–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman and Robin—presumably with the help of their super-powered friends—construct a secret road between Metropolis and Gotham. This traffic-less highway will allow the Dynamic Duo to drive to Metropolis and back much faster. (It is unspecified, but the construction of this highway could take the better part of this year to complete—or it could be a super-powered rush job.)
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #324. Bruce and Dick befriend Dan Williams, executive at the Cravat Jewelry Firm.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #328. Batman invents and adds the Bat-Kite into his collection of crime-fighting tools. This is literally a bat-shaped kite. From now on, he will secretly carry one, rolled up and tucked into his sock—just in case.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #328. Gang boss Hippo attempts to rob an expensive necklace from the filming of a Cleopatra biopic, but Batman stops him.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #319. Batman and Robin befriend the acrophobic dermatologist cum crackpot inventor Dr. Paul Dent—(no relation to Harvey Dent or Mayor Alan Dent).
–REFERENCE: In Batman #157, Part 1. Batman and Robin meet journalist Hal Lake, writer of the true crime newspaper column “Underworld Confidential.” Batman and Robin will follow his column closely from now on.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #12 and Justice League of America #18. The Justice League installs a device hidden within a rock wall somewhere near Snapper Carr’s home. Since Snapper can’t respond to emergency alerts as quick as the others, this special device, once activated by the push of a button, will transport Snapper’s hot rod at blazing fast speed (and through the air) to the Secret Sanctuary.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #148, Part 2. Bruce’s bratty teenage distant cousin, Vanderveer Wayne, moves to Gotham. Bruce introduces Dick to Van.
–Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #58, Part 2
It’s Jimmy’s birthday, so Superman agrees to be at his beck and call, telling the teen that he can summon him via the signal watch all day long. However, when Jimmy burns his hands on hot coffee, Perry White instructs Clark to shadow Jimmy to use the signal watch to summon Superman. A nervous Clark is able to avoid signaling himself when a runaway zoo rhino charges and then when two stick-up men try to rob the duo, both times using a bit of trickery to deal with each situation. Not wanting to risk a third scenario, Clark steps away and uses his “super-ventriloquism” (ability to throw his voice with exact precision hundreds of miles away) to call Batman to Metropolis. There, Batman dons a Clark Kent disguise and escorts Jimmy to a surprise birthday party at the Daily Planet Building. Superman makes a guest appearance at the party then, afterward, reconvenes with Batman in the woods after the to thank him for participating in the ruse.
–Detective Comics #299
Batman and Robin are teleported against their will to a distant planet where they are placed as the quarry in a Most Dangerous Game scenario. Three deadly alien bounty hunters from across the galaxy battle each other in rough bizarre terrain in an attempt to bag the Dynamic Duo and deliver them to Emperor Kaale, the alien king sponsoring the event. After escaping two of the hunters and a gaggle of dinosaur-like monsters, Batman and Robin meet Alta, leader of a small rebellion of natives that are trying to depose the evil Kaale. After chatting with the rebels, the Dynamic Duo comes up with a plan to defeat the three bounty hunters and recruit them to dethrone Kaale. Sure enough, Batman and Robin defeat the three bounty hunters and deliver them to Kaale, earning a victory parade and freedom. When Batman and Robin meet the emperor face-to-face, the bounty hunters break free and strike alongside the Dynamic Duo, while the rebellion retakes control of the planet. A thankful Alta sends the five heroes back to their home planets.
–World’s Finest Comics #123-124
While Batman, Robin, and Superman take on a bunch of thieves that fly a Kryptonite-tipped “crime rocket,” Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk interfere, causing the crooks to get away. Their combined magick accidentally creates a purple fire monster. When Superman cannot defeat the beast, the imps douse it with a magickal faucet, which morphs it into a giant porcupine with explosive missile quills. Eventually, the porcupine becomes a giant walking electro-magnet. Superman uses the magnet monster to attract the crime rocket and capture the criminals. Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk then make a second magnet monster of opposite polarity, which causes both magnets to cancel each other out. Upset that they caused so much trouble and have earned the wrath of the heroes, the imps vanish back to their 5th dimensional home.
Batman, Robin, and Superman respond to a robbery at the Colonial Museum on the outskirts of Gotham. There, they fight three green humanoid aliens that have stolen an antique lantern. One of the aliens, who has super-strength battles Superman, while Batman and Robin take on the other two and retrieve the loot and a ray gun. Defeated, the strong alien displays his flight ability as well and takes off with his buds. Batman and Robin then come across a fourth alien, this one a teenager with super-powers as well, accompanied by his pet, a lobster/horse hybrid monster called Quisto. Superman fights the monster, while the teen alien fights and unmasks Batman and Robin. All of a sudden, the teen stops in his tracks, realizing that he’s made a terrible mistake, having thought Earth’s heroes were villains in disguise. The teen alien, named Logi, explains that he is the lone superhero of the planet Durim and that the super-powered alien that Superman fought earlier is the lone super-villain of Durim, Hroguth. The other two antique thieves are Hroguth’s henchmen, Sklur and Hansh. They are on Earth to retrieve copper, which, when funneled through a machine, can deprieve Logi of his powers. Batman, Robin, Logi, and Quisto track the villains to a cave, but Hroguth runs out and bathes Logi in a power-depleting copper ray. Superman comes and rescues everybody, but, shortly thereafter, Hroguth and his men corner Logi again with the copper ray. Only this time, the surprise is on the bad guys. Robin has disguised himself and switched places with Logi. The real Logi, Batman, and Superman swoop in and kick Hroguth’s butt. Logi then uses the copper ray to permanently erase Hroguth’s powers before taking him and his henchmen back to Durim.
–Detective Comics #300-303
Batman and Robin respond to a break-in at the Spot Service Carpet Cleaning Company, which sets the stage for the debut of Mr. Polka Dot, who uses a bizarre polka dot costume covered with electronically-gimmicked polka dots that do different crime-related things. Mr. Polka Dot and his henchmen defeat the Dynamic Duo at the Spot building. Later, at a foreign embassy, Mr. Polka Dot steals a black pearl from the turban of Indian ambassador Ran Jafir and once again uses his trick dots to escape cleanly. The next three nights, Mr. Polka Dot runs circles around the Dynamic Duo, successfully capping-off three more heists. The next night, Batman and Robin decide to split up to cover more ground. After Robin gets pummeled by dots that turn into fists, he recruits the aid of Jafir’s pet leopard to go after Mr. Polka Dot. Despite having a fierce feline on his side, Robin and the big cat are both captured by Mr. Polka Dot. Eventually, Batman rescues Robin and then busts Mr. Polka Dot at the Drummond Map Company using a Flare Batarang. Mr. Polka Dot goes to jail, and believe or not, we never see him again! One-shot wonder.
Batman chases some thieves into a synthetic gem factory and gets bathed the light of a sci-fi machine, causing him to glow bright red and irradiate an intense heat that melts everything within a few feet of him. Batman starts gasping for air and is immediately rushed to a military base and enclosed in an experimental plastic containment unit. Since it is discovered that Batman can only breathe methane now, scientists begin pumping methane (gross!) into his cell. Batman draws up plans for a mobile crime-fighting hover-dome that he can use to continue patrolling Gotham and he instructs Robin to build the thing. A few days later, Batman enters his methane-filled hover-dome, complete with snakelike “octopus arms.” (Name something Marvel came up with for Spider-Man in the Sixties and I almost guarantee you Batman did it first.) From his octopus hover-dome, Batman befuddles Gotham’s underworld. However, criminal mastermind Brains Beldon orders his gang to net the dome and spray it with liquid oxygen. The plan to crack open the dome fails, but the plan is twofold, forming a distraction while Beldon himself robs $20 million from a nearby armored car. Batman (still in his octo-dome) converges upon Beldon, who opens the floodgates on a large dam. Batman leaves the dome and painfully melts the power grid attached to the dome to shut off the water, electrocuting himself in the process. The normally fatal complement of electricity, however, counters the red radiation flowing through his veins, returning him to normal just in time for he and Robin to bust Beldon and his men.
When Wally Dodd, creator of the floating Skyland Amusement Park, is murdered a day before the grand opening of his new attraction, Batman and Robin are on the case. At Skyland, Batman is greeted by all the possible suspects, famous folks that the Dark Knight already recognizes from newspaper photos: seedy nightclub owner Al Bates, Dodd’s nephew Paul, scientist/technical adviser John Hanson, and architect Lee Marlowe. When Batman and Robin find a clue in the form of a film canister, a masked man appears, swipes it, and unleashes a bunch of theme-park monster robots on the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin easily evade the robots and catch the villain, unmasking him to reveal known mob enforcer Blinky Cole. The film is screened, showing Cole sabotaging different parts of Skyland in order to blackmail Dodd into purchasing mob insurance. But Cole isn’t the murderer. One of the four famous men has hired Cole. After the killer nearly kills Batman and Robin with a laser tank, the Dark Knight solves the mystery and correctly fingers Bates. Bates takes off running, but the Dynamic Duo catches him and jails him.
Late January—Chinese New Year. Batman and Robin go after a diamond smuggling racket operated by the mysterious Mr. 50. After busting a fence, Batman and Robin travel to Hawaii on a tip. With the aid of the Honolulu Police Department, Batman and Robin make another bust in the smuggling ring and their next clue takes them from Oahu to Hawaii Island. There, Batman and Robin, riding their Whirly Bats, bust another crook below an erupting Mauna Loa. After following the trail back to Oahu, Batman gets conked-out and placed into a burning sugarcane field, but is saved by Robin. The Dynamic Duo then busts Mr. 50. That night, before returning to bust the rest of the smuggling ring in Gotham, the heroes are guests of honor at a luau.
Batman and Robin chase fugitive Joe Burr, who kidnaps a prominent scientist, Professor Norenz, and his experimental shrinking ray. When Batman and Robin confront Burr at a toy factory, Burr shrinks himself down to three inches tall and hides with his already shrunken captive. Batman shrinks down to continue the chase at their level. After battling with tons of giant toys and in-between a giant kitty cat, Batman eventually gets the best of Burr. Batman returns to normal size and squeezes the information about where Norenz is hidden out of the tiny villain.
Alfred writes another fan-fiction story about a possible future Batman. As before, in this tale, a retired elderly Batman has married Kathy Kane and had a child, Bruce Junior. Dick has become the new Batman and taken Bruce Junior as his Robin. Besides, an also retired elderly Joker has paid his debt to society and lives a quiet life as a gardener. Or so it seems. Old Joker recruits a hood to become his protege, “The Son of Joker.” Eventually, Bruce (back in costume again) outs Joker’s return to crime and he, Batman II, and Robin II take down Joker and Son of Joker. After typing up his tale, Alfred excitedly shares it with Bruce.
–Justice League of America #9
February. Don’t forget that all dates are subject to alteration due to time-sliding retcons, so when J’onn J’onzz mentions “three years ago” he actually means “two years ago.” The JLA assembles at the Secret Sanctuary to celebrate the founding of the team, which happened exactly two years ago. Green Arrow, having never heard the origin story of the JLA, asks to hear the tale. After cleaning the Secret Sanctuary and preparing a cake, the JLA tells the previously classified tale of the Appellaxian invasion. Of course, the Appellaxian invasion is technically the second JLA story, not the first. The first was versus some White Martians seven months prior to the arrival of the Appellians. However, at this point, the JLA still hasn’t publicly revealed that they were the ones responsible for stopping the White Martians on their first ever adventure. The JLA also still doesn’t want to draw attention to the fact that J’onn’s evil brethren factored heavily into the original creation of the team. Therefore, the team celebrates the actual date of the team’s first formation in February 1969, but simultaneously celebrates their second case against the Appellaxians, which occurred in September 1969. It won’t be until 1979 (in Justice League of America #144) that Green Arrow realizes that the date of the JLA debut doesn’t match up with the date of the Appellaxian invasion, but instead corresponds with the White Martian invasion.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #189—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #3. Scarecrow (Dr. Jonathan Crane) debuts. Since World’s Finest Comics #3 is an early Golden Age tale, it doesn’t really fit on the Silver Age timeline. While its basic plot elements remain, there really is nothing in Batman #189 that tells us exactly when Scarecrow debuts in the Silver Age. Therefore, Scarecrow’s debut could easily go earlier than this (or even a bit later). It’s entirely up to you. We won’t see Scarecrow again for another three years.
Batman saves the life of delusional stage magician Antura, who, despite having no real magick, decides to thank Batman by bestowing upon him the ability to control all wood, rubber, and metal. An invisible Bat-Mite, listening in, decides to actually give Batman said powers. Shortly thereafter, Batman uses his new powers to nab some bad guys in Gotham Bay. When news of Antura’s magick hits the newspapers, mobsters kidnap Antura and demand that he give them powers as well. Bat-Mite rescues Antura, but plays his usual games and gives the crooks powers anyway. When Batman and Robin fight the baddies at an oversize kitchen display at the Gotham Hippodrome, Bat-Mite is revealed and takes away everyone’s powers, allowing Batman and Robin to get the easy victory.
Batman and Robin chase Smiley Fenton and his gang of expert marksmen to the jungles of Africa. There, amid the lush green scenery, Batman and Robin come across Fenton and company assaulting a Caucasian teenager wearing a loin cloth. Batman and Robin run off Fenton’s gang, but the boy flees as well. Later, the boy returns the favor and rescues Batman and Robin. Batman recalls a news story from ten years ago about a boy going missing in Africa after a plane crash. A la Tarzan, this boy was raised by animals, becoming Leopard Boy. After Fenton and his gang capture and imprison Batman, Robin, and Leopard Boy, the latter calls for help from the animal kingdom. An elephant heeds the call, frees the heroes, and helps beat down the bad guys, who are after blood diamonds. A few days later, Batman and Robin assimilate Leopard Boy back into the Western milieu and reunite him with his mother.
After removing the fabled jeweled Hand of Korabo statue from Mount Rabachi, a supposed curse is placed upon a team of adventurers from Gotham, instantly mysteriously killing one of their party, Amory. Upon returning to Gotham, the lead adventurer, climber Keith Larsen, calls for Batman’s help. But after meeting with Larsen, Batman meets with his associates Dunne, Hampden, and Chambers, who express their belief that Larsen killed Amory and made up the curse concept to mask the murder. Batman agrees to test Larsen using a giant robotic hand, standing in for the “cursed devil hand of Korabo.” The next day, Batman dissimulates surprise as the giant orange hand appears out of a low cloud, snatching up Chambers. That night, the giant hand appears in Larsen’s bedroom to scare him and Batman plays along again. In the morning, the hand snatches away Dunne, Hampden, and Batman. Robin then gives the overly calm Larsen a trick pair of glasses that make it seem like two giant hands are coming for him. Freaked out, Larsen admits to killing Amory. Batman and the other adventurers immediately pop out of their close-by hiding place to bust him.
–Justice League of America #10-11
In an attempt to harness their evil power, occult wizard Felix Faust summons the spirits of the Demons Three (Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast), who were imprisoned by the cosmic Timeless Ones a billion years ago. The Demons Three explain that in order to obtain their power, Faust must collect three magickal artifacts—the Jar of Calythos, the Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Bell of Uthool—which are only obtainable by super powered folk. When Faust tells them about the existence of the JLA, the Demons Three help him cast a curse spell on the heroes. Meanwhile, our heroes are locked in battle against the debuting Lord of Time (Epoch), who has brought an army of future warriors and ancient warriors to the present to fight the JLA. What seems like an easy victory is upended in a hurry as the spell causes the entire JLA to teleport to Faust’s lair in Maine. There, the JLA becomes Faust’s mindless slaves and are forced to retrieve the evil artifacts. Batman, Flash, and J’onn J’onzz get the Bell of Uthool after defeating its elemental spirit protectors. Concurrently, the other Justice Leaguers get the other artifacts. Back at his lair, Faust’s control spell wears off, but the JLA is still frozen stuck as Faust begins his next enchantment using the artifacts. Aquaman summons some help from the underwater animal kingdom, allowing the JLA to take down Faust. Faust is unable to harness the power of the Demons Three, but he does cast enough of his spell to garner their release back into the world in exactly 100 years’ time. After jailing Faust and putting the three artifacts into the Secret Sanctuary souvenir room, the JLA returns to fight the Lord of Time, but the villain escapes to the future. The JLA, sans Snapper, gets into a Legion Time Bubble and hurtles forward through time along with Superman as he runs at ultra fast time-travel speed. In the year 3786, the JLA easily captures the Lord of Time and heads back to the present. However, Superman and the Time Bubble run into a barrier in the form of a space-time anomaly in the year 2071—this was originally 2062 in the issue, but thanks to retcons it is 2071. Due to Faust’s spell, the Demons Three have come alive in 2071 and have begun to destroy the planet. The Demons Three greet the time-traveling heroes by turning them into green mist and stuffing them in jars. But thanks to Green Lantern’s power ring, the heroes survive and escape. Noticing that the magick of the Demons Three can only be directed at specific individuals, Green Lantern uses his ring to make each member of the JLA look like another. Batman, for instance, turns into Wonder Woman. As the JLA farrago epically battles the Demons Three, time literally begins to devolve and break down. Eventually, however, the Demons Three are defeated and imprisoned once again. Superman runs the Time Bubble back to one second after the team had originally left to go nab the Lord of Time. Back home safe and sound, the Lord of Time goes behind bars and the adventure is written into the record books.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #35. Realizing that the three ancient magickal artifacts that can be used to summon the Demons Three—the Jar of Calythos, the Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Bell of Uthool—are bad news, the Justice League attempts to destroy them, but finds they are indestructible. Green Lantern, using his ring, puts a fail-safe within the artifacts making it so that, should they ever be used to free the Demons Three, they will automatically return them back to their prisons after a short time.
Batman and Robin spend a couple days investigating a gang, which uses seeds that rapidly grow monster plants that aid them in committing crimes. On day two, one of the gangsters is arrested, but has amnesia due to a head injury so he can’t give any information. The next day, Batman and Robin come face-to-face with the gangsters, but are bested thanks to the vicious weird plants. Later, after the amnesiac is broken out of the clink, Batman and Robin find their way to the gang’s hideout near an extinct volcano north of the city. There, the amnesiac bumps his head again, shedding a his disguise and regaining his memory in the process. The amnesiac turns out to be an alien farmer. The alien uses his plants to help Batman and Robin defeat the baddies.
Batman and Robin expose dying millionaire architect Briggs as the ringleader of a criminal organization. After Briggs passes away, Batman and Robin follow his second-in-command, Catlin, to Briggs’ private island in the Atlantic. On the fabulous island, which is home to various architectural wonders from all over the globe, Batman and Robin are quickly overwhelmed by Briggs’ old gang and captured. Eventually, Batman and Robin escape and enter themselves, along with the gangsters, into a scavenger hunt to locate Briggs’ stolen treasure, hidden somewhere on the island. The Dynamic Duo defeats the bad guys in a Chinese Temple and locates a hidden storage room filled with stolen Louvre paintings.
Following a tip, the Dynamic Duo tracks down Nails Finney and his gang of jewel thieves, which employs evil scientist Dr. Garth. During battle, Garth activates a ray machine that morphs Batman into a baby! When news of Batman’s transformation hits the airwaves, the public fears the worst. However, little do they know that while Batman may appear as a baby, he can still think, talk, and fight like the world’s greatest detective. Thus, Alfred knits up a baby Batman outfit, complete with overalls, and Bat-Baby debuts, taking down Gotham’s underworld by storm. The next day, when Kathy Kane arrives at Wayne Manor, Alfred and Dick scare her off by projecting a false shadow that makes it seem like Bruce is kissing another woman. Later, Bat-Baby and Robin take on Finney and Garth at the lair of notorious fence Swap Smith. Bat-Baby reverses his condition with the machine, becoming Batman again. Batman and Robin easily bust the bad guys. Afterward, Batman puts the Bat-Baby costume on display in the Batcave. NOTE: While Kathy and Bruce have been lovers for nearly two years, up to this point it has never been stated that they are mutually exclusive. Despite this fact, Kathy is still heartbroken over Bruce’s “cheating” ruse. It’s possible that Bruce might make an attempt to smooth things over with Kathy after this case wraps, but it is also just as likely, given the status of their relationship, that he simply does nothing to follow up.
–World’s Finest Comics #125
Super-villain Jundy sics a giant remote controlled robot on Gotham as a lure to capture Batman and Robin. After successfully doing so and putting the Dynamic Duo on Doom Island, a remote island covered with an invisible explosive laser grid, Jundy blackmails Superman, ordering him to steal a gem from the tropical native Manotalian tribe. After snuffing out a nearby threatening volcano, the Manotalians gift Superman with the gem so he doesn’t have to commit a crime. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin navigate their way across the deadly booby-trapped Doom Island. Superman’s next task is to retrieve a brass gewgaw from the bottom of the sea, which he does despite the interference of Kryptonite and a monster fish. Back on Doom Island, Batman and Robin make their way to Jundy’s cabin and learn that Superman is collecting the three pieces of ancient sorcerer king Nemruth’s magickal scepter. Batman and Robin escape the island and head toward the site of the final part of the scepter, located at the Rallton Pioneers Monument. There, Jundy, having sent Superman on a wild goose chase in the Swiss Alps, collects the last piece and assembles the scepter. Superman returns, sees that Batman and Robin are okay, melts the scepter with his heat vision. Jundy goes to jail.
–Detective Comics #309
February 23–Mardi Gras, 1971. When Bruce and Dick hear about the jailbreak of Mike Kelso from the State Prison, the suit up as the Dynamic Duo and pay a visit to the jail to interrogate some prisoners. Later, the Dynamic Duo search for Kelso and his accomplices at the Mardi Gras carnival only to run into Vicki Vale, who has finally returned to Gotham from her long-term photojournalism assignment in Europe! Vicki gives a surprised Batman a smooch. When Kelso gets murdered, Batman’s investigation quickly turns into a whodunnit. Batman knows small-timer Weeper Willow isn’t guilty, but sends him to jail anyway. When Kelso’s accomplice, carnival employee Ed Burton, gets murdered next, Batman sets his sights on the killer, who attacks wearing an Arabian getup before running off. The Dynamic Duo soon learns that the traveling carnival is a national fencing operation for stolen goods. Eventually, after finding a bunch of loot, Batman and Robin get captured by three carnies. They break free, beat them up, and reveal carnival operators JJ Ashley and Tom Dawes as the ringleaders of the fencing operation. Whodunnit? THEY ALL DONE IT.
–Batman #148, Part 1
After a brief visit (for unspecified reasons) to a foreign country, the Dynamic Duo flies back to the States, but gets lost in a storm along the way, winding up over the Kshiho Mountain Range. This is a fictional mountain range, but might be analogous to a remote area in Bhutan. There, Batman and Robin land and enter a Shangri-La-esque city inhabited by green humanoid aliens and their bodyguards, the shape-changing “light beings” known as the Force Twins. After learning that the aliens are on Earth to mine the planet’s precious natural resources, Batman and Robin are captured. After escaping through an underground stream, Batman finds that water is the only weakness of the aliens. Using this knowledge, Batman and Robin easily defeat the aliens and send them packing.
–Batman #148, Part 2
Bruce’s cousin, Vanderveer Wayne, comes to stay at Wayne Manor for a week, disrupting the normal flow of events at the house. Van begins competing with Dick immediately, prompting Bruce to tell the latter to take it easy, lest he give away their secret IDs. When Van spots Alfred laundering the Batman and Robin costumes, Bruce makes up a lie that they are for a masquerade. Later, at a book exhibit, Bruce and Dick are shocked when someone else dressed as Batman and Robin appear to snuff out a fire. “Robin” unmasks to reveal himself as Van! Van has dressed up as Robin and hired known felon Jumpy Regan to play Batman in a scene designed solely to make Dick jealous. However, when Jumpy wants Van to use their costumes to commit crimes, Van refuses and gets punched-out cold. At the Stuart Ice Cream Plant, the real Batman and Robin take on the fake Batman. Van, still in his Robin costume, arrives just in time to help the Dynamic Duo defeat Regan.
–Batman #148, Part 3
Joker breaks jail and challenges Batman and Robin at the Gotham Airport. There, Joker not only commits a successful heist, but he unmasks Batman as well! Joker contacts the media and announces that he won’t reveal Batman’s secret ID unless he goes back to prison. The next day, Batman and Robin fight Joker, who attempts to steal a large jeweled statue ten miles north of the city. The fight ends in a stalemate, with both sides retreating. The news media ponders whether or not Batman might be letting Joker go to save his secret ID from becoming public. A day later, Batman sends the Batman Robot to take on Joker at the circus. As Joker tangles with the Batman Robot, Batman swoops in an apprehends him. Turns out that Joker never saw Bruce’s face at the airport as it was too dark to see anything.
–World’s Finest Comics #126
An escaped Lex Luthor zaps Superman with a special ray gun that causes a “Negative Superman” to come out of his body. Negative Superman, besides being completely black and white, has the exact same power set as the real Man of Steel, but he is completely evil. Negative Superman immediately helps Luthor escape and then frees dozens of inmates from prison. Batman, Robin, and Superman round up the fugitives. Later, at a fishing and hunting exhibit, Negative Superman helps Luthor escape Batman and Robin. Later still, Negative Superman changes into his civilian clothes, threatening to expose Superman’s secret ID as Clark Kent. Batman, Robin, and Superman then attack Negative Clark, forcing him to switch back into his evil Superman togs. Shortly thereafter, Batman, Robin, and Superman take on Luthor, Luthor’s gang, and Negative Superman. Batman flashes a chunk of Kyrptonite at Negative Superman, which actually gives him extra strength. Superman then re-absorbs Negative Superman into his own body and busts Luthor.
–Detective Comics #304-305
Clayface II breaks out of jail and escapes Batman and Robin after a successful payroll heist. A full week then goes by without a peep from Clayface. At the Pharaoh Club, Professor Colton’s friend John Royce is made a new member and Phipps invites Bruce to his mansion to see a Rembrandt that he has just purchased. Later, at Phipps Manor, Bruce quickly realizes that Clayface is impersonating Phipps. After a quick change to Batman, the Dark Knight takes on Clayface, but the villain escapes with the painting. Batman and Robin go to question Royce only to realize the “Royce” that Bruce met before was actually Clayface too. A trip to Professor Colton’s lab reveals that Clayface had impersonated Colton as well, having forced him to try to extend the longevity of his morphing ability via tweaking the protoplasmic ooze that grants him his power–a task at which Colton failed. Batman has Colton cook up a special anti-Clayface freeze-gun, which the Dark Knight uses to capture and re-jail Clayface.
Batman and Robin chase fugitive bank robbers Knuckles Boland and Rusty into nearby Heather Woods. There, the crooks come across and ambush a duo of humanoid aliens, stealing a linchpin part of their spaceship and their ray gun weapon. Boland and Rusty force the aliens to go after Batman and Robin with a Z-ray, which creates tiny metal versions of whatever it zaps using a Matrix Box, and then kills whatever it zaps when the metal replicas are placed into a Gamma Wheel. The aliens help Batman and Robin defeat giant purple alien bug-lizard and a giant gorilla-esque monster, both of which had escaped from their ship. But eventually the aliens comply with their blackmailers and blast Batman and Robin with the Z-ray. Or so it seems. Batman and Robin survive the Z-ray-Matrix Box-Gamma Wheel death when the aliens rig the system to fail. Batman and Robin easily take down Boland and Rusty and see off the aliens.
Bruce and Dick attend a concert where a masked weirdo runs onstage and plays the piano before being shooed away. Later, the masked man sends a note to the police station stating that there was a clue to an upcoming heist by the self-proclaimed Maestro of Crime. Batman, Robin, and musicologist Ambrose Weems (dressed up in a sparrow costume to protect his identity) confront the Maestro at the Palace of Glass. There, the Maestro steals a precious gem and gives another musical clue before departing. A similar occurrence happens at the Old West Parade. Eventually, Batman, Robin, and the Sparrow meet the Maestro and his henchmen in the fancy Skytop Club. There, the heroes easily defeat the bad guys.
Batman and Robin are perplexed when a 12th century archer appears and disappears through a time portal. A test on a stray arrow confirms the weapon is from the past. The same thing happens after Batman and Robin tussle with some 15th century knights and test a lance that they leave behind. Before long, Batman and Robin hear a radio report about Dr. Alpheus Roberts, who believes his recent experimentation has caused random breaches in the space-time continuum. After a quick visit with Dr. Roberts, Batman and Robin respond to a robbery being committed by two more warriors from the past. The Dynamic Duo chases them off, but the warriors vanish. Batman soon realizes that Dr. Roberts hasn’t actually breached the space-time continuum. The “warriors from the past” are actually modern day thieves Ben Ryder and Slick Ronson, who have been dressing up as characters from ye olden times, using special effects to create “time portals,” and leaving behind actual ancient weapons to fool everybody. With this knowledge, Batman and Robin set up a ruse, faking a time portal of their own and having a newspaper print a story stating that Dr. Roberts has built a machine that can control time portals. Ryder and Ronson fall for the trap and get busted.
Batman and Robin, along with other celebrities, attend a party at the Jaharian Embassy. There, Batman comes under the spell of a rajah’s occult-powered ring, which gives the Dark Knight a brief moment of clairvoyance, during which he receives a vague and jumbled message about a crime in progress. Batman and Robin rush to a radio exhibit and, sure enough, present are two crooks, who steal a miniature radio receiver and escape. Batman puts together the pieces of his mind-message and finds the crooks at Mayor Alan Dent’s office, but the bad guys escape again, this time seemingly having taken nothing. Batman then realizes the crooks’ plan—they have swapped the Key to the City, which is slated to be given to the rajah in a few hours, with a fake one containing a bomb, which is to be to be detonated by the radio receiver. Realizing that the Jaharian Ambassador is the mastermind behind this assassination attempt, Batman has Mayor Dent award the Key to the City to the ambassador instead of the rajah. The ambassador freaks and spills the beans, landing himself and his accomplices behind bars.
–World’s Finest Comics #127
The Admiral Akbar-looking Zerno the Sorcerer, a warlock from the planet Y’Bar, attacks Gotham with a spotted crab monster known as a Gzann in order to steal valueless minerals. Batman, Robin, and Superman fight the Gzann and Zerno, who summons a second centipede-dinosaur-cyclops monster. Superman defeats the monsters, but Zerno gets away when Robin makes a rare blunder. Later, Zerno and a helicopter-whale monster steal from the Gotham Museum. Zerno gets away again thanks to a Robin mistake. Superman x-ray views Robin and discovers that it’s not Robin at all, but an alien in disguise. Superman and Batman decide to play coy until they can figure out their next move. Meanwhile, in a hidden cave, Zerno addresses a captive Robin, dumbly revealing his weakness as bronze before heading back out. Superman dresses up as Zerno and uses a fake robot monster to fool the fake Robin (Zerno’s partner Sborg), allowing Batman to trail him to Robin’s location. There Batman rescues the Boy Wonder and learns about the bronze. The Dynamic Duo, with Robin disguised as Sborg, gets some bronze and uses it to help Superman defeat Zerno and Sborg. Afterward, the heroes learn that Sborg was innocent and only under Zerno’s spell. Superman returns them to Y’Bar.
–Detective Comics #306
The Gotham Historical Society chooses Gotham celebs, based upon their philanthropic resumes, to perform a re-enactment based upon their ancestors at a pageant held at the site of a new museum. At the future construction site, District Attorney Barnes (who replaced Harvey Dent at the end of Year One) plays the role of his ancestor who was a bengal tiger hunter in India. Live tigers are a part of the act, but when one of the tigers grows to enormous size thanks to a shot of growth serum, Batman and Robin swoop in to make the save. The next day, Bruce decides to act out the adventures of his medieval ancestor, Lancelot Wayne, a knight that rode a glider modeled off of bat wings. During his flight, some crooks blast him with a lightning cannon, nearly killing him. After switching to Batman and learning that the crooks represent a villain known only as “The Professor.” The next day, The Professor strikes again and kidnaps Batman and Robin using invisible robots, revealing himself as famous scientist Hugo Arnold, who has given himself a giant-sized cranium and super-brain power with a radical experiment. The crazed Arnold then puts Batman and Robin into a bizarre death trap and departs to meet the public and exclaim his plan to sent an artificial moon into Earth’s orbit. The Dynamic Duo breaks free and stops Arnold.
The president of Global TV Network recruits Batman to go in disguise as aspiring filmmaker Trevor Cornelius and follow his two best producers, Chetley and Bradley, to find out what their next big secret documentary project is. Eventually, Batman tails the duo to a hidden valley where a highly trained and powerfully-equipped militia has set up a military base. Chetley and Bradley explain that a wannabe dictator who dresses in ancient Roman garb and calls himself Caesar has built this evil army, with branches and bases all over the country, with plans of overthrowing the US Government. After Batman is captured, Chetley and Bradley rescue him and then join Robin, who takes down a steel bird plane. Caesar himself then attacks, operating a giant snake robot. While Batman and Robin use Caesar’s own weaponry to take down both he and his troops, Chetley and Bradley film all the action. A week later, Chetley and Bradley air their documentary special about the defeat of Caesar’s army.
Batman and Robin bust thief Ace Lagg, who has stolen and hidden a bunch of loot from a man named Conklin. Lagg goes to jail, but gives half of a map leading to the stolen loot’s hidden location to his accomplice Jack Pine. A second accomplice, King Wilton, dies, but not before giving the other half of the map to Batman and Robin. Rather than do stodgy old detective work to nab the fugitive and the other half of the map, Batman enacts one of his famous elaborate ruses to catch them. A week later, Alfred dresses up as mad villain Mr. Cupid and claims he will use magick to put a distracting love spell on the Dark Knight. Sure enough, the next day, Batman “falls under Cupid’s spell,” abandoning his patrol to chat with a beautiful Frenchwoman named Elise, who is actually undercover police sergeant Helen Smith. Batman states publicly that he will cancel the pursuit of the Conklin loot to go on a date with Elise, which prompts Robin to team-up with a substitute Batman Robot to bust some museum crooks. While on his paparazzi-swarmed date, Batwoman shows up to scold the Dark Knight. Later, Pine pays Elise to gain access to the Batcave and nab the other half of the map, which she does. This lures Pine out into the open, allowing Batman, Robin, the Batman Robot, and Sergeant Helen Smith to easily arrest him. What fun! Afterward, Batman and Robin have a laugh with Batwoman and have dinner with Alfred.
Batman and Robin chase fugitive Biff Warner into the Yucatan Jungle. There, Robin crashes his Whirly-Bat and goes missing while Batman gets captured and accused falsely of a theft by some natives. Much to Batman’s surprise, the natives then sic a brainwashed and super-powered Robin on him. Batman escapes Super-Robin and watches the tribe’s actions from a safe and hidden distance, learning that Robin’s handler is a coup leader called Ko-Ti. Batman eventually winds up battling Ko-Ti and his followers, a radical branch of the tribe. During the fight, Robin regains his senses and helps unmask Ko-Ti as Warner. Batman and Robin take down Warner and Robin explains that he got amnesia and super-powers (both temporary, of course) from a freak lightning storm when he crashed his Whirly-Bat, and then was fooled by “Ko-Ti.”
–Justice League of America #12
April 1—ignore the 1962 date, it is April Fool’s Day 1971 thanks to time-sliding retcons. This story is also shown in a flashback from The Atom #8. Newcomer Dr. Light debuts to fight the Justice League, banishing each member to different distant planets. Aquaman is stuck on a desert planet, Flash on a planet with weird gravity, J’onn J’onzz on a fire planet, Wonder Woman on a planet where the human nervous system cannot function properly, Green Arrow on a magnetic planet, Green Lantern on yellow planet. Meanwhile, Batman and Superman wrap-up a case against the Air Island Pirates. When Superman learns of the fate of the other Justice Leaguers, he and Batman wear each others’ costumes to face and fool Dr. Light. Sure enough, Dr. Light sends “Superman” to a planet with a red sun and sends “Batman” to a planet where science does not work. Thus, Superman easily rescues each of his teammates and returns them to Earth. At the Secret Sanctuary, the Justice League meets with Snapper Carr and learns that Dr. Light is trying to steal three items: the Colossus of Rhodes statue (buried under the sea), Edison’s first light bulb, and a famous diamond. Over the Mediterranean Sea, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Green Arrow defeat a duplicate of Dr. Light, but not before he seemingly disintegrates Green Lantern. In India, Batman, J’onn, and Flash defeat a second duplicate of Dr. Light. Outside of the Edison Museum, Superman and Wonder Woman defeat a third Dr. Light doppelganger. Green Lantern, having fooled the first Dr. Light duplicate with his power ring, easily captures the real Dr. Light and hauls him in. NOTE: As seen via flashback from Justice League of America #17, the Wind Elemental known as Tornado Tyrant secretly watches the JLA fight Dr. Light. Inspired, Tornado Tyrant decides to becomes a hero, changing his name to Tornado Champion.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #151, Part 3. Batman and Robin begin hunting the fugitive Harris Boys. They will chase them for the next few weeks.
–Detective Comics #307
Batman and Robin start an investigation into the villainous Green Mask Bandits. Meanwhile, the US Government develops a crime-fighting military android named Alpha and asks Batman and Robin to train him. Over the course of a week, Alpha learns exponentially and begins to develop his own emotions, thanks in part to Batman’s rigorous training course and tune-ups by his creator, Dr. Burgos. After Batman, Robin, and Alpha bust some fugitives, Batwoman arrives and knocks the socks off of Alpha, who is floored by her beauty. Later, after giving himself an overdose of electronic emotion, Alpha rejoins the Dynamic Duo to defeat the Green Mask Bandits. Later still, Dr. Burgos tells Batman and Robin that Alpha’s body is deteriorating. Alpha overhears and goes on a human-hating rampage. Only the appearance of Batwoman calms him, but Batman and Robin show up and set him off again. Batwoman chases after Alpha, who professes his love for her. When Batwoman nearly falls to her death off of a cliff, Alpha sacrifices his own life to save her. The next day, Batman, Robin, Dr. Burgos, and Batwoman (in a foot cast) mourn the death of Alpha at his funeral.
–Justice League of America #13
In Star City, Green Arrow and his teenage sidekick Speedy (Roy Harper) are in the middle of busting some crooks when Green Arrow vanishes into thin air. Similarly, Green Lantern disappears while in the middle of a conversation with best friend Thomas “Pieface” Kalmaku. Wonder Woman and Batman vanish while in the middle of an airplane performance at the Gotham City Fairgrounds. The other Justice Leaguers (sans Snapper Carr) vanish similarly. The JLA is transported to the planet Erislane, located in an alternate universe. There, a pure energy being called Sforll explains that he’s brought them to Erislane and needs their help. Sforll tells a tale of yet another alternate universe, one that was collapsing ten billion years ago. Skarn aliens of this collapsing universe came up with a plan to steal the “vita-matter” life-force from healthy universes in order to save their own. The plan was successful, but the mined healthy universes, sapped of their vita-matter, were destroyed. This resulted in a multiversial war against the Skarn—a “Crisis on Infinite Universes”—that has lasted for the past ten billion years, with the Skarn consistently winning thanks to a machine that can create powerful robot duplicates of their opponents. Recently, the Erislaneans found out about the existence of the Justice League, thus summoning them to help fight the Skarn. Sforll sends the Justice League through the Bleed to a Skarn-controlled planet where the JLA fights silver robot duplicate versions of themselves in a grand arena. For the first time in ten billion years, the duplicates are defeated and the duplicator machine is destroyed! As revenge, the Skarn vow to sap Universe-1 (Earth’s home universe) of its vita-matter, erasing it from existence. The JLA easily locates the vita-mining device and destroys it. Green Lantern then uses his ring to seal the planet Skarn off from the multiverse. Lionized as multiversial champions by the Erislaneans, the JLA are sent back to Earth mere moments after they vanished. Although, oddly, Wonder Woman re-appears alongside Flash to help him bust some crooks in Central City, while Batman and Green Lantern re-appear alongside J’onn J’onzz to help bust the Blackout Bomb Gang outside of Denver. I guess the Batplane and the Invisible Jet were able to auto-pilot themselves to safety at the Gotham Air Show.
–NOTE: In Justice League of America #14. Joker escapes from jail.
–Justice League of America #14
While Batman pursues the Joker, he is ambushed by a hooded mystery villain calling himself Mr. Memory. Mr. Memory zaps Batman with a amnesia-inducing mind-control ray. Under Mr. Memory’s spell, Batman dresses up as the hooded villain and is forced to act as the surrogate Mr. Memory while the real version hides in a safe-house. Meanwhile, in Happy Harbor, the Justice League (sans Superman and the brainwashed Batman) vote for a new team-member. Unanimously, the Atom is elected as the newest Justice Leaguer! But as soon as the Atom is voted in, the entire JLA realizes that they have no memories about him. After some quick power ring research, the team departs for the Atom’s home of Ivy Town to investigate. Why doesn’t anyone remember the Atom? Well, Mr. Memory ordered the use of a “de-memorizor” on the Atom, which causes its victim to become an amnesiac and also to be erased from the memories of everyone on the planet. In a secret lair, Mr. Memory (the hooded brainwashed Batman) meets with a super-villain team consisting of Angle Man, Sea Thief, Hector Hammond, Pied Piper, and Dr. Davis. Mr. Memory (Batman) is instructed by the real Mr. Memory to order his team to use the de-memorizor on each Justice Leaguer. (The bad guys take pills that make them immune to the effects of the de-memorizor’s global mind-wipe.) Sure enough, each villain is able to zap each Justice Leaguer, with the hooded Batman zapping J’onn J’onzz himself. As the confused and amnesiac JLA is rounded up by the bad guys, the Atom shrinks down to microscopic size, causing his memory to return. The Atom then trails the bad guys to their lair, but hooded Batman captures him and tries to use him in a bomb death trap to kill all the heroes. The Atom prevents the explosion and reverses the effects of the de-memorizor using Green Lantern’s ring. The JLA then tears off Mr. Memory’s hood to shockingly reveal Batman underneath! After restoring his memories, Batman explains everything he can recall. J’onn is able to trace the electronic impulses between Batman and the real Mr. Memory’s mind-control link, leading the heroes straight to the real Mr. Memory: Amos Fortune! Superman, having been away in the Phantom Zone, returns to join the JL, which takes two days to round-up the rest of the criminals, including the Joker. Afterward, the Atom is officially added to the JLA roster.
–World’s Finest Comics #128
Robin invites Batman and Superman to the Batcave to discuss three mobsters—Moose Morans, Silky Steve, and Sparkles Garnet—triple-dueling for top dog spot in Gotham. Superman deals with a radioactive comet in outer space before joining. Batman, working on developing an antidote for Red Kryptonite, puts a chunk of Red Kryptonite into a lead container before joining. Superman shakes Batman’s hand at the meeting, unwittingly transferring his susceptibility to Kryptonite to Batman thanks to the comet radiation. Shortly thereafter, Red Kryptonite dust that Batman had previously been handling causes Batman to get weird. After Robin and Superman deal with a crazed, stretched-out, flying, acid-eyeball Batman, they bust Garnet. Then, Batman morphs into a grotesque, magnetic buzz-saw creature. Silky Steve takes the opportunity to heave some Green Kryptonite at Superman, but it does absolutely nothing since Superman’s weakness has been transferred to Batman. The Man of Steel crushes the Kryptonite and busts Silky Steve. When word of the “Kryptonite weakness swap” hits the mainstream media, Batman and Superman decide to switch costumes to fool Morans. Sure enough, Morans uses Red Kryptonite on Batman (actually Superman in disguise) and, thinking him out of the way, attempts to rob a bank with two gun-toting robot helpers. Morans is easily busted. The “weakness swap” eventually wears off.
–Detective Comics #308
Batman and Robin chase criminal Pete Dale across the country to the Southwest. There, Dale winds up in a Pueblo medicine man’s domicile where he gains the power to turn into four elemental forms. Batman and Robin battle Dale back across the country as the latter turns from a fire metahuman to water metahuman to earth metahuman to wind metahuman. Eventually, Batman and Robin, after being bested, return to the Pueblo village and discover both the source of Dale’s power and a means of nullifying it. Batman obtains the same elemental power and returns to Gotham. There, elemental-Batman squares-off against elemental-Dale in an epic battle. Robin enters and, as planned, douses the fiery combatants with sand, turning them into glass, which eliminates their powers. Evenly matched, but normal again, Batman easily punches-out Dale and puts him behind bars.
–Batman #151, Part 2
Alfred writes another Batman fanfic in which Batman and Robin’s IDs are exposed, forcing them to use alternate secret IDs. He then shares the unfinished ending with Bruce and Dick.
–Batman #151, Part 3
Batman and Robin catch up with the Harris Boys, but depart when the Bat Signal calls them away. In the nearby farm town of Wilton Glen, Batman and Robin are alerted to a flooding stream caused by an alien ray device that speeds up time around whatever small area it zaps. After learning that the device was found by an unwitting local farmer, who activated it, but then lost it, Batman tracks the weird device to Gotham, where a man used the device to turn a chunk of coal into a diamond only to have it stolen by known gangster Little Pete. Little Pete delivers the device to the Harris Boys, who use it on a porcupine, rabbit, and lamb. The animals “evolve” into giant monster versions of themselves, but Batman beats-up the Little Pete and the Harrises, devolves the creatures, and wins the day. Later, Batman smashes the device and Robin puts the diamond into the Hall of Trophies.
–NOTE: In Batman #152, Part 2. Joker escapes from jail AGAIN.
–Batman #152, Part 1
Batman, Robin, and Bat-Hound chase after “renegade scientist” Arnold Taney in the woods outside of Gotham. Taney’s accomplice Kinos runs off, but Batman interrogates Taney and learns of a devious plot involving a secret chemical formula occurring on a small Mediterranean island off the coast of Greece. A long plane ride later, the Dynamic Duo are on the isle of Hydra searching for Kinos and his boss Kuzak. When Kuzak is assassinated, the chase takes Batman and Robin to North Switzerland next. There, criminals Hans and Florian, who now have part of the formula, meet with a scientist named Heidel, who has the final part. Thankfully, Batman, Robin, and Bat-Hound arrive in time to bust the evil trio and stop them from completing the secret compound, which turns out to be an old Nazi recipe for making an atomic bomb.
–Batman #152, Part 2
A villain in deep sea diving gear gets the best of Batman during an underwater fight. The next day, a man wearing medieval armor and on horseback gets the best of Batman and Robin at the Gotham Art Museum. When the Dynamic Duo learns of another separate “mask heist” from Commissioner Gordon, Batman disguises himself as Nick Bayles, a known criminal that has recently passed away—a fact unknown to the public. After a trip to an underworld haunt, Batman learns that a criminal mastermind has founded the False Face Society, a masked super-villain group that competes with its own members in order to curry favor with the boss and to obtain a huge prize—the collected loot from every single False Face job. The next night, Batman fights a False Facer dressed as Batman, who attempts to steal a Stradivarius. The next night, posing as the fake Batman, the real Batman joins a meeting of the False Face Society at an abandoned lighthouse. The mystery master quickly exposes Batman for who he really is, but Batman quickly exposes the master as a crook planning on defrauding his own group by keeping the loot for himself. A rumble breaks out giving Robin and the cops enough time to burst through the door and make a big bust. Batman punches off the master’s mask to reveal Joker! Joker gets shipped back to the pen.
–Batman #152, Part 3
Batman and Robin go to visit their friend Luke Haley only to learn that the elderly mineralogist is dying. Haley tells Batman that his greatest regret is having never been to travel in outer space. With the aid of the military, Batman contrives his greatest scheme yet, a giant elaborate ruse designed to trick a poor dying old man into believing he is traveling to Mars. Batman, Robin, and Haley board a fake “experimental government rocket ship” that takes them to “Mars”—a movie set loaned to Batman by a producer friend, presumably the producer from World’s Finest Comics #114—in a mere few hours’ time. On “Mars,” Batman, Robin, and Haley “fight” a robot dinosaur and meet with native “Martians”—a bunch of actors dressed up as little green men. All of this is possible because the very ill and senile Haley, as Batman chuckles, “knows very little about space science.” I know Batman is trying to make Haley’s final days good, but this whole ruse seems ridiculously cruel. When a trio of thieves, inspired by the recent False Face case, dress up as Martians and replace the actors, Batman and Robin are taken by surprise. However, Haley saves their lives and helps them bust the baddies. After the fight, Haley dies happily, never knowing that he really wasn’t on Mars. Batman complies with Haley’s last request—that he be buried on Mars. A day later, Batman, Robin, Haley’s physician Dr. Robbins, and a few others attend a funeral ceremony on the Martian set, where Haley is interred.
–Detective Comics #310-311
While Bruce and Dick relax poolside, Bat-Mite turns a Western ghost town into a bizarre hodgepodge of 5th dimensional weirdness. The next day, Batman and Robin chase after crooks Tate, Graff, and Dorn, who are guided to Bat-Mite’s “circus of fun” by Bat-Mite himself. There, Bat-Mite gives superpowers to the crooks, turning them into versions of Elongated Man, a human cannonball, and a super-strong Charles Atlas. Tate, Graff, and Dorn use their new powers to defeat and capture the Dynamic Duo. When Batman and Robin ask for Bat-Mite’s assistance, he is unable to comply due to a bump on the head that has supposedly left him temporarily magick-less. Batman, Robin, and Bat-Mite wind up in a death trap of 5th dimensional design, but eventually make their escape. Thankfully, the three crooks split up to commit their own solo heists. This allows Batman and Robin to defeat and jail them separately. Afterward, Batman discovers that Bat-Mite never lost his magick—the imp was simply having a bit of fun. An angry Dynamic Duo charge toward Bat-Mite, who poofs back to his home.
The Dynamic Duo busts Legs Danton and his cronies. Later, Bruce goes to one of his clubs (presumably the Sportsmen’s Club) and chats with Thomas Blake, who has just returned from a several-yearlong job hunting and trapping big cats in India. A week later, the bored thrill-seeker Blake, directly inspired by Catwoman, becomes Cat-Man! Cat-Man bests the Dynamic Duo at the museum and escapes in his Cat-Car his abandoned mine lair. Later that night, Bruce chats with Blake at the club. Later still, Batwoman fights Cat-Man atop a giant statue of a cat holding a violin—a prop attached to a dance club. Cat-Man captures Batwoman, but Batman and Robin swoop in to save her. Batman deduces that Blake must be Cat-Man and it’s not long before the Dynamic Duo finds their way to his lair. After escaping from an electrified cage, the Dynamic Duo comes face-to-face with Cat-Man, who rides a giant robot house cat. Batman destroys the robot cat and chases Cat-Man into an adjacent cavern. There, the villain falls into an underground waterway and is swept into the darkness. (Cat-Man dies here, but thanks to the magickal cloth of his costume, he has nine lives—now down to eight.)
Bruce catches up with Commissioner Gordon before suiting up and joining Robin for patrol. While on patrol, the Dynamic Duo fights a little green alien named Karn that operates a rocket sled and a ray gun. Later, Batwoman and Bat-Girl team-up with the Dynamic Duo to fight the alien, who attempts to steal silver from a film company. A short time later, Karn blasts the four heroes with a weird machine. Robin and Bat-Girl disappear to Karn’s homeworld. Batman and Batwoman’s “energy forces” are extracted and sent to another dimension while their flesh-and-blood bodies remain on Earth. On the foreign dimension, energy-Batman and energy-Batwoman are attacked by bird warriors and then a giant winged-fish creature. As the energy-heroes slowly fade into death, the results of their defeat are felt on Earth as Batman and Batwoman collapse. Thinking that the end is near, Batman and Batwoman profess their love to each other and kiss passionately. Meanwhile, on Karn’s home world, Robin and Bat-Girl meet Karn’s boss, would-be dictator Zebo. After fighting their way past alien horses, weird flora and deadly fauna, Robin and Bat-Girl share a passionate kiss of their own! Robin and Bat-Girl then gain the upper hand against Zebo’s men and recruit some benevolent alien soldiers to their side. With the tables turned, Zebo teleports to Earth to escape captivity. Robin and Bat-Girl follow him back to Earth via the teleportation machine. Back home, they find Batman and Batwoman fully recovered, having used the Karn’s ray machine to reverse the process that split their energy forces from their bodies. The four heroes easily defeat Karn and Zebo, send them packing, and destroy the alien machine. Afterward, Batman plays down the romantic scenario that has occurred, stating that it all happened in the heat of the moment.
–NOTE: In Batman #155, Part 2. Penguin, having served a full year sentence in prison, is paroled. He vows to go straight and retires from crime.
–Detective Comics #312
(This issue is also flashed-back-to in Batman #159.) Bruce and Dick take a two hour plane ride away from Gotham to go on a scenic fishing vacation. But when the radio reports that Clayface II (Matt Hagen) has escaped prison, it’s back to Gotham and back to the interminable chase. Clayface morphs into Batman and robs a bank, resulting in a confrontation between the real Dark Knight and the fake one. After several more shape-shifts, Clayface escapes. The next day, a rich art patron collects a Burroughs-esque Martian statue sculpted by a Mr. Pardu and puts it in the safe room of her mansion. Batman interrogates Pardu and learns that he is a fake that has been hired by Clayface. You guessed it—the statue is Clayface. At the mansion, Clayface is outed, but escapes from Batman yet again. After another interrogation of Pardu, the Dynamic Duo fights Clayface yet again. Batman chases Clayface, whose 48-hour power limit ends, to his secret protoplasmic grotto, the source of his power. Batman tackles Hagen into the muck and they both eventually emerge from the sea with shape-shifting abilities. After a long “shape-off” duel, Batman claims victory and Clayface goes behind bars. Batman then blows up the grotto with explosives. Two days later, Batman and Robin visit a powerless Hagen in jail to check up on him. Little do they know, Hagen has tucked away a secret bottle of the protoplasm in a hidden location.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #330. Batman and Robin bust crooks Shorty Hawkins and Pete Dumont, who both go to jail but vow vengeance upon the Dynamic Duo.
While Batman and Robin patrol, Alfred writes the latest entry of the adventures of Batman II and Robin II, his fanfic about an adult Dick as Batman and Bruce and Kathy Kane’s son as Robin. The Dynamic Duo returns home to find Alfred having writer’s block, unable to end the story about a killer robot called Magog. Robin writes the conclusion for Alfred.
Batman builds the profligate Bat-Boat, a black sailboat that he will take into the ocean to judge a regatta. However, Batman and Robin are only six hours out of port before getting pushed off course and running into a giant magnetic statue of a cyclops in the middle of the sea. After docking by an uncharted island a few hours later, the Dynamic Duo are attacked by the isle’s natives, captured, and delivered to their master, the famous criminal magician known as The Great Kardo. Batman and Robin escape and turn the natives against Kardo, but the villain uses an “amnesia spray” to turn them into mindless zombies before escaping himself. Batman and Robin leave the poor natives without a further thought and sail away in the Bat-Boat. After dealing with a pesky giant squid, our heroes return to Gotham and defeat Kardo, preventing him from “amnesia bombing” the entire city.
Batman and Robin fight a furry green Hulk-like monster man and chase him to the laboratory of Dr. Dorn, famous for experimenting on meteorites. The creature batters the Dynamic Duo and runs off to steal chemicals in the city. Batman and Robin fight the creature again, but the creature runs off again. Later, an injured Dr. Dorn appears and tells Batman that he’s accidentally created the monster. Of course, it’s not long before Batman and Robin learn that this is a Jekyll & Hyde case—Dorn has been turning into the monster unknowingly. With an antidote from Dorn, Batman waits for the perfect moment to strike, permanently exorcising the demon from within the good doctor.
–Detective Comics #313
May 29-30—Memorial Day weekend. In the early morning, Batman and Robin follow-up on an anonymous tip and head to the Store-All Warehouse. There, Batman and Robin fight gangsters Baker and Marsh, who attempt to get a secret clue to obtaining a large sum of stolen cash belonging to supposedly deceased mob leader Elliot Maddan. Rival mobsters Eddie Ballot and Smike enter, take the clue, and run. Batman finds the last will and testament of Maddan on Baker’s person, which details the scavenger hunt for Maddan’s loot. Batman and Robin follow the clues to the docks where they beat up Ballot and Smike. Then it’s on to Maddan’s display bottling plant, a front for illegal activities, where Robin nearly gets killed inside a giant bottle death trap, but Batman saves him and finds a record. A spin of the record tells the winner of the scavenger hunt to go to a downtown record company, but Batman gets wise to the situation and realizes it’s a trap. The Dark Knight sends the Batman Robot to the record company in his place and, sure enough, a rocket-powered cell encapsulates “Batman” and sends him into the clutches of Maddan, who had faked his death to set up the elaborate scavenger hunt only to capture the hero. Maddan invites all of the top mobsters from across the United States to witness the death of the Caped Crusader, which prompts Batman to take out one of Maddan’s henchmen and take his place, in disguise, at the meeting. Maddan destroys the Batman Robot with explosives, but the real Batman pops out and busts all the baddies with the support of Robin and the GCPD.
–Superman #156, Part 3
For the past thirty days, Superman has been out of action, convinced that he is dying of the rare Kryptonian disease known as Virus X. With his second-to-last wish, and the worst science idea in the history of humanity, Superman instructs a team of his friends to create a sci-fi device that will slowly melt all of the ice on Antarctica, so that a new more habitable continent can be terraformed in its place. Supergirl, the tiny Kandorian Emergency Squad, some Superman Robots, and Legionnaires Sun Boy, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Invisible Kid build the global-warming machine and activate it. Hopefully, Superman comes to his senses and shuts it off later. With his final hours seemingly at hand, Superman visits Smallville and then Gotham to say farewell to Batman and Robin. He then burns an elegiac message on the moon, which will reveal his secret ID in a few hours. In Metropolis, Superman then collapses in pain alongside Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen. For Superman’s final wish, the Man of Steel orders Supergirl, the Kandorian Emergency Squad, and Krypto to help Lori Lemaris save Atlantis from the threat of a giant radioactive undersea monster. At Superman’s final resting place, Lois, Jimmy, Lana Lang, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Cosmic Boy, Brainiac 5, and Supergirl mourn the sick Man of Steel. Supergirl travels back in time and across the galaxy to Krypton in hopes of finding a cure, but instead discovers that Virus X was eliminated from existence shortly before the planet exploded. Supergirl returns to the present just in time to witness Saturn Girl receive a telepathic message from Mon-El in the Phantom Zone. Mon-El explains that Superman hasn’t been dying of a rare virus, he’s been gravely ill thanks to a sliver of Kryptonite stuck in Jimmy’s camera! The Kryptonite is removed, Superman recovers, and he, Supergirl, and Krypto sandblast away his secret-ID giveaway message on the moon before it can be seen.
–Batman #155, Part 1
While out-and-about in the city, Bruce spots known felon Jo-Jo Gagan. Unable to change into Batman clothing, Bruce decides to tail Gagan in his civvies. When a freak explosion occurs at a chemical products company, Gagan runs off. Later, Batman and Gagan learn that the weird explosion has caused them to become psychically linked. While there isn’t a telepathic connection to speak of, there is a physical one. Anything that Batman feels, Gagan also feels, and vice-versa. When Gagan’s pals learn about the connection, they attempt to immediately murder him, knowing that his death would cause Batman’s death. Gagan escapes. Batman and Robin then take to Gotham’s waterways in the brand new and improved Bat-Patrol Boat. The Dynamic Duo, using one-manned rocket-powered controllable torpedoes, saves Gagan from another mobster assassination attempt, this time by Boss Bragg’s henchmen. Later, Gagan realizes that Batman is Bruce Wayne and stalks him at a society ball, watching as the playboy dances with Kathy Kane. After the party, Batman and Robin interrogate Bragg’s men to learn where Gagan’s hideout is. Robin tries to take down Gagan by punching-out Batman, but the plan fails. Gagan then tries to get on good terms with Bragg by offering him Batman’s secret ID. Batman then creates an antidote that severs his connection with Gagan, finds out that Gagan is meeting Bragg, intervenes in the meeting, and busts all of the vile players involved.
–Batman #155, Part 2
Penguin breaks his retirement from crime, returning to best Batman and Robin in a fowl-filled Chinatown heist. The next day, Penguin strikes again in his “Penguin Blimp,” prompting the Dynamic Duo to counter with Whirly-Bats. However, Penguin is victorious once again. A day later, Penguin sends stuffed penguin dolls to twenty-four of Batman’s closest friends, including Bruce, Commissioner Gordon, and Vicki Vale. Then, at the twenty-fourth anniversary of the Friends of Birds Society Museum, Penguin dramatically pops out of a giant blackbird pie and robs a bunch of John Audubon paintings. Batman chases him through the museum, amid large robot birds running amok. Robin sets up some Batman dummies to scare Penguin into the waiting arms of the real deal. It’s back to jail for Penguin.
–Batman #156, Part 1
Early June. Batman notifies Robin that he’s leaving for a top secret mission, leaving the Boy Wonder in charge. (He’s going to undergo military isolation tank testing for the US Government.) At a school dance, Dick switches into fighting gear when the thieving Brady Brothers strike. The debuting Ant Man helps Robin capture them. The next day, after a mini deer gets caught, Robin and Ace follow its trail to Professor Hanson’s lab. A note from Ant Man leads Robin to a jewelry heist in progress by the Brady Brothers’ comrades in the Al Welles gang. Robin and Ant Man bust the baddies, but Ant Man does a swerve, revealing himself as a criminal by taking the loot and taking out Robin. Robin meets with Professor Hanson and waits for Ant Man to return. Using a puppet of himself, Robin defeats Ant Man and unmasks him as crime-boss Jumbo Carson.
ROBIN DIES AT DAWN!
——————–Batman #156, Part 2
——————–Batman #156, Part 3
Early June. Soon after Ant Man’s arrest, Robin receives a letter from Batman via Commissioner Gordon, telling him about Batman’s top secret mission from the government, which involves being used as a human test subject for “space medicine” experiments. Robin goes to the test lab a couple times to find Batman in isolation in a sleep deprivation tank each time he visits. When Batman wakes up, after having suffered a bizarre hallucination of being stranded on an alien planet that includes the death of Robin, he is shaken to the core. After being debriefed by an army general and lead scientist of the project (Simon Hurt in later continuities!), Batman heads home. Later, during a fight against the Gorilla Gang, Batman sees a distracting flash of imagery from his isolation tank hallucination, which not only allows the Gorillas to escape but nearly winds up costing Robin his life as well. Through the night, Bruce is plagued with night terrors. A day later, the Dynamic Duo goes after the Gorillas again, but once again Batman blacks out and freaks out. Afterward, a disturbed Dark Knight decides he must hang up his cape and cowl for good. A saddened Robin meets with the army scientist, looking for answers, but gets none. On his way to meet with Professor Hanson (whose surname, thanks to poor editing, has been accidentally swapped with Jumbo Carson’s), Robin gets kidnapped by the Gorillas, prompting Batman to end his retirement. Batman overcomes his fears and is shocked back to reality as he defeats the Gorillas and saves Robin.
–World’s Finest Comics #135
June 8—we must ignore the 1963 date. Batman and Robin discover a man from the future who is scavenging for Kryptonite. After notifying Superman, it’s not long before the future man blasts the Man of Steel with Kryptonite bullets. The heroes chase the future man to his time-sphere. Unsure of whether he went to the future or the past, the heroes decide to split up. Superman gives Batman and Robin a signal watch that will call a Superman Robot if needed. Batman and Robin visit Carter Nichols and go to Norseland circa March 6, 522 CE while Superman flies to New Gotham circa April 2, 2084. In Norseland, the Dynamic Duo is captured by vikings that have been tricked into allying themselves with the future man. The Norse god Thor (or someone pretending to be Thor, as Batman oddly assumes despite having met the real Thor before) then demonstrates the power of his mighty hammer Mjölnir, which the future man steals before returning to 1971! Batman notes that Mjölnir’s power comes from a meteor before he activates his time-return button and scoots back to the present with Robin. In 2084 New Gotham, Superman comes face-to-face with Secretary of Science John Durr, who he immediately recognizes as the future man. In a twist, Durr’s evil twin brother Rak Durr turns out to be the villainous future man. Rak’s henchmen capture Superman and John, who tells the Man of Steel that Mjölnir mixed with Kryptonite makes a powerful disintegration weapon. Back in 1971, Rak breaks into the Batcave and steals more Kryptonite. Batman sends a Superman Robot, the Batman Robot, and the remote-controlled Robin Robot to be sacrificed in battle against Rak, who is then easily captured. Batman and Robin take Rak back to 2084, rescue Superman and John, and then return home. While not shown in this issue, we must assume that Mjölnir is returned to the past by Superman.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #156, Part 1. June 8-15. Batman is the week-long special guest of the Gotham Jewelers Convention.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman #165, Part 2. Bruce meets college grad cum party gal Patricia “Pat” Powell, who has a huge crush on him, for the second time. They cross paths at an “aqua-lung party”—basically a scuba diving lesson for wealthy socialites. As before, Bruce doesn’t catch a true glimpse of Pat because she is wearing a mask.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #129. Both Joker and Lex Luthor escape from their respective prisons.
–World’s Finest Comics #129-130
Batman and Superman versus Joker and Lex Luthor at a Metropolis expo hosted by showman Hilton Webb. Luthor zaps Superman with an atomic disperser, temporarily turning him into a free floating stream of pure electricity. The next day, at a flower exhibit, Batman, Robin, and Superman tangle with Joker and Luthor again, and once again Luthor zaps Superman, causing Batman to disguise himself as Clark Kent in order to fool Lois Lane. On day three of the expo, Luthor disguises himself as Webb in order to gain access to some priceless gems. While Joker and his henchmen cause a disturbance, Luthor attempts to sneak off with the loot, but Superman nabs him. Batman and Robin nab Joker.
While gardening outside of Wayne Manor, Bruce and Dick see what looks like a giant Starro fly across the horizon. After switching to their fighting togs, the Dynamic Duo investigates and finds the thing not far away. A flying saucer lands and three humanoid aliens emerge, explaining that they are part of an intergalactic troupe of entertainers and the starfish, known as a Zelaphod, latched onto their ship, which happened to be passing Earth. The Zelaphod, like Galactus, digs its tendrils deep into the cores of planets, draining them of life, and causing massive explosions on the surface. The only hope of stopping the Zelaphod is to travel to four different planets and obtain the necessary materials to destroy it. Superman immediately visits Sinzar and Antella while the Dynamic Duo travels with the musical aliens to Unxor and Karos. On Unxor, with the alien Indal as a guide, Batman and Robin learn they have some time to kill. Naturally, the entire troupe comes down with a case of space measles and the Dynamic Duo substitutes for them, putting on an acrobatic performance that is viewed by a huge audience of Unxorians. In the morning, after a trek across the planet, Batman and Robin visit another planet called Karos. There, Superman, having already finished up on Sinzar and Antella, joins Batman and Robin to fight a dinosaur-like monster. The heroes then discover the origin of the Zelaphod—birthed by a volcano and mutated by a magickal gem. Batman destroys the gem, ensuring that no more Zelaphods will turn into planet-eaters. Back on Earth, the heroes use the anti-Zelaphod antidote they’ve gathered from the four planets to destroy the evil starfish.
–Justice League of America #15-17
Terrifyingly, several of the planet’s most powerful countries decide to test their weapons of mass destruction on a special military training day. The US unveils a floating fortress capable of firing off nuclear warheads at a machine-gun rate. This death machine is also capable of nullifying any nuclear threat aimed at the States via a high-tech anti-aircraft cannon. When the fortress falls to pieces during the demonstration, Clark Kent and Diana Prince—the former representing the media and the latter representing the US military—switch to their alternate egos and save the day. However, the deadly nuclear cannon teleports to Central City, prompting Flash to come into action. After disabling the weapon with Superman and Wonder Woman’s assistance, the JLA alarm is sounded. In Rhode Island, the team learns that Moscow and London’s test WMDs have been stolen. It’s not long before Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Green Arrow are fighting for an atomic missile with a towering Stone Giant in Tokyo. Concurrently, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Atom fight two Stone Giants in Brasilia. Likewise, Batman, Green Lantern, and Flash fight two more Stone Giants in Central City. After protecting the three cities, the Stone Giants fade away, but Green Lantern sends his ring to spy on them. The heroes learn that the Stone Giants are from an alternate Earth (Earth-15 as it will later be named)! Earth-15 is catastrophically merging with Earth-1 via six anomaly points—the Earth-1 and Earth-15 versions of the three cities the JLA protected. In addition, a single minute of time difference between the two worlds has eroded, adding to the deadly situation. The Stone Giants were attempting to save both Earths by sacrificing the Toyko, Brasilia, and Central City of Earth-1, essentially breaking a few eggs to make an omelet. Having heard enough, Green Lantern uses his ring to teleport the entire Flash and Batman through the Bleed and onto Earth-15. There, Green Lantern prepares to literally move the three Earth-15 versions of Tokyo, Brasilia, and Central City by using his ring, but the Stone Giants warn the the Batman and Flash that a “doomsday device” à la Dr. Strangelove will go off if the cities are attacked. Green Lantern, instead of moving the cities, uses his ring to restore the sixty second time difference between Earth-1 and Earth-15, thus also restoring balance to the multiverse. Green Lantern, Flash, and Batman return home and tell the tale of their victory to the rest of the JLA.
A super-fan and comic book creator Jerry Thomas sends a story to the JLA. The fanfic features horrible expository dialogue and a hackneyed villain called The Maestro, who pulls off the perfect victory over the Justice League. Thomas encourages the JLA to give the story a happy ending. The team gathers around and spots a flaw in the Maestro’s plan, which allows them to rewrite the story so that the JLA wins the day. Snapper illustrates the conclusion and sends it back to Thomas. Snapper then puts Thomas’ artwork into the Souvenir Room.
Recently, the Wind Elemental known as Tornado Champion, using cosmic power, created a duplicate Earth at the far end of the galaxy. On this false Earth—an exact copy of the real thing down to every detail, including a fake JLA made up of the Tornado Champion’s wind body—the Tornado Champion acts out wild LARPing cosplay fights, pitting his JLA versus various threats. But when Tornado Champion’s evil half (Tornado Tyrant), gains his own separate sentient identity, splits from him, and legitimately defeats the Tornado JLA, Tornado Champion goes to real Earth and puts the real JLA through the same rigamarole (pitting them versus a fake version of Tornado Tyrant), knowing that the real heroes will find a way to win, thus showing him how to win on his false planet. Sure enough, Green Lantern uses his ring to create anti-energy that repels fake Tornado Tyrant. Back on Tornado Earth, Tornado Champion morphs back into the fake JLA. Unable to use the dangerous anti-energy, the Tornado JLA instead expels Tornado Tyrant into the Antimatter Universe (home of Earth-3). NOTE: Tornado Tyrant has tricked Tornado Champion, making him falsely believe that he expelled him to the Antimatter Universe. However, in reality, Tornado Tyrant has actually hidden himself deep within the consciousness of Tornado Champion. SPOILER: Tornado Champion (and the hidden embedded Tornado Tyrant) will eventually merge with a certain android to become Red Tornado! But we won’t get to that for a while.
–World’s Finest Comics #131
Batman and Robin stand watch over a Wild West reenactment that gets held up by members of the Octopus Gang, who are dressed up as cowboys. As the Dynamic Duo chases the Octopus Gang to the edge of the waterfront, everyone is surprised when a new Crimson Avenger dashes onto the scene. However, the Crimson Avenger’s meddling accidentally allows the villains to escape. An angry Batman questions the newcomer, who apologizes but explains that he is continuing the legacy of the legendary first ever masked lawman. (In case you didn’t know, the Crimson Avenger was the original masked superhero, active mostly in the 1940s.) The next day in Metropolis, Superman takes on the Octopus Gang only to get foiled by an interfering Crimson Avenger as well. Superman uses his X-ray vision to see that the Crimson Avenger is crackpot inventor Albert Elwood. Later that night, Batman, Robin, and Superman fight the Octopus Gang together. This time, the Crimson Avenger botches their attempt to nab the crooks for a third time. However, after a short investigation, the heroes realize this Crimson Avenger is a Octopus Gangster dressed up as the Crimson Avenger. Elwood has been kidnapped. Soon after, in the lair of the Octopus Gang, our heroes meet and take on the bizarre leader of the group, The Octopus, a villain complete with an inky black tentacled costume. The Octopus gains the upper hand with a bomb threat, but the real Crimson Avenger (Elwood) takes out the faker and helps the World’s Finest win the day. Elwood then decides to retire from crime-fighting.
–Justice League of America #18
While reviewing the minutes of a previous meeting, all of the JLA members (sans Snapper Carr) are shrunk down to subatomic size and teleported to the microscopic planet Starzl. There, Starzl’s invulnerable android protectors, Terrane, Orcana, and Etheran, express their wish for death, citing that a radiation linked to their energy source is causing the lifespans of the very people they protect to dramatically shorten. The androids hope that the power of the JLA will be able to overcome their invulnerability and their blind programming, which makes them fight like crazy. Batman, the Atom, and Green Arrow battle Terrane while the other JLAers split up against the other androids. But the invulnerability is legitimate and the JLAers are soon defeated. With Green Lantern, Superman, and Wonder Woman jailed behind un-bendable bars, all hope seems lost. Batman, however, deduces that Starzl’s metaphysical laws make things so that ideas and suggestions, once placed into the brain, become reality. Without the idea that he cannot bend un-bendable bars in his mind, Batman easily tears open the cell. With all of the JLAers embedded with the thought that they cannot defeat the androids, the team realizes they must turn to an untainted Snapper for help. After fetching Snapper via the teleportation machine that brought them to Starzl in the first place, Atom fills Snapper in on the details of the mission. Backed by the JLA, Snapper is able to defeat all three androids, saving the people of Starzl. A few days later, Snapper hangs with girlfriend Midge.
–World’s Finest Comics #132
Ex-Lex Luthor henchman Denny Kale and his vertically-challenged partner Shorty Biggs capture and unmask Batman and Robin. After chaining up the Dynamic Duo and leaving them to die with a time bomb ticking away, the villains dress up as Batman and Robin and visit Professor Carter Nichols. Believing them to be the genuine article, Nichols sends the evil duo back in time to Florence, Italy 1479. While Superman goes back in time to face the fake Batman and Robin (getting captured via Kryptonite attack), the real Dynamic Duo escapes certain death by flooding the room à la The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. Batman and Robin then rush to Professor Nichols’ lab and time-travel to Florence 1479. There, the real Dynamic Duo chases after the fake Dynamic Duo, who have allied themselves with a bunch of bandits led by an alchemist. After rescuing Superman, the heroes fight the baddies, causing a chemical spill that erases Kale and Biggs’ memories (including knowledge of any secret IDs). Using the “time box return,” everyone goes back to present day.
–Detective Comics #314
Deranged famous actor Robert Carlyle threatens to kill the three heads of Monarch Studios after they fire him from a picture. Batman and Robin are on the case and do a bunch of reading to study up on the players involved in this case. Later, at the studio lot, Batman fights a man dressed up as the Phantom of the Opera, who kills Monarch head Henry Austin. Batman fears that Carlyle is innocent and merely the scapegoat, a victim of a power war being waged between the three heads of Monarch. Batman and Robin escort Monarch head Harmon, who claims to have been threatened by the killer, to the other Monarch head Paul Bates’ castle home. When they learn that Bates is at his private island in Gotham Bay, the Dynamic Duo rushes there via the debuting inflatable rubber Bat-Boat only to see a masked Captain Ahab use a giant white whale submarine to murder Bates. Later, back at the studio, a masked cowboy kidnaps Harmon, prompting the Dynamic Duo to chase him through a Western set. Batman and Robin are able to save Harmon. They then search Bates’ home and discover Carlyle bound in a locked room. Carlyle claims that Bates, the killer, had kidnapped him two days ago and then faked his death during the white whale attack. Batman, however, can tell that Carlyle is lying. Batman disguises himself as Bates and waits for the masked assassin to strike again. Sure enough, the villain strikes, but “Bates” unmasks to unmask him. It was Carlyle all along. No twists here.
–Justice League of America #19
Dr. Destiny, from his prison cell, enacts his big revenge plot. Via a mailed letter, he sends an invisible chemical to the JLA. This chemical, in conjunction with the use of a strange cobbled-together device called “the materiopticon,” causes the JLA to dream into existence tangible doppelgängers of themselves. The next day, the doppelgängers beat up their counterparts and commit a string of public robberies. The JLA is made the nation’s most wanted and they turn themselves in. At their arraignment hearing, the Atom’s girlfriend, attorney Jean Loring, strikes a deal with the judge whereby the Justice League will not be charged (and have to unmask), but instead will be exiled from the planet until their innocence can be proven. Superman builds a rocket, the JLA boards, and they shoot off into deep space. Realizing that they each had dreams about doppelgängers the night prior to the appearance of the baddies, the JLA deems it necessary to reveal their secret IDs to one another. For the first time ever, each Justice Leaguer learns the true identities of their fellow teammates. Back on Earth, Bruce, Diana, and John Jones (in their civilian identities) take on bogus Batman, bogus Wonder Woman, and bogus Martian Manhunter, only to lose badly. The other JLers suffer similar fates and it’s not long before the entire team (in their civvies) are rounded-up by the bogus JLA. Realizing that they are merely dream manifestations of their real personas, the false JLA doubly realizes that they cannot kill the real deals without eliminating themselves in the process. Seeing no other option, bogus Green Lantern creates a cell, fills it with the JL, and buries it deep beneath the Earth’s surface. With the combined might of each JLers will power feeding into Hal’s power ring, the team escapes. Ray then enters the brains of each bogus JLer and causes them to freak out, allowing for their easy defeat. Once their names have been cleared, Dr. Destiny is placed into solitary confinement. Superman gets some Amnesium, an alien mineral that induces memory loss, and after a unanimous vote, the JLA uses it to erase knowledge of each others’ secret IDs.
–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #59. The JLA decides that, moving forward, any member that learns another member’s secret ID must have their memory of said information erased. Likewise, any villain that learns of a hero’s secret ID must have his mind erased of that knowledge as well. The JL’s casual acceptance of mind-wiping is unanimous, a stark contrast from the moral and ethical dilemma that the practice will cause in later publishing eras.
–NOTE: In Flash #137. Batman isn’t a part of this, but it is a very salient moment. Flash (Barry Allen) decides to breach through the multiversial Bleed to visit his inspiration Jay Garrick (the Earth-2 Flash). On Earth-2, Barry finds that certain members of the old Justice Society of America (Jay Garrick, Dr. Mid-Nite, Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Earth-2 Hawkman, Earth-2 Atom, Earth-2 Johnny Thunder, Yz the Thunderbolt, and Earth-2 Green Lantern) have come out of retirement to deal with the threat of the immortal Vandal Savage. Savage captures the Justice Society, leading to their rescue by the two Flashes. Vandal Savage is then defeated by the combined might of the heroes. On Earth-2, this version of the Justice Society decides to come out of retirement. Barry returns to Earth-1.
–Detective Comics #315
Fifteen years ago, young Tommy Young was lost in an African jungle plane crash. Feared dead, Tommy actually survived and was raised by the animals, becoming a modern day Tarzan known as Jungle-Man. Now, criminal mastermind Eli Mattock has discovered Jungle-Man and has brainwashed him into hating Batman. Mattock delivers Jungle-Man to the mean streets of Gotham where he breaks a bunch of animals out of the zoo and targets Batman. After several encounters with Jungle-Man, Batman and Robin meet with Commissioner Gordon, who introduces the Dynamic Duo to Jungle-Man’s likely parents. After a verification of Jungle-Man’s ID, Batman is still unable to bring down the muscly hulk. However, armed with one of Jungle-Man’s old teddy bears to jog the latter’s memory, Batman convinces him that Mattock is the real enemy. Jungle-Man helps Batman and Robin bring Mattock and his gang to justice. Later, in the Young residence, Jungle-Man, now wearing a suit and tie, reunites with his parents.
–World’s Finest Comics #133
Batman, Robin, and Clark Kent are invited guests at the unveiling of Dr. Paul Bowles’ new radio telescope. There, harried scientist Dr. Gault warns the heroes that use of the telescope will bring forth occult demons out of the constellation Scorpio. Sure enough, weird shape-shifting ghouls and multiplying crystalline orb demons appear when it is switched on, forcing Batman, Robin, and Superman into action. The heroes then visit Dr. Gault at his occult-science mansion before fighting a celestial tornado devil that stalks a pair of young lovers, Dr. Bowles and his fiancée Norah Carter. Their true love seems to send the creature bolting away, much to the surprise of Batman and Superman. The World’s Finest trio realizes that Dr. Gault has summoned the Scorpio creatures using the mystic Talisman of Jazub in an attempt to steal Norah away from Dr. Bowles. Norah and Dr. Bowles then dress up as Scorpio monsters to fool Dr. Gault, allowing Batman and Superman to take him down.
–Justice League of America #20
Superman learns of a threat to a few planets in the distant Mizar System, all of which have weird machines on them that have caused their entire populaces to freeze like statues. The Justice League divides into groups and travels to the Mizar System to destroy the machines. Batman accompanies the Atom and Superman to Zomarr. Meanwhile, the rest of the JLA smashes their targets but their respective alien populations remain frozen. Dejected, the rest of the JLA returns home to find a Godzilla-sized human astronaut and a gargantuan spaceship towering over Harbor City. They fight the big spaceman only to quickly realize that he means well. On Zomarr, Batman, Superman, and the Atom are surprised to find the Zomarrian plant people alive and well. The heroes discover that the machines on the other planets were causing the freeze on different planets in the system. After smashing the last machine and imprisoning the evil PallKan, mastermind behind the plot, the trio returns to Earth to find the weird spaceman continuing his mission of good. Superman scans the spaceman to find that he is a robot being controlled by his spaceship, which is sentient. Superman then flies into space with the spaceship, which transforms into a metal alien. The immortal alien explains that he plans to take over Earth using energy that his giant spaceman has harvested from the planet itself. The giant spaceman was merely playing hero so that the JLA wouldn’t bother him while he secretly harvested energy. Superman flies the metal man fifty thousand light years from Earth and tosses him into the black void beyond the stars. Afterward, the JLA puts the giant spaceman—although I have no idea how they found room for him—into the Secret Sanctuary trophy room.
–Detective Comics #323
July 30-August 5. After Bruce and Dick see a friend off at the airport, the garishly costumed Zodiac Master appears and declares his prediction that an airplane will crash if it tries to take-off. Hoping to prevent the disaster, Zodiac Master damages the engines, grounding the plane. Not sure if he is a hero or villain, Batman and Robin go after Zodiac Master. After using one of his many zodiac-themed weapons to snare Batman and Robin, Zodiac Master flees the scene. Sure enough, after inspecting the plane, Batman finds that it would have crashed. Later, the Dynamic Duo busts some crooks at the horse racing track and learns that they are working for Zodiac Master, who had rigged the plane. Batman disguises himself as a crook to gain an audience with Zodiac Master. When face-to-face, Batman springs into action, but Zodiac lams. Batman and Robin apprehend Zodiac Master at the Gotham Museum the next day.
–Detective Comics #316
Dr. Double X escapes from Happydale Sanitarium and, using his doppelganger machine, releases his other half, Double X, from within. Less than a day later, Dr. X and Double X best the Dynamic Duo and steal a generator from a large ship. After power surges at an abandoned house lead our heroes to one of Dr. X’s lairs, Batman uses his doppelganger machine (actually a second machine) to make a super-powered Double Batman. Shortly thereafter, Dr. X and Double X fight Batman and Double Batman as Vicki Vale snaps pictures of the epic carnage. Defeated, Dr. X and Double X flee to another hideout that contains another doubling machine. Batman and Robin then secretly move Dr. X’s machine into the Batcave, replacing it with a fake one. Dr. X, hoping to eliminate Double Batman, smashes the fake machine. Double Batman publicly fakes termination only to surprise Dr. X and Double X by reappearing to help Batman and Robin bring them to justice. Later, Double Batman says goodbye and destroys himself.
–World’s Finest Comics #134
Clark, Lois, Bruce, and Dick attend a new World’s Fair-like expo called Science City. There, a fishy Merman with all the powers of Aquaman attempts a robbery, prompting Batman and Robin to slip into wetsuits. Above sea level, Superman deals with the attack of a bargain basement Human Torch with anti-magnetic powers. Announcing himself as Astro, member of the three-man Band of Super-Villains, which includes the merman below, the fiery man steals some platinum before bolting with his buddy. Everyone in Science City quickly realizes that an invisible energy dome has trapped them within the city limits. After a full twenty-four hours of being trapped under the dome, the Band of Super-Villians appears again, this time with its third member, a purple blob of a cyclops that shoots lasers out of its eye. Together, the Band of Super-Villains blasts Superman, turning him into a human bomb capable of killing everyone under the dome. Batman hits Superman with a rocket, which somehow saves the day. Soon after, Superman uses his X-ray vision to watch as the three baddies shed their costumes, revealing them as three simple crooks. The Man of Steel easily captures them and hears a story about how they were given their powerful suits from an evil alien. Disguising themselves as the crooks, Batman, Superman, and Robin signal the alien and are soon face-to-face with him. The alien states his goal—to kill all humans and colonize Earth—before trying to gas our heroes. Superman punches-out the alien, who activates a self destruct button on his UFO. Superman flies off with Batman and Robin in his arms as the ship explodes behind him. Then, it’s all chuckles and laughs and “where were you, Clark?” back down at the saved Science City.
–Detective Comics #317
After making some improvements to the giant Flying Batcave, including adding a mini-car known as the Bat-Racer, Batman and Robin decide to fly the giant helicopter to a Police Convention in Center City, where they are honored guests. Before leaving Gotham, Batman and Robin use the Flying Batcave to bring down members of the Condor Gang. After showing off the Flying Batcave to the convention goers, Batman and Robin use the Bat-Racer to rescue rookie Center City cop Joe Arno from Condor Gangsters. The Condor Gang responds by publicly trashing the Dynamic Duo in the op-ed pages of the local newspaper and kidnapping Officer Arno. Batman, Robin, and a platoon of parachuting cops leap out of the Flying Batcave onto the roof of the Condor Gang’s HQ. Batman and Robin use wingsuit attachments on their costumes to glide down the fastest. The lesser dregs of the Condor Gang are busted up, but the leaders escape right after secretly swapping Arno’s handcuffs with a bomb. The next day, Batman, Robin, and Arno fly the Flying Batcave into a stadium packed for the last day of the Police Convention. The Condors activate the bomb, causing the giant helicopter goes kaboom, before storming the arena. But, of course, it’s all a trick. The heroes found out about the bomb, got rid of it, and sent a large fake Flying Batcave balloon to blow up instead. The real Flying Batcave rises up over the arena and nabs the Condor heads. Arno is promoted to detective and the Dynamic Duo goes back home.
–Batman #157, Part 1
Crime reporter Hal Lake tips-off Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and Robin about a big auto show heist being perpetrated by the Barker Gang and a masked villain called The Jackal. Batman and Robin bust the gang, but the Jackal appears and gets away with the loot. The next day, Batman and Robin doll themselves up in hobo disguises and tail Lake. The Dynamic Duo watches as Lake puts on a disguise of his own, becoming his secret alter-ego, underworld floater Marty Kale. After Batman and Robin save Kale from a thugs Gaxton and The Snooper, Batman notes how it is odd that Kale stays in character even after the thugs have fled. The next day, Batman and Robin bust some thieves, but the Jackal is there to scram with the loot. Later, Batman and Robin bust Gaxton, the Snooper, their boss, and the Jackal. Batman unmasks the Jackal as none other than Lake, who had become so obsessed with exposing criminals in his column that he would black out and become a Robin Hood-type anti-hero. The baddies go to prison and Lake goes to a mental hospital.
–Batman #157, Part 2
Mirror-Man breaks out of jail. Still convinced that Batman is Bruce Wayne, he orders his man Harry Vance to keep tabs on Bruce at the Gotham Men’s Club while he runs amok downtown. Bruce notices Vance spying on him, so he fakes falling into an open manhole to change into Batman. Soon after, Batman and Robin fight Mirror-Man at the museum as Vicki Vale snaps pictures. Vicki is shocked to hear Mirror-Man’s reaffirmations that Batman and Bruce are one and the same. Batwoman shows up to help, but Mirror-Man still makes a clean getaway. The next day, when Bruce donates a first edition of Through the Looking Glass to the Gotham Book Society, Mirror-Man strikes again. An eager-to-help Vicki sends a hired actor, dressed up as Bruce, to appear as Batman fights. Unfortunately, Alfred also shows up dressed up as Bruce too. While Bruce tries to convince Vicki that he isn’t Batman, Vance learns about the actor playing Bruce and reports back to Mirror-Man. Batman (Alfred in disguise) and Robin bust Mirror-Man, who tries to tell the cops and Vicki that the Dark Knight is Bruce Wayne. Bruce then enters to dispel the rumor and Alfred (still as Batman) takes the opportunity to make-out with Vicki!
–Detective Comics #318
Bruce and Kathy break a date early so that Batman and Batwoman can have a date at the rodeo, where they are guests of honor along with Robin. Cat-Man returns and sends the Dynamic Duo chasing after runaway steers. Batwoman chases after Cat-Man, nearly killing herself in the process until a smitten Cat-Man saves her life. When Cat-Man begins a series of fairy tale kitty crimes, Batwoman seemingly helps him evade the Dynamic Duo’s capture. But of course, its all part of a ruse. Batman and Batwoman have a very public argument which leads to Batwoman bailing Cat-Man’s henchman out of jail and swearing allegiance to the villain. Once Batwoman is crowned as the new Catwoman with a brand new sexy costume, she secretly signals Batman the location of Cat-Man’s hideout. Batman and Robin swing in, but they, along with Batwoman, are captured. Batman signals Ace the Bathound, who saves the day, allowing Batman to rescue Batwoman. Cat-Man’s catamaran blows up, but we’ll see him again one day. (Cat-Man again dies here, but thanks to the magickal cloth of his costume, he has nine lives—now down to seven.) Afterward, Batwoman puts her Catwoman costume into her Hall of Trophies.
–Batman #158, Part 1
As the Dynamic Duo fights the Logan Gang at the Gotham Ice Company, Ace the Bathound makes a dramatic entrance, debuting multiple super powers to bring down the bad guys. Unknown to Batman and Robin, Ace has been given super powers from Bat-Mite. Later, the super canine helps Batman and Robin bust up some crooks at a mining operation, but Ace’s weakness to gas fumes is made apparent, allowing some of the baddies to lam. The next night, the same baddies gas Ace, who turns on his masters, spewing fire out of his mouth at them. Bat-Mite appears, takes away Ace’s powers (including his aversion to gas), thus allowing regular old Ace to take down the baddies.
–Batman #158, Part 2
When Explorer’s Club member Matt Carter supposedly discovers the lost “Golden City” in a South American jungle, no one back in Gotham believes him, especially since he has lost all proof and been confined to a hospital for delirium. Matt’s son Ted Carter speaks on his behalf before the other members of the club, but no one believes except Bruce. Batman, Robin, and Ted follow in Matt’s footsteps. In South America, the trio comes across a moving Incan temple statue (which our heroes ignorantly refer to as “Aztec”) and its native protectors, an armadillo turned into giant size thanks to radioactive waste water, and the lost city itself, which is rigged with booby traps. Having proven the existence of the lost city, Matt, Ted, Batman, and Robin are voted into the Inner Circle of the Explorer’s Club.
–Batman #158, Part 3
Expert heist man Bobo Cullen and his henchmen fight Batman and Robin. Cullen’s henchmen are arrested, but Cullen runs off with Batman’s utility belt, which has Batman’s fingerprints on it. A week later, Batman enacts a plan to get his belt back. Batman and Robin disguise themselves as criminals that can do perfect impersonations of the Dynamic Duo, offering their services to Gotham’s underworld. Crime boss Hugh Bradford and his partner Wilks hire the “fake” Dynamic Duo, who convinces a jeweler to allow them to steal expensive items under as a part of the sting. After pulling off another “heist,” Bobo Cullen comes out of the woodwork to offer the utility belt to the “fakers.” Batman and Robin reveal themselves as the real deals, take back the belt, and arrest the crooks.
–Justice League of America #21-22 (“CRISIS ON EARTH-1 & CRISIS ON EARTH-2”)
On Earth-2, the Fiddler discovers the vibratory pitch that opens a doorway between Earth-2 and Earth-1. Using this doorway, the Fiddler, The Icicle, and The Wizard are able to meet Chronos, Felix Faust, and Dr. Alchemy to form the first ever inter-multiversial super-villain team, called the Crime Champions. On Earth-1, the Crime Champions defeat the Justice League, steal millions of dollars, and kidnap Flash (Barry Allen), bringing him to their secret hideout in the Bleed-space between universes. On Earth-2, the Crime Champions challenge and defeat the Justice Society of America (with Earth-2 Black Canary filling in for Wonder Woman, Hourman subbing for Johnny Thunder, and Dr. Fate subbing for Dr. Mid-Nite). The Crime Champions then kidnap Flash (Jay Garrick). Note that the Justice Society mentions that they haven’t had an official meeting in twelve years, but thanks to retcons, this should read twenty years. In their civilian IDs, the villains swap Earths and begin to live lavish new lives, spending their stolen loot. It’s not long, however, before the Earth-2 villains decide they want to pillage Earth-1 for more. The Fiddler, the Icicle, and the Wizard dress up as their Crime Champion counterparts, steal all the money from Casino Town, and challenge the JLA to a duel. The JLA is soundly defeated and imprisoned inside their own Secret Sanctuary. Using Merlin’s crystal ball, the JLA summons the JSA, which breaks through the dimensional barrier and appear on Earth-1! (This summoning scene is also shown in The Multiversity Guidebook.) Shortly thereafter, the JSA fights the Earth-2 Crime Champions on Earth-1, the JLA fights the Earth-1 Crime Champions on Earth-2, and the Green Lanterns team-up to rescue the Flashes. However, upon freeing the Flashes, a magickal trap is activated, which instantly imprisons all the heroes in sealed cells in deep space. The heroes quickly figure out an escape and return to kayo the Crime Champions. Mr. Terrific, Starman, Earth-2 Black Canary, and Dr. Fate will soon come out of retirement to join their old JSA teammates full-time (as referenced in Justice League of America #29-30 and Justice League of America #37-38).
–Detective Comics #319
Fugitive crook Bart Magan accosts Dr. Paul Dent and forces him to use an experimental skin rejuvenation ray to remove a scar from his face, hoping to hide the distinguishing mark from police. Unfortunately for Magan, the ray malfunctions and he loses all features from his face. Magan imprisons Dent and decides to disguise himself as the doctor, during which time he holds a public science demo and fakes an accident that causes his facial features to disappear. Pretending to be an insane Dent, Magan becomes the super-villain Dr. No-Face. His first act is to attempt to shoot all the lights out in Downtown Gotham, but Batman and Robin put a stop to that. The next night, Dr. No-Face takes a flamethrower into Gotham Museum and torches all the paintings. After evading Batman, the wacky Dr. No-Face runs through town destroying clocks, masks, statues, and anything else with a face. Batman and Robin next come across Dr. No-Face at a gravel pit, where the strange villain continues his bizarre behavior by throwing a stolen gemstone into a rock-crusher. Dr. No-Face then defaces the brand new Mt. Gotham Batman Face Monument with a sandblaster before being taken into custody. Magan, still posing as Dent, hopes to get off with a little psychotherapy and plastic surgery and then keep Dent’s ID for good. But not only has Batman noticed that Dr. No-Face wasn’t acting like his pal Dr. Dent, but Magan forgot that his fingerprints don’t match Dent’s as well. Batman and Robin then shake down Magan’s known associates and find that the gemstone and a stolen museum painting (fake destroyed by the “crazy” Dr. No-Face) are safe and sound. The Dynamic Duo takes down Magan’s partners and Magan gets plastic surgery before going back to prison.
–World’s Finest Comics #136
On his way home from an unspecified mission, Batman flies through an lightning storm and accidentally passes through the vibrational Bleed onto Earth-136! There Batman is shocked to learn that Bruce Wayne was never born and the Wayne Family never existed in Gotham. Thus, there is no Joker, only a celebrity TV clown named Freddy Forbes instead. Furthermore, Clark Kent lives in in a mansion with Alfred and Dick. On Earth-136, the Dynamic Duo is Superman and Robin! Lois Lane also lives in Gotham, but is named Vicki Vale instead. And since the Waynes never existed, Kathy Kane never came to Gotham. Freaked-out and panicked by this new world, Batman gets captured by Superman and is branded insane by Commissioner Gordon, but the Capded Crusader escapes to figure out what to do in his sticky situation. One of Earth-136’s most notorious criminals, Red Raven (an evil version of Earth-2’s Little Raven, who was never inspired by Batman and instead became a bad guy), strikes Gotham and kidnaps Robin. Batman proves his heroism to Superman by helping the Man of Steel bring Red Raven to justice. Superman fixes the Batplane, creates a lightning storm, and sends the Dark Knight back to Earth-1. There, he happily greets Robin, Commissioner Gordon, Vicki, and Batwoman.
–Detective Comics #320
After a brief vacation, Bruce and Dick come across a crashed spacecraft in the woods and are exposed to radiation that turns them green. Fearing that their green complexions will give away their secret IDs, the Dynamic Duo sets up a ruse where they have the cops meet them at the fallen spacecraft only to pretend that they’ve been stricken with an alien effect that makes them radioactively dangerous to others. Thus, Batman and Robin are able to fight crime wearing mummy-like bandages that mask their green bodies. Later, a suspicious Vicki Vale visits Bruce and Dick at Wayne Manor. Later still, mummy Batman and mummy Robin bust some criminals and find that their condition returns to normal. After Vicki sees them fine and dandy, she rushes to Wayne Manor. Batman and Robin beat her there, switch back into civilian clothes, and put green makeup on to fool Vicki.
–NOTE: In Batman #159. Joker escapes jail.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #159. Batman repairs the Batman Robot.
–Batman #161, Part 2
September—late baseball season. Bruce and Dick attend a major league baseball game at Gotham Stadium and stumble across a robbery at a cashier’s desk. Batman and Robin chase the thieves onto the field, but Bat-Mite appears and corrals them, angering the Dark Knight as usual. A dejected Bat-Mite decides to give a random dude named Jerome a garish costume and a chance to compete with Batman. The next day, the so-called “Bat-Mite Hero” tries to assist Batman and Robin against the Human Fly Bandits, but he nearly gets killed, requiring Batman to save him. A day later, Bat-Mite fires Jerome and replaces him with pro-wrestler The Blond Bombshell. When the Dynamic Duo goes after the Joey Saxton Gang, the beefier Bat-Mite Hero is on the case as well, actually busting the gang-bangers with ease, but unknowingly blowing Batman’s sting operation. The next day, a con man linked to Saxton delivers an athletic replacement for the Blond Bombshell to Bat-Mite. Bat-Mite makes him the new Bat-Mite Hero, not seeing that the new guy is clearly a plant working for Saxton. At a soap factory, the Dynamic Duo takes on the rest of the Joey Saxton Gang and the turncoat Bat-Mite Hero. Bat-Mite sees his man is evil and helps the Dynamic Duo arrest the whole lot of them.
Batman and Robin visit with Kathy Kane and her niece Bette before going after an escaped Clayface II. Despite only having ingested enough morphing liquid for five hours’ worth of powers, Clayface commits a robbery and escapes Batman and Robin’s grasp. Later, Batman and Robin attend a special rocket-naming ceremony honoring Batwoman, but Joker crashes the party. Batman, Robin, and Bat-Girl fight the clown only to realize it is actually Clayface in disguise. The next day, the Dynamic Duo fights Clayface at a museum only to realize it is actually Joker, having disguised himself after being offended by Clayface’s mockery from the day prior. Using a suit that transforms into different things, Joker evades Batman but gets caught and jailed by a waiting Batwoman and Bat-Girl. The next morning, Batman sets up one of his famous elaborate ruses to nab Clayface. After publicly announcing that a wealthy rajah will gift him a fabulous diamond, the lure is set. Batman disguises himself as Joker and pretends to fight Batman (actually the Batman Robot) over the diamond. Clayface captures them both, but releases “Joker,” thus allowing Batman to surprise him and take him down. After the case is wrapped, smooching ensues.
–Justice League of America #23
Batman, Aquaman, and Superman work unspecified cases but send their regards as the rest of the Justice League (sans the Atom) holds a surprise party for Snapper Carr to celebrate his passing of college entry exams, which took place a few weeks ago. The party is interrupted by news of flying Bee-Men attacking a West Coast city, prompting the attending JLers to action. Despite defeating the Bee-Men, the JLers are mind-controlled by their boss, Queen Bee Zazzala of the planet Korll. Stolen away in a beehive-shaped spacecraft, the heroes are forced to visit the planet Somalar in the Aldebaran System, where pieces of a Korllian immortality potion exist. After gathering the potion ingredients for Zazzala, the heroes are forced to return to Earth, but not before Green Lantern seals the vials with an impenetrable green film, thus making sure Zazzala, even in victory, does not attain immortality. Back on Earth, the heroes fill-in Superman, Batman, and Aquaman. The Atom arrives as well, fresh from a solo adventure versus Dr. Light. With everyone happily gathered, Snapper’s party continues. (The end of The Atom #8, Part 1 also shows the Atom’s arrival and continuation of Snapper’s party.)
–Detective Comics #321
The Terrible Trio breaks jail. A few days later, Batman and Robin follow some trained homing birds carrying stolen diamonds right to the Vulture. A confrontation ensues, but the Vulture escapes via a rocket. A day later, the Dynamic Duo enters into a naval battle against all three crooks aboard their submarine. The Terrible Trio evades capture yet again, but Batman and Robin obtain their counterfeit engraving plates. Later, Batman realizes that the Terrible Trio is planning on helping a big time fugitive criminal named Craig evade a police dragnet. Batwoman tails Batman (disguised as Craig), who meets with the Fox, who drives him under the roadblocks in a tunnel-burrowing drill car. At the Terrible Trio hideout, Batman and Robin get the jump on the baddies, but wind up captured anyway and encased in rockets targeted for outer space. Thankfully, Batwoman busts the Terrible Trio and rescues the Dynamic Duo.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #154 and World’s Finest Comics #263. Batman, Robin, and Batwoman wear sunglasses at night to foil the sinister plot of a crook that blinds people with a giant light bulb. This event happens in a flashback from WFC #154, which actually occurs in a computer simulation—(the entirety of WFC #154 is a computer simulation, as revealed in WFC #263). In spite of this fact, the simulation would presumably be loaded with Batman’s actual history, making the flashback canon.
–World’s Finest Comics #137
While Superman is assisting aliens in colonizing an uninhabitable planet, Batman and Robin defend Metropolis against would-be robbers. When Superman returns, he is possessed and evil and fights Batman while smashing things up and stealing gold and silver. Minutes later, Superman is calm and collected with no recollection of his crazy actions. Minutes after that, Superman turns evil again. Batman and Robin track Superman to an observatory where the Man of Steel allies himself with an escaped Lex Luthor! Batman and Robin are captured and Luthor reveals that he has been able to mind-control Superman ever since Superman’s mission to space. With Superman in-and-out of Luthor’s control, the public turns on him and the mayor of Metropolis bans him from the city! At the observatory, Batman and Robin learn not only that the aliens are in league with Luthor and asked Superman for help just to get him off Earth, but also that Superman isn’t under Luthor’s control after all. It’s been a stolen and rewired Superman Robot this whole time. Superman returns, destroys the rogue robot, busts the bad guys, rescues the Dynamic Duo, and regains his status-quo with the people of Metropolis.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #322. Batman and Robin take on international criminal mastermind Aristo and his henchmen Trusk and Yates. Batman can’t pin anything on Aristo, who flees to Europe.
Batman and Robin shake down a fence working for the Green Hood Gang, which leads them chasing after crook Ed Kiley on Madcap Island, a bizarre island near Gotham Bay where eccentric rich folks have built crazy million dollar homes all shaped like different recognizable objects. On Madcap Island, Binocular tycoon Benson calls a meeting of the Madcap citizens where Batman alerts them of the presence of Kiley. Dishware magnate Jason Reid then excitedly shows Batman his Batman House, a mansion in the shape of a giant Batman bust. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin fend off a masked attacker before a rendezvous with a suspicious Benson. When Kiley’s corpse turns up, Batman and Robin are once again chasing after the masked man, who evades capture atop a giant billiards-themed mansion. Soon, Batman exposes Reid as the Green Hood boss and malt shop owner Bart as his accomplice. Batman busts them both.
Bruce and Dick leave town on unspecified business. In Batman and Robin’s absence, the Gimmick Gang debuts and terrorizes Gotham. In their first encounter with the gang, Batman punches one of them, knocking his mask off to reveal an alien. The next morning, Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon arrange a meeting with Gotham’s top rival mobsters, Tod Garret and Bart Cullen, to question them about the alien. Later, Batman and Robin fight a masked Garret and his partner, Lido the alien, at the airport. Lido uses an anti-gravity gun on Batman to defeat him. The next day, Lido uses other modes on his alien weapon to best Batman and Robin yet again, only this time the vile alien sells out his human pals. With Garret in cuffs and feeling betrayed, he leads Batman to the wreckage site of Lido’s downed spaceship. There Batman notices that an escape capsule has been jettisoned and realizes that the alien’s ship crashed, but the alien himself never arrived on Earth.
Cullen had found the ship and weaponry and disguised himself as an alien in order to bring down the rival Garret mob. Batman dons a Lido costume, pretends to be the actual alien come a-calling, and frightens Cullen into giving a confession.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #24. The Justice League comes up with a special code that they must each tack onto messages to prove they are who they say they are. Batman’s code is 6 (for the letters in his name) followed by the number of letters in the name of whoever he is speaking to. Although, other alternate codes are invented as well as using reverse spelling and personalized sobriquets.
–Justice League of America #24
Batman, Superman, J’onn, and Green Arrow go into outer space on a unspecified mission. Meawhile, Kanjar Ro escapes prison on Rann, leaving behind his own aura, and makes his way into the Milky Way Galaxy where he captures the auras of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and the Atom. After sending the auras to different planets and time periods, Kanjar Ro forces them to lure the Justice Leaguers into traps. The Atom visits the fake Green Lantern on Quil. Flash uses the Cosmic Treadmill to visit the fake Wonder Woman on Earth, 9140 CE. Green Lantern visits the fake Aquaman on Tharl. Wonder Woman visits the fake Atom on an unnamed dimensional plane. And Aquaman visits the fake Flash in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Each JLer fights an intense battle against various threats before capturing the auras. However, Kanjar Ro moves the entire planet Earth (!) and banishes the JLers to an “aural Earth.” At the Secret Sanctuary of the aural Earth, Adam Strange pays a visit to the JLA and delivers news of Kanjar Ro’s escape and aura-stealing ability. The heroes question Kanjar Ro’s aura on Rann and learn that Earth has been moved into the orbit of Arcturus. Kanjar Ro is defeated and Earth is returned to its correct place in the galaxy.
–Detective Comics #322
Batman and Robin work a robbery where the ancient Larko lamp was stolen by Aristo’s henchmen Yates and Trusk. The Larko lamp, when combined with a magick powder, has the power to summon a wish-granting genie, but unlike most genies this genie must temporarily use a human as its host. Soon after a consultation with Commissioner Gordon, Batman and Robin confront a returning Aristo, who smashes the magick powder all over Batman, causing him to disappear into the Larko lamp. After rubbing the lamp, a towering turban-wearing Batman emerges totally loyal to whoever uses his three wishes. Aristo’s first wish is for giant Bat-Genie to steal a bunch of riches. Robin sees that the crazy Bat-Genie is set on stealing some mega-loot, so he distracts him while Bat-Girl plays on the genie’s literal mind by filling the Gotham Mint with actual mint leaves. Aristo is pissed when Bat-Genie returns with a giant pail of mint leaves. The next day, Aristo wishes for the Bat-Genie to protect him at all costs while he commits various crimes. Bat-Genie smashes up cop cars while Bat-Girl hits him with smoke bombs and Robin sneaks into the back of Aristo’s truck. Robin then swipes the Larko lamp and dives off a bridge into a shallow river bed. Robin uses the third wish, asking Bat-Genie to save him, which he does. Bat-Genie reverts back into normal Batman, allowing the Dynamic Duo to bust Aristo, Yates, and Trusk.
–World’s Finest Comics #138
Batman and Robin fight an alien that attempts to shoot them with a ray gun, but the beam has no effect. Panicked, the alien runs into a library, rips a page out of a book, and contacts his partners aboard a nearby spacecraft. The alien in the library tells is pals that the ray gun will only affect Prehistoric humans, so they must go back in time. Batman overhears this just as the alien eats a suicide pill. Batman sees that the torn page has a picture of cavemen from 50,000 years ago, so he notifies Clark of his plans and then its over to Carter Nichols for a time-jaunt way back to 48,029 BCE. Superman joins the Dynamic Duo in the distant past where they discover that the aliens have abducted a bunch of early humans. Batman, Superman, and Robin then disguise themselves—terribly, I might add. Batman and Robin tear their costumes to shreds and Batman puts on a fake beards made of animal fur while the Boy Wonder gives himself a mullet. Superman, for some unknown reason, actually carries a tattered Superman costume (since his is virtually indestructible) and dons it, also wearing an awful beard. Soon, our heroes learn that the ray beams are used for mind-control, but only function on primitive minds. Batman, Superman, and Robin play as though they’ve been controlled and are taken in a spaceship back to the present to the alien home world to be slaves. There, Superman loses his powers thanks to a red sun. Batman, Superman, and Robin soon learn that the aliens are but a small part of the population, acting as rebels loyal to an evil would-be dictator general that wants to murder his people’s political leaders, assume power, and then colonize Earth. The general spots Batman, Superman, and Robin and poisons them with refined Drakkium. After being pulled to safety by a wild alien beast, our heroes build a ridiculous giant sabre-tooth tiger puppet out of fur growing on trees. With the puppet, they scare off the mind-controlled slaves and pelt the rebel aliens with Drakkium ore. After turning the rebels over to government authorities, Batman, Superman, and Robin fill a spaceship with the human captives and return them to 48,029 BCE. The trio then returns to present day Gotham via Nichols’ time-box return button.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #146. Robin wears his beefy Batman costume in order to trick someone into thinking he is the real Caped Crusader. WFC #146 tells us that Robin does this trick on Batman’s behalf on more than one occasion prior to WFC #146. Since he only does it once in the Silver Age prior to that, we have to assume that he does it here, again, on this unspecified case.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #346. Batman and Robin hear of the curious robbery of $10,000 from a vault containing much more currency. This robbery is exactly similar to a case the Dynamic Duo worked on a year ago, but failed to close. An investigation, once again, turns up nothing. Shortly thereafter, Bruce and Dick watch a daring stunt where world famous escape artist Carnado publicly frees himself from a deadly contraption. Unknown to the public-at-large or to Bruce and Dick, Carnado is a fraud and has secretly stolen the money, as he has done before, to commission a rigged “escape proof” contraption from criminal inventor Eivol Ekdal.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman #165, Part 2. December 31—New Year’s Eve. Patricia “Pat” Powell, hoping to finally meet her mega crush Bruce Wayne, attends a high-society New Year’s Eve masquerade that Bruce also attends. However, Pat doesn’t get to meet Bruce because the Batsignal lights up the night sky. Bruce promptly leaves at eleven o’clock. Presumably, Batman quickly takes care of the unspecified case, but does not return to the party.
- COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the third part of Batman #159, which follows the “Great Joker-Clayface Feud” (from parts 1 and 2) does not feature Batman. It only shows Alfred writing more Batman fanfic. This is why part 3 has been omitted from our timeline.↩