JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Golden Age Batman
Chronology, Part 3: Postwar
By Aaron Severson
Reference the Creator Credit Abbreviations
Sequence of Events
The Postwar Era: 1946
Batman and Robin help Superman investigate a series of mysterious
bank robberies that the Man of Steel believes he may have committed
during the strange blackouts he has been suffering as an after-effect
of his recent exposure to Kryptonite. The real robber is ultimately
identified as a naive Russian strongman named Boris, who has been
manipulated by a gang of crooks into committing the robberies on
the pretext that they are part of a harmless publicity stunt.
NOTES: This story aired on the Adventures of Superman radio series from Jan. 29 to Feb. 14, 1946. At one point in the story, Superman mentions that he signs his name with his right hand as Clark Kent and his left hand as Superman to help prevent anyone from discovering his secret identity through a handwriting comparison. Batman remarks on the wisdom of this strategy; as established in World's Finest Comics #60 (Sept./Oct. 1952), he and Robin did the same in later comic stories.
Superman radio (Jan.–Feb. 1946)
Batman and Robin meet the Penguin's Aunt Miranda and learn that
his real name is Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. ASch/JB/CP
NOTES: The Penguin's real name was never revealed in any of his Golden Age comic book appearances, but Batman #257 (Aug. 1974) established this as the comic book villain's real name, at least on Earth-One. Given that Bob Kane claimed that the Penguin was inspired by the mascot on Kool cigarette packs, it is interesting to note that the character's middle name is that of another popular cigarette brand: Chesterfield cigarettes, a product of Liggett & Myers Tobacco.
Batman Sunday (Feb. 1946)
Batman and Robin add auxiliary jet engines ("jet tubes")
to the Batplane, a modification that Robin boasts has "added
an extra hundred miles an hour, at least" to the Batplane's
top speed. Batman and Robin get a chance to test the new engines
when the Dynamic Duo takes on a gang equipped with a powerful auto-gyro. ?/DS
NOTES: Jet-powered aircraft were still a very novel idea in 1946, as evidenced by the fact that the newly "jet-propelled" Batman actually rated mention on this issue's cover. The nature of Batplane's normal propulsion system was somewhat obscure during this period. Most of the Batplane's appearances give little indication of any sort of propeller.
Detective #108 (Feb. 1946)
Batman and Robin attend a masquerade ball in hopes of apprehending
gangster Slugger Kaye. Unfortunately for Robin,
their stolen invitation specifies that "no gent will be admitted
unless accompanied by his own lady," and since Batman goes
to the ball dressed as Louis XVI, Robin is therefore compelled
to attend in the guise of Marie Antoinette. At the ball, Robin
attracts the unwelcome amorous attentions of several men — including
Slugger Kaye, which provokes a brawl with Kaye's jealous gun moll, Hammerlock Hilda. JSch/DS/SK
NOTES: This was the only newspaper sequence drawn by Dick Sprang. Sprang had actually declined the opportunity to become the strip's regular artist back in 1943; Sprang later explained to historian Joe Desris (for the first volume of Batman: The Dailies) that the format and deadlines were too constraining, particularly for the money offered.
Batman Daily (Feb./March 1946)
Batman and Robin meet Gotham Senator Rae Raleigh and
match wits with notorious radio journalist Reed
Parker, who has sworn to expose Batman's true identity on his
radio show, "The News That Makes the News". ASch/BK/CP
NOTES: Reed Parker was based on popular newspaper and radio pundit Walter Winchell (1897–1972), whose Sunday radio series, Walter Winchell's Journal, ran on ABC from 1932 through 1953.
Batman Daily (March–June 1946)
April 1, 1946: Bruce Wayne helps Clark Kent play a prank on
Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Clark's other friends and colleagues.
NOTES: This story aired on the Adventures of Superman radio series from March 29 through April 14, 1946.
Superman radio (April 1946)
On the invitation of Scotland Yard, Batman and Robin travel to
London, England, where they are presented with a new Batboat.
With the help of Alfred, the Caped Crusaders battle Professor
Moriarty, a criminal mastermind who models himself on the infamous
nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. DC/WM
NOTES: It is not entirely clear if Sherlock Holmes actually existed on Earth-Two except as a fictional character. This story strongly suggests that he did not, but Detective Comics #196 (June 1953) seems to imply that he did. Holmes did exist in the post-Crisis universe, as seen in Detective Comics #572 (March 1987). The great detective, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and based in part on Conan Doyle's former medical school professor, Dr. Joseph Bell, first appeared in "A Study in Scarlet," initially published in Nov. 1887 as the main feature of Beeton's Christmas Annual. Professor Moriarty was introduced in the Holmes story "The Final Problem," first published in The Strand magazine in Dec. 1893. At the time this issue was published, Sherlock Holmes was appearing in both a popular radio series and a series of feature films from Universal Studios, both starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
Detective #110 (April 1946)
Batman and Robin participate in a wild cross-country race that
takes them to various American landmarks, including Mount Rushmore. BF/DS
NOTES: Mount Rushmore is a U.S. national monument located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, completed in 1941. In his 1999 book Batman: The Complete History, the late Les Daniels speculated that the Mount Rushmore sequence in this story might have inspired the similar scenes in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 thriller North by Northwest.
Batman #34  (April/May 1946)
As a test of Robin's crimefighting skills, Batman gives Robin
24 hours to track down and capture his mentor somewhere in Gotham,
leading to an elaborate game of cat and mouse between the Caped
NOTES: This story may have inspired Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet (1999), a graphic novel by Bruce Canwell and Lee Weeks in which Robin must pass a "final exam" for his role as Batman's partner by eluding Batman in Gotham City for 24 hours.
Batman #34  (April/May 1946)
Catwoman embarks on a cross-country crime spree, taunting Batman
by sending letters to the newspapers announcing the location of
each of her crimes in advance. While pursuing the villainess aboard
a steamer bound for Nashville, Tennessee, Batman masquerades as
a middle-age man while Robin is disguised as his young daughter, "Lulu
NOTES: The costume worn by Catwoman in this story is basically identical in style to her more famous purple-and-green outfit, but is colored dark blue with a light purple cape.
Batman Sunday (April–June 1946)
Batman and Robin battle "Nails" Finney and his gang
of radium thieves, who have hidden their loot in a hollow of an
old oak tree on the estate of an elderly man. BF?/WM
NOTES: The title of this story, "A Tree Grows in Gotham City," was clearly inspired by Betty Smith's 1943 novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (or its faithful 1945 film adaptation, directed by Elia Kazan and starring Dorothy McGuire and Joan Blondell), although the comic book story bears little resemblance to the plot of the novel. (The novel's titular tree is a Tree of Heaven, not an oak, and is located in a tenement yard, not a millionaire's estate.)
World's Finest #22 (May/June 1946)
Batman and Robin match wits the Catwoman, who has been performing
various death-defying stunts intended to convince her henchmen
and underworld allies that she really has nine lives. She ultimately
plummets over a cliff while trying to escape from Batman and Robin,
leaving the Dynamic Duo unsure whether or not she is still alive. BF/DS
NOTES: This was the first appearance of Catwoman's distinctive purple-and-green costume. For some reason, her hair is colored blond in this story rather than black.
Batman #35  (June/July 1946)
Batman and Robin defeat a criminal who has commandeered the mechanical dinosaurs of Dinosaur Island, an amusement park operated by showman Murray Wilson Hart. Hart later gives Batman one of the dinosaurs, which subsequently becomes one of the principal exhibits in the Batcave's Hall of Trophies. BF/RB/Gene McDonald
Batman #35  (June/July 1946)
Dick Grayson tries his hand as a comic book writer for Crescent Comics. DC?/DS
Batman #35  (June/July 1946)
Bruce Wayne helps Clark Kent protect the secret of his dual identity
from former Scotland Yard detective Herbert Calkins,
who suspects that Clark is Superman.
NOTES: The story, which aired on the Adventures of Superman radio series from July 22–31, 1946, was the first time that Batman masqueraded as Superman. A very similar story (albeit not involving Batman) featuring a similar character, Inspector Erskine Hawkins, appeared in Action Comics #100 (Sept. 1946). That story, written by Alvin Schwartz and drawn by Ira Yarbrough, appeared on newsstands at about the same time the radio serial aired; it is unclear which was conceived first.
Superman radio (July 1946)
Batman and Robin match wits with an unscrupulous defense attorney
known as the Iceberg, who will resort to any
tactic to win his clients' acquittal. ASch/BK/CP
NOTES: According to writer Alvin Schwartz, this story, which ran in the daily newspaper strip from Aug. 5 to Sept. 21, 1946, was inspired by (and borrowed several key elements from) the 1932 Warner Bros. film The Mouthpiece, starring Warren William. That film was in turn inspired at least in part by the life of New York attorney William J. Fallon.
Batman Daily (Aug./Sept. 1946)
The Penguin opens a restaurant called the Nest as part of an
elaborate scheme to obtain the signatures of wealthy Gothamites
for nefarious purposes. ASch/BK/RB
NOTES: This story later became the basis for a two-part episode of the 1960s Batman TV series: "The Penguin's Nest"/"The Bird's Last Jest." The teleplay for that episode was written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr.; it originally aired Dec. 7–8, 1966.
Batman #36  (Aug./Sept. 1946)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time to sixth-century England, where they meet King Arthur and Morgan Le Fay. BF/BK/RB
Batman #36  (Aug./Sept. 1946)
Dick Grayson receives threatening calls and letters from an old
enemy, Eric Larson, who supposedly died in
prison. Dick eventually discovers that Larson faked his own death
as part of a plot devised by Paul Marsh, the
unscrupulous secretary of Dick's ailing grandfather, to do away
with Dick so that Marsh will inherit Dick's grandfather's fortune.
Larson is subsequently murdered by Marsh, who abducts Dick and
nearly succeeds in killing Dick, Dick's grandfather, and Alfred
before finally being defeated by Batman and Superman.
NOTES: This story, entitled "The Dead Voice," aired on the Adventures of Superman radio series from Sept. 25 to Oct. 16, 1946. In the radio version of Robin's origin, recounted by Bruce Wayne in the Sept. 25, 1946 episode, Eric Larson was the dishonest proprietor of the circus that employed the Flying Graysons. Larson blackmailed the Graysons by threatening to betray relatives of Dick's mother (whose name was said to be Yvonne) in occupied France to the Nazis; when the Graysons could no longer pay him, Larson engineered their deaths. According to this storyline, he was eventually apprehended by Batman and Robin and sent to prison in 1941. None of these events was ever reflected in contemporary Batman comic books or comic strips.
Superman radio (Sept.–Oct. 1946)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time to 13th-century England, where they meet Robin Hood. DC/WM
Detective #116 (Oct. 1946)
Bruce Wayne helps Clark Kent retrieve a letter revealing the secret
of Clark's dual identity, intended to be delivered to Clark's friends
in the event of his untimely death.
NOTES: This story aired on the Adventures of Superman radio series from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3, 1946.
Superman radio (Nov.–Dec. 1946)
Batman and Robin save inventor Frank Folland from a series of murder attempts orchestrated by Folland's former partner, who wants to steal Folland's new "aeraquamobile," an aircraft capable of transforming itself into either a car or a hydroplane. Folland allows Batman and Robin to install his inventions on the Batplane, which not only enables the Dynamic Duo to apprehend Folland's former partner, but also helps Folland secure a lucrative manufacturing contract with Torrence Motors. DC/WM
World's Finest #25 (Nov./Dec. 1946)
Batman helps Superman rescue Superman's friend Poco, an alien
from the planet Utopia, who has become trapped in a refrigerated
NOTES: Batman appeared only briefly in this radio storyline, which was entitled "Phony Song Publishing Racket." Superman's friend Poco, who spoke entirely in rhyme, first appeared on the radio series in Feb. 1945 and subsequently became Perry White's cook.
Superman radio (Dec. 1946)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time to witness the Olympic Games in fifth-century Athens. EH/JM/RB
Batman #38  (Dec. 1946/Jan. 1947)
Painter Pierre Antal appeals to Batman and Robin for help when
several of Antal's former subjects are murdered. The culprit is
ultimately revealed to be a deranged psychologist who hopes to
demoralize the Dynamic Duo by recreating their "first really
big case": the murders of several of Antal's subjects by the
artist's former patron back in 1940. BF/JM/RB
NOTES: The past adventure described in this story, entitled "The Case of the Prophetic Pictures," appeared in Detective Comics #42 (Aug. 1940), which was also Antal's first appearance. This was the first Batman story — and the first DC work — of artist Jim Mooney.
Batman #38  (Dec. 1946/Jan. 1947)
Late Dec. 1946: Cornered after the failure of her latest scheme, the Catwoman tries unsuccessfully to persuade Batman to join her so they can become "king and queen of crime!" BF/DS
Batman #39  (Feb./March 1947)
The Metropolis police arrest Robin on the suspicion that he is
the Monkey Burglar, an elusive cat burglar
with amazing acrobatic skills. To exonerate the Boy Wonder, Superman
and Batman join forces to track down the real Monkey Burglar, who
they discover is really a boy named Billy Riggs.
NOTES: This story aired on the Superman radio series from Feb. 12–25, 1947.
Superman radio (Feb. 1947)
Robin relates to Batman and Alfred how he uncovered a gang of
crooks using a reform school called Boyville to
train kids to steal. ?/WM/CP
NOTES: This story launched Robin's solo feature in Star-Spangled Comics, which ran through issue #130 (July 1952).
Star-Spangled Comics #65 (Feb. 1947)
Notorious gang leader and gambler "Sure Thing" Smiley blackmails Mayor Carfax into removing Commissioner Gordon from office. Gordon is replaced by a man named Vane, who, on the mayor's orders, reassigns Gordon as a uniformed officer and strips Batman and Robin of their special deputy status, putting the Dynamic Duo at odds with the police department. Batman eventually manages to outwit Smiley, eliminating the gambler's leverage over the mayor and landing Smiley himself in jail. Gordon is reinstated as commissioner and Batman and Robin regain their deputy status. Howard Sherman?/DS
Detective #121 (March 1947)
The Catwoman escapes from prison and launches a new series of robberies. She is thwarted by Batman and Robin, but manages to elude them in her new cat-like "Kitty Car," once again leaving the Dynamic Duo uncertain if she is alive or dead. ?/BK/CP
Detective #122 (April 1947)
Bruce Wayne fakes his own death to expose crooked attorney Henry Bush, who has forged a new version of Bruce's will designed to put much of the Wayne estate into Bush's own pockets. ?/DS/Gene McDonald
Batman #40  (April/May 1947)
Superman enlists the help of Batman and Robin to retrieve a piece
of Kryptonite from crooked politician "Big George" Latimer,
but the Caped Crusaders fail to prevent Latimer from using the
Kryptonite to ambush and kidnap the Man of Steel. During the weeks
that follow, Batman and Robin search frantically for their missing
friend as Superman, stricken with amnesia, begins a new career
as a baseball pitching sensation. Batman and Robin are eventually
reunited with Superman, Latimer and his men are killed, and the
three heroes dispose of the Kryptonite at sea, where it can never
again threaten the Man of Steel.
NOTES: This storyline aired on the Superman radio series from May 14 through June 27, 1947; Big George Latimer had first appeared on the Superman radio series earlier in the season, debuting on Sept. 3, 1946. A very similar story, albeit without Batman and Robin, appeared in Superman #77 (July/Aug. 1952); that story was written by Bill Finger with art by Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye.
Superman radio (May-June 1947)
Batman and Robin visit the planet Mars, where they defeat the
malevolent Sax Gola. GF/DS
NOTES: This story was the first time Batman and Robin visited another planet.
Batman #41  (June/July 1947)
Per Degaton, the power-mad assistant of Professor
Malachi Zee, shoots his employer and steals the professor's time
machine. Degaton then assembles an army of criminals, arms them
with military weapons, and takes them back in time to 331 B.C.,
where they cause Alexander the Great to be
defeated at the Battle of Arbela. In the present, most modern technology
begins to vanish, save for the weapons and equipment specially
prepared by Degaton. The Justice Society of America thwarts Degaton's
subsequent attempt to conquer the world, rescuing Professor Zee
and traveling back to 331 B.C. to undo Degaton's tampering, which
causes everyone involved to lose all memory of these events. JB/IH
NOTES: Although portions of this adventure take place in Gotham City, Batman and Robin do not appear and are not mentioned. This was the first textual appearance of both Degaton and Professor Zee, but All-Star Squadron #2 (Oct. 1981), set in 1941, established that Zee had previously been part of the Time Trust, an organization of (unnamed) scientists who had appeared in All-Star Comics #10 (April/May 1942); All-Star Squadron #2 was Degaton and Zee's first chronological appearance. In the post-Crisis universe, Degaton was an ally of the android Mekanique, aiding her in her attempt to destroy the All-Star Squadron in 1942 (Young All-Stars Annual #1 (July 1988) and later receiving her assistance in making Zee's time machine operational (Infinity, Inc. Annual #2 (July 1988). It is unclear if that was also the case on Earth-Two.
All-Star #35 (June/July 1947)
Per Degaton recovers his memories of his previous attempt to
conquer the world, shoots Professor Zee, and steals the professor's
time machine. Recruiting an army of costumed villains from his
own time, Degaton then travels back to Dec. 1941, where he attempts
to conquer the world on the eve of America's entry into World War
II. Although he succeeds in capturing many of the most prominent
heroes of that era — including Batman and Robin — and
preventing them from intervening in the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, Degaton is ultimately defeated by the newly
formed All-Star Squadron. Afterward, Degaton is again returned
to his own time with no memory of these events. RT/RiB/JO
NOTES: This was Degaton's second (recorded) attempt at changing history.
Justice League of America #193, All-Star Squadron #1–3 (Sept.-Nov. 1981)
For the third time, Per Degaton regains his memory of his previous
attempts at world conquest and again steals Professor Zee's time
machine. With the aid of Earth-Three's Crime Syndicate of America, Degaton
travels back in time to the year 1942 and attempts to conquer Earth-Two using
atomic weapons stolen from Earth-Prime 20 years in the future, during that world's Cuban
Missile Crisis. Degaton and his cohorts are eventually
defeated by the combined forces of the 1980s Justice Society and
Justice League of America and the 1940s All-Star Squadron, who
succeed in undoing his tampering with history. Once again, everyone
involved is stripped of all memory of these events. RT/GC/JO/DH
NOTES: Although labeled "Book Two," most of the events of All-Star Squadron #14 chronologically precede those of Justice League of America #209, which is labeled "Book One." Although this was Degaton's third recorded attempt to conquer the world by altering history, it is possible that he actually made many such attempts, all of which ended the same way: with his being returned to 1947 with no memory of what has transpired. Earth-Three's Crime Syndicate of America, the evil counterparts of Earth-One's Justice League of America, first appeared in Justice League of America #29 (Aug. 1964), written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs.
Justice League of America #207–209, All-Star Squadron #14–15 (Oct.–Dec. 1982)
For the fourth and final time, Per Degaton regains his memory
of his previous attempts to conquer the world by changing history.
Charging into Professor Zee's laboratory, Degaton shoots the professor,
who stumbles backward into the time machine, activating it. The
machine disappears, leaving Degaton with nothing to do but wait
for it to reappear at its pre-programmed destination: Professor Zee's
100th birthday on Nov. 29, 1984. RT/HW/AA
NOTES: Degaton's next chronological appearance was with the Injustice Society in All-Star Comics #37 (Oct./Nov. 1947), after which he spent many years in prison before resurfacing in All-Star Comics #59 (March/April 1976). As seen in Infinity, Inc. Annual #2 (July 1988), similar events also took place in the post-Crisis universe, although it appears Zee's 100th birthday was somewhat later in post-Crisis continuity than on Earth-Two.
(America vs. the JSA #4, April 1985)
Batman fills in for the Atom in a Justice Society mission, helping
the JSA solve the mystery of the Koehaha, the so-called Stream
of Ruthlessness, which causes seemingly drowned men to return
to life, stripped of conscience. RK?/JB/IH/?
NOTES: Neither the precise authorship of this story nor the identity of the artist who drew the Batman chapter have ever been definitively established; see Roy Thomas' 2000 book The All-Star Companion for a further discussion. Although Batman and Superman are prominently featured on the cover of this issue, historian Jerry Bails believes that only the introduction and conclusion of the story were specifically written to reflect their presence. Bails suspects that the Batman chapter was originally written for the Atom and the Superman chapter for the absent Johnny Thunder. In any event, this was the only time during the Golden Age that Batman actively participated in a JSA adventure and the first time Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman all appeared together in the same comic book story. The story's first chapter establishes that the JSA members are not aware of Batman's secret identity at this time, although Bruce Wayne clearly knows theirs.
All-Star Comics #36 (Aug./Sept. 1947)
Batman and Robin battle Dr. Hercules, an
unscrupulous millionaire inventor who has created a trio of powerful
robots to commit crimes in Gotham City. BF/CP
NOTES: This story, entitled "The Robot Raiders," is reprinted in 3-D in Batman Adventures in Amazing 3-D Action (1953), the first time a Batman adventure was published in 3-D.
Batman #42  (Aug./Sept. 1947)
After Superman has been incapacitated by a secret "atomic
ray" being tested by the U.S. Navy, Batman and Robin help
the Man of Steel battle racketeer and gambler Joe
NOTES: This story aired on the Superman radio series from Nov. 27 through Dec. 26, 1947. The uncredited actor playing Joe Solitaire manages a fairly convincing imitation of actor Peter Lorre throughout the storyline.
Superman radio (Sept.–Oct. 1947)
Batman and Robin defeat Joe Coyne, the so-called "Penny
Plunderer," a deranged criminal obsessed with pennies.
A giant penny used by Coyne later becomes one of the most famous
trophies in the Batcave. BF/DS
NOTES: A post-Crisis version of Joe Coyne appeared in Batman Chronicles #19 (Fall 1999).
World's Finest #30 (Oct. 1947)
Batman and Robin are abducted by a man calling himself Jones
(although his real name is later revealed to be Mort Beeler) who
has somehow discovered Batman's true identity. "Jones" arranges
for an accomplice to impersonate Batman and speak out publicly
against the Marshall Plan and other programs intended to aid war-ravaged
Europe while Jones himself attempts to gain control of Bruce Wayne's
fortune. Batman and Robin are finally rescued by Superman while
Jones and his accomplice perish in a fire intended to kill the
NOTES: This story aired on the Superman radio series Feb. 3–17, 1948. The Marshall Plan, an ambitious (and ultimately very successful) program to provide financial assistance for 17 European nations, was proposed by U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall in a speech on June 5, 1947 and carried out from April 1948 through Dec. 1951 at a cost of about $13 billion.
Superman radio (Feb.–March 1948)
Offended at being left out of a new book by author Neil Weston entitled The Lady Rogues, Catwoman breaks out of prison to begin a new crime spree. After being recaptured by Batman and Robin, she is visited by Weston, who informs her — to her chagrin — that she was omitted from his book only because he is already planning to write a book about her. BW/DS
Batman #45  (Feb./March 1948)
After one of his spare Superman costumes is stolen from a hidden closet in his
apartment, Clark Kent enlists Bruce Wayne's help in preventing gangster Biggie Conroy from discovering Clark's secret identity.
NOTES: This story aired on the Superman radio series from March 10 through April 1, 1948. It may have been written by Ben Peter Freeman, who later wrote an episode of the Adventures of Superman TV series (aired Dec. 12, 1952) with the same title and premise. The TV version, which did not include Bruce Wayne, had a somewhat different plot with a significantly different ending. (That episode may have been more directly based on a half-hour radio version of this story that aired on Jan. 16, 1951, recordings of which are not known to survive.) In the radio series, Clark Kent lives in the Maple Crest Apartments. In the comic books, his apartment was at 344 Clinton Street, Apartment 3-B while on television he lived in Apartment 5-H of the Standish Arms Apartments.
Superman radio (March–April 1948)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time to 15th-century Milan, Italy, where they meet Leonardo Da Vinci. DC/DS
Batman #46  (Apr. 1948)
Professor Carter Nichols summons Batman and Robin back in time to 19th-century Europe, where the Caped Crusaders witness the events that inspired author Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. EH/LS/CP
Detective #135 (May 1948)
May 22–24, 1948: Robin single-handedly apprehends the notorious Barton Brothers after the Bartons have shot and badly wounded Batman. NOTES: Although this issue has a November cover date, the text explicitly says that Batman was shot on May 22. The succeeding events appear to take place over the next two days. BF/JM
Star-Spangled Comics #86 (Nov. 1948)
After Superman has captured a gang of hijackers out west, he returns to
Metropolis to discover that Batman and Robin have already rounded up the
NOTES: Batman appears briefly only in the final May 3, 1948 installment of this Superman radio adventure, which was entitled "The Crossword Puzzle Mystery." Curiously, the gang leaders' defeat is not actually depicted (Batman simply tells Superman they're already in custody), suggesting that this storyline may have been cut short for some reason.
Superman radio (May 1948)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time to the year 1667, where they battle pirate Henry Morgan. ?/DS
Detective #136 (June 1948)
Catwoman breaks out of prison and begins a new scheme that involves masquerading as "Madame Moderne," publisher of a new fashion magazine called Damsel. BF/LS
Batman #47  (June/July 1948)
Batman finally encounters Joe Chill, the man who
murdered Thomas and Martha Wayne. Realizing that he doesn't have enough
evidence to convince a jury of Chill's guilt, Batman reveals his true identity to
the killer, promising to hound him until Chill pays the price for his crime. Chill
is subsequently shot and killed by his own men after telling them that
his long-ago crime effectively created the Batman, expiring of his wounds
without ever revealing Batman's real name. BF/BK/LS
NOTES: This was the first time the name of the Waynes' murderer was revealed. As revealed in Untold Legend of the Batman #1 (July 1980), these events also took place in nearly identical form on Earth-One. Chill was also the Waynes' killer in post-Crisis continuity, eventually dying at the hands of the Reaper during the second year of Batman's career, as shown in Detective Comics #575–578 (June–Sept. 1987). Batman #0 (Oct. 1994), published following 1994's Zero Hour: Crisis in Time crossover event, established that in post-Zero Hour continuity, Batman never identified his parents' killer. In the wake of Infinite Crisis, however, Chill was again shown to be the Waynes' murderer, as shown in Batman #673 (March 2008) (which may be regarded as the Earth-0 version of the events described above).
Batman #47  (June/July 1948)
Batman and Robin travel to Shanghai with Superman to investigate
a group of smugglers, led by the ruthless Roger
Kilburn, that is bringing deadly radioactive diamonds into
the United States via a tiny meteoric island off the China coast.
NOTES: This story, entitled "The Secret of Meteor Island," aired on the Superman radio series from June 14 through July 6, 1948.
Superman radio (June–July 1948)
Batman enlists Superman's help to pursue escaped killer Butcher
Stark after a freak accident in a "sonic laboratory" outside
Metropolis gives Stark the power to emit a highly destructive,
high-frequency sound. Stark briefly allies himself with one of
Superman's old enemies, the Scarlet Widow, but eventually kills
her in an argument and leads Superman and Batman on a wild cross-country
chase before he is finally defeated by Superman.
NOTES: This story aired on the Superman radio series July 7–30, 1948. The Scarlet Widow first appeared on The Adventures of Superman radio show on Sept. 26, 1945. She had apparently perished during the earlier saga, but she was evidently tougher than she appeared.
Superman radio (July 1948)
Fugitive public enemy Wolf Brando breaks
into Wayne Manor and accidentally discovers the secret entrance
to the Batcave. When Batman and Robin come after him, Brando turns
their own equipment and trophies against them. Brando is eventually startled
by a cloud of bats, falls into one of the Batcave's underground rivers, and drowns. BF/JM
NOTES: Although the Batman newspaper strip had first depicted the Batcave as a natural cave (rather than a basement or underground bunker) in Dec. 1943, this was the first comic book story to do so.
Batman #48  (Aug./Sept. 1948)
Crooked carnival puzzle-master Edward Nigma decides to challenge
Batman and Robin as the Riddler. BF/DS
NOTES: A flashback sequence in this story, set during the Riddler's childhood, makes clear that "Nigma" is indeed the Earth-Two Riddler's real name. In post-Crisis continuity, the Riddler was born Edward Nashton, but later legally changed his name to Edward Nigma, a fact established in The Question #26 (March 1989). This story later became the basis for a two-part episode of the Batman television series, "Batman's Anniversary"/"A Riddling Controversy." The teleplay for that episode was written by William P. D'Angelo; it originally aired Feb. 8–9, 1967.
Detective #140 (Oct. 1948)
Batman and Robin battle the Mad Hatter and
meet Vicki Vale, a beautiful photojournalist
determined to uncover the secret of Batman's true identity. BF/LS/CP
NOTES: The Vicki Vale character was clearly inspired by Lois Lane, but Bob Kane later asserted that Vale's appearance was based on that of Norma Jeane Baker, whom Kane claimed to have met shortly before she changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. This story's version of the Mad Hatter, clearly inspired by the character in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865), was the first of two Batman villains of that name. In pre-Crisis continuity, this Hatter (whose real name was never revealed) was not the same as Jervis Tetch, the hat-obsessed Mad Hatter who debuted in Detective Comics #230 (April 1956) and later appeared on the Batman television series, where he was portrayed by actor David Wayne. Both Hatters had counterparts on Earth-One; the original, Carroll-inspired villain resurfaced in Detective Comics #510 (Jan. 1982), claiming to have murdered Tetch, whom he described as "the impostor." That claim was evidently false, as the second Hatter subsequently reappeared in Detective Comics #573 (April 1987) and briefly in Secret Origins #44  (Sept. 1989). Many subsequent post-Crisis accounts have conflated the two characters, giving the Carroll-obsessed Hatter's real name as Jervis Tetch, although the second Hatter was glimpsed briefly in Batman #700 (Oct. 2010), his only post-Infinite Crisis. (It is possible, although it seems unlikely, that the second Hatter appropriated the original Hatter's real name as well as his nom de crime.)
Batman #49  (Oct./Nov. 1948)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time 1,000 years to the city of Baghdad, where, as Batman and Robin, they encounter the villainous Crier. ?/LS/CP
Batman #49  (Oct./Nov. 1948)
Batman and Robin have a second encounter with the Riddler. BF/DS
NOTES: This story was the Riddler's final Golden Age appearance. His Earth-One counterpart, whose early history was very similar, resurfaced in Batman #171 (May 1965), the issue that purportedly inspired the creation of the Batman television series.
Detective #142 (Dec. 1948)
Batman once again helps Clark Kent protect the secret of Clark's
dual identity after Clark's suspicious friends set an elaborate
trap intended to prove that Clark is Superman.
NOTES: This radio storyline, entitled "Superman's Secret," originally aired Dec. 20–29, 1948. It was Batman's final appearance on the Superman radio series, which continued for another two years.
Superman radio (Dec. 1948)
Harvey Kent's butler commits a series of robberies disguised as Two-Face, after drugging his employer to ensure that Harvey has no alibi. Batman and Robin ultimately capture "Two-Face" and prove that Harvey has not returned to crime. BF/LS/CP
Batman #50  (Dec. 1948/Jan. 1949)
While pursuing gangster "Big Jack" Bancroft,
Batman appears on Kay Kyser's quiz show Kollege [sic] of
Musical Knowledge and apprehends a henchman of Bancroft's who
has impersonated Kyser's saxophonist, Eddie Blinn. EH/DS
NOTES: Kollege of Musical Knowledge was a popular real-world radio show hosted by band leader Kay Kyser (James Kern Kyser, 1905–1985) and his sidekick, Ishkabibble (Mervyn Bogue). It ran on NBC from 1938 to 1950 and was briefly revived as a television series in 1954, now hosted by country singer Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Detective #144 (Feb. 1949)
A gangster named Sleepy steals Batman's utility belt and commissions an underworld technician, Prof. Carl Galt, to make duplicates full of tools for committing crimes. ?/JM/WM NOTES: The same premise was recycled in more colorful form in Batman #73 (Oct./Nov. 1952), there involving the Joker. This story asserts that Batman's utility belt contains an ordinary glass marble, which Batman uses to imitate the sound of footsteps on a staircase. The marble returns in Detective Comics #173 (July 1951), q.v., where Batman explains that it has another, far less plausible purpose.
Star Spangled Comics #89 (Feb. 1949)
A blow to the head causes Dick Grayson to suffer a bout of temporary amnesia, leaving him with no recollection of his life with Bruce Wayne or his career as Robin. Batman resorts to various increasingly convoluted tricks in hopes of jarring Dick's memory, which returns only after Dick sees Batman in apparently mortal danger. ?/DS
Detective #145 (March 1949)
Robin stages a mystery for Batman's birthday by "stealing" a
trophy from the Batcave. BF/JM
NOTES: This story establishes that Bruce Wayne's birthday is the 7th of the month; World's Finest Comics #33 (March/April 1948) had previously established the month as April, a point this issue appears to support.
Star-Spangled Comics #91 (April 1949)
After helping Bruce Wayne fake his own death as part of a plan
to outwit the Thinker, Alfred is arrested for
murdering his employer. Although Alfred is convicted of that crime
and sent to prison, he is nonetheless able to help Batman and Robin
capture the Thinker and his gang. Alfred's conviction is later
overturned after Batman reveals publicly that Bruce Wayne is not
NOTES: This Thinker was not the same as Clifford Devoe, the villainous former district attorney who fought the Golden Age Flash. That villain, created by Gardner Fox and E. E. Hibbard, first appeared in All-Flash Comics #12 (Fall 1943).
Batman #52  (April/May 1949)
Archaeologists discover an ancient bust of a Viking warrior who looks uncannily like Bruce Wayne, with an inscription that seems to suggest that the man was a coward. To discover the truth, Bruce and Dick Grayson travel back in time to 10th-century Norway to meet that warrior, Olaf Erickson. BF/DS
Batman #52  (April/May 1949)
Batman and Robin discover that a gangster called Mr. Napoleon has commissioned "thwarted movie director" Len Daniker to make a series of films for underworld audiences, showing heroic crooks triumphing over foolish policemen and actors playing the Dynamic Duo. When Daniker and Napoleon discover that Batman has infiltrated their latest production, they attempt to trick him into performing a real-life death scene. ?/JM NOTES: The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 explicitly forbade films that presented crime in a sympathetic light, although that stricture was honored more in the breach than in the observance. A similar story, this time involving the Joker, appeared in Detective Comics #671–673 (Feb.–April 1994), by Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan, and Scott Hanna.
Star Spangled Comics #94 (July 1949)
Batman and Robin take on a mysterious masked criminal called the
NOTES: These events were depicted only in Columbia Pictures' Batman and Robin, a 15-chapter serial released in 1949. Robert Lowery starred as Batman, John Duncan as Robin, Lyle Talbot as Commissioner Gordon, and Jane Dams as Vicki Vale. The serial was written by George H. Plympton, Joseph F. Poland, and Royal K. Cole and was directed by Spencer Bennet. The Wizard in the serial has no relationship to the recurring JSA villain of the same name.
Batman film serial (1949)
Batman and Robin investigate the strange case of a man who claims
to have been driven to murder after receiving the transplanted
hands of a deceased killer. ?/?
NOTES: This story was probably inspired by Maurice Renard's 1920 novel Les mains d'Orlac (The Hands of Orlac) or one of its numerous film adaptations, such as the 1924 German silent film Orlacs Hände, directed by Robert Wiene and starring actor Conrad Veidt.
World's Finest #41 (July/Aug. 1949)
Professor Carter Nichols sends Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson back in time to 13th century China, where, as Batman and Robin, they meet Kubla Khan and Marco Polo. EH/JM
World's Finest #42 (Sept./Oct. 1949)
To keep a promise he made to a dying Gotham City policeman, Bruce Wayne joins the force while Alfred masquerades as Batman to help preserve Bruce's secret identity. Officer Wayne apprehends a bandit called the Longshoreman Kid before turning in his badge. ?/LS/CP
Batman #55  (Oct./Nov. 1949)
Batman and Robin have another battle with international spymaster
Count Florian. BF/LS/CP
NOTES: This story refers to a previous encounter between the Dynamic Duo and the Count not depicted in any other published story.
World's Finest #43 (Dec. 1949/Jan. 1950)
Nov. 4, 1949: Crooked private eye Joe
Flint shoots G-man Terry Collins, who was investigating a
counterfeiting operation run by Flint. After learning that Collins
survived the shooting, Flint attempts to join the Bullet-Hole
Club — an organization of law-enforcement officials
(including Batman) who have been wounded in the line of duty — in
hopes of assassinating Collins before doctors can remove the
bullets from Collins' body, which can be traced to Flint's gun. DV?/WM/CP?
NOTES: Batman is said to be the president of the Bullet-Hole Club by virtue of having sustained the most bullet wounds; according to this story, he has been shot nine times. This story contained perhaps the most elaborate of the giant props that appeared in many 1940s and 1950s Batman stories: a collection of fully functional giant handgun replicas.
World's Finest #50 (Feb./March 1951)
The dying president of the Latin American nation of Mantegua asks Batman and Robin to select and train a native Manteguan crimefighter, Bat-Hombre, to fight the notorious bandit El Papagayo. The man the Dynamic Duo selects, Luis Peralda, turns out to be an accomplice of El Papagayo, but Batman ultimately takes over the role of Bat-Hombre long enough to arrest the bandit's entire gang. DV/DS NOTES: "El Papagayo" is Spanish for "the parrot." In post-Infinite Crisis continuity, El Papagayo was an adversary of the Argentine crimefighter El Gaucho, as seen in Batman Incorporated v.1 #3 (March 2011).
Batman #56  (Dec. 1949/Jan. 1950)
While Batman is out of town, Robin adopts a dog named Duke, who has been trained to attack policemen (or Batman and Robin) on sight. Robin eventually succeeds in retraining the dog, who helps him discover loot hidden by Duke's former owner. ?/JM NOTES: This story implies that Robin intends to keep Duke, which was not the case, although this story foreshadows the later introduction of Ace the Bat-Hound in Batman #92 (June 1955). When Robin confronts the gang of the dog's former owner, the Boy Wonder holds the crooks at bay with a captured automatic pistol, something Batman would not normally have tolerated during this period, even in an emergency.
Star Spangled Comics #100 (Jan. 1950)
Bruce Wayne begins dating reporter Vicki Vale. ?/BK/LS/CP NOTES: Since Dick Grayson invited Vicki Vale to Bruce Wayne's birthday party in Star Spangled Comics #91 (April 1949), it's possible that Bruce and Vicki were already dating at this point. Considering Vicki's expressed disdain for Bruce in most of her early appearances, calling them friends seems a stretch.
Detective #155 (Jan. 1950)
While pursuing a gang of crooks, the Batmobile is destroyed in
a spectacular crash that nearly cripples Batman. Batman and Robin
respond by building a larger, more powerful, even better equipped
new Batmobile. JSa/DS/SK
NOTES: The new Batmobile introduced in this story was used by Batman and Robin through the spring of 1964.
Detective #156 (Feb. 1950)
Batman and Robin add their 1,000th and 1,001st trophies to the Batcave. Their celebration is short-lived, however, as they are stalked by the ruthless Dr. Doom, a cunning criminal who has inadvertently smuggled himself into the Batcave. After attacking the Caped Crusaders with various items from the Hall of Trophies, Doom is accidentally suffocated while seeking shelter from the explosion of his own hand grenade. BF?/JM
Detective #158 (April 1950)
Hoping to attract the interest of Robin, Dick Grayson's classmate Mary Wills, trains to become Roberta, the Girl Wonder, with her own green, yellow, and red costume and an ingenious "crime-compact" full of crime-fighting equipment. She finally gives up her new guise after her mask falls off turning a televised interview, revealing her true identity to the world. ?/JM NOTES: Although this was her sole appearance, Mary Wills is an obvious prototype for Betty Kane, the first Bat-Girl, introduced in Batman #139 (April 1961), by Bill Finger, Sheldon Moldoff, and Charles Paris, as well as Barbara Gordon, the Silver Age Batgirl.
Star Spangled Comics #103 (April 1950)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time to witness the Gold Rush in 1854 California, where, as Batman and Robin, they fight bandit Joaquín Murrieta. BF/DS/CP
Batman #58  (April/May 1950)
Batman acquires a new rival: Deadshot, a
gun-toting masked hero who fights crime with extraordinarily accurate
feats of marksmanship. Batman eventually discovers that Deadshot
is secretly playboy Floyd Lawton and exposes Deadshot's true ambitions,
which are to destroy Batman and take over Gotham's underworld. DV/LS/CP
NOTES: This was Deadshot's only Golden Age appearance. His Earth-One counterpart, who had a similar early career, escaped from prison in Detective Comics #474 (May/June 1977), adopted a new costume and weaponry, and became a professional killer. In the post-Crisis universe, Deadshot subsequently became an operative of a covert government agency known as the Suicide Squad. A detailed account of Lawton's post-Crisis background, including his troubled family history, is provided in the four-issue Deadshot mini-series (1988), written John Ostrander and Kim Yale with art by Luke McDonnell. It is unclear if any of that information was also applicable to the Earth-Two Floyd Lawton.
Batman #59  (June/July 1950)
Professor Carter Nichols accidentally sends Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson forward in time to the year 2050, where, as Batman and Robin, they meet Police Chief Rekoj, a law-abiding descendant of the Joker. BF/LS/CP
Batman #59  (June/July 1950)
The criminal Boley Brothers recover the downed Batplane and carry out a series of daring aerial hijacks using the captured plane and two hastily constructed duplicates, all of which are armed with heavy cannon. In response, Batman and Robin build an advanced new aircraft, a sleek, swept-wing jet that they dub Batplane II. EH/DS/CP
Batman #61  (Oct./Nov. 1950)
The Secret Service unexpectedly escorts Dick Grayson to the White House in Washington, D.C., where President Harry Truman gives him a medal for having saved Robin and Commissioner Gordon a week earlier, events Dick modestly attributes to a plan concocted by Robin. ?/JM NOTES: Harry S. Truman (1884–1972) became president following the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, and held that office until the inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in January 1953.
Star Spangled Comics #110 (Nov. 1950)
Oct. 1950: After being struck on the head by a falling
brick while attempting to save Batman from a collapsing building,
the Catwoman reveals that her real name is Selina Kyle and pretends
confusion about her costume, the name "Catwoman," and
even the current date. After listening to her story, Batman concludes
that Selina has been suffering amnesia since a plane crash 10 years
earlier, the last thing she claims to remember. Selina subsequently "regains" enough
of her memory to help Batman and Robin apprehend her former accomplice, Mister
X, after which she announces her intention to hang up her costume
for good. BF?/LS/CP
NOTES: The date of these events is established by a calendar in the Batcave. This was the first time Catwoman's real name was ever revealed. Although this story suggests that Selina's memory loss story is genuine, she subsequently confessed (in Brave and the Bold #197 (April 1983), set in 1955) that the whole thing was a fabrication, a desperate attempt to end her criminal career and make a fresh start. It is unclear if any part of the amnesia story was true or if Batman ever attempted to verify it. Also unclear is whether Selina faced any additional prison time, particularly considering that she had just broken out of jail! Since she was free in her next appearance in Batman #65  (June/July 1951), published only six months later, it is possible that her sentence was commuted.
Batman #62  (Dec. 1950/Jan. 1951)
Batman and Robin meet the Knight and the
Squire, a pair of armor-clad English heroes (secretly the
Earl of Wordenshire and his son Cyril) who have become England's
answer to the Dynamic Duo. EH/DS/LS
NOTES: The Knight's full name is not given in this story, but the character's post-Crisis appearances established his name as Percival (Percy) Sheldrake, later the Earl of Wordenshire. According to Young All-Stars #22–27 (Jan.–July 1989), Percy Sheldrake began his heroic career in 1942 as the first Squire, battling the Nazis alongside the Shining Knight; according to Infinity, Inc. #34 (Jan. 1987), Percy was later captured and spent the remainder of the war as a (presumably German) POW. It is unclear if those events had any parallel on Earth-Two, but if they did, Cyril was born in 1941, making him about 10 years old at the time of this story. In the post-Zero Hour timeline, Percy was considerably younger, probably an approximate contemporary of the modern Batman, while Cyril was roughly the same age as Dick Grayson. As revealed in JLA Classified #1–3 (Jan.–March 2005) and Batman #667–669 (Sept.-Oct. 2007), Percy was eventually murdered by his arch-enemy, Springheeled Jack, and succeeded by Cyril. A girl named Beryl Hutchinson later joined Cyril as the new Squire. Cyril and Beryl's first appearance as the Knight and Squire was in JLA #26 (Feb. 1999), drawn by Howard Porter and written by Grant Morrison, who was primarily responsible for the characters' revival.
Batman #62  (Dec. 1950/Jan. 1951)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson travel back in time to ancient Egypt, where, as Batman and Robin, they meet Cleopatra. BF/DS/CP
Detective #167 (Jan. 1951)
The Joker briefly resumes his guise as the Red
Hood in order to rob the payroll of State University, where
Batman is teaching a seminar in criminology. Afterward, the Harlequin
of Hate is waylaid by ex-convict "Farmerboy" Benson,
who steals the Red Hood costume and helmet and uses them to commit
several additional robberies. Batman and his students eventually
capture and unmask the false Red Hood, who they have already
deduced could not be the original, and find the Joker, bound
and gagged in a tool shed. The Joker proceeds to explain how
his original career as the Red Hood led to his new appearance
and identity, something even Batman had never known. BF/SM/GR
NOTES: This was the first time the Joker's origin was ever revealed; none of the Clown Prince of Crime's previous appearances offered any explanation of his unusual hair and skin color.
Detective #168 (Feb. 1951)
The mayor of Gotham City gives Robin a new badge commemorating his role as an official member of Gotham's law enforcement community. Gangster "Toothy" Riggs, determined to steal the badge for his private collection, anonymously gives Robin a compact "Robinmobile" as part of an elaborate plan to invade the Batcave. ?/JM NOTES: Since Batman and Robin had been deputized members of the Gotham Police since Batman #7 (Oct./Nov. 1941), the badge Robin receives in this story is presumably just a token of esteem rather than a change in his official status.
Star Spangled Comics #113 (Feb. 1951)
Batman and Robin face Killer Moth, an ex-convict
who has established himself as the underworld counterpart of Batman,
complete with "Mothmobile" and "Moth Cave," as
well as a secret identity as millionaire Cameron Van Cleer. BF/LS
NOTES: Although some of Killer Moth's subsequent Earth-One and post-Crisis appearances treat "Cameron Van Cleer" as the villain's real name, this story makes clear that it is a pseudonym. The Earth-Two Killer Moth's real name was never revealed. The idea of an evil version of Batman has been revisited several times over the years. Other villainous counterparts include the Wrath (introduced in Batman Special #1 (1984)) and Prometheus (introduced in New Year's Evil: Prometheus (Feb. 1998)).
Batman #63  (Feb./March 1951)
March 1951: Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Clark Kent
are in the audience when the Justice Society of America is brought
before the Combined Congressional Un-American Activities
Committee to answer questions about the JSA's alleged involvement
with a foreign agent. When the committee chairman, Senator O'Fallon,
demands that the JSA members unmask and reveal their true identities
to the committee, the heroes choose instead to vanish dramatically.
Wonder Woman is subsequently cleared of any suspicion thanks to
her connections with Army Intelligence, but the other active JSAers
opt to retire. Afterward, Superman, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman
are among the few costumed heroes still active in the U.S. PL/JSt/BL
(Adventure #466) / RT/RK/AA (America vs. the JSA #1)
NOTES: The story in Adventure Comics #466 sought to retroactively explain why the JSA disappeared and retired after their final Golden Age appearance in All-Star Comics #57 (Feb./March 1951). The recap of these events in America vs. the Justice Society #1 adds the presence of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Clark Kent, which is actually inconsistent with the original story — Adventure Comics #466 explicitly states that the congressional proceedings were a closed session, not open to the public or press! The Combined Congressional Un-American Activities Committee was the Earth-Two version of Earth-Prime's House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC). HUAC, organized in 1938 as the Special Committee on Unamerican Activities and renamed in 1945, carried out a witch hunt for alleged Communists and subversives throughout the 1940s and 1950s. It was renamed the House Internal Security Committee in 1969 and disbanded in 1975. Senator O'Fallon, not named in the original story, was clearly modeled on anti-Communist demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wisconsin), and in fact the original story's artwork strongly implies that the committee chairman is McCarthy. However, America vs. the Justice Society later established that the Earth-Two McCarthy died in a car crash in 1950 and indicated that the chairman of the committee was Sen. O'Fallon, who was described as McCarthy's successor. (On Earth-Prime, Joseph McCarthy died in 1957 at the age of 48 and had no direct connection with HUAC, which was a House committee.)
(Adventure #466, Nov./Dec. 1979), (America vs. the JSA #1, Jan. 1985)
March 21, 1951: Following the disbandment of the JSA, Batman and Superman visit JSA headquarters in Gotham City to secure the JSA's secret files, only to discover those files have already been rifled by Hawkman's old foe, the Gentleman Ghost. PL/GP/Bob Wiacek NOTES: This story, a crossover with DC's contemporary Infinite Crisis event, was explicitly set on the pre-Crisis Earth-Two; these events were a flashback described in the diary of Earth-Two's Lois Lane-Kent. The Gentleman Ghost's first appearance was in Flash Comics #88 (Oct. 1947), by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert, although he later moved to Earth-One and fought Earth-One's Batman on a number of occasions.
(Justice Society of America v.2 #82, April 2006)
Robin clashes with the immortal menace Dante Leonardo, who has survived, ageless and apparently unkillable, since the early 15th century. Although Robin destroys the last remnants of the elixir that made Leonardo immortal, the villain again escapes, although it appears Leonardo is subsequently killed when he attempts to hide out on Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. Robin records everything he's learned about Leonardo's long life for the Batcave files, but he's skeptical that anyone will ever believe it. ?/JM NOTES: Bikini Atoll, a coral atoll in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, was the site of 67 nuclear tests between July 1946 and July 1958.
Star Spangled Comics #116 (May 1951)
Batman agrees to train a new crimefighter called Wingman for
an unnamed country in Northern Europe. Much to the dismay of Robin,
who is recuperating from a broken leg, Wingman briefly becomes
Batman's new partner, although that role is actually a ruse intended
to mislead the criminals of Wingman's native land. BF/LS/CP
NOTES: Wingman's nationality is not revealed in this story, although he is said to be a naturalized U.S. citizen. In post-Infinite Crisis continuity, Wingman later became a member of the Club of Heroes (which he was not on Earth-Two) and, according to Batman #669 (Nov. 2007), subsequently joined forces with John Mayhew in a conspiracy against the other members.
Batman #65  (June/July 1951)
Gangster "Whale" Morton comes up with an elaborate scheme to lure Selina Kyle — who has been running her own pet store in downtown Gotham — out of retirement. Selina briefly resumes her role as Catwoman, but only long enough to help engineer Morton's capture and arrest. BF/LS/CP
Batman #65  (June/July 1951)
Killer Moth discovers Batman's secret identity after kidnapping the real Bruce Wayne in hopes of assuming Bruce's identity. Joined by an unsuspecting Dick Grayson, the Moth briefly impersonates both Bruce Wayne and Batman, but Bruce eventually escapes and alerts Dick to the imposture. Before the Caped Crusaders can arrest the Moth, he is shot and nearly killed by a disgruntled underworld client, destroying the remnants of the villain's disguise and causing brain damage that robs him of any memory of recent events. ?/LS/CP NOTES: This was the final Golden Age appearance of Killer Moth. His Earth-One counterpart, whose early history was substantially similar, next appeared in Justice League of America #35 (June 1965). While a captive of the Moth in this story, the real Batman convinces Robin of his identity by noting the presence of a glass marble in his utility belt (first seen in Star Spangled Comics #89, Feb. 1949), which he claims they can use to feign death by holding the marble under one arm to cut off their pulse.
Detective #173 (July 1951)
Batman briefly impersonates Commissioner Gordon after the commissioner's life is threatened by a criminal Gordon once sent to prison. ?/DS
World's Finest #53 (Aug./Sept. 1951)
At a loss for new schemes, the Joker decides to hire an assortment of "gag writers" to plan his crimes. DV/LS/CP
Batman #67  (Oct./Nov. 1951)
Robin meets Brane Taylor, the Batman of the
31st century, and travels with Taylor to the year 3051 to battle
the interplanetary villain Yerxa. BF/DS/CP
NOTES: The Robin of the 31st century is as described Taylor's nephew, who for some reason is not named in either this story or Taylor's subsequent appearance in Detective Comics #216 (March 1955).
Batman #67  (Oct./Nov. 1951)
Robin clashes with Crazy Quilt, a ruthless gangster can see only
bright colors. FH/JM
NOTES: Crazy-Quilt may have been the first Batman villain to be introduced in a completely different National/DC feature. He first appeared in The Boy Commandos #15 (May/June 1946), by Jack Kirby and Steve Brodie, and proved popular enough to make four more appearances in that book before it ended in 1949. Quilt's clash with Robin also took place on Earth-One, where it left Crazy-Quilt with a lasting grudge against the Boy Wonder. Quilt returned for a rematch in Batman #316 (Oct. 1979), by Len Wein, Irv Novick, and Frank McLaughlin, and later came close to killing Jason Todd during Jason's first outing as Robin in Batman #368 (Feb. 1984), by Doug Moench, Don Newton, and Alfredo Alcala.
Star-Spangled Comics #123 (Dec. 1951)
Horribly scarred while filming a live television reenactment
of the criminal career of Harvey Kent, actor Paul
Sloane becomes a new Two-Face. Sloane carries out a series
of elaborate robberies before Batman tricks him into surrendering
and undergoing plastic surgery to repair his face. BF/LS/CP
NOTES: Harvey Kent is referred to as Harvey Dent in this story and all of his subsequent Golden Age appearances, although Superman Family #211 (Oct. 1981) later established that Harvey Kent was the Earth-Two Two-Face and Harvey Dent his Earth-One counterpart. Paul Sloane also existed in the post-Crisis universe, appearing next in Detective Comics #580–581 (Nov.-Dec. 1987).
Batman #68  (Dec. 1951/Jan. 1952)
Alfred is left despondent after being fired as Bruce Wayne's butler. Fortunately, that dismissal is eventually revealed as a stratagem to mislead Slippery Willie Willis, a Chicago gangster who suspects Bruce Wayne is Batman, and Alfred returns to Wayne Manor after Willis has been captured. BF/LS/CP
Batman #68  (Dec. 1951/Jan. 1952)
Mayor Bradley Stokes selects Bruce Wayne to fill in as Gotham's temporary mayor while Stokes is on a one-week vacation. With Robin out of town on a mission for the U.S. Army, Bruce must singlehandedly outwit conman Deuce Chalmers, who is attempting to prove that Bruce is Batman. BF/DS/CP
Detective #179 (Jan. 1952)
The Joker briefly reforms after inheriting a fortune from his
one-time gangland rival, "King" Barlowe. After discovering
that much of Barlowe's bequest is counterfeit, however, the Joker
returns to crime in order to raise money to pay his inheritance
taxes, unwilling to admit that he has been tricked. WG?/DS/CP
NOTES: This story was later adapted as an episode of The New Batman Adventures animated series, entitled "Joker's Millions." The episode was scripted by Paul Dini and originally aired Feb. 21, 1998.
Detective #180 (Feb. 1952)
Screenwriter W.W. Hammond pens a script for
a feature film called The Batman Story,
a supposedly true story that claims Batman is actually a derelict
and the Batcave is hidden in a rooftop water tower somewhere in
Gotham City. After selling the script to a movie studio, Hammond
surreptitiously attempts to stop the production in hopes of regaining
the rights to the story. WG/LS/CP
NOTES: This story, entitled "The Batman Exposé," was written by Walter Gibson, creator of The Shadow, as was the second story in this issue, "The Buttons of Doom."
Batman #69  (Feb./March 1952)
Selina Kyle's brother, Karl Kyle, turns to crime as the King of the Cats and attempts to persuade Selina to join him as Catwoman. Batman, unaware of Selina's relationship to the Cat King, fears she has fallen in love with the rogue, especially after she helps him escape capture. Selina eventually resumes her guise as Catwoman long enough to save the lives of both Batman and the King of the Cats, surprised to learn that Batman and Robin did not know the costumed villain was her brother. Karl finally surrenders and expresses a willingness to reform. Batman remarks that "with time off for good behavior, you can be a free man in a short time!" BF/LS/CP
NOTES: Batman's statement was evidently correct, since Karl was free in time to attend Bruce and Selina's wedding, as seen in Superman Family #211 (Oct. 1981). The writer of the latter story, E. Nelson Bridwell, responding to a letter about the origin of Helena Wayne (in DC Super-Stars #17) in the letters page for DC Special Series #10 (Secret Origins of Super-Heroes, 1978), opined that Batman's jealousy in this story at the possibility of Selina developing romantic interest in someone else finally motivated him to propose to her. There is no indication that Karl Kyle existed on Earth-One, but after Infinite Crisis, he made a brief cameo in Bulleteer #3 (Jan. 2006).
Batman #69  (Feb./March 1952)
A magic spell cast by the Wizard unexpectedly causes Clark Kent to forget his identity as Superman. As a result, Superman disappears from Metropolis for an entire year and a newly assertive Clark courts and finally marries Lois Lane. Lois eventually discovers that her new husband is Superman, deduces that the Wizard is somehow responsible for Clark's amnesia, and persuades the villain to restore Superman to normal. Afterward, Lois expects that Clark will end their marriage, but he chooses not to. He and Lois later reaffirm their vows in Superman's Secret Sanctuary. CB/CS/JG NOTES: The exact date of the wedding of Clark Kent and Lois Lane was never established, although it was in the early 1950s, sometime prior to Feb. 1953 (the date of the "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" story in Superman Family #207 (May/June 1981) and probably after the disbanding of the JSA in 1951. The Wizard, a frequent adversary of the Justice Society of America, debuted in All-Star Comics #34 (May 1947), written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Irwin Hasen.
Action #484 (June 1978)
Bruce Wayne pretends to be the crime lord known as the Kingpin in hopes of flushing out the real villain, who Bruce eventually discovers is his good friend Spotswood Hartley. Concurrently, Batman narrates a television series entitled "Underworld, Incorporated" for Gotham radio station WPO, broadcasting live from the Batcave. BF?/LS
World's Finest #57 (March/April 1952)
While Batman is out of town, Robin clashes with "50–50" Finley, a crook who insists on giving his victims the same 50–50 chance prison doctors once gave him for surviving a dangerous operation. DV/JM NOTES: With his two-tone suit and half his face blackened with cork, Finley looks like a variation on Two-Face, although his odds-making techniques are not limited to coin-flipping. Although the original Two-Face was still reformed at this time, this is one of three facsimiles to appear within a one-year period, following the Paul Sloane story in Batman #68 (Dec. 1951/Jan. 1952) and preceding George Blake's impersonation of Two-Face in Detective Comics #187 (Sept. 1952), q.v.
Star Spangled Comics #128 (May 1952)
Apocrypha: While traveling aboard the luxury liner Varania, Bruce Wayne shares a cabin with Clark Kent, leading the two men to accidentally discover each other's secret identities. As Batman and Superman, they join forces to capture a criminal. EH/CS/John Fischetti NOTES: This was the first time in the comic books that Batman and Superman learned each other's identities, although as previously noted, they had already done so on the Adventures of Superman radio series back in 1945. Although the events of this story definitely took place on Earth-One, placing them in Earth-Two continuity is problematic. In the "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" story in Superman Family #201 (June/July 1980), set several years afterward, Superman mentions an adventure involving an ocean voyage on which he and Batman first became friends, clearly referring to the events of this story. However, World's Finest Comics #271 (Sept. 1981) subsequently established that Earth-Two's Superman and Batman had had their first meeting (outside a JSA story) in 1945, as depicted on the Superman radio series, and indicated that the Varania adventure occurred only on Earth-One.
Superman #76 (May/June 1952)
Gangster "Fixer" Bannon, having spent five years attempting to deduce Robin's secret identity, attempts to kill Dick Grayson with a hand grenade. Although Dick narrowly survives, he is left temporarily deaf, an infirmity that nearly allows Bannon to confirm his suspicions. DV/JM NOTES: This was the last Robin solo strip of the Golden Age and the last issue of Star Spangled Comics, which became Star Spangled War Stories with the following issue, initially continuing the same numbering.
Star Spangled Comics #130 (July 1952)
Commissioner Gordon makes a concerted but unsuccessful effort to discover Batman's secret identity, but finally abandons the attempt after a desperate criminal — mistakenly assuming that Gordon already knows the secret — threatens to murder Gordon's family unless the commissioner reveals Batman's real name. DV/DS/CP
Batman #71  (June/July 1952)
After Batman loses his utility belt during a battle with criminals,
the belt is found by a teenage boy, a hobo, a Gotham City utility
worker, a middle-aged collector, and finally a group of gangsters
who have been trying to capture the belt in hopes of using it to
lure Batman into a trap. For a time, Batman and Robin are afraid
that someone will discover that the utility belt contains a concealed
disc showing Batman's real name and address, but the Dynamic Duo
are able to retrieve the belt before anyone discovers that secret. DV/DS/CP
NOTES: The disc, which Batman had previously placed in his belt in the mistaken assumption that he was about to die, gives Bruce Wayne's address as 224 Park Drive.
Detective #185 (July 1952)
Batman and Robin construct an enormous helicopter-headquarters called the Flying Batcave, allowing them to continue their war on crime without violating a promise Batman unwillingly made to gangster Diamond Lang to not "set foot" in Gotham City for a full week. ?/LS/CP
Detective #186 (Aug. 1952)
Bruce Wayne takes poison and is then resuscitated by Dick Grayson to allow Bruce to infiltrate the Death-Cheaters' Club, an organization of men revived from a state of clinical death, and discover who is killing its members. DV/JM
Batman #72  (Aug./Sept. 1952)
Harvey Kent agrees to play himself in a stage production based
on his past criminal career. During the production, he is kidnapped
by gangster George Blake, who takes Harvey's
place and goes on a crime spree disguised as Two-Face, hoping the
police and public will believe Harvey is responsible. Batman eventually
realizes that this Two-Face is not Harvey Kent, captures Blake,
and frees Harvey. DC/DS/CP
NOTES: Harvey is again identified as Harvey Dent in this story, but as previously noted, the Earth-Two Two-Face's real name was Harvey Kent, Harvey Dent being his Earth-One counterpart.
Detective #187 (Sept. 1952)
A conman who has concluded that Bruce Wayne is Batman attempts
to sell that information to a wealthy black marketeer for $100,000.
Both men conclude that they have made a mistake after discovering
that Bruce Wayne's handwriting does not match Batman's, thanks
to the Caped Crusader's habit of writing with his right hand as
Bruce Wayne and his left hand as Batman. ?/LS/CP
NOTES: This story's villain claims to have studied Batman's identity for 15 years, but most Earth-Two stories indicate that the Golden Age Batman's career began in 1939, the date of his textual debut, which was only 13 years prior to this story.
World's Finest #60 (Sept./Oct. 1952)
Vicki Vale attempts to prove that Bruce Wayne is Batman by pretending that her life is in danger and then using a hidden microphone to record Batman and Robin's conversations while they are standing guard in her apartment. DV/LS/CP
Batman #73  (Oct./Nov. 1952)
The Joker unveils his own version of Batman's utility belt, stocked
with gag and novelty items like jumping beans and joy buzzers. DV/DS/CP
NOTES: Although the gags in the Joker's utility belt are basically harmless, in later stories, the Joker used similar items to far more lethal effect. This story partly inspired the plot of a two-part episode of the 1960s Batman TV series, entitled "The Joker is Wild"/"Batman is Riled." That episode (the first of the series to feature the Joker) was written by Robert Dozier and originally aired Jan. 26–27, 1966.
Batman #73  (Oct./Nov. 1952)
Superman reveals to his wife, Lois Lane Kent, that Batman is secretly Bruce Wayne. NOTES: It was never established exactly when Lois learned this information, except that it was sometime prior to the story in this issue. Like most of the "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" stories in Superman Family, the chronology is largely speculative, but this installment takes place before the one in Superman Family #207, which is explicitly set in February 1953, so it likely occurred sometime in the latter part of 1952.
(Superman Family #201, June/July 1980)
Enraged by newspaper headlines crediting him with (inadvertently) helping Batman and Robin capture an elusive fugitive, the Joker attempts to even the score by holding Robin hostage and forcing Batman to promise that he will "steal, cheat, and kill - in that order." Batman outwits the Joker by fulfilling that promise in ways the Joker does not expect, eventually freeing Robin and arresting the Harlequin of Hate. BF/JM
World's Finest #61 (Nov./Dec. 1952)
Robin is forced to retrain his mentor after a gas created by unscrupulous criminal psychologist Dr. Sampson destroys Batman's memory. Batman is ultimately able to create an antidote that counteracts the effects of the gas, allowing the Caped Crusaders to capture Sampson and his gang. BF/LS/CP
Detective #190 (Dec. 1952)
The Joker contrives to have himself committed to the Gotham Institute
for the Insane as part of a plan to nab $1 million of unrecovered
loot hidden by another patient. Suspecting that the Joker's insanity
is a ploy, Batman infiltrates the asylum disguised as a patient,
but the Joker sees through the disguise and nearly uncovers
Batman's secret identity in the process. The timely arrival of
Robin and another patient wearing a Batman costume leaves the Joker
so bewildered that the Clown Prince of Crime suffers an actual
nervous breakdown, although he later recovers and is transferred
to the state prison. ASch/DS/CP
NOTES: While the Earth-Two Joker was eccentric, erratic, and sometimes homicidal, most of his encounters with Batman and Robin ended with the Clown Prince of Crime either in prison or seemingly dead — the idea that the Joker should be treated rather than incarcerated was not seriously broached until the 1970s. Nonetheless, the asylum depicted in this story may have been a predecessor of the Earth-Two version of Arkham Asylum. Arkham, introduced in Batman #258 (Sept./Oct. 1975) and named for the fictional New England town in the stories of H.P. Lovecraft, was a fixture of Earth-One and post-Crisis continuity, but its existence on Earth-Two was not confirmed until Brave and the Bold #200 and the Huntress story in Wonder Woman #305 (both cover-dated July 1983).
Batman #74  (Dec. 1952/Jan. 1953)
Just before his execution, condemned Gotham City crime lord George "Boss" Dyke pays
an unscrupulous scientist named Willard to transplant the mobster's
brain into the body of a giant gorilla. Afterward, Dyke uses the
gorilla's body to reorganize his old gang and steal enough money
to pay Willard to transplant Dyke's brain into Batman's body. The
plot ultimately fails and Dyke, still in the gorilla's body, falls
to his doom from the top of a downtown skyscraper. DV/LS/CP
NOTES: The climax of this story, entitled "The Gorilla Boss of Gotham City," was clearly inspired by the 1933 film King Kong, which was re-released shortly before this issue was probably written. As revealed in World's Finest Comics #251 (June/July 1978), similar events took place on Earth-One, where Dyke's disembodied brain — kept by Batman and Robin as a grisly souvenir — was later revived by aliens and briefly succeeded in claiming Batman's body for his own. Shortly afterward, the former gangster's brain, once again disembodied and now expanded to colossal size, was used in a plot by the villain Sinestro before finally being destroyed by Superman in World's Finest Comics #254 (Dec. 1978/Jan. 1979). The "Gorilla Boss" story also appears to have inspired another Batman adventure, written and laid out by Jim Starlin with finishes by P. Craig Russell, which was published in Detective Comics #481– 482 (Dec. 1978–Mar. 1979) around the same time as the aforementioned World's Finest stories. The Starlin/Russell story has a number of strong similarities to the original tale, although the villain, Simon Xavier, is not a gangster, but rather a vengeful former Army buddy of Thomas Wayne's.
Batman #75  (March 1953)
Batman and Robin meet Hugo Marmon, a circus acrobat who once performed in costume under the stage name "Bat Man." Spurred on by an overzealous press agent, Marmon briefly becomes a crimefighter himself, challenging a city ordinance that prohibits anyone other than "the original Batman of Gotham City" from wearing a Batman costume by insisting that he, not Batman, is the original. Robin ultimately settles the argument by proving that while Marmon did use the Bat Man name and costume first, he was not technically Gotham's original Batman. ?/DS/CP
Detective #195 (May 1953)
Commissioner Gordon recruits five men to form the Secret
Star, a team intended to collectively take Batman's place
if the real Batman is ever killed. BF/LS/CP
NOTES: This story clearly inspired the events of Batman #672–674 (Feb.–April 2008), a post-Infinite Crisis story by writer Grant Morrison and artist Tony Daniel in which Batman discovers that, some years earlier, the Gotham City Police Department had attempted to train three volunteers as potential Batman replacements with horrifying results. In contrast to the original tale, Jim Gordon was not involved in the project, which was said to have taken place while Gordon was temporarily demoted to patrol duty (an event originally depicted in Detective Comics #121, March 1947).
Batman #77  (June/July 1953)
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson visit Gotham City in the year 1753 and meet Abel Adams, also known as Captain Lightfoot. BF/LS/CP
Batman #79  (Oct./Nov. 1953)
Selina Kyle returns to crime with a vengeance after the Gotham Gazette publishes an unflattering article about her many past defeats, entitled "The Conquest of Catwoman." EH/SM/CP
Detective #203 (Jan. 1954)
Apocrypha: While attempting to stop a robbery, Harvey
Dent is caught in an explosion that once again leaves his face
hideously scarred. With no hope of regaining a normal appearance,
Harvey resumes his criminal career as Two-Face. DV/DS/CP
NOTES: While these events definitely took place on Earth-One, as recounted in Two-Face's next appearance in Batman #234 (Aug. 1971), the Earth-Two Harvey Kent's presence at Bruce Wayne's wedding in the summer of 1955 — unscarred and still an honest citizen (Superman Family #211 (Oct. 1981) — strongly implies that on Earth-Two, Harvey's plastic surgery was not undone. Robert Greenberger's non-canonical 2008 reference book The Essential Batman Encyclopedia suggests that Harvey Kent was scarred again after Bruce Wayne's wedding, which is plausible, but not supported by any published comic book story.
Batman #81  (Feb. 1954)
While doing some work in the Batcave, Batman and Robin discover
a shard of old Native American pottery inscribed with the words "Death
to the man with two identities." To find an explanation, Bruce
Wayne and Dick Grayson ask their friend Carter Nichols to send
them back in time 300 years, where they meet Jeremy
NOTES: This story states that Bruce Wayne purchased the house that became Wayne Manor as an adult, after embarking on his career as Batman. While that assertion is at odds with post-Crisis and later accounts of the history of the Wayne family, it is consistent with early Golden Age stories that show Bruce living in the city during the earliest days of his career.
Detective #205 (March 1954)
After receiving a radio signal from Batman indicating that the Batplane has crashed outside Gotham City, Robin encounters amnesiac Harry Larson — who looks exactly like Bruce Wayne and is wearing a counterfeit Batman costume — and mistakenly assumes that Larson is the real Batman, injured in the crash. In fact, Larson is an ex-convict who, prior to developing amnesia, had been coerced by a gang boss "Fish" Frye into impersonating Batman. Larson eventually regains his memory and dies while saving the real Batman's life. DV/SM/CP
Batman #83  (April 1954)
Selina Kyle enters a beauty contest under her real name. When
Batman and Robin attempt to apprehend her, she threatens to charge
them with false arrest, noting that they have no hard evidence
that she is really the Catwoman. She then embarks on an elaborate
plan to recover a cache of smuggled diamonds, using the beauty contest
as a front. Despite her best efforts, Batman unravels her scheme and
has her arrested. DV/SM/SK
NOTES: This story claims, rather improbably, that the Catwoman's fingerprints have never been on file with either the police or Batman and Robin.
Batman #84  (June 1954)
Heiress and former circus performer Kathy Kane becomes the costumed
heroine Batwoman. Batman and Robin, eager to
dissuade her from continuing her new crimefighting career, discover
her true identity and attempt to convince her to retire before
criminals do the same. Kathy reluctantly agrees,
albeit not for long. EH/SM/CP
NOTES: The precise date of the Earth-Two Batwoman's debut was never established. Although her first appearance was published in 1956, Brave and the Bold #197 (April 1983) indicates that the Earth-Two Batwoman was already working with Batman and Robin by 1955. Batwoman also had an Earth-One counterpart, whose early history was similar. As revealed in Batman Family #10 (April/May 1977), Earth-One's Kathy Kane retired sometime before the debut of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) and later became the owner of a traveling circus before being murdered by agents of the League of Assassins in Detective Comics #485 (Aug./Sept. 1979). In post-Crisis continuity, Kathy Kane was still murdered by the League of Assassins (a point confirmed by Suicide Squad #38, Feb. 1990), but apparently never became Batwoman. Kathy's costumed career was restored to continuity after the events of Infinite Crisis; a more detailed account of her origin appears in Batman Incorporated v.1 #4 (April 2011).
Detective #233 (July 1956)
Apocrypha: Kathy Kane's teenage niece Betty becomes Kathy's
costumed partner, Bat-Girl, and immediately develops
a crush on Robin. BF/SM/CP
NOTES: The existence of an Earth-Two version of Bat-Girl is speculative. The only canonical evidence to that effect is in Infinite Crisis #5 (April 2006), in which Alex Luthor attempts to assign the post-Crisis Bette Kane to the recreated Earth-Two. If there was indeed an Earth-Two Bat-Girl, it seems likely that she, like Batwoman, appeared earlier than the publication date of her early textual appearances and that the dynamics of her interactions with Robin were somewhat different than originally depicted — on Earth-Two, Robin was an adult by the early 1950s! Betty Kane definitely existed on Earth-One, where she later became a member of the Teens Titans' short-lived Titans West auxiliary (see Teen Titans v.1 #50, Oct. 1977). Her post-Crisis counterpart (who went by Bette, not Betty) apparently never became Bat-Girl, but did have a crush on the first Robin, leading her to adopt the costumed identity Flamebird, as revealed in Secret Origins Annual #3 (1989). In post-Infinite Crisis continuity, Bette apparently never worked with the original Batwoman or used the name Bat-Girl, but did later work with Kate Kane, the second Batwoman.
Batman #139  (April 1961)
After crime lord "Brain" Hobson dies
in the electric chair, his brain is stolen by his former henchmen
as part of complex hoax to make it appear that the disembodied
brain is still alive and now possesses vast telepathic and psychokinetic
NOTES: This story was probably written by Walter Gibson, the creator and primary author of the pulp adventures of the Shadow.
Detective #210 (Sept. 1954)
Batman and Robin meet Sioux crimefighter Chief
Man-of-the-Bats and his partner Little Raven and
help them defeat the bandit Black Elk. FH/SM/SK
NOTES: In post-Infinite Crisis continuity, Chief Man-of-the-Bats (now called simply Man-of-Bats) later became a member of the Club of Heroes, as revealed in Batman #667–669 (Sept.–Nov. 2007). That story also established that Little Raven later adopted the named Ravens Red.
Batman #86  (Sept. 1954)
Having escaped from prison, the Catwoman steals a shipment of
diamonds and then, while fleeing from Batman and Robin aboard her Cat-Plane,
forces the Caped Crusaders to crash-land on a remote island. Although
Catwoman and her underworld allies capture Batman and attempt to
kill him by throwing him into a river, she surreptitiously helps
him escape. Batman and Robin eventually manage to capture her accomplices,
but the Catwoman herself gets away. EH/DS/CP
NOTES: This was Catwoman's final Golden Age appearance. The Earth-One Catwoman, whose early history was somewhat different, next appeared in Lois Lane #70 (Nov. 1966).
Detective #211 (Oct. 1954)
Batman's career is recounted on the live television program Your
Life Story, prompting a vicious attack by the Joker. BW/SM
NOTES: The fictional television program in this story is modeled on This Is Your Life, a popular weekly series hosted by Ralph Edwards that ran on NBC from 1952 to 1961.
Batman #87  (Oct. 1954)
The Catwoman turns herself in to police and is sent back to prison. AB/JSt/GF
NOTES: Although Catwoman was still at large at the end of her final Golden Age appearance in Detective Comics #211 (Oct. 1954), both Brave and the Bold #197 and DC Super-Stars #17 indicated that she eventually surrendered to police.
(Brave & Bold #197, April 1983)
While visiting Metropolis, Bruce Wayne is briefly held hostage
by Superman's old enemy, the Ultra-Humanite, whose brain still
resides in the body of actress Dolores Winters. ENB/KS/FC
NOTES: Like most of the "Mr. and Mrs. Superman" stories in Superman Family, the chronology of these events is at best speculative. The Ultra-Humanite first appeared in Action Comics #13 (June 1939). He took the body of Dolores Winters in Action Comics #20 (Jan. 1940) and made his/her final Golden Age appearance in Action Comics #21 (Feb. 1940), although he/she returned in All-Star Squadron #20–26 and Annual #2 (April–Oct. 1983), set in early 1942. As previously mentioned, this story includes a reference to the events of Superman #76 (May/June 1952), which is inconsistent with a later account in World's Finest Comics #271 (Sept. 1981) stating that the Earth-Two Superman and Batman's first team-up (discounting JSA meetings) was the one depicted in the Superman radio series.
Superman Family #201 (June/July 1980)
A group of international heroes, including Great Britain's Knight
and Squire, Italy's Legionary, France's Musketeer,
Argentina's Gaucho, and Australia's Ranger visits
Gotham City and helps Batman and Robin apprehend crime boss "Knots" Carradine. EH/SM
NOTES: The Knight and Squire previously appeared in Batman #62 (Dec. 1950/Jan. 1951), their first appearance. According to Infinity, Inc. #34 (Jan. 1987), in post-Crisis continuity these heroes were inspired by the JSA, not Batman, and were active during World War II (albeit not necessarily in costume). In March 1957, the assembled heroes founded the Dome, which later became the parent organization of the Global Guardians. It is not clear if the heroes' wartime exploits had any parallel on Earth-Two, but it is very unlikely that the Earth-Two heroes had any connection with the Global Guardians, who existed on Earth-One. As revealed in Batman #667–669 (Sept.–Nov. 2007), on Earth-0 (the primary post-Infinite Crisis universe), these heroes were inspired by (and approximate contemporaries of) the modern Batman.
Detective #215 (Jan. 1955)
Brane Taylor, the Batman of the 31st century, visits the 20th century to fill in as Batman after Bruce Wayne injures his arm. Despite his arsenal of futuristic gadgetry, Taylor finds many ordinary 20th-century activities unexpectedly difficult and his unabashed flirting immediately leads Vicki Vale to suspect that he is not the real Batman. Bruce Wayne eventually recovers enough to resume his role as Batman and persuade Vicki that her suspicions were incorrect, while an exhausted Taylor gratefully returns to his own time. EH/DS/CP
Detective #216 (Feb. 1955)
When Commissioner Gordon is pushed to the brink of resignation by an embarrassing story that one of his ancestors, John Gordon, was really a thief, Professor Carter Nichols sends Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson back in time to the year 1854 to discover the truth. BF/DS/CP
Batman #89  (Feb. 1955)
Back in the 20th century, Bruce and Dick receive an unwelcome
visit from Bruce's elderly Aunt Agatha, who
insists on taking care of them while Alfred is on vacation. Although
Agatha actually unmasks Bruce as Batman, she flatly refuses to
believe that her foppish nephew is the famous hero, leaving Bruce
and Dick's secret identities intact. BF/SM/SK
NOTES: Agatha's precise relationship to Bruce was never explained. There is no indication that Aunt Agatha existed on Earth-One or in post-Crisis continuity, but she was restored to continuity after Infinite Crisis, as seen in Batman #656 (Oct. 2006).
Batman #89  (Feb. 1955)
Batman and Robin battle Nicholas Lucian, alias Brimstone. MWB/DG
NOTES: This story alludes to a previous encounter between Batman and Brimstone that was never depicted in any published story.
(Brave & Bold #200, July 1983)
Batman and Robin meet Marcus and Guy Tiller, time-traveling students of 13th-century scientist/philosopher Roger Bacon. The two boys help the Dynamic Duo apprehend the Speedboat Bandits before returning to the 13th century. BF/DS/CP
Detective #220 (June 1955)
Handwriting expert Vincent Crail compares
Batman's handwritten autographs to the handwriting of four prominent
citizens — including Bruce Wayne — in hopes of proving
that one of them is Batman. Crail's analysis is thwarted by the
Caped Crusader's habit of signing his name with his right hand
as Bruce Wayne and his left as Batman. BF/SM/CP
NOTES: This story is very similar to that of the Batman story in World's Finest Comics #60 (Sept./Oct. 1952); it is possible that this story represents the Earth-One version of the earlier story's events.
Batman #92  (June 1955)
John Wilker's German Shepherd dog Ace, wearing a bat-insignia
on his collar and a black mask to conceal the distinctive black
markings on his forehead, aids Batman and Robin as Ace
the Bat-Hound. BF/SM/CP
NOTES: Artist Sheldon Moldoff has confirmed that Ace was modeled on famous canine Rin Tin Tin, the star of an enormously popular half-hour TV series that aired on ABC from 1954 to 1959. The television dog was not the first Rin Tin Tin; the original "Rinty" (1918–1932), a German Shepherd puppy found in France during World War I by American serviceman Lee Duncan, starred in a popular series of Warner Brothers films from 1922 to 1931 and a 1930 radio show, becoming one of Warner's biggest stars. Various other "Rintys" — also owned by Duncan, but not necessarily related to the original dog — appeared in short films, serials, and radio programs throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
Batman #92  (June 1955)
Pursuing a canister of stolen microfilm, Batman and Robin journey to the Himalayas, where they ascend Mount K-4, "the world's most unclimbable peak," eventually reaching an altitude of more than 27,000 feet (8,230 meters). BF/DS/CP
Batman #93  (Aug. 1955)
Bruce Wayne agrees to baby-sit for his cousin Jane's infant son. BF/DS/CP
NOTES: Jane's exact relationship to Bruce is unclear; his family tree was never delineated in any great detail on either Earth-Two or Earth-One.
Batman #93  (Aug. 1955)
Batman and Robin travel back in time to the Stone Age and meet Tiger Man. EH/DS/CP
Batman #93  (Aug. 1955)
A gang of criminals swindles eccentric millionaire Ned Judson by claiming that Batman is not a single person, but a team — consisting, naturally of the crooks themselves. They convince Judson to join their ranks in order to coax him into paying them large amounts of money for training and equipment. After discovering the scheme, Batman and Robin decide to play along so as not to demoralize Judson, revealing the truth only after Judson has helped them round up the gang. BF/DS/CP
Detective #222 (Aug. 1955)
After being struck on the head while wearing one of Batman's spare costumes, Alfred suffers a bout of temporary amnesia and becomes convinced that he is really Batman. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson decide to humor Alfred by allowing him to play the role of Batman until his memory returns. ?/SM/SK
Batman #94  (Sept. 1955)
Batman, Robin, and Alfred are forced to temporarily remove all of their equipment from the Batcave and flood part of the cave to dissuade gang boss "Big Jim" Jarrel, from using it as a hide-out as Jarrel's former cellmate, deceased gangster Whitey Weir, did before Wayne Manor was built. After capturing Jarrel and his gang, the Dynamic Duo drains the Batcave and replaces their equipment. ?/SM/SK
Detective #223 (Sept. 1955)
Bruce Wayne attends the wedding of his former girlfriend, Linda
Page, whose affections he lost as a result of his shiftless playboy
guise, and wonders if his role as Batman has cost him any chance
at real happiness. Shortly afterward, a cartridge of fear gas prepared
by the Scarecrow causes Batman to experience an intense fit of
autophobia, the fear that he has been abandoned by his friends
and comrades. Believing Dick Grayson, Jim Gordon, and Clark Kent
have all disappeared, Batman secures Catwoman's release from prison
in exchange for her help in tracking down the Scarecrow. During
the ensuing pursuit, Selina Kyle confesses to Batman that her earlier
story about becoming Catwoman due to a bout of amnesia was a lie she
invented so that she could end her life of crime. She and Batman
finally admit their true feelings for one another and Batman reveals
his secret identity to her. AB/JSt/GF
NOTES: Batman and Catwoman presumably succeeded in apprehending the Scarecrow and counteracting the effects of his fear gas, but the villain's capture is not actually depicted in this story.
(Brave & Bold #197, April 1983)
Summer 1955: Bruce Wayne marries Selina Kyle in a ceremony
attended by Alfred Beagle; Dick Grayson; Clark and Lois Lane Kent;
Selina's brother, Karl Kyle; James, Barbara, and Tony Gordon; and
Harvey and Gilda Kent. Following the ceremony, Superman thwarts
an attempt on the life of Harvey Kent orchestrated by a man Harvey
sent to prison during his time as Gotham City's district attorney.
Later, Clark Kent reveals to Selina that he is secretly Superman. PL/JSt/BL
(DC Super-Stars) / ENB/KS/FC (Superman Family)
NOTES: The wedding was first shown in flashback in DC Super-Stars #17 and depicted in more detail Superman Family #211. As noted earlier, the latter story strongly implies that Earth-Two's Harvey Kent may never have returned to crime. It also suggests that there may have been some distant relationship between Harvey Kent and Clark Kent's adoptive family.
(DC Super-Stars #17, Nov./Dec. 1977), Superman Family #211 (Oct. 1981)
Batman, Robin, and Superman visit 10th-century Baghdad, where they meet Aladdin. EH/DS/SK
World's Finest #79 (Oct./Nov. 1955)
Batman and Robin stage a "Batman for a Day" event in which wealthy individuals make charitable contributions to be allowed to fill in temporarily for Batman under Robin's supervision. Commissioner Gordon decides to try his hand as Batman, as does Bruce Wayne, giving Bruce a chance to act as Batman without worrying about his secret identity. EH/SM/CP
Detective #225 (Nov. 1955)
Nov. 29, 1955: Batman and Robin retire the Batmobile for a new model. Dick Grayson marks the occasion by inscribing his initials and the date on the old Batmobile's frame. AB/JA
(Brave & Bold #182, Jan. 1982)
Batman temporarily trades places with King Eric of Norania in order to protect Norania's crown jewels from a gang of thieves. Meanwhile, the king fills in for Batman — much to the exasperation of Robin, who must keep the over-enthusiastic Eric out of trouble. BF/SM/CP
Batman #96  (Dec. 1955)
Bruce Wayne's embittered former college classmate Joe Danton realizes that Bruce is secretly Batman after recognizing a distinctive scar on Batman's wrist, acquired during a fencing match between Danton and Bruce Wayne years earlier. Although he initially plans to expose his old rival, Danton ultimately changes his mind and later dies of a heart attack without ever revealing Bruce's secret. BF/SM/CP
Batman #96  (Dec. 1955)
Bruce Wayne receives a posthumous letter from his one-time mentor,
detective Harvey Harris, revealing that Harris
had deduced prior to his death that Bruce was Batman. EH/DS/CP
NOTES: As noted in the previous section, the placement of this story in Earth-Two continuity is speculative. However, Bruce's apprenticeship with Harvey Harris definitely occurred on Earth-One, as established in Batman #213 (July/Aug. 1969), Untold Legend of the Batman #1 (July 1980), and Who's Who in the DC Universe #2 (April 1985). As seen in Detective Comics Annual #2 (1989), Harris also had a post-Crisis counterpart, who died while Bruce was still a teenager. In post-Crisis continuity, Bruce did not wear a costume while working with Harris, although he did use the alias "Frank Dixon," perhaps alluding to Franklin W. Dixon, the house name used by the various authors of the Hardy Boys juvenile mystery series. (As in the original story, the pseudonym did not prevent Harris from quickly determining Bruce's real identity.)
Detective #226 (Dec. 1955)
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