History of Batman #8: The Duality of Two-Face – Batman in 1942, Part Two

The year 1942 ends on exciting high notes for the Batman in ‘Detective Comics’, ‘Batman’ and ‘World’s Finest’. From the introduction of Harvey Kent who would become Harvey Dent / Two-Face to more incredible World War II propaganda cover art by Jack Burnely, the Dynamic Duo continue to save wherever their cape and cowl falls in and out of Gotham. Let’s take a look at more tales of Penguin, Joker and the unjust that plagued Batman’s city during this Golden Age.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 65, July 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon

The Cop Who Hated the Batman

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils

George Roussos – inks

Ray Burnley – inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

Story: Batman meets Tom Bolton, a state trooper who despises him due to the fact that he believes that the Dark Knight killed his father. But once Mike Nolan, Tom’s father’s partner, kidnaps Batman and Tom, they discover he killed the father and Tom forgives the Batman.

Batman (Vol 1) 12, August / September 1942

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

batman12-1

Brothers in Crime

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: Batman and Robin go up against an iron vest gang who are committing crimes throughout Gotham, including their newly prison released brother, Peter Rafferty.

firstbatcave1

Bat Facts: We get to see Batman’s famous ‘Batcave’ in detail for the first time since his 1939 debut, called his ‘Hall of Trophies’ illustrating his victories over the infamous rogues in Gotham. You can clearly see a penguin statue representing The Penguin and a smiling clown face over the fireplace for The Joker.

The Wizard of Worlds

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Ending with an intense fight on top of a floating blimp in Gotham’s skies, The Joker begins a whole new crime spree taking expressions literally, such as painting the town red.

Bat Facts: Following the last story, we have a new layout of the ‘Batcave’ in Wayne Manor, Finger calling them ‘secret underground hangars’. From descending from an old barn house, we see garages for the Caped Crusader’s Batplane and Batmobiles, a laboratory and a repair workshop. In future issues we will see his ‘Hall of Trophies’ and the hangars will coexist in the same cavern.

The-Wizard-of-Words-Batman-12-August-September-1942-Batcave1

They Thrill to Conquer

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: After the Dynamic Duo saves his life, Batman takes the place of the amazing stunt man Fearless Ford who is wanted by gangsters.

Around the Clock with the Batman

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Another chapter is added called ‘Observations on Crime’ while Batman celebrates Gotham City’s official ‘Batman Day’ by having more adventures of his own, from stopping jewel thieves to bank robbers.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 66, August 1942

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson and George Roussos

The Crimes of Two-Face

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson –pencils

George Roussos –inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

Story: District Attorney Harvey Kent’s life changes forever when presenting a case against mob head Boss Maroni. While in court, Maroni splashes acid, scarring half of Kent’s face. This triggers Kent to become the villain Two-Face, using Maroni’s two headed coin, scarring one side, to match his new state of mind. Now with the aid of a coin flip (the clear side good actions, the scarred evil ones), Two-Face begins a rampage in Gotham. Batman and Robin feeling sorry for Harvey and wanting him to wait for plastic surgeon Dr. Ekhart, who is in a Nazi concentration camp, to return to Gotham to fix his face, Two-Face flips the coin to decide what to do, with the end showing the coin landing on the edge, leaving the reader to wonder what side it will fall on.

Bat Facts: Like Jonathan Crane’s debut, Harvey Kent / Two-Face receives an origin in this first appearance in DC Comics. A cliffhanger, not only does the story conclude in ‘Detective Comics 68’, but the last name of ‘Kent’ turns to ‘Dent’ by the creative team, assuring there is no confusion that Harvey is related to the popular Clark Kent of Metropolis, also known as Superman.

TwoFaceDebut1942
Harvey’s transformation into Two-Face

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 67, September 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

Crime’s Early Bird

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

George Roussos – inks

Ira Schnapp – letters

Story: The Penguin returns to Gotham, committing crimes using the use of trained birds, making the Dynamic Duo to stop the villainous vultures.

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 7, September 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jack Burnley

The North Pole Crimes

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: The Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder stop the snow centered plots of the Snow Man Bandits, traveling from Gotham City to the cold North.

Batman (Vol 1) 13, October 1942

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

The Batman Plays a Lone Hand

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: In order to assure that Dick Grayson does not get hurt on a dangerous mission to stop a particular gang in Gotham, Batman ‘fires’ Robin. When Grayson follows Batman, he sees he has been captured, trapped in an underground basement. Robin saves Batman, with the Caped Crusader welcoming back his partner.

Comedy of Tears

Created by:

Jack Schiff – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Stealing signatures to commit crimes throughout the city, Batman and Robin have to chase down and ultimately trap the Joker to stop his plots of forgery.

The Story of the Seventeen Stones

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: After being released from prison after 20 years, Ricky Grimes seeks revenge from his old gang for putting him behind bars. Batman and Robin have to stop Grimes from murdering his past allies with stones.

Destination Unknown

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Batman has to save an out of control train filled with passengers, then investigates to figure out who was responsible for knocking out the engineer, unraveling a murder mystery.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 68, October 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

detective68

The Man Who Led a Double Life

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Continuing from his debut appearance in Detective Comics 66, Two-Face grabs his two-sided coin and puts it in his pocket. When the cops arrive and shoot him, the bullet bouncing off the coin, Two-Face decides to continue being a criminal, his wrong doings involving the number two. Batman and Robin have to stop Two-Face and his gang and turn them into the police.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 69, November 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

The Harlequin’s Hoax

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: As he begins blackmailing four businessmen and stealing from their respective companies, Batman has to put in his detective work to stop the Joker’s devious plans, yet in the end the rogue escapes.

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 8,, December 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jack Burnley

Although not politically correct in today's media, terms such as 'Japanazis' fit the time period and American support effort during World War II.
Although not politically correct in today’s media, terms such as ‘Japanazis’ fit the time period and American support effort during World War II.

Brothers in Law

Created by:

Jack Schiff – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: When their father is shot and killed by criminal Little Nap Boyd, brothers Tim and Nick join forces with Batman and Robin to stop Boyd and bring him to justice.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 70, December 1942 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

The Man Who Could Read Minds

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: After an accident, a man named Carlo gains the ability to read people’s minds. Using this to his advantage to commit crimes in Gotham, Carlo learns that Bruce Wayne is Batman. The Dark Knight tracks down Carlo and tragically Carlo dies, taking the secret of the Batman to his grave.

Batman (Vol 1) 14, December 1942 / January 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

batman14

The Case Batman Failed to Solve

Created by:

Dan Cameron – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: While attending a gathering of great detectives, Batman and Robin witness the death of Dana Drye. All the detectives come together to solve the mystery of Drye’s death. Batman learns that Drye committed suicide after learning they had an incurable disease. Plus, Drye learned the secret of Bruce Wayne. Batman has to lie and say he couldn’t figure out the mystery in order to protect his identity from being known to the world.

Prescription of Happiness

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Pills Mattson hijacks a pharmacy as their hideout to escape Batman and Robin. Once they discover where the convict is, they have to save the pharmacist taken hostage.

 Swastika Over the White House

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: Once discovering cameraman Fred Hopper is really Fritz Hoffner, a Nazi secret spy, Batman and Robin have to track him down and trap him to stop the vicious spy ring.

Bargains in Banditry

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: The Penguin returns by stealing from criminals in Gotham who have successfully committed crimes. Undercover as ‘Bat News’ Brewster, Batman tries to trap Penguin and stop his new scheme.

Next week we will continue our chronology with the beginning of Batman and Robin in the 1943, with features in ‘Superman’ and other amazing tales in the masked vigilante’s self titled publication!

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