History of Batman #12: Dick Sprang’s Daring Dynamic Duo -1944, Part Two

The end of 1944 in ‘Detective Comics’, ‘Batman’ and ‘World’s Finest Comics’ featured our highlighted hero facing dangerous rogues such as The Joker and escaping seemingly impossible traps, much thanks to artist Dick Sprang’s distinctive line and movement on the page. Let’s finish another year in Batman’s comic book history with time travel, prison break outs and of course adventures with Alfred!

Batman (Vol 1) 23, June 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

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The Upside Down Crimes

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils

Gene McDonald – inks

Story: After being released from imprisonment and then visiting a funhouse, the Joker and his henchmen start to commit crimes that are literally upside down by stealing priceless gems and other robberies. Batman and Robin have to stop Joker before he turns the whole city of Gotham upside down.

Damsel in Distress

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: Dr. Davenport and his daughter Marjory is kidnapped by gangster Bugs Conklin when he needs a surgeon to cure his wounds. When kidnapping Marjory was used as collateral, Dick Grayson notices her absence when she doesn’t show up for their date. As Robin, he goes and finds Marjory, but becomes kidnapped to, so it is up to the Caped Crusader to save the Boy Wonder and the Davenports.

Borrowed Butler

Created by:

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: While Alfred has to give his butler services to the family of Mrs. Van Upsitart, he uncovers a jewelry theft and has to solve which family member is the culprit before returning to Wayne Manor.

Pelt Plunderers

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: A story created to applaud the police efforts in and out of comics, Batman and Robin team up with the Royal Canadian Police to help stop a fur robbing gang while visiting in Canada for vacation.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 88, June 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

The Merchants of Misery

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: Batman and Robin hear of murders by a loan shark named Big Hearted John in a poorer part of Gotham and must go under cover as criminals to stop the murders of innocent Gothamites.

World’s Finest Comics (Vol 1) 14, Summer 1944

Cover by:

Jack Burnley

‘No Swimming’? Not for the World’s Finest!
‘No Swimming’? Not for the World’s Finest!

Salvage Scavengers

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils

George Roussos – inks

Story: Salvager Jib Buckler sabotages ships in the Gotham City waters by sinking them and collecting the missing cargo. The Dynamic Duo have to track him down before sinking another ship.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 89, July 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

Laboratory Loot

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: The charismatic and chivalrous criminal the Cavalier steals a special typewriter from a member of Bruce Wayne’s gentlemen’s society club named Dr. Helmar Heistrom. Wayne transforms into Batman to dual once more with the Cavalier, whose real identity, Mortimer Drake, is revealed.

Batman (Vol 1) 24, August / September 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

It Happened in Rome

Created by:

Joe Samachson – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: Professor Carter Nichols transports Batman to the streets of Ancient Rome where he is arrested by the soldiers of the corrupt Publius Malchio and thrown in prison. Dick Grayson then becomes hypnotized by Nichols and is brought to Rome to save Robin, then help an imprisoned court jester escape, ending with Batman in an exciting chariot race back to the present.

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Bat Facts: Although Batman and Robin in earlier ‘Batman’ and ‘Detective Comics’ have traveled to fairytale lands and other mystical places, this story marks the first of many ‘time travel adventures’, marked as leaving the year 1942 and ending in Ancient Rome. The idea of time travel would become more frequent of stories in the Silver Age, the early 1950s, in alliance with the fascination of science and technological expansion.

Convict Cargo

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: After Alfred and Batman discover a secret message inside of a package stating that banker Sam Caldwin will be arrested, he has criminals help him leave the country. Batman and Robin have to pursue both the crooks and Caldwin to bring swift justice to their illegal activity.

Police Line-Up

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: Another thrilling “Adventures of Alfred” four-page tale, Alfred follows a man he swears was in a police line up at the GCPD. But when gangsters try to rob the man, Alfred saves him, only to learn he was a police detective, not a criminal in custody.

The Mayors of Yonville

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: When the Alice in Wonderland inspired villains Tweedledee and Tweedledum return as corrupt mayors of a town called Yonville, Batman and Robin are in trouble once they are able to imprison the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder. Once they break out of jail, it is up to our heroes to return all the stolen money from to town’s people and to stop the twin characters’ electoral power.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 90, August 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

Crime Between the Acts

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: On the rivers of Mississippi, Batman and Robin have to apprehend a group of criminals committing robberies on board of a traveling showboat filled with performers.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 91, September 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

detective911944

The Case of the Practical Joker

Created by:

Edmond Hamilton – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: The Joker fools Batman and escapes prison when he tells him that his inmates play practical jokes on him. But once the Caped Crusader discovers that it was all a plan to escape, Batman has to track Joker down in Gotham to stop him from committing more robberies.

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 15, Fall 1944

Cover by:

Jack Burnley

The Men Who Died Twice

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils

George Roussos – inks

Story: After three killers are sent to the electric chair, Batman is baffled when he sees the same three men committing robberies in Gotham. After detective work, Batman discovers the real killers set up the three men imprisoned and he brings them to justice.

Batman (Vol 1) 25, October / November 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

You may be cool, but you’ll never be Batman riding a motorcycle through a burning hoop cool.
You may be cool, but you’ll never be Batman riding a motorcycle through a burning hoop cool.

Knights of Knavery

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils

Jerry Robinson – pencils

Story: After spending time in prison together, The Joker and The Penguin have a contest to see who’s the best crook in Gotham by trying to steal the same priceless gem. Once they both fail thanks to Batman, Joker and Penguin decide to team up to take down the Caped Crusader and the Dynamic Duo.

The Sheik of Gotham City

Created by:

Alvin Schwartz – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inker

Story: Batman and Robin have to take on two sheiks, one, Omar El Kobra, sending his men to kill the other, Sidi Ben Hassen, so he can have rule over Hassen.

The Mesmerized Manhunter

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: Part of the four pages tales of “The Adventures of Alfred”, after being hypnotized at a local magic show, Alfred discovers that someone working at the theatre has been stealing money from the box office.

The Kilowatt Cowboys

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inker

Story: Batman and Robin along with feuding co-workers Alec and Jack stop a group of copper thieves at a Gotham City power company.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 92, October 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

Crime’s Manhunt

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: When three ex cons turn to the bounty hunter business and double cross one of their partners, Batman and Robin have to capture these crooks and return them to prison.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 93, November 1944

Cover by:

Dick Sprang

detective931944

One Night of Crime

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: The Dark Knight and Robin the Boy Wonder have save innocent citizens from a hold up and hostage situation on a city bus before lives are at risk.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 94, December 1944

Cover by:

George Roussos

No One Must Know

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Dick Sprang – pencils, inks

Story: The Dynamic Duo have to chase two con men through a county fair in the small town of Meadowvale to apprehend them and bring their blackmailed henchman, George Barrow to innocence.

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 16, Winter 1944

Cover by:

Jack Burnley – pencils

Charles Paris – inks

Charles Paris first ‘Batman’ cover!!
Charles Paris first ‘Batman’ cover!!

The Mountaineers of Crime

Created by:

Alvin Schwartz – writers

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inkers

Story: While in the remote mountain area helping a production factory, Batman and Robin catch themselves in a feud between two mountain clans and a group of bandits, so they have to stop the crooks from stealing from the factory.

We will begin the year of 1945 next time in our chronological look at The Batman in DC Comics!

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