Detective 81 – the Cavalier debuts, Wing becomes a reporter, and the Boy Commandos meet General MacArthur
The Cavalier is introduced in Detective 81 (Nov. 43), a thief with a code of chivalry, created by Bob Kane.
The Cavalier performs a series of thefts of apparently worthless obejcts: a baseball, a toy bat, etc. Batman and Robin repeatedly fail to stop him, thanks to the Cavalier’s impressive arsenal. Like, a handkerchief with a ball attached to it. OK, that’s the least impressive thing in his arsenal, true. He also has an electrified sword, and a razor-tipped plume in his hat.
The “worthless” objects are, in fact, critical to each step of his plan. For example, the baseball has an autograph on it that is duplicated to allow the Cavalier access to a bank vault.
Batman and Robin foil his schemes, but do not catch the Cavalier, whose return in Batman’s own book is promoted in the final panel. Just like the Crime Doctor a few issues earlier.
Wing gets his largest role in the Crimson Avenger series in this story. That’s not such a good thing, as it means the story is far more offensive and racist than most of this run.
With all his reporters busy, Lee Travis agrees to let Wing cover a theft, but his lack of understanding of English leads him to mis-report the story as an inside job. But it turns out that it actually was, and Wing is kidnapped by the thieves, who want to know how he figured it out.
The Crimson Avenger comes to Wing’s rescue. And even though he broke an important story, Lee has no intention of allowing Wing to stay a reporter.
The Boy Commandos meet General MacArthur on the first couple of pages of this Simon and Kirby story. MacArthur and Rip Carter are discussing the war plans for the Pacific when Brooklyn interjects with news of the assault on Bataan.
The rest of the story has Rip and the Boys at Bataan, helping to rescue the troops there and beating back the Japanese forces.
The Bataan Death March would already have been big news by the time this story was written. But clearly this series wanted to be as fresh as the headlines.