"The Riddle of the Missing Card": Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson ponder about how quiet it has been since the apparent death of the Joker. Bruce then states that he really must be dead because they hadn't he
Appearing in "The Riddle of the Missing Card"
- Black Queen (Only appearance; dies)
- Jack of Diamonds (Only appearance; dies)
- King of Clubs (Single appearance)
- Sergeant Casey (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "The Riddle of the Missing Card"
Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson ponder about how quiet it has been since the apparent death of the Joker. Bruce then states that he really must be dead because they hadn't heard from him in a while. Meanwhile at the docks, a small boat carrying three people passes by a figure in the water desperately calling for help. They initially don't care to help but one of the men in the boat flashes a light on the person revealing him to be the Joker! They then rescue the Joker taking him back to an old abandoned factory, they introduce themselves as the the Queenie, Diamond Jack, and lastly Clubsy. The Joker questions the trio on their intentions, not to rescue him at first, and asks them what they were up to. They reveal to him that they are diamond smugglers and their reason for rescuing him was so that he could come up with a new racket for them.
The Joker comes up with new names for them: Black Queen, Jack of Diamonds and King of Clubs and he organizes a gambling ship in which they would take their guests' money at the gambling tables as well as stealing their jewels at night.
Two months later, Dick Grayson questions Bruce Wayne while he is shaving, whether or not he would go to check out the gambling ship called "The Deck". Bruce replies that he will, as he has his suspicions, as well as the recent report of recurring robberies. Later that evening, Bruce Wayne suspiciously analyzes the ship, while putting on the front of a bored playboy, he then dances with the Black Queen for a moment, but then goes out to the Deck of the ship to smoke. In the corner of the ship he overhears the plans of the four, planning to rob the empty Logan yacht later that night.
Bruce is discovered and then hit over the head by the King of Clubs and thrown off the ship. The Joker tries to shoot him, eliminating any chance of him being alive. They all assume he is dead but in reality the Joker's shot missed and Bruce only pretended to be shot. A soaking wet Bruce Wayne climbs out onto the wharf, he then goes to his apartment to acquaint Dick Grayson with what he has discovered. The two race to the Logan yacht as Batman and Robin in the Batmobile. They find the Joker, Black Queen, Jack of Diamonds, and King of Clubs looting the boat. The Joker escapes in his car with Batman following in the Batmobile, as Robin stays behind to fight the trio. As Batman chases the Joker on a narrow road, he is tricked by the Joker into falling off a cliff. Meanwhile the Joker arrives back at the Logan yacht, where the trio had captured Robin. They have also discovered while searching that Robin had a wireless communicator in his Utility Belt, enabling him to contact Batman. Doubting that Batman had died from falling off the cliff, the Joker contacts him using Robin's communicator. Batman is discovered to be alive and the Joker tells him to meet him back at the Logan Yacht unless he wants anything bad to happen to Robin.
Batman shows up and the Joker tells him to have a seat and the two play cards. The Joker cheats and Batman takes the chance to attack the Joker, putting the room into a frenzy. The Joker then escapes but not before double-crossing his partners and setting the ship on fire. The Black Queen, knowing that Batman is Bruce Wayne, shoots The Jack of Diamonds to save Bruce, but ends up dead herself when the Jack of Diamonds repays the favor by shooting her before he dies. As a last request, Batman and the Black Queen kiss and she then dies in his arms. Batman and Robin escape the ship, going after the Joker who goes into the Light House, he is defeated there and then pushed into the fast roaring water from the catwalk of the Light House by Robin.
Appearing in "Book of Enchantment"
- Enid Anderson (Single appearance)
- Professor Anderson (Single appearance)
- Black Witch (Gruel) (Only appearance; dies)
- Burn (Only appearance; dies)
- Freeze (Only appearance; dies)
- Dragon (Dies)
- Cyclops, the One-Eyed Giant (Single appearance)
- Giant (Single appearance)
- Father Time (Single appearance)
- Humpty Dumpty (Single appearance)
- Simple Simon (Single appearance)
- Humpty Dumpty (Single appearance)
- Anthology of Fairy Tales
Synopsis for "Book of Enchantment"
On their homeward path Batman and Robin notice and overtake two thieves, who are attempting a house burglary. A grateful occupant of the house steps outside to invite duo in. He appears to be a professor, who has invented a device, with which a man can enter the world of any book he is reading. At the first experiment, two days ago, he had sent his daughter, Enid, to the world of Fairy Tales, but she hadn't returned. Batman accepts professor's request for help, and dives into the fantastic adventure with Robin at his side.
Arriving in Fairyland they encounter an old man with a scythe - Father Time. He warns that the girl must be rescued from the Black Witch before the day ends or else she will remain here forever. Next, the Witch herself flies toward the heroes and releases two servants of hers: Burn and Freeze. Hurling one enemy into another and so destroying them, Batman and Robin continue the journey. Simple Simon directs them on the way to the castle of the Black Witch, which goes right through the mountain guarded by the dragon. Saving Robin from the dragon's claws, Batman defeats it with explosives.
They meet Humpty Dumpty and travel to land above Earth by means of Jack's bean-stalk. There a pair of giants attempt to eat them, but fail to overcome the dynamic duo. Finally Batman and his young aide reach the castle of the Black Witch, where Enid is kept. Fighting other aggressive captives of the Witch and then the Witch herself, they free Enid, with a little time left to escape from Fairyland. Accidentally Robin commands the magic carpet to deliver all three of them to the exact spot of their arrival. With the sunset, the daughter returns to her father, and the heroes bid their farewell to the reunited family.
Appearing in "The Case of the Honest Crook"
- Smiley Sikes
- Matty Link (Flashback and main story) (Only appearance; dies)
- Joe Sands (Flashback and main story)
- Ann Davis (Flashback only)
- Gotham City Police Department
- James Gordon (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "The Case of the Honest Crook"
A thief is captured by Batman right after robbing a shop. It turns out that he stole only six dollars. To explain his strange action, the young man tells his story. He was engaged and was saving money for the wedding while working at a garage. One night mobsters stopped at this garage with a 'hot' car and promised him 200 dollars for silence. When his girl had discovered the source of the money, she insisted on not accepting it. So explaining the situation to the mobsters, he refused the money. That aroused their suspicions about him, and to play it safe, the crooks framed him with a drunk driving charge.
Spending two years in custody gave him two things: a wife, who married him right after the release, and hate for the mobsters, who framed him. With a prison sentence behind him, he could not hold any job for a long time, and was running out of money, when his wife got ill. That's why he stole only six dollars to buy the medicine. Batman gives him money to save the wife and begins to work on revenge on the mobsters. Batman recognizes one of mobsters described, and pays a visit to Smiley Sikes' mob to find out who is responsible for the frame. That visit leaves mobsters shattered and the place shuttered. The recognized mobster, Matty Link, barely misses the Batman visit and plans to get away from the city. But to stop him from talking to Batman, Smiley orders his death. Bruce see this result in the morning pages and goes to Commissioner Gordon for information. Meanwhile, Robin must search Link's room for any clues.
Concerned with Robin's absence, Batman arrives at Link's place and finds Robin badly injured. He even believes in his aide being dead for a moment, which causes a great rage in the Dark Knight. He delivers the boy to a doctor first, and then races to Smiley's hideout. There he overtakes the mobsters and force a confession out of Smiley, despite being shot three times. The doctor operates on Robin, and then on Batman without revealing their identities.
The next day the 'thief' visits them at the doctor's place and he informs Batman that he got a job at the store he had tried to rob, and his wife is going to be all right.
Appearing in "Crime Does Not Pay"
- Mike Grogan (Only appearance; dies)
- Pete (Single appearance)
- Joe (Single appearance)
- Tommy Grogan (Single appearance)
- Mrs. Grogan (Single appearance)
- Trigger Burns (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Crime Does Not Pay"
While battling a gang of bank robbers, Batman notices some strange behavior, when one of them tries to protect another young robber. Though they manage to escape, Bruce still ponders about that, when he visits an area of the assumed robber's hideout. There he meet a friend of his, Linda Page, who had exited the society life for the work of a nurse. Accompanying her home, he recognizes the young robber, entering the same house with his older brother. Turns out, the older brother, Mike, is a gangster, and Tommy, the younger, just hangs with him around. But on the next robbery Tommy gets shot, and his neighbor nurse, Linda, is kidnapped to fix him.
Batman and Robin go in search of the gangster's hideout, and visit Linda's apartment, and find there a message about the kidnapping. Bruce impersonates a mobster to ask for Mike in the local pool room. But his disguise fails and he fights his way out with an aid of Robin. But he gets the information by another way: a man, who is send to warn gangsters about a cop, is trailed by Batman. Immediately gangsters decide to move, but with Tommy hurt, Mike refuses to go, and receives a bullet from another gangster for the decision. At that moment Batman enters and the fight begins. Unnoticed Tommy manages to get to the roof and fire a shot. Below him gangsters threaten Linda's life to defeat the Dynamic Duo. But their victory is short one, as police arrive just in time to save the situation. Batman and Robin leave and Mike, dying, asks his brother to go straight. Tommy avoids a prison sentence, while Linda, although meeting with Bruce, still thinks about Batman.
- This issue was reprinted in Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol 2 and Batman Chronicles, Volume 2.
- "The Riddle of the Missing Card!" was reprinted in The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- "The Case of the Honest Crook" was reprinted in Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told Vol 1.
- This issue also features a text story "Too Much Knowledge" by Clem Gordon.
- In the first story in this issue, Batman accumulates yet another cranial concussion. In the third story, he accumulates three new bullet wounds.
- This issue marks the first appearance of Batmobile with a bat-shaped ornament and also the first boat owned by Batman, which was yet to be named "Batboat".
- The third story features the first time Robin is pressumed dead. This scene was later used on the Robin Dies at Dawn story and further on the Batman: A Death in the Family storyline.
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Links and References
- Batman series index at the Grand Comics Database
- Batman series index at Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics