Year 7

(1973)

 

–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 Batman #192, Part 1. Bruce and Dick befriend wealthy Chinatown tea merchant Chen Ku and his wife Lisan. Bruce will visit the affable Chen Ku randomly in the months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily News Strip 10/7/1966). Batman and Robin begin studying the complete penal codes of Gotham City, committing each item to memory—even the most obscure and archaic laws in the book. They will study and memorize the municipal law book over the course of the next few months.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #189. Bruce befriends rich philanthropist Jeremy T. Fall. Moving forward, Bruce and Jeremy will hang out from time to time (albeit invisibly on our timeline).

–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #70. Bruce, in order to keep up appearances, begins seeing a new physician, Dr. Charles Kinkade, at Gotham’s Medical Arts Building. Bruce has a check-up that involves a full-body x-ray, blood work, and other medical testing. He will visit Dr. Kinkade a couple times this year (although we won’t see these visits listed on our timeline).

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Daily Newspaper Strip 8/22/1966 to 8/24/1966. An escaped Joker bests Batman and Robin at an amusement park. Since Joker will be in jail after this, we must assume he is caught afterward.

–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) and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 9/14/1966). 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 all of them are. “Evasive Tactic PDQ34,” for example, simply means jumping away from one another directly to the side. Likewise, “Suvival Tactic X234” involves bracing one’s self using one’s legs, should a large crushing object be heading one’s way. 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. (In last year’s Showcase #60, the Spectre returned from a 27 year absence.) The Spectre (and his human host Jim Corrigan) will soon begin readily traveling between Earth-1 and Earth-2. Eventually, the Spectre (and Corrigan) will take up permanent residence on Earth-1. Although, where the supernatural Spectre dwells is of little consequence since his cosmically divine nature places him quite beyond the limits of any interdimensional border.

–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.

–The Brave & The Bold #75
Early February—Chinese New Year. Batman is invited by the “Mayor of Chinatown,” Bill Loo, to participate in festivities. At the New Year’s celebration, which subs the correct “Year of the Ox” with a more playful “Year of the Bat” tribute, Batman greets the crowd—although with difficulty since he doesn’t speak Chinese! Batman notes how Chinatown has evolved and modernized over his tenure as Gotham City’s protector. Near-immortal Chinese super-villain Shahn-Zi, wanting Bill’s son Danny as a new host vessel for himself, uses magick to create a force-field wall around the entirety of Chinatown. Batman chases after Shahn-Zi only to find the villain fighting with a the Spectre! (Jim Corrigan has recently moved to Earth-1 where he is currently doing guest police work with Commissioner Gordon.) Shahn-Zi swats Batman to the other side of Chinatown, inadvertently giving him temporary astral metapower. Shahn-Zi and Spectre engage in an epic battle of cosmic proportions, Batman intervening with his astral powers to save Spectre when he staggers. Shahn-Zi then absconds with a hypnotized Danny into the sewer, prompting Batman and Spectre to give chase. Underground, while Batman saves Danny, Spectre defeats Shahn-Zi, seemingly destroying him. Afterward, the heroes celebrate.

–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 monomania 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. (An interesting note about the short lived Marcia Monroe-Batman love affair: The Brave & The Bold #64 and the character of Marcia Monroe/Queen Bee loosely inspired the DCAU Mask of the Phantasm film and its titular character Andrea Beaumont/The Phantasm.)

[1]

–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 a reference 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.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #74. Batman learns of a tribute from the citizens of Gotham. Construction begins on the Bat Building, a Gotham City skyscraper that will have bat-symbols and bat-gargoyles on it, made in honor of the city’s greatest hero.

–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.

–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.

–The Brave & The Bold #69
Spring—early April. The GCPD publicly debuts the Emergency Squad, a special unit to handle special cases. Batman also gets an invite to the upcoming Policeman’s Ball. Later, an escaped Time Commander gives Batman a bogus tip that sends him on a wild goose chase upstate. With Batman out of town, Time Commander dresses up like Batman and straps a torture-rack-like device onto his own body. The fake Dark Knight then crawls to Commissioner Gordon for help, feigning intense pain. Neither the Emergency Squad nor police scientists can remove the device, so “Batman” begs for Gordon to reach out to Green Lantern for help. Sure enough, Hal Jordan arrives and uses his ring to get “Batman” free, secretly allowing Time Commander to absorb some green energy. As Hal is leaving Gotham, he spots the real Batman returning. Time Commander is exposed, but from his secret lab, he uses the stolen green energy to resurrect a homunculus called Cosmo. This tall humanoid monster was created by supposedly deceased mad scientist Elijah Carruthers ten years ago, but Carruthers exiled Cosmo to a limbo realm in deep space when he immediately went rogue. Now that Cosmo is back, he picks up right where it left off by trying to kill Time Commander, who flees the scene. Cosmo then goes to Gotham and begins smashing-up Carruthers’ former lab, which leads to a fight against Batman and Green Lantern. In Carruthers’ ruined lab, Batman finds a diary that reveals that Carruthers is still alive! Batman locates Carruthers at a nursing home. The Caped Crusader then gets Carruthers’ physician Dr. Logan to dress up as Batman, while Batman himself goes in disguise as Carruthers. Together they show up to confuse Cosmo and lure Time Commander into the fray. Sure enough, the plan works. Time Commander is easily busted. The real Carruthers then arrives and uses a special formula to exile Cosmo to the limbo realm in deep space once again. A little less than a week later, Batman attends the Policeman’s Ball.

–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.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #365. Batman and Robin visit the Old Gotham Hotel and meet bellhop Charley.

–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 (as also seen via flashback from Batman #194, Part 1), 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.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (News Strip 7/28/1967 to 7/29/1967). A Boy Scout troop hikes in the woods a few miles from Wayne Manor. One of the Scouts, a boy named Wendell (who happens to be acquainted with Barbara Gordon—closely enough to refer to her as “Auntie” and think of himself as her “nephew” even though they are not blood related) spots the Batmobile returning from patrol and driving through the false rock wall that leads to the Batcave. Of course, he is the only one to see it and no on believes him. (Note that Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/19/1967 says the false rock wall is only a quarter mile away from Wayne Manor. This is an error. It should be more distant than that.)

–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.[2] 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.

–Detective Comics #365
Mid May. An escaped Joker hires a film crew with plans of producing a Candid Camera-esque live TV show that will feature him fighting Batman and Robin. After obtaining lucrative paid subscriptions from much of Gotham’s underworld, the show begins as Joker lures the Dynamic Duo into battle with a Joker-signal. After suffering defeat, Batman and Robin clash with Joker again in the basement of the Old Gotham Hotel and in Joker’s underground Joker House. While the cameras are rolling, Batman and Robin bust Joker and his gang. Afterward, ABC contacts the Dynamic Duo to act as presenters at the upcoming Emmy Awards!

–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 #365 Epilogue
May 20. Batman and Robin attend the 25th Primetime Emmy Awards (hosted by Johnny Carson) where they act as stage presenters, handing out all the trophies. Fun fact: the image shown seems to depict actress Barbara Bain (as this epilogue was originally published in 1967). Of course, we should substitute a 1973 winner in this image instead.

–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 their materteral matriarch think she’s 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 troublemakers, 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
Late May. 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.

–Detective Comics #368
Late May—the last reasonable time NHL finals could be held in the 1970s. Operators of the upcoming Architectural Fair ask if they can do an exhibition that will feature a model of the famous Wayne Manor, to which Bruce happily agrees, even loaning them his original Modiglianis to put on display. A few nights later, a large gang of thieves begins a series of big heists. First, they gas bomb and rob the hockey championship finals. Then, at the Architectural Fair, the thieves strike with a blinding light. Crime three involves blacking-out the entire city and erecting a giant Batman parade float. The Dynamic Duo pops in infra-red contact lenses to best the infra-red goggle-wearing goons. Crime four is at a jewelry exhibit, which Batman and Robin easily stop, nabbing the mastermind of the group in the process.

–Doom Patrol #104, Part 2 Epilogue
After the Doom PatrolProfessor Niles Caulder, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man, and Robotman—defeat the Brotherhood of EvilMonsieur 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.

–Superman #199
June 10. Tens of thousands of onlookers—including the JLA, Robin, and Iris Allen (née West)—gather in New York City to witness the start of a UN-sponsored charity race between Superman and Flash. The heroes watch on TV as the Man of Steel and the Fastest Man Alive sprint across the globe, stopping along the way to help each other out and to bust some crooks. At the crowded finish line, Superman and Flash wind up crossing together for a tie!

–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.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #165. Batman and Robin fight gangster King Wolff and his henchmen, The Robber Barons (Stony Snyder, Mitch Grinnell, and Crusher Kopek). The Robber Barons escape, but Wolff is jailed.

–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 #184
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 Batman #194, Part 1. Bruce hooks-up good guy Blockbuster with a job hauling equipment for Dr. Margo Rankin at the Alfred Foundation.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #68, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 1/5/1967), Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 1/13/1967), and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 9/13/1967). Batman upgrades the GCPD hotline connection linked to the Batmobile car phone, adding in a video screen to the dashboard display and extra loud car alarm ringer. The car phone is now a car video phone. Batman also 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. Batman also adds ejector seats to the car. He also installs an anti-tamper security system, retractable battering ram, flare gun, and emergency turn button.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #196, Part 1. Bruce meets the Warren Family, a wealthy Gotham family with seven kids. Bruce will hang out with the Warrens from time to time, moving forward.

–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.

–Aquaman #30
Deep beneath the sea, Aquaman is captured in a crystal orb by the alien hordes of the dark underwater city of Necrus, led by the notorious Mongo. From prison, Aquaman is able to project a second version of himself, which returns to Atlantis to help Aqualad, Mera, and the Atlantean Army defeat Mongo and company. Despite never suffering a blow during the battle, the fake Aquaman’s projection time runs out and he drops dead! Everyone mistkenly believes the real Aquaman has died. Atlantis and the above-dwellers are notified and a funeral is set up. The JLA attends the Atlantean ceremony and carries the open coffin bed in a sad procession, attended by thousands. After the funeral, Mera discovers her husband, rescues him, and chases Mongo away.

–Batman #186
Bruce, as he usually does, reads the news of the week—specifically about the Salon of Spectacles exhibition, which displays original models, and the upcoming Historical Society dedication for the original City Hall of Gotham. Meanwhile, an escaped Joker debuts a new hideout and a new gang, which includes his new diminutive sidekick Gagsworth Gagsworthy, better known as Gaggy, robbing the exhibition, which leads to a fight between the Dynamic Duo and Joker’s new team. The next day, Joker prints a clue in the newspaper, challenging Batman and Robin. At the Historical Society event, Joker steals the whole old City Hall building with a helicopter. Batman and Robin are able to climb inside to ride along, getting the jump on Joker and company when they arrive at their final destination. Joker’s gang is easily bested and sent to jail where Joker becomes a cellmate with Gaggy.

–Blackhawk #228-230 (“JUNK-HEAP HEROES”)
After reading reports about the Blackhawks, the government-sponsored covert-ops team that has been active since WWII, the JLA decides that the aging Blackhawks (now all in their early to mid 50s) are a liability. Batman, Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern meet with a high-ranking government official in Washington DC, where they prepare to secretly oversee a training session that will determine the fate of the group. As the JLA heroes watch from the shadows, the faceless Mr. Delta, an agent of the top secret spy organization known as GEORGE, administers the Blackhawks’ test. Delta disguises himself as international crime lord Jolly Roger, blackmailing the Blackhawks—including member Chop-Chop—with the threat of setting-off bombs at schools. Despite Chuck Wilson’s comment that he’d “rather protect Hitler,” the Blackhawks comply. A few of the Blackhawks are injured while protecting Jolly Roger’s life during a few assassination attempts by none other than a brainwashed Zinda Blake (Lady Blackhawk), who now works for the evil Killer Shark. Bart Hawk fights Zinda, who hits her head and becomes un-brainwashed. Afterward, Jolly Roger unmasks, revealing himself to be Delta. Despite their heroism and success, Delta determines that the Blackhawks are to be disbanded. Batman, Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern agree, but say to give them one more chance. At a second meeting with government officials, Batman tells the top brass that the Blackhawks “just don’t swing!” In a sub-basement under the offices, the Blackhawks fight against a deadly robot that kicks their asses. Bart begs Delta and the JLA for one final chance to prove themselves. With GEORGE’s blessing, the Blackhawks return to Blackhawk Island to train. Certain members of the team don new superhero monikers to “update” themselves for the new era of crimefighting. For example, Olaf becomes “The Leaper,” Andre becomes “M’sieu Machine,” Chop-Chop becomes “Dr. Hands,” Hans becomes “The Weapons-Master,” Chuck becomes “The Listener,” and Bart becomes “The Big Eye.” Meanwhile, the mysterious Emperor of Crime assembles CYCLOPS, OGRE, SPECTRE, and THRUSH, along with his own Gladiator soldiers, to form the self-proclaimed “Empire of Crime.” (SPECTRE is a cute reference to James Bond and THRUSH is a cute reference to The Man from UNCLE.) Seeing as how these organizations date back to around WWII, the Blackhawks have dealt with all of them. This also makes the Blackhawks target number one. In their new superhero duds, the Blackhawks defeat the Empire of Crime. Stanislau takes the Emperor’s own armor to help seal the deal, in the process becoming “The Golden Centurion.” Having witnessed their amazing victory, Delta gives them the US Government’s seal of approval. Delta also tells the JLA, who are happy to hear the news.

–Justice League of America #49
From prison, Felix Faust casts an errant spell that splits him in two, making two identical versions of himself. The double Fausts teleport to the Secret Sanctuary demanding that the Justice League discover who the real Faust is by going through a series of battles against Medieval occult foes. Unable to refuse, Batman, Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern are whisked away. Superman fights a troll while Flash deals with a djinn, cacodemon, peri, and kobold. Green Lantern tangoes with some faerie-like sylphs and the Greco-Roman god Boreas. Batman dukes it out with some tree faerie-folk and the Celtic god Cernunnos. After the heroes win and obtain certain materials that can be used to undo Faust’s split persona, incantations are delivered, but the two beings remain as two. Snapper Carr arrives and tells the heroes that Faust is still in prison and never escaped! The heroes bring their two Fausts to the prison where they learn that Faust’s original spell created two freed doppelgängers while he remained trapped behind bars. The real Faust makes the phonies disappear.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #162. Batman is awarded some sort of honorary certificate that has a Bat-symbol stamped on it. This goes into the Batcave Trophy Room. Batman also puts a large Superman S-shield on display in the Trophy Room as well.

–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.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #74. This truly has been the year of the Batmobile upgrades. This one is a doozy. Batman installs his latest invention onto the famous car: The Crook-Scooper, giant butterfly net on an extending robotic arm. Batman tests the new equipment while on patrol, scooping up several criminals.

–Detective Comics #355
Early August. 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.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 6/16/1966). In addition to adding Batpoles, Batman adds long Bat-ropes that hang from Wayne Manor down to the Batcave. The Bat-ropes are hidden behind a sliding bookcase in the living room of Wayne Manor.

–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!

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 12/20/1966). Batman upgrades the Batplane’s super sonic flight capability. The plane now goes fast enough that it can go from Gotham to London in under an hour!

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 4/3/1967). The Collector is paroled and moves into a penthouse in Gotham’s Financial District. Batman and Robin keeps tabs on him.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #165. Bruce and Dick watch the news with keen interest as a jury sentences Gotham gangster King Wolff to death by electric chair.

–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, having recently left the Senate and returned to The Daily Planet calls for a special meeting inside the Fortress of Solitude. Perry wants to write yet another story about the adventures of Batman and Superman. 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.

–Batman #188, Part 1
We’ve officially reached peak Batman 66 influencing the comics, with tons of meta-references to the show in this issue. As Dick strolls with Bruce, the young ward gets jealous of the fact that every sexy lady on the street seems to dig Bruce. Several gals stop Bruce to get his autograph, much to the chagrin of Dick. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin are called to the scene of a bank robbery. After scouring the site, Batman signs more autographs for his amorous female fans. A pouting Robin gets a kiss on the lips! Then, the Dynamic Duo busts some crooks that are robbing a factory that is making toy Batman figures. After signing even more autographs, the heroes learn of The Eraser, a number two pencil-headed super-villain that “erases” all evidence from crimes for a fee. Batman disguises himself as an organ-grinding bank robber and sets up a fake robbery with the police, while hiring the Eraser to clean up his mess. Sure enough, during the “heist,” the Eraser arrives. As outrageous coincidence would have it, the Eraser is none other than Bruce’s old college classmate Lenny Fiasco. Fiasco recognizes Bruce by the smell of his aftershave and, having held a grudge against Bruce for “stealing away” the love of his life, Celia Smith, in college (something Bruce never even really did), Fiasco and his men kidnap Bruce. In the yard of Fiasco’s house, Fiasco reveals a twisted ice statue shrine display of Bruce and Celia. This guy is maybe the most obsessed villain we’ve seen to date. After putting Bruce on ice as well, Robin arrives to distract the baddies while Bruce escapes and switches to fighting gear. The Dynamic Duo kicks ass and later delivers a giant eraser to Fiasco in jail just to mock him.

–Batman #188, Part 2
Someone sabotages Bruce’s car, causing an accident that nearly kills him. Later, Batman and Robin learn that three of Squire Magazine‘s “Best Dressed Men in Gotham” have been killed. Bruce, on the list, was supposed to have been number four. Batman and Robin tail “Best Dressed Man” #5, realtor Hampden Dennis, hoping to protect him. Instead, they discover he is a racketeer and bust him. The Dynamic Duo returns to check Dennis’ mansion to find a booby trap and Squire editor Matt Whitson waiting in ambush with a gun. After busting Whitson, Batman learns that Whitson killed one of the “Best Dressed Men,” who was blackmailing him. When a genuine accident resulted in the death of “Best Dressed Man” #2, Whitson decided to kill everyone on the list to cover his connection to the first murder, making it look like there was a crazed serial killer on the loose instead.

–Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #70-71
Mid August. For some reason Penguin is allowed to interact with the children of his prison guards, who are at the jail for a bring-your-kids-to-work type of party. This allows Penguin to escape. While Batman and Superman scour Gotham and Metropolis for Penugin, Lois has a different idea. Assuming that Penguin will strike the grand opening of the new Metropolis Bird Sanctuary (set to open in a week), Lois goes there, hoping she can get the scoop. It’s Catwoman (returning to her villainous ways), not Penguin, who strikes first, stealing all the birds. Hoping to frame Lois, Catwoman forces her to wear a Catwoman costume and uses a mystical ring to hypnotize her into thinking she is actually Catwoman. (Catwoman has recently assembled a bunch of super sci-fi stuff and magick items, including the hypnosis ring and Circe‘s magick wand.) Meanwhile, Penguin goes to Metropolis and hides under a parade float that holds the First Lady and her daughters. (In issue #70, we see Ladybird Johnson, Lynda Bird, and Lucy Baines, but thanks to time retcons, I guess this should really be Pat, Tricia, and Julia Nixon.) After Batman, Superman, and Robin bust Penguin, Clark sees the hypnotized Lois as Catwoman and soon fights a bunch of jungle cats, flying them to the zoo. The real Catwoman un-hypnotizes Lois and throws her in a cage. When Superman returns, Catwoman steals a kiss (!) and asks to be taken to her Catacombs lair. Lois does some nifty acrobatics and escapes, then uses the autopilot feature on the Kitty-Car to go to the Catacombs as well. At the Catacombs, Catwoman uses Circe’s magick wand to turn the Man of Steel into a cat! When Lois arrives, Catwoman sics monster cats that she has experimentally bred on her, but Super-Cat saves the day. Catwoman then throws Super-Cat into a Kryptonite cage, which she had made specifically for Streaky. Lois accidentally sets off some earthquake grenades, which crumble the entire lair. Batman and Robin arrive to bust Catwoman and her gang. Afterward, Lois and Super-Cat visit Catwoman in jail, but she refuses to help change him back. Embarrassed by his condition, Super-Cat (using a typewriter) makes Lois promise not to tell anyone. Days later, Batman meets with the FBI to discuss the disappearance of Superman. Lois then meets with the FBI and President Nixon—(again, this issue came out when LBJ was President, but time retcons change the Commander-in-Chief). The President tells Lois that Superman had promised to retrieve some experimental NASA animals from a moon-landing. That night, Super-Cat gets the NASA animals. Seeing no other option, Lois goes to Lana Lang for help. As luck would have it, Lana has just been given a Monkey’s Paw from her archeologist father, Professor Lewis Lang. She wishes for Superman to return to normal, and he does! Our story ends there with no mention of the other end of the Monkey’s Paw wish. Ummm, you just made something really terrible happen, Lana. Hooboy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #197. Mid August. Immediately following Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #71, Catwoman again uses her feminine wiles to convince Batman that she is still reformed. The fooled Dark Knight arranges for her prison release, and Catwoman walks free once again.

–Batman #189
Summer. Batman gives Alfred a new job: routinely keep the Bat-computer updated by creating information punch cards and programming the system. Alfred begins his new task right away. Dick also starts a new job: a playground instructor in Gotham Park. On Dick’s first day, big spender Bruce (along with Alfred) buys a whole ice cream truck and drives it to the park to surprise Dick and his kids. (This entire sequence, including Dick mentoring the kids and coaching gymnastics, is maybe the most charming thing that has happened in the Silver Age thus far.) When Scarecrow makes his return, Dick ditches the kids and joins Batman to fight him and his henchmen. Scarecrow hits the Dynamic Duo with newly invented Fear Gas (the first published use of Fear Gas in the comics) to escape. Afterward, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred serve ice cream. Later, Batman and Robin soon find themselves aboard a replica of Noah’s Ark where Scarecrow sics jungle cats on the Dynamic Duo, who barely survive the encounter. After regrouping, a clue leads the heroes to Bruce’s friend Jeremy T. Fall’s mansion, where Scarecrow is in the midst of a robbery. Batman and Robin easily take him down and put him behind bars. A week later, Bruce and Dick attend the Gotham Park Playground Championships, where Dick’s student excels in gymnastics.

–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!

–Batman #190
Summer. Penguin escapes from jail and shows off a new side of his super-villainy, using his genius intellect and super-science capabilities to create new anti-Batman and Robin accouterment of the high-tech sci-fi variety. Not long after, Batman and Robin fight the escaped Penguin and his henchmen. Penguin escapes with stolen gold on a giant flying umbrella. A few days later, Penguin uses Robotrellas—sophisticated remote-controlled drones of his own design and creation—to commit long distance larceny. Batman and Alfred build their own drone (also umbrella-themed for some reason), which, a week later, they use to track the Robotrellas to Penguin’s lair. Alfred comes along in the Batmobile to remotely pilot the drone. Batman and Robin are then swarmed by Penguin’s drones and captured by an android Penguin (that Penguin has also built). After escaping and destroying the Penguin-bot, the Dynamic Duo discovers that Alfred has apprehended the real Penguin all by himself. Go Alfred!

–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 (duh). Batman receives word on the hotline phone that she 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, putting her behind bars. 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 references 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.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #71. Batman becomes aware of Native American businessman Tom Tallwolf, who runs a rough-and-tumble trucking company run that operates barely within the confines of the law. Batman studies pictures of Tallwolf and his Tallwolf Trucking Company drivers.

–Batman #192, Part 2
Early September. It’s the first day of the fall semester of high school, which means that Dick is now starting his sophomore year. And right from the get-go, as the star of the varsity basketball team, Dick greets the new athletic-looking students in an attempt to recruit them to play ball. But when newcomer Toughy Loomis decides he’d rather fight Richie Rich, a brouhaha ensues. Dick can’t show off his true skills, but a hooded hero arrives to kick Loomis and his gang’s asses. The altercation causes Robin to show up late for patrol, where the Boy Wonder tells Batman that he has to finish the Loomis case. Robin heads back towards Loomis’ house alone to find Loomis and his goons beating up student Frank Reynolds, who they have exposed as the hooded hero. Robin busts Loomis and company and then chases after Reynolds, who reveals the secret of his strength: a special “Man-Amplifier” suit designed by his genius scientist father. Robin is then able to get both Reynolds and Loomis to join the basketball team. Back home, Batman says that the patrol was a dud—not a single crime on his end!

–Detective Comics #357
Bruce and Dick are invited to appear on the William B Williams Show, a program that allows famous people to have a chat with other famous people they normally wouldn’t be associated with. Bruce and Dick are tickled when Batman and Robin—played by college comedians—arrive as the other two guests. During the show, some small-time crooks gas the building and kidnap “Batman and Robin.” After allowing the fakers to go free in order to hopefully follow them to the Batcave, the small-timers and their boss, Frankie Fargo, are surprised to follow them to Gotham State University. There, Batman and Robin, having just reviewed their crime files, arrive to punch-out the baddies. Fargo, who has eluded the cops for months, fares well against Batman on this first meeting between them. Eventually, Batman kayos him. Later, Bruce, Dick, and the college actors reappear on the William B Williams Show.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #162. Batman and Superman go on an unspecified case and earn a trophy for the Batcave, which appears to be a small tombstone.

–World’s Finest Comics #162
Batman and Superman go on an unspecified case and earn a trophy for the Batcave, which appears to be a small tombstone. In the Batcave, an alien posing as Sir Lancelot—no relation to Lancelot Wayne—appears and trashes Batman and Superman with ease before forcing them to time-travel to Medieval England via “Merlin’s magick” (actually alien time-travel tech). The heroes soon find themselves standing before King Arthur, Sir Gawain, Sir Kay, Sir Bohart, and Merlin—but unknown to Batman and Superman, these are actually aliens in disguise. “Arthur” explains that alien doppelgängers expelled the Knights of the Round Table from Camelot and, in desperation, Merlin was able to send Lancelot to retrieve the “greatest heroes of all time” for assistance in combating them. In actuality, the aliens have failed to capture Camelot and are tricking Batman and Superman into helping them do it now. Batman, Superman, and the evil aliens storm the castle gates and defeat King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table—including Merlin, Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, Sir Kay, Sir Bohart, Sir Bors, and Sir Galahad. Later, fake Arthur slips up, revealing himself as an alien. Batman and Superman switch sides to fight alongside the real Arthur and the real Knights of the Round Table. The aliens pack back into their UFO and Superman hurls it into deep space. Arthur knights Batman and Superman before they return to their correct time, presumably via Merlin’s magick.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily Newspaper Strip 5/30/1966 to 9/24/1966) (“Catwoman is a Wily Wench” / “Two Jokers and a Laughing Girl”)
Batman and Robin bust an escaped Catwoman and her henchmen while they attempt a bank robbery, sending the feline femme-fatale right beck behind bars. The next day, at Gotham Prison, Batman and Robin meet Warden Crichton, who showers them with plaudits. Not long after, Catwoman’s crew busts her out of jail. After meeting with Chief O’Hara and Commissioner Gordon, the Dynamic Duo decides to wait for Catwoman to make the first move. While they wait, Batman and Robin spend over half a day signing autographs for excited fans. After being lured to Catwoman’s hideout, the Dynamic Duo survives various death traps using their utility belt gadgets and steel-enforced boots, after which they easily bust the villainess, putting her back behind bars. Later, Warden Crichton and the Prison Board decide to parole Joker into the custody of Gotham’s number one philanthropist, Bruce Wayne. Bruce meets with Crichton and scoffs at the idea, but when Alfred gets injured by a fall, Bruce decides to make Joker his new butler! Joker moves into the Wayne Manor attic! After Joker’s first day on the job goes off without any problems, Bruce and Dick sneak out to patrol. Joker sneaks out as well, meeting up with his new sidekick and valet Laughing Girl (who he must have met and befriended at some point prior to his last incarceration). Laughing Girl, an awful racist Native American character, picks up Joker in the Jokermobile. Together, they rob a bank of a million dollars and are soon being chased after by Batman and Robin in a high speed car chase. Before the Dynamic Duo can spot Joker in the car, he ejects to safety. After pulling over the Jokermobile, Laughing Girl tells Batman that a crook, specifically not Joker, forced her to drive it. After Batman horribly refers to Laughing Girl as a “simple savage,” the Dynamic Duo rushes home, ditching their fighting togs and rushing upstairs. Thanks to the speedy Jokercycle, Joker has already returned home, though, cementing his alibi. The next day, Joker heads out with Laughing Girl in a Joker-copter to a castle hideout in the Catskills (which is annoyingly and ridiculously referred to as “the Batskills” throughout this arc). In his place at Wayne Manor, Joker leaves one of his henchmen, disguised as the Clown Prince of Crime. Bruce and Dick quickly see through the charade and go after the real Joker. After the Dynamic Duo briefly chats with Superman and an overbearing micro-managing Batman repeatedly gives the Boy Wonder a hard time, Joker addresses the heroes via live video feed, taunting them. Batman gets Joker to stay on the line, appealing to his ego by brining up the recent time the villain bested them at an amusement park. Joker prattles on long enough for the heroes to trace his location. For some unknown reason, Batman goes to the Catskills but returns to Gotham to get a search warrant/warrant for Joker’s arrest (what!?) before returning to Joker’s castle. Once legally inside the castle, the Dynamic Duo is thrown before hungry lions, only to deal with the big cats with some “Batnip” catnip, which Batman supposedly keeps in his utility belt at all times. After surviving a second death trap, Batman and Robin bust Joker and Laughing Girl, who gets even more racist as she is revealed to be a white actress wearing dark skin makeup, only pretending to be stupid to fit the role. Before hauling the baddies away, Robin refers to Laughing Girl as a disgrace to “noble redskins ancestors.” Jesus christ, this is as bad if not worse than Batman’s 1940s racism against Japanese. Glad this one is over with.

–Batman #191, Part 1 Intro
Batman goes on a long manhunt after the criminal Professor Ira Radon. When Batman eventually tracks him down and accidentally tosses him into a radioactive reactor, Ira’s molecular structure is rearranged so that, if he should ever steal anything again, his brian chemicals would cause him to die.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #344. Batman makes a deck of cards that feature his rogues gallery, with each card representing a different super-villain. This is much like the Most Wanted deck of playing cards the US Military will create decades later IRL. Batman keeps this deck in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #358. Batman makes a miniature “Bat-book of Crime,” a tiny booklet containing the names of known fences and criminal contacts. It is so wee and written in such a small font that it fits neatly into his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #359. Bruce begins staying late at the Wayne Foundation once a week. He will continue this practice for months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #359. Bruce meets with Barbara Gordon, who has recently graduated with a PhD from Gotham University. They chat about her graduation, her plans, and rare books. Bruce, as he has done many times before, asks Babs if she can score him a rare edition—in this case The Bay Psalm Book, which was the first book printed in British North America.

–Detective Comics #358
Batman and Robin encounter Spellbinder (Delbert Billings), a garishly clad super-villain that causes Batman to go into a vivid hallucination where he is elsewhere, working another non-existent case. After consulting with the GCPD’s doctor, Batman heads out to fight Spellbinder again and, once again, the Dark Knight goes into a hallucination. When Spellbinder tries the same trick thrice, Batman is in control and takes him down. Later, Bruce, Dick, Aunt Harriet, and Alfred visit a nauseating op art gallery.

–Action Comics #344
Superman invents a mind-swapping device and he and Batman test it out in the Fortress of Solitude. Sure enough, their minds switch bodies. Batman, unused to having super-powers causes a ruckus and knocks the room around, spilling the rogues gallery deck of cards from his utility belt and tipping over a lead box containing some red Kryptonite. For two days straight, Clark—as a result of exposure to the red Kryptonite—has horrible surrealist dreams that haunt him to the core. Batman and Superman meet at the Fortress of Solitude, realize what happened, and then talk about the symbolism in the nightmares.

–Detective Comics #359
Commissioner Gordon’s genius daughter Barbara—recent PhD graduate, current librarian at the Gotham Public Library, and brown belt in judo—debuts as Batgirl, wearing a superhero costume to attend the Policeman’s Masquerade Ball. En route, Batgirl comes across an escaped Killer Moth and his henchmen attacking Bruce. Unable to change into his fighting gear, Bruce runs into the woods while Batgirl takes the villains head on. Rejoining as the battle, Batman helps Batgirl chase off the villains. With her costume messed-up, Batgirl heads home. (This entire sequence is also shown via flashback from The Untold Legend of the Batman #3.) The next day, Bruce learns that Killer Moth is trying to rob all of Gotham’s millionaires. Three days later, Babs brings the rare Bay Psalm Book to Bruce at Wayne Manor only to interrupt a sting operation that the Dynamic Duo has set up to track and follow Killer Moth to his lair. Batgirl fights Killer Moth and his men inside Wayne Manor until Batman and Robin stop her. Later, Batgirl (riding her custom Bat-motorcycle) follows Batman and Robin, who follow Killer Moth. Batgirl saves the Dynamic Duo inside Killer Moth’s lair and then helps them bust the super-villain, earning the respect of the heroes. Later, Commissioner Gordon meets the new Batgirl but doesn’t recognize his own daughter behind the mask. At home, Jim sits with his daughter and asks why she can’t be more like the new Batgirl. The nerve of this asshole giving shit to his daughter who is only 19-years-old and is a genius with a PhD! Oy, I tell ya. Presumably, Babs gives Bruce his rare book after this case wraps.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #163. Early October. While most of Batman’s regular patrols go unseen on our timeline because the Dark Knight patrols every day and goes on minor adventures that don’t get recorded in any comic book, this October will be a particularly busy month for him. From now until the end of the month, Batman will bust 58 crimes. Batman’s busy period begins now.

–NOTE: In a reference in Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily News Strip 9/26/1966). Penguin’s miracle lawyers do their miracle thing and the super-villain is inexplicably paroled.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily News Strip 9/26/1966 to 12/10/1966) (“Penguin the Complainant” / “Flying the Jolly Roger”)
Bruce trains Dick on how to strike an opponent’s pressure points until Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara call Batman and Robin into GCPD HQ. Surprisingly, Penguin is there, having made a complaint that he has been robbed of a crate of fortune cookies by someone wearing a pirate costume. Batman and Robin reluctantly agree to take on Penguin’s case, but not before busting him on an archaic non-smoking law after he lights up a cigarette. With Penguin behind bars, Batman and Robin go in search of the pirate. At the Chinese restaurant where the fortune cookies originally came from, Batman and Robin fight some thugs wearing racist Asian caricature masks. When Robin goes to question them, Batman gets on his high horse and says they can’t violate their constitutional rights. Ummm okay. Anyway, Batman and Robin question the restaurant owner, Fat Lip, who says that a pirate ordered custom gem-filled fortune cookies for a party that Bruce Wayne was hosting. After feeding info into the Bat-computer and rifling through the crime-files, Batman, Robin, and Alfred learn the pirate’s ID is veteran crook Jolly Roger Payne. Soon after, Batman and Robin hop in the Batcopter to chase after Payne in his pirate ship. Payne, his sidekick Miss Morgan, and a crew of pirates shoot down the Batcopter and capture the Dynamic Duo. After Payne and his crew force the heroes to walk the plank, Batman and Robin use tape and hydrogen peroxide capsules to launch themselves back aboard where they kick the asses of a small army of pirates and apprehend Payne and Miss Morgan.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily News Strip 7/10/1967). Batman fishes the wreckage of the Batcopter out of the ocean and repairs it.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday and Daily News Strip 10/23/1966 to 12/18/1966) (“Batchap & Bobbin”)
When the fake Dynamic Duo of Batchap and Bobbin begin operating in England, complete with their own Bat-Basement, Mini-Batmobile, and assisting butler Hives, Scotland Yard is quite annoyed. (British don’t dig costumed superheroes like Americans do.) Batman and Robin travel to Scotland where they meet with Scotland Yard’s top inspectors, Watson and Holmes (obviously not the original Watson and Holmes). Soon after, the Dynamic Duo meets and assists Batchap and Bobbin in a fight against the Gemini Twins. Batman and Batchap bust the Gemini Twins, after which Batchap retires from costumed-vigilantism to become a cop. While wrapping up with Holmes, Batman receives a message that several banks have been robbed in Gotham and that someone has swindled $50,000 dollars from Bruce Wayne’s bank account.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday and Daily News Strip 12/12/1966 to 3/17/1967) (“The Sizzling Saga of Poison Ivy”)
This arc appears to occur in summer, but that is just not possible. We are definitely in autumn now. Batman and Robin rush back home from Scotland. Back in the States, Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara give a status report on an escaped Poison Ivy. Gordon reveals that Poison Ivy is an Ivy League university dropout. With three gal pals and a team of brawny henchmen, Poison Ivy has been robbing small college towns blind. While Batman and Robin pursue Poison Ivy’s gang, they pause momentarily to relax, read about the opera, and meet Conrad Hilton, who tells Batman that his newest hotel is Batman-themed. Hilton gives the Dynamic Duo a tour of the grand hotel before they go back after Poison Ivy, who disguises herself as damsel-in-distress “Laurel Lee.” Batman rescues “Laurel” and, despite suspecting that she is not what she seems, the Dark Knight accepts an invitation to the opera. While Batman goes on his date, Robin fights robbers solo, nearly getting his ass kicked. The next morning, Dick chastises Bruce for coming home after 2 am the night before. Bruce tells Dick that they parked under the moonlight” for hours—a very strong implication that Batman had mask-on sex with Poison Ivy. Batman pretends to be under Poison Ivy’s spell and officially starts dating “Laurel.” Days pass and tensions rise between Dick and Bruce, who doesn’t bother to tell his ward about his suspicions. Eventually, as part of his plan, Bruce decides to ignore Commissioner Gordon’s calls in favor of spending time with his new lady. Alfred, who has been training in judo, reveals his desire to substitute for the Dark Knight. Alfred and Robin take to the streets and kick ass! Later, Batman and Robin go to the grand opening gala at the Batman Hilton with “Laurel.” Poison Ivy’s henchwomen rob everybody and “Laurel” reveals her true identity. Batman and Robin chase the gals for a long time—with Batman using the more obscure items in his utility belt, such as a divining rod, the Bat-sponge, nuclear-powered mini-batteries—to apprehend Poison Ivy and her gang. As soon as the weary Dynamic Duo get back to Wayne Manor, Alfred reports that a music-themed villain has threatened them.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday and Daily News Strip 12/12/1966 to 4/30/1967) (“Jack Benny’s Stolen Stradivarius”)
Batman and Robin are attacked by a mystery music-themed villain before meeting with famous comedian Jack Benny, whose prized Stradivarius has been stolen. Batman lets Benny drive the Batmobile and then rigs up a spare cowl as a blindfold so that Benny can enter the Batcave. After feeding info into the Bat-computer, Batman deduces that the Stradivarius-stealer is none other than the returning Collector. Batman, Robin, and an insistent Benny scale the side of the Collector’s building. Once in his penthouse, they escape a death trap and defeat two gorillas and two sexy henchwomen. (Batman uses the electromagnet on his utility belt’s buckle to defeat the gals.) After defeating the Collector and getting back the Stradivarius, Batman and Robin drive Benny back to his hotel only to be accosted by a bunch of thugs. Batman and Robin bust the thugs, who claim they are getting even for something their “sister” did. (They are talking about the recently debuted Batgirl.)[3] Presumably, Batman and Robin go to Benny’s charity concert one night later.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #362. Riddler escapes from prison and leaves town. It is possible that he is chased out of Gotham by Batman. In any case, Batman is aware that Riddler has fled the city.

–The Brave & The Bold #70
Balthazer Balthazar debuts as the new Collector. The proximity to the return of the original Collector is purely coincidental. The new Collector has one goal: to prove that Bruce Wayne is Batman. With the aid of gangster Nick Cathcart, who has just gotten out of prison and reassumed his position as top mobster in Gotham, the Collector begins a secret campaign of theft, trickery, and spying to confirm that Bruce is indeed Batman. With Batman running solo (Robin is away on Teen Titans business), he doesn’t catch wind of the Collector’s scheme. After busting the returning Ike the Iceman and Willie the Finger, Batman busts an escaped Sailor Sykes and the Admiral. After realizing that he is being monitored via a tracking device, Batman reads that Carter and Shiera Hall (aka Hawkman and Hawkgirl) are in town and immediately goes to them for help, leaving the tracking device with Carter. Bruce then issues a public statement to the press that his life has been threatened and Batman is protecting him. The confused Collector comes to believe that Carter is Batman. When one of Catchcart’s men attacks the museum, Carter disappears only for Hawkman to appear shortly thereafter to bust the goon, further confusing the Collector. After Batman and Hawkman switch costumes and then take down another of Cathcart’s men, the Collector injects them with the hallucinogenic Scapalomine. They lose control and begin fighting each other, removing their masks in the process until Shiera rescues them. Hawkman then wears a green alien mask under a replica mask of his own face before trailing Cathcart with Batman to the Collector’s mansion. There, they bust both men and trick the Collector into thinking Hawkman is a weird green alien. En route to prison, Batman tricks the Collector into thinking that he is an ex-convict named Carl Morgan.

–Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #74, Part 1
The JLA gets involved in interplanetary politics, as they are chosen by an alien race to determine the details surrounding a treaty that will create a new asteroid prison. The JLA gets into a long and heated debate to such an extent that Earth is unprotected for quite some time. During this period, Bizarro Number One and Bizarro-Batman secretly watch the JLA and decide to make their own Bizarro-Justice League. However, when their replicator machine creates perfectly normal human version of the Flash, they reject him and send him (without memories) to Earth. This Bizarro-Flash calls himself “Hero” and begins fighting crime, playing games with Lois Lane’s heart, and scuffling with Superman upon his return from deep space. Eventually, “Hero” turns into a backwards-talking grotesque Bizarro and returns to Bizarro World.

–Justice League of America #51
Zatanna Zatara has just recently found and rescued her missing father, John Zatara, from the evil Elemental named Allura. Zatanna casts a magick spell that brings the JLA and Elongated Man to the Secret Sanctuary. There, she thanks the heroes for helping her rescue her dad. The heroes seem confused since they have no recollection of doing so. Batman exclaims that he has never even met Zatanna and has no idea who she is. Zatanna explains that she found her dad in the extradimensional land of Kharma (which is connected to Hell), where she summoned magickal doppelgängers of the JLA to help her fight demons, a magicakal doppelgänger of the wizard Amon-Hotep, and Allura (who split into two halves, making one evil Allura and one good Allura). Zatanna also reveals to Batman that she was the Outsider’s witch from Detective Comics #336. John Zatara then materializes inside the Secret Sanctuary to greet and thank the heroes as well, for, even though they did nothing, without their very existence, Zatanna would not have been able to make magickal copies of them. (John Zatara showing up in the Secret Sanctuary is also shown via flashback from DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest #5.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #195. Batman and Robin begin surveilling Charley Rivets, a known fence. Rivets is one cool cat and will keep his nose out of trouble. The Dynamic Duo won’t be able to catch him doing anything illegal for some time.

–Detective Comics #360
Gunshy Barton was paroled a little less than a year ago. And in that time, he has formed a new gang and taught them a language of acronym codes to use in the field against Batman. After the so-called “Alphabet Talking Gang” commits a series of big-time heists, Batman and Robin prep their utility belts for battle, adding loud sound-making devices to them. Soon afterward, the Alphabet Talking Gang comes face-to-face with the Dynamic Duo. Using their abbreviated commands, the gang is able to communicate in such perfect synch that Batman and Robin are defeated. Later, Batman and Robin use their noise-making devices to stop the baddies from calling-out commands. With the playing field “evened,” Batman and Robin are leagues ahead, allowing them to easily bust Barton and company.

–World’s Finest Comics #164
The Pentagon arranges for Batman to be the bodyguard for the President of Orienta, Madam Tru, who has just been selected as Chairman of the UN Security Council. Madam Tru is set to visit New York to deliver a top secret device to the UN Science Commission. Meanwhile, Brainiac pretends to be a distressed Batman, which causes Superman to bring the villain’s fake Batplane into the Fortress of Solitude using a tractor beam. After trying to steal the Bottle City of Kandor, Brainiac is exposed and flees. Later, Brainiac builds a powerful android servant called Genia, a dead ringer for Madam Tru. After Genia knocks-out Madam Tru and swaps places with her, Batman arrives to begin his security detail. After watching over her all day, “Madam Tru” delivers the “telecaptor,” a device that can supposedly eliminate pollution in major cities. After Batman and Robin prevent an assassination attempt on her life, “Madam Tru” asks Batman, Robin, and Superman to replicate the telecaptor and place them in Rome, Paris, London, Tokyo, New York, and Metropolis. The telecaptors, of course, are actually shrinking devices. Brainiac plans on shrinking the cities and stealing them for his collection. But before the heroes depart, they realize that “Madam Tru” is not what she seems. Superman is able to use his telescopic vision, heat vision, and telekinesis vision (long-distance “tactile telekinesis”) to rewire Genia. Genia uses hypnotism powers to cause a reality skewing misdirection in which Brainiac hallucinates he has pulled of his scheme. The heroes attack Brainiac, who escapes. Later, in the Fortress of Solitude, Batman and Superman decide they must either send her to the Phantom Zone or shrink her down to serve time a Kandorian prison. Ultimately, they go with the latter, after she discovers their secret IDs.

[4]

–Detective Comics #361
The evil Eivol Ekdal escapes from prison and immediately picks up where he left off, building a conniving violent death trap to kill Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo is alerted about Ekdal’s escape. Soon after, the Dynamic Duo is lured to a mob robbery at an importing company. There, Robin is encased in an “unbreakable” glass oven, courtesy of Ekdal. Robin kicks his way out and the heroes visit Commissioner Gordon. At police HQ, Gordon introduces Batman and Robin to Thea Albrecht, an anti-Soviet freedom fighter that specializes in sneaking folks from East Berlin to West Berlin. Miss Albrecht tells Batman that dangerous Stasi agent Yuri Melikov is in the States. Later, Melikov meets with Ekdal and obtains information about those responsible for aiding Albrecht in Berlin. Melikov then has his men execute Ekdal! Batman and Robin crash into Ekdal’s hideout and bust Melikov’s men. Melikov accidentally blows himself up with one of Ekdal’s trick grenades, a parting gift of revenge from beyond the grave. Just then, the gangsters from the importing company heist enter, ready to give Ekdal sweet hell since the glass oven trap was a failure. To their unfortunate surprise, Batman and Robin are waiting with fists. Later, Bruce and Dick smile as they read in the newspaper about groups of people escaping across the Berlin Wall.

–World’s Finest Comics #165
So ends an era, as Bill Finger pencils his final Batman comic. Batman, Robin, and Superman are on high alert as King Wolff’s execution is set to occur in a few short hours at Gotham Prison. Just as they suspect, Wolff makes a daring escape from Warden Crichton (who is drawn mostly bald and with grey hair, meaning he must have been wearing a toupee in his previous appearance). Batman and Robin track Wolff to his hideout and face-off against he and his henchmen, the Robber Barons. After suffering defeat, Batman turns the tables and kayos Crusher Kopek, disguising himself and replacing him. At a meeting, the disguised Batman listens as Wolff challenges each of his henchmen in a contest to see who can pull off the biggest heist. Wolf also reveals he is dying of radiation poisoning. Hoping to figure out what Wolff’s endgame is, the heroes allow (and actually help) Mitch Grinnell and Stony Snyder pull off their heists. Batman, still disguised as Kopek, pulls off a fake crime that involves the capture of Robin, who pretends to get caught. Back at Wolff’s HQ, Superman (who has replaced Snyder), Batman (who has replaced Kopek), and Robin meet with Wolff. The gangster escapes in a rocket to the moon where he enacts his final plan before death, a unrolling a giant fiberglass “W” that can be seen from Earth. Unfortunately, Wolff’s rocket has landed on the dark side of the moon, so no one can see it.

–Detective Comics #362
Batman is asked by the Gotham City Museum for a model of the Bat-Boat to put into a nautical exhibit. Batman gets to work, building the model. Batman also sets up a Wayne Foundation-sponsored slot car race for underprivileged kids. The winner of the race, hosted by Robin, receives a scholarship for a year’s free tuition at a prep school. (Why only a year?) When Riddler leaves a calling card at the race, Batman and Robin fly into action. After being fooled by Riddler, Batman and Robin deliver the Bat-Boat model to the museum only to find some crooks holding up the joint. Later, after busting the crooks and getting another clue, Batman and Robin finally catch up with Riddler and his Enigmen henchmen, who are amazingly dressed in crossword-puzzle pattern unitards. Riddler escapes, but the Enigmen are busted. The next day, at Gotham City Bank, Batman and Robin fight Riddler and his new Enigmen (who clearly have just been hired and don’t have the spiffy unitards). The Dynamic Duo defeats all the bad guys, but Riddler gloats, insinuating that a bomb is set to go off in another bank in the downtown Little Gotham City neighborhood. In the bank, Batman finds a model of the city. Believing the bomb to be hidden in the model and attached to a thermo-couple trigger, he swallows a Bat-Freeze pill (!) and proceeds to smash up the whole thing. There’s no bomb. It was all a gag to make Batman look foolish.

–The Brave & The Bold #71
John Whitebird schedules a meeting with Batman. En route, Batman finally encounters Tom Tallwolf and his team of reckless truck drivers, but since they’ve technically committed no crimes, Batman can’t do anything about it. Batman then meets with his Whitebird, who reveals that he (Whitebird) and Tallwolf must compete for leadership of the Kijowa Native American tribe. Whitebird asks Batman to train him and off they go. For days, Batman trains Whitebird in the arts of horseback riding, javelin-throwing, and wrestling. Batman then recruits Green Arrow to help train Whitebird in archery! Big promoter J Jay Jaye, who goes by “Big Promoter,” promotes the Native American contest, to be held in Gotham’s largest arena. Unknown to the public, Big Promoter is in cahoots with Tallwolf and plans to rig the games in his favor. A few days later, Batman, Green Arrow, and packed crowd watch the contest. Thanks to the rigged contest, Tallwolf wins. But Batman and Green Arrow are quick to learn about Tallwolf and Big Promoter’s scheme. Batman, Green Arrow, and Whitebird trail the duo to the Kijowa Reservation lands on the other side of America where Big Promoter forces Tallwolf to use Native American occult magick to summon a giant thunderbird. While Batman and Green Arrow defeat the deadly bird, Tallwolf sees the error of his ways and turns both he and Big Promoter over to authorities. All charges are dropped against Tallwolf, who turns over leadership of the Kijowa tribe to Whitebird.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #191, Part 1. Batman makes a custom Bat-framed hand-mirror to use when he is applying makeup or prosthetics for disguises. Thanks to Batman ’66, nearly everything Batman owns is now custom. Oy vey.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America #52, Part 3. October—a week before Justice League of America #50. Batman and Superman complete an unspecified case in Metropolis. Afterward, Batman detects a high-energy reading on his Batmobile equipment. Before long, the heroes are fighting “Cubist Creatures” that have come through a rip in the space-time continuum, intent on conquering Earth. After being defeated, the Cubist Creatures flee back through the interdimensional portal, which closes up behind them.

–Justice League of America #50
Late October. America’s involvement in the Vietnam War has just ended two months prior. Green Beret Eddie Brent, brother of Dick’s school friend Joey Brent is set to receive a Congressional Medal of Honor, but en route to a parade in Gotham, Eddie is mind-controlled by the Lord of Time (Epoch), goes berserk, and runs off. Batman and Robin track Eddie to an abandoned house, but Eddie uses future weapons to incapacitate the heroes. Soon after, the Dynamic Duo meets with the Justice League and Robin meets Snapper for the first time ever. Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman fight a powered-up Eddie at Gotham City Bank, getting beaten with relative ease. Meanwhile, somewhere in the South, Epoch defeats Green Arrow, Flash, and Aquaman, stealing a radiated fossil. Back at the Sanctuary, Batman and Flash whip-up a radiation tracker to find Epoch, who has used the fossil to power himself up. The Justice League converges upon Epoch, who attempts to destroy them. Eddie, released from Epoch’s spell, saves the superheroes, leading to Epoch’s arrest.

–Justice League of America #52, Part 3
Late October. Since Superman, the Atom, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Martian Manhunter all missed yesterday’s case involving Eddie Brent and Epoch, they all record reasons why they failed to appear. Each hero was dealing with other cases. Superman tells the team about how he was specifically occupied by the returning Cubist Creatures. After sharing-time, the entire Justice League departs for Eddie Brent’s Congressional Medal of Honor award ceremony in Washington DC.

–Justice League of America #50 Epilogue
Late October. In Washington DC, President Nixon awards Eddie Brent the Congressional Medal of Honor before the Justice League, Dick Grayson, Joey Brent, and hundreds of onlookers.

–World’s Finest Comics #163
Late October. Batman uses an anti-laser Bat-headlight feature on the Batmobile and drives the debuting Crimemobile off the road. After busting the drivers, Batman meets with Clark Kent. Batman and Superman are whisked away to a distant planet known as The World of Wonders where they are guests of Jemphis, who hosts an annual intergalactic superheroes convention. After Jemphis hypnotizes Batman, he forces the Dark Knight to fight a de-powered Superman. After they duel to a stalemate, Jemphis reschedules a battle to the death in a large arena. The next day, before an audience of hypnotized alien villains, Superman fights Batman once again. Batman takes the victory, but snaps to his senses when Jemphis asks him to finish off the Man of Steel. Jemphis then sics other mesmerized heroes on Batman and Superman, but Batman is able to undo their hypnosis with a series of flash grenades. Batman and Superman then team with Aeroman, Solar Man, Serpento, Dr. Chill, Zardin the Boy Marvel, Windlass, and others to defeat Jemphis. With the help of the alien heroes, Batman and Superman return to Earth.

–Detective Comics #363
It’s only been a few weeks since Batgirl’s debut. Batman and Robin assist her in busting some crooks. Afterward, Batman sees that the crooks have attached a bug to Batgirl’s cowl, meaning that their partners are listening-in. After temporarily jamming the bug’s signal, Batman blindfolds Batgirl and takes her into the Batcave. Batman, having smeared wax all over his face, unmasks, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne. However, the wax serves its purpose and makes Batgirl (and the listening-in bad guys) doubt that Bruce Wayne is really his true secret ID. Batman and Robin take and unjam the tracking part of Batgirl’s bug before going to an abandoned hunting lodge outside of town. When the crooks arrive to get the jump on Batgirl, they get fisticuffs from the Dynamic Duo instead. Batgirl follows and takes-out some baddies as well. The criminals spill the beans about their boss, Mr. Brains, who had been delivering messages to them via the library. The next day, Batman and Robin obtain a search warrant for John Hart, a library card holder that they suspect to be Mr. Brains. Sure enough, Hart shows up and gets busted. Afterward, Batman tells Commissioner Gordon not to pay any heed to the crooks trying to say that he is Bruce Wayne. Batman tells the Commish that he got Bruce’s permission to use his face during this case, even going so far as to tell Jim to invite Bruce to dinner to confirm. A few days later, Bruce, Dick, Jim, and Babs have dinner together at a restaurant.

–Batman #191, Part 1
As Batman goes on patrol, the returning Professor Ida Radon is able to radioactively contaminate all his Bat-weapons and the Caped Crusader himself. Radon sends a message telling Batman that he must retire or he will continue to irradiate his things and eventually poison him to death. Deciding not to tell Alfred and Dick the truth or his plan of action, Batman simply announces on live TV that he is retiring and will auction off all of his crime-fighting paraphernalia. The auction will be legit, but it will act as a lure and setup for Radon’s downfall. The next day, after decontaminating his items, Batman stands before a crowd of shocked onlookers, including Commissioner Gordon, Dick, and Barbara Gordon. The Dark Knight auctions-off Robin’s costume, a Batarang, Bat-rope, the hotline phone, his own costume, and various other items for charity. As instructed, Wayne Foundation officials bid top dollar and purchase all the items, except for the Batarang, which Batman only pretends to sell for the outrageous price of $10,000 to a fake buyer. Dressing up as the buyer and leaking his address—a rented house outside of town—Batman lures the curious Radon out of hiding. Before going to the rented house, Batman gets special tech from MIT and uses it to build a radioactive-proof clay suit. The Clay-Batman then waits. Sure enough, Radon shows up and tries to blast Batman with a lethal dose of radiation. The suit protects Batman and Radon winds up accidentally killing himself. Later, Batman gets his auctioned stuff back and goes on live TV to reveal the truth about his false retirement. Back home, Batman tells Robin “Eventually, I’ll have the radiation removed from my body.” What!? Batman and Robin then happily go on patrol. We must assume that Batman “has the radiation removed” somehow immediately afterward. Sheesh.

–Batman #191, Part 2
Alfred is kidnapped by the Millionaire Mobster Club and forced to work as a slave for the group’s boss Duke Kelsey. His first task is to create a menu for an MMC gala. Kelsey sends out his men to steal ingredients from specialty stores in the dead of night. Batman and Robin, on a search for Alfred, pause to bust some of the Kelsey’s men. The next afternoon, Bruce reads the newspaper and learns of specialty food shops being robbed all over town. The bizarre list of stolen ingredients functions as an anagram clue that reveals Alfred’s location. Bruce and Dick break into Alfred’s private files and rifle through his secret recipes to solve the puzzle. After some more investigative work, Batman and Robin soon descend upon the Kelsey and the MMC gala. They bust heads and rescue Alfred. The next night, Bruce, Dick, and Aunt Harriet celebrate Alfred’s safe return with a fancy dinner.

–Justice League of America #53
When famous artifacts and statues begin disappearing into thin air courtesy of an unnamed treasure thief using a Kryptonite-powered teleportation device, gangster Johnny Marbles wants in on the action. In order to gets his hands on the device, Marbles’ hoods fight individual JLA members and manage to steal items belonging to them, swapping the lifted items with fakes. For example, the goons steal Batman’s utility belt, leaving him with a bogus belt. This prompts the JLA to go after the treasure thief, who uses the device to animate folklore statues—including statues of Paul Bunyan, the Doodang Dragon, Jersey Devil, and Ring-Tail Roarer—to attack the JLA. Batman bests Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox while his teammates deal with the others. The treasure thief and his warriors are defeated, but Marbles and his men, who have followed, snatch the device and use it to make Batman, Hawkman, and Wonder Woman disappear into thin air. After recruiting Hawkgirl for assistance, the JLA tracks Marbles only to get frozen by the device and captured by Marbles’ men. Hawkgirl kicks ass and saves the entire JLA! After the disappeared heroes reappear, the JLA celebrates Hawkgirl’s badassery.

–Action Comics #350, Part 2
Supergirl, in her alias of undergraduate student Linda Lee Danvers, attends a party with her quasi-boyfriend Dick Malverne. At the Stanhope College party, The Heroes, a rock band dressed as superheroes performs. While a fake Supergirl does a solo act, the other bandmates rob the joint. After another similar heist, Supergirl does some investigating and learns the truth about the Heroes, including the fact that the fake Supergirl, Kim Lorne, is only sticking with them because she is being blackmailed. When the real Supergirl raids the Heroes’ unoccupied hideout, she succumbs to a trap of radioactive Green Kryptonite-Plus (a mélange of Green K and an unknown isotope). After being rescued by Kim, Supergirl uses “super long distance ventriloquism” to call-out to the JLA. Green Lantern, Batman, and Green Arrow respond to the call, kayoing their doppelgängers.

–Batman #192, Part 1
Batman and Robin go after a newcomer called The Swami, who uses a crystal ball to see the future before sending his henchmen on robberies. When Lisan tells Batman that her husband Chen Ku is acting strange, Batman visits the tea merchant in Chinatown to find the Swami’s men roughing him up. Batman and Robin defeat the Swami’s men, who all run off with a stolen jade statue. Only one of the four is apprehended. Batman disguises himself as the last man and goes to the crook’s address, which turns out to be the Swami’s HQ. There, the Swami uses his crystal ball to expose Batman, which results in his getting knocked-out and restrained. When Batman awakes, the Swami unmasks, revealing himself as an escaped-from-jail Johnny Witts, who has planned everything a step ahead of Batman this whole time. Soon after, Batman escapes. He and Robin fight Witts and his men, putting them behind bars and getting back the jade statue. After returning the statue to Chen Ku, Batman and Robin join he and his wife for a delicious Chinatown dinner.

–Justice League of America #54
In Cape City, Hal Jordan is attacked and put into a coma by the Royal Flush Gang while trying to procure a treasure map for father-and-daughter archeologists Alvin and Irene Marley. The JLA rushes to Cape City to see Hal in the hospital, but they wind up fighting the Royal Flush Gang, who are disguised in alternate costumes—Lancelot, Alexander the Great, a serpent man, a judge, and Queen Elizabeth. While Hal undergoes brain surgery, Batman deduces the identity of the cosplayers, who ditch their disguises and follow the stolen treasure map to a hidden library in Asia Minor, which contains ancient tomes and magickal weapons. In Cape City, the JLA and Irene Marley interrogate a bookkeeper to learn the location of the library. In Asia Minor, the JLA defeats the Royal Flush Gang, during which the library and magick weapons are destroyed. (A flashback from Justice League of America #240 details this fight as well, although it mistakenly shows Ace still wearing his serpent costume.) Afterward, the JLA fixes some of the damaged items and gives them to charity.

–Batman #194, Part 1
Blockbuster turns bad again and beats the crap out of Batman and Robin, who are unable to use their usual tricks to calm the raging hulk. After getting info on Blockbuster’s recent behavior patterns, Batman disguises himself as Solomon Grundy confronts the villain on the island where he originally saved Mark Desmond from quicksand. The disguised Batman is able to re-associate Blockbuster’s hatred onto Solomon Grundy instead of himself, after which the Dark Knight saves Blockbuster from the very same bog of quicksand, thus re-earning the hulk’s trust.

–Batman #194, Part 2
When Marty Tellman’s cheap art prints turn into actual million dollar Matisses and Seurats overnight, the Mystery Analysts are on the case. After Batman gets all the info on the case, he visits Tellman’s house and busts some would-be hired robbers. Tellman’s wealthy buddy Reginald Stonefellow tells all that he purchased the real paintings and made the switch. The Analysts then deduce that local art dealer John Burelson had sent the crooks. After Batman, Hugh Rankin, and Art Saddows disguise themselves as the busted crooks, they entrap and expose Burelson, putting him behind bars. Later, Tellman donates his famous painting to the museum and all six Analysts visit the exhibit room.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #197. Batman and Robin chase after the thieving Parker Brothers, who escape. The Dynamic Duo will unsuccessfully hunt the elusive Parker Brothers for weeks to come.

–World’s Finest Comics #168
Xan, son of Vyl, wanting revenge on Batman and Superman for having jailed his now deceased father, uses alien tech to turn Joe Meach back into the Composite Superman, who soon battles Superman, Batman, and Robin in the Batcave. While Superman travels to the future to ask the Legion of Super-heroes for advice, Batman gets stuck fighting Composite Superman one-on-one after the villain kidnaps and tries to impersonate Robin. (Batman sees through his charade when he fails to fasten his seatbelt in the Batmobile! Not to mention, Composite Superman chains-up the Boy Wonder in a very compromising and suggestive position. Hoo boy.) After Superman destroys the source of Composite Superman’s power (Legionnaire figurines in the Superman Museum), Composite Superman uses his remaining power to defeat Batman and Superman, slowly turning their bodies into anti-matter! Xan arrives via UFO just in time to witness Composite Superman turn back into plain ol’ Meach, who sacrifices his own life to save the World’s Finest. Xan is busted and Superman builds a memorial statue in honor of Meach.

–Batman #195
Crook Ned Creegan, acting on a tip from Billy Blabbermouth (!), robs scientist Nevil Logan, stealing jewels that were being used as part of a study in nuclear radioactivity, unknowingly getting radiation poisoning in the process. When Creegan tries to sell the jewels to Charley Rivets, Batman and Robin attempt to make the bust, but Creegan mutates into an electrified translucent skeleton man (complete with invisible clothing), becoming the super-villain “Bag O’Bones.” With his new powers, Creegan easily bests Batman and Robin. (This fight is also shown via flashback from Black Lightning #4 and flashback from Batman & The Outsiders #4.) Bag O’ Bones rushes back to Logan, who explains that, while he is in skeleton mode, his lifespan is exponentially decreased. Logan provides special pills—white ones that return you to normal and purple ones that activate skeleton mode. After a lengthy science lab lesson in the Batcave and sewing new protective gloves, Batman and Robin fight Bag O’Bones again, this time getting a victory. Bag O’Bones spills the beans about Logan and his condition, which leads to a battle pitting Batman and Robin against a bunch of skeleton mode animals. After fighting off the creatures, Logan and Bag O’Bones go to prison.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #370. Bruce buys a famous Borot painting at public auction for half a million dollars, which he hangs up in Wayne Manor.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #366. Batman improves the sound amplifier on his Batmobile radar, fine tuning it so that it can register quickened heartbeats from a long distance. Ridiculously, Batman decides that a quick heartbeat must always be associated with criminal activity.

–Detective Comics #366-367
Doc Hastings is back and out for revenge against the four men that put him away: Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gordon, John Kobler, and Fred Tinney. Hastings initiates his chain-mail-themed “Round-Robin Murder” plot, in which his four victims will kill each other off. They are each mailed special instructions (that they cannot ignore due to a strange gas expelled from the letters) that will lead to the next person’s death via pre-rigged death traps in their homes. First victim is Bruce! The gas causes him to be unable to resist following the instructions and also unable to talk about it to anyone. After patrol, Batman follows his instructions and meets with Gordon, nearly causing his friend’s death via a rigged radio. Thankfully, Robin saves the day. Gordon then goes into his Hastings-induced trance, schlepping over to Kobler’s apartment. Batman and Robin are able to save Kobler from a poison-rigged doorknob. Kobler then goes into his trance, which nearly causes the death of Tinney, if not for the intervention of the heroes again. Tinney goes into his trance, but the heroes lose track of him when they stop to bust up a robbery. Back home, Batman can’t tell Robin about Hastings due to the gas, so he instead writes out a fake will as a clue. The next day, Bruce goes to a speaking engagement at the Wayne Foundation. While Bruce is out, Tinney—still in his trance—throws the Rajah Ruby, which Hastings has stolen, through the Wayne Manor window, startling Dick and Alfred. Having been rigged by Hastings, the safe where the ruby is kept explodes, blowing up the entire living room, but Alfred and Dick are unharmed. Robin rushes to Wayne Tower just in time to prevent Hastings from killing Bruce. However, Hastings electrocutes Robin, forcing Bruce to give CPR to save his life. Batman’s detective work leads him to Hastings house in the suburbs, where Hastings is easily defeated and then jailed. A few days later, Bruce invites Gordon, Kobler, and Tinney over for celebratory drinks.

–World’s Finest Comics #169
Somewhere near the New Jersey-Delaware state line, Batgirl meets Supergirl, teaming-up with her to combat a living cloud, which envelops them and imprisons them in the 5th Dimension, courtesy of Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite. After helping send-off an outer space time capsule dedicated to their own honor, Batman, Robin, and Superman go about their business only to have Batgirl and Supergirl—secretly Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite in disguise—sabotage several routine cases in order to glory-hog and save the day. While the heroes go on more routine cases, the magickal imps empty out the Batcave, steal the entire Fortress of Solitude, kidnap Robin, and cause the Dark Knight and Man of Steel’s secret identities to become nonexistent. Eventually, Superman unmasks “Supergirl” as “Black Flame” while Batman unmasks “Batgirl” as “Catwoman”—yet another layer of disguise for the clever imps. The real Supergirl and Batigirl escape and return, exposing the fakers for who they really are: Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite. Bat-Mite tricks Mxyzptlk into disappearing before disappearing himself and returning everything back to normal.

–The Brave & The Bold #74
With Robin off with Teen Titans, Batman goes out solo, swinging through Gotham while delivering a bit of amazing meta-commentary from writer Bob Haney—a verbal diss on DC’s newest rival, Marvel’s Spider-Man! Batman then visits Dr. Daedalus’ Robot Expo, a gathering of the DCU’s robots. Dr. Will Magnus and his Metal Men are in attendance. Of course, all the robots go haywire and begin looting across the city. Batman fights back, but the Batmobile is wrecked. Batman, believing that the Metal Men have gone rogue too, orders Commissioner Gordon to put them under arrest along with Dr. Magnus. Following more combat, Batman realizes he is prejudiced against robots! After tailing Daedalus’ robot Icarus, Batman learns Daedalus is controlling the robot hordes. Batman and the escaped Metal Men save the day. A couple days later, Magnus and the Metal Men hold the Robot Expo again. Batman swings by and gets a kiss on the cheek from Platinum.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #196, Part 1. Batman repairs the Batmobile.

–Batman #196, Part 1
After hanging out with the Warren Family, who depart on a trip to Montreal (to visit Expo 67, which must be ignored due to time-sliding retcons), Bruce suits up for patrol. Commissioner Gordon invites the Dynamic Duo to watch the famed psychic sleuth Petru Dubrov in action as he solves a jewel robbery. (Unknown to all, the real Dubrov has been kidnapped and imprisoned, and the “Dubrov” they are dealing with is actually a faker.) “Dubrov” fingers ex-cons Joey Tolliver, Hank, and Kenny, who start a fight when the jewels appear in their apartment. Despite being framed, the men are taken down by Batman and Robin. Later, the Dynamic Duo fails to prevent the robbery of the Warren Family mansion at the hands of some masked mods, whose fashion sense is a few years out of style thanks again to time-sliding retcons. When “Dubrov” fingers three seemingly innocent mod teens, the loot appears in their car. Untrusting of “Dubrov,” Batman and Robin investigate and soon rescue the legit Dubrov. With a real ESPer at their side, they bust faker and his gang, exonerating the others that have been falsely arrested.

–Batman #196, Part 2
Batman busts a trio of would-be bank robbers before immediately being summoned to another crime scene where a museum historian Donald Connery has been knocked unconscious and robbed of a priceless ancient parchment. With no other suspects, Connery is arrested and charged with the crime. A week or so later, the trial is put on the fast-track and Batman is called in to testify. While hearing other testimonies, the Dark Knight deduces that one of the museum security guards is the true culprit. After a flamboyant testimony before DA Danton, Batman fingers the guard, who flips-out and smoke-bombs the courtroom. Batman, wearing nasal filters, easily takes him down.

–Justice League of America #57 Intro
The JLA has a meeting.

–World’s Finest Comics #171
Bruce takes Dick to a football game, but they are only there to bust crooked gambler Swifty Sloane. After the easy bust, the heroes (in civvies) watch as Sloane is hauled away by cops. Bullets whiz by Bruce’s ear as Sloane is shot by an assassin, rendering him comatose. The next day, a bomb blows up Perry White’s helicopter, but luckily Clark is riding in it instead of him. A few days later, the assassin attempts to kill Perry again, but Superman saves him. Batman and Robin send Alfred to check on Sloane at the hospital where the assassin snipes at Sloane, winging a bullet off his iron lung and grazing Alfred’s head. The Dynamic Duo chases the assassin, who escapes but drops his hit-list, revealing his three last targets. Why a hitman needs to write out and carry with him the names of a mere five targets is beyond me. Maybe he has terrible memory? The hitman then sends threatening letters to both Batman and Superman, although he fucks up and switches their envelopes. I guess this guy really is a dimwit. Robin disguises himself as the next target and gets shot in the back, but survives thanks to a super-magnetized bulletproof vest. Superman disguises himself as the final target, surviving a Kryptonite bullet attack thanks to a lead-lined sandwich board. After easily busting the attempted killer, Superman shows everyone film footage revealing that he is a Korean War vet Victor Stark, who was sentenced to execution for treason (by firing squad). Perry White was leader of the men that carried out the execution—the four other targets on the hit-list. Unknown to all, they botched the execution, leading to the revenge angle played out in this story. Of course, just as they botched his killing, Stark wound up botching all his revenge killings too. Later, Batman puts all of Stark’s missed bullets into a display frame in the Hall of Trophies.

–NOTE: In a reference in Detective Comics #369 and Batman #197. Catwoman goes free on parole. She has also spent the last few months writing an autobiography, which now gets published and becomes a best seller.

–Detective Comics #369
Batman, Robin, and Batgirl bust some robbers in a swamp, after which Batgirl realizes that Batman has contracted “swamp fever,” a rare condition that will cause him to collapse from fatigue in seven days’ time. Instead of telling Batman, she decides only to tell Robin and enact a plan wherein which she will patrol ahead of Batman to cut down on his exertion. After busting some crooks with the Dynamic Duo, Batgirl asks Robin to ditch Batman and become her partner, even adding a sidecar to her motorcycle. Holding his jealousy in check, Batman allows Robin to go. For a week straight, Batgirl and Robin clean up Gotham so well, a bored Batman doesn’t even throw a single punch. On day seven, however, Batman runs into some gangsters only to collapse from the fever. Robin and Batgirl, close behind, swoop in to save him, revealing the truth about his condition and their plan. Bruce spends the next couple days bed ridden, recovering from the fever. Elsewhere, Catwoman reads about Batgirl in the newspaper and ain’t happy about her.

–Batman #197
Catwoman, trying to upstage Batgirl, plays superhero and apprehends the fugitive Parker Brothers, delivering them to a confused Dynamic Duo. Later, Catwoman helps the Dynamic Duo defeat a gang of gun-toting musclebound silk thieves (who are secretly her own men taking a dive). The next day, Catwoman distracts Batgirl, causing her to get her butt kicked by some robbers (again, Catwoman’s secret henchmen), who are then embarrassingly easily apprehended by Catwoman herself. In the days that follow, Catwoman continues patrolling as a superhero (via staged altercations with her own men), earning the love and admiration of the public. At a book signing (since her autobiography is currently on the best seller list), Bruce invites Selina to attend a Wayne Foundation charity dinner, which she turns down. Shortly thereafter, Catomwan meets with Batman and asks him to marry her, which he turns down. In the Batcave, Batman tells Dick he thinks Catwoman is in love with him, to which Robin replies, “Of course she is! Everybody knows that—but you!” The next day, while Batman, Robin, and Catwoman fight crooks, Batgirl returns and exposes Catwoman’s scheme. The feline villainess and her men capture the trio of legit heroes, trapping them on an intense sound-blasting platform in her new Catacombs hideout. Using hypnotism, Batman is able to escape. When Catwoman returns from a heist, the heroes bust her.

–Flash #175
After two mystery JLA signal alerts that lead to team-ups between Superman and Flash, a third signal alert calls the entire team to the Secret Sanctuary where they are greeted by the Venturans, Rokk and Sorban. The Venturans are actually Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne) and Abra Kadabra in disguise. The villains challenge Flash and Superman to a rematch of their recent UN race, only this time they must race through outer space—40,000 light years (240 trillion miles) round-trip. The loser gets their home city eradicated! The villains are then able to easily capture the entire JLA before forcing Superman and Flash—endowed with the temporary magick ability to breathe and fly through space—to begin the race. While Superman visits Ventura and discovers that Rokk and Sorban are there, Flash avoids a series of death traps set by the doppelgänger baddies. Superman and Flash help each other for the duration of the 240 trillion mile trip as they deal with more death traps, angry alien races, nebular vortexes, and more. Eventually, the speedsters cross the finish line back on Earth (in a photo-finish dead heat), unmask and bust Reverse-Flash and Abra Kadabra, and rescue their friends.

–Justice League of America #59
The Justice League attends a regularly scheduled meeting at the Secret Sanctuary, during which Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Flash are transported to the planet Marithania by its rulers known as The Impossibles. These beings recruit the captured Justice League members to help defend their planet against an invasion of Contra aliens. With their mission complete, the heroes are returned home where they tell the others about what has occurred.

–Detective Comics #370
Batman and Robin hear word of the Blitzkrieg Bandit, an itinerant thief that has been bounding from city to city across the US. Not long after, in Gotham, the Dynamic Duo comes face-to-face with the Blitzkrieg Bandit, who pummels them both before fleeing. Batman instantly recognizes the Blitzkrieg Bandit as a bully from his youth, Bert Lambert! When Lambert tries to rob Wayne Manor, Batman gets the jump on him, but the Dark Knight still gets his ass kicked. Robin chases after Lambert, but wants Batman to get his revenge solo, so he fakes having been badly beaten to inspire the Dark Knight. A pumped-up Batman takes on Lambert again and, after an epic slugfest, finally out-punches his rival.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #1. Batman punches an escaped Joker in the face, sending him right back to prison.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Sunday News Strip 11/19/1967). Batman and Robin build jet-propelled Bat-hooks, basically prototype grappling hook guns that will allow them to ascend to much greater heights.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (Daily News Strip 7/10/1967). Batman and Robin attempt to discover the secret ID of Batgirl, but fail in their mission. Note that this reference is meant to be to the Batgirl case in Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (News Strip 5/1/1967 to 7/9/1967). However, the entire 5/1/1967 to 7/9/1967 Batgirl arc (entitled “Batgirl Begins”) is non-canon, showing an alternate Batgirl origin story, one that is totally different from her debut in Detective Comics #359. Because of this, the Batgirl reference in the Daily News Strip from 7/10/1967 is altered to what we have listed here: simply Batman and Robin trying to discover her secret ID.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (News Strip 7/10/1967 to 11/11/1967) (“Shivering Blue Max, Pretty Boy Floy, and Flo” Part 1)
When gangster BG “Big” Trubble puts a million dollar hit out on Batman and Robin, the blue-skinned pilot Blue Max Baron forces the Dynamic Duo to crash land the Bat-copter by playing chicken with them in his biplane. Robin rushes a comatose Batman into Alfred’s care. When Batman comes-to, he has complete amnesia. Robin tries to remind him of his history, even telling him about the death of his parents in great detail. (He mistakenly says Bruce was 12, but Bruce was 10 when the murders occurred.) The next day, the Gotham Gazette reports that Batman and Robin have died. Barbara’s “nephew” Wendell—not actually a blood relative, but someone Babs babysits every once and a while—reveals that he knows the relative location of the false rock wall that leads to the Batcave. Wendell shows Babs, who returns later that night and slips behind the wall. At Wayne Manor, Alfred tries to make Bruce remember, telling him he has been his butler for ten years! (He’s been his butler for closer to six years, but who’s counting?) Meanwhile, before Babs can get more than a hundred yards, an alarm goes off and she bails. Alfred activates the self-destruct mechanism on the Batmobile entrances, blowing them up and sealing them off. When Batgirl returns, she can no longer enter, so she hikes around, eventually coming to Wayne Manor. (Note that we are told the false rock wall was a mere quarter mile from Wayne Manor, which is incorrect. It is farther than that.) She enters Wayne Manor, where she is discovered by Batman and Robin, confirming their secret IDs. Seeing no other option, Alfred alters one of Batman’s costumes for Batgirl to take his place! She then patrols, putting the public at ease, but gets captured by Trubble, who orders Batman and Robin to go get his hit money back from Blue Max in exchange for Batgirl’s life. While Alfred and some hired workers fix the Batcave tunnel entrances, Batgirl escapes on her own and busts Trubble and his gang. Concurrently, Batman and Robin travel to the Caribbean and to apprehend Blue Max. They fight and Blue Max escapes, but Batman regains his memory and the money. Back in the States, Batman returns Trubble’s money but leads him into a government sting that puts him behind bars. Later, Batman and Robin kindly ask Batgirl to use self-hypnosis to erase her own memory of their secret IDs! She says she will “think about it.” But since she won’t know their secret IDs, moving forward, we must assume that she actually does go ahead and do it! Truly astounding. Meanwhile, Blue Max joins forces with two-bit gunman Pretty Boy Floy.

 

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #153 takes place now, but it is 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.
  2. [2]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.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder (News Strip 5/1/1967 to 7/9/1967) immediately follows the Jack Benny arc, but it is non-canon because it is an alternate Batgirl origin story, one that is totally different from her debut in Detective Comics #359. The reference to Batgirl at the end of the Jack Benny arc can still stand, but the entire run from 5/1/1967 to 7/9/1967 must be ignored.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Adventures of Jerry Lewis #97, Swing with Scooter #5, and Adventures of Bob Hope #103 all occur now, and all feature Batman. However, all three are non-canon, as they all take place on Earth-B. Note that, while Adventures of Bob Hope #103 is specifically out-of-continuity, some elements of the Adventures of Bob Hope series are canon on Earth-1, most notably the debut and existence of Bob Hope’s amazingly ridiculous nephew Tadwallader Jutefruce, who moonlights as the superhero called Super-Hip. But what exactly is Earth-B, you ask? Why, I’ll tell you!

    By the late 1970s there were a handful of stories that just seemed out-of-continuity no matter what. Many of these were written by Bob Haney and E Nelson Bridwell and edited by Murray Boltinoff and Bob Rozakis. Thus, these out-of-synch tales retroactively became assigned to Earth-B. The assignment of the letter B came from the fact there were so many B names creatively-involved in the non-synchronous tales—Bridwell, Boltinoff, and two Bobs (three if you count Bob Hope)! Further reasoning for assigning the letter B was that many of these tales also took place in The Brave & The Bold. While it is rumored that Myron Gruenwald and Mark Gruenwald originally came up with the idea for Earth-B, the concept was first mentioned in a letters column by Rozakis in the 1970s. Creators Mark Waid and Lou Mougin cemented the concept of Earth-B in 1986’s OFFICIAL CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS CROSSOVER INDEX. However, the Crossover Index was co-published by Independent Comics Group (ICG) and was therefore considered only quasi-official at the time. Thus, several contradictions arose within.

    For example, Mougin and Waid, in the Crossover Index, state clearly that the 1974 appearances of Thomas Wayne Jr (in World’s Finest Comics #223 and World’s Finest Comics #227) are definitive occurrences on Earth-B. Now, while that is set in stone, the confusion lies in the fact that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Thomas Wayne Jr doesn’t also exist on Earth-1. Because of this, many wikis and Silver Age synopses online include Thomas Wayne Jr as part of Earth-1 canon as well. There are precedents. Mikel Midnight and Douglas Ethington regard the Golden Age Robin origin story in Batman #32, Part 2 as contradicting the Golden Age Robin origin story in Detective Comics #38. They place Batman #32, Part 2 solely on Earth-B. Likewise, 1994’s Batman: The Last Angel occurs on the Earth-B timeline (as its final future tale) and simultaneously on the Modern Age timeline. However, the Thomas Wayne Jr stories also contradict DC Comics Presents #24 by failing to acknowledge Deadman’s prior actions. Therefore, it does seem like WFC #223 and WFC #227 are non-canon on Earth-1.

    But the contradictions were further amplified (or cleaned-up, depending on your point-of-view) in 2005, when the Crossover Index was updated and republished as part of Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Absolute Edition. Because the Earth-B timeline—a timeline comprised entirely of contradictory stories—itself contained contradictions, comics historian/researcher John Wells decided that Earth-B could be even further broken down into parts. As co-author of the “Compendium” section of The Absolute Edition, Wells created Earth-32, a place to hold all of the stories that definitely couldn’t work on Earth-1, but which also seemed to be on shaky ground on Earth-B. (Wells used the number 32 for his new Earth, citing that many of the stories that weren’t jibing with the rest of the Earth-B chronology could be traced back to both 1964’s Green Lantern #32 and 1945’s Batman #32.)

    With Earth-B missing a chunk of its previous material (which had now migrated to Earth-32), Wells realized that Earth-B was a hatchet-job and really looked like something unrecognizable. Thus, he took all the material that wasn’t re-assigned to Earth-32 and listed it as a part of another new Earth: Earth-12. (Earth-12 was first mentioned in 1986’s Oz-Wonderland War—a three issue series that saw Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew join forces with the inhabitants of L Frank Baum’s Oz and Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland to fight Ruggeddo the Nome King. Eat your heart out, Alan Moore! The Inferior Five make a brief appearance in Oz, citing that they are looking for Earth-12. This has led some to speculate that the Inferior Five stories occur on Earth-12 (and therefore Earth-B as well).

    Because of Wells’ 2005 updates, some sources list Earth-B as an “unofficial Earth,” merely an amalgamation of the two “official Earths,” Earth-32 and Earth-12. But this is a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. Earth-B was first, then Earth-32, then Earth-12. One could endlessly continue this process and get nowhere fast. Wells himself is nearly guilty of wandering into this desert. While most of the Batman toy tie-ins, food product mini-comics, and cereal box send-aways occur on Earth-B/Earth-32/Earth-12, Wells—in The Absolute Edition—notes specifically that the Hostess Snack Cake free comics and in-comic Hostess advertisements featuring Batman from the 1970s and 1980s all take place on a separate “Earth-Hostess.” Earth-Hostess! See what I mean? For the purposes of the Real Batman Chronology Project, Earth-B, Earth-32, and Earth-12 (and Earth-Hostess) each exist. Earth-B merely exists as a separate timeline that combines all of Earth-12 and Earth-32.

    Much of the information above comes from Mikel Midnight’s “Cosmology Compendium: Earth-B Timeline” (compiled in 2005), which in turn filtered information via Douglas Ethington and John Wells. John McDonagh (seemingly via Mike Tiefenbacher and Wells) also proves a worthy source in the comments section of a 2006 “Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed” blog post by Brian Cronin.

    Below is a Batman of Earth-B timeline (of my own creation). Many of these items, as explained above, also go on Wells’ Earth-32 or Earth-12. Note that the meat-and-potatoes (i.e. stuff in-between the items on the list below) reflects the Earth-1 timeline. Basically, this means that if I were making a full Earth-B timeline, I would copy and past most of Earth-1’s chronology into it.

    –Batman #32 (also canon on Golden Age pre-Crisis Earth-2 timeline)
    –Adventures of Jerry Lewis #97
    –Swing with Scooter #5
    –Adventures of Bob Hope #103
    –The Brave & The Bold #84
    –The Brave & The Bold #90
    –The Brave & The Bold #96
    –The Brave & The Bold #99
    –The Brave & The Bold #108
    –World’s Finest Comics #223
    –World’s Finest Comics #227
    –The Brave & The Bold #117
    –Batman Power Records Comic #PR-27
    –Batman Power Records Comic #PR-30
    –The Brave & The Bold #124
    (introduction of Earth-PRIME B)
    –Amazing World of DC Comics #11
    –The Brave & The Bold #131
    –The Brave & The Bold Special
    –The Brave & The Bold #146
    –Aquateers Meet the Super Friends
    (1979, this likely goes on the Super Friends’ Earth 1-A too)
    –Batman: The Peril of the Penguin (1979, Post Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles box mini-comic giveaway)
    –Super Heroes: Prisoners of the Stars (1979, Post Fruity & Cocoa Pebbles box mini-comic giveaway)
    –Batman: The Joker’s Last Laugh (1980, Post Super Sugar Crisps box mini-comic giveaway)
    –Super Heroes: The Secret of the Sinister Lighthouse (1980, Post Super Sugar Crisps box mini-comic giveaway)
    –The Brave & The Bold #162
    –The Brave & The Bold #167
    –Batman: Belt ‘Em For Safety
    (1981, Mini-Foldout comic for The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
    –Super Powers Collection #2 (1983, Kenner toy tie-in)
    –Super Powers Collection #5-9 (1983, Kenner toy tie-in)
    –Super Powers Collection #11 (1983, Kenner toy tie-in)
    –DC Challenge #1-12 (1985-1986)
    –Viewmaster Mini Comics: The Joker’s Wild (1993, based on “5-way Revenge”)
    –Justice League America vs. Amazo (1993, Kellogg’s Cinnamon Mini Buns mini-comic)
    –Batman: The Last Angel (1994, also canon on Modern Age Earth-0)

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