Type Comic
Date 1940-12

Detective Comics #46

Detective Comics #46 (1940-12)

Batman

Batman encounters some men robbing a warehouse. He defeats them, of course, down to the last man--a boy of no more than seventeen! The boy convinces Batman not to beat him up. In exchange, he tells Batman that they're working for Carstairs, who is being aided by some professor. Batman leaves the boy, along with the other men, so that the boy can find out more and report to him.

When they all attend a meeting with Carstairs that evening, it turns out that the professor is none other than Hugo Strange. Strange has invented a dust that induces extreme fear. Using it, the criminals are able to commit robberies, while the police and guards are too frightened to stop them.

The next night, when the boy goes to report to the Batman, he is followed, and Batman is knocked out and brought before Strange. Strange's thugs beat Batman senseless, and when he comes to, he hears Strange making grand plans:

And with my "fear" dust we can take over the country! If we spray it over the city, the country, even the capitol itself, who will oppose us! All the high men in public office will be afraid of us! They will let me take over the reigns of the goverment! I can be dictator of America! Under the influence of my "fear dust" the world will bow!

Batman bides his time, then escapes after calling Robin and giving him instructions. The two prevent the distribution of the fear dust, and Batman battles Strange, who was preparing to distribute the dust over the city via airplane. Strange comes out worse in that battle, being sent over a cliff: "This time is really looks as if it is the end of the evil career of Professor Hugo Strange!"

Notes

Robin is here referred to as Batman's "strong right arm". Robin used the same phrase to refer to himself in Did Robin Die Tonight?.

Even back at the beginning, as this is, Batman makes plenty of wisecracks while fighting. "Heel meets heel!" he says, while kicking a crook. "Bet you go down faster than you came up!" as he knocks another off the platform he'd just ascended.