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Famous First Edition Vol 1 F-5

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"The Legend of the Batman - Who He is, and How he Came to Be": This story is reprinted from Batman #1.



Appearing in "The Legend of the Batman - Who He is, and How he Came to Be"

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  • None

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  • None

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Synopsis for "The Legend of the Batman - Who He is, and How he Came to Be"

This story is reprinted from Batman #1.

Fifteen years ago, Bruce Wayne is walking home from a movie with his father Thomas Wayne and his mother. They are approached by a mugger who tries to grab his mother's necklace. Thomas Wayne shouts for the mugger to leave her alone, and menaces him. The mugger shoots Thomas Wayne dead, saying that he asked for it. Bruce's mother is horrified and calls for the police. The mugger shoots and kills her also so she'll stop screaming. The young Bruce is horrified. Several days later, he kneels next to his bed by candlelight and makes a solemn vow. He swears by the spirit of his parents to avenge their deaths, by spending the rest of his life warring on all criminals. Years pass and Bruce Wayne prepares for this career. He becomes a master scientist, and trains his body to physical perfection. Finally, one night he is sitting in his father's mansion thinking about his future. His father's estate left him wealthy, but he needs a disguise. He knows that criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot, so his disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. He must become a black, terrible, creature of the night. Just then a huge bat flies through the open window, like an answer to his question. Bruce Wayne declares that this is an omen, and he shall become a bat. Thus was born this weird figure of the dark... this avenger of evil... The Batman.

Appearing in "The Joker"

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Synopsis for "The Joker"

This story is reprinted from Batman #1.

The Joker announces on the radio that he will kill Henry Claridge and steal the Claridge diamond at midnight. A cordon of cops guard Claridge's home, but he dies anyway, at midnight with a grotesque smile on his face. (He's been dosed, much earlier, with a delayed-action treatment of Joker Venom.) The police then discover that the diamond was already stolen, and that it was replaced with a glass one, and the Joker has left behind his calling card, a Joker.

Later the Joker goes on radio and announces that he will kill Jay Wilde and steal the Ronkers Ruby. Once again a cordon of police fails to safeguard the victim, who is killed at exactly midnight, with a poison dart, by the Joker, hiding in a suit of armor. The Joker deploys a paralyzing gas against the police, and departs with his loot.

But a mobster named Brute Nelson, who is enraged that the Joker is pulling off all these jobs that he had planned to do, sends word out that he thinks that the Joker is a coward. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson hear about this and suspect a trap. Batman goes to the mobster's house. The Joker is also there, and he shoots and kills Nelson, but he is pursued by Batman. However the Joker gets the upper hand by knocking Batman off a bridge.

Luckily Batman survives. The Joker then resumes his work by announcing that he will kill Judge Drake. The Joker impersonates the police chief, and kills the judge with Joker Venom, and leaves. Robin has been stationed outside, to follow whoever comes out, and he trails the killer to an abandoned house, where the Joker turns the tables on him and captures Robin.

The soles of Robin's shoes have been painted with an special chemical, and Batman used infra-red goggles to follow his trail, arriving just in time to save him from an injection of Joker Venom, and there's a big fight. The Joker sprays Batman with the same paralyzing gas that had taken out a whole squad of cops, but Batman just shakes it off, grabs Robin, and escapes. The Joker also manages to escape. Robin then tells Batman that the Joker was saying that he was going after the Cleopatra Necklace, owned by Otto Drexel. Batman and Robin arrive while the robbery is still in progress; the Joker uses all his ammunition shooting Batman in the chest; Batman has on a bullet-proof vest; Joker loses and is sent to the State Penitentiary.

Appearing in "The Giants of Hugo Strange"

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Synopsis for "The Giants of Hugo Strange"

This story is reprinted from Batman #1.

Professor Hugo Strange returns with a growth formula that changes asylum inmates into 10-foot tall "man-monsters" that wreak havoc on Gotham City. Batman is captured and injected with the serum, but manages to escape and create an antidote. Batman then punches Strange out the window into the murky waters below. Batman then pilots the Batplane and kills many of Strange's henchman and some of the monsters with machine-gun fire. He also manages to hang one of the monsters with his Batrope. He finally kills the last monster by throwing tear gas pellets while it is atop a skyscraper, causing it to fall to its death.

Appearing in "The Cat"

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  • None

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  • Martha Travers
  • Denny Travers
  • Doctor Wallace
  • Roger

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  • Luxury cruise ship

Synopsis for "The Cat"

This story is reprinted from Batman #1.

An elderly socialite, Mrs. Travers, is going on a yacht trip with several select friends and a $500,000 emerald necklace. Suspecting that some crook or other will try to steal it, Dick Grayson gets a job as a steward, as Batman has other business elsewhere. Soon, Dick has some suspects: Denny, Mrs. Travers' favourite nephew, who has borrowed lots of money from his aunt in the past (and brought an elderly guest, Miss Peggs, with him); Wallace, Mrs. Travers' doctor, who frequently borrows money to pay off gambling debts, and Mrs. Travers' brother Roger, who wants money to cover stock market losses. Denny throws a piece of paper over the side of the yacht, but the wind blows it back to Dick. The letter is from The Cat, asking Denny to keep Mrs. Travers away from her room. Suspecting the theft is about to take place, Dick hurries to the cabin, but Mrs. Travers has already discovered the theft. A boat claiming to be coast guards approaches, but it is actually full of mobsters after some loot- and the necklace. The mobsters content themselves with stealing everything else, but when they go to shoot someone for protecting his wife, Dick barrels into them and gets knocked into the sea. He takes the chance to turn into Robin. Meanwhile, the mobsters leave, satisfied with their takings. They race away, but Batman appears and knocks them around. Robin has surfaced and joins in, with a object lesson consisting of him versus four unarmed mobsters. The crooks quit(to stop Robin from hitting the any more), and Batman proves that, without their guns, crooks are cowards through and through. They return to the yacht and Batman crashes a fancy dress party, to be awarded with the first prize. He returns the stolen loot and Robin sets off the fire alarm.This is a trap to persuade the cat to reveal him/herself. Mrs. Peggs races off surprisingly well for someone with a bad ankle, But the dynamic duo still catch her. Batman pulls off her wig and removes her make-up to reveal a pretty girl. the necklace is hidden under her bandage. Denny tries to take the necklace, but Batman knocks him out. The Cat tries to persuade Batman to join her as King of Crime, but he refuses. Then, despite leaving Denny on the yacht, Batman takes the Cat to the police himself. However, the Cat jumps over the side and Batman lets her escape. He's clearly smitten, even though he still has a fiancée.

Appearing in "The Joker Returns"

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  • Chalmers
  • Edgar Martin

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Synopsis for "The Joker Returns"

This story is reprinted from Batman #1.

Two days after the Joker is captured, he manages to escape using explosive chemicals hidden in some false teeth and begins to cause more trouble. At home, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson hear the news on the radio and Bruce speculates that Joker is probably after vengeance. The Joker enters his secret laboratory through a hidden entrance in the graveyard and starts plotting. He threatens Chief of Police Chalmers, and kills him dart released with a phone call. Next day, a painting is stolen, and the owner of a stolen gem is found dead, grinning. Then he threatens to steal the Cleopatra necklace.

Bruce, hearing it on the radio, promises to stop him. In the museum, the Joker emerges from a sarcophagus and uses his poison to incapacitate the guards. Batman appears and disarms him. The Joker seizes an axe and knocks out Batman. The Police arrives and finds the unconscious Batman and missing necklace. Before the cops can remove Batman's cowl, he comes to and escapes out the window. A reformer, Edgar Martin calls for the capture of the Joker, and is marked for death. That night, Martin is under guard and plays cards to calm down. But the pack is all jokers, and poison-laced, killing Martin. Next day Bruce Wayne suggests a trap for the Joker to his friend Commissioner Gordon. The press prints a series of articles on the Fire Ruby, and despite suspecting a trap, the Joker goes for it. When he arrives, the police surround him, and he shoots, making for the roof. Robin, waiting for him, follows. Joker knocks him off, but he grabs a flagpole to save himself. Running down to see if Robin died, Joker takes aim and is intercepted by Batman. Robin falls down and lands on the Joker. Batman and Joker fight, and Joker stabs himself in the chest. Batman and Robin flee, leaving the Police to find out that the Joker is still alive.

Notes

  • This issue reprints Batman #1 in it's entirety.
  • "The Giants of Hugo Strange" is also known as "Professor Hugo Strange and the Monters".
  • The asylum featured in "The Giants of Hugo Strange" is never identified as Arkham Asylum, however it is safe to assume that it exists as the Earth-Two counterpart to the moderately famous mental health facility.

Trivia

  • This issue includes a two-page humor strip by Ted Raye entitled "Ginger Snap". Ted Raye is a pen named occasionally used by Bob Kane.
  • This issue includes a one-page "Fast Facts" feature by George Papp.
  • The Catwoman is referred to only as the Cat in this issue.
  • The tagline to The Joker story for this reprint is "Once Again a Master Criminal Stalks the City Streets - A Criminal Weaving a Web of Death About Him?"
  • The tagline to The Giants of Hugo Strange story for this reprint is "While an Innocent Metropolis Sleeps, Little Does it Realize That Huge, Terrifying Man-Monsters Shall Soon Stalk the Streets!"
  • The tagline to The Cat story for this reprint is "Among the Guests Walks a Young Steward".
  • The tagline to The Return of the Joker for this reprint is "Once Again That Harlequin of Hate...the Joker...Brings Grinning Death to a Terrified People."

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