History of Batman #7: Coffee Table Top Status – Batman in 1942, Pt. One

As we begin 1942 in Batman comics, we see DC Comics’ ‘World’s Finest’ team of Batman creators (Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson) add more members to their super team in the form of writer Joseph Greene and cover artist Jack Burnley on the publications ‘Detective Comics’ and ‘Batman’. Even if some of the stories weren’t seen as thrilling as Joker being electrocuted and brought back to life, the cover art, splash pages and panels presented are some of the most memorable visuals of this Golden Age era. Not to mention the start of World War II propaganda in the pages of World’s Finest, giving the needed support for the American troops. This session the cover really brings you into the adventures of Batman and Robin more than ever before. Dive in!

Previously: History of Batman #6: 1941 pt. 2

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 59, January 1942 *Part of Chronology

Created by:
Joseph Greene – writer
Bob Kane – cover, pencils
Jerry Robinson – cover, inks
George Roussos – inks, letters

The King of the Jungle

Story: Robin discovers the Penguin is alive, turning in his own henchmen for the reward money, creating a criminal cycle once he breaks them out of jail. In a fight on the Mississippi River, Batman and Robin fight the crooks but lose track of Penguin once again.

Batman (Vol 1) 9, February / March 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jack Burnley

batman-robin-spotlight-9

‘They’ve spotted us, dick!’ By the way, love Jim Lee’s homage cover to this on All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #9 (April 2008).

The Four Fates

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: When a mystic name Jaffeer is killed by a group of gangsters for his priceless idol, Batman and Robin hunt down these criminals who meet their tragic destinies.

The White Whale

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Sea Captain Burly hunts down a ‘giant white whale’ for the Seven Seas Insurance Company with Batman secretly on his crew. When on the ship, the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder eventually go up against the abusive captain, discovering the ‘whale’ is actually a submarine, its captain planning on using it to commit insurance fraud.

The Case of the Lucky Law-Breakers

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: The Joker, once again, escapes prison and creates a new gang of prisoners robbing banks. Batman and Robin go up against Joker and his men with Joker getting away.

Christmas

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: In the first of many holiday stories to come, Batman helps accused murderer Bob Cratchit clear his name, dressing as the Ghost of Christmas Past to scare the real killer to come forward. With Batman’s aid, Cratchit is home for Christmas with his son Timmy in a very ‘God bless us, everyone’ moment.

batman-robin-christmas-tale

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 60, February 1942 *Part of Chronology

Created by:

Jack Schiff – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – cover, inks

Fred Ray – cover

George Roussos – inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

Case of the Costume-Clad Killers

Story: When the Joker has Gotham criminals dressed as policemen and firemen rob the city’s banks, Batman and Robin have to track down the Clown Prince of Crime to stop his gang.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 61, March 1942 *Part of Chronology

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – cover, pencils

Jerry Robinson – cover, inks

George Roussos – cover, inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

The Three Racketeers

Story: From phony phone calls, to lazy serums to breaking banks with tanks,  three racketeer prisoners tell three separate stories of how they went up against and were ultimately defeated by the Dark Avenger.

Batman (Vol 1) 10, April 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

So Meta!
So Meta!

The Isle That Time Forgot

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Receiving his own Batplane for his birthday, Dick flies himself and Bruce above Gotham, landing on a mysterious island with dangerous dinosaurs and people. The duo discovers director Guy Markham and his set up to get Batman and Robin as the stars of his next film.

Report Card Blues

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Running away from home due to a bad report card, Tommy Trent is kidnapped by Gotham criminals on the run from Batman and Robin. But with Tommy leaving a helpful trail, the Dynamic Duo find the crooks and Tommy returns home.

The Princess of Plunder

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: The Cat-Woman re-emerges as Margerite Tone, a socialite who throws a party where her and her crooks can rob the rich guests. With Batman and Robin on the scene, the henchmen are released due to Tone’s alibis; she dons her Catwoman guise and continues committing robberies of jewels throughout Gotham. The Dark Knight and Boy Wonder capture her henchmen, but after another kiss, Batman lets Catwoman escape. Again.

The Sheriff of Ghost Town

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: The gang Five Aces Frogel take over a newly settled town called Sunshine City, making the citizens ask for help from Gotham City’s Batman. When Batman and Robin arrive at the town, they dress up as the sheriff and deputy and after a chase on a stagecoach, the duo bring back order to the city.

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 5, Spring 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Fred Ray

96 pages!
Supporting the troops AND 96 pages full of adventures! World’s Finest indeed!

Crime Takes A Holiday

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: Suspicious of the lower crime rates in Gotham, Batman goes undercover as gangster Gold Coast Kid. Accepted and taken to Philadelphia, Batman discovers the crime lords have been framing other gangs for their crimes and blows their covers, involving the police.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 62, April 1942 *Part of Chronology

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Fred Ray – cover

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

George Roussos – inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

Laugh, Town, Laugh

Story: When wealthy comedian Happy Hanson dies and leaves his will with clues to his fortune to five comedians, the Joker not only breaks out but collects all the clues to find the hidden treasure left by Hanson. Batman and Robin have to save the comedians from certain death and stop Joker from stealing the fortune.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 63, May 1942 *Part of Chronology

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Fred Ray – cover

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – cover, inks

George Roussos – inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

A Gentleman in Gotham

Story: Thief Michael Baffle and his collected men are robbing Gotham City’s socialites, which involves Linda Page. Once Mr. Baffle robs Bruce Wayne, Batman and Robin step on the scene to stop him.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 64, June 1942 *Part of Chronology

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – cover, inks

George Roussos – inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

The Joker Walks the Last Mile

Story: Facing all of his past crimes, the Joker confesses, goes to prison and dies by execution. When the Joker returns, he is a free man. Only being a stand up citizen for so long and almost getting the Caped Crusader himself arrested, Joker commits a crime, Batman illustrates proof of his injustice to the police and the Harlequin of Hate is once again on the run.

joker-sentenced-to-death

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 6, June 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Fred Ray

The Secret of Bruce Wayne!

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

who-is-the-batman

Story: View Magazine’s Scoop Scanion wants to learn Batman’s secret identity, following him while he tries to stop criminal acts thanks to the radio show “Racket-Smashers”.

Batman (Vol 1) 11, June 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

The Joker’s Advertising Campaign

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Escaping jail again, Joker now commits crimes and informs his henchmen through newspaper ads. When Batman and Robin track him down, Robin is captured and nearly dies. Once the Caped Crusader saves his young ward, Batman fights Joker and puts him in the hospital, but doesn’t kill him.

Payment in Full

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: District attorney Lee Benson is troubled when his promise to a felon named Joe Dolan that his life would be spared goes into action, calling in Batman to help.

Batman knocks out the Joker
One of Robinson’s best Batman covers of Golden Age Comics!

Bandits in Toyland

Created by:

Edmond Hamilton – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: While Bruce Wayne is on jury duty, he uses his persona as Batman to prove that the accused is innocent; Muscles Malone, a thug, used stolen children’s toys to smuggle in the jewels out of the jewelry department store, making it look like the store worker is guilty for stealing the gems.

Four Birds of a Feather

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Penguin leads a racketeer group in Florida blindly robbing socialite winners in their gambling club. When Bruce Wayne falls victim to this scheme, he turns into Batman and stops Penguin’s men but the rogue escapes in the end.

Next week we will complete the year 1942 with the introduction to the Batman’s ‘Hall of Trophies’ in the Batcave and more from the expanding creative team during this era in Batman’s DC Comics’ history!

And as always, you can check out more History of the Batman!

 

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