Synopsis for "The Power That Doomed Batman"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #268.
During a test flight of a new jet plane, Batman passes through the tail of a comet. The radiation of the comet give him super-strength, but he will die from its effect within a week unless he can locate a reclusive professor to cure him. Soon the underworld learns of Batman's plight, and is looking for the professor as well to keep him out of Batman's hands.
Batman performs amazing feats using his new super-power, while the entire city begins looking for the scientist. Unfortunately, the crooks find the professor first and they hide him from the rest of the world. When the time comes, Batman is apparently killed by the radiation, but it is later revealed that it was all a hoax to ferret out the criminals and their hideout. Once at reach, Batman and Robin capture the crooks and reach the professor, who manages to cure Batman and save his life.
Appearing in "The Power That Doomed Batman"
- Big Joe Foster (Single appearance)
- Pete Kulik (Single appearance)
- Professor Blake (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Merman Batman"
This story is reprinted from Batman #118.
Batman and Robin, searching the wharves for a clue to the dilemma of missing criminals, almost nab gangster Vince Kenton, but only clip a piece off a calling card he holds with a Batarang. Batman climbs a tall flagpole to try and spot the fleeing felons, but is thrown into the bay when a lighting bolt strikes both him and the flagpole. Robin, unable to find him after diving, is convinced Batman has died, until he hears morse code coming over his belt radio. Obeying the strange orders he receives, Robin has a truck pull Batman out of the bay in a water-filled tank. It transpires that the electrical charge and the chemicals in his utility belt combined to change Batman into a human "fish," able to extract oxygen from water but not from air. Communicating via a voice amplifier, he vows to go ahead with his work.
Batman wears a water-filled helmet to enable him to work on dry land, and, using the torn card as a clue, traces Kenton to the offices of Carl Smarte, head of the Marine Construction Corporation. The heroes give battle, but Smarte figures out the use of the water-filled helmet and smashes it, leaving Batman gasping in the air. As the crooks escape, Robin saves Batman by holding a match close to the ceiling and activating the sprinkler system. In a new helmet, Batman checks out a hunch and finds the crooks' new lair below the floor of an aquarium. In the midst of the fight, Batman keels over and breaks his helmet. Amazingly, he gets back up and finishes off the criminals. Later, Batman explains to Robin that he felt the change wearing off and he pretended to faint in order to throw the crooks a curve. They prepare to haul in their catch to Commissioner Gordon.
Appearing in "The Merman Batman"
- Vince Kenton (Single appearance)
- Smarte (Single appearance)
- Marty (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Rip Van Batman"
This story is reprinted from Batman #119.
Batman and Robin split up to try and discover which of two places gangster Al Hackett may be hiding. Batman investigates Hackett's mountain lodge, which contains a greenhouse; the exotic plants within exude an aroma which sends him reeling out of the building, falling head-over-heels down the slope of a hill, and finally losing consciousness at the edge of a pond.
Batman finally awakens, and looks at his reflection in the pond. He finds that he has grown a long white beard and become old, a modern Rip Van Winkle. Batman hikes into Gotham City, finding it a metropolis of the future, and spots a brand-new Batman and Robin team chasing and catching a pair of crooks. He recognizes the new Batman as Dick Grayson, now grown up, and when he tries to talk to Batman II, he is written off as a senile old man with a Batman-complex.
The old Caped Crusader hobbles to Wayne Manor, now a deserted ruin with a Batcave filled with debris. He also discovers that Commissioner Gordon has long since retired and moved away. Batman wanders through Gotham Park, past his statue, feeling as useful as a fifth wheel. However, upon hearing crooks' voices from the nearby planetarium, Batman investigates and finds the new Batman and Robin team tied up by criminals. He attempts to take on the thugs, but his muscles are weak from age and lack of use. The hoods tie him up and leave him beside the new heroes, who thank him for trying. Batman, declaring the game not up yet, smashes the lens of his Utility Belt's microscope and uses it to saw through his ropes, and then fools some returning hoods into fleeing by projecting the image of a moon scorpion on the wall. With the coast clear for a moment he releases Batman II and Robin II, who are now reassured they have the original Batman back at last.
The trio attack and capture the hoods, but Batman faints afterwards. He reawakens back in the present, with a young Robin shaking him awake, and his reflection returns to that of a young man. Robin relates how he captured Hackett and came there to find his mentor unconscious. Batman deduces that one of the plants in the greenhouse was a rare breed from the Amazon, whose fumes can trigger hallucinations. Relieved to find himself young and strong, Batman races Robin back to the Batmobile.
Appearing in "Rip Van Batman"
- Al Hackett (Mentioned only)
- Batman II (Dick Grayson in the future) (In dream sequence only)
- Robin II (future) (In dream sequence only)
Synopsis for "The Zebra Batman"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #275.
Batman and Robin encounter a magnetically-powered villain, the Zebra-Man, but a charge from the machine which gave Zebra-Man his powers turns Batman into a "Zebra-Batman" who repels all solid matter, and without a belt like Zebra-Man's to neutralize the repelling force, he cannot regulate his powers. With Robin's help, Batman finds a way to use his unwanted magnetic force to capture the Zebra Man and after the criminal is captured, Batman uses the crook's magnetic belt in order to neutralize his magnetic force and return to his normal state.
Appearing in "The Zebra Batman"
- Zebra-Man (Single appearance)
- Jo Jo Forbes (Single appearance)
- Tommy (a child) (in a vision) (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Grown-Up Boy Wonder"
This story is reprinted from Batman #107.
When Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson examine a box which Superman found floating in outer space and left with them until he returned from a current mission, Dick accidentally causes it to open and spew forth a gas that ages him to a young adult. The two are unsure of what to do in Superman's absence, but the Bat-signal draws Batman away to a jewel robbery in Gotham being committed by the Daredevils, ex-acrobats turned to crime. Batman vetoes Dick coming along as a second Batman, saying that he has a lot of mental growth to do yet. But Dick sneaks on the "Owlman" costume that Bruce had stored away for a masquerade party, grabs a lift on the back of the Batmobile, and hurries away with Batman to the scene of the crime. Batman angrily thinks that he'd spank Dick, if he wasn't so big. The Daredevils manage to make a getaway, and Owlman, misgauging his weight, almost falls to his death when a flagpole breaks in his hands. Batman, saving him, angrily berates him for "acting like a kid--still rushing ahead without thinking!"
Dick begins to see the disadvantages of living in an adult body, such as his sudden separation from all his young pals and virtual isolation from the outside world. But, still confident he can fight crime as a man, he becomes Owlman again, tracks the Daredevils to a prominent fence's lair, and promptly knocks himself out by not ducking under a low ceiling beam. The crooks unmask him, but cannot place his adult face. Dick admits that he still has a lot of growing up to do, and Batman allows that if he can admit that, he isn't a kid anymore. Batman and Owlman go outside, tear into the three Daredevils, and bring them down. Shortly after the crooks are carted off, Dick faints, and awakens in the Batcave as a boy again, the effect of the gas being temporary. The Daredevils, in jail, vow to find out who the Owlman really was, not knowing they have a long wait ahead of them. And Dick Grayson returns to school, eager to get back with his friends.
Appearing in "The Grown-Up Boy Wonder"
- Frankie the Fence (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Bewitched Batman"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #109.
Clark Kent receives an emergency call from Dick Grayson and races to Gotham City as Superman to find that Batman is bound in the Batcave ranting about some mysterious curse. Superman learns from Robin that somehow Batman has been enchanted by the ancient wizard named Fangan who lived over 800 years ago and that he must slay a dragon or perish.
Superman agrees to help and flies the Dynamic Duo to his Fortress of Solitude where he uses a device to give Batman powers that mirror Superman's own abilities. Superman then brings a dragon from a world where dragons still exist. After Batman defeats the dragon, Superman flies off to return it to its own planet. While Superman is gone Batman wanders back to Gotham City and begins walking through the city dressed as a jester. When he runs into petty crook Dumpy Evans, Evans pleads to be innocent. However, when Batman pledges to do whatever Evans tells him, he tells him to "go fight city hall." To Evans's surprise Batman (using his super-abilities) does this in a literal way. Afterwards, Batman explains to Robin that the 2nd order of Fangan's curse is to do whatever is asked of him of anyone he sees for one hour. Realizing he can exploit this super-powered bat-jester, Evans reports Batman's offering to his boss Beetles Bragan. Bragan appears and when it's his turn to make a request of Batman he orders Batman to reveal the secret identities of himself, Robin and Superman. Batman does so however not until after Superman covers him with a giant glass cylinder that blocks the sound.
With Batman back to normal, he explains that when he was clearing a wall in an ancient cave in England when he came across an ancient inscription of the wizard Fangan ordering whoever read the spell to fall under his enchantment, forcing them to carry out three tasks or perish. The first was to slay a dragon, the second was to dress as a jester and do the bidding of others for an hour, the third was obscured, however, leaving it a mystery. When Superman and Batman are told of a city in danger of a wildfire, both race off to stop it. However, Batman is suddenly compelled to fight Superman, and ultimately Superman realizes what the third task is and allows Batman to beat him by letting the Dark Knight toss him into space. Snapping out of his trance, Batman is horrified that he allowed the villages people to come to danger, and quickly saves the town with his remaining super powers.
Superman returns, with an ancient scroll written by Fangan that he found with his x-ray vision. Superman reveals that the third part of the enchantment forced Batman to fight the world's strongest mortal. He also explains that the enchantment was a trick set for Fangan's arch-nemesis, an un-named knight, as part of a plot to have that knight killed by another knight named, Sir Bors. However, the spell was lost for 800 years until Batman found it entirely by accident.
Appearing in "The Bewitched Batman"
- Beetles Bragan
- Dumpy Evans
Synopsis for "The Phantom Batman"
This story is reprinted from Batman #110.
Batman and Robin's current problem is finding the Len Landers Mob, which has committed three major thefts without hindrance. In the industrial section of Gotham, they notice a huge fire at Gotham Electronics Company. While saving a victim from flames, Batman is subjected to a burst of uncanny radiation when an experimental machine blows up. He discovers that the "Blast of electric force" has rendered him immaterial, unable to touch or be touched by solid matter. Realizing the secret must not get out or Gotham's criminal element would run wild, Batman returns with Robin to the Batcave, where they hook up a device to send a powerful positive electric charge through him, to no avail.
Batman continues in his efforts, using his strange condition to aid his work, as when he locates a man trapped in a cave-in by walking through solid rock. Then he and Robin find Landers's hideout beneath a vacant mansion, but the crooks trap Robin--and, they believe, him--behind steel bars. Batman walks through the bars and demonstrates his inability to be hit, but Robin is still trapped, and he is unable to give his aid. Batman returns to their place of imprisonment and fools their guard into opening their cage door by having Robin walk into his body, making it appear as though he has escaped; once free, Robin cages the crook and he and Batman reach the Batmobile. Batman notes a thunderstorm brewing outside and has them return to the Batcave. Alfred is required to fly a kite outdoors wired to the electrical device in the Batcave. When a bolt of lightning strikes the kite, its charge is conducted to the machine, which releases a titanic bolt of force through Batman's body. His solid nature is restored, and Batman is easily able to capture Len Landers and his mob during a bank robbery. Afterwards, at the Batcave, Batman allows that he was getting pretty hungry in his unsolid state.
Appearing in "The Phantom Batman"
- Len Landers (Single appearance)
- Barney (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Giant Batman"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #243.
Batman is turned into a thirty-foot giant by a scientist's Maximizer ray, and the Minimizer which can restore him to normal height is stolen by a crook. As Batman starts his hunt for the criminal, he creates too much damage and destruction to Gotham City, and is soon asked to remain outside Gotham to prevent further complications. Batman then decides to lure the criminal to his location on the outskirts of the city, and using the maximizer ray, the crook is turned into another giant to fight Batman. Robin arrives in time to join the battle. Eventually the criminal is subdued, and Robins uses the minimizer ray on the fighting foes, returning them to their normal size. But, with all the recent uses of the two machines, their rare power sources have been exhausted.
Appearing in "The Giant Batman"
- Jay Vanney (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Police Department
- Professor Greggson (Single appearance)
- This entire issue is reprinted in DC Comics Classics Library: The Batman Annuals Vol. 2.
- "The Giant Batman" was originally titled "Batman the Giant".
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)