Year 8

(1974)

 

–Justice League of America #60
January 1. In the wee hours of the first day of the new year, Queen Bee Zazzala strikes against the Justice League, hoping to mind-control them. Notably, she interrupts Martian Manhunter’s ongoing investigation into the criminal organization known as VULTURE, but she is unable to mind-control him. However, Batman, Atom, Superman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Flash all turn into infinitesimal winged drones subservient to Zazzala. Batgirl, having followed Batman, arrives in an attempt to rescue the Justice Leaguers. Soon, however, Batgirl is turned into a tiny drone slave as well. The Justice Bees are teleported to different planets on various missions for Zazzala, who needs them to gather items to make a medicine that will prevent paralysis—a side effect from an immortality serum she has ingested. Batman, Batgirl, and Green Arrow go to the planet Peremunda where they meet the native talking tentacled trees and bring the gift of rain before getting vials of radioactive liquid. Back on Earth, the JLers deliver the goods to Zazzala, but the joke is on her. The anti-paralytic they whip-up is actually an anti-immortality concoction. The Atom then grows to normal size and kayos Zazzala before turning his friends back to regular size.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #79. Batman meets and begins routinely shaking down informant Willie Pigeon for information.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #316—originally told in Star Spangled Comics #123. Batman leaves town on unspecified business, leaving Robin to fight and defeat the debuting Crazy Quilt on his own. Batman won’t meet Crazy Quilt for quite some time.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #375. The second ever Batman Day celebration is officially put on the calendar, scheduled to be held in Gotham in a few months’ time. (The first Batman Day was held two years ago.) Batman poses for promotional materials and agrees to appear as the guest of honor alongside Robin.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #359 Part 1. Superman is arrested for murder when he seemingly kills a man during an exhibition boxing match (as seen in Action Comics #358). In actuality, the victim is killed by Dr. Frost, who gave the boxer a suicide pill. Superman posts bail, but the news shocks the nation. Bruce, despite being a resident of Gotham, uses some sort of crooked big money pull to get himself on the jury duty selection, scheduled for a couple weeks from now.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #1—originally told in Batman #47.[1] Early January to mid January. Batman and Robin stumble upon a trucking company that is sneaking fugitive criminals across state lines. When Commissioner Gordon shows Batman a photo of their boss Joe Chill, Batman instantly recognizes him as the man that killed his parents. Batman and Robin spend a couple weeks chasing after Chill until Batman finally confronts him one-on-one. Batman retells the story of his parents’ murders and unmasks with the resounding cry, “I am the son of the people you murdered! I know [what happened to the Waynes] because I AM BRUCE WAYNE!” Chill runs into the adjacent room and tells his ternary henchmen (who each have a history with the Caped Crusader) that he killed Batman’s parents, thus spawning the vigilante hero. His trigger happy buddies, instead of dispassionately learning Batman’s secret ID, freak out about the fact that Chill “created” Batman and blast him with a barrage of gunfire. Batman, who has been tailing Chill, busts in, beats the bad guys into submission, and holds Chill in his arms until he dies.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #79. Joe Chill’s brother Max Chill makes his presence known to Batman, vowing to avenge his sibling’s death.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #117. For fun, Superman organizes a special rocket ship “Guided Tour of the Universe.” Along for the trip are Batman, Robin, and 30th century Legionnaires Duo Damsel, Lightning Lad, Mon-El, Star Boy, Princess Projectra, Phantom Girl, and Shadow Lass. During the tour, the heroes accidentally wind up on Earth-117 where they are spied-on by the Jor-El of Universe-117, who is a super-villain called Dr. X. Superman is able to quickly return his group back to Universe-1 where they continue the guided tour.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2. Batman and Robin bust up some gangsters at a grocery store.

–Detective Comics #371
Bruce gets tickets to Gotham’s fancy medieval costume ball known as The Royal Happening, which is set to occur in a few days. He also arranges a date to accompany him. When the Sports Spoilers—a sports-themed gang—evade Batgirl while playing radball, Batman and Robin nab a few of them. A dejected Batgirl—complete with Bat-purse—blames her “feminine instincts” for allowing the crooks to get the better of her. Hoo boy, here we go. Over the course of the night, the Dynamic Duo makes eleven more busts. The next day, Batman and Robin chase after the Sports Spoilers again. At a saw mill, the heroes fight the log-rolling villains but get defeated when Batgirl arrives and gets startled, letting out a shrill scream. Again preoccupied with her “shortcomings” as a woman, she fails. For the next few nights, the snakebitten Batgirl gets made a fool of by the Sports Spoilers. When the vile gang kills Batman and Robin’s informant Stuffy, Bruce cancels his plans to attend the Royal Happening, giving his tickets to Jim and Barbara Gordon. There, the Sports Spoilers strike again, this time in jai alai gear. Batgirl decides to use her feminine wiles to her advantage this time, showing off her sexy legs to distract the baddies. The move works like a charm and the Spoilers get kayoed. Thank glob this one is over.

–The Brave and The Bold #76
When Batman faces-off against the Molder and his Plastoid robots, Plastic Man saves his life! Batman quickly returns the favor, piecing together Plastic Man when the Molder cuts him to bits. Later, the Molder causes Plastic Man to uncontrollably and rapidly expand his body, drowning Batman in rubbery flesh. Commissioner Gordon orders his men to bazooka Plastic Man, which causes his head to fly off into the Molder’s lair where he fixes himself by drinking a chemical solution. Free of Plastic Man’s body, Batman defeats the Molder.

–Batman #199 Part 2
Batman and Robin go on an unspecified case with Batgirl, after which they upgrade the Batcave and Batmobile with the latest anti-bugging tech. Later, when a new crime-wave rolls over Gotham, Batman and Robin are on the case, but are unable to locate the criminals. A few days later, Bruce gets his picture taken as part of a newspaper story about Wayne Enterprises. The following night, the Dynamic Duo catches up with the perps at an art gallery. When Robin gets kayoed, the baddies get away. But back at the Batcave, Robin is unmasked as one of the villains—a switcheroo has occurred with a disguised little person having replaced the kidnapped real Robin. With his secret ID exposed, Batman springs into action, knocking out the impersonator and dumping him back at the art gallery. After rescuing Robin and busting the rest of the gang, Batman returns to the art gallery and wakes up the little faker. The Dynamic Duo is able to trick him into thinking his experience in the Batcave was all just a dream.

–Action Comics #359 Part 1 Conclusion
Bruce serves in the jury selection for Superman’s murder trial (for the death of a fighter during an exhibition boxing match a couple weeks ago) in Metropolis. However, the crafty prosecutor DA Kroll boots Bruce off the jury right away. Bruce stays as an audience member to watch the trial of the century as it unfolds over the course of the next few days. Despite having the aid of paraplegic top lawyer Earl Barton, the case goes badly for the Man of Steel. Eventually, Superman is able take the entire court room faster than the speed of light into deep space to view the images of his fight with the boxer that left the Earth weeks ago. Don’t ask how this works scientifically. While viewing the images, Superman spots evidence that links Dr. Frost to the crime. Back on Earth, Batman dresses up as Superman while Barton calls Frost to the stand, forcing him to reveal his suicide pills. Clark volunteers to eat a pill and does so, feigning death by stopping his own heart from beating. Not only is Superman exonerated, but the deceased boxer is revealed to be a crook, much to the dismay of his wife, Mrs. Noble. With Frost in handcuffs, the fake Superman “revives” Clark. Later, in an alley, Batman returns the Superman costume to Clark. To show his appreciation, Superman helps cure Barton’s paralysis.

–Detective Comics #372
By day, Bruce plays playboy, meeting and becoming romantically involved with the lovely Andrea. By night, Bruce plays Batman, investigating a series of robberies. When Dick is forced to study for weeklong exams, Batman goes on the case solo. After a clue leads him to the Royal Karonian restaurant, Bruce takes Andrea there. While on their date, Bruce ditches Andrea (prompting her to furiously dump him) to interfere in an alleyway fight adjacent to the restaurant. Bruce stops two men, dressed in traditional Balkan garb, from attacking another man, who flees. The Balkan-garb guys tell Bruce that he has allowed Karonian criminal Zoldin to escape. The next night, Bruce makes-up with Andrea, who accompanies him to the Karonian Festival where an acrobat performs an acrobat show, nearly injuring Bruce “by accident.” Bruce pops Andrea in a cab and sends her home again, prompting another furious break-up. Batman then tails the acrobat to a house where he finds a beaten-up Zoldin, who reveals he is a Karonian revolutionary hoping to overthrow the dictatorship in his nation. Before dying of his wounds, Zoldin admits that he has stolen the money to help fund his cause. At the Rainbow Hotel, Batman busts a bunch of Karonian nationalists and recovers the loot. Later, Zoldin’s wife speaks to Batman and Commissioner Gordon, exclaiming that she will carry on her husband’s mission. Batman and Goron show her no sympathy at all.

–Justice League of America #61
Green Arrow, having nearly been permanently body-swapped by an escaped Dr. Destiny, worries about Dr. Destiny pulling the same trick on his pals. Thus, Green Arrow tells the JLA that he’s retiring as a hero and that they all must do the same or face dire consequences. Unsure of what is going on, each hero (except for Wonder Woman and Snapper Carr) disguises themselves as Green Arrow in an effort to investigate. Batman—as Green Arrow—busts a Penguin, who instantly transforms into Green Arrow while Batman transforms into Penguin. Trapped in Penguin’s body, Batman goes to jail. Similarly, the other JLAers go to jail, each stuck in the body of villains—Lex Luthor, Tattooed Man, Cutlass Charlie, Captain Boomerang, and IQ. (All of these villains are fake, merely dream constructs created by Dr. Destiny.) The real Green Arrow trails the Atom and watches him combat a dream version of “Plant Master” Jason Woodrue. Before the false Woodrue can do the switcheroo, Green Arrow knocks him out. Green Arrow then busts Dr. Destiny, which reverts all the heroes to their normal state. At the Secret Sanctuary, Green Arrow explains all to his teammates. Dr. Destiny then unleashes the real villains—Penguin, Luthor, Tattooed Man, Cutlass Charlie, Captain Boomerang, IQ, and Jason Woodrue—upon the heroes. The JLA defeats them and stands victorious.

–Batman #200
February 3-4. In a big jailbreak, Scarecrow, Joker, Penguin, and Killer Moth all escape from prison. Scarecrow debuts a drug that gives one the metapower to instill great fear upon others. Pumped-up with the drug, Scarecrow reduces Batman and Robin into sniveling crybabies, who run home to Alfred. The ever-faithful butler gives motivates his surrogate sons to shake off their fear, strip down, sweat it out in the gym, and then take back to the streets. After easily apprehending Joker, Penguin, and Killer Moth, Batman finds straw on each villain—clues as to Scarecrow’s next heist. (During the Killer Moth bust, Robin name drops Sugar and Spike—the titular toddler characters of Sheldon Mayer’s beloved long-running DC series. While this is likely nothing more than a fourth wall-breaking Easter Egg moment thrown in by writer Mike Friedrich, I guess it is technically possible that the Boy Wonder could’ve met the little tykes at some recent point.) Batman and Robin soon confront Scarecrow and his goons again only to succumb to fear, resulting in capture. After escaping a death trap, the heroes scare Scarecrow right back to jail. Afterward, Scarecrow’s straw clues get filed into a special cabinet in the Hall of Trophies.

–The Brave and The Bold #78
February. Batman is tasked with guarding the Golden Casque of Montezuma at a museum, so he places a laser alarm grid around it. Later, snake-themed super-villain Copperhead debuts in Gotham and publicly bests Batman twice, the second crime a daring theft of the visiting Queen Elizabeth II’s tiara. The Mayor Taylor is so embarrassed he puts Commissioner Gordon’s job on the line and threatens to disavow Batman unless Copperhead is brought to justice. Cue a ridiculous sexist plan! The Dark Knight gets Wonder Woman and Batgirl to agree to publicly feud over his affection in order to make Copperhead think Batman is distracted. As if under the influence of a philter, Wonder Woman and Batgirl declare their love for Batman and begins showering him with Amazonian treasures and a hot new pink car. Batgirl, who currently knows Batman’s secret ID, gives him a new cape on his birthday. Batgirl is so carried away in her role that she openly says “happy birthday” to Batman in public—a dangerous hint at his secret ID if anyone puts two and two together. Batman collects more gifts (all paid for by himself of course), including a golden Batman statue and diamond-encrusted utility belts. As Wonder Woman makes-out with Batman and Batgirl tries to get some action too, Copperhead steals the Montezuma helm, which has a homing device hidden inside. Despite this, Batman is unable to track the wily Copperhead. Batgirl and Wonder Woman, still in their acting roles, nearly expose their secret IDs to Copperhead as part of the ongoing ruse, but Wonder Woman prevents this from occurring. (Bizarrely, despite only acting to ensnare Copperhead, the gals are still shown with thought balloons that don’t reflect the fact that they are acting. Furthermore, why the hell would they expose their actual secret IDs as part of the plan? Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, why in sweet hell would they make publicly humiliate themselves by ingratiating the egotistical Caped Crusader, who basically gets off on the two women crawling all over him? The plan is also just one big dirty excuse for Batman to buy himself some gaudy-ass Bat-gear.) Eventually, Copperhead captures Wonder Woman in a swamp. Batman beats up Copperhead and restrains him, but is injected with a fatal poison. Batgirl arrives just in time to give Batman the anti-venom. Mercifully, this inane story ends.

–Detective Comics #373 Part 1
Billionaire Ralph Porter acquires a new painting, after which he invites Bruce to come view it at his office. Later, Mr. Zero—with his prior sub-zero condition returned—publicly returns with a new name: Mr. Freeze! Coincidentally, Mr. Freeze steals Porter’s painting while Aunt Harriet falls ill and requires an emergency cryosurgery. Mr. Freeze’s use of his cryo-gun at the same time of Aunt Harriet’s surgery causes the latter to fail, putting Harriet in severe fatal danger. While Batman busts Mr. Freeze, Robin steals his freeze ray and delivers it to the surgeons, who use it to save Harriet’s life. After Bruce and Dick visit Harriet, Batman and Robin visit Harriet in the hospital the very next day.

–Detective Comics #373 Part 2
With Batman and Robin out of town on an unspecified case, Elongated Man fills-in and busts an escaped Riddler.

–World’s Finest Comics #174
When a scientist named Dr. Madden creates two supposed perfect replica androids of Batman and Superman, the real Batman and Superman offer to test them out. After uploading copies of their own brain maps and memory banks into the androids, Batman and Superman build a fortress in Canada that is filled with death traps, killer robots that look like the heroes’ dead parents, and Kryptonite laser grids. The androids (who really think they are the real Batman and Superman) are lured to the fortress where they are beaten, assaulted, and pummeled until captured. Batman and Superman then brutally torture the androids, forcing them to reveal their secrets. Having failed, the teary-eyed androids are shot to death by the merciless Batman and Superman. Sheesh. This is maybe one of the darkest single issues of the 1960s.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 11/12/1967 to 3/18/1968 (“Shivering Blue Max, Pretty Boy Floy, and Flo” Part 2)
Commissioner Gordon charges the Dynamic Duo with the task of checking in on suicidal billionaire Tyrone Koom, who has locked himself in the penthouse of his downtown tower ever since the death of his astrologer three weeks ago. Gordon also wants the Dynamic Duo to retrieve Koom’s annual donation to the GCPD Youth Center. Batman and Robin crash into Koom’s penthouse (which has the air conditioning on full blast, despite the fact that it is winter time, so ignore that). Meanwhile, Pretty Boy Floy seemingly kills Blue Max Baron with plans of stealing his idea that involves Pretty Boy’s sister Flo Floy learning astrology to pose as “Madame Zodiac” to manipulate Koom. Batman and Robin spend a week building a brand new Bat-copter, which is faster than ever, has unlimited flight range, and is completely silent and fireproof. It also has a ultra-zoom camera, a retractable electro magnet, a super-borate mist sprayer to put out fires, and—as referenced in Batman #201—retractable suction-cup towing arms. Soon after, Flo, as “Madame Zodiac,” encourages Koom to sell off his oil holdings. Pretty Boy then blows up one of his refineries, making it look like an accident. Batman and Robin see that is was arson and immediately visit Koom, who tells them about Zodiac’s prediction. After a quick visit with Barbara at the library, the Dynamic Duo tracks down Zodiac and delivers her to Koom. After learning that Zodiac is actually Flo Floy, Batman confronts her, but she has manipulated Koom into pointing a gun at Batman. Flo knocks-out Batman, but Koom refuses to kill, instead offering the idea of imprisoning Batman at his remote private island resort of Xandu. While Pretty Boy and his henchman Ape take the kayoed (and now drugged) Batman to an airstrip north of Gotham, Alfred and Dick follow thanks to Batman’s utility belt transmitter signal. With Batman en route to Xandu, Robin is confronted by a returning Blue Max, who offers his help, wanting to get revenge against the Floys. Together, they chase after the Floys’ plane only to witness Batman get dumped out the back. Robin sky dives and grabs Batman, parachuting him to safety. As they hit the ground, Robin breaks his leg, allowing the villains to recapture the groggy Batman and strand him on the luxurious island of Xandu. A few days later, a doctor tells Dick that his leg will take six weeks to heal. (This amount of time off just isn’t feasible on our timeline. Robin’s healing and rehab period has to be closer to half that time, meaning his injury must be quite less severe than a break.) Blue Max, having traced the license plate of Alfred’s car to Wayne Manor, successfully deduces the secret IDs of Batman and Robin! Blue Max—back in villain mode—visits Alfred and Dick to threaten them and then joins the Floys at Koom’s penthouse. There, the villains activate a self-destruct mechanism that will sink Xandu with an atomic bomb blast. Distraught, Koom presses a suicide button that fills his penthouse with cyanide, killing everyone.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 3/19/1968 to 4/12/1968 (“Diabolical Professor Zinkk” Part 1)
Our story picks up where the previous arc ended. With Batman stranded on a doomed Xandu, the injured Robin calls Superman for help. The Man of Steel flies to Wayne Manor, but oddly loses his powers and collapses upon arrival. Superman contacts Aquaman to search for and rescue Batman. Aquaman collects Batman, whom he finds Batman swimming away from the island. Together they watch (from a safe distance) as an atomic mushroom cloud billows over Xandu. Later, Batman, Robin, and the still powerless Superman chill in the Batcave. (They talk about the supposed only “known piece of Kryptonite” left in the world existing in the Smithsonian Institute. I’m not sure if this is canon or should be ignored since there is likely more Kryptonite out there, known or unknown.) When Superman’s powers mysteriously come back, he flies home. Meanwhile, new super-villain Professor Zoltan Zinkk, claiming responsibility for Superman’s condition, tells a bunch of gangsters that he will get rid of Superman for good.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #294. Batman defeats the debuting Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #79. Batman becomes aware of smalltime drifter and jack-of-all-rackets Whitey Marsh.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #371. Batman and a still-injured Robin go in-disguise as guitar-playing hipsters in order to build rapport with some members of Gotham’s seedy underworld. They befriend a loudmouthed card-player named Stuffy, who gives them dirt on a bunch of squalid characters.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #372. Bruce has a fancy dinner at the plush Royal Karonian restaurant. For anyone wondering, Karonia is a dictatorship in the Balkans.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/14/1968 to 8/23/1968 and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 12/21/1968. Bruce arranges for a tutor Mr. Murphy to help Dick with his studies. Mr. Murphy works out a deal where he will live in Wayne Manor, along with his teenage daughter Gazelle Murphy, for the duration of Dick’s tutoring. The Murphys agree to come in a few weeks’ time. Bruce also sets up a round-the-world-cruise for the Murphys and Dick, along with a London trip for Alfred so he can visit his elderly mother—all scheduled to happen in a few weeks’ time as well.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 4/13/1968 to 8/6/1968 (“Diabolical Professor Zinkk” Part 2)
Late February. A couple weeks have passed since Robin’s injury while dealing with the Floys. He finally gets his cast off and begins rehabbing. Batman goes on routine solo patrols for a couple more weeks. Meanwhile, Superman continues to suffers from random power loss courtesy of Professor Zoltan Zinkk. Batman and a fully-recovered Robin visit a powerless and now dying Superman at his Fortress of Solitude. They decide that consultation with a famous doctor, Dr. Harris, is the only course of action. Thus, a blindfolded Dr. Harris is brought to the Fortress where he determines that Superman has contracted fatal Kryptonite radiation poisoning. Back in Gotham, Batman equips Dr. Harris’ office for treating the Man of Steel. When a crazed and glowing Superman attacks Robin and runs-off in a panic, Batman and Robin chase him down. They knock down Superman with the spinning rotor blade of the Bat-copter, which seemingly kills the Man of Steel! (His heart has slowed to crawl that is undetectable by humans.) Unsure of what to do, the freaked-out Dynamic Duo wraps his lifeless body in lead-sheeting and drags it back to the Fortress. The Dynamic Duo then goes to the Smithsonian’s Kryptonite exhibit, which they learn has been visited and photographed a lot by a peculiar man. After some testing, Batman discovers that radioactive Kryptonite salt crystals can be made from exposed film emulsion of photos of Kryptonite! Meanwhile, Superman, thanks to the lead shielding, comes back to life, switches back to Clark mode, and returns to Lois. Batman then learns that the K-crystals are being sent into the air via radio waves. After an info-gathering meeting with one of the FCC heads and a brief investigation, Batman pins the attempted murder of Superman on Zinkk. The Dynamic Duo watches from afar as Clark visits with Zinkk and mercilessly toys with him. After revealing himself as Superman, Zinkk makes a successful escape by disassembling his molecules using a strange machine. Zinkk goes free, but at the cost of his body, becoming nothing more than an eerie floating disembodied voice.

–Detective Comics #364
March 1-5. Batman and Robin agree to ride on a float for Founder’s Day, for which a parade is scheduled to occur in a few days’ time. Later that day, Bruce reads about gold doubloons being stored at the Marine Warehouse. Later still, Bruce’s friend, Kevin Jackson, tells him that his family is departing for vacation. At night, Batman and Robin bust an escaped Riddler only to find a strange riddle left for them by another villain. The next day, Batman and Robin protect the gold, but find another riddle. The day after that, the Dynamic Duo prevents a robbery at the Jackson mansion and finds another bizarre riddle. Batman realizes that the riddles are hinting that their Founder’s Day parade float is rigged for death. After building and placing audio-animatronic versions of themselves on the float, the thing blows up. A disguised Batman and Robin collect a shocked Alfred from the crowd and realize that he is responsible for the riddles and the death trap! A sliver of the Outsider has remained in Alfred’s subconsciousness, causing him to act as a super-villain once again! The next morning, Alfred wakes with no recollection of his actions. Bruce and Dick don’t tell him a thing, hoping the Outsider is gone for good.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/7/1968 to 12/15/1968 (“Breathing Underwater”)
Early March to mid March. (Note that this item picks up immediately where “Diabolical Professor Zinkk” Part 2 concludes. However, we must retcon-in a five day gap in which Detective Comics #364 can take place. This means that Batman, Superman, and Robin must return to the ruins of Zinkk’s lab to follow-up on the case five days later.) After wrapping-up the Zinkk case, the heroes head home. At Wayne Manor, Dick meets his new live-in tutor Mr. Murphy and his daughter Gazelle. When former party girl cum oceanographer Penny Candy does a death-defying stunt, swinging from a bridge without a safety net, Batman saves her, but they fall into the river below and are presumed dead by the media. Penny takes Batman to the oceanography lab of her father, Dr. Archimedes Candy, who was testing a serum that allows humans to breathe underwater when he was kidnapped by villains looking to get their hands on the stuff. After testing the miraculous serum, Batman phones Dick and tells him to send out a radio signal to contact Aquaman. Batman and Penny follow a small lead that takes them out to sea where they soon find Penny’s dad aboard the submarine of Cap’n Wolf and his gang of smugglers, including first mate Mr. Grimm. Once aboard the sub, Batman and Penny learn that fatal flaw in the serum, once you ingest it, you can only breathe out of water for an hour! Batman and Penny escape from the sub and get back on dry land. They hike through the mountains and barely manage to stay alive, eventually making it to a Coast Guard station and then back to Dr. Candy’s lab where Aquaman is waiting for them. Aquaman orders a pod of whales to force Wolf’s sub to the surface. Dr. Candy then reunites with his daughter after the effects of the underwater breathing serum wear off. Later, in order to teach Penny a lesson (for her stunt she pulled at the bridge), Batman has a judge give her a 90 day suspended sentence for interfering with police work. Batman then returns to the Batcave to find the self destruct mechanism on the Batcave elevator has been set off. (Dick set it off when Gazelle discovered the secret entrance.) Elsewhere, mobster Killer Killey, who has been studying Bruce Wayne for years, begins planning a crooked impersonation stratagem with his girlfriend Kitten and underworld plastic surgeon Dr. Bela Frankenstein.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 12/16/1968 to 5/30/1969 (“I Want Bruce Wayne’s Identity!”)
Mid March to mid April. Bruce gathers with the Murphys, Dick, and Alfred, all of whom are set to depart on their trips abroad (Alfred to London and the others on a cruise of the world). Despite their reservations, Dick and Alfred leave with the Murphys. That night, Killer Killey’s men break into Wayne Manor and knock-out and kidnap Batman, discovering his secret ID in the process. At Killey’s lair, Batman fibs that he is simply wearing the Batman costume to attend a masquerade. Nevertheless, the villains kayo him again and prep him for surgery. Six hours later, a bandaged Killey is cut to look like Bruce while a bandaged an unconscious Bruce is cut to look like Killey. (Their faces were already homogeneous, so only the noses have been swapped.) Dr. Frankenstein has even surgically swapped their fingerprints! While Dick, Alfred, and the Murphys continue their long vacations incommunicado with Bruce, the villains keep Bruce drugged and sedated for a whopping six weeks! (There’s no way there’s room for this long of an absence—this has got to be closer to two or three weeks tops.) Oddly enough, the villains opted not to snuff out Bruce during his weeks in a coma, but instead dump him into the river. Thankfully, residual effects from Dr. Candy’s underwater breathing formula allow Bruce to survive. Soon after, Killey kills off Dr. Frankenstein and his henchmen. Meanwhile, Batgirl investigates Batman’s disappearance. A dazed and confused Bruce (with Killey’s nose and partial amnesia) returns to the Batcave, suits up, and sends his fingerprints to the FBI, who ID them as Killey’s. Despite being mixed-up about his true ID, Batman goes on patrols just like old times anyway. Meanwhile, Killey (posing as Bruce) and Kitten (posing as Bruce’s new live-in secretary) greet the returning Alfred, who is immediately suspicious. To prove he is the real deal, Killey lists the birthdates for Bruce, Dick, Aunt Harriet, and Alfred. Note that the dates given are incorrect due to a retcon from the 1976 DC Calendar. Batgirl confronts Batman in the Batcave. Learning of his strange state, she vows to help him. After exposing Killey as a phony, Batgirl gets kayoed by Kitten and thrown into a dungeon. Dick returns home from abroad and immediately begins helping Alfred figure out what is going on, but is unable to prove “Bruce” is a fake. However, Killey gets exposed when his fingerprint skin grafts slough off. Turns out Dr. Frankenstein’s surgery was semi-botched and not permanent. Robin and Alfred confront the outed baddies only to get a gun pointed at them along with evil bloviation. Batman, listening-in, recovers his lost memories and joins Batgirl to save the day. Killey and Kitten drive-off, but blow up in a car bomb planted by the latter. While Batman and Robin wrap up the case, Paul and Paula Vanderbroke show up at Wayne Manor. Paula plans to propose marriage to Bruce!

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 5/31/1969 to 6/22/1969 (“My Campaign to Ruin Bruce Wayne” Part 1)
Mid April to late April. Bruce—still with a “broken nose” i.e. Killey’s nose—and Dick meet with Paul and Paula Vanderbroke. Paula explains that she and her bro are now penniless. She asks Bruce to marry her, to which Bruce scoffs. The broke Vanderbrokes leave, vowing revenge. Later, Bruce gets his nose surgically repaired, putting him out of action for nearly two weeks, during which time Alfred fixes the damaged Batcave elevator shaft with the aid of workers coming in and out in a sealed van. Healed-up, Batman joins Robin on routine patrols. Meanwhile, the Paula collects a priceless ruby from a family safe deposit box, sneering at a supposed curse attached to it. Despite being rich again, Paula is obsessed with revenge. She begins the first steps of a plan to ruin Bruce by taking scuba lessons.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #381. Late April. Batman learns that his friend Captain Cyrus Spume has recently retired from being a sailor. Spume has moved into and taken a job manning the Gotham Harbor Lighthouse.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #62. The longtime crime-gang known as The Pyrotekniks (led by led by supposedly deceased incognito gangster Leo Locke) commits a series of robberies in Ivy Town and Gotham, getting the better of both the Atom and Batman.

–The Brave and The Bold #77
When signs point to the potential hijacking of the Brotherhood Express, a special unity-themed train exhibit, Batman is on the case. Despite tight security, the entire train completely vanishes thanks to members of Dr. Dulcamora’s Grand Imperial Circus—little person Lilli de la Pooche, the human cannonball known as The Cannoneer, and superhuman strongman Dum-Dum. Lilli had been shrunk down to atomic size and blackmailed into committing the caper, which involved swapping a replica Brotherhood Express for the real deal. When the circus reports their replica is missing along with the Cannoneer, Dum-Dum, and Lilli, Batman and Atom are on it. Soon Batman and the Atom are aboard the real train where they defeat the villains and their henchmen (with a little help from the circus folk). Afterward, Lilli is turned into a giant and her sentence is suspended, both of which she is more than happy about.

–Justice League of America #62-63
May 5-6. Flash’s brother-in-law, journalist Marley Thorne, reports on the discovery of a decades-old lockbox, which reveals that engineer Harold Loomis’ biological father is crime-boss Leo Locke and that archeologist Homer Gridley is a fraud. Both men attack Thorne on the street, prompting the case to get bumped up to Justice League status. After the JLA busts the Pyrotekniks, Leo Locke is unmasked as their leader. Locke reveals that he has been in a twenty-five year feud with rival gang The Bulleteers. He long ago faked his death to escape a hit put out on him and his family, thus sparing his son’s life. Locke was responsible for releasing the information from the lockbox in a stupid attempt to lure the Bulleteers out of the woodwork, using his son as bait. Having botched things up badly, Locke begs the JLA to protect Loomis. The JLA then joins up with Loomis and Gridley to bust the Bulleteers. Back at the Secret Sanctuary, the team puts the lockbox into their Hall of Trophies. In a corner of the room, the Key’s cosmi-key has finally finished charging. (The Key, still in prison, mentions that three years have passed since he last fought the JLA, but in actuality only a year-and-a-half has transpired.) From jail, the Key is able to use the cosmi-key to mind-control the JLA, trapping them inside their HQ and forcing them to battle each other in a group duel to the death, which will commence in an hour’s time. The heroes can’t leave the Secret Sanctuary, so Superman smartly uses his powers to travel back in time and swap places with himself from a random point three years ago—technically never leaving the Santurary to do so! The Superman from three years ago, after being explained the situation, lightly beats up his teammates and tosses them out of the Secret Sanctuary. Soon, outside of the UN Building in NYC, the JLA fights an escaped Key and his Key-Men. With the hour about to run out, 1971 Superman knocks out his pals so they can’t kill each other. He then beats up the Key-Men and forces the Key to countermand his mental-commands. After locking the Key in suspended animation in the Fortress of Solitude, 1971 Superman revives his teammates, who destroy the cosmi-key. (This entire battle is also visually referenced in Justice League of America #240.) Afterward, 1971 Superman switches back with current day Superman. In a bit of extra Gardner Fox meta-narrative (as if this story needed any more), some time-traveling history buffs from the distant future watch this entire JLA/Key fight—a fight in which the JLA actually dies! But thanks to a “time storm,” the result is changed to what you’ve just read in this summary above. Wild stuff!

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America #240. Dr. Anomaly (Phineas Quayle), a scientist originally from the early 20th century, time-travels backward from the early 1980s to right now in attempt to defeat the JLA. After capturing Superman, Batman, Hawkman, and Aquaman by turning them into pure energy, Dr. Anomaly fights the rest of the JLA. Soon, the four trapped heroes are freed and Dr. Anomaly goes on the defensive. In order to escape, he goes into the timestream, trapping himself until eventually getting freed in 1985.

–Detective Comics #374
With his constant knowledge of every tiny change to Gotham’s infrastructure, Batman easily corners and busts the Lemon Brothers in a recently boarded up apartment building. Returning to the adjacent alley, Batman finds a beaten up and unconscious Robin on the brink of death! After rushing him to a nearby hospital, the Dark Knight swears vengeance with a grim demeanor we haven’t seen since he confronted Joe Chill face-to-face. Blinded by rage, Batman beats up suspect Jim Condors, showing no remorse and pulling no punches. Upon learning that he has an iron-clad alibi, Batman tucks tail and darts off as the angry dude curses him out with threats of restraining orders and lawsuits! Later, Batman discovers that Robin’s real attacker is Jim Condors’ twin brother Ed Condors, whom the Boy Wonder busted on a prior solo case. Batman busts and disguises himself as Ed to expose Jim as being in cahoots with his bro. With both brother behind bars, Robin soon heals up and is back in action.

[2]

–Batman #201
A bevy of super-villains escape from prison when they learn that a West Coast syndicate is trying to take their place in Gotham’s underworld. Realizing that secretly helping Batman take down the syndicate is the best course of action, Mr. ESPer uses his hypnosis powers to organize a super-villain team-up that includes Penguin, Joker, Catwoman, Cluemaster, Mad Hatter II, Johnny Witts, and Getaway Genius. (Mr. ESP, despite manipulating the group, stays hidden in the shadows.) In quick succession, Penguin, Mad Hatter, Witts, Cluemaster, and Getaway Genius all help Batman survive near fatalities as he cleans up the new mob. All the while, Mr. ESP (as a disembodied voice to hide his ID) guides Batman to victory.

–Detective Comics #375
Clairvoyant Pete Maddox can see the future when he subjects himself to extreme cold temperatures. After organizing a botched diamond exchange robbery that Batman and Robin break up, Maddox has an ice cold vision of murdering Batman. Shortly thereafter, Maddox sets up atop a roof with a sniper rifle as Batman Day celebrations begin. The Dark Knight and Boy Wonder, a part of a parade, are honored by Governor Morris, Mayor Taylor, and Commissioner Gordon before a live televised audience and crowd of tens of thousands. Before Maddox can fire off a single round, the diamond heist gang, having escaped from prison, attacks him. Batman swoops in a busts everyone. A few days later, Maddox—out on bail—freezes to death in a butcher shop vault while trying to induce another vision.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #175. Batman goes on an unspecified mission and obtains a wearable muscle amplifier—a cyborg-like arm that gives its user the strength of a thousand men. Later, Batman and Superman prepare for the fourth annual Duel of Wits challenge, simultaneously announcing that this year’s competition will be a three-day one-on-one affair with Robin and Jimmy Olsen sitting on the sidelines. Bruce purchases an obsolete tanker ship and an atom bomb (!), which he preps for a Duel of Wits challenge against Superman. He also preps a target practice challenge with explosives as well.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #202 Part 1. Bruce reads about the wealthy Bennett Family erecting a mausoleum for themselves at Gotham’s Eternal Gate Cemetery, the very same resting place as Alfred’s dad, Jarvis Pennyworth.

–World’s Finest Comics #175
Mid May. An unnamed criminal that Batman once busted joins forces with Cash Carew, the Flamethrower, and Barney the Blast to form the Batman Revenge Squad, complete with amazing purple Batman costumes that have skull-face Bat-symbols. Before they can act, enter the Superman Revenge Squad—now with shaved heads à la Lex Luthor and wearing Superman costumes containing Kryptonite S-symbols. The two Squads join forces with plans of interrupting the upcoming Duel of Wits. The next day, after trophy bets have been turned in, Batman and Superman begin Duel of the Wits IV. Unknown to all, the Revenge Squads are able to boobytrap the trophies with remote-controlled bombs. Challenge for challenge, including one where Batman insanely detonates an atom bomb on an unflinching Superman, the heroes remain tied. Meanwhile, the two Revenge Squads begin to bicker and even secretly aid their rivals from afar. When Flash calls Batman and Superman to an emergency JLA meeting, the Duel of Wits ends in a draw. Batman and Superman each take a trophy, but they recognize that something is off and quickly discover the bombs. The Revenge Squads celebrate the apparent explosive/Gold Kryptonite death of Superman, but soon realize it was just a dummy as Batman and the real Superman crash into their lair and bust them all. Since this is the last Duel of Wits we ever see, we must assume that Batman and Superman decide that their little games aren’t worth exposing themselves, thus cancelling their annual tradition.

–REFERENCE: In Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #111 Part 1. The Mystery Analysts welcome their newest member (and first non-Gothamite), Clark Kent!

–REFERENCE: In Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #111 Part 1. Batman and Robin build a new two-seater mini super-sonic Bat-jet. They also construct and perfect a mini voice simulator that can replicate any voice.

–Batman #202 Part 1
When the media-named “Psychic Plunderer,” strikes Gotham with a series of supernatural robberies, it isn’t long before Batman and Robin are on the case. At home, Alfred listens to Bruce talks about the case and realizes he knows who the Plunderer is. However, Alfred immediately suffers a spasm and collapses, only able to utter the words “Eternal Gate,” before slipping into unconsciousness. At Gotham’s Eternal Gate Cemetery, the Dynamic Duo enters a mausoleum to find that the Plunderer is a British telekinetic stage magician called The Great Norman. Batman and Robin easily take down Norman and his two henchmen. Later, Alfred reveals that Norman was an old friend that saved his life during WWII. The shock of someone Alfred respected so much being outed as crook had caused his ataxia.

–Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #111 Part 1
The Mystery Analysts—Batman, Clark Kent, Commissioner Gordon, DA Danton, Kaye Daye, Marty Tellman, Art Saddows, and Hugh Rankin—gather to decide on adding another member: Jimmy Olsen! Jimmy is interviewed by the group and gives a stirring presentation, which includes films of his adventures. When Jimmy is denied membership, he storms off in a fit of rage. Batman immediately departs for a weeklong Justice League mission against Lydra and her Scorpion Gang. With Batman and Superman away, Jimmy—still fixated on his Mystery Analyst denial—gets Robin to train and disguise him as the replacement Boy Wonder. After swapping places, “Robin” greets Batman. During the night, Batman sneaks into Dick’s room and confirms that it is Jimmy in disguise. Jimmy, still disguised as Dick, goes to school in the morning. There, Jimmy notes to himself how weird it is for him to be back in high school at his age—(he’s probably around 22 at this point). However, I guess creepo Jimmy isn’t too weirded out to get a kiss on the check from an underage junior! Later, Batman takes “Robin” into battle against a fake Lydra and a fake Scorpion Gang, all played by Mystery Analyst members, as part of a test of Jimmy’s mettle. Eventually, all parties involved see through all the layers of ruse. Gordon explains that the only reason Jimmy was denied membership is because he is under 25. Thus, Jimmy is made the first honorary Mystery Analyst—basically the group’s official sidekick.

–Detective Comics #376
Batman and Robin investigate the theft of crook Harve Pelley’s top secret FBI file from Commissioner Gordon’s car. They soon find a fingerprint of the possible culprit, Yo-Yo Yates. As the investigation wears on, Batman keeps noticing someone dressed in a Batman costume watching in the distance. After serving Yates a police warrant to search his home, Batman and Robin punch-out the arriving Pelley and his men. The heroes soon find Yates’ key to a locker, in which is the stolen file. Case closed. But who was the man in the Bat-costume, watching the entire time? It was Tomas Wayne, Bruce’s time-traveling non-direct descendant from the mid 22nd century! In Tomas’ time, the Null-Nuclear War has ravaged the Earth, leading to an unsure period where people (at least Tomas’ people in the area where they live) reside underground and have lost the majority of recorded human history. As leader of the Batmaniacs, Tomas went to the 20th century in an attempt to piece together some of this lost history, specifically in regard to the Dark Knight.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 10/15/1969 to 10/16/1969. Batman invents the world’s smallest atomic motor, which he encases in a small underwater propellor device called the Batmotor. He also upgrades both his and Robin’s scuba gear.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 9/20/1969 to 9/22/1969. Alfred does some minor construction in the Batave. While drilling through the rock floor, he discovers a new tunnel filled with sea water underneath.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 6/23/1969 to 12/25/1969 (“My Campaign to Ruin Bruce Wayne” Part 2)
Late May. About one month has passed since “My Campaign to Ruin Bruce Wayne” Part 1. Since that time, Paula Vanderbroke has learned how to scuba dive and has purchased her ancestors’ property in downtown Gotham, which she has donated to the city as a public historical landmark. Meanwhile, Bruce finalizes his luxury cruise program for low-income families. The maiden voyage—aboard Wayne Line’s SS Wayne Castle—departs from Gotham Bay. Batman and Robin watch as the ship begins to sink immediately after departure. Paul and Paula Vanderbroke have set off bombs underneath the ship. With the ship half sunk into the shallows of Gotham Bay, Batman orders (on Bruce’s behalf) salvage operations to begin. The Vanderbrokes escape through underwater tunnels back into their historical landmark building. After a thirty six hour investigation, Batman and Robin return home, leaving a beeper number for police scuba divers to ring if they turn up anything. After evidence points to Paula Vanderboke, the Vanderbrokes quickly strike again, blowing up Wayne Trust Company Bank and stealing millions of dollars. Batman and Robin confront the Vanderbroke’s at their home, but cannot link them to the crime. Paula then discovers that Bruce is Batman and has Paul, using a disguised voice, phone Wayne Manor with threats. In the Batcave, the Dynamic Duo jackhammers down into the tunnel Alfred recently discovered below the rock floor. Knowing that this tidewater tunnel likely connects to the miles of undersea tunnels that the Vanderbrokes must have used in their bombings, the heroes flood the tunnels with a “harmless” radioactive material. Using a special camera, Batman and Robin attempt to map the tide tunnels from the Batcopter. Meanwhile, the Vanderbrokes pay for two hundred billboards in Gotham, which each tease the upcoming public reveal of Batman’s secret ID. Batman and Robin swim the now-mapped underwater tunnels and find that a pathway leads to the Vanderbroke historical home. Alfred then reports that he has matched the voice from the phone threats to the voice of Paul Vanderbroke. Batman and Robin confront the Vanderbrokes, who say they won’t publicly reveal their IDs if they let them walk scot-free. While Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara recover the stolen money from the Vanderbroke mansion, Batman and Robin chase after the greedy Vanderbrokes, who bomb another bank and steal a bunch more money. Luck is not on the Vanderbrokes’ side, however, as they run into ongoing construction at the end of their escape tunnel and wind up drowning in cement. Robin tries to save them but is unable. While Robin cleans off, Batman surveys the construction site.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 12/26/1969 to 3/19/1970 (“Batman’s Back is Broken!”)
Late May to Late August. While surveying the site of the Vanderbrokes’ deaths, Batman is accidentally struck by a free-falling wrecking ball, which instantly breaks his back. The comatose Batman is rushed into emergency surgery, but the injuries are so severe, nothing can be done except to stabilize him. After speaking with worried reporters outside of the hospital, Robin returns to the Batcave and calls Superman for help. While Robin sits by Batman’s side, Superman goes to Mexico City to recruit the best surgeon in the world, Dr. Renaldo Herrara. Within hours, Herrara and his medical staff are in the Batcave medical bay operating on Batman, who has been secretly moved by Superman. Superman then puts on the Bat-cowl and slides into Batman’s place in the downtown hospital bed. “Batman” makes a “miraculous recovery” and leaves the hospital with Robin. Meanwhile, the real Dark Knight undergoes a six hour life-saving operation. With Batman bedridden and fading in and out of consciousness, Superman dons the Bat-suit again to substitute for him on Gotham patrol. Superman winds up busting more crooks in one night than Batman ever has before! Days pass as Batman regains consciousness and is tended to by Dr. Herrara’s sexy nurses. Eventually, the nurses leave, but not before traveling the country with Superman. Despite being in a body cast and practically immobile, Batman still trains regularly, hitting a punching bag and riding an exercise bike. After three months in a bed, Dr. Herrara returns to release Batman from his body cast. Everyone is tense, but Batman is able to stand, weakened and a bit out-of-shape, but fully healed! In celebration, Alfred tells the Dynamic Duo that he has taken the liberty of renting out the traveling circus for them to use as a rehab/training center. The next Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip, entitled “The Circus is Still Not For Sale,” immediately follows, taking Batman and Robin to the circus to train. However, “The Circus is Still Not For Sale” takes place after Dick has graduated high school, so it must go later on our timeline. Even so, we can still assume that Batman now begins training/rehabbing at the circus.

–World’s Finest Comics #176
During a private interview with famous actor Ronald Jason, Clark is stunned as the actor reveals his knowledge of his secret ID. Ronald also tells Clark that he is actually the alien Dur, on a top secret mission against an enemy agent from his home planet called Tiron. Superman takes Dur into the safety of the Fortress of Solitude, but easily sees through the ruse. Jason has learned the secret IDs of both Superman and Batman, but he is dying of radiation poisoning and wants to go out pulling off the best acting performance of his career, a fun gag that will fool the heroes. Feeling bad about the situation, Superman decides to play dumb. He fills in Batman, who agrees to play along as well. Thus, Batman befriends Tiron—also played by Jason—and begins a “war” against Superman. To make things seem even more legit, Batman recruits Supergirl onto his side while Superman recruits Batgirl onto his. Of course, neither the Caped Crusader nor the Man of Steel bother to tell the gals the truth of the matter, so they really start fighting one another. Meanwhile, Robin and Jimmy Olsen, who have secret cameras in both the Batcave and Fortress of Solitude, watch from afar and learn that Jason is playing both alien rivals. By the time Robin and Jimmy arrive at the scene of the battle, Jason unmasks, spills the beans to those who were unaware, and then dies a happy man. A few days later, everyone goes to a memorial service for Jason.

–Detective Comics #377
Batman and Robin read about a famous Indian diamond on display at the museum. A few days later, when Batman is summoned to the library to pick up a book he never checked-out, he examines the text from a distance, setting off a bomb intended for him. Thanks to a librarian’s Polaroid photo, Batman and Robin see a temporary clue given off by an escaped Riddler. Shortly thereafter, the boys bust Riddler and put him back behind bars. Somehow, the city allows Riddler to post bail. After he walks free to await trial, Batman finds another temporary clue in his cell. One more battle and clue at the diamond exhibit at the museum leads to a glass shop and Riddler’s second and final arrest of this issue.

–The Brave and The Bold #79
When a new big crime syndicate takes over Gotham’s underworld, assassinations begins happening day and night. Batman and Commissioner Gordon take on the case, starting with research on big time bosses from other states and ruling out any Gotham criminals that definitely aren’t a part of the new crew. During their casework, they are trailed and hounded by obnoxious reporter Carleton Kaine (aka Kubla Kaine), who dubs the leader of the syndicate “The King of Gotham.” No one knows who the King is, but Batman and Gordon have different opposing ideas on who it could be. After crook Whitey Marsh is killed, Batman and Gordon inspect the body and learn from a witness that he was offed by a Hook-handed assassin. Deadman, the superhero spirit of deceased circus aerialist Boston Brand, watches above with keen interest. (Not long ago, Brand was killed by a hook-handed assassin aptly named Hook. However, instead of passing into the afterlife as do most ghosts, Brand’s spirit met with the goddess of the mystical Tibetan city of Nanda Parbat, Rama Kushna, who turned him into a superhero with the power to take over other people’s bodies. Deadman has since sworn revenge against Hook.) When Batman scoffs at the witness’ testimony, an angry Deadman hops in the witness’ body and starts fighting Batman, much to the glee of Kaine. Deadman then hops in Batman’s body and, as coincidence would have it, gets a ride home from Alfred. Using Bruce, Deadman records a audio tape detailing his origin and current predicament. After hearing the plight, Batman decides to help Deadman. Bruce sets up a dinner with Kaine so that Deadman can peruse the reporter’s crime-files. Afterward, Batman and Deadman shake down Willie Pigeon, who says someone named Monk Manville killed Marsh on behalf of Big Jim Coltrane. The heroes soon learn that Kaine has announced his candidacy for mayor and that Manville is actually Joe Chill’s brother, Max Chill! Shortly thereafter, Batman and Deadman fight Chill, who gets accidentally fatally injured. Before dying, Chill tells Batman that the King told him to dress up as Hook when offing Marsh. Clues soon bring our heroes back to Kaine’s mansion where it is revealed that the new mayoral candidate is the syndicate King. During an epic fight, Kaine gets accidentally shot dead by his butler. The syndicate falls to pieces without its leader. The search for Hook will continue another day.

–Action Comics #365-366
An escaped Lex Luthor, before going back to prison, poisons Superman with Kryptonian leprosy, which proves to be fatal. With only days to live, Superman decides that he will rocket his dying body into Flammbronn, the hottest sun in the universe. The world mourns with a global public funeral. The Justice League pays tribute to their doomed friend. In a space-coffin, Superman speeds across the cosmos. When he passes Bizarro World (or rather, as this should correctly say, passes an interdimensional gateway to Bizarro World, which is technically in another universe), two Bizarros pelt his coffin with multicolored Kryptonite in a bizarre tribute. White Kryptonite cures him of his disease! Meanwhile, while Superman has traveled on this journey, global crime on Earth has spiked. In order to put the world at ease, Supergirl and the JLA come up with a plan wherein which they publicly announce that Superman is back and A-OK! Each JLAer then takes turns dressing-up as and playing the role of Superman. The JLA begins their Superman shifts and the world celebrates. When the real Superman returns to Earth and witnesses one of his replacements working a case with Batman, he is stupefied. After watching his doubles perform several more heroic feats, Superman soon unearths what is going on. The Man of Steel thanks his chums and retakes his position as the lone Superman of the DCU.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #80. Controversial national TV news host Jack Ryder gets in hot water with his network after some shady journalism and unethical interviewing tactics. Bruce reads about Ryder’s situation and doesn’t approve of him one bit. Bruce also reads about a flamboyant new Joker-like vigilante, The Creeper, who is wanted by both cops and crooks alike all over the US. Unknown to Bruce, Ryder and the Creeper are one and the same!

–World’s Finest Comics #177
After a near escape from Metropolis Prison, Lex Luthor is transferred to the supposedly more-secure Gotham State Prison. A few days later, Joker dresses up as Batman to gain access to Luthor, then frees him using is own high-powered fake Batmobile. Batman, Robin, and Superman soon fight the two villains, but they escape after shooting Robin in the arm and blasting Superman with Kryptonite gas. At one of his secret lairs, Luthor shows Joker a new device he has built, based upon blueprints given to him by Brainiac. The device can summon famous people from throughout all time. Hoping to build a historical super-villain team, they summon Benedict Arnold, Leonardo Da Vinci, and (by accident) Baron Münchhausen! After tricking the benevolent Da Vinci into scripting a heist for them, the bad guys spring into action a few days later, stealing the Mona Lisa from right under the noses of Batman and Superman. A few days after that, a Da Vinci score works again, as the baddies steal an entire bank building whole. However, Benedict Arnold manipulates a feuding Joker to have a gun duel with Luthor, during which the Clown Prince of Crime uses his locoweed Laughing Dust spray for the second time ever, although this time he refers to it as its proper name: Joker Venom! Batman and Superman, disguised as the duel-seconds, take the downed villains (after they take each other out) back to Luthor’s lair. There, Münchhausen and Da Vinci switch sides and help the heroes bust Joker, Luthor, and Benedict Arnold. All the time-displaced folks go back to whence they came.

–Batman #206
The Cat-Crook—a villain that wears a Batman costume with cat’s eyes—debuts, running circles around the GCPD. Meanwhile, the Dynamic Duo are invited to a fancy testimonial dinner held in their honor. A few days later, Batman and Robin investigate a robbery, which lead them to shake-down a racist Native American-themed “hippie” music band. After busting the band, the Dynamic Duo attends their testimonial dinner, during which private-claims investigator EG Never publicly claims that Batman has consulted him on every case since his debut. Never challenges Batman to see who can first solve the next few high-profile cases. (As referenced in Detective Comics #378, Gotham club owner and crime syndicate boss Salvo has his man Light-Finger Harry pose as a waiter at the event. During Never’s accusation, Harry is able to swipe Robin’s water glass, from which he gets the Boy Wonder’s fingerprints, delivering them to Salvo.) The next night, the challenge begins between Batman and Never as both are called to work a robbery case. Unknown to all (including the thieves themselves), Never is actually the Planner, the very mastermind that has planned the robbery, setting up his hirelings to get nabbed. (The Planner set up the Native American-themed band as well.) After leading the Dynamic Duo to bust the hired thieves, Never claims a round one victory. A night later, Never pulls the same stunt, setting up the costumed Cat-Crook to fail, thus claiming a round two victory. Batman is so pissed he attacks Never and then trails him. The Cat-Crook, who heard Never’s voice at the police station and recognized it as the Planner’s, escapes custody and goes after Never as well. At his junkyard lair, Never attempts to gun down Batman, but shoots the Cat-Crook dead instead. Batman and Robin then bust Never, who gets fast-tracked into the Gotham court system. A week later, he is convicted and put on Death Row.

–Justice League of America #65
Evil scientist Thomas Oscar Morrow (aka TO Morrow) has just traveled to Earth-2 and fought the Justice Society of America (as seen in Justice League of America #64). By inserting his own creation—the android Red Tornado—into the JSA lineup, Morrow was able to manipulate the team’s defeat and cause their apparent deaths! Following his victory, Morrow hops back to Earth-1 to take on the JLA. He sends fake versions of Steve Trevor, Midge, Jean Loring, Mera, and Hawkgirl into the Secret Sanctuary. After the fakes take out their respective partners, the rest of the JLA goes into battle against Morrow’s cosmic creatures—a dragon, a griffin, and a demon. After that, Morrow uses the JLA trophies against the team: activating the Pthisthinian panacomputer, which brings Super-Duper back to life; reanimating the diamond Appellaxian, Amazo, Starro, and a dummy of Dr. Light; and using the power of the Green Bell of Uthool. With all these threats, the JLA is defeated and put into suspended animation, taken as human prizes by Morrow, who claims ownership of the Secret Sanctuary. Meanwhile, Red Tornado, gaining autonomy with every passing second, awakes and travels through the Bleed to Earth-1. Upon discovering the lifeless JLAers, Red Tornado does a bit of research and locates Steve Trevor, Midge, Jean Loring, Mera, and Hawkgirl. He imbues them with “reverse future-energy,” which allows them to kiss their significant others back to life. Jean kisses the Atom, which is funny because she doesn’t know that her fiancé Ray Palmer is the Atom! Red Tornado takes the awakened heroes into the Bleed between Earths-1 and 2, which has lit up as bright as a sun thanks to Morrow, who is using a device that can cause evil vibrations to permeate both worlds, leading to multiversal war! The heroes bust Morrow and his faceless android henchmen, ending his sinister plot. Back on Earth-1, Morrow is jailed. Red Tornado releases the other Earth-1 heroes from suspended animation before returning to Earth-2 to do the same there. Awakened, the JSA offers team membership to Red Tornado. He was created to be a tool for a super-villain, but he’s now become a genuine bonafide superhero!

–Detective Comics #378-379
Batman and Robin argue while on a case, which leads to Robin punching Batman in the face! The whole squabble is photographed by a pressman. Dick is so mad that he packs up his stuff and moves into a cheap motel, sharing a room with teenage gangster Chino, who has just left his mentor, syndicate boss Salvo, following an argument of their own. Batman is so upset that he gives a tell-all interview to the Gotham News, stating that Robin is no longer wanted! The next day, Chino, in a plan to kill Batman, forces Dick into a store-bought Robin costume. Meanwhile, Salvo has the same idea. He puts his bodyguard Chopper into a Robin costume as well. With two Robins—one real and one fake—being held captive in two different locations, the situation calls for two Batmen! Thus, Alfred dons a spare Bat-costume. While the real Batman exposes Chopper, the other Batman (Alfred) tries to rescue the real Robin, but gets knocked into the river by Chino. The real Batman then arrives to save both Robin and Alfred. Chino escapes in a carjacked Batmobile, but soon runs into a still-angry Salvo, Chopper, and a hitman known as The Icer. Batman drops a net from the Bat-copter, nabbing all the baddies. Later, Batman and Dick give testimony on behalf of Chino, convincing Commissioner Gordon not to proceed with any criminal charges. Batman and Gordon use their combined pull and pair Chino up with some foster parents. Bruce and Dick put their differences aside and become partners again.

–The Brave and The Bold #80
Batman and Commissioner Gordon track racketeer Ace Branigan, who goes missing after rivals Big Al Dalko and Bronk Boyle take a hit out on him. Later, reporter Jack Ryder’s presence during a fight between Batman and an arsonist nearly leads to disaster. After the successful bust, Batman gives Ryder hell, but Ryder simply tells him to tune into his show. Batman and Gordon watch the show, which features Ryder doing a story on new bug-themed super-villain Hellgrammite. Later, Ryder reveals himself as the Creeper to Batman! After Batman and the Creeper team-up against Hellgrammite, the villain flees the scene. Gordon orders Batman to bust the Creeper and to protect Dalko as a possible material witness in the disappearance of Branigan. Batman ignores Gordon’s former request and joins the Creeper. Together they chase after Hellgrammite, who has kidnapped Dalko, but the villain evades capture again. Later, the Creeper is captured by mob boss Turk Trask, but Batman saves him just as Hellgrammite kidnaps Trask. Soon after, Batman and the Creeper find Branigan, Boyle, and Trask in an unused subway tunnel, each having been trapped inside cocoons by Hellgrammite. After saving the gangsters, Batman and the Creeper bust Hellgrammite.

–Justice League of America #66
Batman, Green Arrow, and the Atom argue with their fellow JL teammates over which cases to take on from the mailbag, eventually splitting to go help Snapper’s Happy Harbor College professor, who has been robbed of an experimental “morale machine.” But when the heroes arrive, they find strange things are afoot. After fighting off a crazed football team, the heroes save Snapper’s professor from a suicide attempt. After he snaps out of his weird funk, the professor reveals that his mood-altering machine was stolen during a recent trip to the tiny Mediterranean nation of Offalia. Sure enough, an Offalian generalissimo named Demmy Gog has lifted the device and now uses it on campus for his own nefarious ends. The JLA easily defeats Gog and his troops.

–Detective Comics #380
When a woman named Ginny Jenkins shows up at Wayne Manor claiming to be Bruce’s newlywed wife, Bruce questions her, learning that her brother Jim has been threatening to kill him. Ginny lied and told Jim that she married Bruce, hoping that Jim would be leery of killing his own brother-in-law. Bruce leaves Ginny in the care of Aunt Harriet and Alfred. Then, recalling the name “James Jenkins” as a part of his routine Wayne Foundation affairs, Bruce visits company treasurer Eugene Driscoll, learning that the Wayne Foundation has repeatedly turned down Jim’s grant applications. At night, Batman pays a visit to Jim’s organization, the Geriatric Research Institute. At the Institute, Jim fights the intruding Batman. A second mystery man enters and shoots Jim dead. Ginny then arrives, giving the mystery man the opportunity to flee. After finding a clue on site, Batman soon finds himself shaking down Driscoll, who reveals that he and Jim were old bank robbing pals decades ago, but Jim had been blackmailing him as part of a scheme to obtain all of Bruce’s money. Driscoll reveals that he has altered Bruce’s will to make himself the receiver of Bruce’s millions, hence Jim’s true desire to commit murder. Batman punches out Driscoll just as he shoots Ginny in the arm. Later, Bruce visits Ginny in the hospital. Presumably, Bruce fixes his will as well.

–Batman #206 Epilogue
EG Never’s fast-tracked Death Row process comes to his final day in the slammer. Having lost his marbles, Never demands that they let him wear a Batman costume while being executed. Warden Crichton calls Batman in to discuss the situation. Batman tells the warden to let Never wear whatever outfit he wants to on execution day. Not long afterward, “Batman” fries in the electric chair.

–Detective Comics #381
After an unspecified JLA mission, Batman returns to Gotham to prepare for the arrival of a Dutch ship carrying diamonds. As such, the Dark Knight patrols the harbor in his Bat-copter. Using infrared contact lenses, Batman sees a morse code flashing signal message regarding the assassination of Robin emanating from the Gotham Harbor Lighthouse. He immediately radios Robin to abandon his patrol across town and head home, which the Boy Wonder does. Batman then visits his old pal Cyrus Spume, who mans the lighthouse. Spume acts oddly, so Batman surmises that he is being held against his will. Ascending to the top of the lighthouse, Batman spies on the crooks that sent the message about killing Robin. Back home, Robin shows Batman a pair of infrared goggles he got off wharf crooks Looey and Mush earlier in the night. After a call from the cops, Batman and Robin head to the pier and get the jump on Robin’s would-be assassin, Looey and Mush’s hitman pal Dead-Eye. Batman disguises himself as Dead-Eye, fake assassinates Robin, and dumps his “corpse” into the bay—all in plain view of the infrared criminal mastermind’s view. Shortly thereafter, Batman is captured by the villainous gang and presented before their leader, Batman’s old chum, Spume! Instead of hiding in their bayside auxiliary Batcave (aka the “sea cave”) as planned, Robin joins Batman to duke it out with Spume and his men. The fight ends with Spume falling to his death.

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: This item occurs well before Dick has graduated high school and about a year prior to the death of Lew Moxon, hence placement here. This item is also attached to a mural splash page that shows images of many super-villains that Batman has yet to face. There is a slight implication that Batman has already faced all of them, but this is not the case.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: If it were canon, right about here is where we’d have spotted Batman and Robin: From Alfred to Zowie!, the cool Golden Press children’s alphabet book. However, it is non-canon since it seems to take place in the Adam West-Burt Ward Batman TV-verse, heavily referencing visuals from the show—especially with the look of the hotline phone (situated next to a Shakespeare bust) and an Alan Napier-styled Alfred. In this cute little tale, Batman and Robin take on the escaped convict team-up of Joker, Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), Mr. Freeze, and Penguin! Robin gets abducted, but Batman frees him and takes down all the villains. Yet another unfortunate reason Alfred to Zowie can’t be canon is the anachronistic appearance of Jervis Tetch, who does not appear in-between his Year Two debut and his Year Sixteen return (in Detective Comics #510).

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