Editor: Jack Schiff
Cover: Win Mortimer (Pencils and Inks)
1. The Voyage of the First Batmarine!
Script: Edmond Hamilton
Pencils: Dick Sprang
Inks: Charles Paris
Batman and Robin are scuba diving to retrieve a submerged shipment of highly explosive nitroglycerin but they stay underwater too long (only an hour!) and now they have to stay there for two days or theyâ€™ll die. This tale about decompression sickness (orÂ â€œthe bendsâ€, which afflicts divers who surface too quickly) doesnâ€™t sound scientifically accurate, but what do I know.
â€œSlantâ€ Stacy and his gang of platinum bandits take advantage of Batmanâ€™s absence by going on a crime spree. On page three we get our first look at Stacy andâ€¦ wow, just â€¦wow!
Batman artist Dick Sprang wasnâ€™t known for his naturalistic drawings but this is so off-model from the usual characters itâ€™s kind of amazing. Can we get this panel installed in the Museum of Modern Art? Sorry, I didnâ€™t mean to get distractedâ€¦
Trapped underwater, Batman and Robin must use their brains to thwart the criminals from the newly-minted Bat-sub. (But why is it the Dynamic Duoâ€™s job, anyway? Doesnâ€™t this sort of imply that the Gotham City police are completely useless?) At any rate, none of their ideas are the least bit plausible but that doesnâ€™t mean they arenâ€™t successful. Criminals are captured and Bruce and Dick return to dry land. Yay!
I just have to say that itâ€™s amazing to me how many problems in comic books can be solved by building a life-like robotâ€”and how quickly that can be done! (Often anywhere from a few days to just a couple of hours.) Itâ€™s tempting to think it must be a basic skill all comic book characters are taught in comic book high schoolsâ€”at least those operated by DC during the Silver Age.Â
2. The Jokerâ€™s Winning Team!
Script: Bill Woolfolk
Pencils: Sheldon Moldoff
Inks: Stan Kaye
In my opinion, this story is the winnerâ€”the most fun of the three in this issue! Iâ€™m not sure why the Joker went to a baseball game by himself, but Iâ€™m glad he did or we wouldnâ€™t have this panel:
I know the Joker is supposed to be the villain, but in this instance I completely agree with him.Â
As he leaves the ball park, Joker gets the idea of trading gang members the way teams trade playersâ€”to have the right talent for a given crime. He proceeds with a series of thefts employing a team of specialists and, of course, runs into Batman and Robinâ€”resulting in this exchange:
Once again, I have to agree with the Joker here. Thatâ€™s twice already and weâ€™re only on page 4!
Before long, Batman disguises himself as a British explosives expert and is recruited by the Joker. Without much trouble, the Joker is double-crossed and weâ€™re exposed to a series of baseball-related puns as Batman apprehends him and his cohorts.
I hear you! Is it wrong I found myself rooting for Team Joker?
Iâ€™m not an expert, but of the stories Iâ€™ve read, this is the one Iâ€™ve found closest in tone to the 1960s Batman TV show. Hopefully Iâ€™ll find more that are similar!
3. Batmanâ€”Indian Chief!
Script: France Herron
Penicls: Sheldon Moldoff
Inks: Stan Kaye
Flying home from a special mission out west, Batman and Robin spot a smoke-signal bat-signal and stop to investigate. They discover an American Indian named Great Eagle and his son, Little Raven, who dress up like Batman and Robin to fight crime among their Sioux tribe. Strangely, these Native Americans seem to be stuck in the 19th century, but no one mentions it.Â
The villainous Black Elk has speared Great Eagle in the shoulder and if the Indian Batman appears with the same wound, it will expose his secret identity. To avoid this, Batman and Robin disguise themselves as their Indian counterparts and apprehend Black Elk and his raiders.Â
Batmanâ€™s main objective here is to protect someone elseâ€™s secret identity for a change but itâ€™s all just an excuse to exploit the western genre that was so popular at the time. As long as we get to see Batman and Robin dressed as Indians, Iâ€™m not complaining.Â