This trade paperback collects seventeen Batman tales. Two are actually from 1939, the other fifteen are from the 40's. This paperback looks at the Dark Knight's beginnings and includes Batman's first appearance, the debut of Robin, the first telling of Batman's origin, and the debuts of the Joker, Two-Face, Catwoman and the Mad Hatter.
This trade paperback reprints stories from the following comic book issues:
- Batman #7 (The People vs. the Batman from November, 1941);
- Batman #15 (Your Face Is Your Fortune from February, 1943);
- Batman #20 (Bruce Wayne Loses the Guardianship of Dick Grayson from December, 1943);
- Batman #31 (Alfred, Armchair Detective from October, 1945);
- Batman #37 (The Joker Follows Suit from October, 1946);
- Batman #47 (The Origin of the Batman! from June, 1948);
- Batman #48 (The 1,000 Secrets of the Batcave! from August, 1948);
- Batman #49 (The Scoop of the Century! from October, 1948);
- Detective Comics #27 (The Case of the Chemical Syndicate from May, 1939);
- Detective Comics #33 (The Batman and How He Came to Be from November, 1939);
- Detective Comics #38 (Robin the Boy Wonder from April, 1940);
- Detective Comics #49 (Clayface Walks Again from March, 1941);
- Detective Comics #80 (The End of Two-Face from October, 1943);
- Real Fact Comics #5 (The True Story of Batman and Robin from January, 1947);
- Star-Spangled Comics #70 (Clocks of Doom! from July, 1947);
- World's Finest #30 (The Penny Plunderers from September, 1947).
This trade paperback also collect the story Half Man Half Monster which was originally presented in newspapers in June/August, 1946.
- The paperback includes an introduction by Bill Schelly.
- The paperback includes some information about Batman in the 40's in short chapters called Milestones, Props, The Batman Family and The Villains.