Posts tagged ‘Jerry Robinson’

Detective 80 – the end of Two-Face

tec_80

Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson being the story of Harvey Kent to a conclusion in Detective 80 (Oct. 43).  Two-Face gets back out onto the streets, and continues his life of crime.

tec_80_002

Batman and Robin track Harvey to his lair, a moodily drawn double masted schooner, but is unaware that he is being followed as well.

tec_80_001

Batman confronts Two-Face, who pulls a gun and shoots.  Gilda dives in front, taking the bullet, which shocks Harvey back to his senses.

tec_80_003

He goes to say good-bye to his criminal buddies, who are none too keen on seeing him reform, and tie him up, forcing him to plan their next crime.

tec_80_004

Batman intervenes, Harvey gets freed, and after pleading guilty is sentenced to only a year in prison.  Once he gets out he gets facial surgery, and he and Gilda are left to live happily ever after.

Really.

The next time this character appeared, five years down the road, he was called Harvey Dent.  The name was changed to avoid “confusion” with Clark Kent.  But in the 80s, in a Mr. and Mrs. Superman story from Superman Family, we see Harvey and Gilda Kent, happily married, and attending the wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, so this Harvey really did recover from his time as Two-Face,

 

Detective 79 – Batman in “Destiny’s Auction,” the Crimson Avenger vs the Adder,and the Boy Commandos in Italy

tec_79

Detective 79 (Sept. 43) features “Destiny’s Auction” as its Batman and Robin story, one of my favourite Batman stories from this period.

tec_79_001

Jerry Anderson does the art as Madame Calagra tells the future of an aspiring actress, an aging actor, and a rising hoodlum.  They interpret the destinies in a positive way – but things go very wrong for each of them, in ways suiting the words.

tec_79_002

There are three identical trunks, one with stolen gems, and another an unpublished manuscript.  Batman and Robin get involved, and the lives of the three enmesh.

tec_79_003

Big happy ending (except for the hoodlum), and those three fortunes from the opening have come true again, in a positive way.

tec_79_004

The Crimson Avenger and Wing go up against the Adder in this story, although the Adder appears rarely.  Mostly its Lee and Wing taking on his assistant.

tec_79_005

Banks are being robbed, and bank presidents apprehended and killed.

tec_79_006

The Crimson Avenger and Wing jump around a lot and hit a lot of people.  They finally encounter the Adder, who gets unmasked and revealed to be the bank president seen at the beginning, who faked his own murder.

Not someone who would likely be a recurring villain, and there is nothing serpentine about the Adder or his outfit either.

tec_79_007

Mussolini appears on the splash page, and the final panel, of this Simon and Kirby Boy Commandos story, but unfortunately not in the story itself.

tec_79_008

Rip leads the boys to Italy, where they encounter many Italian partisans, who desire the overthrow of Mussolini.  With the Boys, they work to kick out German occupiers.

tec_79_009

Detective 76 – the Joker becomes a florist, and the Boy Commandos meet Sandman and the Newsboy Legion

tec_76

Jerry Robinson takes over the pencilling on the Batman story in Detective 76 (June 1943), making Batman and his crew look a little more life-like, less stylized.

tec_76_001

The story suits the change, as the Joker makes himself look “normal” as he takes over a flower shop.

tec_76_002

The plants he sells come in pots that are rigged with chloroform gas, knocking out the owners and leaving the house free to be robbed.  Having figured out the plan, Bruce buys some flowers, but removes the gas from the pots.  He, Dick and Alfred pretend to be asleep, but once the Joker’s men have robbed them, change clothes and take them down.

tec_76_003

Simon and Kirby bring most of their characters together in this Boy Commandos story, as the Boys are brought to the US on a publicity campaign.

tec_76_004

Waiting to greet them once they arrive in New York are Sandman and Sandy, as well as the Guardian and the Newsboy Legion.

tec_76_005

The Nazis are also out in force, to kidnap the boys and make the publicity campaign a disaster for morale.  When the kids go missing, the other heroes jump into action to find them, but the Boys free themselves and Rip, and get to meet Roosevelt at the White House.

Detective 74 – Tweedledum and Tweedledee debut, and Rip Carter goes on trial

tec_74

Two of Batman’s most frequent enemies from the 1940s, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, are introduced in Detective 74 (April 1943), with art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson.

tec_74_001

The story begins with Batman and Robin getting confused, and then electric shocked, by what appear to be identical twins.

tec_74_002

Heading to a tailor who runs a store for oversized men, Bruce and Dick learn that the two men are actually cousins, Deever and Dumfree Tweed, and seek out their house.

tec_74_003

Though it would not usually be their “shtick,” in this first story they dress up as the Alice in Wonderland characters, along with a Mad Hatter and March Hare as muscle, in order to rob a costume ball.  Batman nixes that plan.

tec_74_004

Simon and Kirby put Rip Carter on trial in this Boy Commandos story.  Though it’s not for the reckless endangerment of children.  Taking the kids into battle is just fine.

tec_74_005

Instead, he is charged with disobeying orders, leading to casualties among the troops.  Rip, and others, relate the story behind this, which has to do with a cowardly British officer.

tec_74_006

It’s not the best Boy Commandos story, it’s a bit heavy on text, and the ending is awkward, with one of the judges revealed as the penitent father of the cowardly officer, so Rip gets acquitted.  And not as much good battle art as usual, either.

Detective 73 – Batman vs the Scarecrow, the Boy Commandos and the tin box, and the Crimson Avenger gets a cloud

tec_73

The Scarecrow makes his second appearance in Detective 73 (March 1943), which turns out to be the last appearance of the character until the 1960s.  Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson illustrate.

tec_73_001

Professor Crane is out of prison, and has thought up a new set of crimes, which have absolutely nothing to do with fear or scaring people at all.  Nope, instead he has a little blackboard and leaves three letter rhyming clues (vat, mat, yat).  What a let down.  Linda Page appears briefly, buying a ridiculous hat.

tec_73_002

The Scarecrow does hoist a nasty looking machine gun, but without the fear gas element (which had been created by Hugo Strange before the Scarecrow was introduced), the character just doesn’t sing.

tec_73_003

Simon and Kirby give each of the boys a chance to shine in this tale, which sees the Boy Commandos navigate a dense jungle to deliver a little tin box.

tec_73_004

There are Nazis pursuing them, of course, but unlike the other tales to date, this one gives much more play to the team itself.  Brooklyn still manages to grab focus.

tec_73_005

The tin box is revealed to be tin foil wrappers, and Rip Carter explains the importance of recycling stuff for war.  So propaganda again, but far more readable than the Japanese one.

tec_73_006

The Crimson Avenger starts using a capsule that releases a crimson smoke cloud, which he uses for dramatic entrances and exits, and also for messing up the bad guys during a fight.  It seems to affect the brain at times.

tec_73_009

The City Desk Editor is left befuddled at Lee Travis’ disappearance, while Lee himself managed to change costume and fall out a window.

tec_73_007

The Crimson Avenger and Wing are pursuing a mob boss who likes his people to dress and use tech from the turn of the century.  A mob boss keeping his people behind the times is not likely to triumph.

Detective 72 – Batman fights the judge, and the Boy Commandos play with flowers

tec_72

Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson contribute the art on the Batman story in Detective 72 (Feb. 43).  The cover accurately bills the story, “License for Larceny.”

tec_72_001

A financial investor, J. Spencer Lawson, is also a gangland boss, Larry the Judge, who issues licenses to his men, determining what crimes they are allowed to commit, and imposing penalties on those who disobey.  This could be, if it was written now, a really harsh and disturbing tale, but it’s 1943 so it’s not.

tec_72_002

As a financial investor, he learns all about his clients, so he knows who to rob, and of what.  Bruce Wayne falls into his grasp, but Batman takes him down.

This tale also includes a rare, external shot of Wayne’s house.  The term “manor” ceased being used during the war, and the house looks much smaller and less ostentatious than expected.

tec_72_003

This Boy Commandos story, by Simon and Kirby, has the kids in rural England, stumbling upon a nest of spies.

tec_72_004

The insidious foes meet in the basement of a flower shop, and they are smuggling explosives in the flower pots.  The Boys stumble across this, and mess up their plans.

tec_72_005

This is the first story in which Brooklyn is really given a chance to shine.  He had always been the stand-out character, with his dialect and personality, but was usually given equal time with the rest of the team.  Now he starts to move to the front.

Detective 71 – the Joker’s Crime-a-Day, and the Boy Commandos go AWOL

tec_71

Great cover for this Bill Finger/Bob Kane/Jerry Robinson story from Detective 71 (Jan. 43), in which the Joker gives daily clues to his upcoming crimes.

tec_71_001

Batman begins giving a series of public lectures, and the coverage makes the Joker jealous, so the whole series of crimes are just an effort to upstage Batman.

tec_71_002

tec_71_003

It’s a Christmas story for the Boy Commandos, thank to Simon and Kirby.

tec_71_004

Rip Carter and the Boys are playing Santa for some war orphans, and are moved to go and lead a rescue of the father of one of them.  The impetuous boys don’t realize it, but they go AWOL in order to do so.  Rip does inform them of this, but only after they’ve already stolen the jeep to do so.

tec_71_005

But no one is likely to get court-martialled in a Christmas story anyway.

 

Detective 70 – Batman challenged by a mind-reader, and the Boy Commandos meet a cabbie

tev_70

Although it appears that Detective 70 (Dec. 42) has a generic image of Batman and Robin, it actually does show a scene from the story.

tec_70

The story , with art by Kane and Robinson, introduces Carlo, a man who winds up getting the power to read other people’s minds.

tec_70_001

He makes a small fortune, but decides to turn to crime anyway, as well as continuing to perform as a stage mentalist.  He encounters Batman, and learns that he is really Bruce Wayne.

tec_70_002

Carlo tries to blackmail Batman, but Bruce refuses to back down.  Ultimately, Carlo gets killed, and though he writes the secret of Batman’s identity in the sand, the tide washes it away.

tec_70_003

Simon and Kirby tell the tale of a rough and rowdy cab driver who comes to the front, and his problems with discipline.  This Boy Commandos story is very much like the one a few issues earlier with a gangster, although the cabbie gets to live and fight on at the end.

tec_70_004

It’s Kirby’s art that makes this worth the read anyway.

 

Detective 69 – the Joker sends gifts, the Boy Commandos in Russia, and the Crimson Avenger helps a rookie

tec_69

The Joker returns with a really complicated scheme in Detective 69 (Nov. 42), in a story with art by Kane and Robinson.

tec_69_001

The Joker sends four men odd little gifts, and then begins blackmailing them.  Eventually, it’s revealed that the men were all involved in an explosion that killed two others.

tec_69_002

Linda Page has a brief appearance, accompanying Bruce Wayne to a fair.  The only reason for her to be there is to give Bruce a big scene, how to get away when they are trapped on the parachute jump.  He simply pretends to accidentally fall out.

tec_69_003

The climax to the story takes place in an aircraft manufacturing plant, shown in obviously photographic accuracy.

All in all, the cover is better than the story on this outing of the Joker.

tec_69_004

The Boy Commandos head to Russia in this Simon and Kirby tale, coming to the aid of the besieged town of Krovna.

tec_69_005

The main character in the story is really Tanya Vanin, a young girl who sees the Nazi plans to surround the town, and escapes over the ice to warn the coming Allies.  The plan is comically simple on the map in the first panel.

tec_69_006

Rip and the Commandos show up just as Tanya is about to collapse from exposure, rescue her, learn of the Nazi forces, and successfully relieve the town.

So unusual to see Russians portrayed as noble and heroic, but the propaganda mill wasn’t aimed at them for these few years.

tec_69_007

As the Crimson Avenger series progressed, we see more and more of the staff at the Globe-Leader.  At first, there is just one reporter, Mac, who Lee deals with regularly, but soon many of the stories would focus on individual staff – reporters, the weather forecaster, the society columnist, the printing staff, the obituaries writer.  The best of these is in this issue.

tec_69_008

Lee Travis gives a young journalist from a small-town a shot at working for the paper if he can bring in interviews with three notable recluses, and then as Crimson Avenger helps him do so, with Wing tagging along.  There appear to be all manner of dreadful crimes occurring in this tale, when in fact there are innocent explanations all around.  But neither this reporter, nor any of the others ever appear a second time.

tec_69_009

Detective 68 – Two-Face – part 2, evil Japanese in Boy Commandos, Air Wave gets promoted, and Slam Bradley reads Shakespeare

tec_68

The saga of Two-Face continues in this Finger/Kane/Robinson collaboration from Detective 68 (Oct. 42).  The story picks up immediately after the conclusion of the story from issue 66, as if there had never been an issue 67.

tec_68_001

A policeman bursts in, interrupting Batman as he tries to talk Two-Face back to sanity.  Harvey flees, and continues his crime spree.  In this story, he goes after people who use doubles, such as a reclusive millionaire who uses a double to handle social functions.

tec_68_002

Harvey takes a break from this to attempt to re-unite with Gilda.  He pretends that his face has been cured, but is simply using make-up, and when it begins to run he goes berserk and attacks the make-up artist, whose son then seeks vengeance on Harvey as well.

tec_68_003

So it becomes quite a complicated story by the time it reaches an end, and Harvey is apprehended by Batman.  The saga is not quite done, though, and there is a third, and final, chapter to this within a year.

tec_68_004

A very anti-Japanese piece of propaganda in the Boy Commandos tale from this issue.  Simon and Kirby open the story at sea, as the Boy Commandos and Rip Carter survive their ship being bombed by Japanese fighters.

tec_68_005

The boys rescue a Japanese pilot, and together they all land on a Pacific island with really clued out natives. The pilot and the Boys then become rivals for the loyalty of the natives.

tec_68_006

While the pilot uses science to convince the natives he has magic powers, the Boys decide to put on a show instead.

tec_68_007

Broadway is not for them, and the natives side with the Japanese, until Rip shows up leading a rescue/assault.

The story closes with the edifying moral – the only good jap is a dead jap.  No grey areas here.

tec_68_008

Air Wave gets a promotion in this story.  While a mere two issues ago Larry Jordan became an assistant D.A., as of this story he is the District Attorney himself!  Quite the rapid rise for a clerk.

tec_68_009

For what must be his first case in his new position, he prosecutes an old childhood friend for murder.

tec_68_010

Only after he has obtained a conviction does Larry get into his Air Wave outfit, round up his parrot sidekick Static, and set out to find information that will clear his friend.

Although on the surface it would appear that Larry should have done this before bringing charges against the guy, on reflection we can see that Air Wave had a more elaborate plan in mind, proving to everyone that he is above corruption as a D.A. and willing to send his friend to prison.  Shame that an innocent man had to sit in prison while the scheme was in play.

tec_68_011

The Slam Bradley story in this issue, with art by Howard Sherman, has the hero and Shorty stumble across hoods using notes in margins of books to pass each other messages.  Their larger scheme is to rob a diamond exchange next to the book store.

tec_68_012

The reason I have included this story is that the criminals use, among other things, a Shakespeare play to write their notes in.  Many Slam Bradley stories from this period have him quoting Shakespeare.

This might seem like an unusual habit for a tough guy hero like Slam Bradley, but in fact it simply shows the influence of Raymond Chandler, whose tough guy hero, Phillip Marlowe, often quoted Shakespeare as well.

 

 

 

Tag Cloud