Robin joins Batman in action on the cover of Detective 39 (May 1940), although the image does not reflect the story inside.
The logo is an awkward combination of the one recently being used for Batman, and the Robin logo from the previous issue, with it’s hint of Robin Hood. The story, by Bill Finer, with art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, begins with kidnapped millionaires, and leads to a jade idol in Chinatown.
Although Bruce didn’t hesitate to bring the boy along to fight armed hoods on a building under construction, in this story he tells Dick to stay behind, that it’s too dangerous.
Not that it does any good. Dick gets into the Robin costume and heads down to Chinatown himself.
Robin gets his fair share of the action, even getting involved in a sword fight with the bad guy’s muscle. Batman gets to be the one to unmask the killer, who turns out to be a white man in disguise.
I should also point out the giant jade idol. Huge props would become a staple of the Batman series decades down the road, but they go all the way back to this story!
Red Logan’s story in this issue is blatantly derived from the Sherlock Holmes tale, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.”
A series of locked room murders, with a cobra as the culprit.
The story in this issue sets up Speed to get a sidekick. He recruits Danny, a street kid, to help him keep an eye on a nest of Siva worshippers, and the boy gets commended by the police chief
We are told in the last panel that Danny will be Speed’s new assistant, but then never see him again. And I breathed a sigh of relief over that.
This story sees Cliff Crosby on vacation in Florida. So he is taking a vacation from being an explorer? What exactly is the difference? Does he travel but not look at or do anything?
If that’s the case, that’s not the story, as Cliff gets wound up with Seminoles and alligators and thieves and all manner of trouble.
The primary reason this Slam Bradley story by Jerry Siegel made it into my blog was one terrible panel.
Slam bouncing off an awning. Terrible.
The rest of the story, and the art, isn’t so bad. Though it’s far from thrilling. Slam and Shorty are assigned to guard a gem, which is a fake. They wind up flying over to Paris during the story, but no mention is made of the War.