Silver Year 2


–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #311. Catwoman officially reforms, retiring from a life of crime.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comcs #474—originally told in a reference in Detective Comics #158. The Dynamic Duo solves “The Case of the Chess Crimes.” For their troubles, Batman and Robin earn a gigantic complete chess set with pieces that are ten-feet-tall, which they happily add to their Hall of Trophies.

tec 465

Detective Comics #465 by David Vern Reed, Ernie Chan,& Frank Giacoia (1976)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #465. Batman and Alfred come up with an elaborate preventative measure to ensure the safety of Commissioner Gordon in the event he is ever kidnapped or held hostage over Batman’s secret ID. Since Gordon doesn’t know Batman’s secret ID, Batman tells Gordon, should he be forced to talk to gangsters, to reveal the Dark Knight’s secret ID as that of real estate agent Neil Merrick. Bruce then sets up an entire legitimate real estate company under this false name of Neil Merrick. In the Merrick Realty Agency building, Bruce installs a hidden camera that links to the Bat-computer. Bruce also hires a secretary and trains her to secretly activate the camera should anyone come into the office inquiring about Merrick.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #236. Bruce attends a charity event hosted by the civically-minded but hopelessly out-of-touch socialite Agatha Tyler-Tilford. Bruce will get invited to Agatha’s events from time to time, moving forward, but he’ll rarely attend.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #386. Batman sets up a mailing address at GCPD HQ. He’ll check his mailbox there sporadically, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/6/1969. Batman initiates the dubious “Bat File” program, in which he obtains permission from Gotham’s finest retailers to get copies of their weekly receipts and transactions. Batman and Robin will collect this trove of data every week, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In DC Super-Stars #14 Part 2, World’s Finest Comics #173, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 6/2/1971 to 6/3/1971, and The Brave and The Bold #106. Batman and Robin battle an escaped Two-Face, who fully establishes himself as a double-themed super-villain, complete with a wild double-sided suit and a lucky coin that he flips to determine his actions. If the coin lands on the scarred-up side Two-Face does something terrible, but if it lands on the clean side he does something nice. (The 6/2/1971 News Strip tells us that Two-Face’s coin once belonged to Sal Maroni. Maroni definitely had a lucky coin, but we can’t truly be certain this was actually his.) Two-Face teams-up with a gang of masked hooligans called Intercrime, which utilizes heavy artillery and sci-fi rocket-fist tanks. In the end Batman and Robin bust Two-Face and his crew.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #85. Batman meets and befriends Vue Magazine photographer Vicki Vale, who is obsessed with finding out his secret ID.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #1 and Batman with The Boy Wonder News Strip 12/3/1971. Batman busts an unnamed racketeer, who will later become one of Joe Chill’s henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #208. Linda Page breaks-up with Bruce. Bruce rebounds and begins dating Vicki Vale, who is desperately trying to find out Batman’s secret ID and is convinced that Bruce is Batman.

Batman #208 VICKI VALE

Batman #208 (Batman #73 Part 2 reprinted as flashback) by David Vern Reed, Bob Kane, Lew Sayre Schwartz, & Charles Paris (1952, reprinted 1969)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #208—originally told in Batman #73 Part 2. Bruce’s new girlfriend Vicki Vale is hell bent on proving that he is Batman. Vicki rushes over to Wayne Manor claiming that her life is in danger. While Alfred tends to her, Batman and Robin visit Vicki’s apartment. Upon arrival, Batman spots a hidden microphone planted by Vicki with the intention of recording Bruce and Dick exposing themselves as superheroes. Batman turns on a fan to block out any conversation and then rummages through Vicki’s apartment, finding a few snapshots of gangster Keys Bennett’s new hideout. Batman and Robin bust Bennett then realize that Vicki set them up at her apartment. Batman shoots back and records a false message as Bruce that makes it seem like he definitely isn’t Batman. Later, Vicki gloats, expecting to expose them. Of course, with the new dialogue, Bruce wins and his secret is safe.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Super-Stars #14 Part 2—also referenced in Batman #234 Part 1, Batman #329 Part 1, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 6/4/1971, and The Brave and The Bold #106. Originally told in Detective Comics #80. Batman recaptures an escaped Two-Face, who gets plastic surgery and makes a full healthy recovery, regaining his sanity in the process. Harvey Dent is granted a full pardon from Governor Williams and marries Gilda Gold.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #212—originally told in Detective Comics #81. Enter Mortimer Drake, better known as The Cavalier! Dressed as a dashing musketeer and wielding an electrified rapier, the Cavalier aims to become Batman’s number one rival by stealing memorabilia from a sporting goods store. The sophisticated new super-villain is ultimately defeated by Batman and Robin, but makes an elegant departure from the crime scene.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #131 Part 2. Batman busts one of the senior partners of the Gotham Gem Company, Ted Greaves. Greaves is sentenced to two years in prison.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #175. Batman busts counterfeiter Cash Carew.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Annual #11. Late February. Batman learns that Superman’s birthday is February 29.[1] The Caped Crusader gets Superman a gift and delivers it to him, beginning what will become an annual tradition. Notably, Batman will struggle mightily to find the perfect gift each year.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #225. Gotham shuts down its City Prison and reopens a brand new “escape proof facility,” which Batman and Robin tour. Note that the old Gotham City Prison is left abandoned and will be referred to as “Old Gotham City Prison” from this point forward. The new prison is simply known either as “Gotham City Prison,” “Gotham City Jail,” or “Gotham Penitentiary.” There also exists a “State Prison” (also called “State Penitentiary”) just outside of Gotham and also an Alcatraz-like “Gotham Bay Prison” on an island in Gotham Bay. Gotham Bay Prison is also referred to as “Gotham Island Prison.” Therefore, I will refer to it as “Gotham Bay Island Prison.”

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #148—originally told in Detective Comics #95. At the Gotham City Police Academy, Commissioner Gordon awards Batman a blinged-out, diamond encrusted Bat-symbol ID badge.

–Detective Comics #225[2]
After capturing criminal John Larrow, Batman prepares to depart for a short absence in Pacific City for a Criminologists’ Convention. While he is gone, the Gotham Gazette sponsors a special fundraiser for the Police Widows and Orphans Fund where the highest donators will get to act as “Batman for a Day!” The four winners will accompany Robin, wear a Bat-costume that has an exposed face hole, and work out of a temporary Batcave. The first substitute Batman is Jasper Smively, a nerdy Harold Lloyd lookalike. The next is ham actor Rodney Random. Luckily, nothing too wild happens and everything goes smoothly. Day Three Batman is none other than Commissioner Gordon! Gordon proves that he’s got some spunk in him and proves himself to be quite a rough-and-tumble character when need be, punching out a bunch of crooks. When John Larrow supposedly plans something sinister from within the walls of the brand new Gotham City Prison, Robin telegrams Batman to come home early. Batman comes back immediately and, as Bruce, donates an ample amount of moolah to the GCPD and earns the right to be “Batman for a Day.” Batman, Robin, and Alfred stop Larrow from enacting an elaborate escape plan.

WFC 80

World’s Finest Comics #80 by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, & Stan Kaye (1956)

–World’s Finest Comics #80[3]
The Gotham Gazette is going out of business unless it can increase readership. Editor John Hall pleads with Gazette director Bruce Wayne for help. Instead of dumping a ton of cash on him, Bruce decides to seek pro-bono help from the Daily Planet. Editor-in-Chief Perry White loans Lois Lane (who becomes the new temporary Gazette editor) and Clark Kent to Gotham. There, Clark competes with Bruce (who becomes a reporter as well) to get the best stories. Simultaneously, Superman and Batman search Gotham for the mysterious criminal known as The Mole, who kidnaps Robin and digs an underground tunnel into a bank vault. Superman redirects the tunnel into Gotham City Jail (Gotham City Prison) while Batman rescues his partner. Before any other papers can pick up the story, the Gazette prints and Superman distributes it at super-speed, thus increasing readership to continue business. (This issue is also shown via flashback from Batman #340.)

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #182. Having brought the newspaper worlds of The Daily Planet and The Gotham Gazette briefly together (in WFC #80), Bruce decides he liked it. Thus, media monopoly be damned, Bruce uses his vast wealth and influence to become one of the primary stockholders in The Daily Planet. He is now the financial head of two of the nation’s largest news agencies.

–Batman #98 Part 2[4]
Bruce takes Dick to the Millionaires’ Club. There, a burglar enters, steals some maps drawn out for an upcoming yacht trip in the South Seas, and leaves before Batman can nab him. Thus, Bruce signs on for the trip abroad. Sure enough, the ship is hijacked and all of the yachters are deserted onto an uncharted island and told that they must pay $1 million each to get off of it. Bruce suits up as Batman, pushes bat-shaped SOS bundles of sticks into the sea, and helps his fellow hostages steal some rations from the hijackers. But each time Bruce suits up as Batman, he comes closer to exposing his secret ID. After several days on the island, Robin shows up to make a rescue. He and Batman take down the hijackers and are able to fool the millionaires into not thinking that Bruce is Batman.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman, Robin, and Superman take on the Wreckers Mob, which attempts to destroy a bridge. Superman makes a giant bow out of trees and shoots Batman like an arrow across the sky. The flying Batman lands on the Wreckers’ plane and busts them. Superman keeps the bow as a trophy afterward.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #81. Batman and Robin stop an malfunctioning Solar System model from spinning dangerously out-of-control at the planetarium.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin chase some crooks to their undersea hideout using the Batplane-turned-Batsubmarine.

Batman #99 Part 1

Batman #99 Part 1 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1956)

–Batman #99 Part 1[5]
Batman and Robin once again chase after Penguin, who has been tormenting them on-and-off for the past month-and-a-half. Our heroes track the super-villain to one of his abandoned lairs. Penguin then sends hatched bird eggs to Commissioner Gordon as clues about his next crime attempts. After several days of egg/bird crimes thwarted by Batman and Robin, Penguin’s final egg turns out to be an alligator egg. This bad luck puts him behind bars.

–Batman #99 Part 2[6]
Reporter Jack Farr finds an old half-torn newspaper clipping that shows a picture of Batman and has a headline that reads “Gila Bill, Wanted Outlaw, Shot and Killed by Town Marshal Bat Ma—”. Farr accuses Batman of having been a gun-toting marshal out West before appearing in Gotham. Batman analyzes the clipping and determines that it is at least 75-years-old. Thus, Carter Nichols sends Bruce and Dick back to the Wild West circa 1880. In Plain City, Utah, Batman and Robin take down bandit Pecos Pete, which earns Batman the job of interim Town Marshal. After Pete escapes, Batman disguises himself as Pete to flush out his boss, Gila Bill. Batman, in his Bat-Stagecoach, chases down Gila Bill, who is then gunned down by new state-appointed Marshal Bat Masterson. The headline makes sense now and Bruce brings a complete copy back to the future with him. There, Farr is convinced, although no one seems to care that there is still a man dressed as Batman in the picture.

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #141—and also referenced in World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman, Robin, and Superman find and deactivate a bomb placed on an amusement park carousel. The owner of the park gives the carousel as a trophy to the heroes, which Superman keeps in his Fortress of Solitude.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #81. One day before Ka Thar’s arrival, Batman and Robin save a plane that is about to crash into the sea.

–World’s Finest Comics #81[7]
Great historian Ka Thar travels from the year 5956 CE to the present in a proto-Mobius Chair. (This Golden Age tale says the present year is 1956, but that must be ignored thanks to Sliding-Time.) Ka Thar tells Batman, Robin, and Superman that his own history records of the exploits of the World’s Finest Trio clash with those of his rivals. Thus, Ka Thar has come back to 1968 to force the heroes to re-do their cases the way he wrote about them. And if they refuse, he will expose their secret IDs. Thus, while Superman re-does several missions in Metropolis, Batman and Robin start up in Gotham. Ka Thar begins with the most recent case, the plane rescue from a day ago, and will work backward from there. Batman and Robin tow the plane they saved and dump it into the ocean. Using the Batplane’s ability to morph into a submarine, the Dynamic Duo then re-rescues the plane. Next, our heroes re-do their amazing feat at the planetarium when they stopped the out-of-control Solar System model. After that, Ka Thar orders Batman to break Slaney out of jail just so he can bust him a different way. Batman has had enough. Instead of actually releasing Slaney, Batman disguises himself as the crook while Robin wears a beefed-up and heavily padded Batman disguise. Using this ruse, Batman and Robin bust the Slaney Mob and fool Ka Thar at the same time. Batman, Superman, and Robin then finally call Ka Thar’s bluff, making him realize that if he exposed their IDs then his history book would really be false. Ka Thar admits he was wrong and leaves for the future.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin defeat the giant Burglar-Machine, a spider robot that is controlled by thieves. Our heroes keep the Burglar-Machine as a trophy afterward.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin solve an unspecified case and collect a horse head statue as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #208. Vicki Vale breaks up with Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #510—originally told in Batman #49. Batman and Robin defeat the debuting Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), who tries to steal a priceless trophy from the Gotham Yacht Club. After his arrest, Batman and Robin put the Mad Hatter in a sanitarium where he will rot for the next thirteen-and-a-half years.

tec 474 Steve Englehart Pencilers Marshall Rogers Inkers Terry Austin Colourists Jerry Serpe

Detective Comics #474 by Steve Englehart, Marshall Rogers, Terry Austin, & Jerry Serpe (1977)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #474 and Batman #369—originally told in Batman #59 Part 1. A tuxedo-clad expert marksman called Deadshot (Floyd Lawton) debuts as one of Gotham’s newest vigilante heroes. Soon after, Batman and Robin expose Deadshot’s true intentions: to become the ultimate crime lord of the city. After besting Deadshot, Batman exposes him as a fraud and sends him to jail.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #396. Bruce watches Planet of the Apes.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #89—originally told in Detective Comics #215. 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. After being invited to Gotham by Batman and Robin, the so-called “Batmen of All Nations” busts criminal Knots Cardine.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #161 Part 1—originally told in the Golden Age only Detective Comics #230. With Jervis Tetch locked away in a sanitarium, a red-headed mustachioed copycat immediately emerges, taking the original Mad Hatter’s Alice in Wonderland hat-themed super-villainy to a further extreme. Mad Hatter II (a John Doe that even goes so far as to call himself “Jervis Tetch”) debuts to battle Batman and Robin. Batman is present for the second Mad Hatter’s quick trial by jury, which sentences the villain to hard time. We won’t see Mad Hatter II, also known as Hat Man, for another four years.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #250 Part 2. Batman and Robin patrol and then bust some gangsters at a circus.

tec 233 Batwoman Kathy Kane Debuts

Detective Comics #233 by Edmond Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff, & Stan Kaye (1956)

–Detective Comics #233[8]
The Dynamic Duo responds to a robbery at the new Gotham Air Terminal, but are shocked to witness the debuting Batwoman bust the crooks and take off on her Batcycle. The next night, in front of a large crowd, Batwoman not only upstages Batman during another robbery attempt at a movie premiere, but saves his life as well. Later still, Batwoman saves Batman’s life for a second time during a criminal altercation. That night, rich socialite and former circus daredevil Kathy Kane throws a fancy party, which Bruce attends. Bruce flirts with the gorgeous Kathy. Unknown to him, Kathy is none other than Batwoman. Not only that, Kathy has her own Batcave built underneath her mansion as well. (Detailed information about the Batcave is limited and of course its location is totally secret, but its existence has already become a part of the Bat-mythos and entered the realm of public information.) When the Bat-Signal lights up the night sky, both Bruce and Kathy depart and costume-up. Batman, Robin, and Batwoman then have a triple-team-up and take down Hugo Vorn’s mob. Afterward, Batman deduces that Batwoman is Kathy and he confronts her in her Batcave. Kathy vows to retire as a crime-fighter (but of course, this won’t happen). Kathy then gives Batman a big framed portrait of Batwoman, which Batman hangs in his Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #271. The wheel-hypnosis memory-wipe that Superboy gave to Bruce when they were teenagers wears off. Bruce regains all of his lost teenage memories. Superman, who had also hypno-wheeled himself back in the day, will eventually regain his erased teenage memories as well.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin defeat the Boomerang Bandits, who use a giant boomerang as a weapon. Afterward, our heroes keep the giant boomerang as a trophy.

–World’s Finest Comics #84[9]
When Superman goes missing, Batman and Robin travel to Metropolis. There, Superman appears before them and explains that he can’t make public appearances because Thad Linnis, a crook from Superman’s youth, has threatened to expose his secret ID if he does. Batman drops a life-saving bombshell: When Bruce was seven or eight-years-old, his family vacationed in Smallville and he trailed Superboy in an attempt to discover his secret ID. Linnis was present during that time and Bruce knows that Linnis doesn’t really know Superman’s ID. Superman recalls meeting the raven-haired junior detective back in the day, but this whole time he never knew that it was Bruce. Superman then easily defeats Linnis and his mob, who attempt to use a super-tank to attack the city. (This item is also shown via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #271.)

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin solve the “Reynolds Case” when Robin uses the brand new Bat-Glider. The Bat-Glider goes into the Hall of Trophies afterward.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #1 and Batman with The Boy Wonder News Strip 12/3/1971. Batman busts another unnamed crook, who will later become one of Joe Chill’s henchmen.

–Detective Comics #237[10]
Bruce and Batman are both invited to dedicate the brand new Gotham Bridge. Batman makes his speech before the large crowd while standing next to a lifelike dummy of Bruce and using ventriloquism to speak for it. During the speech, a bunch of thugs shoot at the stage, hitting the dummy and knocking it into the river below. Batman catches them, but the world is convinced that Bruce is dead. A day later, Batman, rather than risk outing himself, takes the new secret ID of cabbie “Barney Warren” and moves into a modest apartment. Batman and Robin apprehend the Hot Car Mob, but afterward, the Dark Knight ends his partnership with Robin. The next day, the Bruce Wayne dummy washes ashore and Robin collects “Barney Warren,” bringing him to police HQ. There, an unmasked Bruce makes up a story about how he used the dummy to “protect himself” from racketeers that were after him.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin bust an escaped Joker and collect an over-sized dice shaker and pair of dice as trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #457. June 26. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, visits Dr. Leslie Thompkins on Crime Alley.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified case and collect a treasure chest and a sarcophagus as trophies.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #97. Batman goes after criminal Ace Logan, but the crook makes a clean getaway.

WFC #85

World’s Finest Comics #85 by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, & Stan Kaye (1956)

–World’s Finest Comics #85[11]
Batman and Superman are tasked with greeting and protecting the Balkanian Princess Varina during her trip to the States. A couple days later, Princess Varina arrives and not a moment passes before it seems as though Batman and Superman are competing for her affections. As the tour winds its way from Metropolis to Gotham, Batman and Superman try to outdo each other with wild exploits. Why? They know that the princess is in love with Captain Stefan, her commoner bodyguard. Knowing that the marriage would send Balkania into civil war, our heroes were trying to interject themselves into the mix to sway her eyes away from Stefan. Batman and Superman prevent Stefan and Princess Varina from eloping. But when crooks try to steal Varina’s jewels, Batman and Superman take them down but make it look like Stefan is the hero. With Stefan a hero, the Balkanian parliament allows his marriage to Varina and everyone lives happily ever after.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #86. Batman and Robin bust an escaped Joker again and collect a giant Joker face in the process, which they hang on the wall of their Hall of Trophies.

–World’s Finest Comics #86[12]
Batman, Robin, and Superman agree to perform for the Gotham Police Show. During the show, which is held in a giant amphitheater built by Superman, the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel show off the combined trophies that they have taken during their tenures as crime-fighters. It’s hard to tell which trophies go with which hero in this mish-mash of items that are mixed together, but I’d guess that Superman has a lot more since he has been active as a hero for over a decade already. For example, the multiple meteors, giant seashell, and apatosaurus seem like Superman trophies to me. Moving on, Batman and Superman reenact a bunch of their previous adventures for the crowd, but fail each time, prompting Lois Lane’s suspicion of a saboteur. Eventually, Batman and Superman reveal that they’ve been botching their own acts in order to ruin a film being shot by swindler Henry Bartle, who was planning on releasing the footage of the heroes under false pretenses. After Bartle is shuffled away, Batman, Robin, and Superman redo the show correctly.

–Batman #105 Part 1[13]
While chasing the criminal Curt Briggs, Batman goes down with a sprained ankle. Robin busts Briggs solo, giving the baddie a serious amnesia-inducing knock on the noggin in the process. Kathy Kane, wearing her Batwoman costume en route to a masquerade, shows up and assumes that Briggs is an injured, amnesiac Batman. Robin lets both Batwoman and Briggs think that he (Briggs) is the Dark Knight because he needs to find out the hidden location of Briggs’ loot. Batwoman, in an effort to fix-up the confused “Batman,” takes him to her Batcave and begins “retraining” him. Eventually, Briggs regains his memory, but continues to play the role of Batman, leading Robin and Batwoman into a trap at the Gotham Chinatown Museum. The real Batman appears, despite his injury, secretly using a dummy leg to stand upright. This surprise appearance is enough for Robin and Batwoman to get the jump on Briggs and his gang. Afterward, Kathy puts her costume into retirement once again—a retirement that won’t stick. Later, Kathy visits Bruce, who claims to have suffered an ankle injury while dancing.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #300. Batman and Robin go on routine patrol, punching out some bad guys.

WFC #88

World’s Finest Comics #88 by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, & Stan Kaye (1957)

–World’s Finest Comics #88-89[14]
Joker has just been released from an asylum—(Joker has only committed zany robberies thus far and wouldn’t yet be considered a lethal threat)—and moves to Metropolis. There, he joins up with recently paroled Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch-enemy! The dastardly duo claim that they are going straight and are starting a business together. A suspicious Batman, Robin, and Superman travel to LJ Industries where Luthor and Joker show-off their new line of cyborg worker drones, known as Mechano-Men. After several public demonstrations with the Mechano-Men that make Superman and Batman look foolish, Bruce pays Luthor and Joker a visit, claiming that he needs the Mechano-Men to retrieve a shipment of diamonds that was lost at sea. During the false job, Superman switches places with one of the Mechano-Men and infiltrates LJ Industries. However, Luthor and Joker see through the ruse and make fools of our heroes yet again. Then comes the day of a big Mechano-Men stadium show, when Luthor and Joker finally strike by using some extra Mechano-Men to commit a big robbery. Superman tricks the villains with two of his own Mechano-Men, dressed like the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight, camped out at the stadium. The real heroes bust Luthor and Joker.

WFC #89

World’s Finest Comics #89 by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, & Stan Kaye (1957)

Millionaire John Mayhew invites the world’s greatest international superheroes to Metropolis to become a superhero team, The Club of Heroes. Batman, Robin, and Superman join England’s Knight and Squire, Argentina’s Gaucho, France’s Musketeer, and Italy’s Legionary. Mayhew decides that whoever can complete the greatest anti-crime feat in the next few days should become the team’s chairman. Each hero, however, is very selfless and modest, and refuses to take public credit for their actions in the following days. When a super-powered masked superhero called Lightning-Man debuts in Metropolis, Mayhew invites him into the Club of Heroes. Unknown to Mayhew, whenever Lightning-Man is around, Superman passes out cold! As Superman takes a back seat, Lightning-Man becomes the primary protector of Metropolis. The Club of Heroes then fights some crooks in stolen tanks, but Lightning-Man handles them himself, thus earning chairmanship of the team. Later, Batman solves the Lightning-Man mystery. A chunk of a Kryptonite asteroid floating in Earth’s orbit had been causing Superman to black out, during which time his natural instinct to be a hero caused him to don the Lightning-Man outfit. Since we never see or hear from the Club of Heroes again, we must assume that the venture goes belly up shortly after this.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #90—originally told via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #87. Superman confronts Elton Craig, a caped-and-cowled criminal that has obtained Kryptonian superpowers by taking Kryptonian power pills, which he found attached to a meteor. The pills were originally sent to Earth with baby Kal-El by Jor-El (Superman’s father), but they were separated from the baby’s rocket upon entry into planetary atmosphere. Superman attempts to corral Craig, but goes down, affected by Kryptonite. Superman tries to counter the effects of the K by taking a power pill, but the pill has K-dust on it, which weakens him even more. A powerless Superman phones the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin then each take a power capsule, which gives them super powers! The super-Dynamic Duo then battles Craig to a stalemate as Superman can only helplessly watch. Later, while Super-Batman and Super-Robin deal with a deadly thunderstorm and a zoo-break, Superman locates Craig’s hideout and confronts him. Batman, Robin, and Lois Lane all arrive just in time to help bust Craig, whose powers fade away. Likewise, Batman and Robin lose their temporary powers. Superman, recharged, asks Batman to hold the remaining power pills in the Batcave for safekeeping, which he does.

–World’s Finest Comics #90[15]
When a national news bulletin goes out telling of Elton Craig’s escape from prison, Batman, Robin, and Superman are on the case. Much to their surprise, so is Batwoman, who prevents Craig from taking a hidden Kryptonian power pill by taking the pill herself! A super-powered Batwoman then easily busts Craig and, sick of the boys club bossing her around, decides that she will use her temporary powers to find out the secret IDs of Batman, Robin, and Superman! Thus begins an epic game of cat-and-mouse all over Gotham, but the Dynamic Duo eventually remains hidden. The Caped Crusader then digs out a false Batcave beneath the mansion home of an acquaintance, which is enough to fool Super-Batwoman into thinking that Batman is John Martin. Batwoman then turns her attentions on Superman, resulting in a chase that spans the entire northeastern region of North America. Eventually, Batwoman learns that Superman is Clark Kent, but is then fooled by Bruce, who shows up in disguise as Clark. Batwoman loses her superpowers and everyone’s ID is safe. Afterward, Batman apologizes to Batwoman and gives her his blessing to continue fighting crime on a full-time basis.

–Batman #110 Part 3[16]
While chasing after Len Landers and his Mob of Thieves, Batman winds up getting caught in a radioactive explosion at the Gotham Electronic Company’s experimental lab. Batman survives the blast but becomes completely intangible. He can’t touch anything or anyone—instead, he simply phases through objects à la Kitty Pryde but without the ability to turn her powers off. After using his new phasing ability on a couple rescue cases, Batman and winds up (along with Robin) stuck in a Landers Mob cage. Batman phases through the bars but is unable to strike his opponents. Landers takes-off but tells his man to kill Robin should Batman follow. The Boy Wonder literally stands inside Batman’s intangible body making it look like he has vanished and only Batman remains. The stunned guard is fooled, enters the cell, and gets trapped, allowing the Dynamic Duo to leave. Later, using a bizarre machine of his own invention, combined with the harnessed power of a lightning strike, Bruce is able to undo his condition—which is a good thing since he was getting quite hungry. Batman and Robin then bust Landers.

Batman #111 Part 2

Batman #111 Part 2 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1957)

–Batman #111 Part 2[17]
Commissioner Gordon calls Bruce into GCPD to meet his (Bruce’s) father’s cousin, Bruce N Wayne, for the first time ever. Cousin Bruce is a famous private detective that has come to Gotham on official business, but he wants to whip his lazy playboy relative into shape while he’s in town. The next day, Bruce tags along with Cousin Bruce as the latter investigates a science criminal named Varrel (no relation to the Varrel Mob or the Golden Age villain Jim Varrel). When Cousin Bruce runs into trouble, Bruce secretly becomes Batman and saves him. The next day, despite Bruce taking dive after dive during a sparring session, Cousin Bruce starts to think the lazy playboy might actually be a front to mask the Dark Knight. Later, as a trustee of the Gotham Science Foundation, Bruce sets up a false formula bait to lure out Varrel. At the exhibit hall, Varrel shows up on cue. Batman kayos him, dresses him up like Bruce and puts on a show for Cousin Bruce to fool him. After Cousin Bruce leaves, Batman removes Varrel’s Bruce disguise and hauls him to jail. Cousin Bruce leaves town.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #112 Part 3 and Batman #255—originally told in Detective Comics #247. Batman and Robin take on Professor Achilles Milo, who shines a phobia ray onto Batman, causing him to have a terrible fear of bats! For the next four days, Batman bumbles and stumbles, preoccupied with his new fear. With no other choice, Batman announces his public retirement. In order to get around his phobia and still fight crime, Bruce becomes Starman, a star-themed vigilante. But Robin isn’t comfortable with the change, so he straps Bruce to a chair and makes him watch Batman news footage Clockwork Orange-style. Eventually, Bruce overcomes his phobia! Getting one last use out of his new costume, Starman busts Milo.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #421. August 26-29. Bruce watches the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, following closely on TV. From this point forward, Bruce will be very interested in political radicalism, and will follow various trials of political dissidents, including the Black Panther Party. Despite examining the American sociopolitical landscape with a keen eye and being a costumed vigilante (radical) himself, Bruce’s personal views on society and radicalism will waver, swinging like a pendulum over the decade to come. Ultimately, Batman is a cop through-in and throughout, but he’s supposed to be the idealized hero cop. Yet sometimes, he will have absolutely no sympathy or empathy for the oppressed, while other times, he will fight for purer social justice in the face of systemic corruption. Narratively, this basically means that Bruce will have a constant internal struggle when it comes to defending laws that are clearly unjust. In actuality, this wide spectrum of complexity only arises because DC has both right wing and left wing creators on its staff in the late 60s and early 70s. This leads to the Dark Knight’s fickle (double) mindset and seemingly glaring contradiction within his own range of actions. We’ll examine Batman’s two-faced perspective on race, politics, and social justice, even connecting specific authors to the Caped Crusader’s multifaceted caprices, but that won’t be for a while down the road.

Batman #112 Part 3

Batman #112 Part 3 by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, & Charles Paris (1957)

–Batman #112 Part 3[18]
Batman and Robin bust an escaped Professor Achilles Milo, who is inexplicably drawn with medium-length wavy blonde hair, despite having just appeared with a short black bowl-cut—his signature look. (Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff did both Milo issues, which were published a mere three months apart, so there’s almost no way they should have screwed this up. What I think happened was likely that the villain in Batman #112 Part 3 was originally meant to be a random baddie but was changed to Milo at the last second, too late for Moldoff to redraw.) While being hauled back to jail by the Dynamic Duo, Professor Milo manages to inject Batman with a drug made from a rare Amazonian plant. Batman immediately collapses and slips into a coma. While Alfred collects Batman, Robin brings Milo to jail. When Batman wakes up a couple hours later, the drug has taken full effect, causing the Caped Crusader to become listless, depressed, and suicidal. Robin must show Batman that he has a reason to live, and the Boy Wonder must do so within twenty-four hours or the effects of the drug will be permanent. Thus begins a ludicrous Shutter Island type ruse. Robin and Commissioner Gordon put Batman into a psychiatric institution where he is forced to view Gordon awarding a fake Batman (Alfred in disguise) and Robin an award on TV. Batman snaps to his senses, breaks out of the institution, and makes his way home. At Wayne Manor, Alfred (now disguised as Bruce) and Dick tell Batman that he can’t possibly be Bruce Wayne. A confused and dejected Batman runs off to downtown Gotham. There, the Dark Knight nabs some crooks while Robin and fake Batman watch on. Batman then stows away inside the Batmobile’s trunk and infiltrates the Batcave, exposing Robin and Alfred’s trickery. Twenty-four hours have passed and Batman is A-OK.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #183 Part 2. Batman busts an unnamed crook, earning the fella five years in prison.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251. Batman scales the tall Gotham Building to rescue a knocked-out electrician who is trapped under a large electrified TV tower antenna. An unnamed GCPD cop watches in astonishment.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #249. The dashing masked thief known as The Collector debuts and runs circles around Batman and Robin.

–Batman #114 Part 3[19]
Batman and Robin perform for the Annual Charity Circus. There, a trained ape named Mogo goes wild, causing a distraction while the gate receipts are robbed. With no suspects, the cops haul-in Mogo’s handler Arthur Harris for questioning. Mogo escapes and follows Batman and Robin home. After appearing in the Batcave, Mogo puts on a cape and cowl and Batman and Robin decide to take him along for the investigation! Batman, Robin, and Bat-Ape (!) expose Roder (Harris’ assistant) as the culprit and bust him. Roder had been cahoots with the criminal Vanning mob.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #115 Part 2. Batman defeats The Robber Robot.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251. Batman and Robin prevent some thugs from stealing a jeweled doll house from a doll show. Vicki Vale is present. As referenced in Batman Annual 1986 Part 4, Batman and Robin keep a doll house as a trophy, following this affair.

–Detective Comics #249[20]
The Collector fails to rob the Gotham Museum thanks to Batman and Robin, but he gets away. Later, Commissioner Gordon, with a completely ludicrous and nonsensical plan, asks Bruce to falsely out himself as the Collector in order to bunk up with inmate Squint Neely, who has obtained a blueprint of Gotham Prison. Bruce’s undercover mission will be to locate the hidden location of the blueprint. After his arrest and super-speedy-rushed trial, Bruce is sentenced to prison and put in a cell with Neely. Within a day, Bruce locates the hidden schematic in the laundry room. However, Neely slips and falls to his death and Bruce gets blamed for killing him! On the outside, the only man who knows Bruce is working undercover, Gordon, gets in a car accident and goes into a coma. Another super-speedy-rushed trial occurs and Bruce is put on Death Row, set for execution a mere three days later! Robin, with claims that Batman is on an overseas case, recruits Batwoman to help catch the real Collector and prove Bruce’s innocence. Batwoman proves her skills as a detective equally match those of the Dynamic Duo’s and cracks the case. The Collector winds up behind bars, Bruce is freed, and Gordon wakes up. This honestly might be the worst Batman story written in the 1950s. Yechhh.

World's Finest Comics #251 FB

World’s Finest Comics #251 by Bob Haney, George Tuska, Vince Colletta, & Jerry Serpe (1978)

–FLASHBACK: FromWorld’s Finest Comics #251 and World’s Finest Comics #254—originally told in Batman #75 Part 3. Convicted criminal George “Boss” Dyke is executed by the state and his remains are shipped to his buddy, super scientist Doc Willard. Using the aforesaid super science, Willard revives Dyke’s brain and transplants it into the body of a giant gorilla. Dyke, now going by “Gorilla Boss,” terrorizes Gotham City and captures the Caped Crusader. Willard plans to put Dyke’s brain into the Dark Knight’s body, but Batman escapes captivity. Eventually, Batman and Robin defeat Gorilla Boss, who falls off a skyscraper King Kong-style to his death. After an autopsy, Batman keeps Gorilla Boss’ brain, upon which he does various medical studies and tests. Batman then keeps Gorilla Boss’ brain in a jar as a special trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #115 Part 2. Batman defeats the Blimp Bandits.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251 and World’s Finest Comics #141—originally told in Batman #83 Part 3. Batman and Robin are thrown into a bizarre “psychological testing lab” by crooks. While stuck in the lab, Batman and Robin must survive the pressures of a giant bear trap and a giant bowling game. Of course, the Dynamic Duo not only survives, but beats their captors too.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #444—originally told in Batman #85 Part 2. After GCPD Sergeant Harvey Hainer blows a case, Batman and Robin clean up his mess. An irate Commissioner Gordon tries to fire Hainer, but Batman lessens the punishment, getting him an assignment as the Bat-Signal operator. However, when crooks pulls off two successful heists and Hainer fails to light up the signal, Batman learns that Hainer has gone blind! After refitting the Bat-Signal system to make it blind-friendly, the crooks strike 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. Gordon and Hainer will be the only two police in charge of Bat-Signal activation, moving forward. Hainer will be the custodian of the Bat-Signal for over a decade to come.

–Detective Comics #360 Intro
Batman testifies in court against Gunshy Barton (for his robbery last year). Barton is sentenced to five years in prison. (He will serve a little less than five, getting out early for good behavior.)

WFC #93

World’s Finest Comics #93 by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, & Stan Kaye (1958)

–World’s Finest Comics #93[21]
Evil scientist Victor Danning attempts to steal good scientist John Carr’s newest invention, a semi-completed machine that will supposedly be able to increase someone’s brain power. Batman, Robin, and Superman intervene. The machine switches on—(it only works on Superman)—and sucks Superman’s super-thought ability out of his head and transfers it to Robin! Later, Danning and his men flood the city with a giant pump and then strike using a “submarine car” complete with Kryptonite torpedoes. Super-genius Robin guides Batman and unintelligent Superman into battle, driving Danning away. Later, Danning sets off underground explosions in an attempt to learn the location of the Batcave, but Robin guides Superman to prevent it from happening. Next, Robin builds a giant pair of binoculars to increase Superman’s super-sight ability so he can find Danning’s hideout. Ultimately, the binoculars fail. Danning, Robin, and Superman then all wind up back in Carr’s lab, where Batman (disguised as Carr) gets the jump on Danning. Batman uses the machine to transfer Superman’s brain power back into his skull and also takes some of Danning’s intelligence and gives it to Robin. Then it’s off to jail for Danning.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #139. Commissioner Gordon guns down a gangster named Frank Malloy. It is unknown if Batman is involved in this case, but he follows along closely, at the very least.

Superman #128

Superman #128 Part 2 by Bill Finger & Kurt Schaffenberger (1959)

–Superman #128 Part 2[22]
Lois Lane bids $35,000 and wins some Superman memorabilia at an auction. Along with the memorabilia, Lois is gifted some movie props, including a Kryptonian outfit. In an attempt to discover Superman’s ID, Lois puts on a blonde wig and the costume. Appearing in a “spaceship,” Lois pretends to be Superman’s long lost babysitter, Rama. The trick actually fools Superman into revealing his ID, but he calls a favor from Bruce, who comes to Metropolis and disguises himself as Clark to stymie Lois. NOTE: Bruce says a weird line that makes it seem like they’ve never done this trick before. They have.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #251. Batman uses a sheet of bulletproof glass to shield himself from a hail of bullets, allowing him to bust some gangsters. Another unnamed GCPD cop watches.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #255. Batman and Robin befriend the eccentric Professor Hale, who is set to open his Mechanical Museum of Natural History, a museum filled with animatronic dinosaurs, animals, and more.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #115 Part 2. Batman and Robin chase after the debuting Phantom Bank Bandit, but he goes into hiding, although remains separated from the loot he stole.

Batman #115 Part 2

Batman #115 Part 2 by Sheldon Moldoff & Charles Paris (1958)

–Batman #115 Part 2[23]
Batman and Commissioner Gordon come up with a plan to flush out the Phantom Bank Bandit (identity unknown), believing that the Bandit will need the assistance of a master detective/bodyguard to gain access to his loot. Therefore, Batman publicly announces that he is starting the Batman Private Detective Agency, where he will hire out his services for a fee (to save up money for Robin’s future college fund). A massive ad campaign begins with TV spots, billboards, and sky-writing planes. Over the course of the next five days, Batman works five more high profile cases. On the sixth day, businessman Jim Morley takes the bait after a fake police phone call and hires Batman. A day later, Batman exposes Morley as Jim Megan aka The Phantom Bank Bandit. Batman chases him and Robin kayos the villain.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans #48. Harvey and Gilda Dent introduce a beautiful baby girl into the world. The infant is not named in any comic. In Teen Titans #48, Duela Dent makes false claims that she is Harvey and Gilda’s daughter, but it ain’t true, so don’t you believe it!

tec 250

Detective Comics #250 by Sheldon Moldoff & Charles Paris (1957)

–Detective Comics #250-251[24]
Batman busts John Stannar’s mob, but Stannar flees north of Gotham. There, Stannar witnesses an alien spacecraft crash. After receiving a telepathic message from the craft, Stannar is gifted with an assortment of sci-fi gadgets, including a freeze-ray that he uses to escape the Dynamic Duo again. Stannar then uses a device that gives him super-strength to free his mob and defeat Batman. The next day, Stannar uses “4D tongs” to steal a platinum records being awarded to musician Sonny Sims. Later, Stannar makes a fool of Batman again using a special super-magnet and a machine that makes things weightless. Later still, Stannar activates the final alien gift, a supposed “destruction weapon.” However, Stannar learns the hard way that it was all a test. Upon activation of the “destruction weapon,” all the other gadgets vanish without a trace. Humanity is clearly not ready or worthy of the alien’s presents. Batman and Robin haul Stannar to jail.

Commissioner Gordon and Vicki Vale, among others, witness a meeting between a bizarre humanoid alien and what appears to be an unmasked Batman outside of a UFO. Much to Gordon and Vicki’s surprise, Batman appears to be an alien too! (The aliens are actually made-up mobsters with a made-up helicopter trying to discredit Batman in the eyes of the public). After the “aliens” scram, Gordon and Vicki accuse Batman of being from another planet. After Batman fails a blood test to prove he is human (rigged by the mobsters), Gotham’s populace immediately loses its faith in the Dark Knight. Later, after following the trail of a phony insurance racketeer, Batman flushes out gangster Brand Ballard as the perpetrator of the alien hoax. Batman wears an alien mask to confuse Ballard’s accomplices, allowing him to defeat both them and Ballard. Afterward, the public learns the truth.

–Detective Comics #255[25]
Professor Hale invites Batman and Robin to his Mechanical Museum of Natural History the day before its grand opening. Via phone, Hale tells Batman that he has some hidden evidence that will expose criminal activity by “a jackal” that is close him. But when the Dynamic Duo arrive at the museum, Hale has been murdered. Thus, a classic Golden/Silver style whodunnit kicks off and Batman chases a bunch of red herrings while dealing with tar pits and animatronic dinosaurs, lions, mammoths, and more. Eventually, Batman exposes a witch-doctor mask-wearing fiend, museum secretary Carl Danton, as the killer. Danton had been embezzling funds and had lost a stolen necklace to Hale earlier in the day. The next day, Bruce and Dick visit the grand opening of the museum, which still takes place.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #381. Batman befriends boisterous shipman Captain Cyrus Spume and his pet seal Albatross. While not shown on our timeline, Batman will visit the Captain from time to time.

WFC #94

World’s Finest Comics #94 by Edmond Hamilton, Dick Sprang, & Stan Kaye (1958)

–World’s Finest Comics #94[26]
When Lex Luthor breaks jail, Batman and Robin rush to Metropolis to assist Superman, but to their surprise Superman has already partnered up with newcomer Powerman. If you are wondering why Powerman looks exactly like The Atoman (the orange masked lightning-bolt-insignia-costumed Nazi villain from Earth-2), don’t worry, I have answers. As we learn in World’s Finest Comics #271, when Kal-L defeated Atoman in 1945 on Earth-2, the epic exchange of violence sent interdimensional vibrations through the Bleed into Universe-1. (The Bleed is the tesseract space that acts as a barrier between all the universes in the local multiverse and greater omniverse aka multi-multiverse. Marvel Comics refers to the Bleed as “The Superflow.” It’s all so very menstrual, but what cosmic magick isn’t, right? Notably, the Bleed is first referred to as “The Dark Zone” in Justice League of America #65 and then as “The Netherspace” in Justice League of America #83.) Superman received the aforementioned interdimensional vibes and had a vague dream about his counterpart’s battle. Hence, the idea came to the Man of Steel to build a crime-fighting robot partner and dress it in Atoman gear. Eventually, Batman and Robin take down Luthor, who wields a laser canon and some Kryptonite. Superman then reveals that Powerman is a robot, built to help him on cases where Kryptonite might be involved. This entire adventure is also shown via flashback from World’s Finest Comics #271.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #117 Part 1. Batman and Robin defeat the Harbor Pirates, who attempt but fail to skewer our heroes with many harpoons.

Batman #171 Riddler FB

Batman #171 by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff, & Joe Giella (1965)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #171—also referenced in Untold Legend of the Batman #1 and The Best of DC #14. Originally told in Detective Comics #140. Career criminal Edward Nigma becomes the costumed super-villain known as Riddler, earning the keen attention of the Dynamic Duo. Batman—wearing his yellow-oval costume as he is sometimes randomly wont to do in these early days—and Robin match wits with the Riddler, who unleashes a barrage of wild clues and gigantic puzzle traps upon our troubled heroes. Outmatching and evading the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder for now, Riddler goes scot-free. With his wily ways, Riddler will grow to become one of the Dynamic Duo’s biggest and most important rivals in the Silver Age and Bronze Age. And we’ll see his immediate return right now (in our very next item).

Batman #171 by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff, & Joe Giella (1965) - riddler returns!

Batman #171 by Gardner Fox, Sheldon Moldoff, & Joe Giella (1965)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #171—also referenced in Untold Legend of the Batman #1, The Best of DC #14, and Detective Comics #362. Originally told in Detective Comics #142. The Riddler immediately follows-up his debut by striking again at the Dynamic Duo with various puzzles, riddles, and traps. His coup de grâce involves luring the heroes into a giant glass maze. Unfortunately for the Riddler, Batman busts him and puts him behind bars. It is now that Batman realizes that Riddler’s habit of giving riddle clues before committing crimes is compulsive behavior.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #309. December 24. Batman gives pipe tobacco as an X-mas gift to Commissioner Gordon. This is same gift as last year, which starts a holiday tradition. Batman will give tobacco to Gordon every year, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #159. Batman and Commissioner Gordon seal off the cellar beneath police HQ to prevent escapes from the jail cells above. The cellar leads into the sewer system. Batman and Commissioner Gordon each keep keys to the cellar just in case it needs to be opened due to emergency.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #168. Batman and Superman defeat intergalactic villain Vyl, who is imprisoned far from Earth.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #146. Bruce visits his old family friend, the scientist that discovered Krypton via super-telescope decades ago, Dr. Thomas Ellison.


<<< Year One <<< | >>> Year Three >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #235 first defines Superman’s birthday as February 29—and Superman Annual #11 re-confirms this. (Superman was born in a leap year, so he celebrates it in late February each year. Notably, Superman—as Clark—also celebrates a birthday on June 18, which he uses publicly as Clark’s birthday. June 18 was the date Ma and Pa Kent found him.)
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #225 is a Golden Age issue (published November 1955), but it is non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because it violates the Earth-2 continuity of Bruce’s marriage to Selina by referring to Bruce as a “playboy.” Hence, ‘tec #225 gets retconned to the Earth-1 timeline.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: WFC #80 is a Golden Age issue (published in January 1956). However, WFC #80 violates the Earth-2 continuity of Lois and Clark being married, retcon-migrating it to the Silver Age timeline, hence placement here.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #98 Part 2 is a Golden Age story (published in March 1956). However, Bruce is referred to as a “playboy” in Batman #98 Part 2, which violates late 1970s retcons and renders it non-canon on Earth-2 and only canon on Earth-1—hence placement here.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #99 Part 1 is a Golden Age story (published in April 1956). However, Batman #99 Part 1 is non-canon on Earth-2 (but canon on Earth-1) because Bruce is referred to as a “playboy” in it. Thanks to late 1970s retcons, Bruce is married at this point on our Golden Age timeline, hence placement of this tale here on our Silver Age timeline.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #99 Part 2 (published in April 1956) originally took place on the Golden Age timeline, but it cannot be canon on Earth-2 because it makes heavy reference to the contradictory fact that Batman never used guns in his crime-fighting career. On Earth-2, Batman did use guns early on, only adopting his “vow to never use firearms” until Year Three. Later retcons placed heavy emphasis on this fact. Thus, Batman #99 Part 2 must occur only on Earth-1—hence placement here.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #81 is a Golden Age issue (published in March 1956). However, thanks to retcons involving Lois and Clark being married on Earth-2, WFC #81 moves from the Earth-2 timeline to the Earth-1 timeline.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #233 is a Golden Age issue (published in July 1956) that features the debut of Batwoman Kathy Kane. However, ‘tec #233 is non-canon on Earth-2, having migrated to the Earth-1 timeline thanks to retcons from the late 70s and early 80s. On the Golden Age timeline, Batwoman has already debuted and retired by this juncture. Therefore, ‘tec #233 is canon only on Earth-1. Batwoman’s debut in the Golden Age is merely a reference notation.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #84 is a Golden Age issue (published in October 1956). However, it violates several late 70s/early 80s retcons: first, it makes reference to Superman’s time as Superboy, something that only happens on Earth-1; second, it ignores the Earth-2 marriage between Lois and Clark. Due to these violations, this story is non-canon on Earth-2 (and canon only on Earth-1).
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #237, is a Golden Age issue (published in November 1956). However, ‘tec #237 is non-canon on Earth-2, having migrated to the Earth-1 timeline due to its failure to recognize Bruce’s retconned Earth-2 marriage to Selina. In ‘tec #237, Bruce allows the public to think he has died (in order to protect his secret ID), during which time he assumes a new false ID as a cabbie. It would be impossible for this story to exist on the Golden Age timeline without including Selina, who undoubtedly would have relocated with her husband and played an integral role.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #85 is a Golden Age issue (published in December 1956). However, WFC #85 revolves around Superman and Batman pretending to be fighting for the hand of the fair Princess Varina in order to create a ruse that will help them flush out some baddies. Meanwhile, a jealous Lois Lane and Vicki Vale follow. There are a few ways to reconcile this story on Earth-2, but they are rather large stretches. That being said, WFC #85 should be canon on Earth-1 instead—as it is in violation of the fact that Superman and Batman are both married on Earth-2.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #86 is a Golden Age issue (published in February 1957). However, WFC #86 is non-canon on Earth-2 (and only canon on Earth-1) because it ignores a couple key Earth-2 facts: one, Clark and Lois are married; and, two, Lois knows Batman’s secret ID.
  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #105 Part 1 is a Golden Age story (published in February 1957). However, since Batman #105 Part 1 acts as a follow-up to Detective Comics #233, it cannot be canon on Earth-2, only canon on Earth-1. Batwoman Kathy Kane, at this point on the Golden Age timeline, would already be permanently retired and living a quiet family life.
  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #88-89 is a Golden Age run (published May 1957 through August 1957), but these two issues are both non-canon on the Golden Age timeline since they disregard the late 70s/early 80s retcons that Clark and Lois are married on Earth-2. These two issues are canon only on the Silver Age timeline.
  15. [15]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #90 is a Golden Age issue (published in October 1957). However, WFC #90 violates the retcon that Batwoman would already have retired by this point on the Golden Age timeline. WFC #90 is canon only on Earth-1.
  16. [16]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #110 Part 3 is a Golden Age story (published in September 1957). However, Batman #110 Part 3 ignores Bruce’s Golden Age marriage to Selina, referring to him as a “playboy.” Therefore, Batman #110 Part 3 is non-canon on Earth-2 and canon only on Earth-1.
  17. [17]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #111 Part 2 is a Golden Age story (published in October 1957). However, Batman #111 Part 2 ignores Bruce’s Golden Age marriage to Selina, referring to him as a “playboy.” Therefore, Batman #111 Part 2 is non-canon on Earth-2 and canon only on Earth-1.
  18. [18]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #112 Part 3 is a Golden Age story (published in December 1957). However, Batman #112 Part 3 violates both the Golden Age Selina/Bruce marriage retcon and the Golden Age Helena birth retcon. Therefore, this tale must be non-canon on Earth-2 (and canon only on Earth-1). In this tale, Achilles Milo returns and drugs Batman, causing him to become listless and suicidal. Robin must show Batman that he has a reason to live for, thus concocting an elaborate scheme where Batman must solve a wild made-up case where he has lost his own identity. Since DC Super-Stars #17 makes it very clear that Earth-2 Bruce’s family is his top priority, the lack of their mention in regard to “something to live for” is something we cannot ignore. Hence, our migration of Batman #112 Part 3 to the Silver Age timeline.
  19. [19]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #114 Part 3 is a Golden Age story (published in March 1958). However, Batman #114 Part 3 is non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because it refers to Bruce as a socialite. On Earth-2, Bruce stops being a socialite when baby Helena is born. Batman #114 Part 3 is only canon on Earth-1, hence placement here.
  20. [20]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #249 is a Golden Age issue (published in November 1957). However, ‘tec #249  is non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because it features Batwoman, who would have already been retired at this point on Earth-2. Detective Comics #249 is only canon here on Earth-1.
  21. [21]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #93 is a Golden Age issue (published in April 1958). However, WFC #93 is non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because it refers to Bruce as a socialite. Earth-2 Bruce gave up the socialite lifestyle when he turned to political activism after the birth of his daughter Helena. WFC #93 is canon only on Earth-1.
  22. [22]COLLIN COLSHER: Superman #128 Part 2 is a Golden Age story (published in April 1959). However, Superman #128 Part 2 is non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because, in it, Lois and Clark are not married. Superman #128 Part 2 is canon only on Earth-1.
  23. [23]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #115 Part 2, is a Golden Age story (published in April 1958). However, Batman #115 Part 2 is  non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because it violates the DC Super-Stars #17 retcon that Batman is semi-retired at this point on Earth-2. Batman #115 Part 2 is canon only on the Earth-1 timeline.
  24. [24]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #250-251 is a Golden Age run (published December 1957 through January 1958). However, these two issues are non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because they both refer to Bruce as a socialite. Earth-2 Bruce gave up the socialite lifestyle when he turned to political activism after the birth of his daughter Helena. These two issues are only canon on Earth-1.
  25. [25]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #255 is a Golden Age issue (published in May 1958). However, ‘tec #255 is  non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because it violates the DC Super-Stars #17 retcon that Batman is semi-retired at this point on Earth-2. Detective Comics #255 is only canon on the Earth-1 timeline.
  26. [26]COLLIN COLSHER: World’s Finest Comics #94 is a Golden Age story (published in June 1958). However, WFC #94 is non-canon on the Golden Age timeline because it refers to Bruce as a socialite. On Earth-2, Bruce stops being a socialite when baby Helena is born. WFC #94 is only canon on Earth-1, hence placement here.

3 Responses to Silver Year 2

  1. Pocok says:

    I’m sorry, maybe I missed an explanation or description along the lines, but what’s the situation with

    Batman #99-104, 105 Part2 – 110 Part 2, 118,

    Detective Comics #233-236, 238-248, 252-254

    World’s Finest Comics #82-83, 87, 91-92, 96, 105-106

    I don’t want to list all of them, but I don’t see the pattern in here, could you please enlighten me what’s the reasoning of such “jumps”/ “skips” sometimes?

    • Hi! Hope you are staying safe. Have you read the Golden Age section of the site? Or my Silver Age intro? The answers are all in there. I’ve given the reasons for these exceptions (via footnotes) on the Golden Age timeline, but you make an excellent point that notation is highly appropriate here in the Silver Age a well. Definitely lacking! I’ll be adding in a lot of footnotes in the near future to make this more clear.

      But to answer your question: First, you should view things from the reverse perspective. We shouldn’t ask why are there gaps. We should ask why these issues that you listed above are even here in the first place. They are the odd ducks, you see. The issues you have listed are Golden Age issues, and they have been left where they belong—on the Earth-2 timeline. The issues from the gaps/jumps/skips on your list above are originally from the Golden Age but have been moved to the Silver Age due to retcons.

      To really understand this, we must grasp that Batman’s Silver Age beginnings are staggered. Batman’s Silver Age starts somewhere in late 1959/early 1960. Specifically, there’s an exact range of comics—spanning from publication dates that include October 1959 through March 1960—that stagger-start Batman’s Silver Age aka Earth-1 timeline. However, due to numerous retcons (mostly from the late 70s and early 80s), a bunch of issues in that range (from the 50s and early 1960) become exceptions, moving from the Golden to Silver to fill-in the opening portion of the Earth-1 timeline. These exceptions are the very issues that you’ve listed above in your inquiry. The gaps remain Golden Age stories.

      In other words, any Batman issues prior to Batman #127 Part 2 (October 1959), besides the retcon exceptions, are Golden Age. Any World’s Finest Comics issues prior to World’s Finest Comics #107 (February 1960), besides the retcon exceptions, are Golden Age. And any Detective Comics issues prior to Detective Comics #275 (January 1960), besides the retcon exceptions, are Golden Age. To reiterate, the issues you’ve listed in your comment above are these notable exceptions.

      • Pocok says:

        Hi there!

        I’m doing fine, thank you for your question, and thank you for your detailed answer, I totally overshadowed the possibility of them being Golden Age stories!

        I’ve read the Silver Age introduction page, but I couldn’t make out a system for these exceptions (seemed to me that these are the only ones early on), tho I have to admit, I’ve only checked “DC Fandom Wiki” and the issues listed Batman as “from Earth-One”, and even the Notes didn’t mention anything worthwhile (poor fact-checking, I know, I know)

        So again thank you so much, hope you are doing okay too and I’m so looking forward to your additional notes and your continuous work on the Real Batman Chronology Project! (keeping a keen eye on Silver Age #19 currently 😛 )

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