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Batman #2 is the second issue of the Batman comic book series and was published in Summer 1940. The issue sees the publication of four stories: "The Joker Meets the Cat-Woman", "Wolf, The Crime Master", "The Case of the Clubfoot Murders" and "The Case of the Missing Link". The stories were presumably written by Bill Finger, and drawn by Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson and George Roussos.

"The Joker Meets the Cat-Woman"[]

Synopsis[]

On a night off from crime-fighting, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson learn that Joker has survived their previous encounter but rendered comatose. Deciding to make sure that he remains inactive, Batman plans to kidnap him from the hospital and bring him to "a famous brain specialist", whom he hopes can perform an operation to make him a better citizen. However, the city's Crime Syndicate Inc., a gang who's boss has recently died, also learn of Joker's survival and decide to make him their new leader. Their de facto leader, Weasel, begins planning to rescue him from the hospital.

Splitting into pairs, the criminals enter the hospital on pretenses of visiting sick relative. They then break into the Joker's room and subdue the orderlies, taking the head surgeon hostage and forcing him to operate on the Joker. Meanwhile, Batman apparently arrives on the scene, attacking and killing several officers. The officers give chase to the vigilante, chasing him to an old barn on the city's outskirts. The police eventually shoot Batman and unmask him, where its revealed the man to be a member of the Syndicate used to distract them. Meanwhile, Weasel and the criminals are able to escape the hospital with the Joker, transferring him into a private plane until he recovers.

Unknown to all parties, the event has been monitored by a disguised the Selina Kyle. However, she is quickly apprehended by Batman and Robin, who take her away from the scene and threaten to take her to the police unless she tells them what happened. The Cat-Woman reveals details to them, but leaves out details regarding the group's plans. Batman and Robin release her, though have placed radioactive substance on the floor of high-powered roadster to track her.

After a week, the Joker fully recovers and begins plotting to steal the Pharaoh's Gems. With the Syndicate's help, he is able to slip his signature poison into the shoe of their owner E.S. Arthur. However, he betrays the group by administering a sleeping potion in the similar fashion, planning to steal the gems for himself. As Weasel and the Syndicate turn on him, Batman arrives to confront the group. As he fights the Syndicate, Joker slips away.

Meanwhile, the Cat is able to gain access to Arthur's Castle through invitation, discovering him dead upon arrival. After taking the jewels, she is confronted by the Joker. Robin arrives moments later and fights with the madman, but is quickly subdued. To save Robin from execution, Cat-Woman offers to hand over the jewels to save his life. Batman soon arrives and fights the Joker, the two dueling with swords. However, Joker manages to knock Batman from the balcony, thought the Caped Crusader is able to grab onto a vine to save himself from death.

During the scuffle, Cat-Woman barricades herself with Robin in the castle's library. To drive her out, the Joker sets fire to the door using a crossbow and flaming arrows. Batman quickly climbs to him and subdues him. As the fire spreads, he calls the Batplane and takes flight with Robin and Cat-Woman, though is forced to leave the Joker behind in the inferno. The Cat, however, attempts to make her escape with the gem's cask by diving into the waters below. As Robin bemoans her second escape, Batman reveals he's removed the gems during the rescue and expects them to meet her again.

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

Organizations[]

Locations[]

  • New York City (Original Intention) / Gotham City (Retconned Appearance)
    • Vesalius Hospital (Only appearance)
  • City Outskirts
    • Wayne Manor
    • Unnamed Barn
    • Weasel's Hunting Lodge (Only appearance)
    • E.S. Arthur's Castle (Only appearance)

Objects[]

  • Batman's Costume
  • Robin's Uniform
    • Silken Cord
  • Joker Venom
  • Joker's pistols
  • Crossbow with Flaming Arrows (First Appearance)
  • Pharaoh's Gems (Only appearance)
  • The Herald
  • Daily Flash

Vehicles[]

  • Batmobile (Unnamed)
  • Crime Syndicate Inc.'s Plane (Only appearance)
  • Batplane
  • Circus Charlie's Car (Only appearance)

Creatures[]

  • Horse

"Wolf, The Crime Master"[]

Synopsis[]

HeadSlam

Batman knocks a pair of thugs' heads together for the first time

Adam Lamb is a custodian working in Cyrus Craig's private museum who enjoys a mystery novel called The Crime Master. Whilst working on night, he accidently trips over lose carpeting and down a flight of stairs, hitting his head. As the clock strikes twelve o'clock, the story of The Crime Master is injected into his head. When Lamb regains consciousness, he dismisses concern about these and returns home.

However, the following night, as the clock strikes twelve, Lamb transforms into "a wolf". He stalks the streets and kills a passerby. The following morning, Lamb awakens again, oblvious to the night's events apart from a dream. That night, "Wolf" once again takes control and begins forming his own gang. Every night, Wolf takes control and organizes a series of crimes. Lamb remains unaware of these baring strange dreams. He also becomes obsessed with The Crime Master, rereading it endlessly after he finishes it.

One night, Batman and Robin encounter the gang whilst they rob a warehouse. During their fight, Wolf manages to escape by subduing Robin and throwing him into peril, forcing Batman to rescue him but let him escape. A few days later, Bruce Wayne visits Craig's museum where he meets Lamb. As he leaves, he recognizes his car as the one used by Wolf to flee the scene. At night, Batman and Robin trail the car and follow it to the waterfront. As the gang attack a watchman, Batman and Robin intervein and fight the group. During the fight, Batman is shot in the shoulder and forced to use a smoke capsule to escape the fight.

Returning home, Bruce directs Dick to retrieve the bullet via surgery. Over the next day, he begins researching Wolf's crimes and realizes they correspond to those committed in The Crime Master. Realizing that Wolf is actually Lamb, he decides to intervein with the next crime: a murder. That night, Lamb and Craig work late at the museum, during which Wolf takes control and attacks Craig. Batman and Robin soon arrive and fight him. During the skirmish, Wolf is dazed by Batman's symbol and is knocked down the stairs, breaking his neck.

As Wolf dies, Lamb regains control and tells Batman the circumstances behind Wolf's influence. He dies showing regret for his actions and apologizes for them. As Craig mourns him, Batman guesses that Wolf had seen the symbol of a bat during his creation, thus why he was stunned during the battle. As he and Robin leave, they show remorse for Lamb and ponder whether psychiatric help could have helped him overcome Wolf's influence.

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

Organizations[]

  • Wolf's Gang (Only appearance)

Locations[]

  • New York City (Original Intention) / Gotham City (Retconned Appearance)
    • Cyrus Craig's Museum (Only appearance)
    • Adam Lamb's Home (Only appearance)
    • Unnamed Warehouse (Only appearance)
    • Waterfront
    • Wayne Manor
      • Batman's Laboritory

Objects[]

Vehicles[]

  • Adam Lamb's Car (Only appearance)

"The Case of the Clubfoot Murders"[]

Synopsis[]

Whilst on patrol, Batman witnesses a murder committed by a man wearing a hook and with a clubbed foot. Angered, the vigilante tries to stop the killer from escaping but is knocked out in the scuffle, allowing them to escape. After Batman flees to avoid arriving police, officers find a note from the killer that identifies the victim as Harley Storme and claims their identity: Clubfoot.

Bruce Wayne later meets with Commissioner Gordon and convinces him to tag along to investigate Strome's family. From interviews, he learns that Storme was previous associated with a "Clubfoot Beggs", who believed was cheated out of a goldmining share and had previous sworn revenge. The family members also detest each other for various reasons. As the will is read out, the family all learn they have only inherited a piece of gold with unfinished inscriptions: "United we stand - Divided we fall". Tommy, who is also in debt with a gangster named Varrick, passes over details to clear his case, with the mobster deciding to interrogate Strome's lawyer Ward to learn more. That night, Abel Storme is murdered by Clubfoot as he sleeps.

The following day, Batman and Robin decide to investigate further and catch Clubfoot. Visiting Ward's house, they find two of Varrick's men searching the house and subdue them together. Under interrogation, the men reveal that Ward has been kidnapped by Varrick and is being interrogated at an abandoned warehouse. Batman and Robin soon arrive to rescue him and manage to defeat the entire group. Ward reveals that Varrick was after a sealed envelope given to him by Storme before his death, with the contents unknown.

After returning home, Bruce begins to wonder whether the gold pieces are actually more important than they believed and discovers strange markings along the side. He and Dick quickly deduce that it is actually a ploy to unite the family. The following night, Robin visits Storme Mansion to protect the family, though learns that Roger Storme has been murdered. He soon encounters Clubfoot, though the murderer manages to escape after a brief scuffle. Meanwhile, Batman returns to Wards home, where he discovers Clubfoot being held in the basement. Beggs reveals that he was taken prisoner by Ward and is being framed for the murders, with the lawyer planning to kill him and cover it as a suicide.

Ward soon arrives and holds Batman at gunpoint. He reveals that Storme's heirs have actually inherited a goldmine and, if they were all killed within 30 days, he would inherit their claims. Having followed him from the murder scene, Robin distracts Ward, allowing Batman to apprehend him. As they take him into custody, Batman and Robin discuss whether the phrase can be interoperated as law and order as well.

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

  • Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Robin/Dick Grayson
  • Commissioner Gordon
  • Ward (Only appearance)
  • Varrick (Only appearance)
  • Abel Storme (Only appearance; dies)
  • Carl Storme (Only appearance)
  • "Clubfoot" Beggs (Only appearance)
  • Portia Storme (Only appearance)
  • Roger Storme (Only appearance; dies)
  • Tommy Storme (Only appearance)
  • Harley Storme (Appears as corpse only)

Organizations[]

Locations[]

  • New York City (Original Intention) / Gotham City (Retconned Appearance)
    • Wayne Manor
    • Storme Mansion (Only appearance)
    • Ward's Residence (Only appearance)
    • The Old Power House on Pier 12
    • Unnamed gambling club (Only appearance)

Objects[]

"The Case of the Missing Link"[]

Synopsis[]

On patrol again, Batman sees a train under attack by a group of African Pygmies. Deciding to investigate, he fights against the gang and rescues a man from them. The intended victims reveals that he is Professor Drake, an explorer who has recently returned from an expedition to Africa. He reveals a giant man named Goliath, a giant human he believes to be the "missing link" in human evolution. Drake had previously worked with the Pygmies to capture him, but they had turned on him due to their beliefs that he was a deity. The professor plans to both study him and train him to act more civilized.

Word of Goliath and Drake's discoveries is soon made public. From newspaper reports, Hackett and Snead, the owners of a circus, decide to obtain Goliath to improve their popularity. When the confront him, Drake dismisses their offers and intentions to have Goliath made into an exhibition. Batman also learns of the developments and offers to set up Robin as protection for them. That night, Hackett and Snead's gang, lead by Grime, break into Drake's home and murder him, framing it as a suicide. Robin confronts them as they search for Goliath, though the confrontation startles the giant into the fight and forces them to flee. Goliath soon discovers Drake's body, leading him to mourn.

Through a suicide note left on the scene, Sneed and Hackett are able to gain ownership of Goliath. Despite Dick's protests to get the police involved, Bruce instead suggests they bide their time. The criminals unveil Goliath at their circus, which gains them great publicity. During the showcase, Goliath recognizes Grimes and breaks out of his cage. He soon releases the animals and mortally injures the criminal. With the circus in chaos, Batman and Robin work to recapture the released animals.

During the skirmish, Robin unwittingly gains Goliath's attention and is attacked by the giant. Fleeing up to the rafters of the tent, Batman attempts to protect the Boy Wonder by ensnaring Goliath in Silken Rope, though is quickly pulled from his position. Robin uses his slingshot to attack Goliath, causing the giant to lose balance and fall. Though Batman is able to escape by grabbing a trapeze, Golaith dies from the fall. The following day, Bruce and Dick learn that Grimes, before he died, confessed to his part in Drake's murder and implicated both Hackett and Snead. As the story ends, Bruce wonders that Drake had forgotten that some men are not civilized, like Hackett and Snead...

Appearances[]

Individuals[]

  • Batman/Bruce Wayne
  • Robin/Dick Grayson
  • Grimes (Only appearance; dies)
  • Hackett (Only appearance)
  • Snead (Only appearance)
  • Goliath, the Missing Link (Only appearance; dies)
  • Professor Drake (Only appearance; dies)

Organizations[]

  • Pygmies (Only appearance)
  • Hackett and Snead's Gang (Only appearance)
  • Police Department

Locations[]

  • New York City (Original Intention) / Gotham City (Retconned Appearance)
    • Wayne Manor
    • Hackett and Snead Circus (Only appearance)
    • Professor Drake's Residence (Only appearance)
  • Africa (Flashback Only)

Objects[]

Vehicles[]

  • The Metropolis Limited (Only appearance)

Notes[]

  • "The Joker Meets the Cat-Woman" and "Wolf, The Crime Master" were initially unnamed during their publication. However, their titles were given in later reprints, the former sometimes being titled "Joker Meets Cat-Woman".
  • The issue features the first time "Catwoman" received her moniker, having been referred to as "the Cat" in her previous appearance. It also sees the first time Batman and Catwoman have temporarily joined forces.
  • "The Case of the Missing Link" has often come under criticism in later years for its stereotyping and negative portrayal of African Pygmies, as well as apparent colonialism sentiments. However, these were also present in other fiction at the time.

Links[]

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