Editor: Whitney Ellsworth
Cover: Win Mortimer (Pencils and Inks)
1. The Jungle Cat Queen!
Script: Edmond Hamilton
Pencils: Dick Sprang
Inks: Charles Paris
Catwoman steals some diamonds and flies away in her Cat-plane. I love that she can pilot her own aircraft. Itâ€™s unusual during this time period for a female character to be so empowered, but sister is doing it for herself!
Robin canâ€™t believe Catwoman used a panther for her robbery. In fact, even as the Dynamic Duo pursue her in the Bat-plane, heâ€™s still going on about it two panels later.
Which leads us to this fantastic panel:
Catwoman uses the Cat-planeâ€™s claws to rip the Bat-planeâ€™s wings and force it to land on her secret island hideawayâ€”which Robin notices is also home to a diamond mine.
Batman and Robin are quickly caught by Catwomanâ€™s associates, but instead of killing or unmasking them, Catwoman would rather play a game. She strips them of their costumes (but not their masks) and dresses them inÂ â€œjungle clothingâ€.Â Coincidentally, these clothes are identical to the outfits they wore inÂ â€œThe Jungle Batmanâ€ published in Batman #72 two years earlier.
Our heroes are then turned loose so Catwoman and her cats can hunt them down and unmask them. As they are pursued, Robin canâ€™t stop thinking about Catwomanâ€™s big cats.
Soon, Batman figures out that the cats are trained, obtained from a circus. Or maybe heâ€™s just saying that so Robin will shut up about them.
At any rate, Batman is caught while Catwoman mistakenly believes Robin is killed in a struggle. In all the excitement, she forgets to unmask Batmanâ€”in fact, she gives him his costume back before tying him up and throwing him in the river.
But whatâ€™s this? Did Catwoman make a mistake?
So Batman escapesâ€”avoiding drowning and going over a waterfall. Reunited with Robin, they round up Catwomanâ€™s cohorts who wereÂ â€œlaunderingâ€ stolen diamonds, pretending they came from their mine. Catwoman, however, gets away.
But â€œnext timeâ€ wouldnâ€™t come for another 13 years. In a few months the Comics Code Authority would impose guidelines on the comics industry requiring a more black-and-white approach to criminals. For a while, there would be no room in comics for an ambiguous character like Catwoman.
FUN FACT: The Cartoon Network show Batman: The Brave and the BoldÂ has a 2011 episode, â€œShadow of the Batâ€, that starts with a teaser loosely based on this story.
2. Menace from Outer Space!
Pencils: Ruben Moreira
Inks: Ruben Moreira
Roy Raymond hosts the show â€œImpossibleâ€”But True!â€ on TV. Before anyone can appear on the show, Roy and his assistant Karen must investigate the claims of prospective guests and expose any hoaxes. Strange premise for a comic book series, but it had been going on since 1949.
Beginning their dayâ€™s work, Raymond informs Karen about some guest in the studio.
As the screening for the show gets underway, he easily debunks a couple of hopefuls. At least he thinks so at firstâ€”but each time, a member of the visiting scientists contradicts him, making him look foolish.
The next day, he gets a call from the Association to help investigate a downed spaceship. Each time Raymond finds a reason to believe the spacecraft is a fake, one of the scientists contradicts him againâ€”just as the did back at the TV station.
When four-armed aliens with rayguns arrive and start tying everyone up, all seems lost until Raymond reveals the aliens are just masked men. Roy figured four-armed creatures would never think to tie peopleâ€™s arms behind their backs as theÂ â€œaliensâ€ had done. He jumped to that conclusion without even using a net!
Roy and his friends were never in any danger. It was all part of his initiation into the National Science Association. Who knew scientists could be such comedians? Itâ€™s always a barrel of laughs thinking youâ€™re about to die. What a fun group to join.
Iâ€™m not sure why, but Roy Raymondâ€™s feature would last for three more years.
3. The Worldâ€™s Deadliest Cargo!
Script: Otto Binder
Penicls: Joe Certa
Inks: Joe Certa
Captain Compass was a former private investigator hired by a shipping company as a trouble shooter. Somehow, they thought of something to keep him busy from 1941-1955. Weâ€™re catching up with him near the end of his career.
We begin with Captain Compass accompanying a shipment of atomic waste as it is disposed of by being dumped in the ocean. Not very environmentally friendly. I wonder what Aquaman would think of this.
Before the dangerous cargo can be unloaded, the ship is hijacked, and the pirates use the threat of radiation exposure to pillage others ships. However, nothing can stop Captain Compass from apprehending the criminalsâ€”not even smashing the containers of lethal freight on the shipâ€™s deck.
Thatâ€™s because there was no atomic waste. Captain Compass knew all along this was just a dry run for training purposes with no dangerous cargo. The problem was solved by showing there was no problem to begin with. Isnâ€™t that the best kind of story?
4. The Forbidden Trick!
Script: Bill Woolfolk
Penicls: Leonard Starr
Inks: Leonard Starr
Mysto, Magician Detective was introduced in Detective Comics #203 but he wouldnâ€™t be around for long. However, this episode starts with another magician.
Jarko, a fellow magician is down on his luck. To increase his profile, he attempts to escape from â€œThe Pharoahâ€™s Urnâ€. According to legend, no one locked inside has ever come out alive.
Just to make things more interesting, Jarko attempts the escape with the urn attached by rope to an airborne plane. When he doesnâ€™t emerge in a reasonable amount of time, Mysto rescues him in mid-air. Mystoâ€™s kind of a badass magician.
Obviously, Jarkoâ€™s publicity stunt has backfired big time. He wants to attempt the escape again, but Mysto wonâ€™t let him. After overpowering his rival, Mysto disguises himself as Jarko and takes his place in the urnâ€”this time dropped into the ocean.
Mysto discovers when the lid is sealed, some kind of gas is released into the urn that affects nerve and muscle control. Donâ€™t ask how how there could still be gas in there after so many centuries or youâ€™ll just make the whole thing look silly.
Covering the vent, Mysto is able to escapeâ€”still dressed as Jarko. No one realizes Mysto deserves the credit and heâ€™s not going to tell.
Awww. Heâ€™s a badass and a nice guy. Too bad his next appearance (in Detective Comics #212) would be his last.