–REFERENCE: In Batman #184. Batman and Robin begin hypnotism training. They will continue to do so for months, perfecting the use of a spinning disk to make each other go into trance-like reveries.
–REFERENCE: In Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #2 and Batman #197. We haven’t seen nor heard from Catwoman in about five years, but the feline femme fatale returns to crime, challenging Batman and Robin. Catwoman uses her feminine wiles to convince Batman that she is still reformed, fooling the Dark Knight into letting her walk.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #184. Batman and Robin devise and practice “Operation Window-Fall,” a rescue maneuver designed to save someone falling from a skyscraper. Batman adds hidden retractable suction cups to the wrist area of his gloves. He also builds a hidden Bat-spring ejector into the trunk of the Batmobile. Robin will launch Batman into the air using the Bat-spring ejector, after which Batman will cling to the building wall using the suction cups. From this position, Batman will be able to save a falling person. Batman and Robin will practice this “operation” for months to come.
–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday Newspaper Strip 10/9/1966). Batman and Robin practice other coordinated attack and defense moves, most of which are much less complicated than their ongoing “Operation Window Fall” training. However, despite their lack of complexity, Batman decides that he and the Boy Wonder should have special codenames for their maneuvers, just in case they need to call out the moves before they do them. There are likely a lot of different maneuver codenames, but we aren’t told what they are. “Evasive Tactic PDQ34,” for example, simply means jumping away from one another directly to the side. Batman and Robin will practice their tactics and assign tactic numbers to each, memorizing the numbers, for months to come.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #160. Batman upgrades the Batmobile yet again, this time adding parachute releases to the unbelievable machine.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #183, Part 2. Batman and Robin build an underground Auxiliary Batcave on the the side of Gotham opposite from where the real Batcave is. They stock the auxiliary cave with a giant super-computer just like the one in the real Batcave, big-screen television, and another red hotline phone linked to Commissioner Gordon.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman busts an escaped Penguin and nets a small Penguin figurine as a trophy for the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman and Superman defeat Toyman. Superman keeps a tiny mechanical doll version of Toyman as a trophy.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #158. Superman helps Batman update his Batcave crime-files. Together, the heroes record detailed videos about their biggest foes, complete with their own talking-head experiences and tons of cobbled-together secret camera footage Superman has acquired over the years.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #179, Part 1. Bruce and Dick befriend crime show TV host/producer Roger Kay.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #46. The JLA is able to interact with/check-in on the the Justice Society of America, their counterpart superhero team from Earth-2. Batman meets Wildcat (Ted Grant), who has recently come out of retirement to rejoin the JSA. Similarly, Batman meets The Spectre, who has also recently rejoined the JSA.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #44. Batman and Superman go on an unspecified outer space mission together. Superman flies Batman to and from this mission in a large plastic bubble that can withstand the ravages of deep space. In several months’ time (by the time we get to Justice League of America #44), Batman will mention that this is his normal method of space travel with Superman. We’ve seen some random space bubble action before, but only really with Time Spheres and Green Lantern globe-constructs. This means that the plastic space bubble must be a new thing. This also means that a lot of Bat-space-bubbling, with the JLA or either with just Superman, must occur invisibly and randomly in-between bulleted items below, starting now.
–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #156. Joker escapes from jail, gathers some henchmen, and uses laughing gas (proto-Joker Venom, but still no rictus grins) in an attempt to rob a bank. Superman inhales the gas to clear the room while Batman and Robin bust Joker and his henchmen.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman obtains a Joker mask, which he keeps for the Batcave Hall of Trophies. This prize is directly linked to a Joker case, either the previous note on our timeline or a separate but unspecified encounter.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #156. Superman and Batman go on the “Case of the Treasure Train.” They prevent the Bullion Bandits from destroying a gold train.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #155. Batman goes on an unspecified case and collects some sort of boxy vermillion lantern, which he puts into the Batcave’s Hall of Trophies.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #154 and World’s Finest Comics #263. Batman and Robin slide down a rope ladder from the hovering Bat-jet to bust some runaway miscreants. This flashback panel from WFC #154 is shown in a computer simulation—(the entirety of WFC #154 is a computer simulation, as revealed in WFC #263)—but presumably, the computer simulation would be loaded with Batman’s actual history, making the flashback canon.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #154 and World’s Finest Comics #263. Batman and Robin form a “human chain” to rescue some folks from a burning building. Again, this flashback panel from WFC #154 is shown in a computer simulation—(the entirety of WFC #154 is a computer simulation, as revealed in WFC #263)—but presumably, the computer simulation would be loaded with Batman’s actual history, making the flashback canon.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #355. Last year’s pro wrestling obsession for Bruce and Dick was the beefy Golden Inca. Bruce and Dick still watch TV pro wrestling fairly religiously and this year it is all about the dreaded heel known as The Hooded Hangman. Bruce and Dick will watch the saga of the Hooded Hangman unfold over the next few months to come.
–REFERENCE: In Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #1. Bruce gets a new attorney named Henry Bush.
–The Brave & The Bold #64
Batman hears news of a priceless cat emerald being stolen from the Municipal Museum. Later, while on patrol, Batman is shocked to run into his ex-fiancé Marcia Monroe being attacked by a bowman. Marcia hasn’t been in America for over six months. Batman takes down the baddie, makes-out with his unrequited love, and learns that her new fiancé had stolen the emerald to impress her only to get killed by agents of the international Cyclops crime syndicate. Marcia asks Batman to return the emerald to the museum to clear her deceased fiancé’s name. Batman returns the emerald and goes home. The next morning, Commissioner Gordon produces a photo of Batman returning the emerald, but it looks like Batman is stealing it. When the emerald proves to still be missing, Batman is arrested for the theft. Rather than fight the police, Batman turns himself in. While in jail, the brooding and mopey Dark Knight overhears crook Gorilla Grimes talking about a plot involving a new Queen Bee. When coordinated chaos strikes all over Gotham—led by the mysterious Queen Bee and her puppet, a host-less Eclipso, who are both in the employ of Cyclops—Batman breaks jail and trails a released Grimes to the villains’ HQ. There, Batman takes down Grimes but is captured by Eclipso and Queen Bee and dumped into the river. Batman, labeled a fugitive from the law, is then shot at by cops. He evades the cops, but becomes dejected, realizing that Queen Bee is Marcia. Meanwhile, the regular human host of Eclipso, Dr. Bruce Gordon, along with his wife Mona Bennett and stepfather Professor Simon Bennett, arrives in Gotham to help Commissioner Gordon (no relation) stop Eclipso. Batman disguises himself as a top agent of Cyclops and infiltrates Queen Bee’s HQ to find that the unfettered Eclipso has turned on his puppet-master. Marcia explains that she became Queen Bee because Cyclops was blackmailing her father. After some smooching (and Batman calling Marcia “Baby” a lot), Marcia returns the stolen emerald. Batman crashes through a skyscraper window and battles Queen Bee’s henchmen and Eclipso as he free falls. Bruce Gordon is able to discreetly recapture Eclipso within his body, ending the threat of the villain. With the emerald recovered, Batman proves his innocence. Marcia escapes and disappears without a trace, never to be seen again.
–Detective Comics #350, Part 1
Dick arrives home from a trip to find Batman fighting three escaped inmates. Dick helps Batman bust the fugitives. Later, Batman pulls a picture of the Monarch of Menace out of the crime files and frames it for the Hall of Trophies, finally telling Dick the story of his embarrassing first encounter with a costumed super-villain from way back in Year One.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #349. Batman and Robin go on a series of regular patrols, taking down petty robbers with relative ease.
–Batman #178, Part 1
Bruce and Dick visit Bruce’s old college chum, Professor Hank Nelson, who gives them a tour of his rocket firing range. Nelson launches two test rockets, which disappear into thin air. The next day, Batman and Robin track a third missile launch in their super-speed Bat-jet. Sure enough, the missile disappears, but our heroes spot it being pulled down via tractor beam to a tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic. After landing on a nearby island, the Dynamic Duo swims toward the mystery island only to be attacked by its guards, a small platoon of jetpack-wearing frogmen called the Rocketeers. Our heroes are captured and presented before the gaudy leader of the Rocketeers, who throws Batman and Robin into one of the stolen rockets, which has been armed with a nuclear warhead. The nuke is launched, but just as Gotham appears on the horizon, Batman and Robin escape and parachute down to the water below. As they plummet, the heroes use Batarangs to take down Rocketeers left-and-right. Without the Rocketeers to properly guide the nuke, it crashes into the ocean. Later, Bruce and Dick again visit with Professor Nelson, who completes a successful rocket launch test.
–Batman #178, Part 2
After a series of Gotham bombings, Batman and Robin are on the case, trailing the terrorists to their boss, loan shark Shark Sharkey. At the grifter’s office, Sharkey’s hulking minion Mako attacks Batman, but gets quickly kayoed. After busting Sharkey, Batman finds a key attached to an address tag. At the address, Batman and Robin find two-small time nogoodniks, Rosy and Weeper, who are in the middle of an attempt to pilfer from a safe there. But the safe is already empty, having been cleaned out by Sharkey’s main man Louie. Batman realizes that Louie hasn’t had time to flee and his hiding in the closet. He rips open the door and pummels Louie, sending him to prison along with Rosy and Weeper.
–Justice League of America #42
The JLA decides to invite famous rookie superhero Metamorpho (Rex Mason) onto the team. But the invisible alien known as the Unimaginable, wanting to join the JLA in his place, shows up and commences fighting Metamorpho before the hero can even give an answer. The JLA assists Metamorpho to fight off the indiscernible threat, which becomes cognizable by taking control of inanimate objects and forming into a few monstrous creatures. After fending off the Unimaginable’s sundry forms, Metamorpho tells the JLA that he isn’t interested in being on the team! He doesn’t even want to be a super hero. He just wants to be a regular guy and date his girlfriend Sapphire Stagg. Just then, the Unimaginable makes its presence known inside the Secret Sanctuary, revealing that it has been watching the JLA for nearly a year and now wants to be on the team. The JLA says no way, prompting the Unimaginable to summon several alien shock troopers to fight the heroes. Metamorpho saves the JLA then disguises himself as one of the bad aliens in order to track a fleeing Unimaginable into deep space. The heroes, traveling in a protective Green Lantern sphere-construct, track Metamorpho to a planet whose sun is going super nova. There, the Unimaginable is in the process of re-energizing by sucking energy from the exploding star. Green Lantern turns his friends into negative radiant energy so they can merge with the exploding star and get sucked into the Unimaginable. Once inside the Unimaginable’s body, the JLA (and Metamorpho) beat the shit out of the beast from the inside, causing it to run away in pain. Back on Earth, Green Lantern tries to turn Metamorpho back into regular ol’ Rex Mason, but, due to yellow radiation in his molecular composition, Green Lantern’s ring has no effect. The JLA offers Metamorpho a spot as the team’s first “standby member,” to which Metamorpho agrees. As we learn in Justice League of America #44, several members of the JLA, having had contact with the Unimaginable, contract a strange virus (comprised of microscopic antibodies from the Unimaginable itself) that lays dormant within their bodies but begins an incubation process that will last a few weeks. The infected JLAers—Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Atom, and Flash—immediately spread the virus to their closest loved ones, with Batman unknowingly giving it to Robin, for example.
–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #68. Metamorpho invites Batman to the opulent mansion of his benefactor, the mad scientist Simon Stagg. There, Batman meets the genius Stagg and his Neanderthal manservant Java. Metamorpho also introduces his girlfriend Sapphire (Stagg’s daughter) to the Caped Crusader.
–Detective Comics #348
Bruce and Dick, as big Gotham celebrities, offer a prize of going on a group date to the winner of the Miss USA Beauty Contest. Pageant winner Mona goes on a date with both Bruce and Dick, after which they drive her to the airport where she creepily smooches both of them. As the gentlemen watch Mona’s plane take off (which is also a strange thing to do), it bursts into flames and crashes. Batman and Robin rush to the scene and begin rescue efforts, saving several people. But, alas, poor Mona is dead. The pilot exclaims that a swarm of birds caused the crash. When another plane goes down similarly, newcomer super-villain The Birdmaster takes responsibility. Soon afterward, Batman and Robin take to the skies in the Bat-jet only to be attacked by a giant flock of birds that surrounds them and begins forcing them towards the Birdmaster’s lair, all the way at the other side of the planet in the Himalayas. Batman and Robin bail only to get captured by henchmen wearing ridiculous bird costumes—that amazingly look just like Charlie, Dennis, and Mac’s costumes from the pro wrestling episode of Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Imprisoned in the Birdmaster’s Himalayan stronghold, Batman and Robin break out of their cell, beat up the henchmen and a bunch of condors and vultures, and chase after the Birdmaster himself. The super-villain hops onto a plane to make a quick escape only to succumb to the same fate as Mona. The birds swarm and crash his plane.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #355. Bruce and Dick make a habit of watching the news on TV and quickly become besotted with a broadcast journalist named Telman Davies. (SPOILER ALERT: Davis is also secretly the famous masked pro wrestler called the Hooded Hangman, who Bruce and Dick are also quite obsessed with.)
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #154, World’s Finest Comics #263, and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday Newspaper Strip 7/24/1966). Batman and Superman bust little person Nappy Klains aka “The Napoleon of Crime” aka “Little Napoleon,” sending him to Gotham State Prison. The flashback panel from WFC #154 actually occurs only in a computer simulation—(the entirety of WFC #154 is a computer simulation, as revealed in WFC #263). However, the simulation would be loaded with Batman’s actual history, therefore making the flashback a canonical reference. Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday Newspaper Strip 7/24/1966) confirms the canonicity of the Klains flashback, although it only refers to him as “Little Napoleon.”
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #154 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #154 is a computer simulation run in the Fortress of Solitude, as revealed in WFC #263. Using a special Kryptonian computer, Superman programs a detailed and realistic simulation that envisages what would happen if the World’s Finest settled down and had kids. Batman comes over to watch the simulation, in which Superman marries Lois Lane and Batman marries Kathy Kane. In the sim, Kal-El Junior (aka Clark Junior) and Bruce Junior are born. As pre-adolescents, the so-called “Super-Sons” fight Nappy Klains aka “The Napoleon of Crime” aka “Little Napoleon.” With a tiny bit of help from Batman, Robin, and Batwoman, the “Super-Sons” defeat Klains.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #180, Part 1. In order to provide a huge fillip to his slimy playboy persona, Bruce begins constantly hanging-out with a bevy of international supermodels. By the way, these beautiful ladies are never given names in this issue. Oof. (Although, Detective Comics #352 and Batman #183 do give us their names: blonde bombshells Lynda and Vickie, redhead Trina, and raven-haired Gilda.) Bruce and his sexy cadre begin frequenting the fancy Tavern-on-the-Green Hotel where Bruce befriends waiter Charles. Bruce’s revamped playboy life and Tavern-on-the-Green visits will occur below, but invisibly on our timeline.
–Batman #180, Part 1
Bruce, his sexy model gal entourage, and Dick attend a swanky penthouse gem show, which gets robbed by skeleton costume-clad newcomer Death-Man and his henchmen. Switching to their superhero duds, Batman and Robin bounce down flagpoles to the ground below where they capture the whole gang. Death-Man, whose mask is permanently grafted onto his face, goes to prison to await a rushed trial.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman and Superman team-up to defeat an escaped Riddler. Afterward, Batman keeps Riddler’s signature question mark costume as a trophy.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman and Superman team-up to defeat The Prankster. Superman nets a Prankster bobble-head doll as a prize.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #197. Catwoman returns to crime yet again, but once again uses her feminine wiles to convince Batman that she is still reformed, fooling the Dark Knight into letting her walk once more.
–World’s Finest Comics #155
After Batman and Superman search for jewel thieves for days without any luck, Batman sends his Bat-Eye to locate them. Meanwhile, noting that his 1,000th case with Batman is coming up next, Superman decides to drop a super-challenge on his best pal. The Man of Steel hypnotizes Batman causing him to sleep each night and awake as a new hero called “Nightman.” The idea is that Batman will be setup to find out who the newcomer is, not knowing that it is actually himself. Har har. Sure enough, that night, Batman awakes, creates a new costume, and, as Nightman, helps Superman catch the thieves and retrieve the jewels from a NASA space capsule model. Afterward, Superman tries to give the model to Batman, but the latter adjures that Superman keep it. Superman doesn’t tell Batman about Nightman’s involvement in wrapping up the case, but Batman learns about Nightman when he reviews his Bat-Eye footage. Superman then tells Jimmy Olsen that case number 1,000 is coming up. Jimmy tells Perry White, who, with the help of New Jersey and Delaware State Police, organizes a special law enforcement exhibit to honor the heroes. The next day, Batman and Superman bring a bunch of trophies to the exhibit to put on public display. They also build a fake Batcave and fake Fortress of Solitude to temporarily house the items. A week or so later, law enforcement officials are flown in from all over the globe to attend the ceremony. Representatives from England, France, Egypt, and India present Batman with small diorama structures that are transceivers, which will allow Batman to instantly contact the respective countries’ top law enforcement officials if needed. Batman breaks down and tells everyone that he is a fraud, that the real hero responsible for his most recent jewel recovery is Nightman. The international lawmen challenge Batman to find out Nightman’s identity, and give him a week to do so. After running some Nightman info through the Bat-computer, an exhausted Bruce goes to sleep and becomes Nightman again. Superman and Nightman team-up to bust some sculpture thieves. In the morning, Robin shows Bruce the footage from the Bat-Eye. Batman spends the next few days crossing names off his suspect list. Number one is an undercover cop working in the state pen. Number two is a Mexican lawman, who the Dark Knight assists on a case South of the Border. Then it’s off to London to check out number three, MI6’s Agent 009, who is currently injured in the hospital. With less than 24 hours to go, Batman realizes the truth. The Dark Knight takes the Batman Robot out of storage and puts the Nightman costume on him. After a staged fight between “Nightman” and Batman, the latter claims victory over the challenge. Superman reveals all the details and everyone has a laugh. Batman puts Nightman’s costume into the Batcave’s Hall of Trophies.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #156. The fake Batcave/fake Fortress of Solitude mashup that was erected for the law enforcement tribute to Superman and Batman gets to live on, becoming the official “Team Trophy Hall,” a permanent museum holding the 1,000 plus trophies of the combined cases of the World’s Finest.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #184. Batman goes undercover for an unspecified case, disguising himself as “Greg the Gyp,” an eye-patch-wearing henchman.
–REFERENCE: In Metal Men #21. Batman and Robin read about Dr. Will Magnus‘ new robot crimefighting team known as The Metal Men. The team features Lead, Tin, Gold, Mercury, Iron, Platinum, and Nameless.
–Teen Titans #1
The Teen Titans join the Peace Corps and head to Xochatan in the Andes Mountains. Batman and Flash are surprised to hear the news of their sidekicks being in the Peace Corps. As are Wonder Woman and Hippolyta and Aquaman and Mera, who tend to their newborn son Arthur Curry, Jr. (aka Aquababy). When the Teen Titans arrive, they find themselves immediately battling a towering animated Spanish conquistador statue, allegedly a surly spirit upset at the ongoing construction of a nearby dam. After linking some construction site sabotage to the giant conquistador, the teen heroes realizing the giant is a robot. After defeating the robot, the damn is completed, which floods an ancient pyramid, releasing three real evil spirits—a jaguar, an eagle, and a snake, each with a scary human face. The Teen Titans defeat them one-by-one. When wealthy landowner Don Matanzas is revealed as the creator of the robot, the teen heroes defeat him as well.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #184. Batman and Robin come up against a crime syndicate called Robbery Incorporated, which includes criminal geniuses Slippery Sam Lorenzo and Lefty Wright. Batman and Robin will face Robbery Incorporated on and off again for the next few months (invisibly on our timeline below), but will be unable to apprehend any members.
–REFERENCE: In Superman daily news strip 12/18/65 to 2/26/66. (This daily news strip arc was also reprinted in Superman #186.) Batman goes on an unspecified case and nets a tribal mask and some small tribal drums as trophies for the Batcave.
—Superman daily news strip 12/18/65 to 2/26/66
This item is also reprinted in Superman #186. Crook Flashy Fisher visits Clark Kent and tells him that he knows where Captain Kidd’s lost treasure is hidden at sea—the information having been revealed to him by the ghost of Captain Kidd, conjured by the mysterious medium Sir Seer. When Flashy’s story checks out, Superman spies on Sir Seer and witnesses him conjure up the ghost of Jesse James, who reveals where his secret treasure is situated. Another crook, Duke Cooper, is involved in the conjuring. Suspecting foul play, Superman realizes that the baddies are using satellite technology to make pre-recorded holograms appear as “ghosts.” Superman, instead of simply exposing and busting Sir Seer, decides to mess with him instead. Superman borrows some Christopher Columbus gold from a museum and, with Batman’s permission, buries it inside the Batcave. A day later, at a public seance with Clark, Lois, and Lana in attendance, Sir Seer is asked to conjure up the ghost of Queen Isabella of Spain. Superman fakes a spirit manifestation and divulges that Columbus’ lost treasure is hidden in bedrock within the Batcave. Superman continues his ruse by blacking-out windows on a limo and taking a bunch of reporters into the Batcave, where the Man of Steel unearths Columbus’ gold. Astonished, Sir Seer actually begins to believe that he is a true seer. Superman then fakes a ghost of his own father, Jor-El, who warns that an upcoming nuclear test in the Fortress of Solitude will be the end of him. Later, Superman and Supergirl fake a failed nuclear test and allow the public-at-large to think that they, along with all the Kandorians, have been killed. After a public funeral is held and massive gravestone erected, a grieving Lana and Lois ask Sir Seer to conjure up Superman’s ghost. Sure enough, Superman—playing his own ghost—arrives, along with a hologram of Clark Kent, not only continuing the death ruse, but exposing his secret ID as well! With Superman “dead,” a wild crime-spree strikes Metropolis. Superman then surprises all the bad guys by making his return and sending them all to prison. Superman then explains that it was all a big gag, including “pretending” that he and Clark were one and the same, just to confound Lois and Lana. Sheesh.
–Batman #179, Part 1
A trio of men wearing animal masks rob an armored car and kill some cops, only to later be found dead themselves. Roger Kay produces and hosts his crime show on TV and claims that he knows the secret identity of the mastermind that was behind the trio’s actions. Bruce and Dick, guests of Kay, watch the live TV show unfold in studio. In private, Kay reveals that he has lied about knowing the mastermind’s ID. Bruce tells Kay not to worry, Batman is on the case. Disguising himself as Kay, but with his Batman costume tucked underneath civilian clothing, the Dark Knight goes to Kay’s apartment. There, “Kay” is attacked by the three animal-masked men, shockingly still alive and well. They kidnap the disguised Batman and bring him to their leader, the thrill-seeking wealthiest man in the world, Victor Iago. Iago reveals that he completed the heist by killing off his hired trio to make it look like they argued over the money and shot each other. The eccentric billionaire doesn’t need money, he only seeks violence and chaos out of sheer boredom. After being dumped into a flooded underground chamber and left to drown, Batman swims free, takes out scuba henchmen, and enters a garden maze filled with feral jungle cats on the outskirts of Iago’s vast mansion. After dispatching the fierce cats, Batman charges half a dozen gun-toting thugs headlong. The Caped Crusader kicks their asses and takes down Iago—also firing off a gun—face-to-face as well. In prison, Iago claims that Kay and Batman are one and the same. Batman and Kay pay Iago a visit, confuting his theory.
–Batman #179, Part 2
The Riddler escapes from prison and, mustering up all of his will-power, forces himself to stop giving away riddles before committing crimes. Without any hints, Riddler’s heists work like a charm and Batman has no idea where Riddler is or what Riddler is up to. In the meantime, Batman and Robin bust some department store thieves, rescue a trapped hiker from the side of a gorge, pull folks from a burning apartment. Also during this time, Batman and Robin get two items delivered to them at police HQ: a honeysuckle plant and a blank letter. While on patrol, Batman and Robin find a map of Minnesota as well. After a beat cop spots Riddler running away from a robbery at a mini-soda company, Batman realizes that Riddler has been sending clues. After a series of other seemingly random and very subtle clues come across Batman’s path, the Dark Knight realizes that they are hints from Riddler, pointing to a glove factory. Sure enough, Riddler and henchmen show up at the factory and Batman and Robin bust them with ease. Riddler is shocked, explaining that he’d given up leaving riddles and clues! The villain instantly realizes that he’d been blacking-out and leaving clues in his sleep. Old habits die hard.
–REFERENCE: In Metal Men #21. The Batman TV show debuts. Each story-arc is based upon the real life adventures of Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo hears about the show and watches. Moving forward, they will continue to sporadically watch the show, although we won’t list these couch potato moments on our timeline.
–Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #91
Daily Planet editor Perry White has recently resigned from his post to become a state senator. Van Benson has replaced him as chief. When Jimmy Olsen proposes going undercover as a teenage delinquent in the Dragons—a rough-and-tumble biker gang from his hometown of Mapleton—Chief Benson says no way. This leads to Jimmy taking sick leave and going anyway. The Dragons are on Batman’s radar too. But when the Dark Knight and Superman are called away on unspecified Justice League affairs, Batman sends Robin to Mapleton alone. With the aid of his old principal, Jimmy goes back to Mapleton High and spends a week earning the reputation of the campus’ number one leather-clad bad boy. Once initiated into the notorious Dragons biker gang as “Fireball,” Jimmy learns that the Dragons are bankrolled by their secret boss, Mr. Traitor, who has even given them a clunky but evil Superman Robot. Concurrently, Robin has also joined the Dragons, disguised as newcomer “Chip.” Seeing that Jimmy has put himself in serious danger, “Chip,” with the help of a sexy teacher, does his best to discourage and foil Jimmy’s involvement with the gang’s illegal activities, which focus around the theft of a weather vane and a cathedral gargoyle, both ordered stolen by Traitor. Eventually, Robin and Jimmy—with the help of a reprogrammed Superman Robot—defeat some interfering rival gang members dressed up as Hunchbacks of Notre Dame and snatch the two items, bringing them to the Batcave. There, Batman and Superman dissect the items, revealing that hidden cameras within each have been filming a top secret experimental war-plane at a nearby air force base. Batman, Superman, Jimmy, and Robin visit the Dragons and explain that their boss is an anti-American spy. The Dragons may be delinquents but they sure ain’t no traitors to their country! With the Man of Steel’s assistance, the Dragons take down their former boss. Later, a federal agent reveals that Traitor had legally changed his last name to “Traitor” as a joke, because he is a traitor. Hmm. The agent also parades the shackled Quasimodo gang in front of our heroes. The irresistible Jimmy then goes on a date with the sexy teacher.
–Justice League of America #43
Amos Fortune uses a “stellaration device” to endow his criminal pals with astrological super-powers. Fortune becomes “Ace” and forms the garish playing card-themed Royal Flush Gang, consisting of himself, The Queen, The King, Jack, and The Ten. After the new villains easily defeat Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Flash, and Wonder Woman using stellaration-imbued cards that cause each to become inflicted with different emotional traumas, the JLA meets to discuss their new foes only to get into a huge internal argument about how to handle them. Shortly thereafter, the stellaration card attacks continue as the JLA fights the Royal Flush Gang in a mid-sized Midwestern city. The card-jinxed heroes begin fighting each other, giving victory to their foes. Back at the Secret Sanctuary, Snapper takes leadership of the bedeviled team, ordering Hawkman to use his Absorbascon machine to give him instructions on how to create a stellaration device. With the power of stellaration now at their disposal, the JLA turns Snapper into the most powerful poker-themed metahuman: The Joker. Using his new Joker powers, Snapper cures his friends. Donning a ridiculous jester outfit, Snapper leads the JLA through various death traps and eventually against the Royal Flush Gang themselves. Using his powers, Snapper nullifies the villains’ powers, allowing them to be defeated and jailed by the JLA. (The scene showing the JLA kicking the Royal Flush Gang’s asses is also shown via flashback from Wonder Woman #256.) With Snapper’s own powers gone, the JLA hangs a poster-sized headshot of the jester outfit-wearing teen sidekick in the Souvenir Room of the Secret Sanctuary.
–Detective Comics #349
Over two months ago, Batman and Robin encountered Blockbuster. Shortly after that encounter, the mysterious Outsider took control-of and hid the beastly Blockbuster. Cut to now. As the Dynamic Duo takes down some safe-crackers, the Outsider—hiding from the shadows—sics Blockbuster on the heroes. Batman removes his mask, knowing that Blockbuster will be calmed at the sight of Bruce’s benign face, but the Outsider uses telekinesis to force the Dark Knight’s cowl back onto his head. Batman is beaten to a pulp, but is able to fake the voice of Blockbuster’s brother Roland Desmond, ordering a command that fools him into leaving. Despite a black eye and ecchymosis all over his face, there is no rest for the Caped Crusader. He puts a calcium compound all over his cowl and paints a photo-realistic picture of Roland onto it. Only a specially-designed light beam causes the picture to appear. After a week of random patrols, Batman and Robin finally run into Blockbuster again at the art museum. Robin shines the special light onto Batman, who appears as Roland, which calms Blockbuster. The Outsider again uses telekinesis to add chaos to the scene, causing art to fly around the room. This leads to Batman’s capture and detainment in a sci-fi coffin that will turn Batman into an old man in minutes. With a hardened calcium encrustation—which has rubbed off his cowl and stuck to his hand—Batman breaks out of the coffin just as Blockbuster turns on the Outsider. Using his hardened hand, Batman kayos the big brute. The Outsider flees without Batman even knowing he was involved. Batman then drops Blockbuster off with scientists at the Alfred Foundation. Ridiculously, the plan is that they will wear Bruce Wayne costumes and study the savage monster man, hoping to cure him.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #356. Batman and Robin take the items that the Outsider caused to fly around the museum for examination. They also examine the Bat-costume that the Outsider tampered with while the Dark Knight was fighting Blockbuster. They find trace residue of “Radiation O” on all the items, but still have no idea who the Outsider could possibly be.
–World’s Finest Comics #156
Member countries of the United Nations vote to move their gold depositories onto a distant planet for security. Superman will take a rocket filled with gold to this planet, with Batman riding shotgun. There, they World’s Finest will build the “Interplanetary Fort Knox.” After Superman and Batman depart, they leave Gotham in the safety of Robin and Jimmy Olsen. Meanwhile, on Bizarro World, Bizarro Number One creates Bizarro-Batman and they visit Earth-1. Fearing that the Bizarros will reveal Superman and Batman’s secret IDs, Robin and Jimmy are forced to team-up with them. Shortly thereafter, Bizarro-Batman is on the streets “unforcing the law,” meaning that he prevents cops from catching crooks. Bizarro-Batman builds a “Bat Tower” HQ in an abandoned Wayne Enterprises office building while Bizarro builds a “Fortress of Crowds” HQ in downtown Metropolis. When Batman and Superman return to Earth, they meet with Bizarro and Bizarro-Batman at the Team Trophy Hall. They try to convince them to leave, but instead the Bizarros break Joker out of prison. That night, Bruce attends the annual Gotham Charity Ball, which is also attended by Vicki Vale. The Bizarros and a skateboarding Joker rob everyone in attendance. Bizarro-Batman trips-up Batman with a banana peel. Then the villains escape in a Bat-Jalopy. At the Bat Tower, Superman, Batman, and Robin get the stolen loot back, but the villains flee. Batman and Superman then go to Bizarro World and begin straightening-out all the crooked architecture and turning coal into diamonds. When the Bizarros find out, they angrily return to Bizarro World to stop them. The backwards villains decide to stay to protect and “unfix” their world. Back on Earth, a panicked Robin tells Batman and Robin that they Bizarros have left a giant sign somewhere that will reveal their secret IDs. But in true backwards fashion, they’ve buried it deep underground where “no one can see it.”
–Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #92, Part 1
Jimmy and Superman foil the world-domineering plans of alien Mr. Nero and his criminal organization SCAR, which employs false doubles of all of Jimmy’s closest friends. In the climactic battle, Jimmy is injured and winds up in the hospital. News outlets across the globe herald Jimmy as an international hero. Batman, Superman, Lois Lane, and Senator Perry White visit Jimmy in the hospital.
–Detective Comics #350, Part 2
Robin enters a Robin impersonation contest and wins for impersonating Robin. Weird, Robin, very weird. On his way home, he sees the Monarch of Menace and busts him with the greatest of ease. After blindfolding him and presenting him to Batman in the Batcave, the truth comes out. It’s the original Monarch’s son, who was simply trying to impress his dad. Batman and Robin present Monarch Junior to the press, lying to them and saying it is the original. From his secret jungle pad, the real Monarch vows to return to Gotham. Batman upgrades his costume to be Monarch-proof and goes on regular patrols, waiting for the Monarch to strike. Sure enough, a few days later, the Monarch and his men do indeed strike. A prepared Batman busts them all. Batman then visits the prison to speak with Monarch Junior, who tells Batman that he wants to be a superhero. Batman gives him a lame non-answer and drives off laughing with Robin riding shotgun.
–Batman #180, Part 2
It’s been only about a month since Death-Man’s arrest, but Gotham’s fast-track legal system pushes his case forward and he is found guilty by a jury of his peers only to laugh maniacally and drop dead in the court room. Later, a distracted and troubled Bruce leaves his supermodel entourage at the Tavern-on-the-Green Hotel. Batman, Robin, and some police officers dig up Death-Man’s grave to reveal an empty coffin. In the days that follow, Bruce has nightmares that are so bad he decides to take a vacation to Jamaica with Dick and the sexy lady gang. After a few days of sun and fun for Bruce, Dick, and the gals, the radio reports that Death-Man has returned in Bay City, USA. By the time Batman catches up with the resurrected Death-Man and his new henchmen, they are flying down the highway towards Gotham. Batman and Robin chase them in the Batcopter for miles, eventually busting the crew after an epic junkyard battle. Once in custody, Death-Man cackles and drops dead again. After watching Death-Man go six feet under, Batman returns home. The next day, Bruce and his supermodel entourage attend a socialite gathering that includes a stage magic show featuring a yogi that can simulate death. Bruce, realizing Death-Man’s trick, immediately departs. Not long after, Batman and Robin dig up Death-Man’s grave once again, and once again they find it empty. Death-Man and his henchmen arrive, attempting to put the Dynamic Duo in the dirt hole. Batman charges, punching-out all the henchmen while taking a bullet in the arm, collapsing before a gloating Death-Man, who raises his gun to silence the Dark Knight forever. But fate is on Batman’s side as lightning strikes the gun, killing Death-Man.
–Justice League of America #44
The Unimaginable virus becomes active in several of the JLA members. Green Lantern, for instance, grows to giant size as a result. After learning why via his power ring, Green Lantern flies to the planet where the JLA fought the Unimaginable to search for a cure. Likewise, after completing an unspecified mission in deep space with Superman, Batman grows giant-sized as well, prompting a trip to the Unimaginable’s planet too. The virus strikes the Atom and Flash, who are mysteriously beamed to the foreign planet alongside their comrades. After dispatching a bunch of weird alien warriors, our over-sized heroes are confronted by a humanoid alien scientist named Dr. Bendorion, who explains that their virus is comprised of microscopic antibodies from the Unimaginable itself. Not only that, but they, and every one they’ve infected, will die within ten hours. After an emergency alert is sent out, the infected heroes cautiously meet with the rest of the team—all of whom haven’t been infected—to discuss a plan of action. Wonder Woman, I guess because she is the lone female member of the team (sigh), sews Batman a larger Bat-costume. With the infected teammates in quarantine, the other JLAers respond to villainy in Seacoast City (not to be confused with Coast City—I think?), where regular gangster have somehow gotten super-powers. Meanwhile, the Aurora Borealis gains a bizarre life of its own and begins moving a blinding speed toward the Eastern seaboard, destroying everything in its path along the way. Batman and Flash finally see the full truth. Dr. Bendorion is actually the Unimaginable, responsible for all the wild action across the United States. Once the East Coast JLA sect reconvenes after stopping the Aurora Borealis, Batman and Flash call out the Unimaginable, who reveals that he has indeed commandeered the body of the doctor. The Unimaginable threatens to destroy all life on Earth with a death ray machine unless he is admitted into the JLA. Thankfully, Flash has already disabled his machine. Superman punches out the doc and puts the Unimaginable into an escape-proof containment cell. After a little rest, the virus dissipates and the infected heroes (and their friends) are cured.
–Teen Titans #3
Crooks in a high-tech souped-up hot rod outrun Batman and Robin in the Batmobile. Before Batman and Robin can investigate further, Robin is called to Washington DC, on Teen Titan business. The Teen Titans are sent by the President’s Commission on Education to help solve the problem of high high school drop-out rates in the small city of Harrison. When the teen heroes arrive in Harrison, they soon learn that all the drop-outs are smart kids that have taken engineering jobs working for hep cat cum experimental car manufacturer Ding-Dong Daddy Dowd. The Teen Titans quickly find that Dowd is responsible for supplying leading-edge tech-mobiles to criminals all over the country, including the crooks that ran circles around the Batmobile in Gotham. With some help from the local youth, the Teen Titans shut down Dowd’s operation.
–Detective Comics #351
Batman and Robin install a hydrofoil and propellor onto the Batmobile, which will allow the car to hover a foot off the ground for a mile or two at a time. Later, while the Dynamic Duo patrols, Aunt Harriet, while cleaning, discovers the Batcave via a hidden closet elevator. When Batman and Robin return home and discover her discovery, they go to great lengths to make her think she is nuts, installing a device that allows only themselves to operate the elevator. Undeterred, Aunt Harriet tries to capture the Batmobile’s tire tracks by muddying up the roadways around the Manor property, but the boys use the new hydrofoil to float away into the city. There, they run into the debuting Cluemaster, who bests them and leaves his first picture clue. Cluemaster attempts to follow the Batmobile’s tracks just like Aunt Harriet, but he too is foiled by the hydrofoil. The next night, Batman and Robin bust two petty crooks and then duel with Cluemaster again, and, once again, they are bested, but walk away with a clue in the form of a painting. Back at Wayne Manor, the boys find a hidden camera that Aunt Harriet has stashed in one of the bedrooms. While peeping at the film, they realize that Cluemaster has put a traceable radioactive substance on the clue painting in an attempt to follow them and learn their secret IDs. Batman and Robin, basically all but exposed, then shoot and doctor a fake film showing Batman and Robin exiting the closet elevator to greet Bruce and Dick. (Basically, there’s no way Batman and Robin can make up a lie to explain away all that Aunt Harriet has seen. Therefore, they are doing the next best thing; telling her that Bruce bankrolls Batman, who keeps his hideout under Wayne Manor. Kind of amazing, actually.) Batman and Robin then allow themselves to be followed by one of Clumaster’s henchmen, who films them enter a cave which they have pre-selected to use as part of their plan. Inside, the heroes disguise themselves as the two petty crooks they captured the night prior in order to fool the cameraman. They then switch back to Batman and Robin togs and follow the cameraman to Cluemaster’s lair. After Cluemaster watches the film, Batman and Robin swoop in, easily bust the new villain, and put him behind bars. In jail, Cluemaster is baffled when he sees the two petty crooks from the film (whom he thought were the Dynamic Duo) behind bars.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #157 and World’s Finest Comics #263. All of WFC #157 is a computer simulation run in the Fortress of Solitude, as revealed in WFC #263. Batman and Superman return to another episode of the “Super-Sons,” this one detailing events in a simulated future where the gray-haired but still active Batman and Superman have trouble with their sons, who have become semi-delinquents. Superman even punishes Clark Junior by putting him in a Kryptonite cell! When the boys only lash out more wildly in response, the elders realize something is amiss. The boys have been replaced by Mxyzptlk Junior and Bat-Mite Junior! What a laugh riot.
–Batman #181, Part 1
Bruce and Dick learn about the “three deadliest women in the world,” super-villains Tiger Moth, Dragon Fly, and Silken Spider. These sexy crooks have taken the world by storm and become pop icons overnight. Bruce and Dick go to a local exhibit showcasing pop-art featuring these new villains only to run into the jealous and debuting Poison Ivy! Batman and Robin fight off Poison Ivy’s paid thugs, but the sultry seductress escapes scot-free. Poison Ivy begins the next part of her plan, sending fake letters to Tiger Moth, Dragon Fly, and Silken Spider to bait them into fighting each other at an address just outside of Gotham. Obsessed with both Bruce Wayne and Batman, Poison Ivy invites both to the same address as well. Batman and Robin helicopter to the site to find the trio of villains and their henchmen fighting in a giant battle royale on the front lawn of a mansion. Poison Ivy easily takes down the trio before knocking-out Batman with a chloroform kiss on the mouth! But alas, Poison Ivy didn’t use enough of the stuff. Batman shakes the cobwebs out of his head and busts Poison Ivy. (The super-villainess battle royale and busting of Poison Ivy is also shown via flashback from Batman #183, Part 1.)
–Batman #181, Part 2
Believe it or not, the Mystery Analysts of Gotham City still meet on the last Wednesday of every month. And, believe it or not, Batman tries his best to make each gathering. On this particular meeting, Kaye Daye reveals that she hasn’t actually written a book for which she has just won an award. As she further explains the situation to the group, a mystery villain speaks through a bug planted on her lapel pin, stating that she will be killed at ten o’clock. Batman departs and soon suspects that the Kaye at the meeting might have been an impostor. After scouring Kaye’s apartment, Batman finds a clue that leads him directly next door. After a prolonged fight with some bad guys, Batman saves the kidnapped real Kaye and brings her to the book award presentation to upstage the faker. After the Mystery Analysts—Batman, Gordon, Danton, Saddows, and Rankin—put their noggins together, they solve the crime. Kaye’s jealous money-grubbing cousin tricked an actress to dress up and pretend to be Kaye while her hired goons kidnapped and were to murder the real Kaye. The end.
–Doom Patrol #104, Part 2 Epilogue
After the Doom Patrol—Professor Niles Caulder, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man, and Robotman—defeat the Brotherhood of Evil—Monsieur Mallah, The Brain, Garguax, and Madame Rouge—simultaneously foiling their plot to discredit Mento, lovers Elasti-Girl and Mento decide to have a shotgun wedding. Members of the hero community are alerted and arrive within three hours to attend the ceremony. In attendance are Superman, Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, Robin, Kid Flash, Beast Boy, Niles Caulder, Negative Man, Robotman, Tadwallader Jutefruce (aka Bob Hope’s weird nephew aka the bizarre super hero known as “Super-Hip”), and Batman. Since this is the first instance of both Batman and the Doom Patrol cast (besides Robotman) being featured together in the same comic book, I’d like to think that this is Batman’s first interaction with the Doom Patrol crew and that he was dragged along to the wedding by everybody else. After all, he just stands confusedly in the corner with a sort of “who the fuck are these people” look on his face the whole time. (The Elasti-Girl/Mento wedding is also shown via flashback from New Teen Titans #14.)
–Batman #183, Part 1
Bruce continues dating supermodels, notably going on three successive dates—with Trina, Vickie, and Gilda. But during each date, Bruce can’t get the image of Poison Ivy out of his gourd. So obsessed and distracted is Bruce that he moves into the Wayne Tower penthouse, where he sits idly staring out a window and thinking only of Poison Ivy. Days pass until gunshots from across the street snap Bruce out of his funk. Batman and Robin swing to the scene of the crime—with Robin weirdly referring to the Dark Knight out-loud as “Big Daddy”—where they bust henchmen working for a crime-boss named Joe Th’Undertaker. And, no, I’m not making that name up. This issue is bonkers. Anyhow, through the proper channels, Poison Ivy, from prison, sends a gift of a small compact mirror to Batman. The Caped Crusader loves the gift and cherishes it. Robin calls Batman “Big Daddy” yet again. When the mirror distracts Batman during a fight, he smashes it. When Poison Ivy falls deathly ill in prison, Batman visits her. While at her side, the villainess comes alive and threatens to use strands of her poison hair as explosive devices. Having gained the upper hand, Poison Ivy forces Batman to help her escape and blows three cop cars off the road using her hair. (This power is never used again, so who the hell knows. Maybe this was a one-time ability or something.) Batman then gets knocked-out and weakened with Poison Ivy’s special “Bye-Bye Syrup.” Holy writer Robert Kanigher, this narrative truly is bonkers indeed! Robin secretly follows as Poison Ivy takes Batman to her hideout. At Poison Ivy’s hideout, the villainess puts a dog collar and leash around her weakened captive. Still unable to fight thanks to the Bye-Bye Syrup, Batman goes on a hunger strike, which lasts for several days! Poison Ivy tries to get Batman to move by having her pet panther “paw him over.” When the panther goes wild, Batman springs up, having recovered a while ago and been faking his weakened condition, and calms the beast. Robin, having waited to make sure that Poison Ivy was truly out of his mentor’s system, finally crashes the party to punch out Poison Ivy’s henchmen. Batman makes out with Poison Ivy one last time, handcuffing her as he does. Later, Poison Ivy, from her jail cell, is shown threatening Batman on TV. Either a news program was allowed to film her in her cell or Batman has installed a live video cam feed directly to her cell to keep tabs on her. The news filming her seems unlikely, but the latter concept—a live Bat-spy cam in women’s prison—is so creepy that I feel much more comfortable leaning towards the former. Kanigher!
–Batman #183, Part 2
Batman and Robin are lured by some baddies into a warehouse. There, Robin busts the baddies, but Batman falls into a death trap. The leader of the baddies, a crook that the Caped Crusader sent up five years ago, emerges in the trapped Batman’s place, dressed as Batman in an attempt to trick Robin. He’s even had facial reconstructive surgery on his maxilla and lips to fake the hero’s famous chin. Despite having gone to such great lengths for this ruse, the dope is wearing the wrong Batman costume—the old one prior to the adoption of the yellow oval. Robin spots him as a fake but plays along, taking him to the Auxiliary Batcave. Fake Batman pretends he has an injury to avoid going on patrol, instead reclining in an easy chair to watch a TV documentary about Batman. From the Batmobile, Robin watches and controls the Auxiliary Batcave’s security camera—which that delectable writer Gardner Fox calls the “Bat-Snooperscope”/”Bat-noculars” combo. The faker places a bomb in the Auxiliary Batcave and then heads out to confirm the real Batman’s death at the warehouse. Robin, having deactivated a bomb in the Batmobile, deactivates the bomb in the auxiliary cave as well, doing a fake explosion to fool the faker. By the time the faker arrives at the warehouse, the real Batman has already freed himself. The genuine article then easily takes down the fraud.
–Justice League of America #45
Some undelivered mail from two years ago finally makes its way to the Justice League. Alarmed at a distress message from scientist Andrew Zagarian, who claims to have created a Frankenstein-like monster that has gone out of control, the JL rushes to his private island. Flash, of course, gets there first to meet Zagarian and learn his tale. Two years ago, he created the indestructible sasquatch-esque Shaggy Man, who he sealed-up with molten metal and locked away in a sealed cavern. But, oops, Flash’s super-speed arrival has caused vibrations that have ironically released the creature. While Flash, Hawkman, and Green Arrow fight the Shaggy Man, some of the other JLers—Batman, Wonder Woman, and Atom—investigate another two-year-old case. Upon arriving at a remote location in Chile, the heroes find Professor Abner Michaels, writer of the letter, who has been held captive by a giant octopus-like “moon creature” for the past two years. Michaels explains that the creature is an alien life form that once held an orbit around the Earth before breaking apart into smaller pieces as far back as 5800 BCE. Eventually, the pieces of the creature plummeted to Earth and crashed in South America, where Michaels discovered a piece. The “moon creature” then re-assembled into its former whole, took Michaels captive, and began sucking energy from the planet itself. Back on Zagarian’s island, Flash builds a giant unbreakable mirror, which causes the Shaggy Man to get stuck in an endless loop, pummeling his own image over and over. When Flash’s group learns of the threat of the “moon creature,” Flash lures the Shaggy Man to Chile. There, the Shaggy Man destroys the “moon creature” while Flash digs a deep pit in the ground. Hawkman and Green Arrow arrive with a second Shaggy Man, built by Zagarian. They toss the second Shaggy Man into the pit. The “moon creature” re-assembles itself only to be destroyed by the Shaggy Men, who they begin fighting each other until the “moon creature” is re-assembled. This loop will go one for eternity. Problem solved. Hooo boy.
–Detective Comics #352
Batman has two ESP-like presentiments that lead to the busting of two big gangs. When a third hunch turns out to be a dead end that allows a third gang to rob a cool mil from a bank, Batman comes to believe that someone is putting the hunches into his mind somehow. After finding a clue that leads to the late night Black Cat Club, Batman orders Robin to go home to sleep (it’s a school night), calls up his paramour Lynda, and escorts her to the club as Bruce Wayne. There, stage performer “Mr. ESPer” does a mind-reading trick, impressing everyone in the crowd except Bruce, who sees that he is working with an audience plant and detects that they are the crooks in question. The next day, Batman and Robin bust the duo and learn that Mr. ESPer had mastered a “super-sonic whisper” technique that could implant subconscious messages into people’s minds. With the case cracked, Bruce and Dick play tennis.
–World’s Finest Comics #158
Robin and Jimmy Olsen find three bottled cities hidden in a cave just outside of the Gotham City limits. After bringing them to the Batcave, they use Batman’s shrink-ray to miniaturize themselves and enter one of the teeny cities. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Superman shrink themselves as well and parachute down to the first bottled city. There, the heroes are attacked by Kryptonian brigands and learn they have entered Jerat, a Kyrptonian city that was run by criminals before being shrunken by Brainiac. After the brigands capture Batman, Superman saves him. The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel split-up and each enter one of the remaining two bottled cities. Batman encounters a strange cityscape populated by green telepathic bug-aliens. With Jimmy and Robin nowhere to be found, Batman easily dispatches with the aliens. Batman enters the third bottled city to find a downed Superman and a captured Jimmy and Robin, victims of humanoid villains that have duplicated the powers of the Legion of Superheroes. After freeing the boys, the foursome kicks ass and escapes the bottle. They then return to the site where Jimmy and Robin found the three bottles to find Brainiac’s predecessor and exact double, Brainiac A! Brainiac A explains that he is the hero version of his brother, who has long bottled-up evil cities. After a nice chat about the origin of both himself and the evil Brainiac, Brainiac A departs in his flying saucer never to be seen or heard from again. Bye!
–Detective Comics #353
Dick injures his wrists playing a Spring-league high school basketball game, putting him on the sidelines for both sports and crime-fighting. Weather Wizard leaves Central City to try his luck in Gotham, enacting a ruse that allows him to rob a couple billionaires of their valuables. Hoping to enact a ruse of his own, Bruce “robs” Wayne Manor of his father’s precious Rajah Ruby and makes a relatively easy-to-follow trail. Sure enough, the Weather Wizard follows the trail and runs smack dab into the waiting fists of Batman. However, Weather Wizard handles himself well and puts the Dark Knight in a block of ice. While Batman breaks free, Robin trails Weather Wizard and informs Batman of his location at a local museum. Batman and the injured-but-still-effective Robin then bust Weather Wizard.
–The Brave & The Bold #67
Members of the new Speed Boys gang, who utilize special alien meteorite-radiated sneakers that allow them to run at super-speed, evade Batman, ruining both the Batmobile and a Whirly-Bat. A third Speed Boy steals the Key to the City right out of the hands of the new Mayor of Gotham and runs away from Batman as well. Flustered, Batman calls Flash in for help. When Flash arrives in Gotham, he nabs one of the Speed Boys, whose sneakers disintegrate when he is caught. The next day, Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and Flash oversee a downtown parade featuring a foreign queen and a priceless emerald. When a little person Speed Boy strikes, the heroes are ready and bust him. But during the bust, Flash collapses and reveals that he has burned-out—the Speed Force is killing him every time he runs fast! Another little person Speed Boy grabs the emerald and runs off with it. When the Speed Boys strike again, Flash runs his heart out, collapses into a coma, and is kidnapped by the villains, who proceed to send a live public TV broadcast showcasing the supposed corpse of the Flash. After a brief investigation, Batman tracks the Speed Boys to the not-so-subtle Accelerated Gentlemen’s Club and proceeds to kick ass. Meanwhile, Flash is miraculously cured of his ailment thanks to being in close proximity to the radiated sneakers. He awakes from his coma and busts the number one Speed Boy.
–Detective Comics #354
Bruce reads about the strange disappearance of a freighter in the Atlantic. Soon after, Commissioner Gordon alerts Batman and Robin to the new threat of Dr. Tzin-Tzin, a Fu Manchu-themed super-villain that can scare people to death. Gordon also reveals that Tzin-Tzin is responsible for the freighter hijacking and several other international heists. The Commissioner hands over a small red orb found at the scene of a Tzin-Tzin murder. In the Batcave, the orb comes alive with a tiny video screen. Tzin-Tzin himself appears on the screen to mock Batman before the orb self-destructs. Later, Tzin-Tzin siccs a dozen ruffians to beat up Batman, but the Dark Knight fends them off. Back home, Batman reconstructs Tzin-Tzin’s orb and uses it to track his location to a downtown skyscraper. Batman and Robin fight their way to the penthouse where they take down Tzin-Tzin.
–Metal Men #21
In a bit of meta fun, the Metal Men read some disappointed comic book fan mail and decide they need more exciting adventures to please their readers. (For the purposes of our timeline, this can be viewed as the Metal Men reading fan mail about a Metal Men comic based upon their real life adventures.) While Doc Magnus is seemingly distracted by a sexy lady, the Metal Men travel to Central City only to find that Flash has crime under control. Next stop on the search for a decent adventure is Gotham City. But, of course, Batman and Robin are already kicking the crap out of bad guys left and right. While thrashing some mobsters, Batman quips to Robin that he should “keep his best profile forward” for their fight might be featured in the next episode of their TV show. Obviously, this is more meta-narrative and a direct reference to the Adam West TV show. But for the purposes of our timeline, don’t forget that a Batman TV show—based upon Batman and Robin’s real life adventures—exists in the DCU and that Batman is quite aware of it. The Metal Men then travel to Washington DC where Wonder Woman, despite being distracted while on a date with Steve Trevor, still easily defeats villainess Paula von Gunta. Back home, the bummed-out Metal Men are attacked by Professor Irving Bravo’s Plastic Perils, a group of robots made of different types of plastic. After a series of losing fights against the Plastic Perils, the Metal Men finally gain the upper hand and best their rivals. Later, the Metal Men discover that Dr. Magnus wasn’t actually in flagrante delicto the whole time the team was in trouble—he was actually working in his lab.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Commissioner Gordon introduces Batman and Robin to his right hand man on the Force, Chief Miles O’Hara. Chief O’Hara, despite being relatively new to the GCPD, has earned the trust and respect of Commissioner Gordon. O’Hara becomes the only other law enforcement official that knows the hotline phone number that connects directly to the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Superman goes on an unspecified extraplanetary case and nets a strange chemical substance known as X-22, which can turn anyone evil. He also obtains the antidote to X-22. Both the chemical and antidote are stored in the Fortress of Solitude. Superman tells Batman all about it.
Batman and Robin save the life of Slippery Sam Lorenzo, who has been betrayed by Robbery Incorporated, which now wants him dead. Lorenzo begs Batman and Robin to protect him in exchange for helping them bust Lefty Wright at the Temple of Tiny Treasures. At the miniature museum, Batman and Robin bust some Robbery Incorporated henchmen, but Wright escapes. Batman and Robin then take Lorenzo to the “sea cave” they used during a Cluemaster case (from ‘tec #351). There, Robin tape records him giving detailed information about Robbery Incorporated. Batman then disguises himself as “Greg the Gyp” and asks around Gotham’s underworld about Wright’s whereabouts for three days. Batman plays “Tommy the Tout” for a few more days, but strikes out as well. Nearly a week later, Batman poses as “Cueball Carson,” finally attracting the attention of Robbery Incorporated. After luring the villains to the cave, Batman joins Robin in pummeling them. But when the Dynamic Duo goes to carphone Commissioner Gordon, they get an electric shock courtesy of Lorenzo. By the time the Dynamic Duo awaken, Lorenzo is gone and they both have amnesia, unable to recall the events of the past thirteen days. Back in the Batcave, Robin hypnotizes Batman, who is able to recall what happened. They rush over to the sea cave to find that Lorenzo is dead, victim of a car bomb planted by Wright and intended for Batman. Batman and Robin bust Wright and use Lorenzo’s confession tapes to bring down Robbery Incorporated.
–Justice League of America #46-47
Some unknown force causes a spacetime peculiarity that makes different people phase in and out between Earth-1 and Earth-2. Sandman (recently having come out of retirement to rejoin the Justice Society of America) finds himself fighting crooks that Hawkman had been chasing. Dr. Mid-Nite appears on Earth-1 and runs into Flash. Batman appears on Earth-2 in front of Wildcat. And Earth-2’s Black Canary is teleported to Earth-1 where she meets with Green Lantern. Meanwhile, Blockbuster is teleported from the Alfred Foundation on Earth-1 to Earth-2. Similarly, Earth-2 zombie villain Solomon Grundy is freed from captivity by the mysterious force and unleashed on Earth-1. Members of the displaced JSA and JLA (sans Batman) team-up to fight Solomon Grundy. In deep space of Universe-2, the Spectre is whisked away to meet Anti-Matter Man, a cosmic entity hailing from the Qward system of Universe-3 (aka the Anti-Matter Universe). Anti-Matter Man easily dispatches the Spectre and heads through the Bleed towards Universe-1 and Universe-2. Spectre, from the Bleed, sees that Earth-1 and Earth-2 are about to merge through the dimensional rift that would cause a catastrophic collision, which would destroy both planets. Growing to gigantic size, the Spectre—from within the Bleed—literally holds both planets apart. On Earth-2, Batman joins the JSA’s Wildcat, Dr. Fate, and Sandman to battle Blockbuster. Batman removes his mask, showing the friendly face of Bruce Wayne to calm the savage beast. Meanwhile, in Ivytown, Ray Palmer shuts down his lab assistant Enrichetta Negrini‘s “space warping” experiment, a weird invention that is interfering with his shrinking ability. Just as Enrichetta’s machine is turned off, Solomon Grundy and Blockbuster switch places. Enrichetta’s invention has been the cause of all the interdimensional-swapping. On each Earth, battles begin anew against a new opponent. Green Lantern is able to use his power ring to bring Solomon Grundy and Blockbuster into an arena of his own creation. There, the heroes are able to get out of the melee by tricking Solomon Grundy to duke it out with Blockbuster instead. Concurrently, on Earth-2, Dr. Fate views through his scrying ball and sees the Spectre holding the planets apart. He also sees Anti-Matter man walking across Spectre’s enlarged body, using it as a bridge to access Earth, which will be destroyed if Anti-Matter Man reaches it. Dr. Fate uses his magick to contact and fill-in all the heroes on both Earths. He then magickally transports all the heroes (and himself and Green Lantern’s arena contruct) into the Bleed-space. There, the heroes begin fighting the seemingly invulnerable King Kong-sized Anti-Matter Man atop the back of a Godzilla-sized Spectre. On Earth-1, the Atom shrinks down into Enrichetta’s machine and is able to teleport himself into the Bleed where the heroes are fighting. The Atom uses a spare shrinking device to shrink down Spectre, which explodes his body, causing the two Earths to rocket back into their correct astronomical positions. The explosion also sends Anti-Matter Man back to Universe-3. The Spectre then re-materializes. By the time the heroes regroup at Green Lantern’s arena construct, Blockbuster and Solomon Grundy have beaten each other silly, so silly, in fact, that they have become happy-go-lucky good guys. After the smiling hulks hug the heroes, Dr. Fate returns everyone back to their correct homes.
–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #68. Batman upgrades the Batmobile. First, he upgrades the GCPD hotline connection to the Batmobile car phone, adding in a video screen to the dashboard display. The car phone is now a car video phone. Second, Batman adds a special “Anti-Booby Trap Circuit” to the car, a special computer that, when activated, can scan the body of the vehicle and eliminate any booby traps or foreign objects that may have been placed inside. Third, Batman adds ejector seats to the car.
–Detective Comics #355
After two nights of hard patrol as Batman and Robin, Bruce and Dick go to a live pro wrestling event to see the Arizona Apache take on the undefeated Hooded Hangman. The Hooded Hangman continues his streak, defeating Apache and keeping his masked identity a secret from the public. While Dick stays home to do some studying (for summer school mid-term exams), Batman goes on patrol only to run into the Hooded Hangman, who seems to be fleeing from a robbery. Batman fights the Hangman only to get thrashed. The next morning, the newspaper reveals that the Hangman was innocent as two smalltime burglars were apprehended for the crime. That night, with Dick still studying, Batman goes out solo once again. And, once again, the Dark Knight finds himself fighting the Hangman, this time to a stalemate before the masked mystery man flees. The next night, Bruce and Dick watch Telman Davies’ news show as they usually do. Bruce realizes that Davies is none other than the Hooded Hangman. He and Dick also deduce that Davies is on a quest to defeat Batman and unmask him so as to become Gotham’s most famous person with a secret identity. Batman disguises himself as Davies underneath his cowl and then makes a dramatic appearance in the front row of the live wrestling show. After making his entrance, the Hangman confronts Batman and they decide to have a private fight, exiting the arena as the astonished crowd looks on. Atop a nearby roof, several onlookers watch as Batman and the Hangman duke it out. Hangman defeats Batman yet again, but when he unmasks him and sees himself, the sight confuses him long enough for Batman to kayo the Hangman. Later, Batman and Robin debrief with Commissioner Gordon, who reveals that Davies has left Gotham for good.
–The Brave & The Bold #68
With Robin on unspecified Teen Titans business, Batman patrols the streets of Gotham alone, unaware that Joker, Riddler, and Penguin have just escaped from prison together. When Riddler appears on his hacked GCPD hotline video screen, Batman soon finds himself face-to-face with the question-asking fiend, who makes a diamond poof into thin air before running off. Penguin then immediately appears, goading Batman into chasing him. While Penguin runs and escapes capture, Joker breaks into the Batmobile, overrides the new “Anti-Booby Trap” computer and booby traps the car. Batman is stunned when his gear shifter turns into a talking mini Joker head that says (via recorded message) that the car will soon explode. Batman tries to eject, but the button releases a strange gas that dizzies the Dark Knight, causing him to crash the car. The gas fills Batman’s lungs and he transforms into Bat-Hulk, an evil ape-like behemoth that can absorb any object and hurl fireballs from his hands. After easily dispatching Commissioner Gordon and some cops, Bat-Hulk wanders into a nearby park and transforms back to normal. Worried that he will turn into Bat-Hulk, Batman travels to the home of Metamorpho—Simon Stagg’s mansion—for help. Stagg’s masked henchmen find the weary Batman on the estate grounds and take him to see Simon Stagg, Sapphire Stagg, Metamorpho, and their Neanderthal manservant Java. Stagg tries to find a cure for Batman, but is unable to. Batman then morphs back into Bat-Hulk and fights his would-be helpers. Bat-Hulk then returns to Gotham where he angrily confronts Joker, Riddler, and Penguin. But during the confrontation, Bat-Hulk begins rapidly hulking-up and hulking-down, unable to control the transformation. When Bat-Hulk takes control, he kidnaps the trio of villains and forces them to be his henchmen. Bat-Hulk then retrieves a vehicle big enough to accommodate his Bat-Hulk form and his new cronies: the Flying Batcave! Bat-Hulk and the villains then rob a bank and fight Metamorpho, Java, and the Staggs, getting the better of the good guys. Commissioner Gordon creates a makeshift Bat-Hulk-Signal to notify Metamorpho of his location. While the Staggs team-up with Commissioner Gordon to arrest Joker, Riddler, and Penguin, Metamorpho fights Bat-Hulk next to a large TV antenna. The antenna gets struck by lightning, which electrocutes Bat-Hulk permanently back to normal ol’ Batman. Case closed. But wait a minute—where did the villains get the Bat-Hulk gas in the first place? We are never told, but it sure feels like the Outsider is involved. Also, in case you missed the obvious, this fun little issue was DC’s dig at Marvel’s Incredible Hulk, who had debuted four years earlier and was gaining popularity at the time. Ah, simpler times.
–World’s Finest Comics #159
Midsummer (aka August)—we know the time of the year because this story takes place on the anniversary of the explosion of Krypton, which happened during Earth’s midsummer, according to World’s Finest Comics #146. Batman and Robin are invited to attend a charity show. But first, Perry White, writing yet another story about the adventures of Batman and Superman, calls for a special meeting inside the Fortress of Solitude. Of course, the Man of Steel is only happy to oblige. Superman brings Commissioner Gordon to the Fortress of Solitude for the first time before departing into tiny Kandor (with Batman) to celebrate Krypton Day—a commemoration honoring the anniversary of the destruction of Krypton. Later, Batman and Robin go to their charity event, leaving Commissioner Gordon and Perry White free to roam around the Batcave. A day later, the Dynamic Duo and Superman take on Anti-Batman and Anti-Superman outside of Metropolis. After the evil doubles make fools of their counterparts, the heroes regroup in the Batcave only to find that blueprints for the Batmobile and a map of the secret highway to Metropolis have been stolen out of a filing cabinet. After Chief O’Hara phones and tells the heroes that the Anti-World’s Finest have stolen trophies from the State Police-run “Team Trophy Hall,” Superman chases after Anti-Superman only to be chased away himself when the latter grabs ahold of some Gold Kryptonite. After yet another encounter with the Anti-Batman, the Dynamic Duo regroups once more in the Batcave with Superman. They note now their doppelgängers know everything about them except for their secret IDs. Batman deduces the truth about the Anti-World’s Finest and high tails it to the sealed-off cellar of the GCPD HQ building. There, Batman and Robin nab Anti-Batman and unmask him to reveal a young Commissioner Gordon. Immediately afterward, Superman nabs Anti-Superman, revealing him as a young Perry White. After spraying them both with the X-22 antidote, the mystique surrounding the case unravels. Gordon and White had accidentally spilled a container of X-22—which makes you turn evil—while in the Fortress of Solitude. After becoming evil, they used a 48-hour superpower-granting/youth rejuvenation machine to become super-villains. A few hours later, everyone is back to normal and chuckling in the Batcave. Yuk yuk yuk.
–Detective Comics #356
Bruce and Dick see off Aunt Harriet, who goes to a bridge game. Just after she leaves, a delivery truck drops off two large crates. Bruce and Dick open the crates to reveal coffins with wax figures of themselves in Batman and Robin gear inside. The wax figures come to life and orate a message from the Outsider: the Dynamic Duo will be dead in one hour. The wax men then vanish into dust. Batman and Robin run the delivery men off the road, revealing them as the Grasshopper twins. A third Grasshopper is with them, but despite the man advantage, the Outsider’s henchmen are easily defeated. Batman and Robin then rush home to run tests on their coffins. The “Radiation O” residue on the coffins is fresh enough that the heroes are able to scan it with the Bat-Detector (basically a proto-DNA scanner). Unbelievably, the Bat-Detector reveals the the Outsider is none other than Alfred! The Dynamic Duo tracks the source of the potent “Radiation O” straight to Alfred’s mausoleum. But after a quick examination, Alfred’s corpse remains exactly where it should be. They check Alfred’s fingerprints to confirm that is indeed really him. Batman and Robin continue following the trail of the “Radiation O,” which takes them to Brandon Crawford’s lab. There the Dynamic Duo finally meets the Outsider face-to-face for the first time. With an hour having passed, Robin transforms into a coffin! Batman, seconds away from the same fate, randomly turns two dials on a weird sci-fi machine and punches the Outsider onto the regeneration bed. The machine activates, turning the Outsider back into Alfred! The Outsider’s meta-power curse is lifted and Robin turns back to normal too. Batman and Robin are shocked! Alfred quickly tells them the full story of the Outsider before passing out with complete memory-loss regarding the whole saga. Batman immediately tells Robin what happened, but tells the Boy Wonder that they must never tell Alfred about his time as the Outsider, for it would basically make him suicidally depressed. They decide to make up a story to cover for Alfred’s disappearance and return. Batman and Robin then retrieve the Alfred lookalike from the cemetery and put him on the regeneration bed, reviving Crawford. Batman tells Crawford to see Bruce Wayne for a job at the Alfred Foundation, which he says he will rename the “Wayne Foundation.” Batman and Robin bring Alfred, who has no memories of every being a super-villain, to a remote secure location to recover from trauma. Bruce and Dick tell Aunt Harriet that Alfred is alive, making up some unknown cockamamie story about how he was injured and missing. Who knows? The next day, Bruce officially renames the Alfred Foundation as the Wayne Foundation. Crawford visits him at the office and is granted a job, just as Batman said he would. A couple days later, Bruce and Dick help Alfred back home to Wayne Manor to greet Aunt Harriet, who cooks a celebratory dinner for the whole family. Welcome back Alfred!
–World’s Finest Comics #160
Batman and Superman participate in a Gotham City charity carnival where they expose charlatan “mind reader” Marvello as crook Cash Carrigan. The cigar-sucking fat-cat operator of the carnival amazingly says, “I want no phonies in my carnival!” while smashing the fake crystal ball with a cane. Naturally, Carrigan and his moll vow revenge. Thus begins the start of a classic Batman/Superman entrapment ruse to further ruin poor Carrigan’s life—a ruse that the heroes (or at least Superman) surely must have planned in advance of busting Carrigan. Carrigan is escorted by a sheriff to the edge of Gotham County where a disguised Superman plays clerk at a curio shop. Carrigan takes the lure and winds up stealing a zodiac book planted specifically for him by the Man of Steel. Later that day, after Batman and Robin bust some criminals, Carrigan’s moll dresses up as an old fortune teller and visits them outside of police HQ, asking Batman his birthday. Batman gives a fake b-day. Using the horoscope and Batman’s fake b-day, Carrigan determines that the Dark Knight is due for some bad luck. Calling himself “Dr. Zodiac,” Carrigan challenges the Caped Crusader. Dr. Zodiac is able to steal a bunch of rare animals from a Noah’s Ark exhibit by “evading” Batman and Robin. Dr. Zodiac then sells the creatures to “crooked animal-dealers.” Only in Gotham, am I right? Later, Dr. Zodiac’s moll infiltrates the Jimmy Olsen Fan Club in Metropolis to obtain Superman’s b-day, another fake date delivered by Jimmy himself as part of the elaborate hoax. The hoax continues as Superman lets Dr. Zodiac—disguised as “a wealthy Oriental”—rob a casino in a dirigible. With his newfound cash, Dr. Zodiac rents a penthouse, hires a maid and a bunch of henchmen, and buys a $50,000 computer (!) that can supposedly tell 100% accurate horoscopes. Only in Metropolis, am I right? Dr. Zodiac then publicly threatens to rob the State Police-run “Team Trophy Hall,” which is now called “The Batman-Superman Museum.” At the museum, Dr. Zodiac and his hirelings kill Superman with Kryptonite and kidnap Batman and Robin. Unknown to the villains, the defeated heroes are actually sacrificial lambs—a Superman Robot, the Batman Robot, and a new Robin Robot. The next night, at an abandoned nightclub filled with underworld scum, Dr. Zodiac executes the Dynamic Duo Robots and then tries to auction off horoscope information that could lead to the downfall of America’s “leading lawmen,” including J Edgar Hoover himself. At this point, however, due to time-sliding retcons, Hoover would have been dead, so this reference must be ignored. The real heroes crash the party and bust all the baddies. One of the most elaborate entrapment stings (to bust some of the lamest and most-pathetic villains to date) is completed. Hope it was worth it, boys!
–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday Newspaper Strip 5/29/1966). Batman does some necessary housecleaning. First, Batman installs firehouse poles that extend from the mansion down to the Batcave below. Batpoles, everybody, Batpoles. Then, the Dark Knight invents “high-voltage Batsorbers,” devices built into the Dynamic Duo’s utility belts that prevent electrocution. And last, the Caped Crusader updates and upgrades the Batmobile’s portable crime kit, including adding detailed maps of the Gotham’s infrastructure.
–Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #1
The first mini-issue of this series is an adaptation of a story from Batman #40, Part 2. Bruce thinks his attorney, Henry Bush, is skimming off the top when it comes to monetary affairs at Wayne Enterprises. In order to test him, Bruce orchestrates an elaborate ruse where he fakes his own death. Dick is in on the ruse, but plays along with it and doesn’t bother to tell Alfred, who genuinely is upset. As is a grief-stricken Aunt Harriet. With escaped convict Beetle Boles terrorizing Gotham, Commissioner Gordon is desperate for Batman’s help. Dick and Alfred shuffle over the the local gym to scout for a replacement Dark Knight. As “luck” would have it the acrobatic Adonis named Bill Randall is on hand. Dick hires “Randall” for a secret job and later is escorted into the Batcave via a secret abandoned house/tunnel entrance on the outskirts of the Wayne property. “Randall” agrees to be the new Batman and, later that night, the Dynamic Duo takes down Boles and his gang. Later still, Bush arrives at Wayne Manor to read Bruce’s will. When he lists a large sum of money to be deposited into a dummy charitable organization (his own account), Bruce makes his dramatic return, shocking Bush and causing Aunt Harriet to nearly have a heart attack.
–Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #2
Catwoman once again returns to a life of villainy. Batman receives word on the hotline phone that Catwoman has catnapped two kitties. Using the first kitty, rigged-up with a gas emitter, Catwoman robs the museum of an ancient Egyptian mummified cat and bests the Dynamic Duo. The next day, our heroes confront yet another rigged-up kitty scheme on the ski slopes of a fancy winter resort. But this time Batman and Robin bust Catwoman. After learning that one of the stolen kitties is an award-winning tailless manx, Batman and Robin personally deliver it back to its owner, a boy with the amazing name of Tim Leary.
–NOTE: In Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #6. Penguin escapes from prison after he jealously reads about Gotham’s own Professor Boyd, who is said to be the world’s preeminent expert on birds. Penguin stalks Boyd at his mansion, but the elderly and slightly deaf professor mistakes the villain for a person answering his newspaper want ad for a personal assistant. As referenced in Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday Newspaper Strip 5/29/1966 to 7/10/1966), Penguin, at this time, moves into an underground hideout complete with sharks, buys and renames a local ostrich farm/animal compound, and takes on a new sidekick (and apparent lover) in the gorgeous Beulah.
–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday Newspaper Strip 7/3/1966). Bruce and Robin read about the weird transfer of ownership of a local Gotham animal compound/ostrich farm to its new owner “IM Wadleigh.” Curious.
–Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #3
Issue #3 is an adaptation of Batman #52, Part 3. Joker escapes jail and performs a heist with a tandem pogo stick. The robbery victim refuses to press charges. The next day, Joker does a heist with a bull, prompting the Dynamic Duo to respond. After Batman and Robin lasso the bull, the robbery victim refuses to press charges against Joker because he thinks his gag was too funny and actually good publicity for his nightclub. That night, Bruce goes undercover into a seedy criminal hangout and spreads news that Bruce Wayne has just illegally purchased a famous expensive painting. Joker phones Bruce that night, threatening blackmail unless he allows Joker to steal his painting. The next day, after Bruce displays a counterfeit painting in his home, Joker enters Wayne Manor and steals the picture. Bruce, playing along, exclaims that he won’t press charges. Batman then meets with the first two “victims” and learns that Joker has double-crossed them. Batman drives home to find an angry Joker in his Jokermobile about to spray paint all over Wayne Manor. The Dynamic Duo covers Joker in acrylic and puts him back behind bars.
–Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #4
Mad Hatter II taunts the police after escaping from prison. The copycat Jervis Tetch is drawn incorrectly with white hair instead of red, a mistake this Kellogg‘s series made with Aunt Harriet in its first issue as well. After besting Batman and Robin at a yacht race and the Society Horse Show, the Dynamic Duo has had just about enough. They track Mad Hatter to his Alice in Wonderland-themed hideout, knock him silly, and bring him back to jail.
–Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #5
Issue #5 is an adaptation of Batman #39, Part 2. When gangster Iron-Hat Ferris is branded as a stool pigeon by his former comrades, they decide to enact a cruelly outré punishment straight out of The Man in the Iron Mask—they put a “schandemaske” over his head and weld it shut. Batman and Robin are put on special assignment from DA Danton, who is worried about the upcoming election against fiery upstart Henry Kendall, to apprehend Ferris. Unknown to all, candidate Kendall secretly captures Ferris. But instead of being a hero and turning him in—a move that surely would have won him the election—Kendall ties him up, saws of his mask, wears it himself, and goes on a massive crime spree, posing as Ferris. Kendall’s logic here is that a crime spree right now will make the incumbent, DA Danton, look bad. Batman and Robin tango with the Man in the Iron Mask, and Batman sticks a tracer on the villain’s mask and follows him to his hideout. The Dynamic Duo arrives and is surprised to see a bound Ferris without the mask. Batman beats up the Man in the Iron Mask and reveals him as Kendall. The metal-domed Kendall panics, runs out into a thunderstorm, and gets struck dead by lightning.
–Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #6
Issue #6 is adapted from Detective Comics #120. After finding a rare owl and canvassing the zoo, Batman and Robin realize that Penguin has been stealing birds from the famed ornithologist Professor Boyd, who has a collection of rare birds. Upon arrival at Boyd’s mansion, our heroes are surprised to learn that Penguin hasn’t stolen the birds—the villain works for Boyd. In fact, Penguin is currently at the camera plant with a truck full of Boyd’s feathered friends. At the plant, Penguin releases all the birds, steals a bunch of silver nitrate, and defeats Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo return to Boyd’s residence and set up a sticky birdlime treehouse trap, complete with a helpful umbrella bird surprise. Boyd tells Penguin that great treasure is in the treehouse, prompting Penguin to ascend and get trapped. It’s back to the slammer for ol’ Penguin—(although he won’t be there long since we will see him in our very next story).
–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday Newspaper Strip 5/29/1966 to 10/16/1966) (“A Penguin with Shark Teeth aka Penguin Perpetrates a Prank” / “The Nasty Napoleon”)
An escaped Penguin and his main-squeeze Beulah rob the fancy Spiffany’s store, drawing out Batman and Robin, who easily take down Penguin’s newly-hired Batman 66-inspired henchmen. Batman and Robin chase Penguin and Beulah into their hideout and right into a vat full of sharks. After besting the sharks and more of Penguin’s mooks, the Dynamic Duo track down the villains, who attempt to flee on ostrich-back. After a brief scuffle and Beulah’s failed attempt to feed the stolen loot to the birds, Batman and Robin win the day. After leaving Penguin and Beulah with the cops, Batman and Robin head home to Wayne Manor. After reading newspaper articles about the Gotham City Pearl Exchange and an old recording studio, Bruce makes a few calls, which leads to he and Dick entertaining two lovely unnamed beauties by the pool—a rare time where entertaining ladies seems to be for actual pleasure rather than an act. But the sexy double date is cut short as Batman and Robin are called straightaway to police HQ to help Chief O’Hara and Commissioner Gordon deactivate a bomb. By the time the Dynamic Duo arrives, the bomb is revealed to be a fake, which Batman assumes is a distraction, part of a plot by Little Napoleon (Nappy Klains) to rob the Gotham City Pearl Exchange. After a brief distraction by Napoleon’s femme-fatale sidekick Josephine, the Dynamic Duo soon pound Napoleon’s henchmen into the dirt. Napoleon, however, escapes with the loot. Later, Napoleon has Josephine deliver a clue to police HQ. At police HQ, Batman plants a homing device on her and the chase is on. Chief O’Hara falls for Napoleon’s clue, ordering all officers of Precinct 23—a police unit Robin is familiar with from solo missions—to mobilize, effectively leaving a nearby bank completely unguarded. Batman and Robin rush to the bank and begin fighting Napoleon and his men. Batman and Robin then follow Napoleon and Josephine 30 miles outside of Gotham to the skeletal ironwork of an unfinished recording studio tower. Before ascending the tower, Batman calls the fire department and asks them to provide safety nets below the building ASAP. Atop the skyscraper, Batman and Robin defeat Napoleon and his gang.
- COLLIN COLSHER: An interesting note about the short lived Marcia Monroe-Batman love affair. Much of the story in The Brave & The Bold #64 and character of Marcia Monroe/Queen Bee was a loose inspiration for the DCAU Mask of the Phantasm film and its titular character Andrea Beaumont/The Phantasm.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #153 and The Adventures of Jerry Lewis #97 both take place now, but both are non-canon on our primary timeline. WFC #153 is an “imaginary story,” although quite famous for containing the Batman slapping Robin panel that has been copied for innumerable web memes. The Adventures of Jerry Lewis #97 is based directly off of the Adam West/Burt Ward TV show, making it an alternate Earth story.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In Batman #180, DC really heavy-handedly accentuates Bruce’s masculinity and heterosexuality in ways they’d never bothered to do before. This was their attempt to fend-off deleterious press surrounding the undeniable queerness of the Dynamic Duo at the time. In this issue alone, Bruce is surrounded by more beautiful women than ever before and even goes on relaxing sex-cations. Writer Robert Kanigher also emphasizes the fact that Dick definitely 100% always sleeps in a separate room than Bruce. In previous issues, this was not always the case.↩