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?

Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Nov

Adventure Comics 194

Superboy

Another genius who could have greatly helped he world if only he hadn’t turned to crime. This one is very Luthor-esk and wants not only to use his new lightning gun for crime, but to prove himself smarter than Superboy. He moves himself and his minion to Smallville as soon as the gun is tested. They first rob a bank, and when SB steps in they shoot him with the gun. As we all know a little electricity is nothing to a Kyrptonian, but Clark knew that merely his being around others with his new electric field was dangerous. First our clever boy solves his problems from afar, forming a giant shovel to carry the crooks, but they simply shoot out a bridge while in transport, making him leave them to fix it.

Clark then flew out to Pluto and worked off the power that clung to him, and he goes after the crooks again then they strike that night. They cut off the powerplant, but SB used their own weapon against them by making himself into a giant light bulb with the help of his new blast of electricity. While fleeing the town the criminals come across Superboy standing before them, glowing. They pull out the gun and try to charge him enough so he must leave, only for it to fly out of the boss’s hands into the sky where the real Superboy had coiled metal around himself so as to make himself into an electromagnet. The version on the ground was made a metal, and given just enough of the energy to glow. Superboy then showered bits of electrified metal around the crooks, left to work of the rest of the power and soon returned to bring the men to jail.

Aquaman

Our boy was just drifting along on the back of a walrus when he sees a ship being attacked and so he heads on over to see what he can do. Imagine his shock when it wasn’t some random pirate, but an actual armada of enemies. So the crooked navy gets away with that ship’s cargo, but Aquaman is ready for them with the next ship that passes by. He has called up his friends, and put up a ‘smokescreen’ by having the octopuses release their ink and then the whales sprayed it into the air. Next torpedoes were sent after the ship Aquaman was protecting, but some of Aquaman’s friends simply nudged them back toward the shooters.

So they closed in, deciding to fight hand to hand. Aquaman scared them off though, with legions of turtles, painted to look like mines. They still made off with the gold from the ship though. Except it wasn’t gold, but a radio, to bring the coast guard to the leader of the thieves. He set up this trap on the first ship, by mentioning that the other was going through, and there was a bug that relayed that to the crook. I wonder why he decided to drop that bug though, and how Aquaman knew about it.

Johnny Quick

Johnny, Tubby, and some adventurers find a lost city (I think it’s in South America, but they don’t say) Tubby’s biggest worry is that the natives believe it haunted. There seems to be something to the rumor as well. Statues coming to life, and people hurling spears at them before vanishing. But when the adventurers stumble upon a sacrificial pit (Johnny saves them) that has paths and tunnels around the bottom he thinks he may have found how the previous events had happened. While exploring these (and nearly dying again) the four find stacks of gold. Modern gold, as it had mint marks and the like.

The gang comes after them, but Johnny quickly (haha) chases them back, and when they block the tunnel the speedster digs them out in seconds. The criminals are then trapped in a thrown together cage of spears.

Green Arrow

Our story begins by seeing the duo going after some bank robbers. The crooks end up running into a scientist’s lab where he is exploring the relationship between light and time. The entire party ends up in the future where they witness another bank robbery, and the Archers are greeted by a cop. Oddly not only did the people from the future know them, and even expect to see them, but GA knew about special arrows they had in this time, and how to use them. The bank robbers here were the same ones from the past, just changed in their methods and what they planned to steal. Just as in modern (or not so modern as it’s the 50s) times they escape briefly, but GA and Speedy are able to find them again with the help of the police.

The crooks try to escape again in a rocket, but the archers use Anti-atom arrows to kill the reactions in the jets. Still using fantastic (and most likely impossible) arrows they capture the crooks and then wake in the lab.

Dc Comics · Golden Age

1953 Oct

Adventure Comics 193

Superboy

Clark goes swimming one day, and he hides his suit rather hastily. So naturally it is found by on of his classmates, a boy even more timid than Clark. His first thought was to return it, but all he wanted was his girlfriend to like him again. She had gotten fed up with his cowardice and dumped him. So he wore he suit and told her that he was Superboy. Clark let him run with it, knowing the boy’s timidity would force him to give up the truth, which it did. But Clark set up a scene where the girl seemed to be in danger, hoping that the boy would save her. He did of course, and learned some bravery from the experience.

The nest person to cross paths with the costume was a man who had fallen on hard times. He stole the suit through the boy’s window and used it to commit a robbery. Superboy had been watching, and had set up the store from which the man had stolen. He knew the man was good at heart, as he was his neighbor. He knew the man’s conscience would not allow him to keep what he had taken.

Finally the suit crossed paths with a conman, who used it as an example of the fabric he was selling. Of course the fabric he sold did not have the same properties as the alien suit. Clark didn’t bother trying to teach this man a lesson, but hurried to save those who thought their newest purchase would protect them, and he sent the conman to jail.

Aquaman

I love Aquaman! He might be my family’s favorite DC hero. (Combined, what with my brother’s hatred of most of them and how much my Mom likes him) While clearing a path for a ship who was traversing the northwest passage he found a giant beast. At first he was afraid, but soon found the creature just wanted to be his friend. His only problem was that his new friend would attack every passing ship. Eventually the Navy threatened to kill  the creature next time he harmed a ship. Lucky for Aquaman the next ship belonged to a criminal, and the creature’s help caught him. They discovered that the creature ate coal, and all Aquaman needed to do to prevent the danger to ships was to keep him well fed.

Johnny Quick

Tubby heads to a museum where he and Johnny are to be shooting later that day. However he has arrived early, and as he is admiring the artwork of the Greek gods he is blindsided by Hermes, who Tubby had thought was nothing compared to his friend. Insulted Hermes decides to challenge Quick to a battle of wits and speed. The god pulls out many tricks; turning invisible, making him forget his formula, and putting him to sleep. Hermes could have won, if he had put on the speed before Johnny was able to reverse the trickery, but like in Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare, his confidence and laziness make Johnny winning inevitable. Of course, Tubby wakes up after Quick has defeated Hermes for the last time, revealing the whole thing as a dream.

Green Arrow

We all know about those slippery crooks that you just can’t get enough evidence on. By pure chance a passing photographer got a picture of one such man killing someone. Scared he had fled, but decided to come back for the sake of justice. While trying to save him from crooks GA missed several important shots, leaving Roy both worried and confused. Of course, we find out at the end that each of the shots went exactly where he wanted, but he didn’t have the time to explain to Speedy (there was totally time).