Another generic Batman and Robin cover for Detective 63 (May 1942). Mr. Baffle was good enough to mention, but not to show.
Mr. Baffle is blatantly patterned after the character Raffles, the gentleman thief. But it has been stated by one of the Bill Finger/Bob Kane/Jerry Robinson team that the Penguin was based on Raffles as well. This leads me to wonder if the one time appearance of Mr. Baffle was really a rough draft of the Penguin, printed later. Either that, or they wanted a version of Raffles that retained the qualities the Penguin lacked.
Mr. Baffle arrives from Europe, and is already notorious. Batman almost nabs him the moment he arrives. But he eludes capture, trims his facial hair, and begins moving in high society, while scoping out the sites for his thefts.
Linda Page gets to have significance in the story. She spots the rough fingertips on Baffle, and doubts he is really part of the upper crust. Snobbery as a super-power!
When Baffle later tries to wiggle out of things by claiming to be secretly Batman, Linda exposes his lies.
Baffle and Batman have a swordfight battle, and Baffle dives off a tower. He claims he will return, but as he never did, he must have just gone splat on the ground.
Much of this character, including the swordfighting, would be reworked into the Cavalier.
In his final tale, Cliff Crosby solves the murder of a circus lion tamer, which was done by coating the lion’s mane with nicotine. Often the crimes were needlessly elaborate that way.
With Cliff’s series ending so soon after the attack on Pearl Harbour, I suspect he joined the army, perhaps as a journalist, but did not survive the war.
The Seal returns for Larry Steele’s final case. His scheme has some creativity to it, as he uses blinding light to disorient the tellers when his men rob their banks.
As with Cliff Crosby, one cannot help but suspect that Larry’s series ended because he enlisted immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbour.