Golden Year Eleven


Detective Comics #143

Detective Comics #143 by Bill Finger, Jim Mooney, & Charles Paris (1949)

–Detective Comics #143
Batman and Robin face the terror of the pipe-themed super-villain known as The Pied Piper. Commissioner Gordon says this is the return of the super-villain, but Batman and Robin have never faced him before, so he must be before their time. Over the course of a few days, the Pied Piper commits several acts of villainy using corncob pipes, bagpipes, blowpipes, lead pipes, and water pipes to defeat the Dynamic Duo again and again. Eventually, after tangoing with the Pied Piper at the unveiling of the world’s largest pipe organ—so large that one can actually stand on an individual piano key—Batman and Robin chase him to his hideout. There, the Pied Piper gags on some smoke exhaled from a loose stovepipe, allowing for his ironic defeat.

–REFERENCE: From Star Spangled Comics #91. Bruce adds a framed photo of Dick to his study desk inside Wayne Manor.

–REFERENCE: In Star Spangled Comics #92. Bruce and Dick begin following the career of movie star Eddie Beaugard, whose fan clubs help curb juvenile delinquency.

Star Spangled Comics #87

Star Spangled Comics #87 by Jim Mooney & Win Mortimer (1948)

–Star Spangled Comics #87
When gangster Benny Broot learns that he is the descendant of the horrible Baron Hugo de Broot, who lived in the Middle Ages and ruled with a violent temper, he begins taking on the characteristics of his namesake. Robin catches Broot and his men stealing Hugo de Broot loot from the Gotham City Art Museum, but he is unable to apprehend the thieves. After convening with Batman, Robin is ordered to infiltrate Broot’s new HQ, a pink castle once used as a publicity stunt by a bread company. Robin winds up nabbed inside the pink castle and duels Broot and his men, all dressed in full medieval garb at this point. Although trapped, Robin is able to play upon Broot’s belief that he is from the Middle Ages, which gives the Boy Wonder a chance to alert the authorities. When Batman and a cavalry of police officers charge the castle, an overconfident Broot is gunned down.

–FLASHBACK: From Star Spangled Comics #88. Batman investigates a murder and ostensibly sides with the police decision that a man named Brent is guilty. Brent’s teenage son and Dick’s classmate, Jimmy, tries in vain to convince Batman that his pop is a decent fella. However, Batman secretly knows Brent is not guilty and has concocted a plan to lure out the actual killer (as referenced in Star Spangled Comics #88). As per the Dark Knight’s plan, Brent takes the fall and enters Death Row.

–Detective Comics #144
Gangster Big Joe Bancroft escapes from police and the Dynamic Duo, running into real-life bandleader and popular 1940s radio host Kay Kyser! Bancroft forces Kyser to let him pose as his saxophonist for a sold-out live radio broadcast/concert in the Gotham University football stadium. Kyser calmly performs the show under the threat of Bancroft, but tries in vain to deliver a message with the final song, a new variation on the “Woody Woodpecker theme” dedicated to Mr. Morse. A full week goes by and Kyser, still at the mercy of Bancroft, plays his secret “Woody Woodpecker” code again. This time, Bruce gets the message and heads over to Kyser’s broadcast location. The Dark Knight wins a music trivia challenge by cheating—Robin feeds him the answers via radio; apparently Batman is no hep cat and doesn’t know a lick about pop music. Later, Batman and Kyser chase Bancroft to the planetarium where Kyser saves Batman’s life—twice! Meanwhile, the cops nab Bancroft off-panel and the Dynamic Duo joins Kyser on stage to continue his show.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #81 Part 2. Batman and Robin fight Mr. Camera once again, but the villain escapes again.

Star Spangled Comics #88

Star Spangled Comics #88 by Jim Mooney & Win Mortimer (1948)

–Star Spangled Comics #88
Dick believes that Batman has wrongly accused his classmate’s father of murder and caused his unjust death sentence, which is to be administered in less than twenty-four hours. Dick confronts Batman, but the Dark Knight gives him the brush-off with an “I’m never wrong” speech. Still not convinced, Robin pays a visit to the business partners of the condemned man at the airport. After some sleuthing, interviewing, and some brawling, Robin exposes a man named Walsh as the real murderer. Just then, Batman arrives with the framed party (Brent) and his son (Jimmy). Brent, as mentioned above, had entered secretly into a plan with Batman that flushed Walsh out of the woodwork. I guess, Batman is never wrong.

–REFERENCE: In Star Spangled Comics #91. Batman goes on an unspecified case and collects several oversize items as trophies for the Hall of Trophies in the Batcave. These collectables include a giant wine glass, a giant rocks glass, and a giant 8-ball.

–REFERENCE: In Star Spangled Comics #88. A week has passed since the clearing of Brent’s name and the apprehension of Walsh. Batman is a guest speaker at Dick’s high school.

–Batman #51 Part 1 Introduction
Penguin must have the greatest defense team on the planet because once again he is paroled and set free! Of course, Batman and Robin bully him immediately, but Penguin swears he’s going straight and debuts his newest best bud, a live penguin named Pee-Wee Penguin. However, this is no ordinary penguin—he can communicate verbally like a human being! In a few weeks, Penguin and Pee-Wee will become the biggest touring sensation in America and perform for sellout audiences across the nation. SPOILER: Pee-Wee is a real penguin, but his voice is an electronic fake performed by a ventriloquist Cobblebot. However, Pee-Wee won’t be exposed for weeks.

–Batman #51 Part 2
Batman and Robin track some warehouse bandits to a throwback riverboat vaudeville show organized by Rufus Lane. Batman quickly exposes Lane as promoting the washed-up stars of yesteryear just to use the showboat as a hideout with a diverting façade. The old performers decide to help the Dynamic Duo bring down Lane, first by impersonating him to fund their very own self-produced Old Troupers’ Review stage show. At the theater, Batman, Robin, and the troupers bring Lane to justice.

Batman #51 Part 3

Batman #51 Part 3 by Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz, & Charles Paris (1949)

–Batman #51 Part 3
Batman and Robin chase a gangster with warts all over his face, aptly named Warts, to a wax museum. Warts escapes, but the Dark Knight meets one his most ardent admirers, daydreaming handyman Mr. Wimble. Wimble later finds a clue at the waxworks and decides to hunt down Warts on his own. When Wimble lands himself in trouble, Batman and Robin rescue him. In the final battle with Warts, Wimble throws himself in front of a barrage of bullets to save the Dynamic Duo. A week later, Wimble wakes up injured but alive in a hospital. Batman sets him up with a new job at Joe Mulligan‘s private detective agency.

Detective Comics #145

Detective Comics #145 by Dick Sprang & Charles Paris (1949)

–Detective Comics #145
Dick saves the life of a woman who falls from the top of a tall building, but he hits his head and suffers amnesia, which makes him forget everything that has happened ever since his parents’ deaths. Rather than reveal to Dick that he is the Boy Wonder, Bruce decides to take baby steps in trying to make his sidekick remember everything. The next day, Bruce takes Dick to watch a newsreel entitled Batman and Robin Crime Cases 1948, but Dick still recalls nothing. Night two, Bruce dons the Batman costume and, posing as “Bruce’s friend,” talks to Dick, but Dick still can’t recall. The third night, Batman tells Dick that Robin is “on vacation” and he’d like him to “substitute for a while.” Robin accompanies Batman in a fight against a new super-villain group called the Yellow Masks, but is ineffective, resulting in the Yellow Masks’ escape.[1] For the next week, Batman, still hiding his identity from Dick, retrains the latter to be his sidekick. After a full week of training, Batman and Robin take down the Yellow Masks, but Robin still can’t remember his past. The next night, Batman tries one more method and reenacts the falling scene that caused Robin’s amnesia in the first place. Ludicrously and miraculously, the reenactment triggers something in Robin’s dome and the lad finally remembers who he is.

–Batman #51 Part 1 Conclusion
Penguin, thanks to his Pee-Wee Penguin scam, has fostered a national superstar attraction over the past month. But when gangsters Sad-Eyes and Mope remind Penguin that he owes them twenty grand, Penguin dresses up in a Pee-Wee Penguin mascot costume and secretly returns to crime. After robbing a bank, Batman and Robin can’t pin the crime on Pengiun, but apply significant pressure. Penguin then allies himself with Sad-Eyes and Mope and fakes the kidnapping of Pee-Wee. Batman and Robin catch on to Penguin’s false abduction and survive one of his elaborate death traps. Later, the Dynamic Duo busts Penguin. Later still, at Penguin’s trial Batman exposes Penguin’s thievery and his Pee-Wee scam, showing the courtroom that Pee-Wee’s “voice” was an simple electronic trick. After Penguin is jailed, Batman puts the Pee-Wee Penguin mascot costume on display in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #155).

–The Adventures of Superman “The Frozen Death” [radio show 2/7/1949]
I haven’t been able to find a transcript of this episode, but Batman supposedly makes a cameo. Starting with “The Frozen Death,” the Adventures of Superman radio series began airing on the Mutual Broadcasting System three times a week, a noticeable shift, ushering in a new phase for the series. Suffice to say, this is the last time Batman appears on Superman’s radio show.

–Star Spangled Comics #89
Batman is knocked out by gangsters. Robin chases off the gangsters, but they are able to steal the Dark Knight’s utility belt. With the help of a criminal genius known only as The Professor, the crooks are able to replicate the utility belt and outfit each member of their gang. When the mob and the Dynamic Duo next meet, the mob, with their new belts, easily outmatch the heroes. Batman eventually tracks them to the Professor’s home, but he is knocked out again. The villains give him back his belt, but with a hidden bomb in it. Batman disarms the bomb, reunites with Robin, and brings all of the bad guys to justice.

Star Spangled Comics #91

Star Spangled Comics #91 by Jim Mooney (1949)

–Star Spangled Comics #91
April 7, 1949. It’s Bruce’s 34th birthday. Dick, in lieu of a gift, decides to present Bruce with a challenge and dares Batman to apprehend him before seven pm. Robin has “stolen” a bicycle from the Hall of Trophies and absconded into the city. Robin manages to evade Batman, but their game is interrupted when Batman is captured by some gangsters. Robin secretly assists the Dark Knight in his escape and arrest of the gangsters so that the chase game can continue. Eventually, Batman nabs Robin and claims victory. However, later at Bruce’s birthday dinner—attended by Dick, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and Vicki Vale—Bruce learns that Robin helped him earlier and forfeits the victory decision to his ward.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #39. Batman acquires what appears to be some sort of large metal silo-shaped item with panels and rivets. I’m not sure exactly what this submarine-ish item is, but it appears in World’s Finest Comics #39 as a trophy in the Hall of Trophies. Thus, the Dark Knight must go on an adventure that nets this thing.

World's Finest Comics #39

World’s Finest Comics #39 by Jim Mooney (1949)

–World’s Finest Comics #39
After watching Batman and Robin bust the Purple Gang on television, writer and super sleuth JJ Jason decides he will discover Batman’s true identity. After getting an invite to the Batcave by claiming that he is the target of an assassin, Jason begins secretly gathering clues and information. Back at Jason’s lavish castle, Batman and Robin spend the night to protect him. Jason has set up a web of information gathering traps and by morning deduces that Batman is Bruce Wayne! Jason continues to accompany the Dynamic Duo and is present the next day when Batman gets shot in the face (a flesh wound on his cheek) while fighting gangsters. Later, Jason confronts Bruce at Wanye Manor. Bruce, wearing makeup to conceal his facial injury, calmly denies Jason’s accusation. In order to dispel Jason’s beliefs once and for all, Bruce has hired a deaf and blind man that looks like him to wear the Batman costume. Jason examines the man and questions him, and Bruce, using ventriloquism, is able to answer back. I wish I was kidding, but this actually happened. Convinced, Jason leaves, unsure of Batman’s identity.

–Batman #52 Part 2
Bruce and Dick view a thousand-year-old tablet in a museum of “the disgraced coward Viking” Olaf Erickson, who happens to be a dead-ringer for Bruce. So of course, it’s off to time travel via the Nichols method. In Norway, 990 CE, Bruce and Dick learn of Erickson’s shameful un-Asgardian behavior. Naturally, Batman switches places with Erickson and completes three feats of strength to redeem Erickson among his people. Batman and Robin then accompany the real Erickson on an expedition across the Atlantic to Vinland (North America) to war against the natives there. After helping the Vikings presumably slaughter a bunch of natives, Batman and Robin phase back to the present where they dig up some new runes at the spot of the battle. These new artifacts complete the tale on the museum tablet and praise Erickson as a hero. Batman puts one of the thick Viking tablets on display in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in the flashback from Batman #99 Part 3).

–NOTE: In Batman #52 Part 3. Joker escapes from jail again.

–Batman #52 Part 3
Joker begins committing high profile robberies, but adds his signature style of comedy to each heist. Despite these gags being terrible enough to make Carrot Top and Gallagher cringe, Joker’s victims can’t get enough and are so pleased they decline to press charges. Batman goes undercover as a thug and figures out what is going on; Joker has paid the “victims” to laugh and not press charges just to confound the Dark Knight! When Joker recruits Bruce as his next “victim,” Bruce, with much elan, participates (only to later double-cross the villain). Eventually, Batman saves Robin from a “giant house of playing cards” deathtrap and a pissed-off Joker goes after Bruce at Wayne Manor with the Jokermobile and two giant tubes of paint. In the end, Joker winds up covered in acrylic and back behind bars. After this case wraps, Batman puts one of Joker’s awful props—a “walking canoe” with leg holes—into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #155).

tec 146

Detective Comics #146 by Bill Finger & Dick Sprang (1949)

–Detective Comics #146
Batman and Robin warn an offshore gambling vessel that they are keeping tabs on it. Little do they know that rookie crook Carl C Cave is aboard and ready to begin a “lucky number three” themed crime spree with his group, known as the Trio. Cave, now going by the alias “Numbers,” along with the Trio, defeats Batman and Robin and continues a wave of villainy that involves all types of things related to the number three. Batman and Robin trick a fence into revealing Numbers’ hideout using a bizarre Batcave torture device that simulates a small cabin rocking violently at sea. Batman and Robin fight Numbers at the railroad station, but thanks to his lucky number, Numbers escapes again. Later, at Numbers’ hideout in an abandoned mineshaft, Batman confronts the villain again. Only this time, Numbers accidentally runs down tunnel number eight instead of three and gets busted.

–REFERENCE: In Detective comics #147. Batman and Robin are made honorary members of the Voyagers Club, which is led by scientist Dr. Gaige.

Batman and Robin Film Serial 1949 (Chapter 1)

Batman and Robin film serial—dir. by Spencer Gordon Bennet; prod. by Sam Katzman; written by George Plympton, Joseph Poland, & Royal Cole; cinematography by Ira Morgan (1949)

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 1: Batman Takes Over” [film]
A crime wave hits Gotham, but Batman and Robin exert their dominance over the criminal element by squashing the Harbor Gang and the Air Pirates in swift succession. (The defeat of the Harbor Pirate’s Harbor Gang is detailed in a reference in Detective Comics #238.) After a brief visit to Wayne Manor by Vicki Vale, Batman and Robin respond to a robbery in progress at an plant owned by Electronic Research Corporation. The burglars escape with a newly invented diamond-powered weapon that can remotely-control any machine or vehicle within a fifty mile radius with the simple press of a button. Furthermore, the weapon can detonate any machine or vehicle with a violent explosion as well. At the plant, the man who pioneered the initial research on the remote weapon, Professor Hammil (a now a crotchety wheelchair-using retiree), suspiciously chastises Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and Robin for allowing the crooks to get away. Back at Hammil’s mansion, the vile old man straps himself into a wild-looking machine-like throne that revitalizes his body, allowing him to walk and move about without pain. Elsewhere, in a secret hidden laboratory (that can only be accessed via submarine), the crooks from earlier deliver the remote-control weapon to their boss, the hooded and caped super-villain known as The Wizard. (SPOILER ALERT: The Wizard will ultimately be revealed as Hammil’s butler, Carter). The Wizard sends his men to steal some diamonds to fuel the weapon and the Dynamic Duo fights them again. The next day Batman and Robin volunteer to pilot a cargo ship that carries a cache of diamonds. The Wizard uses the remote-control device to force the plane to the ground where his men easily nab the diamonds and lock the heroes inside the plane. The Wiz then detonates the plane, seemingly killing Batman and Robin.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 2: Tunnel of Terror” [film]
Batman and Robin narrowly escape being blown up and stowaway aboard the Wizard’s henchmen’s plane—piloted by Vicki Vale’s small-time crook brother Jimmy Vale! During the flight, Batman swipes the stolen diamonds and switches them with fakes. Later, Vicki gets caught in a trap—a literal foot snare—while snooping around Professor Hammil’s estate, prompting Batman and Robin to rescue her. Later still, Bruce and Dick trail private eye Detective Dunne, who is in the employ of Barry Brown, a radio newsman that has been curiously regularly predicting all of the Wizard’s plans before they happen. Bruce follows Dunne to the train station, where shortly thereafter the Wizard’s goons hijack a freight train carrying explosive materials. Batman hops on and begins a nasty fight atop the speeding locomotive.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 3: Robin’s Wild Ride” [film]
Despite Batman’s best efforts, the Wizard’s henchmen escape with a crate full of explosive materials. When Barry Brown reveals the unknown location of Wesley Morton, the inventor of the detonators needed to set off these specific explosives, live on the air, it isn’t long before the Wizard’s men kidnap Morton. The Wizard then uses some metahuman hypnosis power (who knew?) to force Morton to reveal the location of the detonators, which the super-villain’s gang quickly gather. Batman and Robin engage in a high speed car pursuit, until inexplicably the Dark Knight tells Robin to wait behind while he charges into a brouhaha against four armed men. Batman wails on the baddies and snatches a crowbar away from one of them. This prompts the Wizard—who is viewing everything from his hideout via an improbable “televiewer” device—to activate the remote-control weapon machine, which electrifies the crowbar (I didn’t know a crowbar had mechanical parts?) and sends the Caped Crusader hurtling into a ravine.

Batman & Robin 1949 film serial Ch. 4

Batman and Robin film serial—dir. by Spencer Gordon Bennet; prod. by Sam Katzman; written by George Plympton, Joseph Poland, & Royal Cole; cinematography by Ira Morgan (1949)

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 4: Batman Trapped!” [film]
Batman survives his fall off a cliff by landing safely in a tree. Meanwhile, the Wizard’s men kidnap Robin, who leaves an oil trail for Batman to follow to their safe-house. Robin then escapes and secretly watches as the Wizard tries (and fails) to use his hypnotic super eyes to make Wesley Morton tell him a secret chemical formula for renewable industrial energy. Batman shows up just in time to save Robin and Morton and chase off the villains. The Dark Knight then attacks the Wizard only to realize that its merely a giant closed-circuit TV image of the Wizard broadcasting live from his secret lair. An injured Morton checks into the hospital and the Wizard’s men—thanks to another Barry Brown radio report—are able to bug the room and learn the location of Morton’s formula file when he tells Bruce, Dick, Commissioner Gordon, and Vicki Vale. At Morton’s office, the Wizard’s men steal the formula file. Once again the Caped Crusader inexplicably tells Robin it isn’t safe to charge two armed men, uses Robin as bait to take down the two men, and then tells Robin to wait behind while he charges three armed men by himself! This wild strategy results in the Dark Knight getting the crap kicked out him.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 5: Robin Rescues Batman!” [film]
The Wizard’s men successfully steal Wesley Morton’s energy formula, but Vicki Vale snaps a picture of the bunch in the process. The Wiz then coerces Jimmy Vale into arranging a meeting with his sis in order to ambush her and steal the photo negatives. Thankfully, Batman and Robin follow Vicki and pummel her attackers. However, the film is burned in the fight. Back in the Batcave lab, Bruce fixes the remains of the negatives and is able to make out the face of one of the henchmen, Mac Lacey. The Dark Knight apprehends Lacey, but soon finds himself in a rescue mission to save Vicki, who has gotten kidnapped by the Wiz’s men.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 6: Target—Robin!” [film]
Batman and Vicki Vale find themselves treading water in Gotham Harbor surrounded by burning oil courtesy of the Wizard’s henchmen. Batman then goes in disguise as Mac Lacey and infiltrates the Wiz’s gang only to quickly be found out. After some scuffling and some trick-shooting, Batman and Robin escape from the villains’ safe-house. Back at the waterfront the Dynamic Duo walk right into a trap, as the Wiz’s gang locks them in a gas chamber.

Batman and Robin film serial 1949

Batman and Robin film serial—dir. by Spencer Gordon Bennet; prod. by Sam Katzman; written by George Plympton, Joseph Poland, & Royal Cole; cinematography by Ira Morgan (1949)

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 7: The Fatal Blast” [film]
Batman and Robin escape from the gas chamber, but Barry Brown mistakenly reports that the Dynamic Duo are dead on his radio show. Bruce, Dick, and Commissioner Gordon meet with Brown briefly, but cannot figure out if he is the Wizard or not. Using the combination of Wesley’s energy formula, the experimental explosives, and the remote-control machine, the Wizard threatens to halt Gotham’s trains permanently unless he is paid $5 million. The Wiz’s gang then tries to kidnap Winslow Harrison, president of the Associated Railroads Company, but Batman and Robin prevent his abduction. However, Batman and Harrison wind up trapped in a cabin. The Wiz’s men activate a small machine that causes items to spontaneously combust and mechanical devices to go haywire. In an instant, the cabin goes up in flames.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 8: Robin Meets the Wizard!” [film]
Batman and Winslow Harrison survive the cabin explosion and Vicki Vale is on hand to photograph the aftermath. The Dynamic Duo then schemes with Commissioner Gordon to accept the Wizard’s $5 million blackmail terms, but to deliver the villain’s men a case of radioactive marked bills that will not only disintegrate when the case is opened, but will act as a tracer that Batman can follow. After the drop is made, the Dynamic Duo follow the Wiz’s goons to a warehouse. Surprisingly, the Wizard is actually on hand and pistol-whips Robin into unconsciousness while the latter snoops outside the building. Inside the warehouse, the Wiz’s gang similarly knocks-out Batman and leaves him unconscious while the radioactive cash flares up and sets the whole place ablaze.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 9: The Wizard Strikes Back!” [film]
The Wizard temporarily burns out the remote control machine due to overuse. Frustrated, the super-villain orders Jimmy Vale to pretend that he wants out of the Wiz’s gang in order to get in Commissioner Gordon’s good graces. Vicki Vale helps her brother “escape” (with a little help from Batman and Robin). At police HQ, Jimmy “spills the beans” on the Wiz’s next plan, but actually gets the location of a cache of synthetic diamonds needed to power the remote control weapon. Jimmy phones the gang and they easily steal the diamonds. Batman and Robin follow them in a commandeered automobile, but the Wizard uses what little juice is left in the remote control weapon’s tank to send their car hurtling off a steep cliff into a lake.

Batman and Robin film serial 1949 Ch. 10

Batman and Robin film serial—dir. by Spencer Gordon Bennet; prod. by Sam Katzman; written by George Plympton, Joseph Poland, & Royal Cole; cinematography by Ira Morgan (1949)

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 10: Batman’s Last Chance!” [film]
Batman and Robin bail out of the veering car at the last second. Meanwhile, Vicki Vale trails her brother to an apartment used by the Wizard’s henchmen and gets caught snooping around. Commissioner Gordon allows one of the captured henchmen to escape so the Dynamic Duo can follow him to Vicki’s location. Batman tries to open the apartment door, but it’s rigged to shock and electrocutes Batman into unconsciousness. While under, Jimmy Vale sneaks a peek under the cowl and learns Batman’s secret ID! The Dark Knight eventually comes to, frees Vicki, and starts a brawl with three thugs, but gets tossed out of a highrise window to his brutal death below! Well, not exactly, Jimmy, seeing the error of his criminal ways, decides to help the Caped Crusader. While Batman is knocked-out, Jimmy switches outfits with him and, dressed as Batman, saves his sis and fights his former buddies.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 11: Robin’s Ruse” [film]
A small crowd gathers around the corpse of “Batman”—actually Jimmy Vale dressed as the Dark Knight. Bruce gets spotted by the Wizard’s henchmen, but takes off as fast as he can. Back at the Wizard’s HQ, the Wiz ponders whether or not Jimmy Vale was Batman all along and if Bruce Wayne might be Batman too. Meanwhile, Bruce meets with Professor Hammil and goes to meet Vicki, but before he can get to his date, he is abducted by the Wizard’s men, who believe him to be the Caped Crusader. At a warehouse in the industrial district, the Wizard’s men interrogate Bruce, who continues to feign ignorance. Alfred, wearing the Batman costume, shows up to fool the gangsters. While they chase after the fake Dark Knight, Robin saves Bruce. The Dynamic Duo then chases after the Wizard in a high-speed pursuit, but the super-villain escapes into his hidden submarine cave.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 12: Robin Rides the Wind” [film]
The Dynamic Duo visits Professor Hammil’s estate and catches Detective Dunne breaking into the palatial mansion red-handed. Batman learns that Dunne had been hired by the government to steal blueprints for a neutralizer for the remote-control machine that Hammil had stolen from Electronic Research Corporation. While the neutralizer has yet to be constructed, Batman and Commissioner Gordon leak disinformation to Barry Brown that it does exist and is being delivered to Gotham via armored car. Brown reports the story on his news show, prompting the Wizard to send his men to attack the transport, which is driven by Robin. While Robin evades the Wizard’s men on the ground, he cannot avoid bombs dropped from the Wizard’s airplane and is blown off of a cliff.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 13: The Wizard’s Challenge” [film]
Of course, Robin bails out of the armored transport at the last second. Professor Hammil constructs the actual neutralizer device that can stop the remote control weapon and instructs his butler Carter to deliver it to Commissioner Gordon. However, the Wizard’s men attack Carter, beat up the Dynamic Duo, and steal it. At the Wizard’s lair, the mad genius tweaks the neutralizer to give himself temporary invisibility! Using his new ability, the Wiz sneaks onto a research plant hoping to steal the plans for a “super jet plane” from right under the noses of Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, and a bunch of guards. The Wiz fails to get the plans, but detonates a bomb that explodes outside of a vault that Batman has secured himself inside.

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 14: Batman vs. Wizard” [film]
Batman survives the vault bombing. While the Wizard makes his escape, his invisibility wears off and he gets shot in the hand by a cop when he reappears. Batman and Commissioner Gordon think they can discover the Wiz’s true identity by examining the top suspects’ hands. Detective Dunne and Barry Brown both have injuries to their hands, but they prove to be red herrings. In the Batcave, Bruce dusts on of the Wiz’s gloves—left behind at the research plant—and they come up as a positive match for Professor Hammil’s butler, Carter! Batman, Robin, and Gordon rush to Hammil’s estate only to find Carter dead of a gunshot wound. (SPOILER ALERT: Carter is not dead. This is actually his twin brother that has been posing as Hammil’s butler). Hammil claims to not know how the murder happened. Batman curiously notes that Hammil has an injury to his hand, but it’s just another red herring. Later, Gordon tunes into the Barry Brown radio show and Brown declares that the Wiz is not only alive and well, but that he (Brown) has learned the villain’s secret identity. Just as he is about to announce it live on the air, the invisible Wiz attacks him in the studio, choking him into unconsciousness! That afternoon, the still invisible Wiz rappels down in front of Gordon’s office window and tries to assassinate the commish. The shot misses and the Wiz runs off. During the assassination attempt, Vicki Vale snaps a picture of the Wiz with an infra-red camera.

Batman & Robin Film Serial 1949 Ch. 15

Batman and Robin film serial—dir. by Spencer Gordon Bennet; prod. by Sam Katzman; written by George Plympton, Joseph Poland, & Royal Cole; cinematography by Ira Morgan (1949)

–Batman & Robin “Ch. 15: Batman Victorious” [film]
Vicki Vale develops the photo of the Wizard—who inexplicably wasn’t wearing his hood—and it is none other than Carter! But since Carter is dead, Batman knows there is a mystery afoot. The Wiz’s invisibilty wears off permanently when the neutralizer burns out due to overuse, but the villain is able to make a daring escape back to his secret lair. Robin tails the Wiz and learns how to access his secret submarine cave that leads to his lair. Meanwhile, Vicki tails Robin and gets captured by the Wiz’s henchmen. The bad guys try to kill Vicki, but Batman saves her. The Dynamic Duo then takes a submarine ride and surprises the Wiz at his secret HQ, which is attached to Professor Hammil’s estate. After a brief scuffle, Batman finds Carter alive and well alongside Hammil and solves the case: Carter was the Wiz the whole time and was in cahoots with his twin brother, who had been posing as Hammil’s butler to steal technology from the scientist. After serving his purpose, Carter’s twin was executed by Carter himself. With everything wrapped up neatly, Batman delivers Carter to Gordon. Afterward, Batman collects a piece of Hammil’s machinery into the Hall of Trophies—there is something that looks like a set-piece from the 1949 Batman & Robin serial depicted in Detective Comics #147. I’m not sure this is actually supposed to be part of Hammil’s remote control device or his neutralizer, but it very well could be!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #54 Part 3 Intro. Bruce and Dick befriend millionaire architect George C Hudson.

–Batman #119 Part 3
Robin is referred to specifically as a boy in this issue. Since Dick is still seventeen-years-old at this juncture (he is about to turn eighteen), this is the last point that the boy reference seems to make sense. Batman and Robin split up to chase after wanted criminal Al Hackett. At Hackett’s luxurious mountain lodge, Batman accidentally inhales a rare hallucinogenic plant in the greenhouse. Batman has a vivid hallucination where he is old and bearded and in an alternate future where an adult Dick Grayson is Batman and a new blonde-haired Robin fights by his side. After this long weird trip, Batman wakes up to Robin, who has captured Hackett by himself, shaking him awake.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #63 Part 3. Batman and Robin pose for photos for Vicki Vale’s new one-shot special magazine entitled Crime Glances: Closeups of Batman.

–Batman #60 Part 1 Intro
Bruce, at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Gotham Museum, proposes the erection of a skyscraper for the new home of the institution. One of the board members, the crotchety old Lyons, angrily wheelchairs-off in protest of the concept.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #164. Vicki Vale runs into criminal Big Red, who has just stolen the Bat-Signal from police HQ. Batman and Robin rescue Vicki and send Big Red and his boys to jail.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #63 Part 3. Batman does an interview for a popular magazine where he discusses the Batcave in detail.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #110 Part 2. Vicki Vale visits the circus to watch Batman and Robin perform acrobatic stunts. While there, she notices that Bruce and Dick are not in their reserved seats. Luckily, after the show, Alfred drives by with a dummy of Bruce and Dick in the backseat of the car to fool her.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #81 Part 2. Early May. Batman and Robin fight Mr. Camera again, but the villain escapes again.

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Detective Comics #248 by Bill Finger, Dick Sprang, & Charles Paris (1957)

–Detective Comics #248
1949—Thailand is referred to as Siam, hence why this issue goes here. Batman and Robin bust some crooks that have stolen some radium and platinum from Gotham Hospital and distributed it to international fences all over the world. Unknown to the crooks, among the loot is a special medicine needed to save a dying person. Thus, Batman and Robin kick ass around the world in eight days—Holland, Venice, Paris, Vienna, Greece, Algiers, Siam, and then Mexico. In Mexico, matador Batman tangos with a bull and sword-fights a crime-syndicate fencer, recovering the medicine just in time to save the dying person back in Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #240. Batman stops some gangsters that attempt to rob the Gotham Bank using a tank. A TV news crew films Batman stopping the bad guys.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #240. Batman solves the “Case of the Sphinx of the Gotham Museum” and earns a mini-sphinx statue as a prize for the Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #58. Batman and Robin bust Nitro Nelson and send him up for a ten-year stretch.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #158. Batman and Robin encounter the suave super-villain known as Dr. Doom. Dr. Doom outwits the Dynamic Duo and gets away scot-free.


World’s Finest Comics #43 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, & Charles Paris (1950)

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #43. Batman and Robin travel to London where they team-up with Scotland Yard’s Inspector Smythe to take on international spymaster Count Florian, also known as “The Man With a Thousand Eyes.” This debonair super-villain runs circles around the Dynamic Duo and Smythe. Count Florian murders freely, leaving his signature third-eye sticker on his victims’ foreheads. In the end, Florian escapes capture by diving off a bridge into a waiting boat, thus getting away scot-free.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #43. Batman is interviewed for a portion of a documentary film entitled Batman.

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Detective Comics #147 by Dick Sprang & Charles Paris (1949)

–Detective Comics #147
Batman and Robin, as honorary members of the Voyagers Club, vow to capture new aquatic super-villain Tiger Shark and deliver his mask to the club as a trophy. After a failed attempt to nab Tiger Shark using the Batmobile’s aqueous transformation feature, Batman has the leader of the Voyagers Club, Dr. Gaige, design him a new-and-advanced special Bat-Submarine. Later, Tiger Shark orchestrates a successful diamond heist at sea, but Batman locates his secret HQ deep in an ancient ocean wreck. Dr. Gaige lowers the Dynamic Duo into the ocean in a bathysphere, but the chain mysteriously disengages leaving our heroes trapped at the bottom of the sea. After escaping, Batman and Robin surprise Tiger Shark, apprehend him, and unmask him as none other than Dr. Gaige!

–World’s Finest Comics #40
Sailor Roggs, Jumpy Peters, Careful Kyle, and Angles Manson—all Death Row inmates put into the jug by Batman—escape from prison. Batman and Robin track down Roggs, who winds up suffocating on cyanide gas and dying. After a night of busting heads and beating info out of random thugs, the Dynamic Duo tracks down Manson, who winds up strangling himself to death while attempting to flee at a power plant. Later, Kyle fights Batman and Robin, but the crook perishes as well after getting electrocuted by eels. Peters avoids the fate of his comrades, but gets captured and sent back to Death Row.

Batman #52 Part 1

Batman #52 Part 1 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz, & Charles Paris (1949)

–Batman #52 Part 1
Early summer 1949. The third incarnation of The Thinker debuts—a criminal mastermind operating out of a hidden cave that holds incredible “thinking machines” of his own design. While the new Thinker types out his grandiose plans on a hundred-foot-tall typewriter, his “thinking machines”—complex computers in the shape of the giant-size heads of great criminal minds such as Edgar Allen Poe, Lucrezia Borgia, and Euclid—spit out vile information at rapid speed, including the secret identity of Batman! After learning from an injured underworld thug that the Thinker knows his ID, Batman decides to enact a plot to fool the villain. Aboard a luxury cruise, Alfred is to dump the Bruce Wayne dummy overboard making it seem like Bruce has died in an accident. However, Vicki Vale happens to photograph Alfred “pushing” Bruce over the side rail. Detective Joe Mulligan busts Alfred and accuses him of Bruce’s murder! We also learn that both Dick and Alfred are in Bruce’s will. Vicki’s photo further incriminates Alfred, who is sent to prison. A few days go by as Batman and Robin bust heads and track down the Thinker. Eventually, Alfred breaks outta stir and winds up in the Thinker’s hideout where the Dynamic Duo join him and arrest the super-villain. Bruce then later “reappears” washed ashore on a remote island in the Atlantic and exonerates Alfred of any wrongdoing.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #148. Batman and Robin solve “The Case of the Pigmie Plot” aka “The Experiment of Professor Zero.” Two years ago Doctor Agar claimed to have invented a shrinking ray, but it ultimately turned out to be fake. Now, the mad Professor Zero has actually done it—although his ray only keeps one pint-size for seventy-two hours. Zero is able to hide his ray inside the Bat-Signal and shrink down not only Batman and Robin but several prominent Gotham businessmen in an effort to blackmail them for money. A wee Dynamic Duo are dumped into the ocean, but manage to fight their way back to shore only to get mistaken for dolls and purchased as toys for a child. The mini heroes then literally mail themselves to Zero’s lair and, despite only being a few inches tall, are able to defeat Zero, who accidentally shoots himself to death. Batman, Robin, and the rescued businessmen then simply wait out the rest of the seventy-two hours before returning to their prior state. Afterward, Batman places two bell jars—used as prisons for the tiny heroes during this adventure—into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #148).

–Detective Comics #148
Batman reads the freshly-penned “Experiment of Professor Zero” entry from his “official casebook.” Batman and Robin also admire their newest trophies, the bell jars collected from this very same case.

–World’s Finest Comics #40 Epilogue
Two weeks have passed since the main action of World’s Finest Comics #40. Bruce and Dick read about Jumpy Peters’ state-sponsored execution in the newspaper.

Star Spangled Comics #92

Star Spangled Comics #92 by Jim Mooney (1949)

–Star Spangled Comics #92
Bruce and Dick watch a movie starring Hollywood’s biggest action hero, Eddie Beaugard. Soon after, Batman and Robin are hired as consultants on Beaugard’s next picture and travel to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the cowardly Beaugard has just witnessed a gangland murder and is on the hit list of the King Koll mob. Batman and Robin go in disguise as Beaugard and his son and begin boldly showing themselves in the public eye to lure out the would-be assassins. After several raucous brawls at the movie studio, Beaugard overcomes his fears and helps bust Koll. At the trial a few days later, Koll is found guilty but steals a gun and puts bullets in Batman’s arm and stomach! Beaugard settles the situation by knocking-out Koll. Robin and Beaugard later visit a badly wounded Batman at an LA hospital while the latter recovers.

–NOTE: In Batman #53. Joker escapes from the correctional facility again.

–Batman #53
Bruce installs a television into the Batmobile. Meanwhile, Joker and his number one henchman Lefty initiate “The Case of the Hairpin, the Hacksaw, the Hoe, and the Hole in the Ground.” Why such a bizarrely long title? Well, Joker steals each of these items because the first two letters of each spell out to “HA HA HO HO.” Joker also tries to steal a set of gold-plated golf clubs and leads the Dynamic Duo into a warehouse filled with weird props, trick devices, water pistols, poison gas death traps, and giant laughing comedy masks. Amidst all of this chaos, Joker gets caught and sent back to prison. Batman places the hairpin into the Hall of Trophies. (Note that this story will be adapted into a TV episode of Batman ’66!)

Batman #53 Part 2

Batman #53 Part 2 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz, & Charles Paris (1949)

Batman and Robin meet famous painter Carl Marlin—who paints the Dynamic Duo’s portrait—and his wife Greta. That night, Carl is murdered by the handsome and unassuming model, Frank Fabian, shortly after painting his portrait. With his dying breath, Carl puts a curse on Fabian, claiming that his portrait will turn uglier and uglier with each misdeed he commits in the future. Sure enough, Fabian tests that fate by becoming The Dapper Bandit, a dashing new super-villain. And sure enough, after each night of crime (and a few scuffles with the Dynamic Duo) Fabian returns home to his loft in Gotham’s Bohemian Village and his visage has grown uglier and more monstrous. Eventually, Batman and Robin learn that Greta has been secretly touching up the portrait to mess with Fabian. The Dynamic Duo goes one step further and applies monster makeup to Fabian’s face while he is out cold. Upon waking, Fabian thinks he’s turned into a ghoulish weirdo. He wigs out and confesses to Carl’s murder.

Bruce and Dick observe gangster Stack Hawley dining with the bizarre Mr. Phaeton—a person with paraplegia that is obsessed with salt water. Batman and Robin trail the pair into Gotham Harbor via speedboat, but their vehicle is shot at and stopped in its tracks. Robin escapes the sinking vessel, but the Dark Knight sinks along with it. When Batman regains consciousness he has been discovered by a group of Atlantean mermen and mermaids and has been himself turned into a merman via a “converting chamber.” Bat-Merman (!) discovers that Phaeton is not a person with paraplegia, but an evil merman! Bat-Merman defeats Phaeton and hops in the converter to turn back to a regular human and slips back into unconsciousness. When he awakes again, he is in a hospital bed and Robin said that he was missing a while following the speedboat accident until the Coast Guard found him. Batman and Robin then track down Hawley and Phaeton and bust them both. Phaeton appears with human legs instead of a fishtail. In the end, Batman wonders if his experience as a merman was a fever dream or if it really happened and Phaeton has used the converter as well. I guess we’ll never know—although I’m pretty sure Bat-Merman was a hallucination.

–Batman #54 Part 3 Intro
Batman and Robin defeat the Human Spider Mob. Bruce and Dick then visit with their friend, millionaire architect George C Hudson. Unknown to Bruce or Dick, Hudson has been killed and replaced by his dead ringer, criminal John Foster. Foster manages to fool not only Bruce and Dick, but just about everyone else, including Hudson’s fiancée Martha. Bruce has “Hudson” commission him a summer cottage in the mountains.

–NOTE: In Detective Comics #149. Joker escapes from jail again.

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Detective Comics #149 by Bill Finger & Dick Sprang (1949)

–Detective Comics #149
Joker hatches a new plan to terrorize Gotham by recording various sounds and then playing them at extreme volume via loudspeakers. Joker is able to fake roofs collapsing, avalanches, bombings, and floods simply by playing stentorian noises of those things and then stirring up ensuing panic and pandemonium. Batman, using a WWII-era sound detector, is able to combat Joker’s scheme. The Dynamic Duo eventually nabs Joker at the Triumph record pressing factory, where the Clown Prince of Crime gets sandwiched in-between a colossally over-sized turntable and a giant vinyl LP.

–Star Spangled Comics #93
While Dick is visiting a friend from school on a week-long retreat in the country, Batman has spent the entire week dealing with the new threat of the Red Mask Gang. At the end of the week, troubles are doubled when a new super-villain known as The Sphinx debuts in Gotham. Robin rushes home to assist Batman, but learns from Alfred that the Dark Knight has already left to take on the Sphinx at his pyramid set HQ. At the pyramid, the Red Masks have shown up in an attempt to recruit the Sphinx into their group. Robin watches in horror as the Red Masks chat with the Sphinx, who throws down Batman’s cape, cowl, and utility belt, claiming that he has murdered him! Robin charges, but is easily captured by the superior numbers. However, Robin escapes from his binds and gains the upper hand, forcing the Sphinx to tie up all the Red Masks. Robin then unmasks the Sphinx and it’s none other than Batman! The Caped Crusader had created the Sphinx character just to lure the villains to his pyramid hideout. Afterward, Batman puts the Sphinx costume on display in the Hall of Trophies.

–World’s Finest Comics #41
Bruce and Dick attend a socialite ball held by Charles Albrek. In attendance is Charles’ nephew Edgar, who has just returned from a long trek in Africa. Edgar soon goes out-of-control and begins a crime spree. He later claims that he underwent a radical hand-grafting surgical procedure after losing his hands during a terrible hunting accident. Unfortunately, the hands given to Edgar were the hands of a murderer and now he can’t control them. Eventually, Batman exposes this ludicrous story as completely fraudulent. Edgar never had hand-grafting surgery. He simply wanted an excuse to murder his uncle.

Detective Comics #150

Detective Comics #150 by Dick Sprang & Charles Paris (1949)

–Detective Comics #150
Judge Whipple, DA Robert J Pierce,[2] Bruce, Dick, and hundreds of others bear witness to the ghost of executed criminal Rifle Rafferty, the city of Gotham goes into an uproar. Over the course of the next week, the mysterious ghost appears time and time again and correctly predicts crimes in the city before they happen, helping the GCPD bust various mob organizations. At the Gotham Civic Auditorium, the ghost again appears before thousands of onlookers, including Batman, Robin, and professional ghost-hunter Paul Visio. Still unconvinced that the apparition is legit, Batman returns home. The ghost appears inside the Batcave and claims he will kill Batman and Robin at the end of forty-eight hours. During this two day period, Batman solves the mystery. Visio is behind the “ghost,” which is actually an elaborate stage prop consisting of a stenciled frame, chemical pharmacopeia, gases, and electronic audio devices. Visio’s men had planted the necessary materials in the Batmobile, thus allowing for the “ghost” appearance in the Batcave. After two days pass, Batman and Robin, wearing bulletproof vests, meet with Visio in Commissioner Gordon’s office.  Turning Visio’s own methods against him, the Dynamic Duo outs and busts the villain.[3][4]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #240. Batman fights a bunch of crooks on horseback that rob the polo grounds of several priceless jewelry items. All the items are recovered except for the Vandorf necklace (as seen in a film shown in Detective Comics #240). A TV news crew films Batman fighting the polo crooks. SPOILER: Master crime boss Ace Grogan has made off with the Vandorf necklace with major plans to use the necklace to frame Batman in the near future.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #240. Batman’s 1,000th official criminal case! By the math, the Dark Knight has averaged around a hundred cases a year so far. Batman defeats a super-villain dressed as a pirate, who calls himself “The Captain Kidd of East River” and operates an ancient schooner (as seen in a film shown in Detective Comics #240). Not all of Kidd’s stolen loot is recovered, as a ruby goes missing. Batman’s fight with Captain Kidd is filmed by a news crew. After defeating Kidd, Batman keeps his cutlass as a prize for the Hall of Trophies. Unknown to Batman, super crook Ace Grogan has made off with the ruby and has plans to soon use it in an elaborate frame-up, the likes of which Batman really hasn’t seen in his entire career.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #240. An anonymous fan sends Batman a tiny Batman statuette to commemorate the completion of his 1,000th official criminal case. SPOILER: The anonymous “fan” is actually criminal Ace Grogan, who has recently set up an elaborate ruse to frame the Dark Knight as a crook, as we will see in the upcoming Detective Comics #240.

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Detective Comics #240 by Dick Sprang & Charles Paris (1957)

–Detective Comics #240
This issue occurs here because it takes place just over ten (full) years into Batman’s career and shortly after he has solved his 1,000th official criminal case. Two beat cops chase a crook into a mansion on the outskirts of Gotham only to discover a hidden Batcave underneath the premises. Shockingly, a bunch of loot (including the missing Vandorf necklace) and trophies from various Batman cases are in there and the mystery crook hops in a Batmobile and drives away. Batman visits the elaborate fake Batcave only to be ambushed by DA Robert J Pierce, who reveals charges that Batman has been keeping uncovered loot and cash for years and has been committing some thefts as well. Batman can’t make DA Pierce believe that the “Batcave” in which they stand is a fake, part of a massive underworld plot to set him up. Furthermore, the main person that would usually defend him, Commissioner Gordon, recently went missing while on vacation in Africa. DA Pierce cuffs Batman and brings him in! At the jailhouse, Batman is shown respect by the DA’s office and the cops by being able to keep his mask on and retain the secret of his ID until proven guilty in a court of law. When Batman is fingerprinted, his prints inexplicably match crook Ace Grogan, who incriminatingly went missing right before Batman debuted eleven years ago. After posting bail, Batman agrees to the urging of a popular TV broadcaster, Burt Wever, and submits to a lie detector test, but fails it! The next day, the same TV broadcaster urges Batman to prove his innocence by giving DA Pierce a tour of the real Batcave, an act that would surely prove that the other one was a fake. While in the Batcave, the missing ruby from the recent Captain Kidd case pops out of Batman’s “1,000th case tribute” statuette. Things look bleak for the Dark Knight as he appears in a weird Batman mask/tuxedo outfit for the arraignment hearing. Just before the hearing, DA Pierce tells Batman that he knows he is innocent and has only been baiting the mystery villain by making him overconfident. Sure enough, Wever is outed during the trial when Batman unmasks to reveal a Wever mask underneath his cowl. In custody and with Batman exonerated, Wever (revealed as Grogan), goes behind bars. Grogan had stolen the Vandorf necklace, set up the fake Batcave, played the role of TV-man Wever, set up the fake lie detector test, rigged the statuette to incriminate the Dark Knight, and arranged for Gordon’s temporary kidnapping in Africa. Despite all of this, the smart DA Pierce was one step ahead of Grogan the whole time, making several ingenious detective moves, including faking Batman’s fingerprinting. For once, Batman was out of the loop until the very end. Later, the Caped Crusader puts the handcuffs he wore into the Hall of Trophies.

Star Spangled Comics #94

Star Spangled Comics #94 by Jim Mooney (1949)

–Star Spangled Comics #94
A crime wave hits Gotham, so Batman and Robin decide to start a contest to see who can bag more baddies. During one of Batman’s patrols, the Dark Knight busts a crook and finds a movie ticket to an underground theater. In disguise Batman visits the theater and discovers the boss behind the recent crime wave, Mr. Napoleon. While terrorizing the city lately, Napoleon has also been moonlighting as an indie movie producer, creating—along with director Len Daniker—such violent anti-law flicks as The End of Robin, The End of Gordon, Crime’s Victory, and A Thug in Love. Batman, still in disguise, tries out for the role of Batman in Napoleon’s next film and naturally gets the part. After sneaking out of the studio to protect the mayor from a robbery attempt at city hall, Batman is outed. (Note that the mayor is now drawn with a mustache, but appears to be the same unnamed mayor we’ve previously seen.) When Napoleon learns that his Batman is the real deal, he tries to kill him. Fortunately, Robin saves the day, and also shoots a short film of the Dark Knight pummeling Napoleon and his men.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #81 Part 2. Batman and Robin fight Mr. Camera yet again, but the villain escapes again.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #80 Part 2. Mystery writer Freddy Hobbs movies into a cottage on property adjacent to Wayne Manor. Bruce befriends his new neighbor.

Batman #52 Part 1

Batman #52 Part 1 by Jim Mooney (1949)

–Batman #54 Part 1
Bruce and Dick arrange to meet fellow Hobby Horse Club member CC Weede. Upon arrival at Weede’s place, they hear a scuffle and switch into fighting mode. At Weede’s, Batman and Robin battle a new masked super-villain that steals rare collectibles, called The Treasure Hunter. After the Treasure Hunter drops a Hobby Horse pin—a button that denotes membership of a hobby club of which Bruce happens to be a member—during an altercation, Bruce investigates his acquaintances, especially the shady Jim Gade, who turns out to be a mere red herring. Unable to figure out who the culprit is, Batman sends a warning to each club member seeing who will panic and expose themselves. Weede responds by trying to kill Batman during a public mayoral speech. (The still-unnamed Mayor of Gotham is drawn without a mustache, having reverted back to his original clean-shaven look.) The Dynamic Duo thinks they have nabbed the Treasure Hunter, but are shocked when Weede outs himself for a totally unrelated crime. Later, Bruce invites every Hobby Horse member to his home for a costume party. At Wayne Manor, Batman finally reveals Charles, the club steward, as the Treasure Hunter. Of course the butler did it. Afterward, Batman puts the Hobby Horse pin into the Hall of Trophies.

Batman #54 Part 2

Batman #54 Part 2 by Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz, & Charles Paris (1949)

–Batman #54 Part 2
While on vacation in the Everglades, Bruce and Dick get lost and find themselves in Duchess Corners, Florida, the very same locale where they lost track of crook Dan Morgan one year ago. After some wandering, Bruce and Dick stumble upon what appears to be a magickal valley that contains a large castle. Inside Bruce and Dick are hosted by the eccentric Paul DeLion, who is extremely gracious, but warns them to stay away from a gaudy golden door at the back of the castle. That night Bruce and Dick bear witness as DeLion goes through the door only to get shot at by gunfire. Batman and Robin go through the golden gate and enter into a spectacular village comprised of various architecture from various time periods. At the center of the village is the Fountain of Eternal Youth! Suddenly, Batman and Robin are jumped by Morgan and his gang, who have been hiding in this hidden village for a year. Thrown into a dungeon with DeLion, the latter explains that anyone who drinks from the “Spring of the Immortal” does indeed gain immortality, but they die instantly if they leave the mystical valley. The Dynamic Duo escapes and briefly meets DeLion’s oldest ancestor, “John” (Juan Ponce de León), before stumbling upon a deceased Dan Morgan and his men—they had all drank from the immortality spring and dropped dead as soon as they left the village. Later, Batman and Robin try to relocate the castle and the village of DeLion, but the valley has seemingly disappeared. Back in Gotham, Bruce is shocked to learn that “John” was a four-hundred-year-old Ponce de León. Afterward, Batman and Robin put a bust of Ponce de León in to the Hall of Trophies to commemorate this adventure (as referenced in Star Spangled Comics #126).

–Batman #54 Part 3 Conclusion
John Foster has spent the entire summer so far masquerading as the murdered wealthy architect George C Hudson. Bruce finally suspects that “Hudson” isn’t actually Hudson and when Foster catches on, the criminal plans to murder Bruce by burning down his new summer mountain cottage. Foster sets fire to the house, but of course, Bruce escapes unscathed. Later, after weirding out Foster by appearing in disguise as Hudson, Batman gets the villain to confess to his crime. Afterward, Batman puts his Hudson mask into the Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #103 Part 1. Late August. Batman is the guest of honor at Gotham’s annual “Batman Day” celebration.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #177. September 6, 1949. Batman lends the centrifuge used to solve the Rudley Bates murder case to a police convention. The centrifuge is delivered back to Batman on September 9.

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Detective Comics #151 by Dick Sprang (1949)

–Detective Comics #151
Here’s a convoluted one. Ben Kole saves the life of Homer Davis (rescuing him from drowning), Peter Chaney (rescuing him from a black bear attack), and Batman (preventing his death at the hands of some thugs). After each rescue Kole demands and receives a legally dubious “IOU my life” contract from each man. Several days later Kole meets with Davis, Chaney, and Batman at the museum and claims he can see the future and that unless they give him some money they will each die soon. Sure enough, the next night Davis dies during a boiler explosion accident. Later, Chaney is attacked by a gorilla that has escaped from the zoo, but Batman and Robin protect him. The next day, Batman does a highrise tightrope-walking stunt for charity and nearly falls to his death after getting shot with knock-out gas from an adjacent window. The Dynamic Duo then enters the adjacent apartment and finds Kole at the mercy of Chaney’s butler. Batman beats him up and unmasks him as Chaney, who had faked his death earlier. We learn that Kole can’t predict the future and is just a nut. Chaney only came up with the idea to kill everyone (for money) and blame it on Kole during their meeting at the museum.

–Star Spangled Comics #94 Epilogue
Robin finishes editing the footage he shot of Batman beating up Mr. Napleon a few weeks ago. At Gotham City Prison—although everyone is oddly wearing Gotham State Prison uniforms—Batman and Robin force a pained Napoleon and Len Daniker to watch Robin’s movie.

Star Spangled Comics #95

Star Spangled Comics #95 by Jim Mooney (1949)

–Star Spangled Comics #95
In this singularly ludicrous tale, Bruce and Dick watch a play called King Midas, in which a prop pair of gloves supposedly has the actual ability to turn things into gold. Later, when the gloves are stolen a new super-villain calling himself George Midas appears with them and begins turning objects into gold. Batman and Robin encounter Midas and his men stealing sculptures from an outdoor gallery. Midas touches Robin and he is turned to gold! Batman pines over his golden lifeless partner for days before tracking down Midas once again. Midas touches Batman and turns him to gold as well! However, Batman comes-to and realizes what is going on. Midas’ gloves actually electrically shocked Robin into unconsciousness and the villain replaced abducted and replaced the Boy Wonder with a life-size gold replica. The gold on Batman was simply paint. Midas is really F Marply, sculptor cum antique dealer cum criminal extraordinaire. Marply had stolen a truckload of refined gold and decided to melt it down and sculpt it into various items and then use the Midas character to convince everyone that it wasn’t the stolen stuff. (This item is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #165.)

–World’s Finest Comics #42
Bruce and Dick visit a festival in Chinatown and are surprised when an ancient firework from 1275 is set off and appears to sparkle with the image of Batman’s face. So it’s off to ancient China, via Carter Nichols’ time-traveling method, to solve this mystery. In old Cathay, Batman and Robin help stop Marco Polo’s power-hungry political rival, Bahung, from taking over his province. Later, Batman, Robin, and Polo stop Bahung and his army from overthrowing Kubla Khan. The final battle occurs after Batman and Robin phase back to the future, so they never actually find the mystery Batman firework. However, upon their return to the present, the Dynamic Duo checks the history books and learns that Khan set off “special fireworks” during his battle with Bahung. These fireworks scared Bahung’s army into retreating. While the book isn’t sure of what images the fireworks displayed in the sky, Bruce and Dick know that it was the face of the Dark Knight.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #152. Batman sends a counterfeiter to prison. The Dark Detective keeps a fake twenty to put into the Hall of Trophies, but never actually gets around to it.

Detective Comics #152

Detective Comics #152 by Bob Kane & Charles Paris (1949)

–Detective Comics #152
Bruce is on a date with Vicki when gun shots are heard across the street. While Vicki runs to the crime scene, Bruce switches into Batman gear. Across the street, the Goblin (a precursor to Marvel’s Green Goblin) is up to no good. The Goblin escapes, but Vicki snaps a picture of him. At Vicki’s place of employment, Picture Magazine, Batman and Vicki take a look at her Dark Detective photo-documentation portfolio. Vicki convinces Batman to meet with some men who have been positively influenced by the Caped Crusader as it would make a nice puff piece for her readers. A few days later at Vicki’s apartment, Joe Baily, Edwin Cole, and Martin Tate gather with Batman to pose for photos. However, the lights go out and when they turn back on, Vicki’s camera has been damaged.  Later, Batman realizes that one of the three is the Goblin! In an instant, the Goblin enters Vicki’s place and shoots Batman in the head, seriously injuring him and landing him in a coma! The Goblin, revealing himself as Tate, also kidnaps Vicki and later captures Robin as well. Batman awakes from his coma and, while still badly injured, saves the day.

–Batman #62 Part 3
October 23, 1949. Bruce is invited, along with a bunch of other millionaires, to a private party debuting the “House of Tomorrow.” The rich men are all flown to a secret location on an island in the Atlantic to view the World’s Fair-esque exhibit. Once on the island, the group is trapped in a mansion and each person is forced, by a mysterious villain speaking over a PA system, to reveal his biggest financial/industrial secret under threat of death. As men begin to perish, Bruce switches back and forth between the Dark Knight and his playboy persona in order to keep everyone thinking that Batman and Bruce are both on the island together. With help from Robin, who flies in on the Batplane, Batman whittles the suspects down and exposes one of the first “victims” of the island trap, Porter West, as the culprit—he of course had faked his death at the start. Bruce fakes his own demise in order to fool West.[5]

–NOTE: In Batman #55. Joker breaks out again.

Batman #55 Part 1

Batman #55 Part 1 by Bill Finger, Dick Sprang, & Stan Kaye (1949)

–Batman #55
Joker has spent weeks setting up his Clown College, a university where he trains gangsters to become members of the Syndicate of Jokers—a nationwide network of clown-themed super-villains led by the Joker himself. Overnight, the Syndicate strikes as a “Joker” appears in all forty-eight states to commit heinous robberies. Only the New Jersey Joker is nabbed, allowing Batman to disguise himself as that crook to report back to the real Clown Prince of Crime. However, when Robin is captured and he is outed, Joker and his forty-seven ersatz Jokers put the Dark Knight through a series of embarrassing humiliations. Eventually, Joker is foiled by his own trick-devices and Batman leads the remaining Jokers into a police snare.

Officer Mike Granite wears the legendary GCPD “glory badge,” an honorable position on the force that has been passed down from patrolman to patrolman for decades. Whoever receives the badge must serve as a warrior against crime, no matter his rank or creed. As it should happen, Granite gets gunned down in action and Bruce happens to be passing by. With his dying breath, Granite passes the torch to Bruce, who accepts tradition and becomes a GCPD patrolman! After a week of training (no sweat for Bruce, who actually plays down his abilities), Bruce suits up in a blue cop uniform and takes to the streets, despite being late for his first beat due to working a Batman case. After a day of routine police work, Bruce puts on the Batman costume and tracks down the hideout of the notorious Longshoreman Kid. After attacking the Longshoreman Kid’s HQ alongside Commissioner Gordon, Batman is captured and unmasked in front of everyone! Thankfully, Robin shows up with Alfred dressed up as Batman to confuse Gordon and to keep the secret safe. The Longshoreman Kid is defeated and Bruce retires as a cop, passing the “glory badge” onto Jack Bennett, Granite’s old partner.

Batman and Robin match wits with the bell-themed criminal genius known as The Gong (Ed Peale). After being defeated by The Gong in Gotham, the Dynamic Duo trails him to rural Hicksburg where they get the getter of the goofy villain. After wrapping up the case Batman is awarded a large bell from the residents of Hicksburg, which he puts in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #158).

–REFERENCE: In Star Spangled Comics #96. Black Dan shoots Batman in the chest twice, nearly killing him.

–Star Spangled Comics #96
Robin visits Batman in the hospital following his recent encounter with Black Dan. Batman tells him that he will be bed-ridden for at least two weeks, so the Boy Wonder must go solo for that time. During this hiatus, Robin recruits his high school chum cum teenage science genius Harold Horace to become the new high-tech gadgetry and weapons designer for the Dynamic Duo. Towards the end of Batman’s two weeks laid up in the hospital, Robin and Horace bring gangster Gumdrop Gates to justice. Afterward, Robin tells Batman all about it.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #153. Batman apprehends Slits Danton.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #154. Batman apprehends bank robber Jim Millan.

–REFERENCE: In Star Spangled Comics #97. Batman places one of the Clock’s clocks into the Hall of Trophies. In this same issue, Robin busts the Clock solo in a flashback sequence and collects the trophy.

–Detective Comics #153
Slits Danton escapes from jail. Bruce and Dick attend a lecture about bats and learn that a professor is in the process of building experimental rocket-powered bat wings that will allow individual human flight. During the lecture, Bruce spots Slits and the Dynamic Duo takes him out. Bruce gets bopped in the head and has a long hallucination about using the mechanical bat wings and other futuristic sonar tech—a vision of the Modern Age perhaps!?

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #160. November 9, 1949. Henry Guille III, “The Globe-Trotter of Crime,” makes his debut and challenges Batman and Robin. The Dynamic Duo chases Guille to London on the day of the Lord Mayor’s Show Parade—held on November 9 in 1949. Assisted by Inspector Chisolm of New Scotland Yard, our heroes chase Guille across the channel to France. With the help of the French Sûreté’s Inspector Bertrand, Batman and Robin take a scenic tour of Paris and eventually apprehend Guille atop the Eiffel Tower.

–Star Spangled Comics #98
When Batman is called to testify in a trial on the West Coast for a few days, Robin is put in charge of defending Gotham. Enter Wireboy, Gotham’s newest reckless teenage costumed hero! After several altercations with Wireboy, Robin outs him as his fellow high-school classmate Clarence Pierce. Upon Batman’s return to Gotham, the Boy Wonder introduces Wireboy to the Dark Knight in the Batcave. Robin and Wireboy shut down Killer Slade and his gang. After the case wraps, Robin convinces Wireboy to retire and leave the crime-fighting to professionals.

–Detective Comics #154
Recently, inmates of the State Prison that have hidden loot stored away elsewhere have been escaping without a trace by selling their loot to an unknown party. A bothered new unnamed warden—Warden Doyle’s replacement—meets with Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and Robin to discuss a plan of action.[6] Naturally, Batman goes undercover as recently apprehended bank robber Jim Millan. As “Millan,” Batman learns that crook Hatch Marlin is behind the “underground railroad of crime” that has been smuggling prisoners out of State. Batman and Robin, with some help from Millan’s girlfriend, put a stop to the “underground railroad.”

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #50. December 11, 1949.  Mad Dog Biller goes down in his last stand, but he goes down shooting and puts two slugs in Batman’s chest.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #156. Batman draws up preliminary sketches for a new updated Batmobile. He will work on these designs for weeks to come.

wfc 43

World’s Finest Comics #43 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, & Charles Paris (1950)

–World’s Finest Comics #43
Count Florian is back and he’s in Gotham! Florian uses his network of spies to attempt to free gangster Al Pakone from a prison transport, but despite the best efforts of his men, Batman and Robin prevent Pakone’s break. Batman goes in disguise as Paul Dekker, one of Florian’s former students, and infiltrates his organization. Florian doesn’t trust Dekker and doses him with a fatal poison that will kill him in twenty-four hours. Florian tells “Dekker” that he will give him the antidote if he can discover Batman’s true ID. Batman, as “Dekker,” knows Florian’s men are watching his every move, so he pretends to go about the process of seeking out Batman’s ID. Later, “Dekker” unmasks into the Dark Knight in front of a shocked Florian, downs the antidote, and busts the charismatic villain with Robin’s help. When Florian trades his James Bond-esque tuxedo for prison stripes, Batman puts said tux on a mannequin display in the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in Detective Comics #155).




  1. [1]ANGUS LIVINGSTONE: In the 1940 Superman radio series, there’s a villain called the Yellow Mask, who achieved legendary status by appearing in the first 19 episodes of the show. Because of this status, it wouldn’t surprise me if the gimmick was a tribute, directly inspired/copycatted by the famous Metropolis gangster’s gimmick.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Robert J Pierce replaced Tim Logan as Gotham’s District Attorney following former DA Tim Logan’s assassination last year. While we are on the subject, how about a list of Golden age Gotham District Attorneys so far! DA Carter is in charge for Year One and part of Year Two until his assassination at the hands of Joker. An unnamed DA replaces him and lasts only until Year Four, possibly stepping down since he doesn’t seem to get along with Commissioner Gordon very well. Lee Benson replaces him, but steps down that same year to run for governor. Harvey Kent replaces Benson, but tragically becomes Two-Face in that same trying Year Four.  Tim Logan replaces Kent and has a strong outing as DA from Year Four until Year Ten when he is assassinated by Joe Durfee. Robert J Pierce replaces Logan in Year Ten.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER:  This doesn’t have anything to do with Detective Comics #150, but while we are at this milestone issue, and since I have just listed all of Gotham’s District Attorneys to date, I figured I’d list all of the State Prison Wardens to date as well! Warden Higgins is in charge of the State Pen from Year One through Year Five. In Year Five, Higgins is replaced by Warden Keyes. Keyes only lasts for a year and is replaced by Warden Doyle in Year Six. Doyle, as of this point in our timeline, is still State Prison Warden. I should mention that Gotham City Prison (not to be confused with the State Prison) has had the same warden for over a decade: its current head, Warden Williams. Be aware that Gotham and its surrounding areas have several prisons: Gotham City Prison (also known as the Gotham City Penitentiary), the State Prison (also known as the State Penitentiary), Gotham Penitentiary (not to be confused with the first two), Summit Penitentiary, Northern Penitentiary, and the Gotham Institute for the Insane.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: How about a mayors list while we are at it! From Year One through Year Six, Gotham is blessed with the services of a Fiorello LaGuardia lookalike who goes unnamed. In Year Seven, Mayor Carfax is elected as the new top official in Gotham. (Carfax is the man that briefly replaces Commissioner Gordon with Commissioner Vane in Year Nine.) In Year Ten, Carfax is replaced by a freshly elected but unnamed new Mayor of Gotham.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Since we have been keeping track of Bruce’s job obligations, we can now executive board member of United Chemicals Corporation to the list, which includes head of Wayne Enterprises, majority stockholder in a clock company, majority stockholder in a shipping insurance company, author, producer, bank director, newspaper publisher, factory owner, stockholder in a book publishing company, automobile manufacturer, director of an international brokerage firm, Gotham Museum trustee, chairman of a utilities company.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: The history of the State Prison Wardens list update: Warden Higgins is in charge of the State Pen from Year One through Year Five. In Year Five, Higgins is replaced by Warden Keyes. Keyes only lasts for a year and is replaced by Warden Doyle in Year Six. Doyle, as of Year Eleven is replaced by a new unnamed man. Remember, Gotham City Prison (not to be confused with the State Prison) has had the same warden for over a decade: its current head, still Warden Williams.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Right around now on our timeline (as per Star Spangled Comics #99, in which Batman does not appear but which takes place now) we see a new unnamed Warden of the State Prison. He must be an interim warden because a Warden Downs will be appointed next year. Thus, the history of the State Prison Wardens list, at this point, is as follows: Warden Higgins (Year 1-5); Warden Keyes (Year 5-); Warden Doyle (Year 6-11); unnamed interim man (Year 11); unnamed man (just appointed at the very end of Year 11).

3 Responses to Golden Year Eleven

  1. Angus Livingstone says:

    Hey there–in Detective Comics #145, while Robin is an amnesiac, he and Batman come across a villain called the Yellow Mask. There’s a villain called the Yellow Mask in the Superman radio series in 1940 (specifically the first 19 episodes of the show). Any connection? Is it at all possible that this is the same guy, or a guy inspired by the Metropolis gangster’s gimmick?

    • Hey Angus, nice find! It’s actually a group of thieves known as “The Yellow Masks” in ‘tec #145. Gordon mentions they are a new hijack mob, so their leader likely isn’t the original Yellow Mask. It is probable that they could be copycats, as you’ve suggested.

      • Angus Livingstone says:

        Fair enough. The Yellow Mask achieved sort of a legendary status in the early Superman radio series, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the gimmick was a tribute or something.

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