"The Origin of Robin!": When the owner of a traveling circus, named Mr. Haly, is confronted by thugs, they ask Mr. Haly to pay a "fine", but He refuses to pay and as a result, his bestselling attraction, the Flying Graysons, are killed "accidentally" while performin
Appearing in "The Origin of Robin!"
- "Boss" Zucco
Synopsis for "The Origin of Robin!"
When the owner of a traveling circus, named Mr. Haly, is confronted by thugs, they ask Mr. Haly to pay a "fine", but He refuses to pay and as a result, his bestselling attraction, the Flying Graysons, are killed "accidentally" while performing that night. The Graysons' young son, Dick, overhears an incriminating conversation between the killer and his employer Boss Zucco. Dick plans to call the police, but Batman takes in Dick Grayson, instead of immediately pursuing the thugs. Batman trains Dick, already an excellent acrobat, on how to become a crime-fighter. When a period of training is over, Dick is given a red, green, and yellow costume and adopts the identity of Robin, the Boy Wonder, which was the same garb that Batman used in his chilhood while working with Harvey Harris.
Dick debuts as Batman's sidekick, and the dynamic duo hunt down the extortion gang, and their leader, Boss Zucco. Zucco's new plan is to demolish a skyscraper construction site (the Canin Building), but Robin and Batman defeat the gang in a dangerous battle on the high girders, during which Robin uses a sling to knock one thug off a steel beam and kicks a second gunman off another girder. Zucco is recorded by Robin in the act of pushing his own henchman to his death and this evidence is given to the police, leading to Zucco's conviction for murder. In the end, Robin vows to be Batman's partner against crime.
Appearing in "Here Comes Alfred"
- Alfred Beagle (First appearance)
- Manuel Stiletti (Single appearance)
- Pablo (Single appearance)
- Tomas (Single appearance)
- Gaston LeDuc (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Here Comes Alfred"
This story is reprinted from Batman #16.
A ship from England arrives at Gotham City. The passengers descend to mainland after a long voyage and two among them are most notable. The first one is the Duke of Dorian, who acts very strangely. The second man is a well mannered, stout fellow, who fancies himself an amateur detective. Outside of the ship, a group of thugs is waiting for the arrival of the Duke, but they mistake the polite, fat man for the Duke and they attack. Batman and Robin appear in the scene and the crimials are forced to escape after they are beaten by the dynamic duo and the fat man, who is fascinated to meet such important detectives as Batman and Robin. The english man tells the duo how much he would like to work with them and Batman tells him to contact them whenever he needs, before leaving the place.
At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Dick have a laugh at the amateur detective because they know that there's no way he could contact Batman and Robin. At that moment, the doorbell rings and Bruce answers the door, revealing the fat fellow outside their house. The englishman enters Wayne Manor and informs Bruce that he is Alfred, son of Jarvis, the Waynes' previous butler and he has come all the way from England to fulfill his father's last will of following the family's tradition and become Bruce Wayne's butler.
Knowing that Alfred might be troublesome for their secret careers as Batman and Robin, the duo decide to tell Alfred to leave them, but they'd wait until the next day. That night, the criminals that attacked Alfred, have followed him to Wayne Manor and prepare to break inside and attack him again. Bruce and Dick are awaken by the silent alarms and they quickly change into Batman and Robin. When the criminals break inside the place, Batman and Robin confront them once more and Alfred finally realizes that they have mistook him with the Duke of Dorian. The crimials are once again forced to retreat, but this time, Batman and Robin follow them. In the meantime, Alfred wants to make sure that Bruce and Dick haven't been disturbed by the fight. When he can't find them, he begins to suspect about their activities. Suddenly, Alfred is forced to fight one of the remaining criminals who was left behind and during the fight, the criminal is knocked unconscious when a shield on the wall falls on his head. However, when the shield is moved, it reveals a secret passage to an underground tunnel and the secret undergound hangar of the Batplane. Alfred, using his deductive skills, finally realizes that Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are Batman and Robin.
Meanwhile, Batman and Robin have followed the criminals to their secret hideout: an abandoned theater. They go inside the place and fall in a trap. The duo are tied up and hanged from the ceiling while the criminals go for the real Duke this time. A few moments later, Alfred arrives at the theater following the criminals and upon entering, he notices that Batman and Robin are in danger. Moments later, the criminals return to their hideout with the Duke and they are attacked by Batman and Robin, who had been freed by Alfred. With their combined efforts, Batman, Robin and Alfred finally capture the criminals and save the Duke, who had a great amount of royal jewels, which was the criminals' target all along.
The next night, Bruce and Dick decide to keep Alfred as their butler, since they believe the man is too oblivious to realize the truth. At that moment, Alfred enters the room with the Batsuit in hand and informs them that the Bat-Signal has been activated, which means that their presence at the GCPD Headquarters is requiered. Bruce and Dick are shocked to learn that Alfred knows their secret identities, but after seeing how trusty he could be, they allow Alfred to become a member of the team.
Appearing in "The Game of Death"
Synopsis for "The Game of Death"
This story is reprinted from Star-Spangled Comics #127.
Appearing in "The Man Behind the Red Hood"
- Dean Chalmers (Single appearance)
- Paul Wong (Single appearance)
- Jimmy Kale (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Man Behind the Red Hood"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #168.
The state university invites Batman and Robin to be guest instructors. After a month of preparing a crime class in crime-fighting techniques, Batman decides to give the class a test case for a crime he never solved. The case was about a master criminal by the name of the Red Hood who escaped Batman and Robin by diving into a vat of chemicals from the Ace Playing Card Company and disappeared before he was ever caught.
The university crime class makes headlines by reopening the ten year old case which in turn prompts the Red Hood to come out of retirement and rob the campus payroll office. The Red Hood escapes Batman and Robin by exiting the campus through a gas main pipe. Batman and Robin deduce the Red Hood had a breathable gas mask that allowed him to survive the gas.
Later that night, the Red Hood strikes the university again by trying to steal from the museum exhibit. When Batman and Robin give chase, the Red Hood again appears to escape when Batman and Robin accidentally tackle the school gardener, Earl Benson, thinking it was the Red Hood in the dark.
Batman decides to set a trap for the Red Hood by planting a false school newspaper story to entice the Red Hood to rob the university again. When the Red Hood takes the bait, Batman and Robin blind the Red Hood with red beams of light and catch him to reveal his identity as Earl Benson.Batman explains to the college crime fighting class that Earl is only an imposter. Earl explains how he stole the costume from the real Red Hood after he caught him escaping the university from the gas pipe. He tied the real Red Hood up in the tool shed for a reward but instead decided to use the Red Hood identity to commit crimes and not get blamed for them.
Earl brings everyone to the tool shed where they discover the Joker tied up. The Joker reveals to everyone that after he dived into the vat of chemicals those many years ago, his hood helped him survive the swim but the chemicals drastically changed his appearance to look like an evil clown. Realizing he could terrify people with his new appearance, and also paying tribute to the card company that helped the transformation, he called himself the Joker.
Appearing in "The Challenge of Clay-Face"
- Clayface (Matt Hagen) (First appearance)
- Joe Shank (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Challenge of Clay-Face"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #298.
Batman and Robin are part of a charity exchange when they encounter Clayface, a super-criminal with the power to change his body into any shape imaginable thanks to its clay-like constitution. Clayface uses his extraordinary powers to steal the charity money by shaping his body into a giant python, a giant saw blade and finally a giant eagle, flying away with the money.At his hideout, Clayface changes back to his normal body and Matt Hagen recalls how he managed to get such amazing powers, earlier that day. A treasure hunter by nature, Hagen was exploring underwater, searching for hidden treasures. In this expedition, he found an underwater cave and he took a closer look. In the middle of the cave was a mysterious pool of a strange liquid and he decided to move closer. Unfortunately, Hagen tripped over a rock and fell to the pool. Immediately, his body was affected by the mysterious pool, which Hagen assumed was made of protoplasm of some kind. When he managed to reach the surface again, his body had changed and instead of a human, he was a clay human figure. Hagen's mind focused on his normal appearance and soon, his body changed and transformed back into his normal self. He then decided to test the limits of his new power and discovered that he could transform into anything he could imagine. Hagen finally realized his luck and decided to turn to crime using his new powers.
The Gotham Gazette dub the criminal as Clayface and soon, he attempts to steal valuable pieces of art from an art gallery. Batman and Robin arrive in time to confront Clayface, whose powers start to fade away. Clayface disguises himself as a museum guard and tricks the Dynamic Duo before escaping with the stolen art. When Batman finally realizes that Clayface didn't morphed into anything impressive, he deduces that maybe Clayface's powers were not working at that moment.
Hagen also realizes that his powers were gone and he decides to refresh them by going to the mysterious pool once again. This time, Hagen decides to count the time it takes for his powers to fade. In the meantime, Clayface gathers a small gang, steals from a museum in Gotham City Chinatown and later tries to steal from the Gotham Natural History Museum. However, Batman manages to locate them by inspecting the first crime scene and prevents them from stealing the second museum. In the confrontation, Robin is stunned and Batman tracks the small time crooks, while Clayface manages to remain hidden, transformed as a tree. As Clayface leaves the scene, Robin recovers and follows Clayface to his secret lair using the Whirly-Bat. As Robin breaks into Hagen's mansion, the criminal realizes that it has been 48 hours since he refreshed his powers and are now fading again. Batman arrives in the place shortly after and the heroes outmatch Hagen, who is now powerless. Batman tries to get Hagen to reveal the secret to his powers, but Hagen decides to remain silent and as he is locked in his prison cell, he promises that he would break free and return to the pool to renew his powers and bring Clayface back again.
- This book was first published on May 6, 1969.
- "The Origin of Robin!" was reprinted in DC Special Series #19.
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