"If I Were Batman": This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #225.
Appearing in "If I Were Batman"
- John Larrow (Single appearance)
- Jasper Smively (Single appearance)
- Martin Mayne (Single appearance)
- Rodney Random (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "If I Were Batman"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #225.
Three men take the place of Batman while the real Caped Crusader is away, as part of an "If I Were Batman" contest run by the Gotham Gazette, and gangsters attempting to break John Larrow out of jail intend to capitalize on the occasion.
Robin is in charge of the contestants, but they prove to be more trouble than help. when Commissioner Gordon decides to participate, he performs rather good, but the activities of a vigilante are too much for his physical condition. In the last day of the contest, Bruce returns and decides to join the contest just to have the chance to prevent John Larrow's breakout. Bruce keeps the facade that he is a terrible Batman, but his "accidental" feats end up with the criminals captured.
Appearing in "The Money That Came to Life"
- Albert Martin (Single appearance)
- Dr. John R. Rogers (Only appearance; dies)
- Harry Rogers (Single appearance)
- Jane Rogers (Single appearance)
- Sam Dales (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Money That Came to Life"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #225.
Appearing in "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel"
- Martian Manhunter (First appearance)
- Professor Mark Erdel (First appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #225.When Professor Mark Erdel uses a “robot brain” and teleportation system of his creation to capture and retrieve something from space, it brings a green-skinned Martian named J'onn J'onzz to Earth. After both introduce themselves to each other, J’onzz asks Erdel to return him to Mars. Erdel replies that he cannot do that, since it might take years to reverse his computer’s program. The Martian, knowing he must adapt his appearance to that of humans, uses his chameleon-like powers to make himself look like a brown-haired Caucasian human male. Seconds afterward, the shock of the preceding events takes its toll on Erdel’s weak heart. With his last breaths, Erdel asks J’onzz to forgive him for making him a prisoner of Earth. Then he dies.
J’onzz muses that the Martians are working on a “Project Star-Ride” for interplanetary travel. But until that project is completed--however long that may take--he is bound to Earth. He Americanizes his name to John Jones. Then, going to the seaside, he uses his Martian mind-over-matter power to extract gold from seawater to give him working capital. John Jones then takes a tour of the Earth, sometimes using his powers of invisibility and immateriality to conceal his presence.
One aspect of Terran life disturbs J’onn J’onzz: crime. Since Earth is a younger planet than Mars, and since Mars underwent the “Great Evolution” centuries ago that virtually wiped out crime, its rate of wrongdoing is much less than that of Earth. J’onzz decides to help the Earthmen by fighting crime. In his John Jones identity, he takes and passes a detective exam at the Midtown police department. But he realizes he must avoid a Martian’s one weakness--fire, which can sap his powers and take his life.
- Reprints Detective Comics #225.
- "The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel" is also reprinted in World's Finest #175, World's Finest #226, Secret Origins (Volume 1) #1 and Secret Origins Special Giant Issue #1.
- Originally, Doctor Saul Erdel was shown to have died in this issue. However, Martian Manhunter (Volume 1) #2 reveals that had faked his death following the events from this issue, and continues to live out of his small cabin in Colorado.
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 1) #3 shows that the Martian Manhunter arrived on this world carrying the body of his dead daughter K'hym in his arms. The inclusion of K'hym into the Manhunter's origin is a retcon and was never part of the original origin story. Later revisions of J'onn's origin suggest that K'hym actually remained on Mars after she died, and never accompanied J'onn to Earth at all.
- Although the Flash (Barry Allen) is generally accepted as the first Silver Age DC Comics character, the Martian Manhunter actually precedes the first appearance of the Flash by almost a year.
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