Golden Year Sixteen


Batman #80 Part 3

Batman #80 Part 3 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz, & Charles Paris (1953)

–Batman #80 Part 3
When weird giant robots begin attacking and robbing Gotham, Batman and Robin are on the case. They track the robots to the island laboratory of super-scientist Eric Golar. There, Batman and Robin fight more robots and realize that Golar has been held hostage and forced to build complex crime machines for gangster Nero Thompson and his henchmen Sparky Watts and Ned Herzo. The Dynamic Duo busts Thompson, Watts, and Herzo. Afterward, some of Golar’s positive machines and robots go into mass production. Looks like the DCU is about to enter the Golden Age of sci-fi (as we’ll see throughout the next decade).

tec 203

Detective Comics #203 by Edmond Hamilton, Bob Kane, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Detective Comics #203[1]
Selina Kyle, for the past four years, has fooled the world into thinking she has reformed as a criminal. Selina had planned on continuing her hiatus from costumed thievery, but when an insulting article is printed in the Gotham Gazette that pokes fun of her time as Catwoman, it’s too much to bear. Selina dons the costume of Catwoman and commits a series of daring public heists, ruining her clean “amnesia” record. After besting a disappointed Batman twice and capturing him, Catwoman attempts her biggest haul yet, the robbery of a large yacht in Gotham River. Batman escapes and rejoins Robin. The Dynamic Duo stops Catwoman, who is washed out to sea. As referenced in The Brave and The Bold #197 and DC Super-Stars #17, Batman is devastated that Catwoman has returned to crime, and while an unattached individual would surely now doubt the validity of her amnesia claims, the Dark Knight’s faith in Selina will cause him to still give her the benefit of the doubt. Based upon Batman’s dialogue in The Brave and The Bold #197, he will hold out hope and believe that only now has Catwoman willingly and knowingly turned to crime for the first time.

–World’s Finest Comics #68
Rand Garrow, paroled from prison a few weeks ago, debuts as The Crimesmith, a criminal mastermind that builds high-tech machinery to assist in heists, such as an underground tunneling tank that gets the better of Batman and Robin. (This tunneling robot is Eric Golar’s invention from a few days ago in Batman #80. So, either the Crimesmith has stolen it or he’s perfected it. The tunneling tank is also shown in single-panel flashbacks from Batman #95 Part 3 and Batman #101 Part 1, although it is drawn slightly differently in both renderings.) The Dynamic Duo stops the Crimesmith’s giant magnet helicopter from robbing an armored car, but they fail to stop him from robbing a movie studio using a blinding spotlight attached to a big rig. The Crimesmith then pirate-broadcasts a false TV news report about giant robots attacking the city, which causes a widespread panic across all of Gotham. Batman realizes that the giant robot footage is a War of the Worlds trick—the film is an old sci-fi movie. The Caped Crusader calms the populace after busting Crimesmith in his “Crimecave” and addressing the city on TV. With the Crimesmith safely behind bars, Batman places his tunneling tank (which he dubs “The Mechanical Mobster”) into the Hall of Trophies (as seen in Detective Comics #229). The Mechanical Mobster is drawn differently in WFC #68, Batman #95, Detective Comics #229, and Batman #101. I guess it transforms?

–Detective Comics #204
Criminal Odo Neval claims he is immortal due to having drank a magickal Atlantean elixir 500 years ago. After surviving bullets and electrocution and defeating Batman and Robin, Neval offers the elixir to Gotham’s top mobsters for a price of $100,000 each. After some botched undercover work by Batman, Robin goes after Neval thinking he has taken the immortality serum. Batman catches up with him just in time to help defeat Neval and expose him as a fake. Neval was wearing a flesh-colored bulletproof vest and flesh-colored gloves the whole time.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #106 Part 1. Batman, Robin, and a bank cashier are locked in an airtight bank safe by some robbers. Thankfully, master locksmith James Wilkins frees them.

batman #81 part 1

Batman #81 Part 1 by David Vern Reed, Dick Sprang, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Batman #81 Part 1
Harvey Kent tries to stop some safecrackers and winds up getting in the way of an explosion, which scars his face in the exact same way as it was when he was Two-Face. This horrific twist of fate brings back the evil within. Just like that, Two-Face is back. Rustling up a gang, Two-Face begins a wild crime spree. Eventually, Batman and Robin escape a giant coin death trap and bring Two-Face to justice.[2]

–REFERENCE: In Batman #108 Part 2. Batman puts a giant glass bust of Two-Face into the Hall of Trophies, signifying the return of the vile super-villain. This is likely something the kooky Caped Crusader has custom built.

–Batman #81 Part 3
When an expert safe-cracker known as the Phantom Bandit begins robbing supposedly impenetrable vaults all over Gotham, Batman and Robin are on the case. Phantom Bandit evades Batman and Robin and continues his streak until Batman links him to the ritzy Polar Bear Night Club. Bruce and Dick (and Vicki Vale) attend a magic show performed by the bogus psychic Swami Melzer and his beautiful assistant. The assistant borrows items from people in the audience—like keys, jewelry, or compacts—and then Swami guesses what has been taken. The scam is that the assistant makes copies of the keys, which Swami, actually Phantom Bandit, later uses to rob the safes. Vicki then writes a fake article that states that a rich South American is visiting Gotham with jewels and rubies in tow. Dick, playing “Don Alvarez,” dresses in a ridiculous Argentinian outfit and goes on a date with Vicki, which lures Phantom Bandit and his lady as predicted. Batman swoops in and busts them. Afterward, Batman puts the Phantom Bandit’s assistant’s handkerchief and key-making mold into the Hall of Trophies.

–Detective Comics #205
While installing some new electric cables into their Bat-Cave crime lab, Batman and Robin dig up a three hundred-year-old piece of pottery that has a mysterious inscription about a man with a double identity. Curious, Bruce and Dick travel to 1654 via the Carter Nichols method. There, Batman and Robin meet colonial lawman Jeremy Coe, who battles Huron and Algonquin warriors. When Coe is injured he leads the Dynamic Duo underground to his secret “Bat-Cave,” named after the bats, of course. While Coe rests, Batman turns the cave into a mirror of the modern day cave, complete with a trophy room. Batman then disguises himself as a Native American by painting his skin red and donning Indian garb. Racist redface Batman’s disguise washes away in the rain, but he, Robin, and Coe still manage to save the colony from a native siege. Back in the present, Batman and Robin dig up one of Coe’s arrowhead trophies and keep it as a trophy of their own.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #210. Batman and Robin bust Brain Hobson, a bald super-villain with an oversized cranium and genius intellect. Hobson is sentenced to Death Row at the new North Gotham Prison. (Gotham’s crime must be so restive that the government has built yet another prison.)

–Batman #82 Part 2
Criminal Lew Farnum, along with a shady underworld doctor, claim that they can change people’s fingerprints. Batman and Robin come across Farnum, whose face is heavily bandaged in what appears to be post-facial surgery gauze. Later, Batman speaks at the Police Academy and is made a fool of by Farnum, who shows up to mock the Dark Knight. Batman fingers who he thinks is Farnum in the crowd, but the fingerprints don’t match. When a bunch of recently facially-altered and bandaged crooks line up around the block to visit Farnum’s doc, Batman goes undercover and wraps his face up too. Inside Farnum’s lair, Batman learns that Farnum and his surgeon are frauds who have simply been taking their clients money and killing them. The fingerprint replacement procedure is a complete scam—Farnum merely used a stand-in at the Police Academy. Exposed, Batman easily busts Farnum and his accomplice.

Batman #82 Part 3

Batman #82 Part 3 by Bill Finger & Dick Sprang (1954)

–Batman #82 Part 3
Dimples Drew organizes the first ever Olympic Games of Crime in Gotham and invites gangsters from all over the world to the city. Naturally, a giant crime-wave ensues, which Batman fights tooth and nail. Upon learning about the Games and that Drew is behind it all, Bruce dolls-up as sleazy gangster “Lefty Lanning” and enters himself into the competition. But Drew is no first-timer and immediately spots Lefty for a fake. Rather than raising alarms, Drew feigns ignorance and allows Batman to enter anyway. After a plethora of events, Drew exposes Batman, putting him in a sticky situation. Batman is able to call Robin, who swoops down with the Batplane and holds the mob of crooks at bay with flaming jet exhaust. Games over.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #69. Batman busts Grey Mike Riggs, who is immediately sentenced to a fast-track death sentence to be carried out immediately at Baxter Prison, north of Gotham City.

–World’s Finest Comics #69
Batman personally oversees the execution of Grey Mike Riggs at Baxter Prison. Back in Gotham, explorer Tom Beckett learns that he has only one month to live due to a rare tropical virus. Beckett, with nothing left to lose, plans a suicide-murder attack on Batman in order to get revenge for Batman having busted his father last year. A few days later, Beckett attempts to run his car into the Batmobile, but gets thrown out the window. Batman saves his life and puts him in the hospital, unknowing that Beckett had been trying to kill him. A few days later, Beckett throws a huge thank you party for Batman at the Gotham Adventurers’ Club. A bomb goes off, intended again to kill the Dark Knight, but Batman saves everyone, this time surmising that someone is trying to kill Beckett. Later, at Beckett’s palatial estate, Batman learns about Beckett’s true intentions and falls into an underground cavern beneath his mansion. Batman saves himself using a bamboo pole, which he places into the Hall of Trophies after Beckett is sent back to the hospital. However, Beckett escapes and battles with Batman and Robin yet again. A night later, Beckett straps explosives to his chest and threatens to kill Gotham’s latest highest elected official, Mayor Sheppard, and blow up City Hall. Batman agrees to meet Beckett at the aquarium, where the former dumps thousands of gallons of water onto the latter to take him out and defuse the bomb. Later, Batman sends the native remedy for Beckett’s ailment to the hospital, which heals him and returns his calm persona.[3]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #85 Part 3. Batman gets injured on an unspecified case and cannot attend a scheduled charity appearance at a children’s hospital. Famous circus acrobat Verreau dons the Batman costume and fills in for him.

–Detective Comics #206
A new super-villain calling himself The Trapper (Jason Bard) dresses up like Davey Crockett and begins kidnapping construction heads and architects. The Trapper also kidnaps Batman and places him in his lair, which includes various giant deathtraps. What is the Trapper’s endgame? He’s turned Gotham Square Garden (a giant downtown arena) into a colossal trap that snares the entirety of the GCPD! Batman breaks out of the Trapper’s lair, but with the entire police force stuck in the arena, citywide looting begins. Batman and Robin come up with a plan that involves an impromptu free public acrobatic display, performed by themselves. The resultant traffic jam that ensues, causes enough spillback to trap the Trapper and the looters that he leads.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #83 Part 1. Batman and Robin begin the long process of reorganizing and re-cataloging all of the items in their Hall of Trophies. Batman temporarily moves the giant penny to the other side of the cave.

batman #83 Part 1

Batman #83 Part 1 by David Vern Reed, Sheldon Moldoff, & Bill Elder (1954)

–Batman #83 Part 1
After completing an undisclosed weeklong out-of-town mission, Batman returns to Gotham, but crashes the Batplane en route. Trapped inside the wreckage of the plane, Batman tries radioing for help, but only the crook Fish Frye hears his call. With Batman out of the picture, Frye starts an unstoppable crime wave in Gotham. To ensure that nobody goes looking for Batman, Frye hires Bruce Wayne lookalike Harry Larson to play a fake Dark Knight. While out and about, Larson swings down from a rooftop and hits his head, which causes him to forget who he is. Robin and Alfred collect Larson and think he is actually the real Batman, but with amnesia due to injury. Robin convinces Larson that he is Batman and together they go after a confused and enraged Frye. Later, sensing something is amiss, Robin checks Larson’s teethmarks against Bruce’s. We get the amazing line, “Gosh Batman—remember this leather thong? It still has your teethmarks in it!” Sure enough the teethmarks don’t match. Before the Boy Wonder can confront the impostor, fake Batman takes off to go after Frye. Frye and his goons capture Larson and strap him to a giant searchlight. The real Batman returns in time to bust Frye, but too late to save Larson, who gets burned alive.

–Batman #83 Part 2
A mystery man in a deep sea diving suit stumbles into Commissioner Gordon’s home and dies, uttering the words “Quinlan Five” before passing on. Batman and Robin investigate the Quinlan Five Star Gym in Gotham where they immediately get attacked and thrown into steam boxes by a bruiser who works for a crook named Ringo. After escaping, Batman and Robin dive into the water tower above the gym and locate a goldfish with a fishing-band tied around it. However, upon exiting the tower, they are attacked by Ringo’s men, who steal the band, which has a freight car number written on it. At the harbor, Batman and Robin bust Ringo’s gang and learn they were going after some unprinted currency leaves belonging to their former boss, Big Jim (presumably the incarcerated Big Jim James).

–Batman #83 Part 3
Batman and Robin bust the Gulden Gang and meet renowned psychologist Dr. Thorson. Batman agrees to endure a series of physical and psychological tests (for the purposes of the advancement of science). When news of the testing reaches the papers, crime-boss Hatchet Marley takes over Thorson’s lab and ambushes Batman and Robin when they arrive for their appointment. Batman and Robin are watched carefully and forced to perform various strenuous activities with giant machines and mechanical devices, including a test where Batman hurls a bowling ball at giant pins. The latter half of the tests involve breaking through a series of security safeguards, which Batman immediately recognizes as replicas of the safeguards at the Gotham Mint. Batman gains control of the situation, kicks ass, busts Hatchet and company, and rescues Thorson.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #92 Part 2. Bruce meets the new pet belonging to his neighbors Mr. Thorndyke and Mrs. Thorndyke—a guard dog named Prince. Bruce will interact with the playful Prince many times in the future, although these interactions will have to be imagined on our timeline.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #221. Batman, Robin, and Vicki Vale wind up in a convoluted death trap courtesy of an unnamed evil scientist. The heroes escape unscathed, of course.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #227. Batman impersonates lion tamer Jan Braley in order to flush out a circus saboteur. When the lions see through the disguise, Robin swoops in to save the day and catch the villain.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #242. Batman earns the Gopal Ruby as a Hall of Trophies prize courtesy of the Jewelers Syndicate after jailing Trigger Turner‘s mob.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #234. Early May. Batman & Robin save some folks from a burning tower.

–FLASHBACK: From The Brave and The Bold #200. Batman and Robin defeat a debuting Satan-themed super-villain named Brimstone (Nicholas Lucien).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #244. Batman and Robin debut the Flash-Bulb Batarang, which they use to light the darkness that surrounds the Midnight Mob. The Flash-Bulb Batarang goes on the Batarang trophy board after the case wraps.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #85 Part 3. Bruce Wayne, ironically, is asked to play the role of Batman in a charity parade (because he is athletic looking). Bruce complies and “plays” Batman in the parade.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #85 Part 1. Bruce and Dick prepare for a trip to the golf course, but are called away by the Bat-Signal onto an unspecified case.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #84 Part 3. Batman and Robin have a series of encounters with crime-lord/master of disguise Harry Shepherd.

tec 207

Detective Comics #207 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Detective Comics #207
When a local crime boss is fit with manacles—that supposedly will explode if removed—by a rival gangster, he panics and orders his men to kidnap famed magician and escape artist Merko the Great. His men nab Merko backstage during the middle of a magic show that Bruce and Dick are attending. Rather than alarm the audience, Bruce disguises himself as Merko and finishes the performance with Dick as his “randomly picked” helper from the crowd. (Despite not knowing anything about stage magic, Bruce amazingly figures out all of Merko’s tricks on the fly, conducting the show with relative ease.) Later, Batman and Robin search for Merko. The next night, the Dynamic Duo plays the same roles they did the night before in front of a large paying attendance. Eventually, the Dynamic Duo rescues Merko.

World’s Finest Comics #70
When Batman and Robin bust three crooks and link them all back to prominent architect Jay Varden, they go in for the big bust. However, they can’t prove Varden is a crook too. Cue the most ridiculous plan to expose him: it’s called a frame-up! Batman and Robin, knowing that a highway is going to be built near Varden’s mansion, build a fake Batcave underneath his property. Sure enough, the construction workers discover the fake Batcave and word spreads like wildfire that Varden is Batman. Batman and Robin then spend the next twenty-four hours furthering their ruse and getting the public to truly believe Varden is the Dark Knight. Panicked, Varden goes to explain what’s happening to his fellow crime pals, who start to believe him and set up a trap to catch the real Batman at the Gotham Searchlight Factory. There, Batman wears a Varden mask under his cowl, so when the mugs unmask him, they buy that Varden is a superhero hook line and sinker. All the criminals get apprehended and Varden is exposed as a crime consultant.

–Detective Comics #210
May 18, 1954. Batman and Robin oversee the execution of Brain Hobson. Afterward, everyone is shocked when Hobson’s body is stolen from the morgue. A day later, at a secret location in “Gotham’s northern suburbs,” which must mean way up north since it has a colder climate than the city itself, Professor Duvlik extracts Hobson’s brain and hooks it up to a machine that supposedly gives it life, the power of speech (via a modulator), and the power of telepathy! Brain Hobson’s brain appoints his number one, Henley, leader of the gang and orders a rash new crime wave. A week later, Hobson’s mob has grown to record numbers, and Batman and Robin have been bested by them. Eventually, the Dynamic Duo converges upon Hobson’s lair, shuts down operations there, and exposes the re-animated brain as a hoax. The brain was made of plastic and the voice was a compilation of pre-recorded messages. With the case wrapped, Batman puts the fake brain into the Hall of Trophies.

tec 208

Detective Comics #208 by Ed Herron, Dick Sprang, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Detective Comics #208
After wrapping a forgery case, Batman and Robin move on to bigger things. A criminal ring has been using R-17-fueled scud missiles to blow up banks in Gotham. Upon learning that the formula for R-17 has been smuggled out of the nearby Space Research College, the Dynamic Duo pays the training facility’s head, Dr. Karnes, a visit. After a discussion with Karnes, the heroes discover that one of the “space-medicine volunteers” are responsible for the leak. Batman and Robin don high-tech space suits designed specifically for them by Karnes and enter into the program to flush out the crook. After enduring remote-controlled robot attacks and dangerous “mishaps” and near fatalities in various planetary condition chambers, Batman exposes and arrests volunteer Groff, who had been sending out space secrets to his comrades via miniature hand-rockets.

–Batman #84 Part 1
Batman and Robin go after some crooks that have been stealing sugar, tracking them to a wooded valley miles outside of Gotham. There Batman falls in the wilderness, bumps his head, and goes unconscious. The Dark Knight has an elaborate dream about giant killer bees that have hypnotized men to steal sugar for their colossal queen. Eventually, Batman wakes up and Robin has already solved the case—the sugar was for an illegal liquor still. Back in the Batcave, Batman pulls a long stick out of the Batplane’s fuselage, which he swears is actually a giant stinger from the bees in his dream. Uh oh, Batman’s starting to become untethered from reality.

Batman #84 Part 2

Batman #84 Part 2 by David Vern Reed, Sheldon Moldoff, & Stan Kaye (1954)

–Batman #84 Part 2[4]
Catwoman returns to Gotham. A day later, Selina Kyle’s face appears on a billboard advertising that she will be competing in a beauty contest. Batman and Robin confront Selina, who makes the ludicrous claim that she was never Catwoman, citing that no one has ever literally seen her change into the Catwoman costume. This is the most bogus claim ever, yet Batman and Robin are stymied by this bullshit illogical ruse and they walk away. The next night Catwoman bests the Dynamic Duo and robs the Museum of Music. In the morning, Gotham news agencies are baffled when Selina slips into a bizarre coma. Yet Catwoman keeps making nightly appearances and besting our heroes. Soon, the other contestants in the beauty pageant slip into comas as well. All of a sudden, Selina awakes, just in time to claim her victory tiara since the others are unable to compete. Batman shows up at the pageant and blows the case wide open. Selina had faked her own coma, set up an elaborate catoptrics projection of herself to make it appear as if she was laying there, and then put the other women into comas with a rare sleeping gas. Foiled, Catwoman goes to jail. As referenced in The Brave and The Bold #197, Catwoman will still stick to the story that the first fifteen-plus years of her criminal career were the result of a schizophrenic “bad side” brought on by head trauma—and that only six months ago has she become a real criminal as response to heckling by the Gotham Gazette.

–Batman #84 Part 3
After fixing up bullet holes in the Batmobile and testing out new Batarangs, Batman and Robin meet with Commisioner Gordon and a visiting detective from Scotland Yard. However, the visiting lawman has actually been kidnapped and replaced by master of disguise Harry Shepherd. Later, Shepherd uses a high-tech machine that sends out an electric impulse that penetrates Batman’s nervous system via his radio in his utility belt. The electric impulse acts as a form of hypnosis that allows Shepherd to reach Batman’s subconscious, thus effecting what dreams the Dark Knight will have when he sleeps. Thus, for three nights straight Bruce has the worst nightmares he’s ever had in his life. Coupled with some daytime trickery by Shepherd’s henchmen, Batman cracks up soon finds himself straitjacketed in an asylum! Batman eventually snaps out of it and takes down Shepherd.


–Batman #91 Part 1
July 1954—the Major League Baseball All-Star game is held. Batman and Robin test a remote control unit for vehicles, created by Dr. Philip Winters, on the Batmobile and Batplane. Everything goes well until Slant Stafford breaks into Dr. Winters’ office and takes over the Bat-vehicles. Our heroes manage to regain control of the Batmobile, but the Batplane flies off into the hands of Stafford and his henchmen. Batman, Robin, and an army of GCPD airmen take on the remote-controlled Batplane. Batman and Robin eventually board the Batplane and toss dummies of themselves out of the cockpit to fool Stafford into thinking he’s killed the Dynamic Duo. With this advantage, Batman gets the jump on Stafford, busts him, and reclaims his jet.

Detective Comics #209
A new super-villain known as The Inventor uses a powerful electromagnet to break into bank vaults. After an altercation with Batman, he leaves behind a special key, which Batman picks up as evidence and puts into his utility belt. Really, the key is a tracking device which allows the Inventor and his gang to keep tabs on Batman via a giant magno-radarscope. Batman and Robin go after the Inventor, but since he sees the Dynamic Duo coming a mile away, gets the jump on them. The Inventor’s men shoot at Batman, but luckily the bullet hits the Dark Knight’s belt. Batman leaves his damaged belt (with the key in it) in the Batcave and goes back out in search of the Inventor, soon learning about the secret of the key. Alfred then takes the key (and the Batman dummy) to fool the Inventor, allowing the Dynamic Duo to bust his entire gang. Meanwhile, Alfred takes down the Inventor himself.

Batman #85 Part 1

Batman #85 Part 1 by David Vern Reed, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Batman #85 Part 1
The nonsensical Gotham judicial/penal system has released Joker yet again, with the Clown Prince of Crime having served a “complete” eight month jail term. Batman, ever suspicious of the villain, chases him into the experimental laboratory of Dr. Tom Rayburn where epsilon rays cause them to switch minds! While Robin travels to Denver to get atomic isotopes needed to switch them back, Batman continues wailing on crooks even though he is stuck in Joker’s body. Joker, in Batman’s body, publicly declares that he will unmask for a million dollars. After some more reverse-personality hijinks from both sides, Batman (with Joker’s mind) prepares to unmask in front of a gigantic magnifying glass that will show the whole of Gotham every detail of the Dark Knight’s secret ID. Joker (with Batman’s mind) stops him just in time for Robin to show up with the isotopes for the switchback. Note that Alan Dent, while not actually shown, is said to be campaigning for Mayor of Gotham in this issue.

–Batman #85 Part 2
After GCPD Sergeant Harvey Hainer blows a case at Gotham Harbor, Batman and Robin clean up his mess. However, an irate Commissioner Gordon tries to fire Hainer, but Batman lessens the punishment, getting him an assignment as the Bat-Signal operator. However, the next two days, when a para-crook (parachuting thief) working for mobster Lew Lakers pulls off two successful heists and Hainer fails to light up the signal, Batman is suspicious. After questioning a carnival parachutist, Batman trails Hainer and learns that he’s gone blind! After refitting the Bat-Signal system to make it blind-friendly, Batman learns that Lakers’ crew has been faking the parachute angle and has been robbing companies in which they have previously installed bogus security tocsins. When the Lakers mob strikes again, the Bat-Signal suffers a technical glitch, but Hainer is able to jerry-rig a temporary signal to alert the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin spot the signal and save the day. (As referenced in The Brave and The Bold #197, Sgt. Hainer will continue to be the Bat-Signal operator, moving forward.)

–Batman #85 Part 3
Vicki Vale does a story for Vue about men who have legally impersonated Batman in the past. Bruce, having played Batman for a charity parade before, is joined at the photo studio with Verreau, Jerry Weiler, model Farley Marden, and actor Hubert Hall. At the studio, bright lights bathe the room, blinding everyone. In the chaos, Marden is shot in the leg. The next day, at the filming of a new Batman movie that faithfully depicts one of the Dark Knight’s most famous robot encounters, star Hubert Hall is nearly killed by an “accident,” but Batman saves him. Later, Verreau nearly dies while swinging on a sabotaged trapeze line, but Robin saves him. After getting a poisoned container shipped to Wayne Manor, Bruce takes the investigation to the next level. At the movie shoot the next day, Batman exposes Hall as the criminal in league with mobster Twisty Rhodes. Rhodes had been using Hall to gain access to the movie set, which was on location at the loot-filled Gotham Mint. When Rhodes had learned that Hall was set to be replaced with one of the other impersonators, he ordered the deaths of the others so his man could remain on the inside. With everything out in the open, Batman and Robin easily send Rhodes and Hall to prison.

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


–Detective Comics #211[7]
Batman and Robin, in the Batplane, chase Catwoman, in her brand new Catplane, to a tropical island chosen specifically by the latter because it houses ancient temples that once belonged to cat-worshipping tribes. There, crook John Jarrow captures the Dynamic Duo on behalf of Catwoman, who then strips down Batman and Robin, makes them wear skimpy pelts, and sends them into the jungle with no supplies. A hunting game then ensues, which includes a bunch of dangerous zoo animals. Eventually, Batman and Robin are captured again. When Jarrow announces his plan to hogtie Batman and throw him off a cliff into a river, Catwoman tricks Jarrow into allowing him to put his costume back on. Catwoman also slips a knife into Batman’s utility belt, which allows him to evade death. Batman and Robin then bust Jarrow, who had been bringing stolen gems to the “cat island” in order to launder them—making it seem as though he was legally mining them. Catwoman escapes to her plane by riding a circus tiger, making a clean getaway. NOTE: The Brave and The Bold #182 names the Caplane as the “Pantherjet” and says that it eventually gets destroyed. There is no further information given about its destruction and it might not even have anything to do with Batman.

DC Super-Stars #17 Catwoman Turns Herself In

DC Super-Stars #17 Part 3 by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, Bob Layton, & Anthony Tollin (1977)

–FLASHBACK: From DC Super-Stars #17—and also referenced in The Brave and The Bold #197. Shortly after her dud scheme on the tropical “cat island,” Catwoman returns to Gotham. Seeing the error of her ways, Catomwan honorably turns herself back into the custody of the police and returns to prison. Batman is on hand, watching from the shadows. Catwoman will still maintain that she was an amnesiac schizophrenic for the majority of her criminal career, her only legit premeditated reign as a villain resulting as a response to the recent Gazette smear. As Batman’s dialogue in The Brave and The Bold #197 implies, Batman will still believe, despite evidence to the contrary, that Catwoman was an amnesiac for the longest time and only recently had she “gone bad.”

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #73. Batman and Robin are defeated by some gangsters that rob the payroll of Wayne Steel Foundries. The gangsters wield a bizarre ancient golden scimitar. Two days later, Batman and Robin nab the crooks and learn that the scimitar is the lucky charm of the Asian crime lord known as The Fang. A few days later, Bruce reads about the Fang beating up local astrologers in an attempt to locate his lost sword. A few days later still, Bruce takes up residence at the Gotham Carnival as a bearded swami, hoping to meet the Fang.

–NOTE: Referenced in Batman #86. Joker escapes from jail as usual.

–Batman #86
Batman and Robin go to the bottom of the Gotham River in deep sea diving suits to clean up a dangerous nitro glycerine spill. But they wind up spending too much time beneath the surface and, for fear of getting the bends, they are forced to stay below sea level for a few days. The Navy loans the Dynamic Duo a pocket submarine, which Robin dubs as the “Batmarine.” (The Batplane can turn into a submarine, but this is the first official underwater Bat-vehicle.) Using the Batmarine, Batman wages war against Slant Stacey, who has been stealing platinum all over town while using a huge sub as a base. When Stacey’s heists go above water, Batman seemingly darts to the surface and defeats the crook without getting the bends. How? Batman has built a temporary remote-controlled Robot Batman out of spare parts from the Batmarine. Oh jeez.

After watching a Major League Baseball game, Joker decides it’s time to make some long overdue personnel changes. Joker “trades” his number one man Lefty (who has been his number one for five years now) to the South Side Mob in exchange for some new blood. Sure enough, the addition of some South Side muscle is enough to defeat Batman. But Joker decides to “trade up” again, sending the goons away in exchange for military strategist Percival Denham and a pair of kung-fu acrobats. The combination of this new hench-team is enough to best Batman yet again. Two days later, when Joker trades super-smartie Denham for incendiary man Arson Al to commit a big crime, Batman deduces that Joker has been shuffling things up as of late. The Dark Knight goes in disguise as British bomber Boom-Boom Harry and gets “signed” onto Joker’s team. “Boom-Boom” then unmasks and busts “Joker”—actually one of Joker’s “pinch-hitting” henchmen dressed up to look like him. It’s not long before Batman nabs the real Joker anyway.

Batman #86 Part 3

Batman #86 Part 3 by Ed Herron, Sheldon Moldoff, & Stan Kaye (1954)

While flying over the North American Great Plains, Batman and Robin spot some Native American smoke signals and decide to check it out. In the woods below, Batman and Robin enter a cave and meet their South Dakotan Sioux crime-fighting counterparts: Chief Man-of-the-Bats (William Great Eagle) and Little Raven! Man-of-the-Bats has been injured by his rival Black Elk and cannot fight him without exposing his secret identity. Thus, as they have sadly done before, Batman and Robin paint their faces brown and play the roles of their Native American friends. “Man-of-the-Bats” and “Little Raven” fight Black Elk a couple times before apprehending him. (On later comic book age timelines, Chief Man-of-Bats and his son Raven are important reoccurring characters that are linked to the “Batmen of All Nations” and the “Club of Heroes.” However, in the Golden Age, they are merely one-shotters.)

–World’s Finest Comics #73
For over a week now, Batman has been moonlighting as the fortune-telling “Swami Ananda” at the Gotham Carnival in an attempt to meet the Asian crime lord known as the Fang. Things aren’t going so well, but when Clark Kent and Lois Lane come to visit, Batman recruits Superman into helping him make his magic booth more popular. After Superman makes a couple of Swami Ananda’s fortunes come true, the Fang sends his number one henchman to visit him at the carnival. When Robin tails the crook back to the Fang’s lair, he gets captured. Batman soon gets captured as well. Superman shows up in the nick of time, vibrating at super-speed to appear invisible to the naked eye, to save the Dynamic Duo and bust the Fang.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #97 Part 2. Batman and Robin take on thief Marty Kirk, who winds up on Death Row, but is able to hide the loot he’s stolen before getting caught.

–Detective Comics #212-213
Two years ago a one-shotter called The Maestro used a puppet master gimmick against Batman and Robin. Now, Jonathan Bard tries the same schtick again. After Bruce, acting as a judge at a puppeteering contest, exposes Bard of sabotaging the other puppeteers, Bard’s raison d’être becomes revenge. Bard begins a series of robberies and hunts after Bruce and his fellow judges using lifelike human-sized balsa wood puppets. When Robin gets captured by fifteen-story-tall puppets, Bruce puts out a false newspaper report about a priceless heirloom, which baits Bard. Despite getting the jump on him, Batman is still captured. Batman and Robin are then displayed as “human puppets” and are forced to perform in front of a large underworld audience. The Maestro did the exact same thing two years ago! Is this guy a copycat or what? The Dynamic Duo easily bust Bard in the end.

Detective Comics #213

Detective Comics #213 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1954)

Batman and Robin attend a charity event designed to raise money to help get juvenile delinquents off the street. At the event, Batman promises to write an article for the Gotham Gazette about his career. Later, crook Floyd Ventris breaks out of jail and becomes the mirror-themed Mirror-Man! He and his henchmen commit a series of mirror heists, fighting against Batman directly each time. Eventually, Mirror-Man uses an x-ray device to sneak a peek beneath Batman’s mask, learning of the Dark Knight’s secret ID. In order to control the situation, Batman writes his article for the Gazette, which hits the stands the next morning—a piece about how so many people have tried to prove that Bruce is Batman and that it’s such a passé endeavor since everyone knows that they are buddies, not the same person. With the publication of the article, no one believes Mirror-Man when he too makes the claim that Batman is Bruce. Later, on live TV, Mirror-Man uses the x-ray machine on Batman again, but the Caped Crusader is prepared this time. A “crazy” mirrored hood underneath his mask causes a horribly distorted image to appear. Batman’s ID is safe as usual and Mirror-Man goes back to jail.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #109 Part 3. When a ship sinks in Gotham Harbor, spreading dangerous explosive materials all over the bay, Batman invents a detonating ray, which uses an infra-red heat laser, to destroy the boom boom stuff.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #214. Herbert Smirt, who has been secretly trailing and collecting valuable information about Batman and Robin for over a year, watches and takes notes while the Dynamic Duo apprehends some thugs underneath the Gotham Bridge. Smirt now has enough data to start printing his Batman Encyclopedia, which will soon be distributed to criminals as a “how to beat Batman guide.”

Batman #102 Part 1

Batman #102 Part 1 by Shelon Moldoff & Charles Paris (1956)

–Batman #102 Part 1
October 1954. Why have I seemingly arbitrarily placed this story here? I’ll tell you! The Mayor of Gotham that is shown in Batman #102 Part 1, while not referenced by name, clearly looks like Mayor Sheppard, the interim Mayor of Gotham from Year 15 through 16. (Sheppard must be an interim mayor since his tenure is so short.) Shown among Sheppard’s advisers in Batman #102, while again not referenced by name, appears to be the balding mayor shown in the upcoming Batman #87 and Batman #91 Part 2. Since we aren’t given his name, but we know that the never-shown Alan Dent was running for mayor in Batman #85, we can assume (conjecturally) that Dent is both the guy shown next to Sheppard in issue #102 and the new mayor in issues #87 and #91 Part 2. Thus, this is the last place where Sheppard could be mayor, hence placement of this issue here. We can assume this is the end of Sheppard’s interim reign as mayor now that Dent has won an early special election. Sheppard’s term will end soon and Dent, as the new mayor-elect, will be inaugurated shortly. Onto the synopsis! After wailing on a small-timer, Batman and Robin are summoned downtown by Mayor Sheppard where they are surprised to be gifted a Bat-fortress known as “The House of Batman.” The downtown Bat-base, constructed thanks to the efforts of outgoing Mayor Sheppard and new Mayor-Elect Alan Dent,[8] is the result of the last will and testament of deceased billionaire Adam Penfield. While the Dynamic Duo adapts to their new HQ—which is complete with a mechanical butler, a panopticon surveillance system (in the shape of a giant bat) that can view anywhere in the city, and a landing deck for the Batplane—hood Mayne Mallock goes on a successful crime spree. As days pass and Mallock stays one step ahead of the heroes, the House of Batman keeps causing problems for them. Eventually, Batman exposes that Mallock faked Penfield’s will and had the fortress built so that it would ruin the Dynamic Duo’s ability to effectively deal with him. A few days after Mallock goes behind bars, Mayor Sheppard turns the House of Batman into a law enforcement museum.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #87 Part 1 and Batman #87 Part 3. Vicki Vale begins dating Bruce again. However, this reconnection won’t last long. In reality, Vicki is only re-dating Bruce because she wants to get close to Batman—just like old times. Vicki has always had a thing for the Dark Knight, but her infatuation with him has grown to such an extent recently that she’ll try anything to get at him (as we will witness in the upcoming Batman #87 Part 3).

Batman #87 Part 1

Batman #87 Part 1 by William Woolfolk, Bob Kane, & Stan Kaye (1954)

–Batman #87 Part 1
Batman is lured to a TV studio where he is surprised to find himself as the feature attraction on the show Your Life Story (an analogue of This is Your Life). Commissioner Gordon is the first friend of the Bat to make an appearance. Batman the receives a “Bat-Key” to the City of Gotham. The second guest is Vicki Vale, who presents Batman with a copy of a new book called Batman’s Greatest Cases. The third guest is the King Zabot of Morbania. The fourth guest is Janie (from “The Case of the Stolen Doll”). After that, Johnny Taylor makes an appearance. Following Taylor, a live feed is shown, which directly connects to the Joker in prison. However, Joker has escaped and terrorizes the show’s audience in person until Batman sends him back to jail. The final guest on the show is Bruce Wayne—played by Alfred in disguise, of course.

–Batman #87 Part 2
The evil Professor Vilmer gets canned from his job at Gotham University and swears revenge. Vilmer kidnaps star athlete Johnny Marden, dopes him up with a super-elixir that causes temporary amnesia and super-strength and speed. Vilmer tells the confused Marden that he is a cyborg called “Adam Newman, the Synthetic Man.” Vilmer also says that Marden must drink the elixir everyday or he will die—of course, the only way to get the elixir is to obey Vilmer’s every command. The Synthetic Man begins a crime spree/war against Batman for a few days until Batman realizes “Newman” is on meta-drugs and is being blackmailed by Vilmer. Batman dons the Synthetic Man’s costume, gets the jump on Vilmer, and busts him.

Batman #87 Part 3

Batman #87 Part 3 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Sheldon Moldoff, & Stan Kaye (1954)

–Batman #87 Part 3
Batman attends an Electrical Utilities Exhibit at the Gotham City Coliseum. There, the Dark Knight winds up saving the life of international super model Magda Luvescu. Later, Batman visits Gordon, who is seemingly caught in a compromising position in his office with Miss Luvescu. But Batman barely raises an eyebrow before Gordon assigns him the task of bodyguarding the famous model, much to the chagrin of a jealous Vicki Vale. Later, Batman fools the assassins with a mirror and prevents the death of Magda, earning a make-out session that is aired on television and makes the front page of the Gazette. The next day, Batman goes on a date with Magda and a day later they are officially dating! The paparazzi goes bananas as Batman and Magda have a very public love affair, going on various dates over the course of a week or two—to clubs, amusement parks, drive-in movies (in the Batmobile!), and more. Batman even renames the Batplane “Magda,” painting her image on the nose. While the Citizens’ League calls for recently inaugurated Mayor Alan Dent to strip Batman of his lawman title, a morose Vicki reveals the extent of her love for Batman to Robin. At Magda’s Suite, a jealous Vicki breaks in and attacks Batman (!) only to learn that his entire relationship with Magda was fake, designed to lure Magda’s ex and leader of the assassins, Jacques Terlay. Vicki’s intervention nearly costs Batman his life, but Batman turns the tables on Terlay and busts him. Later, Vicki wears a sandwich board that says “I’m a sap!” and walks through downtown Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #87. In light of the events of Batman #87, it’s safe to assume that Vicki and Bruce split up, with Bruce realizing that Vicki is unhealthily (and violently) obsessed with bedding Batman.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #197 and The Brave and The Bold #182. Batwoman (aka Bat-Woman) debuts and proves her worth as a superhero to Batman and Robin, teaming with the Dynamic Duo against Gotham’s underworld. Batman quickly learns that Batwoman is Kathy Kane, millionaire socialite and former circus daredevil. Kathy, despite meeting and befriending Bruce, has no idea that Bruce is Batman. Batman, after this first team-up, Batman will order Batwoman to quit, but of course she won’t, instead opting to team with Batman and Robin again and again (as mentioned in The Brave and The Bold #182). (Bat-Girl will debut shortly after Batwoman as well—see the following bulleted note on our list.) Batwoman instantly falls head-over-heels in love with Batman. The two now begin a coquettish interaction (that will eventually fizzle out in a few months). We can assume that the references from The Brave and The Bold #197 and The Brave and The Bold #182 are nods to Batwoman’s original debut in Detective Comics #233 and subsequent appearances in Batman #105, World’s Finest Comics #87, World’s Finest Comics #90, and a bunch more. However, since these issues weren’t originally published until 1956 and after, they couldn’t possibly occur here in 1954. Thus, these nods must be referencing some modified versions of those classic Batwoman tales, which we will simply have to imagine as occurring on our timeline sporadically for the next few months. I’m sure there are plenty of narratologists and historians that would advocate placing the bulk of Batwoman tales in a compressed group just prior to Bruce’s engagement to Selina in 1955. In fact, that is what I originally did. However, that would be a mistake due to the aforementioned publishing dates of said stories. The only references to Batwoman’s existence on Earth-2 come from The Brave and The Bold #182 and The Brave and The Bold #197. We must infer everything from those two issues alone.

–REFERENCE: In Infinite Crisis #5. Batwoman’s niece Betty Kane debuts as her crime-fighting sidekick Bat-Girl! Some scholars argue that Bat-Girl is not canon on Earth-2. However, since Alexander Luthor Jr attempts to place Betty Kane on a recreated Earth-2 during Infinite Crisis #5, I’d say that Bat-Girl does belong. Presumably, Alex Luthor would be the expert when it comes to pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earths, right? Furthermore, while not exactly canon official, Robert Greenberger’s Essential Batman Encyclopedia echoes this idea. Of course, like Batwoman’s Earth-2 debut and inclusion into the Batverse, Bat-Girl’s debut and merger into the Batverse is likely based upon the original issues in which she appeared (Batman #139, Batman #141, Batman #144, etc…) but can no longer reflect them “as they are.” They must be dramatically modified and moved (due to the fact that they were published in the early 1960s) versions of the originals. For the purposes of our Earth-2 timeline, we can assume that Bat-Girl debuts shortly after Batwoman and teams with her, Batman, and Robin for the next handful of months (up until Bruce’s engagement to Selina). Again, note that these team-ups will not appear on our timeline and must simply be imagined as happening sporadically.

Detective Comics #214

Detective Comics #214 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Detective Comics #214-215
When some crooks outfox Batman and Robin using the Batman Encyclopedia as a guide, the Dynamic Duo vow to find out who is printing the “manual on how to beat Batman.” Eventually, Batman gets a copy of the book, which has a picture that could expose his secret ID. Batman goes undercover as a crook and busts the printer, Herbert Smirt. Over the course of the next few days, Batman and Robin alter their usual ways and their vehicles so that the Batman Encyclopedia is virtually worthless, containing dated info. With the crooks no longer having the edge, Batman easily busts them all and gathers up all the copies of the encyclopedia. Gordon then destroys every copy, except for one, which goes into the Hall of Trophies.

Detective Comics 215 Batmen of All Nations

Detective Comics #215 by Edmond Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1955)

Across the globe, several superheroes have been directly inspired by Batman, including England’s Knight and Squire (Percy Sheldrake and Cyril Sheldrake), France’s Musketeer, Italy’s The Legionary, Argentina’s El Gaucho (Santiago Vargas), and Australia’s Ranger. Batman invites them to Gotham for a public gathering of the heroes. When they arrive, Gotham super-crook Knots Cardine issues a challenge to the “Batmen of All Nations.” The heroes all team-up and go after Cardine. When Batman steps back and lets the foreign heroes take control of the case, they soon discover Cardine’s supposed hideout. Batman enters the house, which immediately explodes. With Batman’s body unrecovered, the Gazette reports his death on the front page. Soon after, Batman reappears (having obviously faked his own death) and unmasks the Legionary as Cardine, busting him in the process. Cardine had kidnapped and replaced the Legionary as soon as the Italian hero landed in Gotham.

Batman #88 Part 1

Batman #88 Part 1 by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Batman #88 Part 1
Batman and Robin apprehend crook Duke Walling and learn that his partners are expecting a “Batman” to arrive aboard the cruise liner Varonic. A few days later, Batman and Robin fly aboard the Varonic, which is sailing to Gotham. There they investigate three possible “Batmen”: A pro baseball slugger, a scientist studying a collection of live bats, and a potter who has clay wheel bats. After thorough interrogation, Batman learns that all three men are confederates of Walling, each merely pretending to be who they say they are as a distraction for a fourth “Batman.” By the time the ship reaches its destination, the Dark Detective has deduced that the three “Batmen” are red herrings. The fourth “Batman” is revealed in the form of a statuette containing stolen jewels, which weighs exactly one batman—an obsolete unit of measurement used in the Ottoman Empire and Central Asia.

–Batman #88 Part 2
A gang begins stealing things, but as soon as Batman and Robin catch them, the loot goes missing. Meanwhile, a mysterious “Mr. Mystery” begins sending Batman and Robin letters telling them that he knows their secret IDs. After a few days of more busts, missing loot, and more “Mr. Mystery” letters, Batman finally discovers that the gang, upon getting caught, attaches the loot to balloons that float up to a waiting autogyro. Batman busts the helicoptering crooks and ends the case. However, Robin is still in a panic over the “Mr. Mystery” thing. The joke is on the Boy Wonder, though. Batman is “Mr. Mystery” and was simply testing Robin’s detective skills.

Batman #88 Part 3

Batman #88 Part 3 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1954)

–Batman #88 Part 3
Commissioner Gordon watches over a bullet-wounded Batman only to be shocked when Batman and Robin walk through the door. The injured “Batman” is unmasked as ex-con Ed Wilson, who was dressed up as Batman in order to impress/fool his young son, Tommy Wilson, into thinking he was the Dark Knight and not an ex-jailbird. Before slipping into a coma, Wilson learns the real Batman’s secret ID and makes him promise to take care of his son and keep his lie going. Batman disguises himself as Wilson and goes to live in his home with his son. Soon after, Batman apprehends Wilson’s shooter, a man named Tipper. Soon after that, Batman and Robin go after the Tipper’s boss, Big Jim Garver. However, Tommy has sneaked along and gets abducted by Garver. It’s not long before Garver comes to believe that Ed Wilson is Batman and that he has the Dark Knight’s son. Batman and Robin eventually converge on Garver’s hideout. There, Wilson, awakened from his coma, arrives and helps take down Garver and rescue Tommy. Afterward, Wilson reveals that he doesn’t remember Batman’s secret ID due to brain injury related to his coma.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #98 Part 3. When a dam breaks and causes massive floods in the Gotham suburb of Northtown, Batman rigs up the Batmobile with a duck boat chassis so it can drive through the floodwater. Using the temporary Bat-duck-mobile, the Dynamic Duo busts some boat crooks.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #74. Batman and Superman create the “Super-Signal,” a Bat-Signal-esque spotlight that can be used by the Dark Knight to summon the Man of Steel for help. Superman, with his super abilities, can see the signal in Gotham all the way from Metropolis.


World’s Finest Comics #74 by Bill Finger, Curt Swan, & Stan Kaye (1955)

–World’s Finest Comics #74
In Metropolis, Lois and Clark watch the US Army launch an atomic-powered probe rocket into deep space. However, before the rocket can reach the stratosphere it is knocked to the ground by a frog-like humanoid alien. The alien reveals its ability to shapeshift, morphing into a human form to escape. As panic about the alien’s arrival spreads, Superman builds a giant TV from scratch by rubbing sand together with “super-friction” and then blowing the newly formed glass into a tube. With the giant TV tube, Superman addresses the masses and tells them to calm down. The alien, meanwhile, goes to Gotham and helps Batman and Robin defeat some museum thieves before flying off. Batman activates the Super-Signal, which brings Superman to Gotham. Batman then tells Superman that the alien is a good guy. Despite this, Superman soon finds the frog man causing massive destruction, including an attempt to knock over the Lady Justice Statue (Gotham’s version of the Statue of Liberty). After an evenly matched fight, Superman meets with the Dynamic Duo in the Batcave. The heroes deduce that the alien is a child and its rampage is merely its form of playing. While Batman distracts the alien, Superman follows the intended path of the space probe and locates the asteroid home-world of the creature. The Man of Steel then comes back and escorts the alien kid home. On the distant asteroid, inspired by his short time on Earth and using his shapeshifting ability, frog boy becomes the first ever Composite Superman-Batman!



  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Contrary to very popular belief, Detective Comics #203 is canon on Earth-2 instead of Earth-1. What’s that? Superman Family #211 Part 2 tells us that Catwoman never returns to crime after going straight, you say? First of all, it doesn’t. Clark tells Lois a watered-down version of Bruce’s history with Selina, and while the last thing he mentions is her adventure that involves Karl Kyle, that doesn’t necessarily mean that her return to crime didn’t happen. Furthermore, DC Super-Stars #17 (1977) and The Brave and The Bold #197 (1983) tell the same story, which not only contradicts any insinuation in Superman Family #211 Part 2 (1981) that Catwoman never returned to crime, but also shows explicitly that she does return to crime! (In order to turn herself back into the law and serve a legit jail sentence, Selina must have turned back to crime). So why am I so sure about going with this version of things? First, two stories that back a certain version of events tend to outweigh one story that backs another. Second, The Brave and The Bold #197, which backs my version, was published the latest (1983), giving it more credence as a finalized retcon tale. Third, the “contradictory” issue (Superman Family #211 Part 2) isn’t even really contradictory since one can definitely read Clark’s unreliable narration in a way that jibes with the other versions where Selina returns to crime. And fourth, the “Mr. and Mrs. Superman” sections of Superman Family are already littered with continuity errors, including a reference in Superman Family #201 to a definitively non-canon SS Varania adventure that only took place on Earth-1, thus lessening the credibility of what occurs in said sections. Note that, since Detective Comics #203 is canon on Earth-2, so are the follow-ups in Batman #84 and Detective Comics #211 Part 2. Comics historians and narratologists have long tried to simplify chronologies by ignoring things they read, even if they are staring them in the face. It’s all in the text, if you choose to scrutinize.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Many historians say that Batman #81 Part 1 is non-canon in the Golden Age because in DC Super-Stars #17 and Superman Family #211-212, which both detail the wedding of Bruce and Selina, Harvey Kent is shown healed and a law abiding citizen. However, The Brave and The Bold #197 tells us that Two-Face is active in the early part of 1955, which means Batman #81 Part 1 is canon—Harvey does become Two-Face again. We must still assume Harvey is reformed and fixed up before Bruce’s wedding next year.
    Gotham Mayors list update!
    -Year 1—6: unnamed mayor one (Fiorello LaGuardia lookalike)
    -Year 7—10: Mayor Carfax
    -Year 10—12: unnamed mayor two
    -Year 12—13: unnamed mayor three (interim due to short tenure)
    -Year 13—15: Bradley Stokes
    -Year 15-current: Mayor Sheppard
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: This part of Batman #84 is canon on Earth-2 for sure, despite the more popular opinion that it isn’t. For information why, please see the footnote to Detective Comics #203 above. The same information applies here.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER / AARON SEVERSON: World’s Finest Comics #71 originally took place here. However, this issue is non-canon because it directly references the non-canon Superman #76, which originally featured the first ever published comic book where Batman and Superman learn each other’s secret identities. However, thanks to numerous retcons, Batman and Superman have long known each other’s identities by this point. In the narrative of Superman #76 Bruce Wayne shares a cabin with Clark Kent aboard the cruise ship Varania and they accidentally discover each other’s secret identities. As established in World’s Finest Comics #271, published in 1981, the Adventures of Superman radio serial was part of Earth-2 continuity. In the radio series Batman and Superman first joined forces and learned each other’s true identities in March 1945. World’s Finest #271 established that those events were Batman and Superman’s first case together on Earth-2, while the events of Superman #76 took place only on Earth-1. World’s Finest Comics #264 also confirms that World’s Finest Comics #71 is a Silver Age story, non-canon on the Golden Age timeline. So, to reiterate: Superman #76 is non-canon on pre-original Crisis Earth-2, but canon on pre-original Crisis Earth-1; therefore, WFC #71 follows suit.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #72 originally took place here, but thanks to 1981 retcons, Clark and Lois are already married, hence the issue’s removal and move from the Earth-2 timeline to the Earth-1 timeline. Going forward, any issue that ignores Clark’s marriage to Lois must be rendered non-canon on Earth-2 and moved to Earth-1. As we have done throughout this timeline, any references to the Daily Planet (of which there have been many and will be many more) must simply be ignored. Retcons made it so that on Earth-2 Clark worked for the Daily Star instead of the Daily Planet. Despite this error, it is not enough to warrant a timeline switch as it is just nomenclature and does not effect narrative. The same goes for references to Perry White as editor-in-chief. Perry was not editor-in-chief on Earth-2, but was a substitute fill-in at times for editor George Taylor, who was often on overseas business. Likewise, Clark is promoted to editor around this time, as made so thanks to 80s retcons. Thus, it will often appear as though Perry is Daily Star editor and Clark is an underling working for him. However, thanks to the retcons, readers should know that Perry is a part-time editor that works simultaneously as a full-time lead reporter. Readers should also know that Clark is also a co-editor that works simultaneously as a lead reporter. Thus, the ever-absentee George Taylor is in charge of the Daily Star, but Perry and Clark run the show in his absence.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #211 is canon on Earth-2 for sure, despite the more popular opinion that it isn’t. For information why, please see the footnote to Detective Comics #203 above. The same information applies here.
    Gotham Mayors list update!
    -Year 1—6: unnamed mayor one (Fiorello LaGuardia lookalike)
    -Year 7—10: Mayor Carfax
    -Year 10—12: unnamed mayor two
    -Year 12—13: unnamed mayor three (interim due to short tenure)
    -Year 13—15: Bradley Stokes
    -Year 15—16: Mayor Sheppard (interim due to short tenure)
    -Year 16—present: Alan Dent

    It’s safe to assume, looking at the mayors list over the course of sixteen years, that Gotham seems to have a short two-year term of office for its mayors. Alan Dent was first mentioned as running for office in Batman #85 Part 1. We never see him win an early special election, but we can assume (conjecturally) that he does. Like the mayor that served a shortened yearlong term in Year 12-13, Sheppard must have also been an interim mayor (as mentioned above). None of this high rate of turnover for the top political position in the city should come as a surprise, however, especially since Gotham is so corrupt and overrun with rampant bizarre crime almost 24-7.

1 Response to Golden Year Sixteen

  1. James IV says:

    Small note: Mirror-Man, as much as I kinda love the character, shouldn’t be bolded. While he appeared again in the Silver Age, he only had one appearance in the Golden Age.

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