–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #329. A “crime splurge” hits Gotham. Batman will spend the next month capturing random crooks on-and-off (unseen on our timeline, of course). Only one baddie will evade capture and escape scot-free: Frank Pragnel.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #175. Batman and Robin bust computer whiz Eddie Repp.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #142. Batman goes on an unspecified mission against an escaped Joker, defeats him and re-jails him, and then nets a life-size statue of the villain wearing a Pagliacci-style clown outfit, which goes into the Hall of Trophies.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #328. Batman and Robin get captured and trapped in a gang hideout. Batman takes a hidden Bat-Kite out of his sock and flies it out a window to catch the attention of police, who come in for the assist.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #164, Part 2. Commissioner Gordon starts up the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City, an exclusive club of professional sleuths. The club consists of Gordon, Batman, crime lab tech Professor Ralph Vern, reporter Art Saddows, novelist Kaye Daye, and three other unnamed criminologists. Gordon goes over the club guidelines and sets expectations. As referenced in Batman #174, Part 2—the Mystery Analysts agree to meet on the last Wednesday of every month. We won’t see it on our chronology below, but we must imagine that Batman attends at least some of these meetings. Batman also picks up a copy of Kaye’s new novel and reads it, finding it to be quite enjoyable.
–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #141. Robin chases a crook to the top of a clock tower building only to get pushed off the top. Batman swings to his rescue.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #139. Batman goes on an unspecified case (or series of cases) and nets a giant 8-ball, little Buddha statue, and large stuffed snake as trophies for the Batcave.
–Batman #161, Part 1
Mad Hatter II escapes from prison and poses as a firefighter to rob a bank. Batman and Robin secure the loot, but Mad Hatter gets away. After Mad Hatter dresses up as Robin Hood to rob an archery contest, Batman recalls that the jury that convicted Mad Hatter was comprised of a firefighter, archer, chef, bowling alley owner, and jack-of-all-trades. This info leads Batman to stop Mad Hatter from both stealing a crown from a visiting European queen while dressed as a chef and robbing a bowling alley while dressed as a clown. For the jack-of-all-trades crime, Mad Hatter poses as stage illusionist Kan-Du and is allowed access to a bank vault to attempt a magic stunt. Batman and Robin show up, deal with Mad Hatter’s various gimmicked weaponry, and bust him.
–Detective Comics #324
Bruce’s pal Dan Williams blacks-out and commits a robbery, prompting Batman and Robin to take the case. After an armored car guard similarly blacks-out and commits a robbery, Batman soon is on the tail of an evil scientist that can temporarily mind-control people with a strange device disguised as a camera. It’s not long before the Dynamic Duo tracks the villain to his bizarre HQ, a giant robotic head in the middle of the woods. Batman and Robin enter the robot head, fight through various death traps, and come face-to-face with the bad guy, who seemingly wins and escapes. However, a quick-thinking Robin zaps him with the camera-device and forces him to return and surrender.
–Batman #162, Part 1
After giving a speech at Gotham’s Detective Society, Batman (with Robin) responds to a robbery in progress. The Dynamic Duo is bested by two beast-like men with brutish animal strength. Later, the Dynamic Duo is bested by two more animal men. Batman tracks a bull-man to remote Box Canyon, well outside Gotham city limits, where he finds evil scientist Eric Barroc, who has invented a machine that temporarily turns animals into human-animal hybrid henchmen. Barroc zaps Batman, who morphs into a gorilla creature. The Bat-creature runs amok all over town and climbs up the Gotham State Building, which obviously calls to mind King Kong. As army jets swirl around and onlookers gather below, Robin tries to reach the mindless Bat-creature. As Robin fails, Bat-Woman is able to get through to the Bat-creature and guides him into battle against more of Barroc’s animal-men. When the Bat-creature runs off, Robin and Bat-Woman use Ace the Bathound to locate Barroc’s hideout. There, the Bat-creature knocks-out a charging animals. Robin knocks-out Barroc and uses his machine to revert the Bat-creature back into Batman.
–Batman #162, Part 2
Early February—high school basketball finals. A fourteen-year-old Dick, now a freshman in high school, leads his varsity basketball team to a championship. Despite the victory, Dick is slightly bummed that he has to hold back his true abilities for fear that he could expose himself as Robin. Afterward, Batman and Robin bust some hot-air-balloon-riding crooks. When Bruce departs for an unspecified all-day business appointment, Dick decides to spend the day as a “not holding himself back.” Dick disguising himself with a red-haired wig and freckled makeup and takes to the streets as “Danny,” where he joins a pickup basketball game and gleefully kicks ass. However, during the game, Dick takes a nasty fall, bumps his head, and gets amnesia. Later that night, Batman rescues a woman from a burning building. A memory-less Dick happens to be walking by and helps rescue the woman’s son. Later that night, Batman realizes that his assistant from earlier is actually Dick. Batman rushes back out into the city and locates Dick, who coincidentally happens to be strolling next to some jewelry thieves. Batman shouts out Robin’s name, which somehow jogs Dick’s memories. He instinctively tackles the baddies and rejoins his partner.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #147. Batman and Superman deal with the “Case of the Monster Puppets,” after which Batman and Robin keep the Monster Puppets as trophies.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #147. Batman and Superman defeat a returning Brainiac, who uses a shrink ray to miniaturize a skyscraper. Robin and Jimmy Olsen, working behind the scenes, are a huge factor in defeating Brainiac. After the case wraps, Jimmy keeps the tiny building as a trophy.
–World’s Finest Comics #139
Bruce and Kathy’s relationship picks-up a bit more as they go on a series of dates. But as their relationship gets hotter, so does the intensity with which Kathy tries to prove that her paramour is Batman. When Batman is asked to perform at a charity event at the last second, Bruce is forced to cancel a date, prompting extreme suspicion on Kathy’s part. After a quick call to Clark Kent, the Man of Steel dons the Batman costume and plays Dark Knight, thus allowing Bruce to go on his date. After performing that the charity event, Clark (as Batman) is seemingly blown to smithereens by a bomb courtesy of the vile Sphinx Gang. Clark is obviously unharmed, but in order to maintain the switcheroo ruse, the real Batman has to play dead. Bruce and Clark then plan their next move in the Batcave, which includes an Apatosaurus instead of Tyrannosaurus Rex. This mistake, previously made by Bob Kane and Dick Sprang as well, is an error by artist Jim Mooney. The next day, Clark wears an all-white Batman costume and pretends to be the ghost of Batman, appearing before a large crowd that includes Bruce (dressed as Superman) and Robin. Shortly thereafter, Ghost-Batman, Superman (actually Batman), Robin, and Bat-Woman bust key members of the Sphinx Gang. A day after that, the same group busts the rest of the Sphinx Gang. With their secret seemingly exposed to Bat-Woman, Alfred dresses as Batman and appears on live TV to fool her.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #331. Flash excitedly tells Batman all about the adventures of his pal Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny).
–Justice League of America #26
Despero returns to Earth and ages half the Justice League into senior citizens. The other half of the team—which includes Batman—gets transformed into “chronosand” and imprisoned in giant hourglasses, which are hurtled through the cosmos to various alternate Earths that Despero has created himself. Flash winds up on “Reptilian-Earth,” a place where dinosaurs evolved instead of humans. After teaming-up with an intelligent Tyrannosaurus Rex, Flash defeats a fake Despero but remains trapped on the distant planet. Meanwhile, Batman and Green Lantern, with the aid of insect men, defeat another fake Despero on “Insect-Earth.” Likewise, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter fair similarly on “Marine-Earth,” teaming with hyper-evolved sharks to bring down another false Despero. Meanwhile, back on real Earth, with Superman away on another case, the real Despero uses hypnotism to disguise himself as Superman to infiltrate the Secret Sanctuary. Wonder Woman, despite her age, sees through the ruse and captures Despero, forcing him to alter the heroes back to normal. This automatically brings the other heroes back to Earth.
–Detective Comics #325
Cat-Man returns and attempts to rob a Gotham billionaire, but Batman and Robin are on the case, chasing him off a cliff and into shallow rocky water below. However, Cat-Man miraculously survives—the third time this has happened—prompting all to start thinking he might actually have nine lives. (Cat-Man’s costume is indeed made out of supposedly magickal cloth taken from a feline-worshipping tribe in the Pacific.) The next day, Batman and Robin fight Cat-Man again, who gets electrocuted, but walks away unscathed. Later, Batman and Robin find themselves captured by Cat-Man. The unhinged Cat-Man pours a circle of gasoline around the bound Dynamic Duo. Then, obsessed with his own immortality, Cat-Man joins them in the center and sets the circle ablaze! Having burned away yet another of his lives, Cat-Man leaves Batman and Robin to die. Luckily, Bat-Woman—wearing the Catwoman costume that Cat-Man made for her, which has the same shared “nine lives power” as Cat-Man’s threads—arrives to rescue our heroes. Bat-Woman (still wearing the magickal Catwoman costume) then commits suicide twice (!!) in order to knock the shared nine lives down to one. She then confronts Cat-Man at the World Trades Fair. With only one life left to live, Cat-Man is no match for the arriving Batman and Robin, who easily jail him.
–World’s Finest Comics #140
Matt Hagen (Clayface II) is transferred from Gotham City Prison to maximum security Green Walls Penitentiary, a place that he had previously buried some of his shape-shifting elixir. Upon transfer, Hagen digs up the elixir, becomes Clayface again, and escapes. After setting up a synthetic shape-shifting pool that allows him to stay as Clayface for five hours at a time, the villain goes into action. When Clayface steals a priceless stamp collection from a millionaire, Batman and Robin nab the loot, but Clayface bails. The next day, the Dynamic Duo are publicly honored by Mayor Alan Dent in a fete called “Batman Day.” Clayface strikes again, but Superman is on hand as a special guest, which prompts the villain to turn into a fake Superman—complete with Superman’s power-set. Eventually, Batman and Robin take on Clay-Superman and nearly take him down with Green Kryptonite, but their plan fails. Later, Superman uses Red Kryptonite on Clay-Superman, which causes the latter to go on an uncontrolled manic rampage. Clay-Superman uses X-ray vision to spot Batman’s secret ID, but five hours have passed and Clayface’s powers wear off, including any memories from when he went insane during the Red Kryptonite rampage. A de-powered Hagen goes back behind bars.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #152. Batman keeps a piece of Red Kryptonite and, along with some Green Kryptonite, puts it into a vault in the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #309. Superman explains Bizarro World to Batman and gives him detailed files on the upside-down backwards universe, including files on Bizarro (Bizarro Number One) and his kin.
–Action Comics #309
Superman is contacted by a famous TV producer and the President of the United States—shown here in this 1964 comic to be John F Kennedy. Unfortunately, thanks to time-sliding correctives, at this point on our timeline, Richard Nixon should be President instead. This is a dunghill of a situation both because Nixon ain’t JFK and the vibe of the story really makes much more sense with JFK as a character rather than Nixon. But putting that aside, let’s continue with a synopsis. The plan is to distract Superman with three random tasks in order to surprise him on the set of the first live TV broadcast of “Our American Heroes,” a surprise tribute show to the Man of Steel. In attendance are many of Superman’s friends and acquaintances of yesteryear, including Douglas Parker, Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Lori Lemaris, Supergirl, Krypto, Streaky the Super-Cat, Beppo the Super-Monkey, Super-Horse, the Kandorian Look-Alike Squad, Pete Ross, Jimmy Olsen, the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club, Saturn Girl, Element Lad, Chameleon Boy, Bouncing Boy, Colossal Boy, Lightning Lass, Shrinking Violet, Invisible Kid, Sun Boy, Perry White, Batman (who dresses as a Bizarro-Batman just to play a joke on Lois), and Robin. When Clark Kent fails to arrive, Lois and Lana get ready to confirm their suspicion that Clark is Superman. Just as time is running out, the President arrives disguised as Clark to save Superman’s secret ID. Superman’s final line in this story is “If I can’t trust the President of the United States, who can I trust?” Obviously, this line better fits JFK rather than Nixon—unless you read it with a bit of dark ironic foreshadowing. But as stated above, JFK cannot be the President at this juncture anyway. It’s up to you on how you want to handle this one.
–Detective Comics #326
After an unspecified mission in Africa, Batman and Robin are on their way back home when they crash the Batplane and get captured by aliens, who steal the Dynamic Duo away to their home planet and put them on display in a zoo! Batman and Robin are humiliatingly forced to perform in a three-ring circus show in exchange for viands. A night later, Batman learns that their zoo/circus handlers are actually thieves that have been using their animal acts to steal things. Batman and Robin break out of their cage and escape to a desert where they save an alien soldier from a rampaging bull creature. After proving his human intelligence to the aliens, Batman earns their trust and explains the crooked ways of the circus handlers. The Dynamic Duo foils their plot to rob a treasury and is then rewarded with a space-taxi ride back to Earth.
–NOTE: In a reference in Batman #163, Part 2. Joker escapes jail.
–Batman #163, Part 1
Alfred writes another of his infamous Batman fan-fiction stories, this one featuring an adult Betty Kane as Bat-Woman II. He then shares his tale with Bruce and Dick.
–Batman #163, Part 2
Batman agrees to give a guided tour of the Batcave to a contest winner at a Batman-themed charity event to be held in a few days’ time. Concurrently, Joker announces that he will commit a series of crimes each based upon Gotham City’s “government departments.” The next day, at the gaudy International Fair, Joker enacts his “department of sanitation” gag, using a vacuum cleaner truck to best Batman and Robin. A day later, Joker enacts his “department of roads and highways” gag, which involves a daring attempted theft at the construction site of a new three-lane highway. Batman foils his theft, but Joker gets away. The next day, Batman and Robin track Joker to an abandoned castle just outside of the city. The Dynamic Duo is quickly swept underground by ridiculous booby traps and imprisoned before Joker himself, who tells them that they are in his “City of Jokersville.” Joker then puts Batman through a mock trial, complete with henchmen dressed up as Joker-jurors and a Joker-judge. After a guilty sentence is handed down, Batman and Robin are thrown back into their cell. After Robin fakes small pox to scare off the guards, the Dynamic Duo easily escapes. Meanwhile, Joker tries out his “department of health” gag, dressing up as a doctor to rob a Batman-themed charity event. Batman and Robin use a bunch of remote-controlled mini Batmobiles and Batplanes to take down Joker and put him back behind bars. Presumably, Batman gives a guided tour of the Batcave to a lucky contest winner (although this isn’t shown in the comic).
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #485. Bruce and Kathy Kane stop dating. Likewise, Bat-Woman and Bat-Girl retire. We won’t see Kathy for a long time.
–Justice League of America #27
Batman hears word of a supposed invisible robber that has been stealing nightly from millionaire Jason Markham’s Gotham mansion, but the Dark Knight puts an investigation on the back-burner to work on “The Case of the Headless Statues,” which presumably has something to do with statues missing heads. While the Atom and Aquaman are both on unspecified missions of their own as well, the JLA meets at the Secret Sanctuary to read mail. Curiously, the team has received letters regarding strange happenings from Ray Palmer, Bruce Wayne, and C King (one of Aquaman’s not-very-clever undercover aliases). Flash, Green Lantern, and Snapper Carr (all unaware that Bruce is Batman) visit Wayne Manor to question Bruce about his letter, which was about the aforementioned “invisible robber.” Dick receive the heroes at the front door, but has them wait on the landing while he gets Bruce. Bruce tells the Dick that he (as Batman) was indeed going to work on the “invisible robber” case, but definitely did not send a letter about it. Bruce then meets the heroes face-to-face and informs them that the letter is a fake, despite the fact that it is in his handwriting. Bruce suits-up in his fighting togs to figure out what is going on and he sends Robin to finish the headless statue case on his own. Meanwhile, the rest of the JLA visits Ray Palmer and C King and gets similar responses from both of them. Later that night at Markham’s mansion, Batman, Flash, Snapper, and Green Arrow take down the “invisible robber,” a flesh-and-blood masked villain, before getting stolen away by giant tentacles that appear from a interdimensional wormhole. Across the country, the rest of the JLA is kidnapped as well. The entire team soon finds itself in a bizarre desert canyon in an alternate dimension. There, the letter-sender, an intelligent being in the shape of a brightly glowing bed-sheet known only as “I,” reveals that every time the JLA has successfully completed a mission, his life-force has been depleted. “I” further explains that one more successful JLA mission will render him inert. Thus, with a natural hatred for the JLA, “I” magickally makes things so that the JLA can never work as a team, thus guaranteeing that they won’t ever win another battle. Back on Earth, Snapper comes up with the idea to reactivate Amazo and then take a dive against their old foe. This renders “I” inert because Amazo uses all the powers of the JLA, which technicality somehow counts as the JLA working as a team—or something. I dunno. Anyway, with “I” kaput and the JLA with their mojo back, they easily defeat Amazo and put him back on ice in the Souvenir Room. Afterward, Batman, Flash, Snapper, and Green Arrow solve the “invisible robber” case. Turns out Markham was donning a costume and thieving from himself while sleepwalking every night. Oof.
–Green Lantern Vol. 2 #29, Part 2
At the the Coast City Fairgrounds, a giant papier-mâché Green Lantern statue comes to life and begins destroying everything. Meanwhile, on the other side of the nation, in Rhode Island, the JLA meets at their Secret Sanctuary. Green Lantern asks his teammates to wait while he deals with his evil double. During the ensuing epic battle, Green Lantern realizes that his double is a sentient protonic force-being that has no definite form, instead existing within whatever matter it occupies and gives life to. The force-being hates Green Lantern because the hero, on a previous case, inadvertently expelled him from within a sentient planet. Hoping to kill Green Lantern, the protonic force fashions itself into a large yellow “living power ring.” Green Lantern is able to outwit the living power ring and defeat it.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #336. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified case and net a green-faced, long-haired witch mask as a trophy for the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #334. Batman goes on a series of successive unspecified cases and obtains several trophies, which he proudly displays in the Batcave. Among these trophies are an hourglass, a dog-catching net, a large water jug, and a shield and helmet of Spartan origin.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #331. Bruce meets the new vice president of the Bank of Gotham City, David Moore. They take a liking to each other and share cigars. Shortly thereafter, David introduces Bruce to his wife Gladys as well. Bruce will visit David infrequently over the course of this year, often to bring him cigars and chat about finances. These hangouts will happen starting now, but will not visibly appear on our timeline below.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #167. Batman begins wearing a second Zorro-style bandana mask under his cowl, just in case.
–The Brave and The Bold #54
Early Spring (late March). When a group of organized teenagers in the small town of Hatton Corners demands political recognition and a new clubhouse (presumably on the taxpayers’ dollar), the response from Hatton Corners’ mayor is not only to gainsay them, but to label them as delinquents and institute a curfew as well. When this item becomes headline news, it sparks a national debate. Even Batman and Robin argue the topic, with the latter calling his mentor “an old square!” Nevertheless, Batman allows Robin to visit Hatton Corners when he, Aqualad, and Kid Flash are each invited by the Hatton Corners Teen Club. In Hatton Corners, the teenage trio finds that all of the town’s teens have vanished. Shortly thereafter, the nefarious weather-controlling villain Mr. Twister (Brom Stikk) attacks. Mr. Twister wants revenge against the town for not fulfilling some antiquated and quirky requests of the town’s founding father, a distant relative of his from Colonial times. Specifically, Mr. Twister wants a bunch of passenger pigeon feathers promised to his ancestor. Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash soon find themselves fighting Mr. Twister on a nearby island, where the villain has forced all the kidnapped teens into slave labor. While Robin fights Mr. Twister (a losing battle), Aqualad moves the entire island away with the help of a school of whales. A pissed-off Mr. Twister levels the town with floods and fire, but Robin eventually defeats the bad guy by snatching away his magickal Native American staff, the source of all his power.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #327 and World’s Finest Comics #141. Late March. Batman permanently switches to his yellow-oval costume. Bear in mind, Batman has used this costume before (most notably in flashback scenes from The Untold Legend of Batman #1-3), but more primarily had been using his black-bat insignia costume ever since his debut.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #328. Late March. Batman busts the brother of top Gotham mobster Duke, preventing him from stealing the payroll of a lumber mill.
–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. The Batsignal lights up the night sky over Gotham prompting Alfred to alert and deliver costumes to the Dynamic Duo at Wayne Manor. This leads to an unspecified case, possibly the next on our list.
–Detective Comics #327
Batman and Robin go after a gem thief in Gotham Village—a beautiful and historic neighborhood that has unfortunately been plagued with one of the city’s highest crime rates. At a warehouse, Batman and Robin are knocked-out by an explosive device. When they awaken, they each have a circled X branded on their foreheads. The next day, the Dynamic Duo easily fingers the gem thief as Frank Fenton. But upon arrival at his apartment, it is clear that Batman and Robin have entered a trap. Because of the brands, our heroes are completely unable to move and can only watch as Fenton mocks them and leaves with the loot. The next day, Batman discovers that Fenton had used a radioactive phosphorus brand/bizarre energy signal box to control them. The very same day, Bruce Wayne joins local politician Roland Meacham’s Committee to Preserve Gotham Village so that he can tour the neighborhood in broad daylight without suspicion. While walking through the Village with Dick, Bruce is accosted by an upset young woman named Linda Greene who tells him that her fiancé Jimmy Packer might be involved with some crooks. She shows Bruce a map marked with a circled X, which he and Dick (as Batman and Robin) use as a guide to later infiltrate “Sub-Gotham Village” an underground network of caves that hide dozens of known felons. Batman and Robin take down a bunch of crooks—including Packer, Fenton, and a mob boss named Smiler—by using fisticuffs and then holding them at bay with a handgun! Batman then unmasks Smiler as none other than Meacham, who only wanted to preserve Gotham Village to preserve his operations beneath it. Jimmy, revealed to be an undercover agent working for the cops, is reunited with Linda.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman #165, Part 2. Batman and Robin split up to chase after some fur thieves. Robin hits a dead end, but Batman runs into all four of the crooks and easily busts them alone.
–World’s Finest Comics #141
Robin invents a special X-ray monitor that can see through lead as a gift for Superman. While testing it with Jimmy Olsen, he accidentally spots two crooks chatting about a plan to kidnap Robin and Jimmy using invisibility belts and then blackmail Batman and Superman with their lives. Rather than go straight to Batman and Superman, Robin and Jimmy decide on the most ridiculous plan imaginable, only befit for an issue of WFC. With the help of Jimmy’s Lana Lang’s uncle, Professor Potter, the teenagers are able to deliver a supposed predicting computer to the Daily Planet. The computer predicts a few things, which the boys make happen using trickery. The final prediction is that Robin and Jimmy will be killed. Claiming that their safety is in danger, Robin and Jimmy go to a remote island and bury two lead-lined coffins in the earth before contacting Batman and Superman, pretending to be gloating villains. The boys then hide out in “The Eyrie,” their own HQ hidden in an abandoned observatory tower in-between Gotham and Metropolis. Batman and Superman fly to the island and are shocked at the grave site. But Superman sees Jimmy’s fingerprints on the coffins and immediately knows that it is a trick. Batman and Superman put wax dummies of the teens into the coffins to fool them later. As Batman and Superman scowl the East Coast looking for any signs of a threat to their friends, Robin uses radar to locate the invisible crooks. Jimmy then phones in another fake call, pretending to be a baddie, telling Batman that invisible crooks will strike at a bank in Gotham. Batman and Superman swoop in and chase the invisibles to a remote location where they bust them and rescue a kidnapped scientist they forced to build their belts. Back at the grave site island, Batman and Superman get the last laugh on the teens with the wax dummy gag. Later, Robin and Jimmy put their dummies into the Eyrie as the first trophies in their Trophy Room. Ooof—this one has my vote for most nonsensical WFC so far.
–Batman #164, Part 1
Bruce takes a break as Batman to revamp the entire Batcave. After weeks toiling underground in complete secrecy from Dick, who takes up playing “Hootenanny” folk music (which should actually be retconned to some sort of post-Beatles rock to make sense in 1972), Bruce reveals the big changes to his ward. First, there is now a secret elevator leading from the manor to the cave. Second, Bruce has retired the Batmobile in favor of a sleek sportier version, complete with a ton of new gadgets and a car-phone that can call Commissioner Gordon at any time from any place. Third, Bruce and Alfred have built a new secret roadway exit leading out of the Batcave, through an automatically opening false rock wall, and onto the forest-lined highway. (This new Batcave exit is, of course, immortalized a mere two years later in the Adam West Batman series and then again in the 80s and 90s with Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman the Animated Series.) Fourth, Batman has installed a private hot-line that links-up both the Batcave and Wayne Manor directly with a secret phone in Commissioner Gordon’s GCPD office (as referenced in Detective Comics #328-329). If you think that putting a direct Bat-phone-line from the Commish straight to stately Wayne Manor is a reckless move, fear not! As referenced in Detective Comics #331, when the line connects into Wayne Manor and someone answers, the phone plays a strange buzzing tone, prompting Bruce or Dick to take the call privately in the Batcave. Now, back to our story at hand. Batman and Robin take the new Batmobile out for a spin only to run across the broken down bus of one of Robin’s favorite music bands, who have been led astray by famous art patron cum crook Dabblo. The vile Dabblo has a plan to rob the museum adjacent to Gotham Square (where the band is scheduled to perform in a few hours). Batman and Robin chase Dabblo, but the latter escapes. Later, Dabblo, due to being big in the art scene, is welcomed into the museum with open arms, but uses a prearranged distraction to steal a million dollar pearl. With the concert out of the way, Dabblo is able to get away easily. Batman and Robin track him down. During their altercation, Batman knocks-out Dabblo with a Batarang to the noggin, saving Robin’s life in the process. With Dabblo and an accomplice behind bars, the Dynamic Duo switches back to civvies to watch Dick’s favorite band in concert. Batman, having collected the Batarang and feeling special attachment to it as a result of its involvement in saving the Boy Wonder’s life, puts the weapon on display with the trophies in the Batcave (as referenced in Detective Comics #334).
–Batman #164, Part 2
Batman and Robin chase after the acrobatic daredevil villain-group known as the Trapeze Ten. During the chase, the Ten try to shoot at Batman, but Batman is saved by famous private investigator Hugh Rankin. Robin, not as lucky, takes a bullet in the shin. The Dark Knight then busts three of the Ten. A week later, with Robin still laid-up, Batman and Rankin team-up to fight the rest of the Ten. Rankin, always one step ahead of the Ten, saves Batman’s life again by shielding his eyes from a blinding-flare shot off by the Ten. Afterward, Batman notices wax on his face and deduces that Rankin, while on the-up-and-up in regard to fighting the bad guys, simultaneously secretly wants to make a mold of his face in order to figure out his secret ID (in order to get invited into the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City). Batman dons a false face under his cowl when Rankin and he next take on the villains. Batman and Rankin defeat the Ten in battle, during which Batman allows Rankin to capture his image. A few days later, Batman attends a meeting of the Mystery Analysts, during which Rankin tells the group that he has discovered Batman’s secret ID, revealing a wax dummy containing Batman’s fake face. Rankin, thinking he’s “in like Flynn,” is shocked when he doesn’t get the unanimous vote need for entry into the club. Batman has obviously fooled him and has voted him down. Afterward, Batman tells the whole story to a mostly recovered Dick.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #340. Batman builds the Batcopter.
–Justice League of America #28
Famous scientist and UN consultant Professor Mind debuts as the super-villain Headmaster Mind. Using bizarre “cardial batteries” to steal energy from the metapowered Justice Leaguers, Headmaster Mind makes it so that every time a JLer uses superpowers a horrible natural disaster occurs. The JL fails to deal with fires, tidal waves, icebergs, and tornadoes until the non-powered members (Batman and Green Arrow) arrive with planes and bombs to snuff them out. When the public hears that use of super-abilities now causes disaster, the UN—with the urging of Professor Mind himself—places an injunction upon the JL, making it illegal for them to use their powers! Shortly thereafter, Bruce receives an invitation to join a bunch of fellow millionaires on a jet-setting adventure. Fearing the money plane will be a thieves’ target, Batman and Green Arrow fly their respective planes close-by. Sure enough, Matter Master strikes. However, the villain’s ability to manipulate all matter is to much for the non-metapowered Batman and Green Arrow, who are humiliatingly defeated. Pissed-off, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Flash make picket signs and protest outside of the UN Building! On Headmaster Mind’s orders, Tattooed Man, Matter Master, and The Top attack Batman and Green Arrow, devastating them yet again, only this time right in plain view of the rest of the picketing JLA. After regrouping, the JLA decides to take on the villains without using their powers. Superman and Atom best Matter Master, while Aquaman and Wonder Woman take down the Top and Flash and Green Lantern defeat Tattooed Man. Meanwhile, Batman and Green Arrow do some detective work and link the villains to Professor Mind. In Edgewater City, Batman and Green Arrow capture Headmaster Mind, destroy his batteries, and drag him before the UN. The injunction is lifted and the JLA is back in business.
–Action Comics #313
The Superman Revenge Squad has had knowledge of Superman’s secret ID for some time now, but they’ve never aimed to expose him—the villainous team’s only goal is to break Superman’s spirit. To do so, the Revenge Squad kidnaps Superman’s best friends (including Batman, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Lois Lane, and Lori Lemaris) and replaces them with perfect replica androids. When each android, starting with a false Supergirl, exposes his secret ID down the line to the others right in front of Clark, the Man of Steel is befuddled and flustered. However, he soon realizes his pals are fakes when they begin demanding villainous requests via blackmail. Superman then tosses them into the ocean where they are collected by the Revenge Squad and melted down into scrap. The real Supergirl returns, having been off-world on a mission. Superman uses his telescopic X-ray vision to locate and rescue his unconscious friends, who were held captive in a cave.
–World’s Finest Comics #142
When Superman rescues high-diving stuntman Joe Meach and then gives him a caretaker job in the Superman museum, the insecure Meach is not only unappreciative, but also feels belittled and humiliated by the Man of Steel. While working at the museum, Meach is endowed with all the powers of the entire Legion of Superheroes when he gets exposed to their statues. Disguising himself as a green-faced half Superman-half Batman, Meach becomes the all-powerful Composite Superman! Using telepathy to learn the secret IDs of Batman and Superman, Composite Superman demands to partner with them or else reveal their secrets. The heroes reluctantly agree, which brings about a series of public adventures where Composite Superman makes big saves and makes big fools out of our heroes. Later, Batman, Superman, and Robin meet in the Batcave to discuss a plan to figure out Composite Superman’s motives. Unknown to them Composite Superman is hiding and listening to them. The heroes send robot versions of themselves to Metropolis. In a public display, the “heroes” are shot down out of the sky and killed (by the real heroes) while Composite-Superman looks on. The villain then smashes into the Batcave and forces the trio to give up the hero game permanently. Undeterred thanks to a pep talk by Dick, the heroes (in their civilian identities) track Composite Superman’s every move as he builds a giant castle for himself. Eventually, Batman and Superman take Composite Superman head-on only to get embarrassingly defeated. The only thing that stops Composite Superman from gaining total victory is that his powers fade away. Joe Meach turns back into a regular man with no memories of his actions as Composite Superman. Batman and Superman don’t even find out who he was. (As per a reference in World’s Finest Comics #149, note that Superman, starting with this case, will film many of his adventures with Batman and Robin using a tiny remote camera drone that follows him around. As these films are processed and finalized, Superman will share copies of them with Batman, who will store them in the Batcave. Some of these filmed cases will appear below, but others will not be listed. Thus, we must simply imagine Superman recording and sharing these films with Batman below.)
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #149. Batman and Superman, using artificial lightning-spewing hoses, defeat a small army composed of dozens of crime-androids built by an evil scientist.
–Action Comics #314
At the bottom of the ocean, Aquaman and his pet octopus Topo find a Kryptonian recording device, which contains a video from Superman’s father Jor-El, who recorded it and attached it to the outside of the rocket ship that baby Kal-El rode to Earth decades ago. The video shows Jor-El, Superman’s mom Lara, and another Kryptonian scientist as they run a super-high tech simulations of what kind of hero Kal-El will become if he gets sent to other planets besides Earth. After viewing the video, Aquaman shares it with the rest of his Justice League teammates.
–Batman #165, Part 1
State Governor Andrew Warner (Bruce’s old college roommate) is diagnosed with what doctors believe is a rare pituitary condition that is transforming him into the next evolution of human. For all intents and purposes, Warner is becoming a mutant. Citing personal reasons, Warner resigns his post in order to secretly undergo medical science testing. Warner specifically asks for Batman and Robin to watch over him as he undergoes these tests. The Dynamic Duo watches in horror as Warner turns into a giant immortal monster man, capable of telepathy, creating invisible energy barriers, and teleporting short distances. Warner, growing larger and crazier by the second, is chased by Batman and Robin. With his telepathy, Warner learns that Batman is his old buddy Bruce. Clinging onto the last of his fading humanity, Warner sends college-era clues to Bruce on how to stop the mutated beast inside of him. At a nuclear lab, where Warner attempts to absorb gamma rays to become even stronger, Batman uses the clues to defeat Warner. The US Government decides to put Warner in suspended animation and rocket him into a space trajectory that won’t return him to Earth for thousands of years, with the idea that humans will reflect him by that time. Later, at Wayne Manor, Dick and Bruce muse about the possibility of the dawning of a new era of mutant villains. Legitimate mutants in our future or not, this story serves as both an acknowledgment of the dawning of a new “Atomic Era” of metahuman villainy and also a weird nod/diss on the emergence of Marvel Comics at the time.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #328. Late April. Mobster Paul Pardee and an associate attempt to rob a diamond setting company, but Batman busts them after swinging in through the window using a fire-hose as a rope.
–Batman #165, Part 2
Late April to early May—this tale starts a week before Daylight Savings Time and leads up to a few days after Daylight Savings Time. Batman is the guest speaker at the annual Gotham Police Academy graduation ceremony. Batman awards the highest honored trainee of the year, Detective Patricia “Pat” Powell, a special plaque. (Pat is so good, she’s already been made a detective.) After the ceremony, Batman meets with Pat and her dad Lieutenant Detective Mike “Bulldog” Powell. Pat tells her life story to Batman, also revealing her undying crush on Bruce Wayne! Bruce has met Pat a few times before, but never knew it because she was always coincidentally wearing a mask. Wanting to keep tabs on Pat, Batman asks Commissioner Gordon to let him know when her first case starts. A few days later, Pat is assigned to locate the kidnapped Professor Ralph Smedley, who has been abducted by thieves. After studying newspapers, Batman and Robin happen to spot Smedley by chance, but the professor is quickly ushered away by his captors. Batman then teams-up with Pat, who goes into trances every so often, thinking of Bruce Wayne. She’s literally THAT OBSESSED WITH HIM. Eventually, Batman, Robin, and Pat save the professor and bust the bad guys. Batman then gives an invitation to a charity gala being held on the lawn in back of Wayne Manor. Less than a week later, Pat and her dad arrive at the gala. Pat is finally about to meet her true love. Or will she?
–Batman #166, Part 2
Early May—a few days after Daylight Savings Time. Picking up right where Batman #165, Part 2 left off, Pat Powell is about to meet Bruce face-to-unmasked-face at the Wayne Estate, but her dream come true is interrupted by a dapper masked villain that claims the lawn has been mined with motion-sensor explosives. The catering staff then reveals itself to be the villain’s henchmen, who, able to move thanks to special anti-bomb devices, rob every guest. Once the crooks depart, the mines become inert. A pissed-off Bruce reschedules the gala, sends off his guests, and immediately charges down into the Batcave to suit up. Batman and Robin pay the usual Wayne Manor head caterer a visit and learn that the order was cancelled four days ago. The caterer tells Batman that he heard a clock tower in the background of the cancellation call. Putting two and two together, with Daylight Savings Time in mind, Batman is able to locate the specific clock tower in nearby Plainview. Upon entering the villain’s safe house, Batman and Robin find Detectives Mike Powell and Pat Powell already there, trapped in a locked closet. The four heroes then clash with and bust the villain and his accomplices at an abandoned oil plant. The next day, Bruce personally goes down to police HQ to retrieve his stolen items from Pat. Bruce and Pat finally meet!
–FLASHBACK: From The Brave & The Bold #64. Famous wealthy playgirl Marcia Monroe daringly walks atop a Gotham bridge, mocking the astonished onlookers and police officers below. Batman grabs Marcia and gives her a spanking in front of photographers and journalists. The next night, Batman fights some crooks and is saved by Marcia, who reveals that she is a crack shot with a pistol. Infatuated by the beautiful and courageous Marcia, Batman instantly falls for her. Not only does a sexual relationship develop, but Batman allows her to continue patrolling with him as well! Thus begins a string of multiple patrols where Batman replaces Robin with Marcia, the bulk of which will simply have to be imagined below, interspersed with the other stories, over the course of the next several weeks.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #342. Bruce, in his spare time, begins watching pro wrestling on TV, with particular interest in grappler named The Golden Inca. Bruce will watch pro wrestling every once and a while from now on, although it won’t be specifically listed on our timeline. Bruce (and Dick) will be big fans of pro wrestling for years to come.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #149. Batman, Superman, and Robin travel to Mutation Island where they defeat several gigantic monster animals, including a mutated house cat the size of a house.
–World’s Finest Comics #143
Batman, Superman, and Robin chase after some crooks, who shoot at the Man of Steel. One of the bullets ricochets off of Superman’s chest and plugs Batman. While Superman cleans up, Robin rushes Batman home and stabilizes his badly injured mentor. Citing a hunting accident, Bruce is rushed to the hospital and his life is saved. A few days later, Clark and Dick visit Bruce in the recovery ward. A dejected Bruce tells Clark that Batman and Robin are retired for good. A week after that, Bruce is back at home. Despite never wanting to suit up again, Dick convinces Bruce to don his costume and descend into the Batcave. There, Superman is waiting, having come up with a grand scheme (along with Robin and Jimmy Olsen) to snap Batman out of his funk. Superman invites Batman and Robin to the Fortress of Solitude where the Man of Steel’s Kandorian friend Than-Ar sends a false distress signal from the Bottle City, saying that evil Metalloids (Kryptonian/cyborg hybrid humanoids) are attacking. Knowing that his powers are nullified in the shrunken metropolis, Superman’s hope is that Batman will be able to take charge and complete a fake mission against a fake threat, thus regaining his confidence. However, unknown to Superman, the fake Metalloid (supposed to be Than-Ar in disguise) is actually his bad news brother Jhan-Ar. After a quick tussle with Jhan-Ar, Batman and Robin accompany Superman and Jimmy to their Nightcave, where the former duo meets its caretaker Nor-Kan and the latter duo suits up in their Kandorian superhero guises as Nightwing and Flamebird. When Superman is attacked by Jhan-Ar, the trio of Batman, Robin, and Nighthound (Nor-Kan’s telepathic pet dog) rescue him, but the Caped Crusader finds out about Superman’s initial plans and is royally pissed. After punching Superman in the face, Nor-Kan arranges a gentlemanly duel to settle the score. In the arena, Batman defeats Superman in an American Gladiator-style stun-sword fencing match! Afterward, Superman is captured by the proliferating Metalloid menace (there are now three of them), forcing Batman, Robin, Flamebird (Jimmy), and Nighthound to search for him. After viewing a video reel of the history of the Metalloids, Batman and Robin fight the baddies, during which Batman removes his cape, cowl, and shirt. The bare-chested Batman and the Boy Wonder both attache Metalloid wristlets onto their arms, becoming a hybrid Metalloid themselves! With newfound strength and skin made of steel, the Dynamic Duo takes down the Metalloids, revealing them as Jhan-Ar and his two henchmen. Once out of the tiny city, a pumped-up Batman returns to the crime-fighting life.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #166, Part 2. The rescheduled Wayne Estate charity gala is held.
–Justice League of America #29-30 (“CRISIS ON EARTH-THREE”)
Welcome to Earth-3 where their version of the Justice League is actually the Crime Syndicate of America, an evil version of the team we know and love, featuring Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, and Owlman. After absorbing a huge dose of Kryptonite (which gives him strength instead of weakening him), Ultraman is able to see beyond the Bleed into Universe-1 where he spies on the JLA. With Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, and Atom off on solo missions, Batman leads a Secret Sanctuary meeting with the rest of the team, which ends abruptly when the bored CSA arrives on Earth-1 via a portal opened up by Power Ring’s power ring. All over the US, one-on-one fights erupt. Flash defeats Ultraman. Batman defeats Johnny Quick. Superman defeats Power Ring. Wonder Woman defeats Superwoman. And Green Lantern defeats Owlman. But as each Earth-3 villain is beaten, he or she brings each Earth-1 hero back to Earth-3 where the tables are turned. The heroes, out of their element, are easily defeated. Power Ring then imprisons the JLA on Earth-3 and opens a wormhole into Universe-2 with plans for the CSA to attack Earth-2’s Justice Society of America! Sensing the dimensional breach, Dr. Fate alerts his JSA teammates—Earth-2 Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Starman, and Black Canary. The JSA is able to communicate with the JLA on Earth-3 using Dr. Fate’s magick, but they are unable to free their friends. The CSA the crashes onto Earth-2 and is initially defeated, but winds up claiming victory in the end. After imprisoning the JSA on Earth-3, the presumptuous CSA releases the JLA and challenges them to a battle on the neutral ground of Earth-2. (This battle is also shown via flashback from Convergence: Crime Syndicate #1.) After the JLA stands victorious, they imprison the CSA in the Bleedspace between Earth-2 and Earth-3. Back on Earth-3, the JLA frees the JSA and everybody goes home.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #149. Batman, Superman, and Robin investigate some crooks at a rocket test site. Robin gets trapped on a rocket that the baddies launch, but luckily Superman saves the Boy Wonder and helps bust the evildoers.
–World’s Finest Comics #144
Brainiac breaks everyone, including Matt Hagen (aka Clayface II), out of a Gotham City prison and then attacks Superman and Jimmy Olsen in Metropolis. When Jimmy’s skin gets imbedded with Kryptonite dust, he becomes literally lethal to Superman, prompting a sidekick swap. Batman and Superman have a pow-wow and decide it is finally time to let Jimmy in on the big secret. Batman unmasks, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne! Later, Batman and Jimmy take on Clayface, who briefly morphs into the Dark Knight to trick Jimmy before flying away. Meanwhile, Superman and Robin smash up one of Brainiac’s centipede robots. Later, at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Gotham Arts Center, Clayface strikes again by turning into a hideous monster and kidnapping Jimmy. Clayface then joins up with Brainiac in Metropolis. While the villains are distracted, Robin—disguised as Jimmy—switches with the cub photographer. Brainiac and Clayface, confounded when “Jimmy” doesn’t cause harm to Superman due to his Kryptonite skin, both scatter. Superman and Robin bust Brainiac. Batman and the real Jimmy—wearing Robin’s costume—ride Whirly-Bats and capture Clayface, whose powers have worn off. Since Jimmy won’t be able to be near Superman for a few more weeks, Robin agrees to help out as Superman’s sidekick in the meantime. This means that Robin will pull double duty, partnering with both Batman and Superman for the next few weeks.
Batman is called upon to join forces with Interpol to take down the international criminal organization known as Hydra. When a supposed Hydra agent shoots Batman’s Interpol contact in Gotham, the victim, before dying, tells Batman that someone called Karabi is planning on starting World War III. (In reality, Karabi himself has fooled Batman into thinking Hydra is responsible for the Interpol man’s death, leading Batman into a goose chase after Hydra.) Batman and Robin, with the CIA guiding them, travel across the globe to take on Hydra, busting up a racket in Holland before traveling to Singapore. After dressing up as a dapper James Bond, Batman gets info from a Mata Hari stand-in before heading to Greece to bust-up Hydra counterfeiters. Then it’s onto Hong Kong where Batman wears a hella racist Chinaman disguise, and then Paris, and then back to Southeast Asia again. Batman learns that Karabi plans on starting a Third Reich-esque regime by launching nuclear weapons to embroil the globe in war. Karabi and his group capture Batman in the jungle and imprison him as a countdown to doomsday begins. Batman and Robin escape their cell in time to punch-out a bunch of Karabi’s men and stop the nukes from flying. With Karabi turned over to UN custody, Batman learns that Hydra is planning a robbery in Switzerland. After busing Hydra men in a random Swiss City, the Dynamic Duo takes to the slopes and busts Hydra’s leader in the Alps before returning home to Gotham.
–Justice League of America #31
The JLA officially makes Hawkman its newest member, much to the sexist excitement of his wife Hawkgirl. His first case with the JLA brings the heroes—sans half the team—to Shore City where crooks are using advanced technology to rob a bank. (They’ve been gifted this tech by gangster Joe Parry, who in turn has gotten it from a Pthisthinian panacomputer that grants wishes.) Parry’s crooks wear sci-fi hula-hoops that capture anything that moves into their vicinity, spitting whatever it may be—bullets or boulders—ten minutes into the future. Knowing this, Hawkman plays a fun game of spacetime paradox, thinking extra hard about what he will do ten minutes in the future. As the JLA spots the crooks’ seemingly untouchable getaway car speeding away, it all of a sudden has a blowout. Hawkman explains that in about nine minutes he will put nails on the road in that exact spot. Batman, Flash, and Wonder Woman then take hold of the dizzy crooks inside their time-hoops, grasping the bad guys for over ten minutes, which then results in a bizarre scene where the heroes literally watch their disembodied hands from ten minutes prior carry away the villains. Bonkers, but amazing. Back in the Secret Sanctuary, Batman, Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman are hurtled into space by Parry and the panacomputer. Green Lantern makes an air pocket for everyone to breathe in and Hawkman uses his gravity belt to bring everyone down to Earth and then uses super contact lenses to find Parry’s location. Parry orders the panacomputer to create a mashup super-villain, arguably the world’s first mixed-gender metahuman, with the head of Wonder Woman and the various body parts of the male JLA members. This so-called “Super-Duper” defeats the JLA, but thanks to some trickery by Hawkman, the heroes win the day. Parry goes to jail and Super-Duper fades away as the panacomupter runs out of juice. (Note that the invisible cosmic-powered alien being known as The Unimaginable, who has been secretly watching the JLA for months now, watches this entire adventure with a keen eye—as shown in a flashback from Justice League of America #42.)
–REFERENCE: In Tales of the Teen Titans #44. Batman and Robin pose for a smiling picture in the Batcave. Presumably, Alfred snaps this picture, which gets framed and is kept by Dick.
–FLASHBACK: From The Brave & The Bold #64. Batman and Marcia Monroe deliver some crooks to the police, who marvel at the fact that Batman has now been patrolling with her for a few weeks straight. Smitten, Batman proposes to Marcia and she says yes! The Dark Knight tells her that he will reveal his secret ID on their wedding night. However, days later, Marcia sends a Dear John letter to Batman via the police. She has broken off their engagement and moved to Europe. Batman is angry and brokenhearted.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #356. Batman invents the Bat-Detector, a combination radiation detector and proto-DNA scanner. Of course, for the proto-DNA scanner to work properly, DNA samples must be catalogued into the Bat-computer. Batman decides that he will catalog his friends’ DNA samples first, starting with Alfred. Presumably, Batman catalogues both his own and Robin’s DNA as well. But Batman’s new information cataloguing action-plan doesn’t stop there. The Dark Knight already has files’ worth of fingerprint records, but now he will have his friends on file too. You just never can cover too many bases, y’know? And, of course, Alfred gets printed first (presumably with Robin up next). Thanks to Batman’s ridiculously accurate eidetic memory, he will be able to recognized Alfred’s prints just with a glance. We can also presume that Batman will likely capture DNA samples from villains and heroes alike as often as he can, moving forward. We won’t, however, see any of this collection on our timeline below.
–The Brave and the Bold #59
Late May—this story specifically occurs on July 21-23, but this is incorrect since there is no July date where both Batman wears his yellow-oval costume and Alfred is alive. While Dick goes on a school trip and Alfred goes on vacation, a bored Bruce sees an off-Broadway show featuring escaped convict John Starr. The famous fugitive’s show consists of a movie—filmed from his secret hiding place—in which he declares himself innocent, showing supposed exculpatory evidence à la Making a Murderer to sway public opinion. Secretly, Starr, in disguise, watches the film and overhears Bruce tell Commissioner Gordon that he thinks Starr is innocent. At Wayne Manor, Starr visits Bruce and reveals himself as the costumed Time Commander. Time Commander uses an hourglass time control device to learn Bruce’s secret identity and then recruits Batman to help prove his innocence. However, Time Commander shows his true nature, immediately knocking-out Bruce and putting him into a coma for two days. While Bruce is under, Time Commander—pretending to be Batman—sends for Green Lantern. (Time Commander had also previously used his hourglass device to discover Green Lantern’s secret ID and learned the secret JLA code-speak as well.) GL comes to Wayne Manor where Time Commander—still dressed as Batman—pretends to have fallen ill due to a botched chemical test. Time Commander asks Green Lantern to give him metahuman powers via his power ring. “Batman” then uses his new powers to rob a government laboratory of priceless isotopes. This prompts Green Lantern to fight the fake Batman, but the latter gets away. Back at Wayne Manor, Bruce finally comes-to only to get harassed by Green Lantern. After explaining what has happened, GL and Batman confront the fake Batman, who ditches his hero duds and fights the duo in his proper super-villain gear. Time Commander defeats and captures the heroes and then sends GL 24 hours into the past while sending Batman 24 hours into the future. A city council meeting is held in Gotham with Commissioner Gordon and Mayor Alan Dent in attendance, but Gordon refuses to give into Time Commander’s demand that Starr be exonerated. (Note that the senior city councilman is twice accidentally addressed as “Mayor” in this issue. Ignore.) A furious Time Commander begins “time bombing” Gotham, sending entire sections of the city to different time periods. GL despite being separated from Batman, is able to communicate with him using his ring, telling him to use a high pitched frequency that will nullify Time Commander’s time-device. Batman briefly gets blasted into the distant future and contends with alien invaders that strike against Gotham before using an air raid siren to destroy the time-device, nullifying Time Commander’s hourglass device. With Time Commander apprehended and Gotham saved, GL uses his ring to mind-wipe Time Commander’s knowledge of both the heroes’ secret IDs. GL then mind-wipes his own knowledge of Batman’s secret ID. (GL must have only recently learned this mind-wiping technique, since he apparently didn’t know how to do it a year prior.)
–Detective Comics #328
Late May—this issue takes place at least two months after Batman switches to his yellow-oval costume. While Batman and Robin assist Superman on an unspecified mission, Commissioner Gordon leaves a message on the Batcave hot-line answering machine stating that the Tri-State Gang is planning a big job. Alfred combs the Batcave’s crime-files and reads about the new Tri-State Gang co-leader, fugitive Paul Pardee. Alfred then leaves a note for the Dynamic Duo and tails Pardee on a motorcycle. Two hours later, Batman and Robin receive the note and track Alfred to an abandoned prison, where Alfred has been captured by the triumverate of the Tri-State Gang, Duke, Hippo, and Pardee. There, Batman and Robin are also captured. The gang then departs to steal some treasure from a local attraction called Colonial City. Both the Dynamic Duo and Alfred make separate escapes from the prison and follow the gang (separately) to Colonial City. At Colonial City, Batman and Robin charge into action. The gang, using a backhoe, attempts to dump a boulder onto Batman and Robin, but Alfred flies in on his motorcycle and takes the hit, saving his friends’ lives, but getting killed in the process! (Alfred’s death scene is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #356.) An angry Batman and Robin kick the Tri-State Gang’s asses and haul them in to jail. The next day, Bruce and Dick make funeral arrangements for Alfred—which include a refrigerated coffin and an opulent mausoleum (as referenced in Detective Comics #356). A burial ceremony is then held. Afterward, Bruce immediately decides to initiate a charitable organization called the Alfred Foundation, even planning a downtown tower that will house its operations. (This, of course, is the beginnings of what will become the Wayne Foundation and Wayne Tower!) Days later, Aunt Harriet arrives and permanently moves into Wayne Manor, citing that they’ll need her help around the house now that Alfred is gone.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #356. It has been one day after Aunt Harriet’s arrival and three days since Alfred’s funeral. Bruce and Dick, in tears, visit Alfred’s mausoleum to say one final goodbye. That night, but some miracle, Alfred comes back to life—although remains in a near catatonic state—inside his coffin! Scientific genius Brandon Crawford happens to walk through the cemetery with an audiometer, tracking rare insects. He hears Alfred moaning in his mausoleum. Instead of running away in sheer terror, Crawford enters the mausoleum and opens Alfred’s coffin! Then, being a self-proclaimed “radical individualist,” Crawford decides not to take Alfred to the hospital, but instead takes him to his lab to enact a scientific experiment on the poor butler. Using a strange cell-generation device, Crawford attempts to fully restore Alfred. But his experiment fails, turning Alfred into the monstrous evil super-villain known as The Outsider. Crawford morphs into an exact physical copy of Alfred. The Outsider, quickly discovering that he has strange meta-powers, puts Crawford into a deathlike state and throws him into his old coffin. The Outsider then returns to Crawford’s lab, vowing to kill Batman and Robin.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #331 and Detective Comics #334. Bruce, as chairman of the Alfred Foundation, will dispense money with largesse and run many charity fundraiser events, many of which won’t be seen in any specific issues below. Moving forward, we must imagine these various events—both the planning of and execution of—happening invisibly in-between cases on our timeline.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #331. Aunt Harriet begins a routine of cooking dinners for Bruce and Dick, although they either won’t show up or will duck out of most of them for obvious reasons. The assiduous dodging of Aunt Harriet will occur invisibly on our timeline below, starting now.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #162. Batman, presumably tired of stuffing a rolled-up Bat-kite into his sock every time he suits up, decides to retire the Bat-accessory, hanging it up in the Batcave Trophy Room. Unrelated to the Bat-kite retirement, Batman goes on one or two unspecified missions and nets a large vase and a large bowl as trophies, which he also puts in the Batcave.
–Detective Comics #329
Commissioner Gordon alerts Batman and Robin to an article in a magazine highlighting British castle-owner Albert Maunch, who is a dead ringer for fugitive Frank Pragnel. Batman and Robin immediately fly to Maunch’s castle in England, but realize that Maunch isn’t actually Pragnel when they arrive. After being invited to stay for dinner, Batman and Robin are shown to their quarters in the medieval castle. There, Batman falls through a trap door and is nearly killed. After dinner, two thugs attack Batman and Robin, but they are easily dispatched. Pragnel then shows his face and is easily defeated as well. Turns out Pragnel’s real name is actually Vincent Maunch. He is Albert’s lookalike cousin, who had kidnapped his brother’s family and taken over the castle with hopes of finding buried Nazi treasure hidden underneath its foundation. Batman and Robin then escort “Pragnel” back to the States.
–World’s Finest Comics #144 Epilogue
With Jimmy Olsen’s Kryptonite skin condition completely faded away, Superman and Jimmy pay Batman and Robin a visit in the Batcave just to say hello. Superman jokes about doing a permanent sidekick switch, but the boys say no way.
–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #155—and also referenced in World’s Finest Comics #149. Brainiac captures Superman and chains him to the top of Mount Everest with Kryptonite manacles. Batman and Robin build a Kryptonite-sensitive compass to find Superman and free him. Superman keeps the compass as a souvenir. In WFC #155, Superman lists this case as case #149, which cannot be correct.
–World’s Finest Comics #145
June—Dick is still in school; summer vacation has not yet started. Batman is whisked away by an unknown alien force to the distant star system XD-919 where he is made warden of a strange prison planet, controlled by evil Vorian tyrants and used to detain intergalactic superheroes. A glowing psychedelic orb alters Batman’s personality so that he becomes a villain and then orders Batman to lure Superman into captivity. After a few days of playing the role of abusive warden and mistreating several inmates, Batman sends a message to Earth with a cipher that includes his and Clark’s initials. The message asks for Superman to come to XD-919 immediately. Upon Superman’s arrival, Batman activates a gigantic satellite solar filter that changes the sun’s yellow light into red, thus making Superman powerless. Batman puts Superman into a cell with other captive superheroes. The next day, Batman puts Superman and the others to hard manual labor. A day after that, Superman and a few others break out of their cells and knock-out Batman. Superman builds a de-hypnotizing device of Kryptonian design and uses it to de-brainwash Batman. Batman, having shaken-off the evil influence of the Vorians, then joins in a ruse with Superman and the other heroes to lure the Vorians to the planet. Sure enough, the Vorians arrive just in time for Batman to send a rocket crashing into the sun filter. A re-powered Man of Steel then easily defeats the Vorians. Superman then constructs spacesuits for Batman and all the prisoners and then takes them all to their respective homes across the universe.
–Detective Comics #330
When three men are viciously attacked by strangers after eating at the Golden Roost Restaurant, Bruce and Dick visit the dining establishment. While eating, they are summoned by the Batsignal. Batman and Robin soon take down an escaped Shorty Hawkins and Pete Dumont, but afterward, an angry mob led by Robin attacks Batman. With his costume in tatters, Batman returns to the Batcave only to find Robin waiting, having blacked-out and with no memory of attacking his mentor. That evening, Batman—disguised as a food inspector—and Robin—disguised as a paperboy—return to the Golden Roost. Their undercover operation leads them to follow a shady waiter to an art gallery where unsavory characters, including a foreign ambassador and several foreign spies, have gathered. Batman and Robin smash into the gallery, bust everyone, and turn them over to the FBI. The Dynamic Duo then meets with high-ranking US Army officials who reveal that the spy ring had stolen Army-created experimental pills, which create pheromones that make people want to kill you after you have ingested them. The spy ring had been using the Golden Roost to test the pills. Later, Mayor Alan Dent gives a special citation, issued by the President Nixon, to Batman at an awards ceremony.
–Superman #173, Part 3
A flying saucer lands on top of the Daily Planet Building with a recorded plea for help, asking Superman to stop a disastrous tidal wave on alien planet 2H-489. Superman hears the plea, but holds off on his response to complete another mission. Th precocious Jimmy Olsen decides to get into the spaceship instead. Superman arrives just in time to see Jimmy take off. Superman, frustrated with Jimmy taking such a foolish risk, decides to teach him a lesson in the most elaborate and over-the-top way imaginable. Superman grabs Batman and flies at super-speed to planet 2H-489, detailing his plan to mess with Jimmy en-route. Superman and Batman arrive on 2H-489 before Jimmy gets there. After stopping the tidal wave, Superman gets the population there to pretend they worship Earth’s super-villains before then building a super-villain “Hall of Fame.” Superman then takes Batman’s picture for a Rogues Gallery display. On the “villain planet,” Superman—disguised as Lex Luthor—and Batman—disguised as Brainiac capture Jimmy, give him a tour of the Hall of Fame, throw him in prison, and force him to watch as they pretend to obliterate dozens of inhabited planets using weapons of mass destruction. The crafty Jimmy notices that Luthor is actually wearing a mask. He then quickly also realizes, after thinking of Batman’s picture in the Rogues Gallery, that Brainiac is actually Batman in disguise. (For the first time ever, Batman has seemingly forgotten to wear his white eyelets that are usually attached to his cowl, revealing his baby blue eyes.) Jimmy uses an element-changing alchemy machine to create Kryptonite, which he uses on “Luthor” when he returns. Afterward, everyone has a good laugh and nobody learns any lessons. Sigh.
–Detective Comics #331
The Alfred Foundation opens its first philanthropic venture in Gotham: the Americana Wax Museum. Bruce visits the museum and has his picture taken at an exhibit. But the photographer, actually working for criminal Boss Barron, uses a weird sci-fi camera—the “electrofaciograph”—that temporarily “steals” Bruce’s face, swapping it with one of Barron’s cronies’ faces. Barron’s man—having meticulously spied on Bruce during previous visits with bank vice president David Moore—then visits the VP (while wearing Bruce’s face) and withdraws half-a-million dollars. Meanwhile, as a worried Robin ditches Aunt Harriet and goes out on patrol, the confused and amnesiac Bruce—with the crook’s face—wanders aimlessly through Gotham. Twelve hours later, Robin takes on three emerald thieves and gets his ass handed to him. The face-swap wears off just in time for Bruce to regain his memory, suit-up, and save Robin. The next day Bruce visits Moore to tell him about the fraud. Batman and Robin then return to the photo exhibit to find husband-and-wife detective duo Elongated Man and Sue Dibny already working the case. Barron and his men use the electrofaciograph to blast the heroes with invisible rays. Worried that the baddies will use the machine to learn his secret ID, Batman lends an extra Bat-costume to Elongated Man. Soon the heroes chase the baddies outside into an amusement park and bust them. The next day, Bruce—as chairman of the Alfred Foundation—invites Ralph and Sue to dinner at Wayne Manor.
Batman and Robin attend a circus charity event that is to showcase strongman Mr. Mammoth. But when Mr. Mammoth refuses to perform, citing that he’s been having dizzy spells where he loses control and goes into a blind rage, Batman is on the case. After retracing Mr. Mammoth’s steps, Batman visits Mr. Mammoth at his hotel room to find the hulking strongman in one of his fits. After a brutal slugfest, Mr. Mammoth snaps out of his condition. Batman reveals that Mr. Mammoth instinctively responds violently to a local radio station’s call sign tune. He’s already contacted the station and they’ve agreed to change the tune. Afterward, Batman and Robin watch as Mr. Mammoth performs various feats of strength in front of a live audience.
Batman joins his fellow Mystery Analysts of Gotham City—including Kaye Daye, Ralph Vern, Art Saddows, Commissioner Gordon, and new members Martin Tellman and recently elected District Attorney Danton—at a weekend getaway at a rented mansion. When they arrive, a tape recorded message, claiming to be a villainous member of the group, challenges them to solve the recent Gotham jewelry store theft of a million dollar Tibetan diamond. After confirming that the diamond has indeed been replaced with a fake, the Mystery Analysts head out to solve the crime. But Batman and Robin must deal with other cases, notably the busting of some gold smugglers. Two days later, Batman attends a gathering of the Mystery Analysts and secretly tape records the meeting. Later, with Robin, Batman compares the recording to a written transcript of the meeting’s notes and deduces that Vern must be the crook. Batman and Robin then undertake three days of intensive research into Vern’s life and learn that he used to live in Tibet. The Dynamic Duo then flies to Tibet and learns of an magick practice that used the combination of a special Lama ring and the stolen diamond in question to hypnotize folks. Back in the States, Batman gathers the Mystery Analysts at the jewelry store and uses a Lama ring and the supposedly fake diamond to hypnotize everyone. Batman then fingers Vern, revealing that the fake diamond isn’t fake after all, but the real deal. Vern had set up the whole goose chase in an attempt to later steal the diamond. Batman exits, leaving DA Danton and Commissioner Gordon to ponder if a crime has actually been committed.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #333. Batman gets strange reports from Interpol about herds of rogue elephants attacking towns in East Africa.
–Justice League of America #32
The powers and skills of some of the members of the Justice League briefly disappear and re-appear in random people from each member’s respective hometown. Batman, for example, specifically gets hit with a wave of un-coordination that nearly causes him to lose a fight against a nobody while simultaneously effecting a nearby stage performer’s juggling act. After detecting radiation on his costume, Batman tracks its source to a remote cave. There, Batman—along with four other Justice Leaguers (Atom, Hawkman, Flash, and Superman) are trapped by Brain Storm within a ring of “stellar energy.” Unable to move, each JLer realizes that he is mentally connected to someone from their hometown. In Batman’s case, the juggler. The five JLers are able to teleport their partners to Brain Storm’s cave, regaining their abilities and breaking them free. The JLers then catch up with Brain Storm in a rural area, where the villain animates plants, controls wildlife, and gives life to a scarecrow. All of these things attack the Justice League, but they are easily dispatched. Brain Storm then reveals a captive Green Lantern and explains that GL killed his brother! GL explains that he was indeed chasing after Brain Storm’s brother, a criminal named Fred Storm, but Fred simply disappeared without a trace when Brain Storm interfered. Superman explains that Brain Storm’s “stellar energy” likely had cause Fred to disappear. Sure enough, GL uses his ring to locate Fred, alive and well, but with amnesia. With Fred caught and Brain Storm admitting he was wrong, the villain disappears to avoid any repercussions for his actions.
–Detective Comics #333-334
Summer. After a lengthy investigation that leads to busting a gang that uses the Gotham Zoo as its hideout, Batman and Robin are surprised as a strangely dressed woman appears out of a swirl of fog. Claiming to be “Gorla the Elephant Goddess,” she tells Batman that explorer Evan Bender, who has been in Africa for two years, is now in trouble, having gone off the grid three months ago. “Gorla” disappears, but Batman recognizes the “goddess” as Bender’s fiancée Alice Foss. The Dynamic Duo interrogates Foss, who donned the wild getup in order to convince Batman, and decides to head to Kenya the next morning. After camping a night in the jungle, Batman and Robin awaken to face a stampede of raging seemingly-possessed elephants. Soon, the Dynamic Duo comes across Bender and they knock some sense into him. Bender reveals that big game hunter Red Loftus has been using a magickal mineral amulet to control both he and the elephants. Batman, Robin, and Bender descend into a nearby tribal village where they confront Loftus and several possessed tribal henchmen. The trio of heroes kicks ass and busts Loftus. Back in the States, Batman arranges for Bender to reunite with Alice. Bruce and Dick watch from a distance as they meet at the zoo. Later, Bruce and Dick hang the magick mind-control amulet in the Batcave trophy room.
A costumed villain named Grasshopper, who dresses like a grasshopper and can leap over buildings, tangoes with Batman and Robin after stealing a bag of cash. Not only does he escape, but he steals the Batmobile and leaves a note from his mystery boss, who claims that he will steal a ton of stuff from Batman. The next night, Bruce gathers a bunch of trophies from the Batcave and goes to host a yacht party/charity auction for the Alfred Foundation. After greeting wealthy folks and introducing the Caped Crusader, Bruce runs behind a curtain and quickly changes into his Batman costume before running back onstage while pretending to thank Bruce offstage. Ha! Not Batman’s finest dupe, but actually quite charming in its simplicity, considering all the elaborate ruses we’ve seen before. A second Grasshopper (the other’s twin brother) appears, steals a Batarang and the Batboat, and kidnaps an intervening Robin. Bruce sees off this guests, but realizes that one of the Grasshoppers is still aboard the yacht. Switching into Batman gear again, the Dark Knight trails a sailor to a seedy building off of Gotham Harbor. There, Batman fights and defeats a couple gunmen and both Grasshoppers, rescuing Robin in the process. Batman and Robin retrieve their Batmobile, which immediately gets a call on the hotline. However, instead of Commissioner Gordon, a pre-recorded message plays. The mystery villain known as The Outsider was responsible for hiring the Grasshopper gang to mess with Batman. The Outsider claims that he will one day kill Batman. Who is this horrible new foe? (SPOILER ALERT: It’s Alfred!) But for the Dynamic Duo, only time will tell. Batman and Robin retrieve the Batboat the next day.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #341. After the debacle with Grasshopper stealing the Batmobile, Batman vows to never let another scenario like that happen again, installing a car alarm and new security system onto the vehicle.
–Detective Comics #329 Epilogue
Albert Maunch finds the hidden Nazi treasure in England. Bruce and Dick read about it in the newspaper. They also read that Maunch is sending a check for $50,000 to Batman and Robin to be paid to the charity of their choosing. Presumably, Batman and Robin accept the check and deliver the funds to some charity.
–World’s Finest Comics #146
Batman, Robin, and Superman build a scanner/3D printer in the Fortress of Solitude. They pause to honor the anniversary of the destruction of Krypton, which exploded on this day decades ago. An austere Superman plays a Kryptonian movie, during which Batman instinctively recalls an inscription on a statue featured in the film. This recollection is something he couldn’t possibly have known unless he was Kryptonian. This memory drudges up other memories and Batman feels in his heart that he’s been to Krypton when he was a baby. Bruce visits the only person still alive that knew him when he was little: his dad’s pal Dr. Thomas Ellison, a famous scientist that happens to be the man that originally discovered Krypton via telescope. At Dr. Ellison’s house, the doc greets Bruce with open arms, but dodges questions about Krypton. At night, Bruce overhears Dr. Ellison recording a journal entry in which he claims responsibility for destroying Krypton. Bruce finds pictures of himself as a baby—labeled “Bruce-El”—where he is seemingly bending steel and flying. Bruce also finds some Gold Kryptonite, which has the power to permanently take away a Kryptonian’s super powers. Later, Superman listens-in on Batman and Robin as they talk about Dr. Ellison’s Krypton-destroying claim. Robin dons his beefed-up Batman trickery costume and lures an angry Superman away. In actuality, Robin lures a Superman Robot away while the real Man of Steel follows the real Batman, who confronts Dr. Ellison to ask if Bruce Wayne is really a de-powered Kryptonian. The doctor reveals that the special telescope that allowed him to discover Krypton also allowed him to view Krypton up close—at street level no less. Dr. Ellison learned the Kryptonian language and was able to read lips to see what Kryptonians were talking about. Eventually, the neglectful Wayne parents, summering next door, let little Bruce wander over to the doctor’s house. There, Dr. Ellison showed Bruce live feeds of Krypton, creepily dressed him in Kryptonian-styled clothes, and took pictures of the boy flying on wires and bending plastic bars. Upon learning of Krypton’s imminent destruction, Dr. Ellison built a neutralizing ray, which he thought would prevent doomsday, but—in his eyes—only seemed to contribute to the planetary collapse. After this part of Dr. Ellison’s confession, the pissed-off Superman emerges. He flies to the Fortress and grabs an alien “space-time viewer” that allows him to show Krypton’s final moments on a TV screen. Batman, Superman, and Dr. Ellison learn that the latter’s neutralization ray failed but didn’t cause harm.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #152. Batman adds his piece of Gold Kryptonite to the Kryptonite vault in the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In Superman #174, Part 2. Superman has just built a brand new upgraded version of the Superman Robot: a more humanlike Superman Android called Android-I, complete with his own sentient emotions and all of Superman’s memories. Of course, Android-I gets jealous of the real Man of Steel, so he slips a tiny red sun emitter into Clark’s shoes, which causes him to lose his powers. Android-I also sneaks a note into the Batcave asking Batman, as part of a super secret case, to deny that Clark Kent is Superman no matter what. Android-I, giving himself the secret identity of “Adam Newman,” then takes over Superman’s role, leaving Clark distraught and confused.
–Superman #174, Part 1
A powerless Clark Kent visits Batman in Gotham, but the Dark Knight follows the instructions from Android-I’s note and denies that he is Superman. When Android-I, still playing the role of Superman, rescues Clark’s airplane flight from crashing, Clark goes ballistic and accuses him of being an impostor. Clark’s actions cause him to get arrested. After a quick hearing with Android-I, Lana Lang, and a judge, the befuddled Clark is ordered to see a psychiatrist. (The story concludes in the immediate Batman-less follow-up, Superman #174, Part 2, in which Clark regains his powers and retakes the mantle of Superman after Android-I dies saving Metropolis.)
–Detective Comics #335
Private investigator Hugh Rankin has Batman paged to the headquarters of the Mystery Analysts of Gotham. There, Batman speaks on the phone with Rankin, who explains that a local jewel mart will soon be robbed. The Dynamic Duo goes to the mart to find audio-animatronic “mock-up men” committing a theft. The powerful inhuman crooks easily best Batman and Robin and make a clean getaway. Unknown to our heroes, these “mock-up men” are avatars being controlled by the real crooks, who have meticulously rehearsed the exact movements of the theft for days. Rankin follows the avatars and crooks to their theater hideout—home to their boss, a master of disguise called The Make-Up Man—only to get beaten-up and captured. Soon after, Batman and Robin are able to track Rankin to the theater. There, they take down the trio of crooks and their animatronic avatars. After rescuing Rankin, Batman quickly realizes that “Rankin” is actually the Make-Up Man trying to pull a fast one. The Dynamic Duo busts the Make-Up Man and rescues the real Rankin.
Penguin, having once again served another full year in prison, is once again paroled. But his good behavior on the inside doesn’t ever roll over to the outside. Penguin immediately enacts a plan to get revenge against Batman, ordering his henchmen to set up zany umbrella-themed chicanery all over Gotham. Batman and Robin deal with the umbrella gags, but, oddly, none of the gags involve any theft, just a soupçon of harmless chaos. Batman and Robin threaten Penguin at his new umbrella store, but with no charges to be handed down, Penguin laughs the heroes off. Penguin also switches his monocle from his right eye to his left eye, for no reason other than simply to fuck with Batman’s head! Penguin then has a gaudy rainbow-emitting “parachute umbrella” fall from the sky over Gotham. Batman and Robin retrieve the umbrella, which Batman takes as Penguin’s way of hinting that he will try to steal the “jeweled meteorite” from the museum. Unknown to Batman, the rainbow umbrella has been bugged and Penguin listens as Batman details exactly how he thinks Penguin will break into the museum. Also unknown to Batman, both he and Robin have had their utility belts super-magnetized thanks to contact with Penguin’s umbrellas. Later, at the museum, Penguin uses a super-magnet to briefly dispatch the Dynamic Duo while he steals the meteorite. Batman and Robin free themselves and then chase after Penguin on jetpack umbrellas, eventually catching him and returning him to prison. Batman and Robin take Penguin’s monocle, convinced that there is something fishy about it. In his cell, Penguin takes great pleasure in the fact that Batman and Robin waste time concerning over nothing!
Bruce watches baseball on TV before heading out on daytime patrol. He chases after a jewelry thief, who completely evades capture thanks to blind-stinking luck—Batman is blinded by a sun glare, stumbles when the lights go out in a dark room, is swarmed by adoring children when summer school lets out, and runs out of fuel while piloting a rent-a-boat. Later, while Dick stays at home to study for a summer school algebra test, Batman meets the press at a GCPD HQ news conference to discuss both his love of sports and the day’s botched patrol. Batman vows to bring the jewel thief to justice and brings journalist Bill Ferris along as a witness. At Gotham Park Lake, Batman and Ferris spot the thief, in a wetsuit, retrieving a stolen necklace that he had dropped into the water during the earlier boat chase. Upon emerging from the lake with the evidence in hand, the thief is immediately busted.
–REFERENCE: In Aquaman #18. Aquaman becomes King of Atlantis and gives honorary Atlantean citizenship to his girlfriend Mera (who is from the alternate water dimension known as Aqua). Aquaman announces his nuptials to his people and sends out wedding invitations to his friends, including Batman and Robin.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #338. Bruce initiates a new science division of the Alfred Foundation. A few days later, he visits the new Alfred Foundation for Scientific Achievement laboratory and is given a tour of by resident scientists, including “You,” who shows him his ongoing experiments. Yes, for some bizarre reason, ‘tec #338 is written partly from the first-person perspective of one of the lead scientists, who is actually called “You.” The reader is even “spoken to” directly via omniscient narration. Since we never learn “our” character’s name, I’ll simply refer to he or she as “Dr. You” below.
–Justice League of America #33
The JLA assembles for a meeting at the Secret Sanctuary. But when they arrive, indissoluble energy shields arise along with giant robot claws that seem to come out of nowhere. A green-faced humanoid alien—appearing only on a giant video screen—uses these shields and claws to defeat the JLA and bring five of them hurtling into the distant future. Batman, Superman, and Hawkman are brought specifically to the year 21,574, where they are forced through a giant Kryptonite cloud! From there, the trio of heroes are brought to the year 25,673, where they find Green Lantern and Flash irradiated by strange coffin-like tubes. The JLers then continue battling the claws until they are interrupted by the humanoid alien, who transforms from the green-faced creature into a regular human being, Kaston Tharn. Tharn explains that, in his time, an formless invisible being from a “timeless” dimension, “The Alien-Ator,” arrived and turned all humans into green-faced monsters. An advanced computer program revealed that the only way to turn back into regular humans was to build a chrono-kinetic ray capable of harvesting the “energy-action” of properly radiated metahumans. Thus, it was to the 20th century that these troubled green-faced former humans turned. Just then, Tharn’s aide delivers news that the Alien-Ator has traveled to 1972. Using his power ring, Green Lantern creates a bubble for the heroes to travel in. Superman picks up the bubble and begins darting backward through the timestream. The heroes get frozen in a random moment in time when they are attacked by a gigantic pink blob known as “The Endless One,” sent by the Alien-Ator to block the JLers. Batman suggests that Green Lantern break them out the frozen second they are stuck in by creating a self-contradictory paradox. Channeling Despero’s aging ray via his power ring, Green Lantern causes himself to grow very elderly. The paradox of aging despite being stuck in a single moment is too much for the pink blob to bear. The Endless One disappears and the JLers continue moving backward to 1972. Once they arrive home, the Alien-Ator has already turned the rest of the team into green aliens. An epic battle ensues, but the chrono-kinetic ray combines with irradiated action-energy to turn everyone back to normal. The team decides to keep the chrono-kinetic ray constantly illuminated to prevent the Alien-Ator from every doing evil again.
–Detective Comics #336
Batman and Robin look on in disbelief as a witch, complete with a Halloween-style costume and flying broomstick, aids some thieves complete a heist using magick. Batman and Robin soon confront the witch face-to-face, only to fail against her magick, which temporarily robs the Dynamic Duo of their sense of touch. After chasing the witch into a local geological attraction called “The Cave of the Winds,” Batman and Robin are nearly killed when they are robbed of their senses of hearing and smell for a few moments. Shortly thereafter, the witch uses her magick to paralyze Batman in a field. Robin is able to steal away the witch’s broomstick, nullifying her power. The Dynamic Duo then easily busts all the baddies. Later, our heroes hang the magick broomstick up on their trophy wall only to hear an eerie voice emerge from it. The Outsider’s voice echoes through the Batcave as he claims responsibility for the witch’s actions. The Outsider goes on to explain, with great detail, that the broomstick is made of a rare wood that releases a chemical reaction that can amplify extrasensory abilities latent in the paranormally gifted. Oddly, the Outsider wants Batman to know that, because of this fact, the spells exhibited by his hired “witch” (a woman with ESP) were totally scientific and not mystical at all. Ummmm, black science is just the other side of the magickal coin, bub. Plus, you specifically are talking about ESP and the paranormal. Not to mention, you are magickally talking through the broom and the DCU has proven many a time that magick definitely exists. Semantics, dude. Anyway, the Outsider’s monologue ends with the mystery villain’s continued vow to kill Batman in the near future.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #147. Batman and Robin design and build an experimental emergency folding plane that has super-speed and vertical takeoff ability. After testing, they store it for future use in the Batcave hangar.
–World’s Finest Comics #147
Robin and Jimmy Olsen acquire the legal right to use the abandoned observatory they’ve been using as their secret Eyrie headquarters. Now that they are no longer squatting, the teens decide to put in some new trophies, either already owned by Jimmy or taken from the collections of their respective mentors. With the ethos of empowerment and independence, Robin and Jimmy decide it’s time to graduate from sidekicking, ditching their communicators in the process. Unable to contact his ward, Batman goes out looking for the “missing” Robin. Meanwhile, Robin and Jimmy create Kryptonian-styled adult costumes—complete with sentient ruby red space jewels for added flair—and head to the Batcave to retrieve some car parts and the emergency folding plane. The boys dart off in the mini-plane and evade Batman, who chases them in vain before peeling off to recruit Superman for assistance. Soon after, Robin and Jimmy—in the Robinplane and Olsenmobile—prevent a disaster at an aeronautics plant. Batman and Superman witness the end of their successful first mission. Later, when a call comes in about Gotham scuba divers in trouble, the Olsenmobile runs the Batmobile off the road to get there first! Afterward, Robin tells-off Batman, brags to reporters about not needing the dead weight of his old boss, and receives a rocket as a gift from the aeronautics plant. When giant robot crustaceans attack the beachside town of Surf City, Batman and Superman repel them, but not before one crab-walks away with a vault full of jewels. With a $50,000 reward available for the return of the loot, Robin and Jimmy travel to the island headquarters of the evil-robot engineer known as The Animator. After defeating more animal robots, the teens bust the Animator and collect the reward. Needing money to purchase rocket fuel for their rocket, Robin and Jimmy begin taking on only cases that offer large cash rewards. Superman realizes that the shiny chest ornaments fastened onto the chests of the Boy Wonder and Jimmy are none other than the living space rubies that telepathically cause people to act like assholes. The Man of Steel gives Batman a quick tour of the living jewels’ home planet before preventing Robin and Jimmy from launching their rocket into outer space. Back in the Batcave, Superman constructs a shock therapy device and plugs the boys into it, literally shocking the living jewels out of their system. Superman then flies the jewels back to their home world. Jimmy and Robin come-to, having blacked-out during their entire adventure as “adult heroes.”
–Batman #170, Part 3
Aunt Harriet asks Bruce and Dick to solve the mystery of someone entering into and winning a soap ad jingle-writing contest in her friend Mrs. Thompkins’ name. Batman and Robin visit the soap company and track the address of the person who mailed in the entry to a small town called Hillvale. After speaking with the local sheriff, Batman and Robin head to the next town over to check out a stationary store. En route, henchmen working for a gangster named Stilts throw a grenade at the Batmobile and send out heroes seemingly plummeting to their deaths. But of course, the Dynamic Duo survives and soon tracks the baddies to a wild animal act aboard a riverboat. Aboard the boat, Stilts sics a grizzly bear on Batman, who calmly proceeds to punch it out with ease. After busting Stilts and his henchmen, Batman reveals their scheme of transporting stolen money and mail via the showboat. In one of the stolen bags of mail, Batman finds a return letter to Hillvale from the soap company. This leads Batman and Robin to the person who entered Mrs. Thompkins into the song-writing contest, a friend of hers that wanted to surprise her. Later, Aunt Harriet, to Bruce and Dick, joyfully exclaims that Batman has solved the case, prompting Bruce to wonder if she knows their secret identities.
–Justice League of America #34
Batman and Hawkman have a shared dream where they fight the Joker and Chac in the jungles of Central America. In the dream, Batman uses a super-speed ring to defeat Joker while Hawkman uses power gloves to defeat Chac. Likewise, other Justice Leaguers have similar strange dreams. The next morning, the League meets at the Secret Sanctuary to find the unique tools used in their dreams hanging in the trophy room. Before the heroes can figure out what is happening, news reports hit the radio waves detailing the exact things that happened in the heroes’ dreams occurring now. Each JLer heads out to relive his or her experience from the night before, only this time in real life. Snapper Carr is shocked to watch the dream trophies float out of the Secret Sanctuary and follow their respective heroes. What is happening? Turns out that the incarcerated Dr. Destiny, even without his precious Materioptikon, has not only learned how to enter and manipulate people’s dreams, but has also learned how to make them happen in the real world. Superman struggles with a stone warrior in Italy. Batman and Hawkman battle Joker and Chac—who both teleport out of prison—in Central America. And Wonder Woman and Atom deal with giant crustaceans in the Atlantic. The dream trophies attach themselves to the heroes and, unlike in their dreams, hinder their fighting abilities instead of help. Despite this, the heroes are still able to defeat their opposition and dispose of them or return them back to prison. The JLers then realize that Dr. Destiny must be behind it all. After a quick visit to the penitentiary, Atom punches out Dr. Destiny, causing the dream trophies to disappear. The pen then sets up Dr. Destiny with a special psychiatrist that will be able to purge his ability to manipulate dreams. Sounds like shock therapy to me. (Also note that it is unclear as to exactly how Dr. Destiny’s powers work in this issue. Are Joker and Chac actually ripped away from prison and brought to Central America by Dr. Destiny? Or are Joker and Chac merely dream versions of themselves that, like the dream trophies, disappear after Dr. Desinty gets kayoed? We just don’t know.)
–FLASHBACK: From Teen Titans #53. For three days, a cat burglar plagues Gotham. Robin stops a robbery by the burglar only to discover that it is Batman gone bad! The Dark Knight beats up Robin and takes off, prompting the Boy Wonder to go to Metropolis for Superman’s help. Unfortunately, in Metropolis, Aqualad, Speedy, and Kid Flash all reveal that their mentors have gone rogue as well. Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) arrives and introduces herself, exclaiming that Wonder Woman has become evil as well. Robin, Speedy, and Aqualad take on and defeat both Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Meanwhile, Wonder Girl and Speedy defeat Flash and Batman. With the Justice Leaguers captured and brought to the Secret Sanctuary, the teen heroes decide what to do next, but they are interrupted by the horrible creature that is mind-controlling the adults: an alien being known as The Antithesis. In Star City, Aqualad and Kid Flash defeat Green Arrow, which causes the Antithesis to fade away and the adults to return back to normal. The teens decide to stay as a team, although they elect to keep it a secret from the adults for now. Aqualad names them the Teen Titans!
–Aquaman #18 Epilogue
This item occurs specifically after the flashback from Teen Titans #53. Aquaman marries his inamorata Mera, making her the first non-Atlantean Queen of Atlantis. Batman, Robin, and the entire Justice League of America attend the wedding deep under the sea in Atlantis. Aqualad is the ring-bearer.
–Detective Comics #337
A 50,000-year-old Cro-Magnon man called Klag the Hunter awakens from a near eternal slumber on ice. Klag awakens covered in a sheath of supernatural ice that has gifted him with near immortality, flight, the ability to learn language in seconds, and semi-clairvoyance. These powers have come from supernatural minerals in the ice bed in which he rested. Confused, enraged, and obsessed with murdering his long-deceased rival (who coincidentally looks like a caveman Bruce Wayne), Klag travels to India and murders a Bruce Wayne lookalike there. In Gotham, Klag batters and unmasks Batman before flying off to Spain to attack another Bruce Wayne lookalike. In the Batcave, Batman views a picture of Klag’s Indian victim and deduces that Klag’s mental powers are helping him locate Bruce Wayne lookalikes all over the globe. Upon hearing a news report about Klag heading toward Spain, Batman and Robin fly there immediately. Eventually, Batman and Robin fight Klag in a bullfighting ring where they save another Bruce Wayne lookalike and capture the caveman using plastic sealant.
–World’s Finest Comics #148
Batman and Superman test out a late famous Gotham scientist’s final invention, a device that transports our heroes to an alternate Earth. On Earth-148, Clayface and Lex Luthor (with sidekick Jimmy Olsen) are the planet’s greatest heroes while Superman, Batman, and Robin are its greatest villains. Our heroes learn this status-quo right away as cops shoot at them and they are forced to flee from Luthor-148 and Clayface-148. Batman mentions the existence of parallel Earths, although stupidly only references a case from a prior WFC and nothing from Justice League of America. It’s not long before Superman and Batman fight their doubles, but when neither side gets they upper hand, both leave in attempts to access the parallel world portal device, now in the hands of Luthor-148. Superman and Batman tunnel into Luthor-148’s “Law-base,” but are captured, jailed, and rushed to trial as part of America-148’s bizarre judicial system, which curiously allows both defendants to maintain their costumes and secret identities. While defending themselves in a packed courtroom, the evil Superman and Batman steal the parallel world device, an act that stupidly proves their counterparts’ innocence. Batman, Superman, Luthor-148, and Clayface-148 then smash into the evil Fortress of Solitude and bust the criminal versions of Batman and Superman. The Man of Steel then grossly suggests that Luthor-148 use his advanced tech to mind-wipe the villains’ brains in order to completely transform their personalities and “brainwash them into honest men.” Before departing back to Earth-1, Luthor-148 gives our heroes a multiversial monitor that will allow them to view events on Earth-148. Soon after, Superman and Batman watch as Luthor-148 does indeed turn evil Superman and evil Batman into good guys. Batman chuckles, stating that maybe one day they’ll be able to do the same to super-villains on their own Earth. Wow. The JLA is already cool with and able to mind-wipe away secret ID knowledge, so this far cry from Batman’s Modern Age ethical mentality should come as no surprise. So why don’t Batman and Superman use Luthor-148’s tech? There has to be some reason why they can’t—like maybe it is unadaptable to Earth-1 brains or something. Otherwise, these bastards totally would use it in a heartbeat.
–Detective Comics #345, Intro
Bruce goes on a yacht tour off the coast of Gotham. When the boat capsizes, Bruce abandons ship and swims to the shore of a nearby island. There, Bruce comes across young Mark Desmond, an inhabitant of the island, who is trapped in quicksand. Bruce saves Mark’s life. Shortly thereafter, Mark’s brother Roland Desmond comes searching and finds Bruce and Mark. Roland makes an overnight shelter and the trio braves the storm through the night. In the morning, the brothers return Bruce to the mainland, safe and sound.
–Detective Comics #338
Bruce visits the Alfred Foundation for Scientific Achievement laboratory and gets an update on all the ongoing projects. He then meets with science donors and introduces Dr. You to lumber manufacturer Orval Manning. During a demonstration, some of Dr. You’s latest experimental chemical formula splashes onto Bruce’s hand. Bruce also shows Dr. You’s experimental burglar alarm—”the encephitector”—to his good friend, bank VP David Moore. The encephitector can read people’s alpha brain waves, telling if they will commit a crime in the future, sort of like a Minority Report device. Later, Bruce takes the encephitector home and expands its range for Batman use. Using the machine, Batman and Robin are soon chasing after members of the Bull Fleming Gang. During the altercation, Batman dents a wrecking ball with his fist, the very same fist that had previously been doused with strange chemical. While Batman smashes down a brick wall with his super-fist to nab some other baddies, Robin goes after the wrecking ball swingers across town. Batman comes in wailing and smashing everything in sight with his super-fist in order to bust the Bull Fleming guys. After sending money to repair the collateral damage done by his super-fist, Batman switches into Bruce mode and meets with Dr. You to discuss the effects of the chemical, which he says will soon wear off. Batman is then interviewed by the Gotham News about his super-fist, causing Dr. You to question whether or not Bruce could be Batman when he sees the article the next day. Note that we won’t see the encephitector again. This is likely less due to the fact that the technology is highly unethical, but more likely due to the fact that the technology is spotty at best.
The Riddler, after nearly four years in prison, gets paroled and enters into the story that was adapted into the first two episodes of the 1966 Adam West Batman TV show! As Batman and Robin struggle to apprehend the Molehill Mob, who have evaded their capture on the three previous nights, Edward Nigma approaches the heroes offering his assistance, citing knowledge of the location of their underground hideout. Later that night, Riddler costumes-up and joins the reluctant Dynamic Duo, leading them into the Molehill hideout to foil the baddies. After receiving an invitation to a Police Athletic League picnic, Batman and Robin attend two days later. There, they receive what appears to be a Riddler heist clue leading them to an expensive black pearl owned by yacht owner Smiles Dawson. Upon arriving at Dawon’s yacht, Batman and Robin spot Riddler departing with the pearl. After catching up with Riddler, the villain reveals that he’s legitimately and legally purchased the pearl from Dawson. Riddler takes off but leaves another apparent upcoming heist clue that sends Batman and Robin to the Peale Art Gallery. There, Batman sees Riddler point a gun at the gallery owner and run off with a jeweled cross. Batman chases and tackles Riddler only to find that the gun is only a cigarette lighter and the cross is legally owned by Riddler. The villain leaves one more clue before leaving and soon after Batman and Robin confront him at a Wild West-themed party being held by the Gotham Times. This time, Riddler is indeed attempting a real robbery. Riddler anesthetizes his entire face and activates a strange boot-hook device that allows him to weeble-wobble but never fall down. This bizarre “defense” makes for a scene where the Dynamic Duo pummel a laughing Riddler with a barrage of punches until their knuckles ache. Batman then deactivates Riddler’s boot thing and gives him one final violent sock to the gut, sending him back to prison.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman adds a giant bust of the Joker’s head and mannequins dressed up as Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler to the Batcave Hall of Trophies.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #173, Part 3. Millionaire Barton Keller dies. Bruce reads about it in the newspaper.
–Justice League of America #35
The Demons Three, from their places of imprisonment, are able to magickally animate and summon the costumes of the JLA. Having imbued the costumes with dark magick during their first confrontation with the JLA a year ago, the Demons Three hope that the costumes can free them. Unfortunately, the Demons Three have erred and animated the JLA-ers’ spare costumes instead of the ones they need. Thus, the Demons Three send the costumes to Meadow City where they create copy versions of several villains, including Pied Piper, The Mask, Killer Moth, Dagon, and Dr. Polaris. These magick doppelgängers are defeated by the JLA, but not before they shred the heroes’ costumes to tatters (which will force the JLA to switch into the duds that the Demons Three need them to wear). After dropping off the baddies with the cops, the JLA is shocked to learn via radio report that all five villains are doubles of the real deals—Pied Piper, The Mask, Killer Moth, Dagon, and Dr. Polaris—who are each still in prison. Soon after, the magick doubles escape and re-confront the JLA, who have switched into fresh costumes. A fight ensues, after which the doubles control the JLA by their costumes, summon forth the three ancient artifacts needed to release the Demons Three, and carry the heroes to the location of the Demons Three. The Demons Three are released, but shortly thereafter are returned to their jails thanks to a fail-safe Green Lantern had put into the ancient artifacts.
–Detective Comics #339
Super-scientist Walter Hewitt invented a bionic machine that transfers the powers of animals to his body. After gaining multiple super-powers, Hewitt added gorilla strength to his repertoire, but an accident caused the test gorilla (named Karmak) to gain his intellect and mental-control over him. Naturally, Karmak is evil and began forcing Hewitt to commit a string of crimes. Batman and Robin come across Hewitt as he smashes-up a police precinct. They knock him out and put him under anesthetic. Several days later, Karmak himself smashes-up a jewelry store, luring Batman into a trap where he uses Hewitt’s bionic machine to steal Batman’s abilities and intellectual acuity. Batman visits Hewitt at the hospital and learns the whole truth, that the bionic power siphoning only lasts for a few days. For the next few days, Karmak robs Gotham with ease. Finally, Batman—with his gloves soaked in anesthetic—fistfights Karmak—who has a bomb strapped to his chest—in Gotham Park. After knocking-out Karmak and holding him in his arms, Batman realizes that the pressure trigger on the bomb has stopped and will detonate if Karmak’s unconscious body touches the ground. Batman then awesomely holds a 700-plus-pound ape in a “gorilla-press” above his head FOR ALMOST A FULL MINUTE until the sheer weight causes the Dark Knight to buckle and collapse. Thankfully, Batman has held on long enough for the pressure trigger to de-activate. Batman then meets with Hewitt and later, as Bruce, hires him to work at the Alfred Foundation for Scientific Achievement.
–World’s Finest Comics #149
Batman upgrades the Flying Eye by inventing a new flying surveillance drone called the “Bat-Eye.” Soon after, Superman, worried that his secret ID isn’t safe, visits Batman and Robin and asks them to help him make sure that it truly is secure. In order to do so, Batman and Robin agree to have their memories of Superman’s secret ID erased using a Kandorian-style Selective Amnesia Inducer machine. Then the game is on. Batman and Robin trail Superman in an unmarked van only to quickly realize they’ve been duped and are tracking a Superman Robot. Using the new Bat-Eye, Batman and Robin follow the Superman Robot to the Fortress of Solitude in Antarctica. There, they use the Batplane and high-tension steel cables to lift Superman’s giant key into the massive Fortress door! Then, after leaving to chop down the nearest tree (which must be nearly 800 miles away in Chile) and then fashioning it into a giant lever (which must take a minimum of a half-a-day to accomplish), the Dynamic Duo uses their log-tool to pry open the Fortress door! Ludicrous! Unfortunately, Superman has taken precautions and removed anything that could possibly give a clue as to his secret ID. Frustrated but not undeterred, Batman deactivates all of the Superman Robots before heading back to Gotham with Robin. The next day, Batman and Robin track Superman to his apartment building by locking onto his unique brainwave pattern using an encephalograph. But they cannot distinguish between four of the building’s tenants. Thus, Batman assembles the four men—including Clark Kent—and has them watch a series of films that Superman took of their adventures (using a remote camera drone). As they watch, Batman checks each man’s brainwaves and is able to pinpoint Clark as Superman. When Superman isn’t impressed, Batman dares him to play the game against the Dynamic Duo. Superman agrees, and even says he won’t use his super-senses. Batman and Robin prepare by adding a new radar system, fireworks missiles that can spell out letters in the night sky, and Kryptonite cloud spray all into the Batplane. After using the memory-eraser, Superman follows Batman and Robin after their nightly patrol. The Dynamic Duo shoots him a fireworks warning and then releases a Kryptonite cloud to spook him off. The next day, Superman builds a Batman museum—complete with replicas of Bat-vehicles and trophies from the Batcave—and delivers it to Gotham, inviting Batman and Robin to attend its dedication ceremony later that afternoon. The Dynamic Duo quickly travels to Metropolis and puts an encephalograph machine that has recorded their brainwaves in Clark’s apartment. They then tunnel into an underground train line that connects Metropolis to Gotham. (This minimum 75 mile-long subway connection, getting its first mention here, must be one of the Wonders of the World in the DCU.) The Dynamic Duo then rushes back to Gotham to tunnel under the museum into the underground train line. At the ceremony, Superman, using a Kandorian telepathic hound, falsely chases Batman and Robin all the way to Metropolis only to find himself in his own apartment. Batman and Robin meet with Superman to gloat, but he says that he will figure out who they are. Later, the Man of Steel builds a giant dome in Metropolis, which brings the curious Batman and Robin. Inside, Superman shows them a supercomputer on loan from the Bureau of Vital Statistics, which will supposedly deduce their secret IDs. Superman also tells Batman and Robin that an alarm—detecting their specific costume designs—will let him know if they arrive to mess with anything. Fearing that Superman has become too obsessed and knowing that the supercomputer will never actually deduce their IDs, Bruce and Dick return to the dome later that night out of costume. Superman thinks he’s fooled them and won, but in reality Bruce and Dick have let him win. End note: This is one of the worst WFC issues I’ve ever read—and that is really saying something.
–Batman #177, Part 2
Late September—the last possible time it would make sense for Bruce and Dick to drive around with the top down in a convertible. Hotshot press agent Roy Rennie bursts into Bruce’s office at the Alfred Foundation and tries to obtain employ as the Foundation’s publicity director. Bruce scoffs and sends him away. Bruce then oversees the Foundation’s regular business affairs, notably signing off on a sizable grant for the Lathrop Gallery of Art, based solely upon his interest in the surrealist works of a young artist named James Porter. A week later, Bruce and Dick take a brief automobile trip to the suburbs. On their way back into the city, they spot a damsel in distress, having fallen off a bridge into the water below. Bruce dives in and saves her in front of many onlookers. The next morning, Bruce reads about his exploit in the newspaper and learns that Roy Rennie was on-hand. Bruce and Dick visit the rescued woman, Marylene Haworth, who spills the beans, revealing that Rennie staged the whole thing. A pissed-off Bruce, along with Dick, goes to Rennie’s apartment only to find Rennie unconscious on the floor. After switching to their crime-fighting costumes, Batman and Robin, find evidence of a struggle, an empty folder labeled “Alfred Foundation,” and a note about the Lathrop Gallery. The Dynamic Duo visits with a fidgety Mr. Lathrop, then later breaks into the gallery after hours only to run into some gangsters. After trouncing the baddies and taking down a gun-toting Lathrop, our heroes discover that the latter had stolen a new West Coast surrealist’s work and pawned it off as the work of “James Porter” in order to fraudulently obtain grant money from the Alfred Foundation. Later, Bruce and Dick visit Rennie and Haworth, who are now dating. Feeling badly, Bruce offers Rennie the job of Publicity Director of the Alfred Foundation. Rennie accepts.
–The Brave and the Bold #60
The beachfront town of Midville has a special day where teenagers run the local government. Teen Tommy Holmes is appointed “Mayor” and is doing a bang-up job until the Separated Man—a gargantuan grotesque giant with floating disconnected body parts—attacks the town. Everyone blames Tommy’s dad, Dr. Brian Holmes, who originally turned into the Separated Man and is currently serving a jail sentence as a result. Panicked, Tommy radios the Teen Titans for help. Batman overhears the distress call and is surprised to learn about Robin’s new team, which the Boy Wonder had previously kept secret. Much to the surprise of Tommy, Dr. Holmes appears out of prison and clinging onto one of the Separated Man’s giant feet. The Teen Titans and all of the teens of Midville are able to haul one of the Separated Man’s hands out of town using Honda motorbikes. As the Separated Man’s eyeball appears and begins dripping tears of molten lava all over the town, Dr. Holmes explains to everyone that his cellmate, Jake Trask, had stolen his Separated Man serum when paroled and has become the new Separated Man. He further explains that he broke out of prison to stop Trask, who has come to Midville in search of a larger hidden cache of the serum. Dr. Holmes produces a giant syringe of anti-serum that can stop the Separated Man, but only if injected into his floating heart. When the Separated Man attempts to listen into their conversation with a giant floating ear, the teens of Midville blast him with dozens of portable radios all tuned to the same station playing The Beatles! Eventually, the Separated Man joins all his body parts together when he learns that Dr. Holmes’ secret lab is in a lighthouse just outside of town. The teens of Midville all hop on either surfboards or manta rays being controlled by Aqualad to combat the giant menace head-on. The Teen Titans also fight the Separated Man and, with Dr. Holmes’ help, Robin plunges the plunger into the villain’s heart, turning him back into regular old Trask. With the bad guy defeated, the Teen Titans surf back to shore with their new pals.
–Batman #172, Part 1
After hearing that an exhibit featuring medieval armor has come to life and attacked someone, Batman and Robin spend a night at the museum! Sure enough, the empty bodies of armor come to life and knock out the Dynamic Duo, seemingly attempting to fulfill an 800-year-old mission to destroy cursed black opals, which are on display nearby. When the heroes wake up, the suits of armor are back in position, but both Batman and Robin’s watches have stopped due to magnetic interference. The Dynamic Duo uses a magnetometer to find an huge magnetic surge at the home of museum guard Thomas Jenkins, who, along with his brother Wilbur, has come up with the moving armor scam. The brothers had used a magnetic laser to move the suits of armor and then stole the opals after Batman and Robin were conked-out, replacing them with fakes. Batman and Robin easily bust the exposed brothers and turn the magnetic laser over to the government. The next day, Bruce and Dick visit the museum. (As referenced in World’s Finest Comics #155, after this case, Batman receives a medieval knight’s helmet, which he puts on display in the Batcave.)
–Batman #172, Part 2
The second half of Batman #172 begins with mention of a new criminal gang known as the Flower Gang, who have run roughshod over the GCPD using various hallucinatory/deadly plants as weapons. Bruce launches six brand new surveillance drones and, with Dick, monitors them on screens in the Batcave. Bruce and Dick are able to spot the Flower Gang in action. However, en route to engage them, Batman is called by the Justice League to go on an unspecified mission. While Batman is away, Robin busts the entire Flower Gang. The next evening, Bruce reads about Robin’s exploits in the newspaper and they chat about the case.
–Justice League of America #36
Superman meets with his fellow Justice League teammates to ask them to accompany him to a hospital that he frequents for charity. Hoping to inspire disabled children, the JLAers decide to put on a wild performance for the kids. Superman, Hawkman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow visit the kids and display a live video feed (via Green Lantern ring) into the Secret Sanctuary. There, Batman—having been morphed into a grotesque monster by Green Lantern—growls and pretends to be a bad guy. The heroes go to “fight” the monster only to find that Batman has lost control. The Justice Leaguers knock-out Batman, but all suffer strange afflictions during the fight. Flash’s legs fuse into one. Hawkman develops sever asthma. Green Arrow’s arms disappear. Superman goes blind. And Green Lantern develops a stutter. As our heroes ponder their new disabilities, a radio report delivers news that Brain Storm has broken his brother Fred Storm out of prison. With Brain Storm obviously behind their current situation, the JLA decides to keep the power ring video feed going in order to motivate the sad disabled kids. The heroes—minus the still kayoed monster Batman—fight the Storm Brothers. Brain Storm conjures up a giant bird of prey, balls of fire, and a fusillade of animated granite, steel, and stone to go after the heroes. The JLA destroys the conjured-up items and captures the Storm Brothers. En route to prison, Brain Storm conjures up five doppelgängers of himself. The rest of the JLA—with a recovered Batman—joins the team to fight the doppelgängers, who all begin turning into copies of the JLAers. Despite this, our heroes are able to defeat Brain Storm. Later, the JLA visits the disabled kids and Flash writes and produces a special pact—based off of a similar pact that the Earth-2 JSA made in the 1940s—that states that the JLA will always be champions of the handicapped and disabled.
–World’s Finest Comics #150
When Bruce’s friend Carson loses $100,000 (which was supposed to go to charity) at a crooked island casino called Gambler’s Isle, Batman checks-in with Superman and Robin and then investigates solo. At Gambler’s Isle, the Gambling Syndicate allows Batman to inspect their games, which are all gaudy and giant-sized. While conducting his inspection, Batman begins gambling and starts winning big bucks. Eventually, Batman enters into a poker game with the only three other patrons that are in the black. When the mechanical house dealer wins, Batman has one more chance to win back Carson’s cash in a game of giant dice. An overconfident Batman agrees to go under the house-arrest of the syndicate if he loses. Meanwhile, in Earth’s orbit, Superman tosses away a rogue magnetic asteroid and then heads to Gambler’s Isle to see about Batman. Upon arrival, Superman sees through the Gambling Syndicate co-heads’ disguises. They are actually Superman’s foes, aliens from the gambling planet of Ventura, Rokk and Sorban. But Batman still rolls the giant dice and loses. Honoring his arrears, Batman accompanies the aliens to Ventura, which has an atmosphere that is fatal to humans. Superman accompanies them, and is unable to rescue Batman for fear that the aliens will instantly kill him with telekinetic disintegration powers. Superman agrees to enter into a challenge that will decide Batman’s fate. But before the games begin, Superman gets a tour of Ventura from the beautiful Lurala, who first takes him to the “Prison for Bad Losers.” After learning of an escaped convict, Superman apprehends the fugitive and stops him from blowing up the planet via the destruction of a fusion power station. However, in the process, Superman learns that Ventura has been responsible for the annihilation of at least one other world. Lurala continues the tour, which is designed to mess with Superman’s head and discourage him before the games start. However, Lurala, overcome by Superman’s charm and beauty, betrays her people and tells him about Venturan mind-fuckery. Superman then embraces and makes-out with the lovely Lurala. That night, the Rokk and Sorban try to inject a nightmare into Superman’s brain while he sleeps, but Superman, prepared for it, is able to turn it into a happy dream. The next morning, the games begin with Planetary System Roulette, in which the competitors maneuver actual planets into suns, destroying them and all life on them completely. Rokk has Superman play with the Solar System. Thanks to the magnetic asteroid that Superman had gotten rid of earlier, he has a one-up on his opponent Rokk, who doesn’t know about the change to the map of the Solar System. Superman wins the game, but Rokk and Sorban renege and only agree to release Batman when Lurala convinces them to because the Man of Steel saved the fusion power station. Presumably, Bruce then returns to help out Carson with the charity money.
–Detective Comics #341
When Joker gets word of eccentric millionaire Cornelius Van-Van holding a old-time comedy film contest, he breaks jail and, posing as comedy film director “Mr. De Nil,” enters a bunch of original scripts. Van-Van reads his screenplays and declares “De Nil” the winner. After disguising himself to meet with Van-Van and get initial funding to proceed, Joker starts directing his first masterpiece short, a comedy crime heist flick that is actually a legitimate heist being shot with hidden cameras. Dressed up as a Charlie Chaplin analogue, Joker robs a bank while his his henchmen, dressed as Batman and Robin, enter and get made fools of. After reading about the bank job in the afternoon edition of the newspaper, Batman and Robin immediately know the Joker is back in action. While Batman and Robin patrol, Joker and his crew film three more short films of real robberies, these heists committed by henchmen styled as analogues of Buster Keaton, Ben Turpin, and Harold Lloyd. The Dynamic Duo doesn’t catch up with Joker for another twenty-four hours, eventually confronting him as he, dressed up as a fake Harpo Marx character, robs a post office. Joker bests the heroes and escapes, after which he lays low for a full week to edit his movies and deliver them to Van-Van. Batman receives a letter at police HQ from Van-Van inviting them, since they are featured in “De Nil”‘s movies, to his contest award ceremony. Batman and Robin go to Van-Van’s mansion where Batman winds up fighting six henchmen solo. Meanwhile, Joker—wearing a Batman costume—takes out Robin and starts robbing everything in sight. Joker tries to steal the Batmobile, but the alarm goes off, locking up the ignition and giving Batman plenty of time to bust him. With Joker behind bars again, Batman, Robin, and Van-Van pop some corn and watch the mad villain’s movies, which, to the surprise of the Dynamic Duo, are actually quite hilarious.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #173, Part 3. Batman and Robin bust criminal Bunky Galliver.
SECRET IDENTITIES FOR SALE
——————–Batman #173, Part 1
——————–Batman #173, Part 2
After an anonymous tip, Batman and Robin join Commissioner Gordon and a battalion of cops to raid the hideout of the newest scourge of Gotham’s underworld, masked super-villain Mr. Incognito. While wailing on Incognito’s henchmen, a freelance photojournalist named Elwood Pearson, having followed the cops, snaps a few pictures before being ejected from the scene. All the henchmen are busted, but Incognito gets away. The next day, Pearson visits the the Mayor Alan Dent, now showing his age with some serious male-pattern baldness. (Dent has been mayor for the entire Silver Age thus far.) Pearson explains that he has used x-ray film to capture the secret ID of Incognito and will reveal the information to law enforcement for a million dollars. After Pearson leaves, Mayor Dent meets with Batman and Robin and tasks them with investigating Pearson. Meanwhile, Pearson phones Incognito’s alter ego, real estate mogul James Carter, and threatens to reveal his secret ID unless he gives him a million dollars as well. That night, Incognito, Batman, and Robin all converge upon Pearson’ photo lab. Incognito gets there first and accosts Carter, who calms him by revealing that he also has an x-ray photo of Batman and Robin. Just as he shows him the picture, the Dynamic Duo crashes through a skylight. Pearson and Incognito attack, but the heroes easily take them down. A few days later, Bruce and Dick watch TV and learn that both men have been given longterm jail sentences. Luckily for Bruce and Dick, Incognito only saw their faces in the x-ray pic for a split second and Pearson, despite having had ample time to study the photo, never recognized the faces as belonging to the famous playboy and his ward.
–Batman #173, Part 3
Bunky Galliver, despite overwhelming physical evidence, is found not guilty by a jury of his peers. DA Danton, now sporting a mustache, meets with Batman and shows him pictures of other bad juries from across the nation. They all have one thing in common: the same man has been in each one, although shrewdly disguised. Danton also shows Batman a news clipping picture of Franklin Knott, a sleeper third party candidate that has just announced his late candidacy to run for state governor. Knott looks like the man from the multiple juries. That night, while Dick dresses like a “ragamuffin” street punk to search Gotham’s underworld for Galliver, Bruce attends a rally for Knott at Gotham Hall. Bruce notes how, despite having virtually no platform and only vague slogans that don’t add up to much, he and the others at the rally feel oddly compelled to vote for him as though a spell has been cast over the audience. (Sounds like modern politics to me!) Bruce then meets with Dick, who reveals a discovery that the home of a recently deceased rich man will be the target of a robbery by Galliver. The Dynamic Duo easily busts Galliver and company. The next morning, Batman investigates Knott’s background and it comes up clean. Batman and Robin visit Knott’s hometown of Gotham Junction to visit with an Army scientist, Dr. Grover, whom Knott once did epsilon-ray experiments with years ago. Knott, having followed Batman and Robin, appears with the source of his persuasive powers: an e-ray mind-control gun. Knott, using the same weapon he used to manipulate the juries, orders Batman, Robin, and Dr. Grover to drown themselves in a nearby lake. As the trio wades deeper and deeper into the lake, Batman realizes that Knott has already used the e-ray gun on him at the rally, having ordered everyone in the crowd to vote for him. Focusing on the first command, Batman is able to mentally outweigh the second command, tricking his mind into wanting to stay alive in order to vote in the election! Batman, using brute strength, carries a struggling Robin and Dr. Grover, both desperate to kill themselves, out of the drink. After locking them in a closet, Batman then finds Knott, in the middle of using the e-ray to convince people to elect him President of the United States, and punches him out. With Knott behind bars, scientists create a radiation treatment that purges the influence of e-rays.
–Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #59, Part 3
Batman goes on the trail of international super-spy Tiger Lily, but he has to put the case on hold when Superman asks Batman to pretend to be him while he goes off to outer space. This means dressing up like him, wearing an anti-gravity flying device, and keeping an eye on Lois Lane. When Lois dives into a lake to search for loot from a robbery, but gets cramps and nearly drowns, “Superman” saves her. Afterward, Lois witnesses “Superman” unmask and sees that he is Bruce! With Dick off on a short vacation, Batman goes back to Gotham and busts some random diamond thieves solo. Later, Batman returns home and, for some ridiculous reason, wears his Batman costume inside Wayne Manor. When Lois make a surprise visit, Batman quickly hangs his costume in a closet, but notices that one of the stolen diamonds from earlier is stuck to his cape. Before answering the door, he tucks the diamond into a handkerchief and puts it in his breast pocket of his new civilian outfit. With secret intention of marrying Superman (who she now thinks is Bruce), Lois asks to interview Bruce about his businesses and charitable works. While Bruce answers the phone, Lois snoops and finds his Batman costume in the closet, thinking that it must be for occasions when Batman asks Bruce to pretend to be the Dark Knight. While touring Bruce’s fuel company, Bruce gives the stolen diamond to Lois as a gift, and she mistakenly believes that he squeezed a chunk of coal into a diamond using super strength. Later that night, Bruce and Lois go on a dinner date. Afterward, Lois and Bruce wind up following some fur thieves but get caught. Bruce escapes and rescues Lois, further convincing her that he must be Superman. Before dropping Lois off at her hotel, Bruce and Lois kiss! The next day, Batman dresses up as Superman and busts the fur thieves. Back in Metropolis, a returned Superman spies on Lois, who tells her niece Lucy Lane that she plans to marry Bruce “Superman” Wayne. The Man of Steel immediately tells Bruce and they concoct a devious plan. Bruce sends flowers and candy and treks to Metropolis and proposes a shotgun wedding to Lois, who says yes, falsely believing that Superman is asking for her hand. A week later, a lavish wedding ceremony is held at a church with a large gathering of invited guests. Bruce introduces Superman as his best man to the crowd. A shocked Lois tells Bruce that she can’t marry him if he isn’t Superman. Bruce tells her that he did dress up as Superman, but only as part of a charity thing. He explains the Batman costume in his closet as part of another charity thing where he will get to dress up as Batman too. A dejected Lois breaks down in tears as the wedding is called off. Later, behind closed doors, Bruce and Superman have a riotous laugh at poor Lois’ brokenhearted expense. What the hell was this awful story? Presumably, Bruce then sends money to replace the stolen diamond he gave away. (He said he was going to do so.) Oh, and also presumably, Batman busts super-spy Tiger Lily.
–Detective Comics #342
While on patrol, Robin gets bopped in his eyes, but is otherwise okay. Later, Batman and Robin, on consecutive days, nab an ace forger and skyscraper bandits. On both cases, Robin acts strangely. A few days afterward, while chasing after gangster Chip Keller, Batman and Robin are spotted by a gossip columnist informant, who witnesses Robin seemingly karate chop Batman out of the way so that he can collar Keller himself. A few days later still, during breakfast at Wayne Manor, Dick reads the gossip column and scoffs at the report as if it is total tripe. While Dick goes to school, Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon and gets put on a case involving a criminal that has been recruiting juvenile delinquents. That afternoon, Dick visits his friend Tom Willard, who has recently dropped out of school to join a gang. In their clubhouse, Dick finds Tom with a Robin costume, but Tom laughs it off as a masquerade outfit. Dick lies and says he wants to join Tom’s gang, so Tom takes him to a pro wrestling gym where his boss, Al Craig, stays. At the gym, Dick meets Craig and several boys dressed as Robin. By snooping, Dick learns that the Robins are set to commit a string of robberies at midnight. When the clock strikes twelve, Tom—in Robin regalia—steals from a jewelry store, prompting Batman to chase after him, believing him to be the real Robin. Tom escapes when the real Boy Wonder arrives only to swing down and accidentally crash into the Dark Knight. A camera crew catches the event and the world views the apparent continuation of the Batman-Robin split on the nightly news. Robin tells Batman all about Craig’s evil Robin operation and the Dynamic Duo converges on the gym where they easily dispatch pro wrestlers, the Human Bear and the Golden Inca, and bust Craig. After busting the Robins, Batman, suspecting a vision problem as the reason for Robin’s blunders as of late, takes him to an optometrist, who confirms some minor temporary damage to his eyes. A few days later, after treatment and a follow-up, Robin’s sight is corrected. Batman does interviews with the newspapers to set the record straight about his rock solid partnership with Robin.
–World’s Finest Comics #151
When Superman detects a Kryptonite satellite heading toward Earth, he enlists the aid of the Dynamic Duo. When the satellite crashes into a net set up by Superman, Batman investigates and finds an “evolution-accelerator,” which, according to a data card, has enough juice for two zaps worth of acceleration (or de-acceleration). Eager to be a guinea pig, Batman immediately turns the machine on himself, evolving into a human being from 800,000 years in the future, complete with a giant oversized brain that makes his head so large it pops off his mask and all of his hair. Not only has Batman’s head changed, but he becomes evil. Secretly switching the machine into reverse, Batman de-accelerates Superman into a pre-historic Kryptonian caveman. Not long after, the brainy Batman and the Boy Wonder go to Metropolis where cave-Superman is terrorizing the city by smashing things and nearly sexually assaulting Lois Lane. Batman arrives and convinces Superman to travel back to time period more suitable to his behavior. Thus, Superman breaks the time-barrier and goes back to the Pleistocene Era. Meanwhile, Batman, sick of present day, builds a time machine
and goes to 800,000 years in the future. A bored and angry cave-Superman returns to the present and learns that Batman has gone to the future. Superman goes 800,000 years ahead to confront him. Superman grabs Batman and flies him all the way back to the Pleistocene Era. Plagued by mammoths and sabertooth tigers, Batman pleads for help. With his superior intellect, Batman instructs Superman on how to squeeze materials into metal, which he fashions into an exact copy of the “evolution accelerator.” The evil Batman attempts to further devolve Superman, but Krypto—having traveled through time to find his master—arrives and pushes the machine’s ray into Batman’s path, returning him to normal but devolving Krypto. Batman uses the machine to fix everyone. Superman then smashes the machine and flies everyone back home.
–Justice League of America #38, Part 3
On Earth-2, Johnny Thunder is a hero and member of the JSA. But on Earth-1, Johnny Thunder is a lowlife gangster. When Earth-1 Johnny Thunder is able to incapacitate his counterpart and control Yz the Thunderbolt, he goes back in time to erase the existence of the JLA, turning Earth-1’s timeline into an Earth-A (A for “alternate”) timeline, complete with an evil version of the JLA, the Lawless League, which he controls. Of course, the JSA crosses the Bleed and defeats the LL, eventually giving bad Johnny no choice but to djinni wish all that he has done to be put back the way it is supposed to be. In an instant, the entire adventure is whisked away into oblivion and the timeline reverts back to normal. On Earth-1, the JLA meets. Superman notes that it is a slow crime day, but makes mention of Johnny Thunder. Presumably, our heroes bust him. Yz the Thunderbolt breaks the fourth wall to tell us (the reader) that only he retains memories of the “Crisis on Earth-A.” Nice!
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #343. Batman and Robin patrol and make some particularly easy busts, even for them. This “lucky streak” will start now and continue for several weeks (unseen on our timeline below, but overlapping with other stories), scaring the crap out of Gotham’s underworld.
–Batman #173, Part 3 Epilogue
Bruce and Dick attend the verdict reading for the trial of Franklin Knott, who is found guilty and sentenced to prison.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #344. While on night patrol, they Dynamic Duo come across and old lady that gives Robin an apple. Apple Alice, as they will come to know her, will give Robin an apple every time she sees the heroes on patrol. Unknown to our heroes, Apple Alice is actually a criminal that works for Johnny Witts. Not only that, she isn’t actually old; she is simply in disguise. These apple gifts won’t be shown on our timeline below, so you’ll have to simply imagine them being fitfully given moving forward.
–Batman #170, Part 1 Introduction
Mid November. This introductory portion of Batman #170, Part 1 goes right before Batman #166 and Detective Comics #332, both of which, we are told, occur within days of each other, hence the non-chronological placement of this item and both of those issues on the timeline below. Non-violent master crime-tactician Roy Reynolds (aka The Getaway Genius), having previously set up a perfect rigged escape route, orders his two henchmen to rob a factory payroll. Thanks to his pre-planning, the baddies easily evade Batman and Robin.
–Batman #166, Part 1
Mid November—we are told that it is high school basketball season and a calendar shows a month with 30 days. Lasting for several nights in a row, Batman begins having a reoccurring dream, in which he is in a death trap that involves slowly rising water in a well and a machine gun firing rapidly at the top. Batman tells of this dream to Robin in the Batcave. Unknown to the Dynamic Duo, thanks to a long distance echo chamber effect due to a myriad of crisscrossing honeycomb-like mini-tunnels adjacent to the Batcave, Batman’s dream story is overheard by a crook named Mitch in his mountain lair. A day later, Beany, with his buddy Beany, listens in again as the Dynamic Duo return home from an unspecified case and take a congratulatory phone call from Commissioner Gordon. A few days later, Beany and Mitch make a big bet with vertically-challenged bookie Big Joe that they can finish off Batman with the perfect death trap—one recreating Batman’s nightmare. After setting up the death trap in a warehouse in Jeweler’s Row and days of patiently listening in his lair, Mitch finally hears that Batman is set to patrol that neighborhood. Batman gives Dick the night off to attend a basketball game and high school dance. As night falls, Batman gets lured into the death trap as Mitch, Beany, Big Joe, and a few other thugs watch via closed-circuit TV. Batman escapes the trap and busts Beany and Mitch. Bruce tells Dick all about the case later that night.
–Detective Comics #332
Mid November. Golden Age Batman once ingested “locoweed” and tripped balls. Now Silver Age Batman feels the wrath of the psychedelic locoweed as well. Joker escapes from prison and begins a series of heists, during which his henchmen spray locoweed pollen onto crowds, making them go into fits of uncontrollable laughter. (This is basically proto-Joker Venom, which Joker even refers to as “Laughing Dust.”) After getting doused with the stuff and turning into silly little giggle-pusses, the Dynamic Duo returns home to build a defense. And that defense is simply taking a shit-ton of antihistamines! The probably very drowsy and slightly hallucinatory Dynamic Duo charges at Joker, fully immune to his Laughing Dust. Joker, however, pulls a swerve and douses the heroes with tear gas—not the stuff SWAT teams use, mind you, but an actual chemical vapor that makes Batman and Robin become so depressed that they can’t help but cry like babies! The sobbing Dynamic Duo follows Joker to the suburbs where the Clown Prince of Crime lures them into a fake police building that he has had previously constructed. Once inside, Batman and Robin grab Joker and, despite the strangeness of the station, put him into a cell. The cell swivels on a large turntable and puts the Dynamic Duo behind bars instead! Joker locks the cell and holds up the key to taunt Batman before departing. Batman then breaks off a wooden stool leg and whittles it into a spare cell key, citing that he “memorized its shape” when Joker held in front of his face for a mere moment. Let me repeat that: Batman MEMORIZES WHAT A KEY LOOKS LIKE AND THEN WHITTLES IT OUT OF A WOODEN STOOL LEG. While there will be further references to the Caped Crusader having an eidetic memory in future comics, this is a bit damn much. Anyway, Batman and Robin finally catch up with Joker and his goons as they try to rob a NASA satellite in front of live TV cameras. Our heroes bust Joker and personally take him back to jail. Okay, so this is easily one of the zaniest tales ever written and I have a (half serious) theory that at the outset of the story the Dynamic Duo gets blasted with locoweed and then proceeds to trip-out to the max, hallucinating this entire bonkers narrative while Commissioner Gordon or Superman or someone else busts Joker. In either case, writer John Broome was definitely smoking some locoweed when he drafted this one. Truly inspiring stuff.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #340. Mid November. Batman returns to Joker’s fake police station and takes the trick jail cell door home as a souvenir for the Hall of Trophies.
GENIUS OF THE GETAWAY GIMMICKS!
——————–Batman #170, Part 1 Conclusion
——————–Batman #170, Part 2
Late November. The Getaway Genius (Roy Reynolds) and his henchmen commit another robbery, this time getting away by squirting an oil slick on the street that causes the Batmobile to crash. Determined to stymie Reynolds and his crew, Batman enacts one of his spectacular ruses. Calling in a favor at the newspaper, Batman has them publish a false story about a villain called “The Hexer” who Batman has supposedly defeated. The article weaves a yarn about the Hexer claiming that he will use the Batsignal in an occult manner to get revenge upon the Dark Knight. The next night, Batman and Robin chase after Reynold’s henchmen, who are about to make yet another clean getaway until Batman kicks in the second part of his plan. Batman and Robin pretend that the Hexer has magickally struck against them, activating an inflatable Bat-symbol and Robin-symbol on their chests, which wrap them up in special bulletproof costumes. Reynold’s henchmen, seeing a tied-up Batman and Robin, deviate from their perfect getaway in order to try to kill the Dynamic Duo, whom they believe to be in the clutches of the Hexer’s mystic power. Of course, Batman and Robin, having lured them off course, easily bust them. The baddies immediately rat out their boss, allowing Batman and Robin to bust Reynolds as well.
–Batman #174, Part 2
Late November. Batman attends a regularly-scheduled last-Wednesday-of-the-month meeting of the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City. There a villain disguised as a porter hypnotizes the group, ordering them to return on Friday. Two days later, Batman, while going after the Islip Gang, trails Robin by scoping out his glow-in-the-dark footprints using special contact lenses. Together, Batman and Robin bring the Islip Gang to justice. Batman, under hypnosis, then reassembles with the Mystery Analysts. The hypnotist orders Commissioner Gordon and DA Danton to go to Gordon’s house, Martin Tellman and Art Saddows to go to Saddows’ houseboat, Kaye Daye to go home alone, and Batman to go to police HQ. Batman, however, still wearing his special contact lenses, is unaffected by the hypnosis. He fights the hypnotist and turns him over to police custody. Using his eidetic memory, Batman recalls his extensive crime files and realizes that only one crook is linked to each member of the Mystery Analysts: Al Cutshaw. At Saddows’ houseboat, Batman takes down two baddies and saves Tellman and Saddows from a time-bomb that blows up the boat. Back at police HQ, Batman removes a Scooby Doo-esque bad guy mask from the porter’s face, revealing the hypnotist to be Al Cutshaw. Cutshaw had set up the hypnotism/exploding boat scheme as revenge.
–Detective Comics #340
The out-of-order Detective Comics #340 specifically occurs after the out-of-order Detective Comics #332. Batman and Robin bust a group of bad guys and, while chasing after the last one, their Bat-weapons come to life and attack them, nearly killing them, before turning to dust. The Outsider phones the Batmobile hotline and claims responsibility, having animated the weapons using a magickal golden bead that is infused with the very “radiation” that spawned the evolution of aquatic animals to walk on land over two billion years ago. The Batmobile then comes to life and nearly kills our heroes again before it explodes, covering Batman and Robin in strange dust. That night, Dick goes to a dance with a gal named Nancy. (He says “prom” but it is not the end of the school year, so he must mean a regular old “high school dance.”) With Dick gone, Bruce hangs with Aunt Harriet until Commissioner Gordon phones with news of a threat against Batman at the Athletic Hall of Fame. The elevator leading down to the Batcave comes alive and plummets to a crash. Bruce survives and realizes that the weird dust created by the disintegrating animated objects actually acts as a defense against newly animated objects. As a bunch of items come to life and fly towards him, Bruce swings dust off of his costume, destroying them all. Batman then builds a dust-bomb using residue from Robin’s dusty costume and then darts over to the Athletic Hall of Fame in the Batcopter. Using the dust-bomb to disarm the Outsider’s henchmen, Batman easily defeats them and then severs the Outsider’s electronic signal, which he had been using to remotely control the inanimate objects with the golden bead. Immediately after Batman wraps this case, he studies the objects that the Outsider had animated, closely examining the dust residue—as referenced in Detective Comics #356. He can’t find any clues to who the Outsider could be, but he does label the dust “Radiation O.” Later that night, Dick rushes home from the high school dance, leaving his date behind to assist Batman. But, of course, Bruce has already finished and is just relaxing at home. Bruce fills-in Dick on all the details.
–Batman #174, Part 1
Big game hunter BG Hunter (aka “The Big Game Hunter”) wants to break into the world of super-villainy. But since he is a noob, he busts the Getaway Genius (Roy Reynolds) out of prison and forces him to come up with a plan to capture Batman. Batman, while familiarizing himself with new burglar alarm systems attached to museums, learns of Reynolds escape. The next day, Bruce visits the Alfred Foundation and is shown a florameter, some sort of mechanical flower device as it is tested on various flora. A day after that, Hunter sets a modified version of Reynold’s plan against the Dark Knight into motion. With Robin on a Teen Titans mission, Batman patrols solo and comes up against three boxers, hired by Hunter, on a burglary at the Riverside Museum. After getting punched-out by Batman, the trio play possum then dart away, causing Batman to give chase. Batman runs into a pre-set slippery trap that makes him slip, allowing the baddies to escape. Seeing that the baddies have escaped through a flower bush, Batman switches to Bruce mode and borrows the florameter to track them. At Hunter’s hideout, Batman falls through a trap door and winds up inside an oxygen-less punching bag that is wailed upon by the boxing trio. Batman manages to spin the bag to take out his assailants, but ostensibly succumbs to lack of oxygen and collapses. Claiming victory, Hunter slits open the bag, but a possum Batman—having been saved by the florameter, which absorbed the carbon dioxide and produced fresh oxygen—kayos the villain. With Hunter and Reynolds behind bars, Batman returns to the Batcave where he tells Robin all about the case and shows him the florameter.
–Detective Comics #343
Commissioner Gordon calls Batman and Robin and tells them to meet Elongated Man and his wife Sue Dibny at the New Gotham Hotel, but, en route, a robbery causes the Dynamic Duo to detour to the train station. At the station, Batman and Robin are surprised to face dozens of military-trained burglars, each armed with a machine gun. The highly organized gang easily bests Batman and Robin and escapes. After chatting with press, Batman and Robin visit the Dibnys. Ralph tells Batman that former Nazi general, Von Dort, has supposedly come to Gotham. Two days later, Batman and Robin spot parachutists floating down to an outdoor art auction in Gotham Park. Despite a numbers advantage, guns, and tear gas, the military robbers are taken down by Batman and Robin. Meanwhile, General Von Dort and his Nazi aide Heinrich steal a radioactive isotope from a laboratory across town and then depart for South America. Two days later, Elongated Man reports that Von Dort was once in charge of a special death ray production program in Germany during WWII. The only thing that cause the program to fail was the lack of the specific isotope that Von Dort now has. Batman, Robin, and Elongated Man fly down to the Andes and, using a nuclear detection device, locate Von Dort’s secret base. As soon as the heroes arrive, they are embroiled in battle with ex-Nazi soldiers. The heroes kick ass, but Elongated Man soon falls under the spell of Von Dort’s mind-control monocle, which is used to turn the stretchy hero against his friends. Batman punches out Von Dort, ending his threat. Back in the States, Batman, along with government scientists, examine Von Dort’s death ray and mind-control monocle. Batman and Robin then have tea with the Dibnys.
–World’s Finest Comics #152
When the super-powered preadolescent Force Boy and Speed Kid debut in Metropolis and begin running amok, Superman, Batman, and Robin are on the case. Force Boy and Speed Kid demonstrate their vase powers and challenge the heroes to discover their secret IDs. Batman and Robin, believing them to be androids, trail them, but soon shake off the idea when the super-kids donate blood to a blood bank. Meanwhile, Superman checks in the Phantom Zone and in the Bottle City of Kandor to no avail. Later, Batman and Robin, having taken out their Kryptonite collection, are startled by Force Boy and Speed Kid inside the Batcave! The Kryptonite has no effect on the duo. After a series of false leads presented by the clever super-kids, followed by a gauntlet of thirty monster-robots that work for the duo, Batman deduces who they really are: Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk! The latter puffs back to the 5th Dimension and Bat-Mite erases the public’s collective memory of Force Boy and Speed Kid.
–Detective Comics #344
Batman and Robin go on night patrol. An extremely nervous-looking Apple Alice gives Robin an apple. Batman, realizing that a villain—watching nearby—might have forced Alice to gift a poisoned apple, tells Robin to fake eating the fruit and act like he has become sick. Robin complies and Batman drives around the corner, activating a sound effect device on the Batmobile that makes it seem like it has driven off. Batman then trails the villain to an apartment and listens in on his conversation with an accomplice. Batman signals Robin to hide in the trunk of their car. Out into the country, the bad guys force Robin out of the boot and into a deep pit. Back at the apartment, Batman continues his stakeout only to be startled by the villain mastermind Johnny Witts, who pokes his head out and confronts the Dark Knight. Witts gloats at the capture of Robin and reveals that Apple Alice works for him. Batman chases Witts, but nearly falls down an elevator shaft, allowing Witts to escape with his Batrope as a souvenir. Having been left to his own devices, Robin crawls out of his trap and dejectedly goes back home. Using an Interpol chart in the Batcave, Batman deconstructs Apple Alice’s disguise and then DRAWS A PERFECT POLICE SKETCH OF WHAT SHE ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE. Batman is an amazing sketch artist, in case you didn’t know. After canvassing the local fashion houses, Batman learns that “Alice” is really fashionista Flo Murcell. A disguised Robin delivers a bugged outfit to Flo, allowing Batman and Robin—in various disguises—to track her every movement. When Flo meets with Witt and the rest of the gang, Batman and Robin appear. Despite the fact that the cocky Witts knew about the bug and knew that Batman was trailing Flo, Witts still has little advantage. Batman, having bugged his own costume so that the police could follow him, kicks ass until backup arrives to put Witts and his men behind bars.
–Justice League of America #40
Master of the mystic arts, Andrew Helm, is pissed-off about police brutality, oppression of minorities, juvenile delinquency, and rampant crime all across the globe. Combining his years of Tibetan monk training, self-awakened metahuman powers, and application of a magickal device of his own creation, Helm is able to astral project himself and alter the consciousness of bad people to make them repent their wicked ways. Helm interrupts a Flash battle to make The Shark (Karshon) and Mirror Master give up crime. Helm then causes a Caribbean dictator to cancel a nuclear missile launch. In Gotham, Helm causes a freshly escaped Penguin and Captain Cold to turn themselves back into Batman’s custody. Helm ends all war across the entire planet, including the Cold War. Later, the Justice League meets to celebrate the mysterious wave of global peace. But the peace doesn’t last long as Helm makes a critical error. Unable to return to his real body to control the magick machine, it goes haywire and begins to have the opposite effect upon the world. Wars re-erupt and chaos reigns, forcing the befuddled JLA into action. While Superman fights entire armies overseas, Green Lantern halts dozens of nukes that have been launched. Wonder Woman brings a Latin American dictator to justice. Batman and the rest of the League locate the source of Helm’s power on an invisible island off the northwestern coast of Australia. On Helm’s island, magickal defenses kick-in. Various phantasmagoric beings attack the JLA, including a dinosaur, magician, flame monster, living marble statue, golden grizzly bear, sentient helium atom, tree dryad, whirling sand being, and giant sea birds. Eventually, the heroes realize that their foes are merely constructs of their own minds, causing them to disappear. Superman shuts off the magick machine, which returns the world to status-quo. Green Lantern uses his ring to ensure that the machine cannot be used again. The heroes never even meet Helm, who remains forever trapped in astral form outside of his now dead body.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #154 and World’s Finest Comics #263. Batman and Robin begin practicing an acrobatic “human chain” maneuver where Batman holds Robins feet while holding onto something with his own feet. The Dynamic Duo will continue to practice this move (invisibly on our timeline below) for the next month or so. This reference from WFC #154 occurs in a computer simulation—(the entirety of WFC #154 is a computer simulation, as revealed in WFC #263)—but presumably, the simulation would be loaded with Batman’s actual history, making the reference canon.
–Detective Comics #347, Part 1
Late Autumn. Batman and Robin are bested by a newcomer villain called The Bouncer, who wears a nearly invulnerable special suit that allows him to bounce wildly about at rocket speeds. The Bouncer wins round two as well, but not before Batman and Robin snap a spectroscopic photo image of his suit. Analyzing the photo, the Dynamic Duo is able to come up with a way to defeat the Bouncer. With every major national news outlet reporting on the failure of the heroes, Batman invites a journalist to personally view their round three confrontation. Using hidden induction-heating electrodes, Batman and Robin are able to “freeze” the Bouncers’s rubbery suit and elastic gun to defeat him. (Unbelievably, Part 2 of Detective Comics #347 gives us a “What If?” imaginary tale where Gardner Fox, writer of the issue, not only appear, but addresses the audience as well. He re-writes the “What If?” so that the Bouncer kills Batman, forcing Robin to defeat the bad guy solo. After which, Batman of Earth-Two and Alfred Beagle—also of Earth-Two—arrive to permanently take the place of their deceased counterparts! Obviously, this is all non-canon.)
Mid to late December. Eddie Repp, recently paroled, builds a homemade laptop computer that can, in theory, creates hard-light 3D holograms that he can remotely control. While viewing Batman and Robin receiving the Key to the City on live TV, Repp’s computer spits out exact copies of the Dynamic Duo, totally subservient to Repp. Later, Dick shows off for some high school pals by posing in front of a supposed haunted house. They snap a picture of Dick, who later develops it at home to discover someone wearing a Robin costume in a window of the house. With Batman away on an unspecified JLA mission, Robin leaves Batman a note and goes back to the house only to get kayoed by a “Ghost Batman,” Repp’s hard-light hologram. The real Batman and Robin visit Commissioner Gordon to learn that fake versions of themselves have busted a crime gang. Soon after, the Dynamic Duo witnesses their doppelgängers, equipped with super-speed, taking down some fur thieves. For over a week, the fake Dynamic Duo busts criminals left and right, leaving the real Dynamic Duo looking hapless and ineffective. When our heroes next see the fakers, Batman proves their holographic nature using a radioactive dust compound. A night later, the real Batman fights the doppelgänger Batman, but gets his ass handed to him. Robin escorts Batman home where the latter has to lie to Aunt Harriet and say that he has competed in a prize-fighting match due to the bruises all over his face. Meanwhile, with Batman and Robin disgraced, Repp creates and sends a whole hologram gang on an easy big-time robbery. A night later, Batman and Robin surveil the outside of a famous Russian baron’s yacht. When the hologram gang strikes, Batman and Robin get beaten down again, but not before sprinkling some radioactive dust on the loot, allowing them to track the gang to Repp’s hideout. Batman and Robin are able to defeat Repp when the crook becomes paralyzed due to handling the dust on the loot. With the laptop safely stored in the Batcave, all is well. A night later, Batman and Robin are back on patrol and kicking ass.
–Detective Comics #345
The events of this issue are also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #349. Cops give an eye-witness account of a superhuman bulletproof behemoth that commits a robbery, prompting Robin to name the hulk Blockbuster. Three days later, Batman and Robin fight Blockbuster only to get beaten badly. A day after that, Batman and Robin decide to surveil Blockbuster from the Batcopter instead of actively engage him. After tracking Blockbuster to the island where the Desmond Brothers live, a jamming signal causes the Batcopter to crash. The Dynamic Duo is quickly back in a fight versus the monster man. Up close, Batman realizes that Blockbuster is a mutated Mark Desmond. Trying to appeal to Mark’s memories, Batman disrobes into his civvies, runs toward the quicksand bog, and jumps in. Mark’s memories return and he saves Bruce before sprinting away. Meanwhile, Robin kayos Mark’s brother Roland, who reveals that Mark took a special serum in an attempt to get jacked-up, but it turned him into Blockbuster. Roland confesses to manipulating Blockbuster into committing crimes on his behalf. Batman—disguised as Roland—and Robin return to the island to search for Blockbuster, but they have no luck.
The hottest rock band on the charts, The Flips, has taken the teenage world by storm. The Teen Titans dig their swingin’ sound and style even if Batman and the other JLAers don’t get it. But when the Flips seemingly pull off a bold public bank robbery in the small city of Clarkston, they are jailed in the morning despite pleas of innocence. Of course, the Teen Titans are on the case. With the Flips out on bail, Aqualad volunteers to watch over them in a secure location while the rest of the Teen Titans search for the real crooks. When the Flips go missing and the fake Flips show up with grenades and more bank robbery schemes, even the Teen Titans begin to doubt their musical heroes. The fake Flips kick the Teen Titans’ asses and lam. When the confused real Flips are reassembled, claiming that they’d been kidnapped and knocked-out, no one believes them, except for the Teen Titans, naturally. With the real Flips behind bars, the Teen Titans convince the Mayor to announce that there has been a grievous error and that the Flips are being released from jail. Disguising themselves as the Flips, the Teen Titans wait and, like clockwork, the evil doppelgängers show up. A brouhaha ensues in front of a large concert audience, during which the baddies are caught and unmasked as evil fakers and the Teen Titans unmask as fakers too, albeit well-meaning fakers. Exonerated, the legit Flips are released to play a sold out concert.
–Batman #177, Part 1
Batman goes after paranoid crook Ed “Numbers” Garvey, who hides stolen gems in different locations all over Gotham. In order to find all the gems, Batman enlists the aid of the Atom and Elongated Man in what will be a ludicrous and complicated plot. Batman’s subtle methods of psychological terror lead Numbers into a cave in the countryside. There, Numbers finds two clay homunculi, one giant-sized and the other pint-sized. (The homunculi are the Atom and Elongated Man in disguise.) The figures come to life and both morph into Batmen. The clay-Batmen state that they are magickal beings created by a Native American shaman, but now subservient to their new master, Numbers. The Atom—still pretending to be Little Batman—asks Numbers for a special diamond to recharge his powers. The diamond activates a radioactive power on the Atom’s head that allows Batman to track Numbers to the first of the hidden gems. When the clay-Batmen reveal that they are not capable of evil, Numbers gets playful, ordering Little Batman to distract some carnival owners while his gang robs them. Batman and Robin intercept the loot, but the gang escapes. Later, a suspicious Numbers knocks out both clay-Batmen, revealing their true identities. Batman and Robin, having bust into Numbers’ lair, forcing the crook into the subway system below. Batman chases and apprehends Numbers. Batman then locates all of the missing gems. Uhhh yeah.
–Justice League of America #41
The Key kidnaps Snapper Carr, controls him with a mind-control chemical and device, and gets him to spike the punch bowl at a JLA meeting. With the JLA under the Key’s influence, the team disbands and Green Lantern melts down the entire Secret Sanctuary. Thanks to a failsafe in his ring that sensed something was way off, the ring restored the Secret Sanctuary after the heroes departed. Batman and Robin head to the Gotham County Fair where they are scheduled to do a judo performance. When the Wrecker attacks with his gang, the Dynamic Duo beats the stuffings out of the bunch. The Key has his own men loot the County Fair as well, but thanks to the mind-control chemical, which has been secretly administered into Robin’s system as well, they are psychically blocked from seeing them. Similarly, the Atom and Hawkman fail to see (and therefore stop) the Key’s “Key-Men” henchmen. Hawkgirl, however, hasn’t been drugged, and busts them. Hawkgirl then purges her husband’s system using Thanagarian tech. All better, Hawkman dons a taboo Thanagarian headpiece that allows him to telepathically scan the entire planet. With this device, Hawkman learns the secret IDs of his fellow JLA members. He then films the Flash fighting Weather Wizard in Central City before gathering up his fellow teammates from their civilian jobs. Meanwhile, Hawkgirl films Green Lantern fighting Invisible Destroyer in Coast City and then films the other heroes as well. With the entire JLA gathered at Hawkman’s lair in Midway City, Hawkman explains what is going on and shows footage of their battles, with Key-Men in plain view. After purging their systems of the Key’s influence, the JLA reforms and begins a search for the Key. Green Lantern’s ring tells the team that the Key is in the Secret Sanctuary, prompting the JLA to attack him there. After besting a small army of living keys and all the Key-Men, the JLA smashes the Key’s “key-board” mind-control device and apprehends the villain himself. Unknown to the heroes, the Key pulls one final trick unknown to all, a trick that won’t take effect or be revealed just yet. Green Lantern mind-wipes the Key before he goes to jail.
–Detective Comics #346
Once again, the world’s most famous escape artist, Carnado, steals $10,000 cash to give to evil scientist Eivol Ekdal in exchange for a new “escape proof” gag to keep his fraudulent legacy as a stage performer going strong. Only this time, Ekdal presents Carnado with a legitimately inescapable electrified gas-spewing plexiglass coffin. Ekdal suggests putting Batman inside to study how a real escape artist might get out. That night, a disguised Carnado steals another ten grand and then lures Batman into an abandoned house and straight into the glass case. Batman is able to trigger an electrical explosion that shatters the glass, freeing himself in the process. Carnado and Ekdal lam. The next night, Batman and Robin easily follow a trail of evidence to Ekdal’s lab. There, Ekdal’s hired goons shoot at the Dynamic Duo, but the heroes easily take them down along with Ekdal and Carnado.
- COLLIN COLSHER: Dick is a sophomore in high school and a member of his varsity team. However, the implication in the dialog here is that Dick, despite his athleticism, has remained a bench-warmer this season. Of course, we know that during last year’s basketball finals, Dick was not only a starter, but was the team’s best player as well. The possibility of Dick missing practices and school due to being Robin resulting in less playing time is a distinct possibility that should be considered in regard to the narrative.↩