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"The Origin of the Batman!": This story is reprinted from Batman #47.

Batman #198 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of February, 1968. It was published on December 14, 1967.

Synopsis for "The Origin of the Batman!"

This story is reprinted from Batman #47.

On their way back to Wayne Manor, Batman and Robin find a truck that crashed over the side of a ridge. They find the driver killed on impact, but as they move around the back of the truck a secret door opens, and a man steps out. Surprised at Batman's and Robin's presence, he knocks out Robin with his pistol and takes aim at Batman, but is shot by officers just in time. The officers tell Batman that he was a criminal trying to secretly cross state lines.

Upon investigating the trucking company, Batman finds that it was recently purchased by Joe Chill, the man responsible for the death of his parents. Batman remembers Chill shooting his father, his mother dying of shock, and the promise he made at their grave to fight crime. He decides to take the case, alone.

His first attempt to get at Chill is to pose as a driver looking for work, but Chill refuses to hire him. Batman decides to set a trap for Chill. He boards a gambling showboat and points it into state waters so police can make legal arrests. The boat owner makes a quick getaway as soon as police show up, and goes to Chill in order to get smuggled out of the state.

As a precaution, Chill checks a secret camera in his office and sees Batman has followed the boat owner. He shoots the boat owner for letting Batman follow, and when Batman enters the room, lies about shooting in self-defense. Without any evidence to the contrary, Batman reveals his identity to Chill and promises him that he will always be watching, waiting for Chill to make a mistake.

Terrified, Chill runs into a room with some of his men and explains that Batman is after him for killing his father. Chill's men are angry that Chill "created" the Batman, and shoot him before he can tell them Batman's identity. Batman hurries into the room and dispatches the men, and watches as Chill succumbs to the bullet wounds. The case of Thomas Wayne's murder is closed.

Appearing in "The Origin of the Batman!"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Joe Chill (Dies) (Flashback and main story)
    • "Feets" Borgam (Only appearance; dies)
    • Monty Julep (Only appearance; dies)

Other Characters:

  • Bats

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Synopsis for "The Jungle Cat-Queen!"

This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #211.

Catwoman steals a shipment of diamonds from a flying plane and after it lands, she escapes on her own Catplane. The police warn Batman and Robin about the latest Catwoman crime and they follow her on the Batplane towards a tropical island. Catwoman manages to damage and down the Batplane, forcing Batman to land on the island, where the Dynamic Duo are ambushed by Catwoman's henchmen.

Catwoman and his gang take away Batman and Robin's weapons and give them head start to be hunted by Catwoman and her pet jungle cats. The heroes try to take down the gang, but without their equipment, and they are easily overwhelmed by the criminals and Catwoman's wild felines. The thugs decide to eliminate Batman over a high jungle waterfall. To ensure all evidence of his murder is destroyed, they give him his bat-suit and utility belt back, which allows Batman and Robin to avoid a certain death and round up the criminals. However, Catwoman is able to escape thanks to her wild cats and Batman and Robin vow to capture her the next time.

Appearing in "The Jungle Cat-Queen!"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Catwoman
  • John Jarrow (Single appearance)

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Synopsis for "The Web of the Spinner"

This story is reprinted from Batman #129.

Batman and Robin encounter a new costumed villain, the Spinner, whose metal uniform is overlaid with spinning discs, and who uses a spinning buzz-saw gun, tops, and giant fans in his arsenal of tricks. The heroes are dazzled by the reflected light of the sun from the Spinner's colored-glass fan and thus are unable to stop the gang's escape, but a slang word used by the Spinner common among Joliet Prison inmates gives Batman a clue to his identity.

In the meantime, Kathy Kane is checking out a Swami Ymar who runs a racket finding lost valuables for wealthy people. He proves unable to see that Kathy's brooch is in her jewel box, but can see that another woman's diamond ring is on the powder box in her bureau. Kathy judges him master of a racket in which a henchman steals things and hides them, then, for a fee, the Swami pretends to find them. The Spinner has another encounter with Batman during a payroll robbery, but fends off the heroes with a giant spinning top. He drops a glove during the struggle, which Batman's analysis reveals to ahve peanut oil and salt on it. From this, and the Joliet Prison clue, Batman deduces that Peanuts Gilson, an ex-con, must be the Spinner, though he doesn't seem bright enough for the role. At the Swami's studio, a reporter nudges the Swami into revealing the Spinner's hideout, at a windmill outside of Gotham. Batwoman, outside the Swami's window, gets the news even before the reporter phones police headquarters, and thus precedes Batman and Robin by a few seconds--and gets caught by the Spinner and tied to a giant fan. Batman disables the fan controls with a pitchfork, and he and Robin easily defeat the gang. The Spinner, unmasked, proves to be Gilson. But when a freed Batwoman accuses him of other crimes, Gilson exclaims that he is not really the Spinner, who gave him this costume and asked him to stand in for him while he is out. Batman correctly suspects a trap and gets everyone out of the windmill before a booby trap blows the structure to bits.

Batman, Robin and Batwoman return to the Swami's studio and capture the real Spinner--Swami Ymar. Ymar admits to using the slang and dropping the gimmicked glove as false clues, and was planning to have Gilson, in the Spinner costume, die in the blast, so that Ymar would be clear to retire safely with his loot from the robberies and the reward for The Spinner's capture. Batman leads him away, telling him the only one caught in the Spinner's web was the Spinner himself.

Appearing in "The Web of the Spinner"

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Other Characters:

  • Peanuts Gilson (Single appearance)

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Synopsis for "Complete Sunday Newspaper Syndicated Story"

The Penguin attacks a Post Office in order to retrieve a letter and he is confronted by Batman and Robin, who take the letter from Penguin. Batman then learns that the letter is addressed to Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot and after reading the contents, Batman and Robin learn that is Penguin's real name. The letter was from Penguin's aunt, who was bound to arrive on a visit to Gotham City. Penguin didn't want to hurt the old lady's feelings by revealing his criminal activities and Batman decides to help him.

Penguin, Batman and Robin take Aunt Miranda on a sightseeing tour of Gotham. Some crooks notice Penguin along with the Dynamic Duo and they assume that the crimelord has turned against them. As Penguin shows his "umbrella store" to his aunt, a large group of criminals arrives to teach Penguin a lesson, but they are all outmatched by the combined forces of Penguin, Batman and Robin, Aunt Miranda. When the criminals are captured, Aunt Miranda has to leave, still thinking that Oswald is an honest man and Batman and Robin make sure that Penguin is taken along with the rest of the thugs.

Appearing in "Complete Sunday Newspaper Syndicated Story"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

  • Aunt Miranda (Single appearance)

Antagonists:

  • Penguin
  • Stonehead (Single appearance)

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Synopsis for "The Crimes of Batman!"

This story is reprinted from World's Finest #61.

While patrolling Gotham City, Batman and Robin come across the Jokermobile and they place a microphone inside in order to learn what the Joker is planning. Moments later on the Batcave, Batman and Robin listen the Joker talking about a recent crime and Joker gives away the name of the criminal responsible. The Dynamic Duo set out to capture the crook and when the story hits the news, Batman tells the press that he was helped by the Joker.

Upset with his name being used against criminals, Joker decides to get revenge on Batman by turning him into a criminal. For this purpose, Joker kidnaps Robin and tells Batman that he needs to cheat, steal and kill in less than 24 hours each, or Robin dies. Using his cunning intellect, Batman finds a way to outsmart the Joker by doing all of the Joker's tasks in a harmless way. Batman then manages to "cheat" death, he "steals" the Joker's thunder when he stops his crimes and finally, Batman uses the word "kill" to illustrate his amazing features on his crusade against the Joker. Batman frees Robin, without risking the youngster's life. Batman and Robin capture The Joker and take him to jail.

Appearing in "The Crimes of Batman!"

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Supporting Characters:

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Other Characters:

  • Dink Devers
  • Bats

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Synopsis for "The Menace of False Face"

This story is reprinted from Batman 113.

The story opens with eccentric millionaire P.S. Smithington making various purchases at a local jewelry shop on credit. The owner explains that Smithington always pays for his purchases at the end of the month. The owner then receives a shock two hours later when the real PS Smithington shows up claiming that his car broke down and he was not the person who made the purchases earlier. Batman is then summoned by Commissioner Gordon and informs him that False Face has been impersonating important men around town. The commissioner then receives a radio bulletin that crooner Wally Weskit is trapped in a hotel elevator. Batman and Robin rush out to the Hampton club where Wally was scheduled to play. Batman has noticed that False face always detains his victims while he commits a robbery. They arrive just in time to witness Weskit on stage as he robs a barrel of charity funds. Batman gives pursuit but Weskit manages to escape without the funds. They mistakenly detain a doorman that turns out to be innocent. The next day Batman and Robin visit commissioner Gordon at headquarters when he receives a call from famed explorer Arthur Crandall who is locked in his game room. Crandall remarks that he is due to receive a Golden Tiger at the explorers club. Batman and Robin rush to the explorers club in time to see false face receiving the golden tiger while disguised as Crandall. Batman gives chase but falls into a depth tank as a result of a trap from False Face. Batman falls to the bottom where he appears to be unconscious. False face climbs down to retrieve Batman’s body and brings him up. He tells his henchmen that he plans unmask Batman and hold him hostage. Upon taking off his mask, the thugs are surprised to see false faces own face. The thugs realize all to late that their real boss had been disguised in the Batman outfit while the real Batman brought the body up from the tank. Batman and Robin quickly subdue the thieves and unmask the real False Face.

Appearing in "The Menace of False Face"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

  • False Face (Single appearance)
  • Parker (Single appearance)
  • Pebbles (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Arthur Crandall (Single appearance)
  • P.S. Smithington (Single appearance)
  • Wally Weskit (Single appearance) (Behind the scenes)
  • Wembley Hepplewhite (Single appearance)

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Synopsis for "The Bandit of the Bells!"

This story is reprinted from Batman #55.

Ed Peale grows up as a child hating bells. They wake him up, they dictate his daily schedule and take away his time. He decides to rebel against bells by incorporating them in his criminal activities. He calls himself the Gong and embarks on a crime spree. He uses the deafening sound of bells to distract others from his crimes. He disguises his men as members of the coast guard to patrol the city harbor. They run into millionaire Bruce Wayne’s fishing boat and ask him for the time. Wayne responds that the time is 8 bells which means 12 o’clock in ships talk but the coast guard imposters are unfamiliar with that term. This arouses Wayne’s suspicions and he follows the coast guard ship as they approach a nearby freighter. The Gong and his men commandeer the ship but Batman and Robin arrive on the scene. They are thrown off balance by the floundering ship that has run aground and the dynamic duo is apprehended. They are set adrift on a nearby buoy. They hang on to the buoy for dear life and manage to start a signal fire using acetylene gas and are rescued from the water. Later in the bat cave, Batman notices a piece of cardboard shaped like a small bell on his glove. He surmises that the bell shaped cardboard is from a railroad ticket that the Gong dropped from his coat. Batman follows up with the railroad dispatcher to see which conductor used a bell shaped punch symbol. They track down a conductor named Henry Morton who remembers that the Gong road his train and got off in the small town of Hicksburg. Batman and Robin race towards the town where they find the Gong pulling off his latest crime. The Gong and his men are in the act of stealing a valuable bell that is believed to contain jewels and gold nuggets. The caped crusaders attempt to stop the Gong but he manages to get away with the bell. Batman then has the idea to track down the bell using an instrument called a Variable Sonic Oscillator which hones in on the bells specific sound vibrations. The two crime fighters track down the stolen bell and apprehend the Gong. The Gong is imprisoned where he once more has to obey bells as they dictate his daily schedule while in jail. Bruce remarks at the end that the Gong never realized that bells also ring for special events such as weddings and that they really are the servant of man.

Appearing in "The Bandit of the Bells!"

Featured Characters:

Antagonists:

  • Gong (Single appearance)

Other Characters:

  • Henry Morton (Single appearance)

Locations:

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Notes

  • The fourth story are reprints from the Batman Sunday newspaper comic strip by the McClure Syndicate. (1946.02.10 - 1946.03.10) It is in this story that Penguin's name is first revealed as Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. The story is reprinted in The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told (1988).



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