The Adventures of Superman

Batman's Great Mystery

Chapter 6 of 11 - February 10, 1948


Dated Death


Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27, May 1939.

Narrator

,

,

.

<

,Kent

White

Superman's two great friends, Batman and Robin, are involved in a strange and baffling mystery. Twice, the famous Batman has disappeared, and now Robin too has disappeared, and Superman believes the youngster was led into an ambush by Batman's impersonator. In his guise of reporter Clark Kent, Superman has concocted a spectacular plan, and as we join him now, he is seeking the cooperation of Perry White, his former editor on the Daily Planet and now mayor of Metropolis.


I'm sure I know the answer to this Batman mystery now, chief.


You do?



Batman's origin was told in Detective Comics #33, November 1939. He had witnessed the murder of his parents by a thief and vowed to spend his life fighting crime.

Kent .

.

White

Kent

Yes. I'm convinced that the man we thought was Batman, who's been making un-American speeches the last few days, is not Batman at all.


Not Batman?


I mean he's an impersonator. A fake!



Robin was introduced in Detective Comics #38 in 1940

And now a word from our sponsor:


Modern retelling of Robin's origin. Part of a trapeze artist team, his parents were killed by gansters.

Kent

.

.

White

You see, chief, I'm certain the real Batman has either been killed, or is being held prisoner somewhere, while this phony goes around pretending to be Batman, and falsely drumming up public opinion against aid to Europe.


Oh, nonsense. I don't care how clever he is. He couldn't fool Robin.

Kent

Oh?


White

Why those two are closer than two peas in a pod.


Kent

I know, Chief. But still he fooled him. He even fooled me!


White

You? Well, that doesn't prove anything.



On September 5, 1945, Superman rescues an unconscious boy, adrift in a rowboat. He notices the boy is wearing a red vest with the letter 'R' under it. ''Great Scott! If this is who I think it is, this is serious business!''

Kent

,

White

,

Kent

(Knowingly) That's what you think. But, how 'bout this? Do you think the real Batman would slug Robin, knock him unconscious, then leave him lying on the floor and walk out?


Well, I'll admit that's hard to understand.


And would the real Batman make public speeches saying let the hungry children in Europe starve?


White

No, no, no, no, of course not. No decent person would, or could. But something may have happened to him, Kent. He..well.. He may be sick.


.

Kent

That's what I thought, until Robin disappeared last night.


PHONE RINGS

White

Just a minute.

RECEIVER PICK UP

Hello? Oh, yes, Inspector. Any word of Robin? Nothing, eh.


Kent

Look, Chief, ask him if...


White

Yes, he's here. Just a minute. Henderson wants to talk to you, Kent.


Kent

Oh, okay. Hello, Inspector. Did you find..... Yes, yes, there weren't, huh? Well, that proves it, then!


White

Proves what?


Stacy Harris played Batman in this first team-up, with Ronald Liss as Robin. Batman and Robin return several times over the years, usually with Matt Crowley as Batman. Ronald Liss always played Robin.

Kent

Just a minute, chief. Well, maybe not positively but, negatively. Right, I'll see you later, Inspector. Thanks for calling. So long.

HANGS UP


White

What are you talking about, Kent?


Kent

Henderson's men checked the real Batman's fingerprints, which they have in their files, with all the prints they could find in the hotel room occupied in Willow Falls last night by the man who calls himself Batman!


White

Yes? Did they check?


Kent

No! That definitely proves this fellow is an imposter, just as I said.


White

Not necessarily. Batman may not have left any fingerprints in the hotel room. The prints may have been someone else's.


Since Batman always wears gloves, it's doubtful the phony Batman would have left fingerprints.

Kent

Well, I'll admit the fingerprint test may not be conclusive, but its good enough for me, plus all the other evidence we have. Now, will you back me up in this plan to find Robin and the real Batman, or won't you?


White

Now wait a minute. What plan?


Kent

You remember that recording I found in Batman's study? A recording of a conversation between Batman and a man who called himself Jones?


White

Yes. What about it?


Kent

Well, I'm convinced that Jones is responsible for Batman's disappearance, and I..

White

Why?


Batman knows Clark Kent's secret identity, but Robin does not know it.

Kent

Because Jones had a hold on Batman. I can't tell you what it is except it was a secret Batman didn't want revealed. And I'm sure Jones used his knowledge to make Batman go away with him.


White

Mm hm. Well, that could be. Go on.


Kent

Well, I've heard this Jones' voce before. I can't remember where, but I'm certain he's rather well known. Likely under a different name.


White

So?


Kent

So I want to have duplicates made of the recording and play it over the Daily Planet radio station, and on other stations all over the country. Then I want to offer a big prize, say, ten thousand dollars, to the person who can identify Jones.


White

Ten thousand dollars?!!!!


Kent

I know that's a lot of money, chief, but we need a big prize to get everyone listening. And it'll be well worth it if we find Batman and Robin.


White

Well, that's the wildest notion even you ever came up with, Kent...


Kent

No, chief...look, I


White

But it just might work.


Kent

It will!


White

Also, it will be a terrific news story for the Planet. So go ahead! Hop to it!


Kent

Now you're talking chief! I'll get working on it at once!



The American Revolution,1775-1783, lasted for eight years.

Narrator

As Clark Kent hurries to set his plan in motion to identify the mysterious Mr. Jones, the real Batman and Robin, united once more, are prisoners in a small, stout square old building far upstate in the midst of lonely farmland which had once been a prisoner of war barracks in the days of the Revolution. Heavy, rusted leg shackles are fastened around the ankles of the dynamic duo, and forged to stout iron staples in the wall beams, allowing freedom of movement only for a foot or two in each direction.


Robin

Oh, gee, Batman. I sure was stupid not to realize that the guy who was posing as you was a phony. Now I let him lead me into that ambush at the River Hotel like a little lamb going to slaughter.


Batman

Oh, don't blame yourself, Robin. That guy and Mr. Jones are very clever.


Robin

Well, I should have known you wouldn't slug me, though or make un-American speeches or...say!


Batman

What?


Kent

I'll bet that's what Mr. Kent meant.


Batman

Kent?


Robin

Uh huh. He said something fishy going on. That either you were sick in the head or there was another explanation, which he was gonna check. Now I'm sure he guessed the truth.


Batman

Could be. Kent's pretty smart. But I'm afraid he guessed too late.


Robin

Maybe not. I'll bet he and Inspector Henderson will stay on the phony Batman's trail until he leads them right here to us.


Batman

He'll never lead them here.


Robin

Why not? You said the phony's working for Jones, didn't you? So he's pretty sure to show up here sometime.


Batman

Yes, but he's already show up here, Robin, and he wasn't tailed


Robin

No kidding? When?


Batman

A couple of hours ago. While you were still under the chloroform they used on you.


Robin

Oh.


Batman

If Kent and Henderson had been on his trail we'd be out of these chains by now.

CHAINS CLINK


Robin

Yeah, I guess we would. Gosh, Batman, I don't get this. What's behind it?


Batman

It's simple, Robin. You see, Jones is a rotten fanatic who believes in keeping everything home and letting Europe starve, and he's using the phony Batman to drum up public opinion against our helping anybody, anywhere.


Robin

I know that, but why is he keeping us here? What does he intend to do to us?


Batman

Well, I think we'll find out, as soon as Mr. Jones gets back. He's been away all night.


Robin

I see. Look, whose the guy who calls himself Batman? Do you know?


Batman

No, except that his real name is Ed.


Robin

Ed what?

Batman

I don't know. But he's getting scared. I heard him tell the others of the gang here he's got to see Jones at once. He..

IRON DOOR OPENING OFF

Wait a minute!


Robin

What gives?


Batman

Jones just came in.


Robin

How do you know?


Batman

I'd know his voice a mile away, by now.


Robin

Yeah, I'll bet.


Batman

He's in the next room with the phony Batman. Come on. Let's move up close to the wall.


Robin

All right. Do you think we...


Batman

Quiet. Don't breathe. Just listen hard. Maybe we can find out what Jones has on the fire for us now.


Narrator

Straining at the end of their shackles, Batman and Robin press close against the wall, on the other side of which is the mysterious Mr. Jones and the false Batman.


Batman

Quiet now, Robin. Don't say a word.


Robin

I won't breathe, Batman.


Batman

Listen.


Jones

There's not a thing to worry about, Ed.


You're doing more than breathe, Robin.

Robin

That's Jones!


Batman

Yes. Quiet.


Jones

Not a thing. So relax.


Ed

That's what you think, Whit...I mean, Jones. I tell you, Clark Kent is wise to me, I'm sure of it.


You're doing it again!

Robin

He sounds just like you, Batman!


Batman

Shhhh.


Jones

..even if he is, he won't be able to prove a thing.


Ed

How can you be sure?


Jones

He won't, I tell you. For one thing, you're not going to make any more speeches, or even be seen, for a long while.


Ed

Oh, why?


Jones

Because your speeches have already attracted nation-wide attention. Newspapers all over the country are repeating what they think Batman said about letting Europe starve. He's helped our cause tremendously, you know.


Robin

What a filthy...!


Are you sure Batman never slugged you, Robin?

Batman

Shhh..


Jones

So now, you're going to lie low except for ...


Ed

Wait. What about the real Batman, and Robin? We're playing with dynamite. The police all over the country are looking for Robin. And if Kent pops off that I'm a phony, and I think he will..


Jones

Just leave everything to me, Ed, and don't worry about Batman and Robin. They won't be with us much longer.


Robin

Uh oh.

Ed

You mean you're going to get rid of them?


Jones

Yes, tonight.


Robin

Batman!


Stop breathing!

Batman

Shhhh.


Ed

Why wait until tonight? Why not now?


Jones

Now, because there's something they have to do for us, first.


Ed

Oh, what's that?


Jones

Batman and Robin are going to play an ace card for our cause, Ed. And at the same time put us on easy street for the rest of our lives.


Robin

What does he mean, Batman?


Batman

I don't know, Robin, but it sounds bad.


Jones

and after that....tonight, they'll ...die!

Music


Narrator

Helpless, their hearts beating hard, Batman and Robin hear themselves condemned to death. What is the ace card which the mysterious Mr. Jones says Batman and Robin will play for him before they are eliminated? And what of Clark Kent's plan to locate his friends by trying to identify Jones voice? Will that bring results in the brief space of the day that remains? TOMORROW'S EPISODE IS TENSE AND EXCITING, FELLOWS AND GIRLS, SO BE SURE TO LISTEN. TUNE IN SAME TIME, SAME STATION, FOR CHAPTER 7 OF BATMAN'S GREAT MYSTERY ON THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN.


Superman is a copyrighted feature appearing in Superman DC Comics Magazine, and is brought to you Monday through Friday at this same time.

This page last updated on February 2, 2002.

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