Type Comic
Date 1940-07
Tags missing link, the other, fiction

Batman #2

Batman #2 (1940-07)

Story 1

The Joker survived his last encounter with the Batman, and lies recuperating in a hospital. Batman intends to remove him from the hospital to somewhere secure before he can escape from the police. A gang of criminals ("Crime Syndicate Inc." Really.) have the same idea, but the aim of making him their leader and stealing a cask of jewels--the Pharaoh's gems. To this end, one of the crooks impersonates the Batman and leads the police a merry chase before falling to their gunfire. It is enough to enable his colleagues to make good on their plan. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin encounter the Cat, who also has designs on the jewels. It ends in a brawl between Batman and the Joker, while the Cat, displaying her humanity, escapes with the wounded Robin. Ultimately, the three, Batman, Robin, and the Cat escape on the Bat-Plane while leaving the unconscious Joker in a burning building. The cat escapes with the Jewel cask--but only the cask. Batman gets the last laugh, having secretly removed the jewels from it while they escaped.

Story 2

Timid Adam Lamb, a fan of crime mysteries, is the custodian of Cyrus Craig's private museum. One night, just about midnight, having read "The Crime Master" until very late, he leaves for home, only to trip on a bit of loose carpeting and fall down the stairs, striking his head sharply on the floor. Now, each night at midnight, Lamb becomes an evil criminal. Calling himself Wolf, he gathers a group of criminals around him, expanding his reach. At length, he catches the notice of Batman and Robin, and it isn't long before they've found him out, confronting him at last in the musem in which he works. In the ensuing struggle, Lamb once more falls down the stairs, this time breaking his neck at the bottom. His mind now clear, he relates the story of how he came to be a criminal to the others, before he expires.

Says Batman: "Lamb was a psychological Jekyll and Hyde! This is the only time I was ever sorry to see a criminal die! Medical attention might have cured him!" Batman will later find more sympathy for some criminals, I think.

Story 3

A millionaire, Harley Storme, is murdered by a club-footed man with a hook for a hand. The next day, Bruce goes along with Gordon to the will reading, where the man's greedy family is left only one gold fragment per person, each fragment inscribed with the text, "United we stand--divided we fall." These fragments will be required at the end of a month when a final sealed letter will be read, we are told. As the story goes on, several members of Storme's family are murdered, the lawyer, Ward, is kidnapped, and it is revealed that a club-footed man felt enmity toward Harley Storme for cheating him out of his fair share of a gold mine they'd discovered together, years ago. Ultimately, Batman and Robin end up at Ward's house, where they discover Clubfoot--chained up in the basement! Ward has been impersonating him, killing off the Storme family to increase the share of the inheritance that he, also an heir, would receive. He intended to kill them all, then kill Clubfoot and forge a suicide note. Fortunately, Batman is able to stop him.

Story 4

Batman, having spotted some pygmies atop a train, defeats them and drops into a train car, seeing them holding a man. The man, Professor Drake, has discovered in Africa a huge 'prehistoric man', who he calls Goliath. He stole this man from a tribe of pygmies in Africa, where he was worshiped as a god, due to his size. Two circus men, Hackett and Snead, visit the professor, hoping put Goliath on display. Upon his vehement refusal, the men send some goons to kill him and make it look like a suicide. The goons succeed, and soon they are showing off Goliath in their circus. However, Goliath, spotting the men who killed Drake, goes into a rage, attacking them and then Batman. Batman pulls him off a girder and sends him to his death below. "Poor Goliath! He was just like a big kid! All he tried to do was get revenge because somebody killed someone he loved!" Batman exclaims. Familiar ground for him?


Batman, fighting pygmies atop a train, allows them to be hit by a low bridge, commenting: "They were short, but not quite short enough."

At the end, he says "You know, it's very ironical--Professor Drake wanted to civilize Goliath... make a beast into a man... but he didn't remember there are men who are like beasts... like Hackett and Snead!"