JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA

The Golden Age Batman

Chronology, Part 2: The Wartime Years

By Aaron Severson

Reference the Creator Credit Abbreviations

Sequence of Events

Issue (Date)

1942

Feb. 2, 1942: After the Joker attempts to murder Robin by trapping him in a room full of burning sulfur, Batman beats the villain senseless and leaves him on the steps of the Gotham City courthouse for the police. BF/BK/JR/GR (Batman #10) / RT/JO/MM (All-Star Squadron #20)
NOTES: The date of these events, which would put this story out of sequence with the other stories published during this period, was established by All-Star Squadron #20, which took place concurrently.

Batman #11 [1] (June/July 1942),
All-Star Squadron #20 (April 1983)

Feb. 10, 1942: Robin introduces himself and reveals his true identity to Robotman's friend and assistant, Dr. Chuck Grayson, Robin's distant cousin. Dr. Grayson is subsequently kidnapped by agents of the villainous Ultra-Humanite, prompting Batman and Robin to join the All-Star Squadron to battle Ultra. RT/JO/MM
NOTES: Chuck Grayson and Robotman first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942). They were created by Jerry Siegel and Leo Nowak, who were probably heavily inspired by the Adam Link stories written by Otto and Earl Binder (as "Eando Binder") in Amazing Stories magazine in 1939 and 1940.

All-Star Squadron #24–26, Annual #2 (Aug.–Oct. 1983)

Feb. 22–23, 1942: Batman and Robin attend the first full meeting of the All-Star Squadron in the Perisphere, on the grounds of the New York World's Fair. There, Robin has a brief altercation with fellow kid sidekicks Speedy, Dyna-Mite, and Sandy the Golden Boy. RT/RHow/MM
NOTES: Speedy, Dan the Dyna-Mite, and Sandy were the sidekicks of Green Arrow, TNT, and Sandman, respectively; all of these heroes were loosely modeled on the winning formula introduced by Batman and Robin. Green Arrow and Speedy, created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941), while TNT and Dyna-Mite, created by Weisinger and Paul Norris, debuted in Star-Spangled Comics #7 (April 1942). The Sandman first appeared in Adventure Comics #40 (July 1939) and New York World's Fair Comics #1 (1939), but he did not acquire his "super-heroic" costume and sidekick until Adventure Comics #69 (Dec. 1941). (Although Sandman and Sandy are most associated with Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, the characters were revamped by artist Chad Grothkopf and an unknown writer several months before Kirby and Simon took over the strip.)

All-Star Squadron #31–32 (March–April 1984)

Feb. 25, 1942: Batman accompanies Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man to London and then to Berlin in pursuit of Captain Marvel of Earth-S, who has fallen under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Spear of Destiny. The heroes of Earth-Two eventually free Captain Marvel and his colleagues, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel, from Nazi control and the Marvels return to their own Earth. RT/RiB/RHow (#36) / RT/AJ/RHow (#37)
NOTES: This was the first clash between Earth-Two's Superman and Captain Marvel of Earth-S. Captain Marvel, created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, first appeared in Fawcett Comics' Whiz Comics #2 (Feb. 1940). Captain Marvel Jr., created by Ed Herron and Mac Raboy, debuted in Whiz Comics #25 (Dec. 1941); Mary Marvel, created by Binder and Marc Swayze, first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #18 (Dec. 1942). They were acquired by DC Comics in 1972. This story established that the heroes of Earth-S appeared as comic book characters on Earth-Two, just as the heroes of Earth-Two appeared as comic book characters on Earth-One (as originally shown in Flash #123 (Sept. 1961).

All-Star Squadron #36–37 (Aug.–Sept. 1984)

March 3–4 1942: Japanese agent Prince Daka leads a group of Japanese metahuman agents, including Kung, Sumo, and Tsunami, in an attempt to steal Starman's Gravity Rod. Their battle with the All-Star Squadron ends when Daka's comrades become disenchanted with their leader's dishonorable behavior, forcing Daka to leave empty-handed. RT/Put/AJ/Bill Collins
NOTES: Kung was created by Gerry Conway and José Delbo for Wonder Woman #237 (Nov. 1977); Sumo by Conway, José Luis García-López, and Dan Adkins for All-New Collectors' Edition C-54 (Jan. 1977); and Tsunami by Roy Thomas and Rich Howell in All-Star Squadron #33 (May 1984). This was Sumo's first chronological appearance and the first chronological appearance of Daka, the villain of the 1943 Batman movie serial from Columbia Pictures (in which he was played by actor J. Carroll Naish).

All-Star Squadron #41–43 (Jan.–March 1985)

April 1, 1942: Batman and Robin briefly visit New York to aid the All-Star Squadron in the search for the missing JSA members and a battle against the Monster Society of Evil. RT/MC/AJ/AA/VC
NOTES: This story is badged as a Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. The Monster Society of Evil, an organization of various nemeses of Captain Marvel, debuted in Captain Marvel Adventures #22 (March 1943), by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck. The group in this story is actually a chronologically earlier version of the Monster Society, created on Earth-Two rather than Earth-S.

All-Star Squadron #54 (Feb. 1986)

April 12, 1942: Batman and Robin once again attend a meeting of the All-Star Squadron at the Perisphere in New York. They later appear in a photograph of all the Squadron's members. RT/AJ/MC
NOTES: At the end of this story in All-Star Squadron #60, the effects of the Crisis on Infinite Earths take hold, causing the Golden Age Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman to vanish from the photo. As writer Roy Thomas explained in the letters page of All-Star Squadron #57, he and Marv Wolfman, writer of the Crisis series, had originally agreed that the wartime adventures of the All-Star Squadron would be deemed to take place before the merging of Earths, allowing the Golden Age versions of DC's flagship heroes to continue to appear in that series. DC subsequently decided otherwise, leading to this issue's hasty elimination of those characters. Thomas has made clear that this move was not his decision.

All-Star Squadron #59–60 (June–July 1986)

Dick Grayson celebrates his 14th birthday. Bruce Wayne gives Dick a miniature version of the Batplane as a gift. JG/BK/JR/GR
NOTES: The mini-Batplane was never seen in any subsequent story.

Batman #10 [1] (April/May 1942)

Batman and Robin clash with the Catwoman, who is masquerading as society figure Marguerite Tone. Catwoman evades capture by startling Batman with a kiss and then making a break for freedom. JSch/BK/JR/GR

Batman #10 [3] (April/May 1942)

Tired of life as a fugitive, the Joker conceives a daring scheme to put him beyond the reach of the police and Batman: He surrenders to police to face trial for his many crimes, pleads guilty to them all, and cheerfully accepts a sentence of death. Moments after he has been pronounced dead in the electric chair, his men recover his body and revive him with a drug of his own invention. Although the Joker is soon recaptured by Batman and Robin, a judge reluctantly agrees that since the villain has already been tried and put to death, he cannot be prosecuted again for any of his previous crimes. While the decision leaves the Joker temporarily a free man, Batman soon realizes that the Joker is still secretly running his old gang and manages to implicate him in their crimes, making the Harlequin of Hate a fugitive once more. BF/BK/JR/GR
NOTES: This story shows that Gotham City radio station WABX is now broadcasting a series entitled The True Adventures of Batman. In our world, there were two unsuccessful pilots for such a radio show: one in 1943, starring Scott Douglas and entitled simply The Batman, and the other in 1950, starring John Emery and entitled The Batman Mystery Club. Only one episode was produced of each and neither was ever broadcast. Nonetheless, from 1945 through 1948, Batman and Robin were frequent guest stars on the Mutual Broadcasting System's Adventures of Superman radio series.

Detective #64 (June 1942)

Batman and Robin come to the aid of district attorney Lee Benson, whose efforts to apprehend gangster Joe Dolan are complicated by Benson's childhood friendship with Dolan, who once saved Benson's life. BF/BK/JR/GR
Note: This story appears to have been inspired by the 1934 MGM film Manhattan Melodrama, directed by W.S. Van Dyke, in which Clark Gable and William Powell play boyhood friends who end up on opposite sides of the law: Gable a notorious gambler, Powell a crusading district attorney and later the governor of New York.

Batman #11 [2] (June/July 1942)

Batman meets Tom Bolton, a state trooper with a grudge against the Caped Crusader stemming from the mistaken belief that Batman killed Bolton's father, gangster Mike Nolan. Batman ultimately apprehends Nolan's real killer, after which Bolton and the Darknight Detective are finally reconciled. JGr/JB/GR
NOTES: A flashback sequence in this story shows Batman in action in 1937 at the time Mike Nolan was murdered. However, most subsequent accounts indicate that Batman's career began in 1939, the time of his textual debut, so this account can be considered apocryphal. The cover of this issue shows Batman and Robin welcoming the Boy Commandos to the pages of Detective Comics, although the characters do not appear together within the issue. (The Boy Commandos, created by the team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, actually debuted in the previous issue, Detective Comics #64.)

Detective #65 (July 1942)

April 1942: Batman and Robin appear on the program Racket Busters, broadcast simultaneously on radio and television. Among those listening in the audience are the Joker, the Penguin, and Catwoman. Afterward, Batman persuades dying actor Mark Loring to dress as Batman long enough to convince View Magazine reporter "Scoop" Scanlon — who has discovered Batman's true identity — that Batman and Bruce Wayne are really separate people. JG/JR/GR
NOTES: The date of these events was established by the publication of the May 1942 issue of View during the course of the story; if it was a monthly magazine, the May issue would have appeared in early April. The "Racket Busters" program name was presumably an homage to Gang Busters, a popular crime anthology series that ran on radio from 1935 to 1957 and briefly on television in 1952. DC published 67 issues of the Gang Busters comic book from 1947 to 1959. This story was the first time in the comics that Batman and Robin appeared on television.

World's Finest #6 (Summer 1942)

His mind unhinged after half his face is hideously scarred by acid, former Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Kent turns to crime as Two-Face. BF/BK/JR/GR
NOTES: Two-Face owes an obvious debt to Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde and the posters for the contemporary Paramount film adaptation, starring Spencer Tracy. Two-Face's most direct inspiration, however, may have been the Shadow novel The Face of Doom, written by Walter Gibson and published in issue #146 of the Shadow magazine (cover dated March 15, 1938). Two-Face's coin-flipping, meanwhile, was almost certainly inspired by the signature mannerism of actor George Raft (1895–1980), who first established the habit in the 1932 Paramount gangster film Scarface. Two-Face's origin may also have been inspired by the origin of another pulp character, the Black Bat, a heroic district attorney who became a crimefighter after being scarred by acid. (The Black Bat, created by Norman Daniels under the house name G. Wayman Jones, appeared in Better Publications' Black Book Detective magazine beginning in July 1939. He was so similar to Batman in details of his costume and modus operandi that both National/DC and Better Publications threatened legal action, although the similarities were apparently coincidental.) The Two-Face saga was retold in somewhat different form in the June 23 to Aug. 18, 1946 continuity of the Batman Sunday newspaper comic strip, also written by Bill Finger but drawn by Jack Burnley and Charles Paris. In that version of the story, which incorporates elements from Two-Face's three previous comic book appearances, Two-Face is an actor, Harvey Apollo, not a district attorney, and is killed at the story's end. At one point in the comic book story, Two-Face and his men rob the patrons of a movie theater that is playing an animated Superman cartoon — the first mention of Superman in the Batman series. Fleischer Studios produced a series of 17 lavishly animated Superman shorts for Paramount Pictures between 1941 and 1943, the first of which premiered on Sept. 26, 1941.

Detective #66 (Aug. 1942)

Batman and Robin visit their Hall of Trophies and recall their encounter with the three Rafferty Brothers, each of whom was ironically killed as a result of his bulletproof vest. DC/JR/GR
NOTES: This story describes Batman and Robin's encounter with the Rafferty Brothers as having taken place in May and June 1939, which would contradict later stories indicating that Robin did not join Batman until spring 1940, the time of the Boy Wonder's textual debut. This was the first appearance of the Hall of Trophies, although it appears to be located in some unspecified aboveground location rather than in the Batcave.

Batman #12 [1] (Aug./Sept. 1942)

May 26, 1942: After holding a parade in Batman and Robin's honor, the city of Gotham erects statues of the Dynamic Duo outside City Hall. BF/BK/JR
NOTES: The mayor of Gotham City, depicted briefly in this story and described as "that hustling, bustling little dynamo of energy," is a caricature of Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947), who served as the mayor of New York City from 1934 to 1945.

Batman #12 [4] (Aug./Sept. 1942)

After carrying out a new series of crimes based on the number two, Two-Face is captured by Batman and returned to jail. BF/BK/JR/GR
NOTES: The events of this story directly followed those of Detective Comics #66. The mayor of Gotham City appears briefly in this story and is once again depicted as a caricature of Fiorello LaGuardia.

Detective #68 (Oct. 1942)

Batman temporarily ends Dick Grayson's role as Robin after Robin's life is threatened by a vicious criminal. DC/BK/JR/GR

Batman #13 [1] (Oct./Nov. 1942)

While pursuing the Joker, Dick Grayson poses as an autograph collector, traveling around Gotham to get the signatures of famed baseball player Joe DiMaggio and artist Jerry Siegel, the creator of Superman. JSch/BK/JR/GR

Batman #13 [2] (Oct./Nov. 1942)

Nov. 18, 1942: Batman and Robin attend a convention of "the world's greatest detectives" organized by the legendary Dana Drye; the other guests include Western detective Ezra Plunkett, Chinese sleuth Dr. Tsu, socialite Grace Seers, and Scotland Yard's Sir John Bart. After Drye is shot and killed, the Caped Crusaders and their fellow detectives set out to find the murderer, who Batman eventually realizes does not exist: Drye, who was dying "of an incurable malady," actually committed suicide. However, after learning from Drye's diary that the late detective had previously gathered "indisputable proof" that Batman is Bruce Wayne and chosen to keep that knowledge secret, Batman decides to return the favor by allowing Drye's "murder" to remain officially unsolved. JSa/JR
NOTES: The detective characters in this story are intended to represent various archetypes of the mystery genre; for example, Dr. Tsu seems to be a pastiche of Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan and John P. Marquand's Mr. Moto.

Batman #14 [1] (Dec. 1942/Jan. 1943)

The Penguin sets up a consulting service called "Bargains in Crime," planning robberies for other gangs in exchange for a fee and a percentage, then killing his hapless dupes and taking all their loot for himself. The vicious plot is ultimately undone by the Penguin's vanity: Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson discover the Penguin's name on one of the written robbery blueprints, quickly deduce the entire scheme, and, as Batman and Robin, bring the Penguin to justice. Afterward, the villain is convicted of murder and sentenced to death, although Bruce Wayne is not sure the Penguin is really finished. DC/JB/RB
NOTES: As Bruce suspected, the Penguin was never executed for his crimes: his next appearance in Batman #17 [2] (June/July 1943) shows him at large after escaping from prison and there is no further mention of the death sentence. After this story, the Penguin was presented as an eccentric but comparatively harmless villain. Even in post-Crisis and later continuities, he has seldom been portrayed as quite this bloodthirsty.

Batman #14 [4] (Dec. 1942/Jan. 1943)

Dec. 17, 1942: A representative of film producer David O. Selznick meets with Bruce Wayne, who claims to represent Batman, to discuss the possibility of a feature film about Batman and Robin. Selznick discusses Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland as likely stars. Bruce breaks off the talks a few weeks later after an unfortunate incident involving the kidnapping of a studio script girl. Stuart M. Kaminsky
NOTES: These events are recounted in a prose short story entitled "The Batman Memos," published in a 1989 anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg. David O. Selznick (1902–1965) was one of the premier film producers of Hollywood's golden age, with credits including King Kong (RKO, 1933), Manhattan Melodrama (MGM, 1934), A Star Is Born (United Artists, 1937), Gone With the Wind (MGM, 1939), and the Alfred Hitchcock film Rebecca (United Artists, 1940). Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland costarred memorably in four films between 1935 and 1942, beginning with the classic swashbuckler Captain Blood (Warner Bros., 1935).

The Further Adventures of Batman (July 1989)

1943

A prank by Lois Lane leads to the publication of a national newspaper story identifying Clark Kent as Superman. Among the many readers of the story are Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Bruce remarks, "To think he even had me fooled!" Dick replies, "And it's no cinch to fool the Batman!" The paper later prints a retraction, indicating that the original story was a hoax. JSi/Ed Dobrotka/John Sikela NOTES: This cameo was the first time Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson appeared in the Superman series, although their hair is incorrectly colored brown in this story.

Superman #20 (Jan./Feb. 1943)

While masquerading as beautician Elva Barr, the Catwoman falls in love with Bruce Wayne. Batman quickly recognizes "Barr" as the Catwoman, but hopes that her love for him will compel her to change her ways. He allows her to escape and then publicly courts her as Bruce Wayne, leading to their engagement. The Catwoman becomes suspicious of Bruce's motives and confronts him disguised as Linda Page, at which point Bruce admits that the engagement is a sham. Infuriated and heartbroken, Catwoman returns to her life of crime only to be arrested by Batman — the first time he has ever handed her over to police, rather than allowing her to escape. JSch/DS/JR

Batman #15 [1] (Feb./March 1943)

Batman and Robin consider two possible futures for the war effort: one in which the Dynamic Duo wages a doomed struggle against the Nazi and Japanese occupiers of America, another in which Batman and Robin destroy an Axis invasion fleet, leading to the surrender of the Axis powers. DC/JB/RaB
NOTES: At the time this story was written (probably in the fall of 1942) the U.S. had had a difficult year in the war in the Pacific and still had not really entered the battle against Germany, making the outcome of the conflict very much an open question.

Batman #15 [3] (Feb./March 1943)

Batman and Robin have a rematch with Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, who has escaped from prison following their last encounter. DC/BK/JR/GR
NOTES: This was the Scarecrow's final Golden Age appearance. The Earth-Two character's next chronological appearance is in Brave and the Bold #197 (April 1983), set in 1955. The Earth-One Scarecrow, whose early history was similar to that of his Golden Age counterpart, appeared next in Batman #189 (Feb. 1967).

Detective #73 (March 1943)

While pursuing the Joker, Batman and Robin briefly encounter the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey. ?/Hal Sherman
NOTES: This incident is a brief (four panels) cameo by Batman and Robin in the Star-Spangled Kid strip in World's Finest Comics #9. The main Batman story in the same issue, "Crime of the Month Club" (written by Bill Finger with art by Jerry Robinson and George Roussos), pits Batman and Robin against crooked mystery writer Bramwell B. Bramwell. The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey were created by artist Hal Sherman and writer Jerry Siegel, the co-creator of Superman, making their debut in Star-Spangled Comics #1 (Oct. 1941). In a novel variation on the kid-sidekick concept popularized by Batman and Robin, the strip featured a young hero (Sylvester Pemberton) with an adult sidekick (Pat "Stripsey" Dugan).

World's Finest #9 (Spring 1943)

Batman and Robin take on crooked twin brothers Deever and Dumfree Tweed, known as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. DC/BK/JR/GR
NOTES: The two villains were inspired by and took their names from two peculiar characters in Lewis Carroll's 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Detective #74 (April 1943)

Fulfilling a promise made to his dying father, Alfred, the son of Thomas Wayne's former butler Jarvis, comes to Wayne Manor to follow in the family tradition as a "gentleman's gentleman." Shortly after his arrival, Alfred, who fancies himself a great amateur detective, accidentally stumbles onto the concealed entrance to the Batcave and learns that Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are secretly Batman and Robin. Although Bruce and Dick initially plan to send the bumbling would-be servant on his way, Alfred convinces them to let him stay on as their butler, cook, chauffeur, and aide de camp. GF/BK/JR
NOTES: This story makes no mention of Alfred's last name, but Detective Comics #96 (Feb. 1945) gives his surname as "Beagle," which Superman Family #211 (Oct. 1981) confirmed as the last name of Earth-Two's Alfred. On Earth-One, Batman #216 (Nov. 1969) established Alfred's last name as Pennyworth, which is also the surname of Alfred's post-Crisis counterpart. However, Batman #675 (May 2008) revealed that in post-Infinite Crisis continuity, Alfred Pennyworth did use "Alfred Beagle" as a stage name during a brief and undistinguished acting career.

Batman #16 [3] (April/May 1943)

May 29–30, 1943: Batman joins forces with the Unknown Soldier to stop a Nazi agent from stealing American atomic secrets. BH/RT/FM
NOTES: The date is somewhat speculative. Although the climax of this story explicitly takes place on Memorial Day (which during this era was May 30), the year is not specified. Since President Roosevelt is shown to be alive, these events took place before April 1945, but there is not enough textual evidence to definitively establish the date more precisely than that. The Unknown Soldier first appeared in Star-Spangled War Stories #151 (July 1970) and apparently had counterparts on both Earth-One and Earth-Two.

Brave & Bold #146 (Jan. 1979)

Superman discovers that a glowing green meteorite that recently landed near Metropolis saps his strength and powers if he comes too close to it. With the help of Dr. John Whistler, a meteor expert at the Metropolis Museum, Superman learns that the radioactive substance — dubbed Kryptonite — is a piece of Superman's destroyed home planet, Krypton. Whistler agrees to store the meteorite in a vault in the Metropolis Museum, where it cannot be used against the Man of Steel.
NOTES: This storyline was the first actual appearance of Kryptonite, which was conceived by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for an unpublished 1940 comic book story; in that story, the mineral was called "K-metal." Kryptonite did not appear in the comic books until Superman #61[3] (Nov./Dec. 1949), which was also the first time the comic book Superman learned that he was from Krypton. While the "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" strip in Superman Family #202 (July/Aug. 1980) makes explicit reference to the latter story, World's Finest Comics #271 (Sept. 1981) strongly suggested that the Earth-Two Superman's first encounter with Kryptonite was the one depicted on the radio series; on the radio, Superman learned of his Kryptonian origins at this time. In sharp contrast to later comic book lore, the radio version of Kryptonite was not actually lethal to Superman, although coming too close to it would make him groggy and weak and prolonged exposure could put him in a coma in which he could eventually starve to death.

Superman radio (June 1943)

Batman and Robin meet their greatest fan: B. Boswell Browne, a kindly old man who collects memorabilia and souvenirs of the Dynamic Duo. Browne subsequently finishes a book about the heroes, for which Batman offers to write a preface. DC/BK/JR
NOTES: B. Boswell Browne's name recalls that of Scottish lawyer and author James Boswell (1740–1795), Ninth Laird of Auchinleck, best remembered as the biographer of British writer Samuel Johnson (1709–1784).

Batman #17 [1] (June/July 1943)

Batman and Robin encounter the tragic criminal mastermind Dr. Matthew Thorne, the Crime Doctor: a gifted surgeon with a tragic addiction to criminal behavior. BF/BK/JR/GR
NOTES: At the time this story was published, there was a popular radio and film character called The Crime Doctor, created by Max Marcin. The character, played in the 1943 film by Warner Baxter, was a former criminal who becomes a respectable criminologist after developing amnesia. However, Matthew Thorne is more reminiscent of the title character of The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, a Barré Lyndon stage play about a doctor whose fascination with criminal psychology leads him to a short and ultimately fatal life of crime. Edward G. Robinson played the lead in the 1938 Warner Bros. film adaptation, written by John Huston and John Wexley and produced and directed by Anatole Litvak.

Detective #77 (July 1943)

Batman and Robin have a rematch with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, who are operating an elaborate robbery scheme in a remote country inn. JSa/JR/GR
NOTES: According to comics writer Mike W. Barr, the plot of this story (entitled "The Secret of Hunter's Inn") was borrowed in large part from a 1935 Ellery Queen mystery novella, The Lamp of God.

Batman #18 [1] (Aug./Sept. 1943)

Batman and Robin have a second encounter with the Crime Doctor, who saves Robin's life after the Boy Wonder is wounded by the villain's men. Thorne is eventually shot by one of his own henchmen for failing to save the man's sick wife, who had been Thorne's patient. Thorne dies lamenting that he allowed his desire for excitement and money to distract him from his responsibilities as a physician. BF/BK/GR
NOTES: There was also an Earth-One Crime Doctor, who first appeared in Detective Comics #494 (Sept. 1980); he was very similar to the Earth-Two character, but his first name was Bradford rather than Matthew. A post-Crisis version of the Crime Doctor fought Batman and Robin in Detective Comics #579 (Oct. 1987).

Batman #18 [4] (Aug./Sept. 1943)

Harvey Kent escapes prison and resumes his life of crime as Two-Face. He has a change of heart after accidentally shooting his ex-fiancée, Gilda, and ultimately surrenders to Batman and Robin. At Kent's trial, Batman persuades the court to give the former district attorney a light sentence. Soon afterward, Kent learns that the renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Ekhart, the one doctor with the skill to repair Kent's scared face, has escaped from a German concentration camp. BF/BK/JR/GR

Detective #80 (Oct. 1943)

A 21st century lab worker named Rob Callendar is catapulted back to the 20th century by a "space-time warp" created by a freak laboratory accident. Callendar recruits a gang and uses futuristic technology to steal four items that Callendar knows were created by or associated with people who will one day become famous, which will make those items extremely valuable in Callendar's native time. Batman ultimately captures Callendar, who reveals the common denominator: The four objects will eventually become part of Batman and Robin's trophy collection. The time warp then sends Callendar back to his own time without his loot, but the objects' rightful owners decide to give the items to Batman and Robin as souvenirs, suggesting that Callendar's prediction may have been true. BF/JR/FR
NOTES: The exact year from which Callendar came is not specified in this story. Batman and Robin learn that he is from the future after he drops a penny dated 2043, but Batman notes that the coin is already well-worn, suggesting that Callendar may have come from some later time period.

World's Finest #11 (Fall 1943)

Batman and Robin visit the undersea kingdom of Atlantis and learn that the commander of a German U-boat group has persuaded the kingdom's naive rulers, Princess Lanya and Emperor Taro (who looks almost exactly like Dick Grayson) to allow the Nazis to use Atlantis as a secret base from which to attack Allied shipping. Batman and Robin eventually persuade Taro and Lanya of the Nazis' treacherous nature, but Taro decides that Atlantis must remain cut off from the surface world. DC/DS
NOTES: This version of Atlantis, said to have used its advanced technology to cut itself off from the rest of the world nearly 10,000 years earlier, bears no resemblance to the ruins of Atlantis that figure in the origin of the Golden Age Aquaman (who, unlike his Silver Age counterpart, was not a native of Atlantis) in More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941) or to the versions of Atlantis that appeared in the Superman, Wonder Woman, and JSA stories of this era. It is possible that on Earth-Two, as on Earth-One, there was more than one undersea civilization called Atlantis.

Batman #19 [2] (Oct./Nov. 1943)

A man named Lyon commits a series of robberies while masquerading as the Joker, arousing the ire of the real Harlequin of Hate. The Joker eventually captures Lyon, Batman, and Robin and attempts to feed them to a man-eating lion, but the Caped Crusaders escape and apprehend both Lyon and the Joker. ?/DS
NOTES: A very similar story appeared only a few months later, in Detective Comics #85 (March 1944).

Batman #19 [3] (Oct./Nov. 1943)

Two months after his trial and conviction for crimes committed as Two-Face, Harvey Kent's face is finally repaired through the efforts of Dr. Ekhart, a brilliant plastic surgeon. Harvey's fiancée, Gilda, promises to wait for his release from prison. BF/BK/JR/GR

Detective #80 (Oct. 1943)

Batman and Robin meet Mortimer Drake, a chivalrous villain known as the Cavalier. Unbeknownst to the Dynamic Duo, the villain is actually playboy Mortimer Drake, an acquaintance of Bruce Wayne's. DC/BK/GR

Detective #81 (Nov. 1943)

Bruce Wayne briefly loses custody of Dick Grayson when Dick's unscrupulous uncle, George Grayson, accuses Bruce Wayne of being an unfit guardian. George Grayson's court challenge fails after it is exposed as a scheme to extort $1 million from Bruce and Bruce regains custody of Dick. BF/BK/JR

Batman #20 [4] (Dec. 1943/Jan. 1944)

Deciding that his role as Batman's assistant demands a better physique, Alfred spends his vacation on a health farm, where he loses a great deal of weight. By the time he returns to Gotham, he has also grown a mustache and restyled his hair, which, combined with his dramatic weight loss, makes him look so different that Batman and Robin don't recognize him until they hear his voice. DC/JB/GR
NOTES: In his 2009 introduction to Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 7, comics writer Alvin Schwartz confirmed that Alfred's original rotund appearance was (as many Batman historians had long speculated) altered to resemble that of actor William Austin, who played the character in the 1943 Batman movie serial. The first printed appearance of the "skinny" Alfred was actually in the Oct. 27, 1943 installment of the Batman newspaper comic strip, published about a month before Detective Comics #83 went on sale; the rotund Alfred never appeared in the newspaper strip. This was also the first comic book story to describe Batman's underground headquarters as the Batcave, a name that, according to Joe Desris' introduction to Batman: The Dailies Vol. 1, originated in the script for the 1943 Batman serial. As with the "new" Alfred, the name "Batcave" first appeared in the Batman newspaper strip on Oct. 27, 1943.

Detective #83 (Jan. 1944)

Batman and Robin match wits with Japanese spymaster Prince Daka, who is attempting to develop a more powerful version of the deadly "radium gun" designed by Linda Page's uncle, Martin Warren. Daka eventually meets a grisly demise in his own alligator pit.
NOTES: These events are depicted only in Columbia Pictures' 15-chapter 1943 Batman movie serial, although as noted above, its villain, Prince Daka (also called Dr. Daka), made a chronologically earlier appearance in All-Star Squadron #42–43 (Feb./March 1985), set in March 1942. Lewis Wilson played Batman in the chapter-play, with Douglas Croft as Robin, Shirley Patterson as Linda Page, William Austin as Alfred, and J. Carroll Naish as Dr. Daka. The serial was written by Victor McLeod, Leslie Swabacker, and Harry L. Fraser and directed by Lambert Hillyer. It was originally released in April 1943; re-released in 1954; and re-released again in late 1965, edited to feature length under the new title An Evening With Batman and Robin. The serial's first installment implies that the U.S. War Department is aware of Bruce Wayne's dual identity and induced the draft board to declare him 4-F (unfit for service) so that he could continue his work as Batman. The notion that Batman worked for the government during the war is also implied by several stories in Brave and the Bold featuring the Golden Age Batman in a wartime setting (e.g., Brave and the Bold #84). There is little evidence in the wartime comic book stories to suggest such a relationship, but it would be a logical explanation for how Bruce Wayne avoided being drafted!

Batman film serial (1943)

1944

After serving a year in the state penitentiary, Harvey Kent is released from prison and marries his fiancée, Gilda. He eventually reestablishes himself in legitimate society and founds his own law practice. BF/LS/CP
NOTES: Harvey's eventual return to legal practice strongly implies that he eventually received a pardon for his past crimes, although that fact was never explicitly stated in any Golden Age comic book story.

(Batman #50 [2], Dec. 1948/Jan. 1949)

Alfred begins dating a pretty blond maid named Belinda, not realizing that she is actually the Catwoman in disguise. After learning the truth, Alfred disguises himself as Batman, helps to capture the Catwoman, and assuages his wounded pride by giving her a spanking before allowing the real Batman and Robin to turn her over to police. AS/Mort Meskin
NOTES: This story was the first time in the comic books that Alfred masqueraded as Batman. This issue also introduced new "Adventures of Alfred" back-up strip, drawn by Jerry Robinson and written by Don Cameron and Al Schwartz; that feature ran through Batman #36 (Aug./Sept. 1946).

Batman #22 [1] (April/May 1944)

Batman and Robin have a rematch with the Cavalier, although he ultimately escapes without the Dynamic Duo discovering his real identity. BF/BK/JR

Batman #22 [3] (April/May 1944)

June 4–5, 1944: Batman travels to France on a secret mission for the American and British governments, encounters Sergeant Frank Rock, and helps to make preparations for the Allies' D-Day landing at Normandy. BH/NA
NOTES: The D-Day landings took place on June 6, 1944. While the timing of these events would fit the established chronology of the Golden Age Batman and Sgt. Rock did have counterparts on both Earth-One and Earth-Two, placing this story in Earth-Two continuity is problematic. The framing sequence of this story, set sometime after the war, is narrated by what appears to be the modern Batman (with the yellow circle around his emblem, something the Earth-Two Batman never had) and includes a reunion with an older Sgt. Rock. Several subsequent issues of Brave and the Bold (#96 (June/July 1971), #108 (Aug./Sept. 1973), #117 (Feb./March 1975), and #124 (Jan. 1976)) again team Rock with the modern Batman and even make direct reference to the events of this story, something impossible on either Earth-One or Earth-Two: the Earth-One Batman was not yet active during World War II and writer Robert Kanigher (who created Sgt. Rock with artist Joe Kubert in Our Army at War #81 (June 1959)) always maintained that Rock did not survive the war. Both this story and Batman's next wartime encounter with Sgt. Rock, in Brave and the Bold #162 (May 1980) can probably be assigned to the hypothetical Earth-B rather than Earth-Two.

Brave & Bold #84 (June/July 1969)

Batman and Robin have a third clash with the Cavalier, this time deducing his true identity as Mortimer Drake. DC/DS

Detective #89 (July 1944)

Bruce Wayne's friend Professor Carter Nichols uses an experimental form of hypnosis to send Bruce and Dick Grayson back in time to ancient Rome. In Rome, Bruce and Dick assume their guises as Batman and Robin to battle Roman gangster Publius Malchio. JSa/DS/JR
NOTES: This story was Batman and Robin's first time travel adventure, although the text leaves deliberately ambiguous the question of whether the adventure is real or a dream. While Carter Nichols eventually met Bruce and Dick in their guises as Batman and Robin, the professor did not know their secret identities; the Caped Crusaders began most of their time travel adventures as Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, switching to their costumed identities only after arriving at their destination. There was also an Earth-One Carter Nichols, seen in Brave and the Bold #171 (Feb. 1981) and various issues of World's Finest Comics, but it is unclear how many of Batman's Golden Age time travel stories also occurred on Earth-One. There was no indication that Nichols existed in the post-Crisis universe, but he did exist in post-Infinite Crisis continuity; the Earth-0 Carter Nichols first appeared in Batman #700 (Aug. 2010) and made a chronologically earlier appearance in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5 (Oct. 2010).

Batman #24 [1] (Aug./Sept. 1944)

Batman and Robin battle Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, who have become the mayors of the small town of Yonville. Although Batman and Robin are briefly stymied by the Tweeds' new legal authority, the Caped Crusaders ultimately turn the tables on the villains and discover that the seemingly worthless gold mine with which the brothers had attempted to defraud the townspeople is not played out after all. DC/DS
NOTES: This was the final Golden Age appearance of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Their Earth-One counterparts, whose early history was similar, appeared next in Batman #291 (Sept. 1977).

Batman #24 [3] (Aug./Sept. 1944)

When the Joker and the Penguin become prison cellmates, they decide to escape together and then settle their rivalry by vying to see who can be the first to steal a rare emerald, with the loser agreeing to leave Gotham forever. After their mutual antagonism nearly gets them captured, the two villains decide instead to join forces against Batman and Robin. Batman and Robin manage to turn the tables on the two villains by playing on their massive egos, eventually landing both the Joker and the Penguin back in prison. DC/JR/GR

Batman #25 [1] (Oct./Nov. 1944)

Apocrypha: Sept. 19, 1944: Batman joins forces with the Blackhawks to destroy a German base in the Arctic. MW/Dave Cockrum/Dan Adkins
NOTES: The Blackhawks were created by Will Eisner and Chuck Cuidera and made their debut in Quality Comics' Military Comics #1 (Aug. 1940); the characters were acquired by DC Comics in the late 1950s. Although this story stars the Golden Age Batman, it does not take place on Earth-Two. As established in All-Star Squadron #50 (Oct. 1985), the Earth-Two Blackhawks departed for the parallel world of Earth-X in April 1942 and later died in action, as revealed in Justice League of America #107 (Sept./Oct. 1973). There is no indication that Batman had an Earth-X counterpart, and while the Blackhawks also had counterparts on Earth-One, there was no Golden Age Batman on Earth-One! This story should probably be assigned to the hypothetical world of Earth-B. Dave Cockrum's artwork for this story depicts the Batplane as a heavily modified Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, an aircraft almost entirely superseded by newer designs by mid-1944.

Brave & Bold #167 (Oct. 1980)

Autumn 1944: While attending to business affairs in London as Bruce Wayne, Batman travels to the coast of France, where he helps Sgt. Rock defeat a plan by the Iron Major to sabotage Allied armor units. Bill Kelley/JA
NOTES: The Iron Major, Sgt. Rock's greatest wartime nemesis, first appeared in Our Army at War #158 (Sept. 1965).

Brave & Bold #162 (May 1980)

Batman and Robin match wits with Tweed Wickham, a corrupt politician and fixer whose crooked administration has been running roughshod over the town of Twin Mills, and do battle with Wickham's chief lieutenant, the deadly marksman Jojo. ASch/BK/CP
NOTES: Jojo is drawn to resemble actor Peter Lorre (1904–1964), who portrayed a variety of sinister characters in films such as M (1931), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), and The Maltese Falcon (1941).

Batman Daily (Oct. 1944–Jan. 1945)

Batman and Robin are caught up in a confounding mystery incorporating elements of various children's nursery rhymes. They eventually discover that the whole bizarre scenario has been staged by Adventure, Inc., a group that stages costumed adventures and mysteries, whose members have mistakenly assumed the real Batman and Robin are the group's next clients. BF/JB/CP
NOTES: Bill Finger later rewrote this story, incorporating Superman, for World's Finest Comics #83 (July/Aug. 1956). That version of the story, drawn by Dick Sprang and Stan Kaye, can probably be considered the Earth-One version of this adventure.

Batman Sunday (Nov.-Dec. 1944)

Batman and Robin finally succeed in apprehending and jailing the Cavalier. DC/DS
NOTES: This was the fourth and final Golden Age appearance of the Cavalier. According to Who's Who in the DC Universe #4 (June 1985), Mortimer Drake served his time and subsequently retired to a quiet life in his Gotham City mansion. His Earth-One counterpart, who had a similar early history, was next seen in Wonder Woman #212 (June/July 1974).

Batman #26 [1] Dec. 1944/Jan. 1945)

Dec. 11, 1944: Batman is shot twice in the abdomen by a criminal named "Mad Dog" Bilker. DV?/WM/CP?

(World's Finest #50, Feb./March 1951)

1945

Hoping to impress Batman and Robin with his detective skills, Alfred takes an extended vacation to a small town outside Gotham, where he goes into business as a private detective. DC/DS/GR
NOTES: This story gives Alfred's last name as "Beagle," the first time he was given a surname.

Detective #96 (Feb. 1945)

After intercepting a letter from Alfred to his niece Valerie in which Alfred claims to have become "an industrial magnate" in America, a con woman named Gertrude poses as Valerie (whom Alfred has never actually met) in an attempt to swindle Alfred. Batman, Robin, and Alfred ultimately realize that this "Valerie" is an impostor and Alfred helps his masters bring the con woman and her accomplices to justice. BF/JB/CP
NOTES: This story once again gives Alfred's full name as Alfred Beagle. Alfred describes his niece as being 22 years old at the time of this story and says that he has never met the girl because she was raised in Australia.

(Batman Sunday, Feb.–March 1945)

March 1945: While pursuing the sinister master spy Zoltan, Batman is captured and encased in a wax-like shell. Dick Grayson, knocked unconscious and nearly drowned by Zoltan's men, is found by Superman, who helps Robin rescue Batman and apprehend Zoltan. In the process, Superman learns Batman and Robin's secret identities, but they remain ignorant of Superman's identity as Clark Kent. RT/RiB/FM
NOTES: This adventure, recounted in flashback, is essentially a much-simplified adaptation of a storyline that originally aired on theAdventures of Superman radio series from Feb. 28 to March 15, 1945. The radio story, complete recordings of which are not known to survive, was Batman and Robin's first appearance on the Superman radio series and the first time Superman, Batman, and Robin actively participated in an adventure together. The Superman radio show, which debuted on Feb. 12, 1940, ran in syndication through March 9, 1942, and was then picked up by the Mutual Broadcasting System, resuming on Aug. 31, 1942, under the title The Adventures of Superman. For most of the series, Superman and Clark Kent were played by Clayton "Bud" Collyer, who also voiced Superman in the 1941–1943 Fleischer Bros. cartoons. Batman was variously portrayed by Stacy Harris, Matt Crowley, and Gary Merrill while Robin was played by Ron Liss. World's Finest Comics #271 established that some events of the radio series had parallels on Earth-Two, although the radio and comic book versions differ in many details and the radio continuity is sometimes at odds with both Earth-Two continuity and the contemporary comics; for example, the radio Clark Kent worked for Perry White of the Daily Planet, not George Taylor of the Daily Star, while the radio Batman and Robin live and operate in Metropolis rather than Gotham City. Interestingly, radio actor Ron Liss later reprised his role as Robin for a series of audio adventures released on a 1966 record album entitled The Official Adventures of Batman and Robin, with Jack Curtis as Batman and Jackson Beck, narrator of the Superman radio series, providing the narration. Liss is credited as the writer of the album's four stories, which include a Penguin story based on "Parasols of Plunder" from Batman #70 (April/May 1952), originally written by Bill Woolfolk and drawn by Lew Sayre Schwartz and Charles Paris, and a Joker story incorporating elements of the Joker's first two appearances from Batman #1 (by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson) and the "The Joker's Utility Belt" from Batman #73 (Oct./Nov. 1952), by David Vern, Dick Sprang, and Charles Paris. The record was produced and directed by Herb Galewitz and released by MGM's Leo the Lion Records label (CH-1019).

Superman radio (March 1945),
(World's Finest #271, Sept. 1981)

April 15, 1945: Batman joins his JSA comrades in Washington, D.C., where they serve as the honor guard at the funeral of President Roosevelt. RT/RK/AA (America vs. the Justice Society) / RT/DR/MGu (Last Days of the JSA)
NOTES: Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia on April 12, 1945. The funeral, not mentioned in any Golden Age story, was first shown in flashback in America vs. the JSA #1 (Jan. 1985) and depicted more fully in Last Days of the JSA Special (1986). Although the latter is a post-Crisis story and the vision of FDR's funeral is seen only as part of a vision of an alternate timeline, the text of the story and Roy Thomas' later remarks (e.g., the letter column of Infinity, Inc. #39 (June 1987) strongly imply that the funeral was depicted as it actually took place on Earth-Two.

(America vs. the JSA #1, Jan. 1985), (Last Days of the JSA, 1986)

Apocrypha: In an alternate timeline created by the effects of the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the unwitting involvement of the Spectre, Adolf Hitler, seeing Germany's ruin at hand, uses the power of the Spear of Destiny to bring about the end of the world. The Justice Society attempts to invade Hitler's bunker in Berlin to wrest the Spear from the dictator's grasp, but although several JSA members (including Batman) make it as far as Hitler's inner sanctum, they are too late to stop him from completing his doomsday spell. Fortunately, a heroic sacrifice by the aging post-Crisis Justice Society prevents this scenario from coming to pass. Hitler, frustrated by the failure of his final spell, takes his own life on April 30. RT/DR/MGu
NOTES: Historically, Adolf Hitler and his mistress, Eva Braun, apparently died by their own hands on April 30, 1945, although their bodies were burned and never conclusively identified. According to Unknown Soldier #268 (Oct. 1982), Hitler was actually assassinated by the Unknown Soldier, who afterward was himself slain in the streets of Berlin. The events of that story (by Bob Haney, Dick Ayers, and Gary Talaoc) presumably took place on Earth-Two, as other stories showed the Unknown Soldier to have survived the war on Earth-One, but nothing in Last Days of the JSA showed or suggested the Soldier's involvement in Hitler's demise. Based on remarks by Roy Thomas in contemporary All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. letters pages and Thomas' 2006 book The All-Star Companion Volume Two, this story, originally conceived as a graphic novel, was probably written during the period when Thomas assumed that stories set during World War II would be deemed to take place prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths and thus could continue to use the Golden Age Superman, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman, who had been erased from post-Crisis continuity. Thomas was subsequently forced to eliminate those characters from the contemporary All-Star Squadron series, as shown in All-Star Squadron #60 (July 1986). This story was hastily reformatted as a one-shot special rather than a graphic novel, but its plot was allowed to remain mostly unchanged despite the presence in the 1945 sequence of the now-nonexistent heroes (who also appear on the special's cover). This issue and its follow-up in Infinity, Inc. #30 (Sept. 1986) were the last textual references to the Earth-Two characters until Zero Hour: A Crisis in Time in 1994.

(Last Days of the JSA, 1986)

Batman makes a radio broadcast and testifies before the U.S. Senate to support legislation aimed at providing greater opportunities for ex-convicts. ASch/JR

Batman #28 [3] (April/May 1945)

May 7, 1945: Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, who became the German Reichsfuhrer after the death of Adolf Hitler, officially surrenders to the Allies, ending the war in Europe. The following day, May 8, is celebrated as V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.

Bruce Wayne becomes smitten with a young woman named Karen Drew, who is being blackmailed by Wright, a ruthless smuggler who has convinced Karen that she has killed Wright's business rival, Dan Mitchell. Bruce discovers that Mitchell is not really dead and helps Karen and her father bring Wright and the smuggler's henchmen to justice. JSch/JB/CPNOTES: Neither Bruce Wayne nor Dick Grayson appear in costume in even one strip of this 10-week newspaper continuity; according to historian Joe Desris, the under-utilization of the strip's nominal costumed leads was one of several factors that contributed to the Batman newspaper strip's early demise. According to artist Jack Burnley, Karen Drew was modeled — at the request of writer and series editor Jack Schiff — on actress Lauren Bacall (née Betty Joan Perske, 1924–2014). The villainous Wright, meanwhile, was based on actor Sidney Greenstreet (1879–1954), who played similar roles in the Warner Bros. films The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Across the Pacific (1942). One of Wright's henchmen was modeled on quintessential movie tough guy Humphrey Bogart (1899–1957), Greenstreet's frequent co-star and, from 1945 until Bogart's death in 1957, Bacall's husband.

Batman Daily (April–July 1945)

Burglars Catspaw Carlin and Corky Huggins rob Wayne Manor while Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Alfred are out of town on vacation. Meanwhile, two down-at-heels private detectives, Hawke and Wrenn, try to shore up their business by masquerading as Batman and Robin. DC/JR

Batman #29 [3] (June/July 1945)

Commissioner Gordon gives Batman and Robin a challenging assignment: finding an apartment in Gotham City for Phyllis Parker, the daughter of "Big Ed" Parker, a major contributor to the police emergency fund. ASch/BK/CP
NOTES: Serious housing shortages were a fact of life in most American cities both during and following World War II. The situation was reflected in the popular culture of the time, including films like Columbia Pictures' 1943 comedy The More the Merrier, starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, and Charles Coburn, to which this story bears some resemblance.

Batman Daily (July–Sept. 1945)

Aug. 14–15, 1945: Imperial Japan surrenders unconditionally. Aug. 15 is celebrated in the U.S. as V-J (Victory in Japan) Day.

After one of his accomplices, a girl named Dixie Lamarr, murders a federal agent, gang leader Dr. Bly concocts an elaborate plan to frame Lois Lane — who looks almost exactly like Dixie — for the killing. Lois is very nearly convicted of Dixie's crime, but Batman, Robin, and Superman manage to apprehend the real Dixie and exonerate Lois.
NOTES: This radio storyline, which originally aired from Sept. 4 to Sept. 25, 1945, was written by Ben Peter Freeman. Dixie Lamarr was voiced by Joan Alexander, who also played Lois Lane for most of the run of the Superman radio series. World's Finest Comics #223 (May-June 1974) includes excerpts from the scripts of this storyline as part of a detailed synopsis written by Allan Asherman and illustrated by Curt Swan.

Superman radio (Sept. 1945)

After the treasurer of the Wayne Motor Company steals $3 million from the company, Bruce Wayne decides to personally repay the other stockholders, leaving Bruce penniless. Bruce, Dick Grayson, and Alfred are forced to take on various odd jobs — including mowing lawns — just to keep the Batmobile on the road. Luckily, Bruce's fortune is restored after police capture the fugitive treasurer. DC/WM

Detective #105 (Nov. 1945)

After the death of John Whistler, the villainous Scarlet Widow steals the Kryptonite meteor and divides it into four pieces, which she attempts to sell to four of Superman's greatest enemies: Papa Rauch, the Vulture, the Laugher, and Der Teufel. Teufel, a renegade Nazi scientist, uses one of the pieces to transform a young Nazi named Heinrich Milch (a.k.a. Henry Miller) into an "Atom Man" (or Atoman) capable of firing bolts of Kryptonite lightning from his hands, a power with which Teufel intends to destroy Superman and conquer the world. Miller comes perilously close to vanquishing Superman and devastating Metropolis by destroying the Metropolis Reservoir, but ultimately plummets to his apparent death during a final struggle with the Man of Steel. NOTES: This adventure was originally presented as three interlocking serials on the Adventures of Superman radio series, written by Ben Peter Freeman and aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System from Sept. 24 to Dec. 3, 1945. On the radio, the Atom Man was portrayed by Mason Adams, Der Teufel by Matt Crowley, and the Scarlet Widow by Elspeth Eric. World's Finest Comics #271 (Sept. 1981) established that at least some of these events also took place on Earth-Two, albeit with various discrepancies: The Earth-Two villain's name is styled "Atoman" rather than "Atom Man"; his real name is spelled "Melch" rather than "Milch"; he has a costume, which the radio character did not; and his Kryptonite-fueled transformation is said to have taken place in May 1945, shortly before V-E day, rather than after the war. The comic book Teufel (described as "Dr. Teufel" rather than "Der Teufel") bears little resemblance to the descriptions of his radio counterpart and there is no indication of how he originally obtained the Kryptonite. The radio Atom Man unequivocally perished in his final confrontation with Superman, but his Earth-Two counterpart survived and later emerged on Earth-One. Although this saga was the first appearance of the Scarlet Widow and the Atom Man, the Laugher (played by Julian Noa, who also voiced Perry White) had previously appeared in a Oct.–Nov. 1942 radio adventure, the Vulture (played by Mandell Kramer) in Jan. 1943, Papa Rauch (portrayed by series narrator Jackson Beck) in Dec. 1943, and Der Teufel in Sep. 1944. A somewhat different version of the Scarlet Widow also appeared in Columbia Pictures' 1948 Superman movie serial while a version of the Atom Man was the antagonist of the 1950 serial.

Superman radio (Sept.–Dec. 1945)

Following the defeat of the Atom Man, Clark Kent enlists the aid of Batman and Robin to help him recover the remaining pieces of Kryptonite, which have fallen into the hands of the sinister Crescent and Star Gang. Clark reveals to Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson that he knows their secret identities and reveals to Bruce that he is secretly Superman.
NOTES: The original radio storyline, which ran from Dec. 4, 1945 through Jan. 8, 1946, was written by Ben Peter Freeman. Superman learned Batman and Robin's true identities in their first encounter in March 1945, but Batman doesn't learn Superman's secret identity until this storyline. Curiously, Batman does not share this information with Robin, who remained unaware that Clark Kent was Superman in all of the Dynamic Duo's subsequent radio appearances.

Superman radio (Dec. 1945)

Late 1945: The All-Star Squadron disbands. NOTES: The placement of this event is speculative; the actual date of the All-Star Squadron's disbandment has never been revealed, although there was no indication that the group survived for long after the end of the war. The non-canonical World at War sourcebook, written by Ray Winninger for the now-defunct Mayfair Games DC Heroes Role-Playing Game, states that the group disbanded on Dec. 7, 1945, the fourth anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that led to the Squadron's formation, but that logical conjecture is not confirmed by any canonical source. According to Infinity, Inc. Annual #2 (1988), in post-Crisis continuity, the All-Star Squadron's records were transferred to the JSA after the Squadron disbanded; it seems likely that the same was true on Earth-Two.

World at War Sourcebook (1991)

The Joker sets out to humiliate Batman and Robin with a series of pranks inspired by college fraternity hazing rites. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne buys a birthday gift for Linda Page. DC/DS NOTES: The title of this story, "Rackety Rax Racket," was probably inspired by the 1932 film Rackety Rax (dir. Alfred L. Werker, 20th Century) starring Victor McLaglen. This story was the final Golden Age appearance of Linda Page; her next Earth-Two appearance was in flashback in Brave and the Bold #197 (April 1983), set in 1955.

Batman #32 [1] (Dec. 1945/Jan. 1946)

Professor Carter Nichols uses his technique of time hypnosis to send Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson to the early 17th century, where, as Batman and Robin, they meet the Three Musketeers. DC/DS NOTES: This story treats the Three Musketeers as real historical personages, rather than fictional characters. While Alexandre Dumas, author of the immortal 1844 novel The Three Musketeers, based his heroes very loosely on real people (Athos on Armand de Sillègue d'Athos d'Autevielle (1615–1644); Porthos on Isaac de Portau (dates unknown); Aramis on Henri d'Aramitz (?–1674); and, most famously, D'Artagnan on Charles de Batz (1618–1673) those historical figures bore little resemblance to the colorful figures of the novel. The Musketeers in this story are clearly Dumas' Musketeers.

Batman #32 [3] (Dec. 1945/Jan. 1946)

Batman and Robin round up a gang of car thieves led by the vicious, mumbling villain Lockjaw. ASch/JB/BK/CP NOTES: The nearly incomprehensible Lockjaw is very similar to a later Dick Tracy villain, Mumbles, who first appeared in the Tracy strip in Oct. 1947.

Batman Daily (Nov. 1945–Feb. 1946)

Continue: The Postwar Years …

Batman, Catwoman, the Huntress, the Justice Society of America, Robin, Superman and all related characters and/or indicia are trademarks or registered trademarks of and are copyright DC Comics. This web site, its operators, and its contents are not authorized by DC Comics.