Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 March

Detective Comics 205

Batman “The Origin of the Bat-Cave”

The Bat-Cave has received an upgrade and it requires them to add some wires so they don’t blow something. So Robin goes to get some shovels to bury the wires. While the two work they find bits of old pottery which Batman says is around three hundred ears old, and so the Bat-cave must be that old as well. Thinking about this Dick wonders how Bruce found the Bat-cave and so he begins the tale.

Bruce bought his manor as an adult when he already knew he would be Batman. He was working on setting up an old barn on the property to be his base when he fell through the floor. Of course this lead to the Bat-cave and once he saw it was full of the flying mammals he took them as a sign that his was meant to be his real base. He explored the place and blocked off many tunnels while making the one behind the grandfather clock. Apparently he didn’t set up the cave until Robin joined him however, as he asks Dick to remember when they did so.

They show a diagram of the cave, and begin to talk about the snafus they had to fix, such as the Batsignal not being visible from the cave. They have it rigged now that a lightblub in the cave turns on when the signal is activated. Also the process of getting television in the cave. Still the recollections don’t last all issue and they bring the pieces of pottery to the museum curator, who translates the writing on it to mean “Death to the man of two identities”. Both are disturbed by the fact it could apply to Bruce. And so they decide to go back in time via Prof. Nichols (sigh).

Once they arrive in the past they change into their fighting duds as they hear hoofbeats approaching them. Two native men are chasing a frontier’s man, who’s horse stumbles, and so the two crusaders dash to his recuse. But Robin missteps and nearly tumbles off a cliff. Batman tosses his ward a bat-line and he climbs up while Bruce continues to fight. They tie the defeated natives to their steeds and chase them off and then check on the fallen man.

He is surprised by their clothing but brings them into his secret base, which is in a cave. He calls it the Bat-cave because of it’s furry inhabitants. In this place he disguises himself as a native, spying on the tribe that regularly attacks his home town. He was not noticed as the group of attackers are not a true tribe but a collection of outcasts.  When most attacks were being repulsed however they deduce there is a spy among them. Before he could be caught the man ran for home, only to be ambushed by some who suspected him.

The man laments that now he is unable to help his home while the not-tribe plans their largest attack yet. Batman offers to take his place, after they secure the area and hide the man’s horse. They make it so the floor of a nearby cabin can be moved up and down, and make a tube of bark with mirrors as a periscope. Then he sets up a frontier lab of sorts, from the plants in the area. He also starts the Hall of Trophies. Then he changes and goes under cover. Sadly he doesn’t get to do his shit as it begins to rain and washes away his dye. In desperation he hides and changes into his Bat suit.

He tries to make it seem like he is an outlandish medicine man and shows off his batarang. He uses his smoke pellets and his cape to make bat shaped clouds to bring Robin to his side. Dick takes the horse and sweeps up his father figure as he rides by. They bring the spy to his home and begin to fade back to their time. So they change back to Bruce and Dick and they go home. As always it is left as a could have been a dream, but one thing says it might not be: in this case the spy’s arrow heads are found in the cave.

Roy Raymond the TV Detective “The Puzzle of the Blind Artist”

Interviews! The last one of the day is of a man who says he will paint a portrait fro Roy, who doesn’t get what’s so special. But the man explains he is blind and by feeling a person’s face he could still paint a perfect picture of them. He demonstrates his talent by painting Karen, and does excellently. Roy doubts he is truly blind, so he takes him to an eye doctor, who confirms this guy is blind. Roy says he will think about letting him on the show.

To truly convince Roy, he would need to make the man paint something he had never seen before in total darkness. So he brings the blind man to a recently discovered cave that is filled with ancient carvings. Roy searches him for a flashlight and sends him in. Once the painting is done Roy checks the carvings himself and find they match. As Roy announces to Karen he has figured out how the man had done his amazing feat the rope they took to the cave is cut by the ‘blind’ man, trapping them both. Roy sends up smoke signals and is rescued, arriving back at his studio as the man confesses, apparently having called the cops himself as he tells them to go save Roy and Karen.

As the man stands and still acts blind Roy explains that he has a special blindness, where he can see in the dark but not the light. (Like Doctor Mid-nite) Being an artist is hard, and he thought he would get the proper attention if he was a blind painter. But Roy has this all figured out too- as a man has seen the guys art and wants to ‘handle him’ (like a manager?). He figured it out from the most obvious thing that had been bothering me as well- how would he tell colors?

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954 Feb

Detective Comics 204

Batman “The Man Who Could Live Forever”

We open upon a man holding up a jewelry store, only for him to be interrupted, not by the Bat, but a fancy man in a hat and a cape. He says that he will be taking the loot. The original robber shoots the interloper, who loudly proclaims he is immortal and nothing can harm him. We cut to Bruce Wayne and his ward playing Ping pong, until Bruce spots the Batsignal on the sky.

The shop clerk talks to our heroes, telling them the man (who he somehow knows is named Odo Neval) had bared his chest, and there was no bullet proof vest. About to leave the radio in the Batmobile alerts them to Odo’s location and so the costumed crusader head over to the subway where he had been spotted. Finding the man is not catching him however, and he drops a live wire onto the metal steps they would have to take to follow him. Batman slides down a Batrope, using a wooden cane to lift the wire to allow others down the stairs but by then the man had vanished.

The next day there was an article in a paper about the fact there was a criminal named Odo Neval centuries ago. Curious Batman and Robin head over to see the man who claimed this. He pulled out a manuscript, which clearly has a picture of Odo on it, and says, in modern English mind you, that he was he criminal who lived forever. The man then explains that Odo was a scientist of Atlantis, and he had made the formula for immortality back then. Batman states he doesn’t care and he’s going down either way.

We cut to the man who had been stealing the jewels Odo had taken, and other criminals. They want the formula for themselves and track down Odo to buy it. After proving his abilities all of Gotham’s criminals begin to pull big jobs to get the cash for the expensive formula. By capturing one of these men Batman gets the whole story, and then goes undercover as Big Luke. While buying the formula Batman notes a mark on Odo’s arm that proves him a fake (I’m guessing its the mark from the smallpox vaccine) Some men come in and knock him out, and they discover he’s Batman by opening his shirt and there is a large Bat there. Either they forgot to color the suit besides the bat, or this version of Bruce has a very revealing tattoo.

Robin, who is Bruce’s backup bursts in to save him. He drinks the vial of formula, and though it is a fake Odo can’t let the other men in the room know that. He is captured none the less and Batman and Robin are brought to a car and they plan to dump Batman over a cliff. Thinking the formula to be real Robin acts recklessly and crashes the car, Shielding Batman with his own ‘invulnerable’ body. Cops come to the scene and Robin heads after Odo, after explaining the situation to them.

When Batman wakes he rushes to help Robin, worried that he will be harmed by his overconfidence. Batman arrives in time and, by throwing a small rock at him was able  to show the boy the truth and they team up. By breaking a giant light bulb (there for effect) they cut Odo’s face, proving him a fake. They capture all the crooks there and then explain that Odo was using a flesh colored bulletproof vest, and rubber gloves that look like bare hands, and he was really the historian that had the document from before. Also I was right, the mark was from a vaccine, though it doesn’t say smallpox specifically.

Roy Raymond Tv Detective “The Stars Spell Doom”

A window washer falls, but rather than dying in a large splat he is caught by an awning and gets barely a scratch. He tells the onlookers that it wasn’t the only impossible thing to happen to him. He had been warned to avoid heights by his astrologer (his boss didn’t see that as a good excuse though). We skip to another man who looks to the stars. He is standing in a downpour, unwilling to go inside his home as it has been deemed unlucky for this day. As he explains this to his neighbor his house explodes. Faulty oil burner.

We cut to Roy, and Karen is marveling over the two predictions, which had both made the paper, and were foretold by the same man. Roy scoffs, but at that moment the astrologer and another of his grateful clients come in. His story is not so spectacular, he was warned not to travel, and when he did he lost control of his car. Not wanting to dismiss him off hand he asks the man to give Karen a reading. He says she has gotten a large sum of money, and then a messenger boy comes in with a check for a thousand dollars from a raffle.

Roy then asks for his own fortune. He says Roy will be involved in an accident on May 27th with a bunch of people under one roof. Karen reminds him he has plans to watch a boxing match that day. She begs him to ask the people to call off the event, as many could be killed. He says it is a fake and says he can prove it. Karen’s check was sent on the 30th but only arrived on the 1st. Since the star chart he made was for this month the money should not have shown up on the reading. Then he rips of the astrologer’s fake beard, revealing the head of a gambling syndicate that had heavily backed the likely loser of the upcoming fight.

He then explains all the people had been paid off, and the check was sent by the astrologer as well. Angry and wanting the truth kept quiet he calls in his men, who attack Roy, only for him to push a bull statue in their faces. He then smacks the leader with a set of scales and the cops come. Roy reminds us astrology isn’t real.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1954, Jan

Detective Comics 203

Batman

This is an earth-one tale, as earth-two Selina Kyle never returned to crime. Anywho, a newspaper decides to run a series about some of Batman’s greatest achievements; including one on Catwoman. To Selina Kyle, currently running a pet store in Gotham, this seemed like egotistical boasting, even though Batman had nothing to do with their running the story. That alone probably would not have tipped her hand, but two crooks came in just as she finished the story, and gave her a ribbing. Again, she’s tough, she can take some teasing, but before she could refute or fight back Batman and Robin ‘saved’ her, doubtlessly putting another blow on her pride.

He had come to tell her he had nothing to do with the story, but as she strokes one of the cats in the shop she looks especially catlike. As the duo drive home Batman worries that she is missing the excitement, the danger, and indeed in the very next panel Selina dons the iconic purple dress and green cape again. That night she pulls a daring crime, ‘cat’apulting onto a mail helicopter and trussing the pilot in her cat o nine tails. Batman, while watching over the city, sees the helicopter land somewhere it was not due, and drops down to see what’s going on.

Batman sees Selina and calls out to her to surrender, but she flees, correcting his use of her name to Catwoman. The next day the papers are full of her return, and the underworld once more respects and fears her. Commissioner Gordon asks if Batman would rather stay off the case, as he had once tried to make her go straight, but he refused. ( I adore Batcat, oh god I just stopped reading for an hour to go through the tag, oh shit these two are gonna kill me) Batman goes to investigate a possible crime at a circus and sends Robin to another potential target.

At the circus he hears what sounds like cats at the top of the tent and headed up to find the canopy filled with catbirds, to lead a false trail. Catwoman is really below, feeding gas into the tent that makes people sleep while she and her men steal the days take. Drowsy though he was Batman swung down from the tent top and locks the safe while hitting the alarm. He then succumbs to the gas. Her crony wants to kill Batman, but she says she couldn’t bear to have him die and instead they take him prisoner. She tells him that next she is going after the target Robin was to secure, a collection of cat’s eye gems.

While she leaves him alone Batman begins a plan to free himself. As he knew he would be dealing with Catwoman he had filled a pouch in his belt with catnip, and by holding his bound hands in front of that the cats themselves wore away his ropes. He then calls Robin, and warns him. Robin brings around the batmobile and they head for the yacht of the collector. not worried, as he believes his gems safe out on the water with the Bat on his way the owner of the boat starts fishing, which Selina says she will use to get aboard. Okay, she just made a giant catfish dummy and hid as he pulled her in.

Just then the duo leap from the bridge onto the ship. By lifting the anchor and forcing Batman and Robin to bring the ship under control she gains time to escape, though with no loot. Later they find the wreck of her boat, and are left to wonder if she perished, or truly escaped. (spoiler she escaped)

Roy Raymond Tv Detective

Audition time again, and our story is introduced with a man who claims to be fireproof. To prove this he stars a fire with a large magnifying glass and then replacing the burning log with his arm. After long minutes he is still unaffected, as are his clothes I might point out. Next the man prepares a tub of boiling oil, and dives on in. Startled Roy asks the man how this came to be and the man explains.

The fireproof man used to work in Vaudeville, but his fame turned, as happens and soon he was on the down and outs. A scientist who had seen his act and was a fan came up to him with a serum he had devised, and both planned to gain fame via Roy’s show. Roy feared it would spook the audience however, and truly he didn’t believe. Later he took a closer look at the gear the man had used. The magnifying glass had a filter that could be removed or placed via a button, and the boiling effect on the oil had been caused by dry ice.

Just then a man rushed in to tell Roy and Karen that the Fireproof man’s scientist had built a bonfire and the man was going to walk into it. Fearing that the scientist had tricked the Fireproof man into believing he was just that, Roy sped to the scene. They saw a figure walk into the flames, and when the fire died there was no trace. Here Roy knew something was wrong. No matter how hot the flame there would have been some sign. So he gives the police a picture of the man and has them start a drag net. Soon he is found and brought in to the station. Roy opens his bag to find a large amount of money stolen from he man’s work, and the man goes to jail.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Dec

Detective Comics 202

Batman

The Duo is lying in wait for some smugglers and when they show they leap into action. Robin has a close call with a falling crate, but all the crooks are captured in the end. There was still the problem of where the smuggled goods came from, and none of hem would talk. So the two investigate the crates for clues, and find that they are watertight, and that the criminals had spectroscopic glasses on them. So they figured the smugglers dived to get the goods from the bottom of the bay. They were then able to judge the distance traveled by the boat’s fuel gauge.

Using this information Batman pinpointed a luxury hotel; the Jolly Rodger. Batman muses to Robin, that maybe it’s time Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson take a vacation. They first take a tour around the island, and are told about many hidden caves, lined with treasure to be found. In the village, they find a face, familiar from their crime files. Curious, they follow him. He leads them to a cave where the smugglers reside. A slip of the foot announces their presence, (failed your stealth roll) and the they have to fight. But they are over taken, and forced to walk the plank- the plank being a cliff over the sea.

It is only their training and knowledge that make them break the water’s surface in they only way that keeps them unharmed, but then they have to deal with the rocks. Narrowly avoiding the sharp peaks Batman and Robin then use the sharp edges to cut their bonds. They return to their other identities and subtly begin poking around. It was definitely one of the hotel boats being used by the smugglers and the lighthouse told them not ships had gone by the night before, nor were expected soon. Here have a picture I don’t want to explain this part.

But investigating as Dick and Bruce is dangerous as well, and soon Bruce narrowly saves his ward’s life. The way it was done just proves that there is an accomplice working in the hotel. That night they don their capes again, and watch as one of the hotel boats head out to collect another drop. The mystery of how the crates arrived was solved minutes later when a plane drops the boxes, with flotation devices and marked with chemicals so they could be seen with the glasses on.

Our boys don’t leave them hanging for long, and soon the leader tries to flee as they deal with his men. They follow the leader, but by the time they catch up with him, he has shed his disguise. But using the glasses Batman is able to find the crook, as he had touched the marked boxes. With him taken care of, and the thorough records the crook kept,  the entire ring is soon rounded up.

Roy Raymond TV Detective

We start with auditions, like usual. Unusually though this time there is a dummy; you know the creepy ventriloquist prop. The ventriloquist claims he made a voice box and a thinking machine for the dummy, but that it worked in an unexpected way. For lack of a better term it made the dummy ‘alive’. Roy thought it was just regular ventriloquism though, and tried to make them leave. But they didn’t care about the show, just that they figure out what is going on and would Roy please test them? So he shuts the dummy in a soundproof room and is surprised when it keeps talking to him.

Next they look inside the dummy with machines, but the only wires they find are the ones that fit with the story they were given. Unable to prove him a fake the dummy and his creator get famous over night, but it keeps niggling at Roy, until one day he comes up with another idea and heads off to test it. He lifts the top half of the dummy and pop! there is a midget criminal inside. With the ability to switch between the halfs of the dummy he was able to miss being seen by the scanning earlier.

Robotman

This is the last Appearance of Robotman for a while, so good-bye for now.

The army has opened up a new training center near where Paul is visiting. During a time when the training center is having a mock battle crooks dressed in uniform take advantage of the gun shots to pull a bank hold up. They even had a tank as a get away vehicle. Such a slow escape, was easily over taken by Robotman however, they went into the training field of the army, and used their knowledge of the terrain (and hidden mines) to dash Robotman badly enough so he can’t walk.

The criminals then merge with the real trainees, but they separated to cross the border to Mexico. As a last resort Robotman gets used as a bullet for one of the other tanks and crashes unto the crooks before they can cross.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Nov

Detective Comics 201

Batman

A man’s life has been threatened, and he is warned not to publicly tour Gotham. The man is frightened, but feels as though he must go through with his tour, or be branded a coward. But a solution is given to him in the form of a man who would be his body double. (Not the human target introduced in the 70s) Batman looks into it and sees he has no criminal record, and an obvious reason as to why he needs the money, for his daughter requires expensive surgery. The tour goes on and Batman and Robin take in some attempted assassins. When a killer breaks free a few days later the two head to protect the man that had given the final testimony on the killer. They find their possible victim has already been replaced with the human target.

Once more Batman and Robin are able to stop the murder, and bring the one responsible to jail. Then we see the target’s real face for the first time, and his sweet daughter, for whom he is risking his life almost daily. There is a montage next of a series of men he takes the place of, with narrow escapes each time. News begins to leak out about the man who’ll risk his life for yours and a criminal who had overstepped his bounds in his gang decides he’s going to use the target.

Having made the money he needed, the target heads home to celebrate with his child, Batman, and Robin. But that is not what happens next, his daughter has been kidnapped and he is forced into a role that could very well mean his life. Lucky for him our detective watches some surveillance that has the target on it, and as he did not have an allergic reaction to flowers (as the real gangster would have) Batman suspected it was him. They slip in to see the target an get confirmation on the situation. Then Batman takes the place of the gangster, and sends Robin to check likely hiding spots where the man’s daughter might be.

Batman heads to where the target was to meet with one of the gangsters men, but spots a trap at once. He ‘trips’ and renders the trap unusable in one simple motion. Meanwhile Robin has found the girl and the law has gathered up this branch of the gang. But Batman wants to get them all and goes back under cover. But his life quickly is in danger, and the target pays him back for all the times he was saved, by distracting them as ‘Batman’. It gives Bruce enough time to k.o. the bastards, and the target leaves with his daughter to get the operation she needs.

Roy Raymond, Tv Detective

This is Impossible but true, but they have renamed the feature. Worry not you will still see Roy on all his disbelieving glory.

Roy is going through frauds and features not interesting enough to have on the show, and finds nothing he can use. He heads out for lunch with Karen when a man speaks up from next to him. Not unusual, except for the fact the man could not be seen. He wasn’t hiding or anything, but actually invisible. The man goes about his day after letting Roy know about himself, and that’s that. Until the next morning when the invisible man is chilling in Roy’s house, handing him his hat and coat. He explains that he wasn’t always invisible, he was a scientist that had discovered a chemical to cause a person to vanish. But he didn’t have the funds to research a way to bring himself back to the visible spectrum.

He asked Roy to get him a loan from the bank, as he couldn’t do it himself legally, and he didn’t wish to steal. He told Roy that if he did not help, he would have no choice but to do so. Roy’s fame at seeing through frauds made it easy enough to get the money, but while they were driving Roy seemed to have figured something out, and told Karen to whisper. Soon they heard the voice again, but the man didn’t seem to notice that Roy had a group of cops with him, and a direction finder to seek the area of a transmission.

The explanation was a bit odd. Apparently all the movement had been done by magnets, and the man had coated Roy’s coat and hat with a light metal spray. The voice of course was from a tiny radio concealed in Roy’s watch. I really don’t think this would work in real life. Anyone want to Mythbust?

Robotman

A car crash, and a quick switch of a box in the mail truck and some crooks have stolen Robotman’s new body and have replaced it with one of their own making. Excited about his new body he changes at once, and soon has to go out to stop a crime. But the body doesn’t obey him as usual, and makes him rush into a fire. However this doesnt seem to be to harm him as water spouts automatically appear and put out the flames. His new form continues to make him quell the fires around him, makeing it so he has to let the crooks go. At the next crime this new body was programmed to pump out poison gas from the air instead of going after them. (Um I think he might have done those things anyway, I mean would he really leave a room luck of people in a room where they are breathing poison?) He tries to unwire the modifications, but it is too well done. He dare not go out for fear of what they may make him do, and it will take months for a new body to arrive. As he muses he is called into help a plane land, as it has run out of fuel and is in danger. We then see the gang that has caused all this trouble. They laugh as they loot the airport, glad their sabotage of the plane had gone well. Meanwhile Robotman finds himself unable to use his arms. He changes his legs into wheels and catches the aircraft on his back, as living landing gear. He then runs after the gang, freed from their modifications by an electric eye? Not sure how but okay.

Comic Books · Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Oct

Detective Comics 200

Batman

Batman and Robin manage to capture a crooks car that had been left careening down the road. One the radio there was a voice giving out warnings. Number 23 signal 47, things like that. It warned crooks of what the police, and the Bat were up to. They searched the police HQ thoroughly but found no trace. So their next thought was there must be a spy. Buy when Commissioner Gordon told only them of a likely target to watch that information was broadcasted as well. They captured those crooks, though they knew nothing, and learned the code that was being used. It was just like the police radio calls but with different meaning and code. Again Gordon tried to tell only them the location, but once again the crooks were warned by the radio. This was the result of an anonymous tip. Betting it was an old friend turned enemy the criminal gave up a list of hideouts. Robin was sent after the guy while Batman continued after their suspect for the voice. Both were lucky, though Robin was trapped by the man he was after. Batman learned that at the voice’s previous place of work everyone could read lips. Batman then found the man’s hideout, and used the code to trap the man who had captured Robin.

Impossible but True

A man comes to Roy with a machine that he says will make anyone a genius, as long as they are connected. It seems to work too, or at least Roy couldn’t prove it fake. And so it went on the show. A man was randomly picked from the audience to be hooked up, and a person asked a question about an object dropped in the sea and where it would be after 90 days. After the show Roy and the police hurry to that place the man had said it would be. See the whole thing was a hoax, it was just one perpetuated by Roy. The man was given the answer via a radio, and the man told Roy as soon as he was contacted about using his machine…

Robotman

Paul/Robert was looking for diamond smugglers, and how they were managing to do this with such small amounts of trace. Then he gets invited to join the superstition club. For some reason this is an honor, though its not explained why. So he feels bad refusing right off, but fears it will be exposed that he is made of metal if he joins. But he goes anyway, and begins to go through their tests, first swimming through a pool and picking up everything that is considered lucky. Turning this he flashes back to a case I actually read, and in the second task he flashes back to one of the cases you have seen. The one with the person who wanted to own Robotman to complete his armor collection. Anyway. The third task was for him to go around town and find lucky symbols. He was of course secretly followed by one of the members. The member was shocked that one of the items, a magnetized box, literally jumped into Paul’s hand. He knew it was because he was Robotman and set a trap. But the trap failed because Paul knew that it was unusual to have such a box magnetized and found the diamonds inside.