Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff contribute an enjoyable Batman and Robin story in Detective 225 (Nov. 55).
To raise money for charity, a contest is held, and the biggest contributors get to be Batman for a day. Robin agrees to act as their sidekick and make sure they don’t get into too much trouble.
Commissioner Gordon gets to be Batman for the second day, giving him a larger than usual role. Batman gets wind of a crook’s plans, and needs to be Batman on the third day, so he wins as Bruce Wayne.
Alfred, who has not been seen in Detective Comics for about three years, gets a great cameo, driving the Batmobile as Wayne’s chauffer. Batman takes pains not to be too good at the job as Bruce, but still captures the crook.
J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, debuts in this issue, the starting point of the Silver Age. Joe Samachson and Joe Certa create an extremely powerful character in a really underplayed series.
Dr. Erdel creates a teleportation device, aims it at Mars and lets fire, bringing J’onn to Earth.
J’onn has barely started demonstrating his extensive powers, showing off his ability to shape change by taking on a human form, when Dr. Erdel suffers a heart attack and dies. Dr. Erdel is pretty much doomed to appear only in flashbacks and retellings of this scene, but in the 80s they start fleshing out his corpse.
Erdel’s death leaves J’onn trapped on Earth, until he figures out how to make the machine send him back home.
His ability to turn invisible and intangible gets the best visuals. His various other powers only get shown in later stories.
He decides to adopt the name John Jones, and get a job as a policeman to help deal with the crime he sees running rampant on Earth. His ease in doing so, with no proper identification, implies his mind-control powers, as would later be explained.
The fact that he so rarely appears as a martian in this story helps keep it solidly a “detective” story, yet there is clearly something going on here unlike anything being published at this time. The repressive era was melting, and the Martian Manhunter was the first sign of green.