and Robin, wearing them into submission. Batman and Robin eventually defeat the orbs while Superman defeats the flying robot. Then, Midge and Beaver reappear in a flying glass elevator, wielding a disintegration ray gun, which they use to rob a bank. Batman then receives a telepathic message from an alien telling him that the ray gun has been deactivated, allowing the Dark Knight to easily take down the bad guys. Superman, Batman, and Robin then meet a green alien from Kzotl, who apologizes, revealing that he came to Earth to make a movie about Batman and Superman. Upon his arrival, he captured Midge and Beaver to get them out of the way and then unleashed the weird robots upon the heroes while secretly filming from afar. Midge and Beaver then escaped and used his stolen tech until the alien was able to help out.
–Batman #131, Part 1
Batman, Robin, and Ace the Bat-Hound bust some masked robbers to a warehouse in the woods outside Gotham. However, during the fight, Bat-Hound gets winged in the head by a bullet! Bat-Hound comes-to with amnesia and runs off terrified of Batman and Robin. After several days of searching, Batman and Robin finally find Bat-Hound living with a hermit who is being assaulted by some crooks. The Dynamic Duo defeats the bad guys but Bat-Hound runs away again. Batman, realizing that Bat-Hound is scared of anyone wearing a mask, puts a false face on underneath his mask and goes looking for him again. The Dynamic Duo eventually meets-up with some men that have found Bat-Hound, but it’s a trap. The men are crooks that unmask Batman and put on masks themselves, causing Bat-Hound to help Batman and bust the crooks. After two days in an animal hospital and an operation, Bat-Hound is A-OK.
–Batman #131, Part 2
When Commissioner Gordon gets a letter from the recently paroled Ted Greaves saying that he will get revenge on his former business partners at the Gotham Gem Company, Batman is on the case. After a masked man kills the first person on his list, Batman and Robin vow to protect the other three. After saving two partners, Batman realizes that Greaves couldn’t have sent the letter to Gordon and cannot possibly be the man under the mask. Batman orders the three targeted men to meet him at the Gem Company. There, Batman accuses all three of playing the role of the masked assassin. After busting them, Batman explains all to the cops. The three elder partners, who had been smuggling gems for years, killed their newest partner, who was getting in the way, and then acted out fake assassination attempts on each other to try to frame Greaves.
–Batman #131, Part 3
Alfred writes the first of his many fictional Batman stories. This one features a retired elderly Batman that has married Kathy Kane and had a child, Bruce Junior. Dick becomes the new Batman and takes Bruce Junior as his Robin. When the new Dynamic Duo gets in a spot of trouble, the old-timers suit up for one last romp. Batman, Batwoman, Batman II, and Robin II kick some gangster butt. Alfred shares his story with Bruce.
–Detective Comics #278
Lab assistant Steve Condon, while working for his boss, Professor Simms, accidentally spills some serum. Before long, Condon turns into a 12-foot-tall Hulk-like monster-man known as the Titanic Man. Batman and Robin soon face-off against Condon, who rages out of control. Batman tries to make a connection with Condon by fooling him with a Hulk-sized Batman blowup doll, but the plan fails miserably and only serves to anger Condon further. Looking for a cure to his affliction, Condon visits Simms only to find him allied with the crook Tom Tobin. Simms and Tobin knock-out Condon and are soon visited by the Dynamic Duo. Simms and Tobin unleash three freshly created 15-foot-tall goons—the first of a planned army of giants—who easily capture the Dynamic Duo. Shortly thereafter, the Dynamic Duo escapes, frees Condon (who defeats the other giants), and busts Simms and Tobin. An antidote is then administered to the giants.
–World’s Finest Comics #109
Batman and Robin attend a police convention in England. While there, Batman stumbles upon an 800-year-old trap set by the sorcerer Fangan for his rival. A flagon of magick herbs breaks and drugs the Dark Knight. Back in Gotham, Batman is compelled to complete the “command of Fangan,” which is to slay a dragon. Seeing that Batman will lose his damn mind unless this happens, Robin calls Superman for help. Superman takes Batman to the Fortress of Solitude and zaps him with a ray that endows a person with super-powers for 24 hours. (To get zapped too many times with this thing is very very unhealthy.) Superman then grabs a dragon-like creature from a distant planet and sets up the fight. Batman easily knocks out the dragon, but then becomes fixated on Fangan’s next command, which is to dress like a jester and serve random people on the street. Of course, in Gotham, most random folks are crooks. Superman is able to fix Batman’s mistakes and prevent him from doing anything he’d regret until the next command. The next command calls for the drugged individual to pick a fight with the world’s strongest man. Batman wails on Superman, who fakes a loss in order to get the Caped Crusader back on regular track. In the end, all’s well.
Batman and Robin go on a several-day lecture tour at various American police stations. When they return to Gotham, they run into sci-fi actor Clive Norris, who has bumped his head while in costume as a warrior Martian, causing him to actually believe he is a warrior from Mars. A trio of crooks takes advantage of Norris’ state-of-mind and uses him to help them best Batman and Robin. After subduing the crooks, the Dynamic Duo follows Norris to the movie studio, where Batman apprehends the “Martian” by taking advantage of his phobia of cats.
Batman and Robin take on The Sea-Fox, a wet-suit-wearing super-villain that steals things and escapes into the sewers. Batman and Robin use the Bat-submarine versus the Sea-Fox and his men, who ride underwater sea sleds. After trailing the Sea-Fox and his men to an aquarium heist, Batman and Robin attempt to follow them to their hidden lair, only to get captured in a net. Our heroes easily escape and use a sea sled to ram into the Sea-Fox’s hideout on Fort Island. The Sea-Fox and his pals go to jail.
Batman and Robin take on Big Jim Masters at the Gotham Science Lab. Batman gets smashed into a weird machine, but still manages to bust Masters’ two henchmen. The next night, an escaped convict takes aim at some oil drums with a rifle. Batman blacks out and recklessly charges the convict with blind rage, luckily taking him out. A night later, the Dynamic Duo is tasked with assisting a damaged airplane land. But once again, Batman blacks out, only this time he becomes terrified, forcing Robin to save the plane solo. The next day, the Gazette reports about Batman’s strange behavior, prompting Commissioner Gordon to set up a Robin-signal while Batman takes a break. Robin attempts to bust Masters, but gets captured. Thankfully, Batman listens in on Robin’s belt radio while Masters explains that the science lab machine that the Dark Knight smashed into causes drastic changes in personality if a siren sounds or a bell rings, hence the Dark Knight’s blackouts. Batman rushes to the lab, cures himself, and then saves Robin and arrests Masters.
–The Brave and The Bold #28
February—the month is given in The Brave and The Bold #29. When Aquaman encounters a giant alien starfish monster known as Starro the Conqueror turning regular ol’ ocean starfish into his mutated warrior slaves, the underwater hero sends out a red alert to his Justice League of America teammates. Wonder Woman leaves a date with her boyfriend Steve Trevor and flies her invisible jet to Happy Harbor to meet with Aquaman, J’onn J’onzz, Hal Jordan, and Flash. Superman is too busy to bother showing up, as is Batman, who decides to ignore the call because he is dealing with a team-up of his two arch-enemies—presumably an escaped Joker and Penguin. (We can assume Batman jails both of them.) The JLA sans Batman and Superman then take on Starro and his deputies. Starro mind-controls all the populace of Happy Harbor, turning them into zombies. Everyone is affected except for Flash’s teenage pal Lucas “Snapper” Carr. Eventually, the JLA learns that Snapper is immune to Starro’s powers because he was doing some lawn work and is covered in lime. The heroes douse Starro with lime, turning him into a living statue and ending his threat. Afterward, Batman (having defeated the villains in Gotham) and Superman join the team to make Snapper an honorary JLA member (aka the team’s mascot/sidekick). Snapper is given an official JLA alarm belt.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #27. The JLA puts a dormant (but living) Starro into the Hall of Souvenirs in the Rhode Island Secret Sanctuary.
–The Brave and The Bold #29
February. In the year 11,960, wanted super-criminal Xotar the Weapons Master evades the Intersolar Police and travels back through time to 1970 in the dead body of the sentient robot Ilaric, which he now controls like a war-mech. Armed with a tattered copy of Wonder Woman’s memoirs, Xotar mistakenly believes that he defeated the Justice League of America in 1970 thanks to page damage that obscures the true result of his visit and subsequent fight with the JLA. In the present, Xotar grabs Snapper Carr, who immediately signals the JLA. The entire team rushes to the Secret Sanctuary (except for Superman, who fails to respond to the JLA alert for the second time in a row) where a mind-controlled Carr delivers a message from Xotar challenging each JLA member one-on-one. A yellow paralysis ray shoots out of Snapper and freezes the whole team. Flash vibrates out of the ray’s field and, roughly an hour later, confronts Xotar at a military base in Florida where NASA is attempting to send a rocket to Venus. There, Flash defeats Xotar. Panicked, Xotar goes back in time to one minute after the Flash left to fight him. After releasing Aquaman and J’onn J’onzz, Xotar is defeated yet again, this time in Panama. Xotar goes back in time yet again to one minute after Aquaman and J’onn were released. He releases Batman, Wonder Woman, and Hal Jordan and challenges them to a duel atop Mount Rushmore. While Batman goes to look for Superman, Wonder Woman and Hal hand Xotar his third loss. Xotar flees and later, thinking it is his destiny to win, battles the JLA in Alaska. The team is doing poorly, until Batman, Superman, and Snapper arrive to turn the tides. Batman had correctly surmised that Superman was on a time-trip of his own, the reason he couldn’t respond to the JLA alert signal. Superman, after having returned to the present, was immediately contacted by Batman. The Man of Steel easily defeats Xotar and sends him back to the future where he is arrested. Afterward, Wonder Woman records the adventure into her diary, which will eventually be published as her memoirs.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #7. Late February. Each Justice Leaguer is given a second signal alert device, so as to differentiate between a normal non-emergency call and an extreme red alert response call. The latter call can be sent from very far distances, even from the distant galaxies if need be.
–The Brave and The Bold #30
Early March. When each member of the Justice League of America’s powers sputter out randomly, notably while Flash is apprehending Mirror Master (Sam Scudder), and Flash notices a police report of a couple of bizarre crimes in his hometown of Central City, Flash calls his JLA team in for a Happy Harbor meeting. At the Secret Sanctuary, Flash explains that someone has used the exact combined powers of the JLA to steal the oldest living catfish and cicada in the world. The JLA heads out, knowing that the weird new villain is attempting to kidnap the oldest living things on the planet. Wonder Woman guards the oldest human being in Peru, but comes face to face with the android Amazo, who defeats her and takes both she and the old man captive. On the Galapagos Islands, Amazo takes captive an ancient tortoise, a defeated Aquaman and Hal Jordan, and Hal’s Power Ring Battery as well. At a zoo in the US Midwest, Amazo attempts to steal the world’s oldest living owl, but is initially stopped by J’onn J’onzz and Flash. Eventually, however, J’onn is captured and Amazo reels both Flash and the bird onto the yacht of his master and creator, Professor Anthony Ivo. With five of the JLA captured aboard his ship, Ivo explains that he stole a tiny portion of their powers earlier (hence the sputtering out at the onset of the story) to endow upon Amazo. He was unable to steal Superman’s powers because the Man of Steel was too strong. And of course, Batman has no powers. That being the case, Superman, who protects a whale in the Pacific, and Batman, who protects an elephant in Africa, are simply never targeted and never actually face Amazo. Aboard his ship, Ivo begins completely siphoning off the powers of each captured JLA member, who is encased in a chlorine gas-filled cylinder. From the essence of the oldest living creatures, Ivo creates a working immortality elixir, which he guzzles down! Amazo then uses his stolen Green Lantern powers to completely blank the powerless JLAers minds. As Ivo celebrates victory, Hal zaps Ivo with his ring and kicks Amazo’s ass. (Hal had painfully inhaled the yellowish chlorine gas and blew it out around his face just as Amazo was blanking the team’s memories. The green energy didn’t permeate the yellowish cloud, thus preventing him from truly being mind-wiped. Hal then re-charged his ring with the Power Battery, used the ring to siphon his friends’ powers back from Amazo, and then distributed those powers back where they belonged.) After a quick trial, the immortal Ivo is sentenced to 500 years in prison.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #27. The JLA puts a deactivated Amazo into the Hall of Souvenirs at the Secret Sanctuary in Rhode Island.
–World’s Finest Comics #110
Batman, Robin, and Superman fight a Hutt-like alien visitor that has six tentacles and a shrink ray. While fighting the heroes, the alien sets things on fire and continuously shrinks buildings and bridges, stealing them once they are pint-sized enough to hold. The alien villain wants to build a fantastic asteroid tourist attraction, comprised of structures from different planets. As Superman and Batman converge on the alien fiend, an image of Robin appears on the creature’s belly. Superman punches the alien only to realize that the damage goes straight to Robin instead of the intended creature. Robin drops into a coma and is taken to a doctor, who says that he will die in mere hours unless something can be done. Meanwhile, the alien brags that if he suffers even the slightest injury, Robin will die immediately. Superman builds a cage made of a “super-compressed material” and traps the alien, but only for a moment as the villain breaks free. Batman, however, notices that when the villain escaped, Robin came out of his coma for a second or two. Batman realizes that the alien’s weakness is gas fumes. Using the exhaust from the Batmobile, Batman defeats the alien, saving Robin’s life in the process. Superman then returns the alien to its home planet and returns with a gift for the trophy room: the alien’s shrunken house.
–Superman #138, Part 2
The Daily Planet holds a masquerade party, which Bruce attends, ironically dressed as Batman. Perry White and Jimmy Olsen both wear Superman costumes. Clark comes as Satan while Lois comes as an angel. Clark, still dressed as Satan, leaves the party to occupy some mobsters. After tricking them as Satan, Superman busts some counterfeiters and then returns to get a signed confession out of the original two brutes.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #111. Before departing for South America to track criminal Floyd Frisby, Superman checks in with Batman and Robin.
–Detective Comics #279
Super-scientist Professor Martin asks Batman and Robin to guard his lab while he works on a top secret interdimensional gateway. When Martin is found unconscious and two otherworldly creatures show up in Gotham, Batman and Robin rush to action. Downtown, Batman and Robin fight a robot and a giant griffin-like creature. After a brief reprieve where they bust a pair of normal crooks, Batman and Robin lose the trail of their extradimensional foes. However, the Dynamic Duo is shocked to find them waiting inside the Batcave when they get home. After another scuffle, the robot explains that he is a robot detective from another dimension named Ardello. He and his griffin bloodhound, which was able to read Batman’s mind to find the location of the Batcave. Ardello explains that a thief dressed up as Batman knocked-out Martin and came to his dimension. There, the Batman impostor stole a weapon and returned to Earth. Using some evidence from the crime scene, Batman, via his super-computer, is able to deduce that the false Batman is Gimlet (Ed Collins). Ardello constructs a fake version of himself to trick Gimlet so that Batman and Robin can easily bust him, which they do. Then, the trio of heroes defeats and corrals the griffin monster, which has gone crazy. After Ardello and his pet return to their world, Professor Martin dismantles his machine.
–Batman #135, Part 1 Intro
Batman and Robin bust-up an illegal casino and arrest its operator Frank “Wheels” Foster, putting him in jail.
–World’s Finest Comics #111
Bruce and Dick learn from a TV news report that Superman has been missing for over a week—ever since he left to go after Floyd Frisby in South America. In a remote Amazon village cut off from society, Batman and Robin learn that Superman was injured while plugging-up an erupting volcano. They track Superman only to be captured by natives belonging to a hidden Mayan-Incan hybrid city in the deep jungle. Batman and Robin learn that an amnesiac Superman, after the volcano incident, was found by these natives, who were barely living in a tiny burnt-out village surrounding a dilapidated pyramid ruin. The natives made the confused Superman their king and he built a giant city for them based upon his knowledge of Mayan and Incan architecture. Frisby shows up and convinces the still-confused Superman to attack Batman and Robin. Robin is able to make Superman recall his memories by painting a picture of Clark Kent on the inside of the pyramid. The trio of heroes then easily bust Frisby.
–Batman #133, Part 1
Kite-Man (Chuck Brown) debuts and runs circles around Batman and Robin with his giant kites. Three days later, Kite-Man busts Big Bill Collins out of Gotham Bay Island Prison. Robin chases him in a speedboat, pulling Batman into the air. The parakiting Batman launches onto Kite-Man’s giant flying kite and fights both the super-villain and Collins high in the air. Batman is captured and put in a cell at Kite-Man’s HQ, but frees himself and uses Kite-Man’s various trick kites to defeat a gaggle of visiting gangsters. Kite-Man tries to get away using a specialized glider, but Batman kites down in a parachute of his own and catches him. Afterward, Batman and Robin put Kite-Man’s glider into the Hall of Trophies.
–Batman #133, Part 2
Batman and Robin outfit a large cruiser as the SS Batman and embark on what is their biggest publicity stunt to date (for charity, of course). Filling the vessel with items from the Hall of Trophies, the Dynamic Duo goes on a heavily-attended East Coast port tour. At each stop, the Dynamic Duo collects donations for orphanages and auctions of some items from their trophy collection. In an unnamed port city, Batman and Robin are lured onshore by some thieves. The thieves, however, flee when Batman’s security system (a dummy of himself) scares them off. The next day, the thieves trespass onto the SS Batman again only to run off right away. Batman investigates and sees that Passer Gillette’s belt-buckle gun has been tampered with. Inside a previously hidden cartridge on the buckle, Batman finds half of a map that leads to the secret location of Passer Gillette’s counterfeit money plates. Suspecting that the thieves are looking for the plates, Batman organizes an public auction for the belt-buckle gun to lure the criminals back for the other half of the map. Sure enough, they show up to buy the belt and Batman takes them down hard. Afterward, the SS Batman tour finishes up its final stops before returning back home.
–Batman #133, Part 3
Batman, Robin, and Batwoman fight some thugs at the railway station. Things looks bleak until Bat-Mite shows up and helps collar the crooks. A journalist is on hand to witness Bat-Mite and even interviews him briefly, thus revealing the imp to the public-at-large for the first time. Batwoman reluctantly agrees to let Bat-Mite be her sidekick. Later, while Batman and Robin deal with crooks at a camera factory, Batwoman and Bat-Mite take down some cable car-riding crooks just outside of Gotham. Bat-Mite then falls head-over-heels in love with Batwoman and decides that he and Ace the Bathound should set up a chain of events that makes Batwoman looks like a bigger star than Batman. Eventually, Batman, Robin, Batwoman, Bat-Mite, and Ace all converge upon some villains inside a hardware store. Bat-Mite goes nuts and magically enlarges all the tools and Ace! Batman rides Ace like a horse and defeats the bad guys while narrowly avoiding magick obstacles left and right. With the baddies tied-up, the annoyed heroes go after the pesky imp, who poofs back to his home dimension.
–World’s Finest Comics #112
Batman and Robin face-off against saboteur thieves known as The Wreckers and ask for Superman’s assistance. Superman completes a quick outer space mission and returns with a furry flying green Ewok that cutely follows him around. While Superman fixes a sabotaged dam, the indefatigable Dynamic Duo chases the Wreckers. The little alien fur ball gets in the way by mimicking Superman, thus allowing the Wreckers to make a clean getaway. As soon as Superman leaves for Metropolis, the alien morphs into a ten-story-tall vicious beast. Thankfully, Superman returns and it returns to its original fuzzy small state. When the Wreckers strike again, Superman is preoccupied with the green guy, but thankfully Batman and Robin are able to subdue the Wreckers on their own. Superman, meanwhile, flies into deep space in an attempt to figure out what to do with his tagalong. While flying through a meteor shower, Superman is struck by a chunk of Kryptonite, which crashes along with him onto a distant dead planet. Superman is near death, but his little green pal absorbs all the Kryptonite radiation, sacrificing his own life to save the Man of Steel’s.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #134, Part 2. Bruce and Dick abruptly leave a Sportsmen’s Club luncheon when a bank is being robbed across the street. Batman and Robin bust the robbers. Tod Allen gets it in his head that Bruce and Dick are Batman and Robin.
–Detective Comics #280
Bruce interrupts his daily lesson with Dick to suit up and confront the debuting Atomic-Man, who can alter the atomic structure of any object using an ocular device. Atomic-Man vandalizes Henry Hayes’ parade float factory and escapes the Dynamic Duo by turning the Batmobile into glass. Batman recalls the criminal trial of Paul Strobe, who was sent to jail but vowed revenge on the Dynamic Duo and his ex-partners that he stole from, including Hayes, Barker, and Jenkins. (Batman incorrectly remembers this trial as occurring seven years ago, but the earliest it could have occurred is three years ago.) Batman and Robin immediately go to protect Barker’s ship-building business. Atomic-Man is already there and makes Barker’s newest vessel float up into the stratosphere, forcing Robin to save Batman’s life via Whirly-Bat. Batman and Robin next clash with Atomic-Man at Jenkins’ art gallery, where they are able to defeat the new villain and put him in jail.
–Batman #134, Part 1
Batman and Robin get involved in a South American civil war, helping the president of an unnamed country and his army push back the rebel forces of would-be dictator Diaz. But just as the war ends, the monstrous Rainbow Creature emerges and strikes terror across the countryside absorbing colors right out of objects and using different colored rays to disintegrate things in its path. Diaz rides up on horseback and claims to have created the creature and demands the president’s surrender. The Dynamic Duo charges the beast only to get blasted by a green ray that makes them pancake flat for a few minutes. Using a prism, Batman is able to prove that Diaz is not responsible for unleashing the rainbow beast—Diaz’s own men are terrified of it. Batman and Robin then force the creature to use all of its color rays at once, leaving it white as a sheet. Without any color energy, the Rainbow Creature crumbles into dust. The only explanation given for the appearance of this one-shot weirdo is that it is “a freak that emerged from a volcano.”
–Batman #134, Part 2
Bruce gets a letter in the mail from a stranger who says he knows that he is Batman. After studying the letter in the crime lab, Batman and Robin single out ex-con Gentleman Jim Jansen as a possible suspect. At Jansen’s apartment, Batman and Robin expose his ongoing diamond smuggling ring, but he clearly is not the man who sent the letter. After receiving a second letter the next day, Bruce and Dick become very paranoid. That night, Batman and Robin bust Catfoot Regan and follow his trail to Beetles Branagan, who they also bust. Another letter arrives the next day, this time giving enough information to reveal the mystery man as Bruce’s friend Tod Allen. Bruce and Dick rush to Allen’s office only to learn that he has recently died. Allen’s secretary had sent off his final mailings, which included the letters to Bruce, which were just a gag (even though they were correct in their deduction).
–Batman #134, Part 3
“The Matt & Danny Show” is one the country’s most famous live stage acts, a ventriloquism show, but with a twist. Danny the Dummy is a little person that sits on the lap of his adult human-sized dummy. But Danny is sick of being the brunt of midget jokes and insults. Danny hires some thugs and decides to become a criminal mastermind. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin come face-to-face with Danny, who gets the better of the Dynamic Duo. in round two, Danny gets away with another crime again, but leaves one of his henchmen behind to get caught and interrogated by Batman. The police put a secret tracer on the henchman and release him. Sure enough, he leads Batman and the cops straight to Danny the Dummy’s HQ. Batman and Robin easily catch Danny, who winds up in the lap of a Batman statue in the park.
–REFERENCE: in Detective Comics #281. Batman and Robin fight the debuting Night Owl Gang, owl masked villains secretly led by Eddie Chill and Wedge Dixon. The Night Owl Gang bests the Dynamic Duo and runs free.
–Batman #135, Part 1 Conclusion
Frank “Wheels” Foster breaks jail and becomes a wheel-themed cape-and-cowled super-villain. He attempts to rob a transportation expo that Bruce and Dick happen to be attending. Thus, Batman and Robin fight Wheels and get captured by him. Wheels puts the heroes onto a giant roulette wheel death trap and like all dumb villains, leaves before they actually are killed, allowing Batman and Robin to escape unscathed. At a Coney Island-esque beachside carnival, Batman KOs the baddie and puts him back behind bars.
–Batman #135, Part 2
Alfred writes another “What If?” fan-fic about the future Batman and Robin, Dick and Bruce Junior. In this tale, Alfred has old Batman come out of retirement to bail them out of trouble again. Alfred and Bruce then chat about his stories and Bruce breaks the fourth wall to wink at us.
–Batman #135, Part 3
Batman and Robin chase after some crooks in a high speed car pursuit. The crooks shine a bizarre light signal into the air that summons the Sky Creature, a deformed, fish-faced, scarecrow-esque figure that is impervious to bullets. The Sky Creature wraps-up Batman and the cops with alien smoke rings, allowing the baddies to escape with ease. The next night, the Sky Creature Signal lights up the Gotham sky again. While Batman gets beatn by the Sky Creature, Robin tags the crooks’ getaway car with a radioactive spray. Batman and Robin are able to track the villains by following the radioactive trail they leave behind. At one of Gotham’s weirder attractions, a black skull-shaped house, Batman and Robin find their prey, but are attacked and captured. The villains explain that they found an ancient magick artifact that once belonged to a sorcerer—a lantern that can summon the bizarre Sky Creature. Batman and Robin escape from captivity, smash the lantern, and beat the bad guys. Afterward, Batman explains to the Boy Wonder that a medieval sorcerer must have trapped the extradimensional creature in the lantern long ago, but dismisses any further curiosity, adding, “stranger things than that have happened, Robin!”
–Justice League of America #1
Flash comes across two refugees, Jasonar and Saranna, from the planet Kalanor, a planet from an alternate universe. On Kalanor, they explain, the purple-skinned three-eyed tyrant Despero has taken over the planet with an iron fist. Flash vows to help and contacts his fellow Justice Leaguers. Batman is already with Aquaman, having a team-up to stop some smugglers on the high seas. While all the JLAers go to the Secret Sanctuary, Jasonar continues explaining to Flash that he is working on a device that will defeat Despero. As Jasonar shows Flash the inside of his interdimensional traveler, Saranna is sucked back to Kalanor by Despero. Flash learns that being exposed to the interdimensional traveler makes one immune to Despero’s powers. Flash then runs to Happy Harbor to find Despero, having traveled to Earth in his own interdimensional traveler, waiting for him. Flash’s friends remain in a mystical alien trance. Despero then displays a chess-like game board with miniature JLA figures and challenges Flash to play for the lives of his partners. With no choice, the game begins. But the game, of course, is rigged and with each loss, Flash dooms his friends, who each get banished to foreign planets in separate alternate dimensions. Superman and Wonder Woman wind up on a dinosaur “Dawn World” planet. Green Lantern and Aquaman wind up on the water planet of Thanakon. Batman and Martian Manhunter wind up on the planet Narx, which has only one hour left until its sun explodes courtesy of a missile fired by Despero. While Martian Manhunter fights a Human Torch-like agent of Despero, Batman flies a Narxian rocket into orbit and pushes the missile off course. Flash shows up in Jasonar’s interdimensional traveler and saves the day. Shortly thereafter, Superman and Wonder Woman arrive, having used Superman’s ability to vibrate through the Bleed. Likewise, Green Lantern and Aquaman arrive courtesy of Green Lantern’s ring. Back on Earth, Snapper Carr tricks Despero and uses Jasonar’s completed weapon to bring down the villain. The heroes arrive back on Earth and Jasonar takes the defeated Despero back to Kalanor. So, yes you read that right. The heroes completed a bit of derring-do, but it was Snapper who ultimately saved the day.
–Detective Comics #281-282
With Robin sidelined with a cold, Batman unmasks the Night Owl Gang leaders, Eddie Chill and Wedge Dixon, all by himself. Owl number two, Dixon, is later captured by police. A few days later, Batman attends Dixon’s pre-trial hearing and Dixon is released on bail. Wanting to eliminate the only person that can testify against them, the Night Owls lure Batman to an abandoned mine, which they collapse onto him. Luckily, Batman survives and escapes through an underground cavern. He tells Robin that he will play dead for a couple days to give the Night Owls a false sense of security. But when the Night Owls still doubt Batman’s true death, Batman instructs Robin to go after them with the Batman Robot, an act that will surely convince Chill that the real Dark Knight is dead. The Batman Robot and Robin take down Chill’s henchmen, who then report that Batman seems stiff and weird after posting bail. Dixon sets up a rival gang to get in a confrontation with the law so he can watch this stiff Batman with his own eyes. Sure enough, the Batman Robot and Robin take down the Gorman Gang, but Dixon knows for sure that the Batman in action is not the real thing. The next day, at his trial, Dixon exposes Batman as a mechanical fake. Dixon walks and the news of Batman’s shocking death hits the public. Meanwhile, the real Batman recaptures Dixon, disguises himself as Dixon, and meets with Chill. Chill takes “Dixon” to the site of some hidden loot, at which point “Dixon” unmasks. Batman, Robin, and the Batman Robot take down the Night Owls once and for all.
The Chief of the Interplanetary Space Police, Tal-Dar, visits Earth and helps Batman and Robin nab some thieves. The cocky Tal-Dar then goes on a huge publicity tour with radio, TV, and newspaper interviews, exclaiming that he is here to work with the Dynamic Duo. After several days of nearly screwing up criminal cases, but taking all the credit for the busts, Tal-Dar gets kidnapped by gangsters. After Batman and Robin save him, Tal-Dar admits that he is a pathetic cop and hoped to learn from the Dynamic Duo. Just then, Tal-Dar’s home planet of Alcor messages him with terrible news that the planet’s most treasured artifact, the Star-Stone, which has salubrious energy, has been stolen by the tyrant Zan-Rak. Tal-Dar, Batman, and Robin travel the cosmos to Alcor to fight him on his asteroid fortress. After hiding behind a giant space spider to enter the asteroid’s orbit undetected, the trio of heroes lands on the surface. Wanting Tal-Dar to become a confident leader, Batman fakes having a deadly alien disease. A nervous Tal-Dar leads the heroes past a Krajan Cave-Eel and into Zan-Rak’s heavily fortified base. Batman reveals that he is okay and swoops down to help Tal-Dar defeat the villain. The Interplanetary Space Police then enters the asteroid’s atmosphere and defeats Zan-Rak’s army. Batman and Robin then return to Earth.
–World’s Finest Comics #113
In Gotham, Batman, Robin, and Superman take on a “crime robot”—a giant mech controlled by two pilots inside its head. Things are complicated when Bat-Mite shows up to prevent Superman from helping his favorite heroes (who Bat-Mite believes are so good that they don’t need any assistance). Jealous of Bat-Mite’s meddling, his fellow 5th Dimensional imp, Mr. Mxyzptlk, appears and challenges the mini Dark Knight to a magickal feud. The two tiny monstrosities begin their wild and silly battle and, eventually, Mxyzptlk creates a towering black tentacled beast that looms threateningly just outside of Gotham. Superman tosses the beast into outer space as Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk begin magick battling again. After some back-and-forth sparring, Mxyzptlk decides that Bat-Mite is too foolish and poofs back to the 5th Dimension. Sensing the angry vibes of Batman, Robin, and Superman, Bat-Mite poofs away too.
–Detective Comics #283-285
Batman and Robin face-off with some gangsters who have allied themselves with the mysterious Phantom, a masked foe that has telekinesis and who can phase through walls. After defeating the Dynamic Duo twice, but then curiously saving Robin’s life, the Phantom retreats with his thug pals. Batman suspects that all is not as it seems. Sure enough, on their next encounter, Batman unmasks the Phantom as an alien being. Our heroes track the alien to the hideout of the evil scientist Carter Wede. There, Wede reveals that he has brought the alien Pol to Earth from another dimension using a machine he has invented. Pol has been blackmailed into helping Wede commit crimes under the false pretense that he can’t send him back home without a ton of stolen goods. Batman defeats Wede and his men and then sends a thankful Pol back to his home dimension.
A daytime investigation into a bank robbery leads Batman and Robin to confront Hal Durgin, who has invented an “atomic camera.” The camera turns anything within its range to black and white (like a photo-negative), shrinks down, and gets sucked into a containment unit within the device. As Batman and Robin fight Durgin and his men, the camera “snaps a partial picture” of Batman, turning him black and white. The next day, photo-negative Batman and Robin take on Durgin, who unleashes a stolen zoo elephant on them to escape. When the sun comes out, Batman learns that the light now causes him intense pain. Batman is rushed to the hospital, but no cure can be found. The news hits the public airwaves, causing a panic. Batman comes up with a plan. The Dark Knight lures Durgin into a trap by baiting him with a priceless model of the Taj Mahal, which he and Robin hide inside along with the Batman Robot, pained-up with black and white paint. Sure enough, Durgin sucks up the Taj Mahal and “Batman” with his camera. When he spits everything back out, he is surprised that he is still black and white. This allows the real Batman, now returned to normal, and Robin to get the jump on Durgin and defeat him.
Batman and Robin are present when Professor Lacy unveils the scientific find of the decade at the Gotham Museum. A living prehistoric protohuman has been found in suspended animation in a block of ice. When the protohuman escapes and goes on a rampage, revealing himself to not only be prehistoric but a superhuman as well, Batman, Robin, and Batwoman are on the case. After a bunch of sexist comments from the Dark Knight, Batwoman calms the savage Man-Beast, as the media dubs him, by feeding him chicken. Later, with the Man-Beast safely caged in the museum, Professor Lacy stumbles upon the fact that museum official Harbin, along with a crooked shop owner named Drager, has been stealing precious artifacts. Harbin kills Lacy, frees the Man-Beast, and blames the murder on the Man-Beast. After busting Drager, Batman and Robin join Batwoman at the mountainside Gotham Observatory to try to catch the Man-Beast. Outside of the observatory, the Man-Beast winds up falling to his death while protecting Batwoman from a mountain lion. Batman then exposes Harbin’s plot and brings him to justice.
–NOTE: In Batman #136, Part 3. Joker escapes from jail again.
–Batman #136, Part 1
A robot appears to warn Batman and Robin of the threat of an alien super-villain named Mr. X. Mr. X appears and destroys the robot before fleeing. Soon after, the Dynamic Duo fights Dagon-like fish creatures that can multiply at will. Only the random appearance of some horses allows the heroes to escape. The horses take Batman and Robin to a mysterious castle filled with sword-wielding apes. POOF! This whole crazy episode was a magick hallucination created by Bat-Mite. Thanks Bat-Mite.
–Batman #136, Part 2
The GCPD tasks Batman and Robin with capturing wanted fugitive Bert Collins. The Dynamic Duo tracks Collins to a small mining town just outside of Gotham. There, the townies, led by their mayor, angrily lead a mob against our heroes. A surprised Batman and Robin run away, but are eventually caught and captured by the mob. After escaping a vat-slowly-filling-with-water death trap, Batman and Robin spy on their captors and discover that they are actually Vordian aliens in disguise that have enlisted Collins to help them begin an invasion of Earth! Batman swoops down, takes control of their “grav-ray” weapon, and forces them to leave the planet in the flying saucer in which they arrived. Batman then destroys the grav-ray and hauls Collins to jail.
–Batman #136, Part 3
Batman delivers a radio address in honor of the anniversary of the founding of the GCPD. The next day, Joker challenges Batman by announcing a series of “element-themed crimes.” For his first crime, Joker bests our heroes by stealing all the mail from an airmail plane using a giant vacuum. The next day, Joker also takes round two, defeating Batman and Robin at the Gotham Amusement Park after detonating an explosive on a fault line, which causes an earthquake. A day later, Joker wins yet again, this time beating our heroes using a flying Joker-head that spits fire. However, Joker’s luck runs out later that night as he attempts to rob a live stage performance at Gotham Bay’s newest attraction, the Aqua-Stage. Batman and Robin bottle him up in an Arabian Nights prop and send him back to jail.
–REFERENCE: in Batman #139, Part 1. Batman defeats an escaped Signalman yet again (as he has done several unspecified times this year). Signalman winds up in federal prison where he meets Green Arrow rival Bull’s-Eye, who teaches him how to make trick arrows.
–Justice League of America #2
First, a little background. The Magic Dimension (aka Magic-Land World) is a plane of existence where all Gods co-exist and the laws of magick aptly replace many of the laws of physics. Within this plane is a sprawling Tolkein-esque alternate Earth that appears similar to our Earth from space, but which is vastly larger and ever-changing due to its magickal nature. This strange realm is not only the source of all magick in the multiverse, but includes Asgard (home of the Norse Gods), Olympia (home of the Greco-Roman Gods), and a transcended Camelot (home of the Arthurian Fairy Folk). Cut to one month ago—All Hallow’s Eve in the Magic Dimension, but definitely a different date on Earth: The villains Simon Magus, Saturna, and the Troll King (all current residents of the Magic Dimension) cast an incantation that switches their metaphysical laws with that of Earth 1’s. Electronics, machines, and basically all man-made objects cease to function on Earth as magick becomes the new law of the planet. Likewise, magick ceases to continue working in the realm of the Gods. On Earth, a panicked Justice League consults all the books on witchcraft and the Occult that they have in their Sanctuary library. The JL then preforms a dark ritual that summons the immortal Merlin (who happens to currently reside in the Magic Dimension). Merlin then sends Green Lantern and J’onn J’onzz to Asgard where they defeat a griffin, a manticore, and Saturna. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman and Flash go to Olympia where they defeat an army of giants, dwarves, and the Troll King. Concurrently, Batman, Superman, and Aquaman travel to the Forest Perilous where they defeat air sprites, dryads, ents, and Simon Magus. The JL then opens the dimensional gateway created by the trio of villains only to watch as a giant monster version of Snapper Carr come through—Snapper has fooled around with Merlin’s wand and turned into the creature by accident. Merlin quickly changes Snapper back to normal and fixes everything on both worlds. Merlin gives his crystal ball to the JLA as a gift for their Souvenir Room (as mentioned in Justice League of America #21). Snapper later goofs on his little brother Jimmy Carr about “magic.”
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #265. Batman tells Robin all about his Justice League adventure in the Magic Dimension.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #333. Summer. Batman meets famous explorer Evan Bender, who is set to leave on a several-yearlong trip of Africa. Shortly thereafter, Batman reads of Bender’s engagement to actress Alice Foss.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Superman tells Batman about Krypton Day, a special annual holiday that he spends with the people of the Bottle City of Kandor. The holiday honors the anniversary of the destruction of Krypton. Batman expresses interest in viewing the celebration/memorial services, but he won’t be able to for a couple years.
–Detective Comics #286
Bruce makes a date with Kathy Kane, scheduled for later in the night. During the day, after some trapeze training, Batman and Robin respond to a break-in at the museum. There, a costumed super-villain with super-strength calling himself Star-Man defeats Batman and Robin and heads off toward Carter Curio Shop in search of a supposedly worthless vintage belt. At the shop, Batman learns that the belt has already been sold. Little does he know, it has been purchased by Kathy Kane. Later that night, Bruce and Kathy go on their date. Their chemistry is correct, but Kathy can’t help but constantly tease Bruce that she wishes he “were more like Batman.” Later, Dick ribs Bruce, telling him that he definitely cares way more about Kathy than he lets on. The next day, Batman, Robin, and Batwoman perform motorcycle acts for charity at the circus. Batwoman wears the belt and has a strange reaction to it, becoming rejuvenated with strength, but then making her feel extremely weak. When Star-Man shows up, the belt seems to sap the villain of his powers. Batman, Robin, and Batwoman visit Malcolm Frazier, the man who originally found the belt in Tibet. He explains that the belt is an ancient magickal talisman that, when coupled with other parts, can grant immense power. Our heroes track one of the parts, a buckle, to a manufacturing company. By the time they get there, Star-Man has already put his part of the talisman (his star) into the buckle, doubling his power. Batwoman shows up and rescues the Dynamic Duo by wielding the full power of the talisman on her belt. After Star-Man is defeated, the heroes destroy all three parts.
–World’s Finest Comics #114-115
Batman, Robin, Superman, and an unnamed film producer are in the middle of shooting a scene for a movie intended to raise funds for the Gotham City Orphanage when the Dynamic Duo is enclosed in two spheres, which both rocket into outer space. Superman follows them a great distance to the planet Zoron. Blue skinned Zoroian humanoids explain that they need Superman’s help to defeat the invading Baxians, who have ruined their way of life. The blue-skinned aliens refuse to let Batman and Robin free until the Baxians have been expelled, even though Superman agreed to help them before this ultimatum has hurled at him. Eventually, the strange Zoroian atmosphere, combined with a ray gun blast, causes Superman to lose his powers. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin are released to discover that they have super powers. Super-Batman and Super-Robin fight an army of Baxians and their giant war machines. When the Baxians begin to take the upper hand, Superman retreats back to outer space where he recharges his powers and hurls a meteor onto Zoron, which ends the Baxian threat once and for all. The trio of heroes then happily returns home.
Just outside of Metropolis, Superman blasts a tunnel through a mountain, sealing up a dangerous pocket of natural gas. A turban-wearing man named Omir, the supposed “Swami of the Mystic Order of Vegal,” claims that Superman has defiled his numinous mountain and swears revenge. The next day, Superman visits Gotham to collect a rocket that has been filled with half-a-million dollars, which has been donated to a Metropolis charity. Omir shows up and angrily puts a curse on Superman. Superman pays it no mind and rushes off to prevent a bridge from collapsing. After saving many lives, Superman goes into a trance and begins blasting heat vision at a passing ship. Batman blocks his beams with a lead shield and Superman comes-to. Later, in Metropolis, Superman prevents another disaster but then immediately tries to cause one. Thankfully, Batman and Robin have followed him and stop him once again. But Superman can’t be watched around-the-clock. After doing several more good-followed-by-evil stunts, including declaring himself the King of Gotham, Batman and Robin realize that the Man of Steel has been afflicted with Red Kryptonite! After a short investigation, the Dynamic Duo exposes the “swami” as a fraud and goes after he and his gang of thieves, who are only interested in the charity rocket’s contents. Superman flies in to assist Batman and Robin and to help bust the baddies.
–Detective Comics #287
Jhorl and Kzan are interplanetary space-villains (and bitter rivals) looking searching for pieces of a mystical meteor that have been mistaken for ordinary iron ore on Earth. After blowing a hole in the side of the State Prison, Jhorl and Kzan each recruit a convict, outfitting them with special alien weaponry and costumes, to search for the meteor pieces. After Batman and Robin put some criminals back behind the broken prison wall, they take on Jhorl’s “Wasp” and Kzan’s “Raven.” Batman knocks-out the Wasp and puts on his costume. Following the Wasp’s trail via Ace’s nose, Batman meets with Jhorl and learns the scoop about the aliens and the meteor pieces. After pulling-off the same ruse with Kzan after knocking-out the Raven, Batman learns that the meteor pieces can be used to create a mind-control device. Robin and Ace get captured by Jhorl, but Batman is able to steal the completed mind-control device and take control of the situation. Batman alters Jhorl’s and Kzan’s brain patterns to make them “better people” and sends them back to their home planet. Afterward, Batman dumps the mind-control device into the ocean.
Batman and Robin fights some thieves that are trying to steal from an air-mail plane, but a masked newcomer calling himself Mr. Marvel appears and defeats them with bizarre technology. A day later, Batman is interviewed on TV but all the questions are about the spectacular Mr. Marvel. Outside the studio, Mr. Marvel approaches Robin and gives him an ultimatum: Leave Batman and become his new sidekick or Batman will die via a disintegration weapon that is “tuned to his utility belt’s frequency.” Seeing no other option, Robin quits his post a few days later and joins with Mr. Marvel, much to the shock and consternation of Batman. Without Robin at his side, Batman is depressed and nearly gets himself killed in action. A few more days pass and Batman trails Mr. Marvel and Robin only to watch Robin, in the middle of a charge against some gangsters, punch his new boss and strip him of his weapons. Surprised, Batman swings down and helps Robin fend off the baddies. Batman then unmasks Mr. Marvel, revealing him to be an alien from another planet! The alien explains that he had a bet with his friend that he could make Robin his partner for ten days. (Nine days have passed, so he loses the bet.) Batman shames the gambling alien and sends him on his way.
Enter The Brand—a cowboy-themed super-villain that loves to leave hints as to what his next crime will be. Batman and Robin first tackle him in Chinatown only to lose. The next day, similar results occur as the Brand makes fools of the Dynamic Duo at a TV studio that has giant roving robotic chess pieces. The next day, in order to focus on the Brand, Batman cancels his appearance at the Gotham Bank where he was supposed to ceremonially hand over $100,000 of charity funds to the mayor. The Brand leaves another clue, but Batman realizes that it is a false one and the villain is really hoping to occupy the Dark Knight so he can rob the charity money from the bank. To the Brand’s dismay, Batman and Robin are waiting for him and they put him behind bars.
The onslaught of aliens continues. When some humanoid alien youths from the planet Siga cause a ruckus in Downtown Gotham, Batman and Robin are on the case. An adult alien of the same species, Blish, addresses the Dynamic Duo and explains that he is a teacher and the little ones are his students on a field trip to Earth. Batman and Robin decide to chaperone the field trip. At the first stop, the little tykes accidentally knock a man into a shark tank at the aquarium, forcing Batman to take action. The Sigan kids only act-up even more from there, breaking away from their teacher and causing chaos all over town. Eventually, Batman, Robin, and Blish corral all the delinquents and give them the spankings of their lives. After child-abuse Batman has had his fill of doling out punishment, the kids go to the planetarium and seemingly calm down. However, the kids interfere with the police as they chase after some masked bank robbers, causing Batman and Robin to intervene. Blish then realizes that they have landed on the wrong planet—they were supposed to have gone to Orla instead of Earth. On Orla, cops wear masks whereas criminal never do, hence the reason the Sigan kids prevented the cops from catching the robbers. Blish and his students depart, but not before giving Batman and Robin an autographed picture, which they hang in the Hall of Trophies.
–NOTE: in Batman #139, Part 1. Signalman escapes from federal prison.
–Justice League of America #3
When each of the Justice Leaguers’ communication signal devices malfunctions, they each go to the Secret Sanctuary (except for Superman who is in deep space on a mission). In Happy Harbor, the person responsible for breaking the devices, Kanjar Ro, freezes the entire team. Kanjar Ro explains that he is the dictator of the planet Dhor and that the Justice League will fight his rivals or all the inhabitants of Earth will remain frozen thanks to the very device that has frozen the heroes—the awesomely named Gamma Metal Gong. Kanjar Ro sends the Justice League on a interstellar vessel into the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Meanwhile, Batman and Snapper Carr are left behind in a Kryptonite trap as bait for Superman. Sure enough, Superman falls into the trap and is knocked-out. Meanwhile, Kanjar Ro’s Justice League defeats his alien tyrant rivals—Hyathis, Kromm, and Sayyar. Eventually, the Justice Leaguers turn the tide at the far end of the universe and take all four tyrants captive, freeing the people of Earth simultaneously. Back on Earth, Batman, Superman, and Snapper are rescued by the rest of the team. Superman then creates an asteroid out of a bunch of meteors by smashing them together. Green Lantern puts all four villains on the “meteor-world,” creates a permanent oxygenated atmosphere and edible vegetation on the world, and rockets it into deep space. Later, everyone tells their version of what occurred to rapporteur Snapper, who records the stories onto audio tape.
–World’s Finest Comics #116
Batman gets hungry while on patrol and decides to stop for a quick hot dog. Working at the stand, Batman and Robin are pleased to see Vance Collins, who is out of jail and has turned his life around. Later, at Gotham’s Wonderland Amusement Park, Batman and Robin fight the thieving “Creature From Beyond,” seemingly a gaudy alien from a nearby billboard movie advertisement that has come to life. Superman arrives to help only to learn that the Creature has super strength as well. The next day, the Creature continues to commit robberies and even helps other crooks from the Jackson Mob steal as well. Superman, Batman, and Robin are defeated for the second day in a row. When some of the stolen loot turns up in Collins’ apartment, he is arrested immediately. In jail, Collins morphs into the Creature and breaks-out. Batman soon realizes what is happening after trailing Collins and the Jackson Mob for a couple days. Collins has been struck by a cosmic ray that shot to Earth as a result of a comet striking a satellite. The cosmic ray caused a Jekyll and Hyde effect on Collins, causing him to turn into the villainous Creature and help his old mob friends. Eventually, when the effects of the ray wear off, Batman has Collins wear a Creature costume to get the surprise jump on the Jackson Mob, allowing the Dark Knight, Boy Wonder, and the Creature to nab them. Afterward, Collins tells Batman, Robin, Superman, and the press that he will keep the Creature costume and become a superhero.
–Detective Comics #288
Bruce and Dick go on vacation on a “secluded resort” on an island that is home to the resort, a small town, a mansion belonging to a retired film star, and a chemical plant. When lightning strikes some chemical waste that is being dumped into the environment, an giant amorphous blob-like creature is born. When Batman and Robin attack the blob, it “evolves” into a giant lobster/rat hybrid, prompting Robin to label it as the “Multiple Creature.” Batman and the ex-movie star narrowly escapes the claws of the Multiple Creature, which then morphs into a raven/manta ray /porcupine hybrid. After Batman and Robin blast it with a canon, the Multiple Creature morphs into a giant praying mantis. The interim mayor of the town leads a small military force against the large insect, which becomes a Godzilla/armadillo/anteater hybrid. Batman and Robin harpoon the Multiple Creature and send 100,000 volts straight from a power plant right into it, causing it to completely disintegrate.
–Batman #138, Part 1
The separate threats of evil scientist Dorian and the new super-villain known as The Tiger plague Gotham. Batman, Robin, and the Batman Robin bring down Dorian after the Batman Robin takes one for the team and gets shot with Dorian’s “rocket battering ram.” The “rocket ram” then goes into the Hall of Trophies. Batman then turns his focus on the Tiger Gang, coming up with a plan to ambush them at the planetarium. However, unknown to Batman, the Batman Robot has gone a bit insane thanks to the knock from the “rocket ram.” The Batman Robot sneaks out of the Batcave, dresses up as a gaudy “telepathic” super-villain called “Kadar,” and teams-up with the Tiger, telling him of Batman’s plan. Kadar and the Tiger Gang easily defeat the Dynamic Duo. Later, Batman is struck with a dream image of the Tiger’s next big score. The next day, Batman’s premonition is correct and the Dynamic Duo fights the villains only to lose again. Despite the loss, Batman realizes that Kadar is the Batman Robot gone rogue. He also realizes that an actual mental connection has been formed between he and the Batman Robot, thanks in part to a boost in sentience due to the “rocket ram” incident. (This is insane and makes no sense—I guess since the Batman Robot has previously been created using some sort of wild sci-fi hoodoo it is somehow possible that the Batman Robot could forge a telepathic link from his computer brain to Batman’s human brain. Blecchhh.) Anyway, Batman, knowing that the Batman Robot’s prime directive is to make sure that Batman never dies, uses that knowledge to swing the Batman Robot back onto his side. Batman, Robin, and the Batman Robot then take down the Tiger Gang. Afterward, Batman reprograms the Batman Robot, fixing him up.
–Batman #138, Part 2
Bruce and Dick go to the county fair and witness new super-villain Simple Simon break a bull out of its pen in order to form a distraction so he can steal some money. Batman and Robin tirelessly chase after him, but he escapes on a flying carousel horse. The next day, Simple Simon strikes again and bests Batman and Robin, fleeing on an inflatable whale. A day later, at a New England ski resort, Batman and Robin finally bust the newcomer.
–Batman #138, Part 3
When Bruce and Dick read about a giant sea monster terrorizing ships as they head out to sea from Gotham Bay, Batman and Robin are on the case. After the sea monster strikes again, the Dynamic Duo fights the creature underwater. Later, Commissioner Gordon asks Batman to forget about the monster and leave it to the Coast Guard to instead focus on capturing fugitive Chips Hassel. That evening, Batman and Robin eavesdrop on Hassel and his gang and hear about a plan involving the sea monster, which is a fake designed to hide his escape by “eating him alive.” Batman busts Hassel and disguises himself as the villain. At the pier, “Hassel” dives into the water and swims into the open hatch of the “monster.” Inside, Batman is exposed and captured by the two previous “victims” of the monster, criminals hoping to fake their deaths. Robin shows up and saves Batman, helping him bust all three villains and their henchmen. Afterward, Batman operates the monster and follows Robin in the Bat-sub to Gotham Bay Island Prison to drop off the bad guys.
–NOTE: In the introduction to Mystery in Space #75. Kanjar Ro escpes from his distant meteor prison, leaving his fellow prisoners behind and swearing revenge on the JLA. Sayyar mentions that they have been trying to escape for “a year,” but since it has only been like two-and-a-half weeks, he is either exaggerating or two-and-a-half weeks equals a year on the lizard-man home planet.
–Detective Comics #289
After Bruce hams-up how lazy he is at one of his fancy clubs, Batman and Robin hit the streets on patrol. Bat-Mite shows up, but the Dynamic Duo tell him to buzz-off. Bat-Mite is approached by a swindler named Willy Wile, who falsely claims that he is making a secret movie about Batman and Robin. Wile convinces Bat-Mite to join his “crew” and help shoot some burglary scenes. Later, Batman and Robin attempt to bust some crooks, but Bat-Mite helps the bad guys get away! Later, Bat-Mite and his gang rob a sports equipment store and make fools out of the Dynamic Duo once again. News that Bat-Mite is a crook hits the mainstream media outlets, but Bat-Mite still thinks it’s all a movie and continues his “mean streak.” Eventually, Bat-Mite overhears the truth and double-crosses his “director,” helping Batman and Robin bust Wile and his henchmen.
–Batman #139, Part 1
Signalman challenges Batman and Robin to a duel at an ore refinery. The Dynamic Duo is surprised when Signalman shows up in a new super-villain persona, a complete rip-off of Green Arrow called “The Blue Bowman.” (Signalman decided to make this change after meeting Bull’s-Eye in prison.) The Blue Bowman defeats the Dynamic Duo on two consecutive confrontations, something he never managed to do before as Signalman. But the third time is a charm. Batman and Robin fight trickery with trickery, unveiling the Saw-Tooth Batarang, Fire-Prevention Batarang, and Spinning Batarang to defeat the Blue Bowman and his henchmen.
–Batman #139, Part 2
Batman and Robin travel to the island HQ of the nation’s top criminal, George Milo. When they reach the shores of the isle, the Batboat is smashed-up by a robot sea monster. Ashore, Batman and Robin tackle each of Milo’s bizarre defenses, including hidden electrical fields, a remote-controlled tank that has a giant fist instead of a cannon, a giant octopus, numerous henchmen, a motion-detecting automated crossbow, and an expert marksman. After these have been dealt with, Milo surrenders.
–Batman #139, Part 3
Batman, Robin, and Batwoman are struggling against the debuting Cobra Gang until Bat-Girl shows up and saves the day! (This Cobra Gang, led by King Cobra, is possibly linked to the terrorist Kobra cult.) Batman, Robin, and Batwoman are shocked at the sudden appearance of Bat-Girl. Later, Kathy Kane’s live-in niece, Betty Kane, reveals herself to be the new Bat-Girl. Later, atop police HQ, Batwoman explains the situation to Batman, that her headstrong niece has found her out and followed in her footsteps. Batman allows Bat-Girl to continue, but only under the condition that she complete a training course. Thus, Batwoman begins training her everyday in the Batwomancave. But only a few days into her training, Bat-Girl decides to take on the Cobra Gang all by herself. Of course, Bat-Girl gets captured but is able to send out a distress signal that reaches the Bat Family. Batman, Robin, and Batwoman save her and bust King Cobra and his Cobra Gang. Batwoman reluctantly says that maybe Bat-Girl can continue crime-fighting. Bat-Girl is overjoyed and expresses that she has a crush on Robin. Gulp!
–Mystery in Space #75
An editor’s note places this right before Justice League of America #4. There is also a flashback to this story in Showcase #101. Two-and-a-half weeks have passed since Kanjar Ro secretly broke out of his meteor prison. In that time, Kanjar Ro has relocated to the planet Rann, home to Earthman cum space champion Adam Strange, Strange’s Rannian girlfriend Alanna, and Alanna’s father Sardath. Kanjar Ro has taken over several Rannians with mind-control and has been using them as lab assistants to help achieve his ultimate goal, to give himself more power than Superman using a series of bizarre radiation treatments. Adam Strange and Alanna spy on Kanjar Ro by pretending to be brainwashed lab assistants for several days. Kanjar Ro test his new powers out by defeating robot versions of each Justice Leaguer. (That JLA robot team probably could have been a nice weapon to use against the JLA, but oh well…) Anyway, Kanjar Ro finds Adam Strange and Alanna out and imprisons them using the Gamma Metal Gong (!) before departing for Earth. Adam Strange and Alanna break free and Strange bolts to Earth using Kanjar Ro’s stolen space vessel. After leaving the space vessel in a spot where Flash will easily see it, near Gorilla City, Adam Strange returns to Rann via his Zeta-Beam traveling method. On Earth, Flash finds Kanjar Ro’s ship and alerts the JLA, who all come to Africa. Green Lantern, J’onn J’onnz, and Batman then travel to the meteor prison to verify that Kanjar Ro has escaped. The trio then goes to Rann to arrest the villain. On Rann, Adam Strange bangs on the Gamma Metal Gong with all his might, freezing the entire planet, including Kanjar Ro and the trio of heroes. After a couple days of frozenness, Adam Strange phases back to Earth (due to how the Zeta-Beam functions), freeing himself of the Gong’s influence. Adam Strange warns the rest of the JLA (and Snapper Carr) about Kanjar Ro’s new powers and they depart for Rann. There, Adam Strange uses Kanjar Ro’s supersonic whistle to unfreeze Alanna, Batman, J’onn, and Green Lantern. However, Kanjar Ro snaps out of the Gong funk and begins to decimate the heroes in battle, even turning Batman, Snapper, and Aquaman into cavemen using an “anti-evolutionary beam.” Adam Strange finally is able to defeat Kanjar Ro by hitting him with a gravity rod made out of metal from his home planet of Dhor. (Dhorite to Kanjar Ro is like Kryptonite to Superman now that he has powers like the Man of Steel.) Green Lantern then uses his power ring to rapidly evolve Batman, Aquaman, and Snapper, correcting the damage done to them! The heroes, along with Adam Strange, whose ability to permanently stay on Rann via the Zeta-Beam is gone thanks to the battle, return to Earth, taking Kanjar Ro’s ship and weapons as souvenirs for the Secret Sanctuary Hall of Souvenirs. NOTE: As seen via flashback from Justice League of America #17, the Rannian villain and Wind Elemental known as Tornado Tyrant secretly watches this whole affair. Intrigued by the heroics of the JLA, Tornado Tyrant will secretly watch the JLA on and off for the next year. We won’t see him, nor will the JLA, because he will be invisible.
–Justice League of America #4
Trillions of miles from Earth, Xandor, the dictator of the planet Dryanna, decides that is in his best political interest to exile his top military leader, the literally indestructible and telepathic Carthan, who has gained popularity with Dryanna’s rebellious citizens. Xandor decides to exile Carthan on Earth along with a bizarre set of three devices that will permanently blind Carthan should he attempt to leave Earth. Furthermore, if Carthan should decide to tamper with the devices, they will kill all human life on Earth. En route to Earth, Carthan learns of the JLA, but due to his “aura” (metapowers) he cannot ask them for help. However, he can act like a villain, which he believes will force the JLA to intervene in his case. As Carthan arrives on Earth, the JLA are in the middle of a meeting to decide who will be the newest addition to the team. Batman immediately nominates Hawkman, but after an hour of deliberation, he sides with the majority and Green Arrow is chosen. Carthan interrupts the meeting telepathically, declaring that he has kidnapped Green Arrow. Carthan then delivers an ultimatum—destroy the three doomsday devices or Green Arrow dies. Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter shut down the first device in Keystone City. Meanwhile, Flash and Aquaman shut down another off the coast of Australia. In Rome, Green Lantern and the Italian military shut down the third box. Batman supervises while Superman rescues Green Arrow aboard Carthan’s ship. On the other side of the ship, the rest of the JLA is captured by Carthan and stuffed into a giant diamond prison cell. When Kyrptonite takes Superman out of the equation, Batman tackles Carthan, who loses his invulnerability. Green Arrow then uses a diamond-tipped arrow to shatter the prison cell, freeing the JLA. With Carthan revealed as a good guy, he departs for his home planet. Afterward, Snapper Carr records the “minutes” of the case as each JLA member, including the newly inducted Green Arrow, recounts all that has occurred.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #119. General Grambly, the self-proclaimed “Napoleon of Crime,” and his Purple Legion debut, running circles around Batman, Superman, and Robin. The trio of heroes captures a bunch of Purple Legionnaires, but no one, not even our heroes, knows that Grambly is the leader of the organization. For the next few weeks, the Purple Legion will continue to make fools of Batman, Robin, and Superman.
–Detective Comics #290-291
Newcomer Gadgets Blore has invented a high-voltage ray cannon, which he uses on Batman and Robin, causing Batman to become “positively charged” and Robin to become “negatively charged.” When the glowing red Batman and the glowing red Robin try to go near the ray cannon, it crumples under its own weight. Blore runs off, having turned Batman and Robin into a walking bomb, should they come near each other. Batman sadly informs the news media that Batman and Robin are no longer a team. That night, Batman and Robin construct a remote-controlled Robin Robot. The next day, Batman and the Robin Robot fight Blore and his gang again. However, a short in the Robin Robot’s control box causes Robin to drop the controls, which causes the Robin Robot to fall down, exposing it as a mechanical Boy Wonder. The short, however, also returns Robin to normal. Batman hatches a plan. He paints the Robin Robot green and tells the real Robin to pretend to be the robot. Later, Batman allows Blore to steal the control box for the Robin Robot (which is actually Robin in disguise). At Blore’s hideout, Blore and his men are stunned when the Robin Robot reveals himself to be the real Boy Wonder. Batman and the green Robin Robot (controlled by Alfred I guess?) rush in and take the bad guys down. Batman’s red glow fades away.
A rockslide deep in the Batcave reveals an ancient rocket-ship hidden beneath a cavern wall. Out of suspended animation emerges a giant hairy green cyclopian beast. After a brief fight in the Batcave, the creature flees. Batman and Robin meet with Commissioner Gordon and a scientist named Dr. Heims. The four, along with a police escort, confront the alien again. When the alien’s belt begins to glow, the creature demolishes a restaurant. Back at the Batcave, Batman examines the rocket-ship and puts on a virtual reality helmet inside. The helmet informs him that the creature is a Rukk from the planet Sharl. The Rukk was a trained Sharlian pet sent to Earth to fetch some pyramids merely as part of a game. In the rocket, Batman finds a Sharlian ray gun that is capable of defeating the Rukk. After tracking down the Rukk, Batman and Robin are attacked by Big Ed Bailey and his mob, who want to follow the Rukk back to the hidden location of the Batcave. Batman easily defeats Bailey and company, but the Sharlian weapon is wrecked. While Robin distracts the Rukk in his Whirly Bat, Batman digs up the Sharlian pyramid, but it winds up in the hands of the Rukk anyway. Batman and Robin then tow the rocket to an empty field far from people. The Rukk hops back into the ship and soars back to Sharl—except, as Batman has deduced, Sharl no longer exists, having long ago been blasted to smithereens by asteroid collisions. Sharl was an inhabited planet that used to exist in-between Mars and Jupiter!
–World’s Finest Comics #117-119
Batman, Robin, Batwoman, and Superman all respond to the appearance of what appears to be a green tentacled alien menace working hand-in-sucker with some human thieves. After the creature and the thieves make a quick getaway, only Batwoman is able to successfully track them to their hideout. Upon entry, Batwoman is seized by their ringleader, none other than an escaped Lex Luthor! Luthor’s monster, which he calls “Golanth,” is actually a remote-controlled robot that has been given super-strength an invulnerability via a bizarre ray device. As Batwoman struggles to free herself, Golanth zaps her, endowing her with flight, invulnerability, and super-strength too. When the Dynamic Duo arrive, Batwoman surprises them with her new abilities. During the mop-up of his men, Luthor escapes with Golanth. Later, at the Metropolis Metrodome, all four heroes face-off against the bad guys. Luthor is able to take control of Batwoman to make a successful heist and getaway. Later, Batman, Robin, and Superman take on Luthor, Golanth, a mind-controlled Batwoman, and Luthor’s men outside of Gotham. Superman permanently disables Golanth, severing Luthor’s power over Batwoman at the same time. The heroes easily bust Luthor and put him behind bars again.
Batman, Robin, and Superman dress-up the Batmobile to drive around Gotham to promote the Hear Fund charity. When a green ray of light permeates the sky, the heroes investigate. Outside of the city, Superman is abducted by aliens and replaced with a bizarre razor-beaked sasquatch-like creature. On the weird other-dimensional planet called Xeron, Superman is confronted by humanoid aliens that explain that their teleportation technology only works when an item of similar size is replaced with what is sent, hence the reason Superman was swapped for the creature. Superman demands to be switched back, but the aliens deny him, citing that their creature, a deadly Skran, is on a special mission on Earth. Eventually, Superman learns from some nice Xeronians that the folks he tangled with were wanted criminals working for the vile Vathgar. After defeating Vathgar and his men, Superman learns that the villain sent the Skran to Earth to locate and mine iron ore, which gives all lifeforms on Xeron invulnerability. Back on Earth, Batman and Robin fight the Skran. When the Army blasts the Skran with cannon fire, it splits into two Skrans. Superman is able to swap himself with one of the Skrans, returning to Earth to help Batman and Robin defeat the other one. Afterward, Batman and Robin put the Skran into the Gotham Zoo.
In order to trick the leader of the Purple Legion into exposing himself, our heroes launch a plan into action. Superman dresses up in a gaudy masked-superhero costume and calls himself Tigerman. Tigerman leads Batman, Robin, and a Superman Robot that is playing Superman into battle against the Purple Legion. During the clash, Tigerman shouts orders at his comrades and upstages them. After one of the Purple Legionnaires is captured, Tigerman announces publicly that he is the commander of the superheroes. A day later, after a “botched” prevention of a rare gem heist, Tigerman and Batman stage an argument to fool a spying Purple Legionnaire. Tigerman warns Batman that he knows his secret ID. The next day, with word having gotten back to General Grambly (leader of the Purple Legion) about Tigerman’s relationship to his team, Tigerman allows himself to be captured by the Purple Legion. Grambly introduces himself and demands knowledge of Batman’s secret ID. Tigerman unmasks as Superman and proceeds to apprehend Grambly. But the villain reveals a chunk of Kryptonite. Thankfully, Batman and Robin are waiting in the wings to make the save and the bust.
–NOTE: Flash #123 occurs now. Flash #123 doesn’t feature Batman or any of his Bat Family, but it is the seminal “Flash of Two Worlds” story that fully introduces the concept of the multiverse to DC. This superb and influential tale, which originally took place in 1961 but has been retconned to 1970 thanks to Silver Age time-sliding, features Flash (Barry Allen) accidentally vibrating through the Bleed from Earth 1 to Earth 2! There, Barry meets Jay Garrick, the Earth-2 Flash, who has been officially retired for 21 years, ever since 1949—(although he was active until 1951). All of Jay’s adventures as Flash on Earth 2 have appeared as comic books written by Gardner Fox on Earth 1, so Barry knows all about him. The Golden Age Flash comes out of retirement to team with the Silver Age flash to defeat the Earth-2 Thinker, Earth-2 Shade, and The Fiddler. Afterward, Barry returns home and Jay decides to stay un-retired.
–World’s Finest Comics #120
In Metropolis, Superman takes on a bizarre faceless “blank white” humanoid form in Metropolis. When Superman punches the creature it turns blue, grows Superman’s face on its head, and steals his ability to fly. Later, Batman, Robin, and Superman track the blue creature only to run into another blank white creature. The second creature steals Superman’s super-strength, turning red and gaining a Superman face in the process. Eventually, a third blank creature steals Superman’s heat vision and turns into a green Superman-faced monster. As the three creatures wreak havoc upon Batman and Robin, Superman uses his telescopic vision to detect the location from where the creatures originally came from. After visiting a secret cave hideout outside of the city, Superman learns that two villains have used an star-charged Occult crystal ball from the 10th century to summon and control the weird blank power-absorbers. Superman steals the crystal ball, turns the trio of creatures upon their masters, and gets his powers back. Batman and Robin bust the villains and Superman smashes the ball, causing the three blank creatures to fade away.
–Batman #140, Part 1
Joker escapes from Gotham Penitentiary only to seemingly get killed in an explosion while fleeing. The next night, however, the “ghost of Joker”—a completely sheet-white Clown Prince of Crime—publicly appears. Batman and Robin try to capture him at a theater, but Joker vanishes without a trace after turning a bunch of ghost moths loose on our heroes. The next day, white Joker robs both a fake Western ghost town at an amusement park and a horse track where a filly named Poltergeist is racing. The ghoulish themes continue as Joker enters a “ghost ship” into a regatta. Batman nabs Joker’s henchmen and learns the obvious truth, that Joker is alive and merely painted up to appear as a ghost. Batman and Robin then fool Joker with a ghostly projection of their own before sending him back to prison.
–Batman #140, Part 2
When Gotham’s underworld hires a trio of deadly assassins to kill Batman, Superman is on the case to help his pal—in the most convoluted way possible, of course. Superman disguises himself as a wizard called The Alchemist and appears on a television talk show with the Dynamic Duo. On the show, Superman fixes up a “protective elixir,” which Batman happily guzzles down. Later, after the first assassin lures Batman to Planetarium Park via a false tip about Joker escaping from jail, Batman miraculously avoids being executed. The next day, the second assassin fails in his task as well thanks to a seemingly freak occurrence that saves the Dark Knight’s life. In actuality, Superman has been secretly helping Batman, while making the baddies think the Alchemist’s elixir has been the cause of Batman’s good fortune. However, when the eavesdropping third assassin discovers that Superman has been the cause of Batman’s luck, he shows up the next day with a chunk of Kryptonite, eliminating the Man of Steel from the equation. But even without Superman’s help, Batman easily defeats the assassin.
–Batman #140, Part 3
Bruce schedules a date with Kathy Kane four days from now. Later, Batman and Robin are accidentally transported to the planet Xlur by inept Xlurian scientists. While on Xlur, the Dynamic Duo metamorphose into green-skinned simian-like humanoid aliens with antennas on their foreheads. After three days stuck on Xlur, alien Batman and alien Robin are sent back to Earth. After a meeting with a shocked Commissioner Gordon and Batwoman, the alien Dynamic Duo takes on the Yellow Sweater Gang. While busting the gang, the Dynamic Duo realizes that they can leap great distances and have mastery over magnetic forces. After a briefing and explanation of their new looks to the mainstream news-media, Batman and Robin return home. Bruce has a date with Kathy the next night, so he invites her to a masquerade ball so that he can “dress up” as the alien Batman. Kathy finds the costume in such poor taste that she cancels their date. Later, Batman and Robin fight more Yellow Sweater Gang members, but earn the distrust of the GCPD, Commissioner Gordon, and Batwoman who come to believe that they are impostors. Luckily, their alien transformation is only temporary. The green skin and metapowers fade away and normal Batman and normal Robin bust the rest of the Yellow Sweaters. Later, Bruce brings flowers to Kathy as an apology.
–Justice League of America #5
After a Justice League case (sans Batman, Superman, and Snapper Carr), the team fears new member Green Arrow is a traitor and calls an emergency meeting. A trial is held with Batman, Superman, and Snapper as impartial judges. The prosecution (represented by Wonder Woman, J’onn J’onzz, and Flash) begins by re-telling all about the case in question. The case started with the prison break of Monty Moran (aka “The Getaway Master”), Captain Cold (Leonard Snart), Professor Menace, King Clock (William Tockman), The Puppet Master (Jordan Weir), and Electric Man. Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Arrow took on Captain Cold, King Clock, and Professor Menace. During the fight, Green Arrow shot some explosive arrows and then disappeared with the bad guys. Aquaman, Green Lantern, and J’onn continue the statement from the prosecution, telling how they fought against Electric Man, Monty Moran, The Puppet Master, and several giant puppet robots. At the conclusion of the battle, Green Arrow arrived and fired off several explosive arrows, allowing the villains to escape. The prosecution rests. Green Arrow defends himself by explaining that Captain Cold, King Clock, and Professor Menace were actually robot duplicates that were rigged to blow-up should any member of the JL apprehend them, hence the reason he blew them up first with his arrows and then rushed away to help his other teammates. At the location of the other battle, Green Arrow explains, he realized a similar thing would kill his pals, so he reacted similarly. Superman declares that Green Arrow is innocent, but questions why he didn’t simply speak up during the battles. Green Arrow replies by stating that there is an impostor in their midst! Green Arrow points out that the puppet robots were yellow, yet Green Lantern still effectively fought them, thus proving that Green Lantern has been kidnapped and replaced. The JL grabs the impostor and unmasks him as Dr. Destiny (John Dee)! En route to the police station, Dr. Destiny’s henchmen rescue him and capture the entire JL using an anti-gravity machine. Aboard Dr. Destiny’s massive spacecraft, the real Green Lantern, having played possum ever since being captured, springs free, busts the bad guys, and frees his teammates.
–Detective Comics #292
Bruce makes a date with Kathy Kane, scheduled to occur in two days. Bruce is also invited to speak at the Community Fund Dinner gala, scheduled to occur in three days. Later, Batman and Robin confront super-villain Rockets Rogan at a science lab where the Dark Knight accidentally gets engulfed in some gas from outer space. Instantly, Batman (and his costume) grow twenty stories tall! Despite his gigantic size, Batman fails to capture Rogan. The next day, Robin and Batwoman deliver a meal fit for a giant at Gotham Stadium. Batman eats the world’s largest cheeseburger and drinks and entire tanker truck full of milk. When Robin phones Kathy canceling Bruce’s date with her, she suspects that Bruce could be Batman. The next day, giant Batman screws-up again, his clumsy awkward size allowing for Rogan’s escape and the near death of Robin and Batwoman. With the Community Fund Dinner gala set to happen, a disguised Superman fills-in for Bruce. On the outskirts of the city, Rogan unbelievably, using knock-out gas, captures the colossal Dark Knight! Batman eventually escapes and chases Rogan to a castle which houses the Beravian Embassy. There, Batman shrinks back to regular size as the effect of the space gas wears-off. Batman, Batwoman, and Robin defeat Regan and his henchmen.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #142, Part 3. A private detective named Regan (no relation to the Regan villains) befriends and meets with Batman and Robin before departing for Central America to chase after a wanted criminal.
Batman and Robin drop everything when a newcomer named The Clockmaster delivers a large “clue clock” to police headquarters. A note attached to the clock says that the mechanical clock will open up to display a clue to an upcoming crime every 24 hours, thus offering a bold challenge to the Dynamic Duo. Sure enough, a clue pops out, which leads the Dynamic Duo to easily bust some masked robbers. After the same thing happens a night later, Batman suspects that the clues are actually mere distractions to provide the Clockmaster with a Batman-free heist opportunity. So, on the next night, Robin deals with the clock clue on his own while Batman visits a rare gem exhibit on the other side of town. Sure enough, the Clockmaster is there and he goes down hard. Batman and Robin keep the clue clock in the Batcave trophy room.
Commissioner Gordon arranges for Batman and Robin to be entered into a amateur cross-country race when he learns that a murder is supposed to occur during the event. The Dynamic Duo races against the other competitors on horseback, up rock walls in climbing gear, and then competes on an archery range. When competitor Mitchell Long nearly gets killed twice in two separate “accidents,” Batman suspects accountant Lyons. But later, during a canoeing part of the event, Lyons and his partner Warner tip over and nearly both drown. Batman spots that Warner is wearing weighted shoes that he used to pull himself to safety from a pre-positioned anchor under the water. Exposed as an accounting fraudster, Warner is sent to jail.
Batman, Robin, and Batwoman come face-to-face with a new super-villain that has made a mockery of the Gotham police force: a copycat of Killer Moth known only as “The Moth.” (It is also possible that this is Killer Moth, but it is not made clear.) Just as the Moth looks like he will escape justice, Bat-Girl swoops in and takes him down. Bat-Girl becomes the new toast of the town and in the days that follow, the female Dynamic Duo makes its presence felt on the streets of Gotham. When the Moth breaks jail, Batman and Batwoman worry about Bat-Girl’s safety. Thus, they order Robin, who Bat-Girl is in love with, to convince her to sit this one out. That night, while the adults go after the Moth, Robin and Bat-Girl are honored guests at a teenage dance held by the brand new Robin Fan Club and Bat-Girl Fan Club. When Batman and Batwoman are captured by the Moth and his henchmen at a science expo, Batman radios for help, which brings Robin and Bat-Girl running. The four heroes are too much for the villains to handle and they all get busted. Our story ends with the girls smooching the blushing boys.
–Detective Comics #293
While Bruce and Dick ride the Gotham Bay Ferry, a freak electric storm opens an interdimensional worm hole that sends the entire ship to a bizarre planet—home to the weird alien Yllans that are at war with the beastly Gruggs. Unsure of whether or not the humans are friends or foes, the Yllans take them captive in their largest city. There, the Yllan king attempts to use a new mind-control device against the Gruggs, but the device is stolen by ferry passenger Eddie Stark. Stark takes control of the Gruggs and takes Batman as his prisoner before leading a charge against the Yllan stronghold. Robin frees Batman and they use alien sneezing spores to defeat the villains. Later, another electrical storm sends the ferry and its boarders back home.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #144, Part 2. Joker escapes from jail again. He drops a fortune and has a fake Gotham City “streets set” constructed on a huge sound stage. Joker plans on using this set to test crooks in an attempt to put together the perfect “Batman-proof gang.” Batman immediately hears rumors, which will persist for the next month, that Joker is forming some sort of new gang.
–Batman #142, Part 1
Interplanetary Space Police Chief Tar-Dal gifts Batman with a Robot-Guardian. During a case, the Robot-Guardian saves Batman’s life and earns front page headlines. However, on the next two cases, the Robot-Guardian is over-cautious and prevents Batman from even chasing after some dangerous criminals. A day later, Batman fakes his own death. The Guardian-Robot, thinking its mission is a failure, self-destructs. Batman and Robin put the wrecked Guardian-Robot into the Hall of Trophies.
–Batman #142, Part 2
While being escorted back to Tom Travis’ boarding home by Batman, retired sailor Stubbs makes it known that he’s out for revenge against the company that pensioned him off. Later, Stubbs seemingly appears at the Dutton Shipyard as the super-villain known as The Ancient Mariner, complete with a trained albatross. After the Ancient Mariner and his henchmen best Batman and Robin on two consecutive occasions, Batman shows up for round three with a sack full of fish to distract the albatross. Without his killer bird, the Ancient Mariner goes down and is unmasked as Tom Travis. Batman gets Stubbs a job as a ferry operator.
–Batman #142, Part 3
Since private eye Regan hasn’t been in contact with Batman in a month, Batman and Robin travel to Central America to search for him. There, the Dynamic Duo is led to an ancient Mayan pyramid that is supposedly protected by giant creatures and the god Tezcatlipoca. Sure enough, the god appears alongside a giant jaguar and singed serpent. The next day, Batman and Robin sneak into the pyramid and discover that the creatures are robots controlled by Texcatlipoca, who is actually mad scientist Dr. Hartley. Hartley has created a pyramid scheme—pun intended—where wanted crooks can hide with him under his protection. Batman tampers with the circuitry of the robot creatures before getting captured and thrown into a cell with Regan. Hartley, in Mayan garb, then attempts to sacrifice Batman, Robin, and Hartley to his giant robots, but thanks to their wires being crossed, they crash and burn, allowing Batman and Robin to kick ass.
–Detective Comics #294-295
Batman and Robin respond to a call at their friend Professor Higgins’ lab. There, Higgins explains that his assistant, John Dolan, has obtained the power to turn into any element of his choosing. This power has also caused him to go insane. Coupled with a control belt, Dolan has become the super-villain known as Elemental Man. After Element Man’s debut, complete with henchmen, proves to be a successful defeat of Batman, the Dark Knight enlists Higgins’ help with a machine that can supposedly nullify Element Man’s powers. However, during their second altercation, the machine strikes Batman accidentally, giving him elemental powers as well—only in Batman’s case, he has no control over them. Seeing no other alternative, Commissioner Gordon locks up the potentially dangerous elemental Batman behind bars. A day later, Batman breaks out and seemingly joins forces with Element Man as a criminal. Of course this is all a ruse. After punching out Robin to “prove himself,” Batman leads Elemental Man into a trap where Higgins zaps both elemental warriors with his machine, taking away both their powers. Back to normal and sane again, Dolan is exonerated of all wrongdoing. Batman sends his henchmen, willing crooks, to jail.
Professor Carter Nichols summons Batman and Robin to an archeological dig in Giza, Egypt. There, not far from the Great Pyramids, Nichols excitedly shows Batman an ancient wall mural depicting the Dark Knight fighting two large monsters. Shockingly, the monsters appear out of nowhere and fight the Dynamic Duo before vanishing as mysteriously as they came. Nichols then shows Batman a third mural depicting a red Dynamic Duo meeting with a pharaoh. With the mystery solidified, Nichols explains that he can no longer time travel because “his body is too frail.” Thus, Batman and Robin jaunt back to ancient Egypt. Before they depart, Nichols tells them about the “time box return button” that can bring them back at any time. (This is already a thing, so Nichols must just be reminding them.) In Ancient Egypt, Batman is instantly taken captive by time-traveling aliens from Nakor, who have already captured local soldier Khau-Re. The Nakorians explain that they sent two beasts to 1970 to test Batman, and then they show video of the battle to Khau-Re. Robin then frees Batman and Khau-Re and, in the process, learns that the aliens can’t see the color red. After meeting the pharaoh, Batman and Robin paint themselves red and defeat the aliens, sending them running and convincing them never to attempt an invasion of Earth again. Red Batman and red Robin return to the present with an explanation for Nichols.
After shaking down all of fugitive Nitro Joe’s known associates, Batman and Robin track him into the woods and bust his sorry butt. Later, Dick wonders how exaggerated the legacy of the Dynamic Duo
will be in the distant future. Thus, we flash to the year 3361 and learn that Batman and Robin are legends of myth with quite bizarre tales attached to their lore.
Batman and Robin take on the debuting Dr. Pneumo, who evades capture in a weird pneumatic car. Later, Batman and Robin take on the pneumatic themed villain for a second time and Batman gets blasted with a compressed air gun causing him to go completely blind. After some shaky blind training and shaky blind action, Batman eventually uses special radar and sonar devices to “hear” where Dr. Pneumo is while battling him. When those devices prove to be ineffective, Batman gets lucky and regains his sight, thus leading to Dr. Pneumo’s quick defeat.
Batman, Robin, and Ace the Bat-Hound bust Lippy Yates’ gang. Afterward, a giant cockroach-looking creature appears. Batman, Robin, and some state troopers try to gun down the monster, but Ace mysteriously aids the monster’s escape. Soon after, Batman and Robin are directed to a nearby farm where an alien capsule is parked. Tiny insectoid footprints lead away from the capsule and gradually get larger and larger, telling our heroes that the alien creature was once small but enlarged upon exiting its craft. Batman also intuitively understands that Ace was trying to protect a fellow animal. Suddenly, Lippy Yates captures Batman, Robin, and Ace. Just as Yates is about to execute the bunch, the giant alien bug returns Ace’s favor and rescues them. A huge rumble then ensues atop a suspension bridge. Yates is captured, but the alien bug is crushed by the collapsing bridge. Batman and Robin bury the alien under its space capsule. Ace mourns the loss of a friend.
–Justice League of America #7
Snapper Carr and his girlfriend Midge enter a Happy Harbor fun house and find themselves transported clear across the universe to the distant Fomalhaut System. Snapper immediately alerts his Justice League friends. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern rescue the troubled teens from the faraway planet’s deadly creatures galore before returning them home to Earth. While Superman and J’onn J’onzz return to the Fomalhaut System to look for more people to rescue, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern all separately enter the funhouse in their civilian identities. It’s not long before each of these four heroes are costumed and captured by the fun house controllers, aliens from the planet Angellax, located in the Algol System. The Angellaxians explain that 100,000 years ago they sent a space probe (to mine cosmic information) and are now finally trying to recapture their lost probe—which is set to accidentally and coincidentally land in Happy Harbor momentarily. With a convoluted plan involving replication of humans and a fun house with a teleportation gateway, the Angellaxians also want to conquer the universe (using information from the probe) as well. The Angellaxians send a duplicate Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern back to the Secret Sanctuary. There, they make up a story about Xotar, which convinces Batman, Superman, and J’onn that is of utmost importance that they time-travel to the year 11,960 to stop him. Superman immediately ultra-speed-runs to 11,960, carrying Batman and J’onn along with him in a Legion of Super-Heroes Time Bubble—as referenced in Justice League of America #11. While the trio of heroes is sent on the wild goose chase—(Xotar is safely in prison when they arrive in the future)—the rest of the JL exposes both their fakes and the replicated humans at the fun house and defeats them all. Superman, Batman, and J’onn arrive just in time to hear the whole story and to watch the space probe put into the souvenir room of the Secret Sanctuary. A few days later, all of the JLers go to the cleansed fun house with their significant others, although they don’t recognize each other in their secret IDs. Diana goes with Steve Trevor. Bruce goes with Kathy Kane. Clark goes with Lois Lane. Snapper goes with Midge. Hal goes with Carol Ferris. Barry goes with Iris West. Ollie goes with Bonnie King. And J’onn (as John Jones) goes with Diana Meade.
–Detective Comics #296
A planet-themed super-villain with nine costumes based upon the nine planets of the Solar System strikes Gotham with heat rays and enlarging rays. Batman and Robin deal with the the so-called Planet Master a couple times before they link his equipment to the lab of famous scientist Professor Norbet. After a check of his lab, Norbet determines that the Planet Master must be his old canned assistant Edward Burke. But the Planet Master, in a Saturn costume, strikes at a gold refinery while Batman and Robin are interrogating Burke, thus exonerating the latter. While Batman and Robin fight Planet Master, Burke visits his old lab to discover a returning Planet Master, who unmasks as Norbet! Burke helps the dizzied Norbet and learns that his old boss cracked open an alien meteorite and became the Jekyll and Hyde super-villain, not even knowing that he was dressing-up and committing crimes by day. Batman and Robin crash into the lab and see Norbet is indeed the Planet Master. But before the Dynamic Duo can act, Burke decides that he wants in on the crime spree, siding with Planet Master. However, now that Planet Master Norbet has come to his senses, he helps Batman arrest an attacking Burke. Afterward, Burke goes to jail, but no charges are pressed against the Planet Master.
–Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #29
The JLA initiates Superman’s “Plan L” after he gets taken-out by aliens using Green Kryptonite. Krypto burns a giant L into the sky to alert Lois Lane that “Plan L” is a go. The plan calls for Lois Lane to deliver a live-saving variety of Red Kryptonite dust to the JLA. Unfortunately, the evil aliens are monitoring Lois’ every move, so she comes up with a plan of her own. A sexy plan! Lois tells Perry White that she will do a story about kissing superheroes, spreads the Red K dust into lipstick and onto her lips, and heads out to meet the heroes. Lois watches Green Arrow perform at Metropolis Stadium then whispers her plan (to kiss him an the other heroes so they can secretly obtain the Red K dust). Sure enough, right in front of a packed stadium and a jealous Lana Lang, Lois smooches Green Arrow. Across town, Lois pulls the same stunt, locking lips with Aquaman and making out with Batman! The three JLAers wipe-off their ruby lips and deliver the goods to Superman, who easily defeats his tormentors.
–Detective Comics #297
Batman and Robin trail fugitive Albey and Albey’s mystery partner in crime to the tropical vacation resort of Koba Island. There, a giant purple Godzilla called “The Beast of Koba Bay” emerges and flattens a village, killing Albey in the process. Batman suspects that Albey’s mystery partner must have offed him to prevent him from revealing too much info. After the Beast of Koba Bay strikes again, Batman and Robin follow known crook Spence to a secret underwater cave where they learn that he, at the controls of a giant robot Beast of Koba Bay, killed his partner Albey. In a more shocking reveal, Batman notes that the second Beast attack was the actual Beast of Koba Bay. The nuclear Godzilla is real! In what is one of my personal favorite sequences of the 1960s, Batman commandeers the robot Godzilla and uses it to fight the real Godzilla! The Batman-driven purple robot mega-dinosaur eventually punches and kicks the real purple mega-dinosaur onto a section of beach that has been mined with explosives. The real Beast is mortally wounded and trudges out to sea to die.
–Batman #144, Part 1
Batman invents some new radioactive tracking technology and a coil-snare capsule for his utility belt. While on patrol, he and Robin come in-between two humanoid aliens that have traveled to Earth to duel one another with bizarre weapons. After dealing with the feuding aliens a couple times using his new belt tools, Batman disguises himself as the alien man Hylk and KOs his buddy Zorb. Expecting the real Hylk to emerge from the nearby bushes, Batman and Robin are shocked to see a female alien, Rilla, instead. She proceeds to explain that Hylk and Zorb travelled to Earth to duel for her hand in marriage without a care for the welfare of the residents on the planet. Rilla lays the feminist smack-down on Hylk and Zorb, telling them that she will never marry either of them. All three aliens then leave the planet.
–Batman #144, Part 2
Batman and Robin bust Gum Ball Burke and find an address on a note in his jacket pocket. Batman disguises himself as Burke and heads to the address where he meets some crooks, who take him to Joker’s secret sound stage Gotham City set. There, a crazed Batman-costume-wearing Joker challenges Burke and two other men to defeat him in combat. “Burke” is successful, so Joker switches roles, giving him the Batman costume for the next challenge. But the Caped Crusader is so good that he gives away his identity as the real thing. Joker turns a gun on the Dark Knight, but Robin—having been signaled by a secret radio hidden in a gumball in Batman’s mouth—leads the GCPD onto the set to bust the Clown Prince of Crime.
–Batman #144, Part 3
Batman and Batwoman are called away to Washington, DC to testify before a Senate crime committee. (It’s about time that elected officials at the highest level would want costumed vigilantes of such notoriety to stand and speak before the government.) This leaves Robin and Bat-Girl to patrol Gotham. As soon as they are alone, Bat-Girl starts trying to make-out with the Boy Wonder, who gets her to stop by claiming that he already has “another woman.” Later, Bat-Mite weighs-in on the situation by meeting the teary-eyed Bat-Girl and telling her that he will help-out. For two nights in a row, an invisible Bat-Mite, hoping to help Robin fall for Batgirl, aids her in combat. But on the third night, Batgirl gets kidnapped by bad guys, forcing Bat-Mite to appear before Robin and spill the beans. Robin and Bat-Mite team-up and rescue Bat-Girl. Afterward, Robin says that the “other woman” is Lady Justice. Batman and Batwoman arrive back home and approve of a little teenage love, encouraging the two to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Bat-Girl takes the opportunity to further smooch a more receptive Robin.
–World’s Finest Comics #121
While Batman and Robin fight some thieves at an antique warehouse, Batman gets tossed into a mirror and falls through it into an alternate universe or dimension. In this weird place, Batman becomes stretched-out and distorted and then is attacked by a humanoid alien with a ray gun. An amnesiac Batman retreats back through the mirror to find a terrified Robin and Superman waiting for him. Batman displays bizarre new stretchy powers, mirror beams, and phasing ability. Superman knocks-out the confused hero and goes to put him back through the mirror only to find that the crooks have stolen it. Superman and Robin bust the baddies and walk through the portal with Batman in tow. In the “mirror world” the ray gun alien explains that he needs help defeating an evil scientist that lives in a castle. Superman easily defeats Xanu and his robot monsters. The ray gun guy restores Batman and the trio of heroes returns home, after which Superman smashes the interdimensional portal mirror.
–Detective Comics #298
While picking-up some charity money, Batman and Robin are attacked and robbed by the debuting Clayface II (Matt Hagen), who can shape his amorphous blobby body into anything he wants. A day later, Clayface bests Batman and Robin with a daring art museum heist. The next day, Batman and Robin find a clue at a new Clayface crime scene that leads them to the apartment of known felon Joe Shank. The next day, the Dynamic Duo tails Joe Shank, who joins his new boss Clayface to help rob the Natural History Museum. Clayface is successful yet again, but Robin is able to follow him to his house. Inside, Clayface changes into a monster, but his powers fade away—(they need to be recharged in a magickal undersea protoplasmic pool that only Clayface knows the location of). Batman easily busts the normal human Hagen.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #8 and World’s Finest Comics #122. Batman and Superman travel to Dimension X where they fight and defeat the “Beast from Dimension X,” a giant one-eyed Apatosaurus. Upon returning home, Batman constructs a life-sized wax replica of the creature and puts it into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in World’s Finest Comics #122).
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #122—originally told in Detective Comics #109. Batman and Robin bust an escaped Joker, after escaping themselves from a noose death trap. Batman puts Joker’s noose on display in the Batcave’s Hall of Trophies.
–World’s Finest Comics #122
Batman, Superman, and Robin defeat the Drover Mob. After Superman hauls the baddies away, an alien saucer appears and visits the Dynamic Duo. The alien, a space cop named Klor, displays video evidence showing Superman committing awful crimes on his home planet of Belvos. Klor then blackmails Batman and Robin (with the threat of using a devastating ray gun against Earth) into agreeing to help capture Superman. The next day, Batman and Robin build a giant remote-controlled Kryptonite robot and lure Superman to Gotham to fight it. Superman defeats the robot. The next day, the Dynamic Duo invites Superman into the Batcave, having rigged up the wax statue of the “Beast from Dimension X” to contain a Kryptonite eyeball. Superman sees the Kryptonite and burrows away. Superman then confronts Batman and Robin about their actions, but the Dynamic Duo’s lips are sealed. The next day, a disguised Bruce tries to use a Kryptonite camera on Superman at a charity performance, but Superman stops him. A day later, in Star City, Batman finally captures Superman by coating the Green Arrow lighthouse statue with Kryptonite paint and lassoing Superman with a Kryptonite rope. On Belvos, Batman and Robin stand by Superman’s side before a tribunal. During the trial, Batman proves Superman’s innocence and points-out that Klor had dressed up as the Man of Steel and staged an attack on Belvos to set him up in attempt to get him off of Earth so he could steal some rare gems there. Back on Earth, the exonerated Superman easily defeats Klor, who is once again disguised as the Man of Steel. Superman returns Klor to Belvos and then takes Batman and Robin back home.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #346. Batman and Robin investigate the disappearance of $10,000 from a vault containing much more currency. The investigation into the robbery, however, turns up nothing. Unknown to Batman and Robin, escape artist Carnado, actually a fraud, has secretly stolen the money to commission a rigged “escape proof” contraption from criminal inventor Eivol Ekdal. With this contraption, Carnado puts on a show that propels him into stardom associated with being a world famous stage performer.
–FLASHBACK: From Untold Legend of the Batman #3. Batman secretly meets with Commissioner Gordon at the latter’s home. Unknown to both men, Gordon’s sixteen-year-old daughter Barbara “Babs” Gordon spies on them, seeing Batman in person for the first time and immediately becoming enamored with the Dark Detective. Note that despite being only sixteen-years-old, Babs has a genius IQ and photographic memory and is already in her third year of undergrad college. This means Babs graduated high school at the unreal age of thirteen. And as Untold Legend of the Batman #3 tells us, Babs, at the impressive young age of nineteen, will go on to Gotham State University to get her PhD, get an immediate position at the Gotham Library, then immediately debut as Batgirl. But we’ll get to that three years from now.
- COLLIN COLSHER: With The Brave and The Bold #28, Gardner Fox ends the Golden Era and launches us into the Silver Age proper. Yes, we are in Year Four of the Silver Age timeline already, but the majority of the first three years were Golden-Silver tweener stories that were simply retcon-slid to the beginning of this timeline. The JLA is Silver all the way and Batman’s Silver adventure with the team in The Brave and The Bold #28 (publication date March 1960/chronological narrative date February 1970) is his first that isn’t a flashback or reference note.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The Justice League, at this point, has two effective ways of time travel: Carter Nichols’ meta-power/time machine hybrid method and Superman’s ability to break the time barrier via ultra-speed-running. Superman can take others with him, but, in order to survive, they must be carried along inside a Legion of Super-Heroes Time Bubble. In several months, Flash will invent the Cosmic Treadmill (!), which will allow him to travel through time as well. (Flash is fast enough to break the time-barrier just like Superman, but he lacks the strength and focus needed to actually safely time-travel without the aid of a special machine. Likewise, Green Lantern’s ring can be used for time-traveling, but the vast amount of sheer will power and energy needed to do it makes it highly ineffective and dangerous. We should also note that Nichols’ method will soon become less effective due to the professor’s older age.)↩