History of the Batman #9 – Heeere’s Alfred!: Batman in 1943, Part One

The emergence of writer Don Cameron and Jack Burnley’s more frequent comic book covers illustrate the current times of war and the dozen of reminders to support the American troops within the common detective tales in ‘Detective Comics’ and ‘Batman’. The year 1943 introduces not only one of the most important figures in Batman’s life, Alfred Pennyworth (originally Alfred Beagle) but also the last appearance of the Scarecrow in the Golden Age of Comics. Let’s continue the exciting history of the Dark Knight with the beginning of 1943!

Superman (Vol 1) 20, January / February 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jack Schiff

Superman’s Secret Revealed!

Created by:

Jerry Siegel – writer

John Sikela – pencils

Ed Dobrotka – inks

Story: Starting off 1943 with minor appearances, Batman and Robin witness when Lois Lane prints a gag newspaper article about Clark Kent being Superman and it circulates throughout the city. Clark has to protect his secret identity by playing off the whole thing as a hoax.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 71, January 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

Crime a Day

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: While on a citywide tour, Batman states that he always stops the Joker’s crimes because he leaves behind easy clues. Insulted and wanting to prove him wrong, the Clown Prince of Crime begins leaving one clue a day creating a dangerous and hard to decipher crime spree.

Batman (Vol 1) 15, 1943, February / March 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jack Burnley

Batman151943

Your Face is Your Fortune

Created by:

Jack Schiff – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Disguised as hairdresser Elva Barr and stealing from her socialite clients, Catwoman briefly convinces Batman that she is in love with him and ready to reform, so he doesn’t arrest her. However, Batman tricks Catwoman who is disguised as a jealous Linda Page, which turns her back to her evil ways, in the end the Caped Crusader stops her robberies with her gang.

The Boy Who Wanted To Be Robin

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: Knuckles Conger hires Bobby Deen, trains him to fight and master gymnastic so they can become their own Batman and Robin for crime in Gotham City. Once the real Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder discover their traveling act, Conger is put behind bars and Deen is sent off to military school.

 The Two Futures

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: A tale in relation to Burnley’s cover art supporting war bonds and stamps, the Dynamic Duo are placed in two possible futures after World War II. If the Allies lost, Americans, including Batman and Robin, would be in concentration camps by the Nazis. As the heroes they are born to be, they plan a rescue mission for the prisoners who escape, but Bruce and Dick are executed. The other possible future is if the Allies win over the Axis, peace and freedom would be restored with Batman and Robin stopping any attacks on Gotham. The issue ends with asking the reader to support the American troops and buy bonds to make sure the best future possible.

The Loneliest Men in the World

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: On Christmas, Batman and Robin help people they believe to be ‘the loneliest men in Gotham’ receive holiday cheer, all the while recently released Dirk Dagner tries to spoil their holiday efforts.

Batman and Robin play Santa Claus for Christmas!
Batman and Robin play Santa Claus for Christmas!

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 72, February 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

License for Larceny

Created by:

Joe Samachson – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Larry the corrupt Judge licenses a hit on the Batman once he saves Commissioner Gordon from being harmed. Although he sets him in a trap, the Caped Crusader is able to alert the police and escape.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 73, March 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson

The Scarecrow Returns

Created by:

Joe Samachson – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

DetectiveComics731943

Story: Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow returns with committing a series of crimes, starting with robbing a hat show, leaving clues for the Dynamic Duo that rhyme with the word hat. Although they follow the clues and have to escape a trap or two, they at the end catch Scarecrow.

Bat Facts: The second appearance of Scarecrow in Detective Comics, readers won’t see this God of Fear into the Silver Age issue of The Brave and the Bold (Vol 1) 197.

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 9, Spring 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jack Burnley

Superman! Batman! Knock out the Axis!
Superman! Batman! Knock out the Axis!

Crime of the Month

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils

George Roussos – inks

Story: Bramwell B. Bramwell is a crime fiction writer who wants to bring his work to life. He hires several gangs who each commit one crime in a month time span; whichever gang presents the best crime wins collected money. Batman and Robin has to not only stop the next crime in Gotham but also track down Bramwell and stop his story telling for good.

Batman (Vol 1) 16, April / May 1943

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

The Joker Reforms

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: The Joker gains amnesia after a plane crash in Ozarks, forgetting that he stole tons of jewels in Gotham. Returning them to the police, Joker’s henchmen, who survived harm free from the crash, try to get the jewels back and Joker helps Batman and Robin apprehend them. After another struggle resulting to a blow to the head, Joker remembers the mad man he truly is and take the loot for themselves and his men, but in the end the Dark Knight recovers the stolen loot.

The Grade A Crimes

Created by:

Ruth Lyon Kaufman – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: Two thieves disguise themselves as milkmen and commit early morning crimes successfully, fooling the police. Once Batman and Robin discover their rouse, they chase them down to a dairy farm and take them to the police.

The Adventures of the Branded Tree

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnely – pencils, inks

Story: After hearing a gun shot coming from the woods, Batman and Robin find a lumberjack who was cutting down a tree marked with a dagger when crooks came and attacked them. The Dynamic Duo go and track down the crooks to a mill, who secretly have been hiding jewels in trees.

Here Comes Alfred

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

AlfredDebut1943

Story: Saved by Batman and Robin from a group of crooks, the victim is an English man named Alfred, who happens to be Jarvis’ son, Bruce Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne’s butler. To thank him, Alfred wants to be their new butler and follow in his father’s footsteps. When the crooks return, Batman chases them down, Alfred accidentally discovers the secret Batcave and the identities of Batman and Robin. Finding out the Duke of Dorian’s priceless jewels were on the same flight as Alfred, Batman track the crooks down but are captured. Alfred trailed behind and saves the duo who then apprehends the criminals. In the end, Alfred reveals to Batman and Robin that he knows their secret identities, a secret he will keep forever, having Bruce make him his permanent butler.

Bat Facts: This story marks the first appearance of Alfred. Although this story doesn’t reveal his last name, up until the summer 1943’s black and white serials by Columbia Pictures, Alfred Beagle would be the heavy set English butler who knows the secret identities of these heroes of Gotham. We won’t see Alfred Pennyworth until Detective Comics (Vol 1) 83 from January of 1944.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 74, April 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

DetectiveComics741943

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Batman and the Boy Wonder first fight the troubling twins Tweeldedee and Tweedledum who try to trap them, but the duo successfully escape.

Bat Facts: This is the first appearance of the twin crooks Tweeduldum and Tweedledee, inspired by the characters from Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Through the Looking Glass by  Sir John Tenniel.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 75, May 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Bob Kane and George Roussos

The Robber Baron

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils

George Roussos – inks

Story: Robin has to save captured Batman and their butler Alfred Beagle from new criminals the Robber Baron and his crooks. Once the trio is safe, Batman and Robin take the Baron and his men into Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD.

Batman (Vol 1) 17, June / July 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

There is nothing more majestic than Batman and Robin riding an eagle. Keep the American eagle flying!!
There is nothing more majestic than Batman and Robin riding an eagle. Keep the American eagle flying!!

The Batman’s Biographer

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Batman meets writer B. Boswell Browne who has been writing a biography on the Caped Crusader. Once a crook called the Conjurer uses Browne’s notes on Batman’s skills and adventures to his advantages to commit crimes in Gotham, Batman needs his help to track down the criminal.

The Penguin Goes A-Hunting

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: Another villain has been insulted, this time The Penguin by his prison warden claiming he is no threat with his simple umbrella as a weapon. Trying to prove his danger level, he heightens his arsenal with guns and fishing poles. At first Batman has trouble combating Penguin with his new equipment, but in the end he stops Penguin with his original tool, the umbrella.

Rogues’ Pageant

Created by:

Don Cameron – writer

Jack Burnley – pencils, inks

Story: Batman and Robin leave Gotham to the town of Santo Pablo where Ducky Mallard and his men are giving trouble to the small celebratory town by committing a series of robberies. Once the Dynamic Duo stop the gang with the help of the town’s police, they return to their home in Gotham City.

Adventures of the Vitamin Vandals

Created by:

Joseph Greene – writer

Bob Kane – pencils

Jerry Robinson – inks

Story: Batman exposes mob fisherman leader Archie Gibbons who stole shark cargo from a fisherman ship with his gang called the Phantom Raiders.

Detective Comics (Vol 1) 76, June 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Jerry Robinson

Slay ‘em with Flowers

Created by:

Horace L. Gold – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils, inks

Story: The Joker sells chloroform rich flowers to people from his newly stolen flower shop. Once the new flower owners become unconscious, Joker and his gang rob them. Batman and Robin reveal Joker’s plan, track him down to his hideout and stop the Joker with his own knock out gas.

World’s Finest (Vol 1) 10, Summer 1943 *Part of Chronology

Cover by:

Joe Simon

Man with the Camera Eyes

Created by:

Bill Finger – writer

Jerry Robinson – pencils

George Roussos – inks

Story: A man with a photographic memory, Oliver Hunt, is tricked into joining a new gang in Gotham to help steal priceless things throughout Gotham. Once Batman and Robin discover that Hunt doesn’t want to aid the gang in replicating the Batplane, which he memorize the designs for, he helps the Dynamic Duo to stop them, with Batman encouraging Hunt to use his gift to become an agent for the United States to help his country during this pivotal time.

Next week we will continue our chronological look at Batman in DC Comics with a look at the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder in late 1943!

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