""The Case of the Joker's Crime Circus"": The crew of a passing yacht spots The Joker hanging on to a piece of driftwood in the ocean. They take him ashore not knowing his identity, he then makes his way up to his hideout which is an Old gloomy mansion nicknamed [[Ha-Hacien
- Remember, we never kill with weapons of any kind!
- — Batman
Appearing in "The Case of the Joker's Crime Circus"
- The Joker
- Ajax (Single appearance)
- Tino (Single appearance)
- Darcey (Single appearance)
- Gotham City Gazette (First appearance)
- Joker's car (Not yet the Jokermobile)
Synopsis for "The Case of the Joker's Crime Circus"
The crew of a passing yacht spots The Joker hanging on to a piece of driftwood in the ocean. They take him ashore not knowing his identity, he then makes his way up to his hideout which is an Old gloomy mansion nicknamed The Haunted. The Joker then celebrates as Batman thinks he's dead which gives him an advantage. Meanwhile elsewhere the Dynamic duo attempts to stop a group of acrobatic thieves they catch stealing from a house. While they are in the progress of beating them a huge man with incredible strength comes out from the car parked nearby and beats the two crime fighters easily. Later at Wayne Manor, Bruce Wayne is sent an invitation to a ball which he decides to attend. After a while the host of the party, Darcey announces that a miniature circus will be performing in the ball room.
Three days later and Dick Grayson reports that The Darceys , who hosted the party have been robbed. Wayne estimates that it makes 6 rich families robbed this month. Bruce investigates and announces to Dick at the end of the day, that every family that has been robbed has had the circus play at their house. They then remember the robbers who they attempted to stop days ago who were acrobatic and the strong man that defeated them. Dick reads in the newspaper that the Morganbilts are having the miniature circus perform for them, Bruce decides that they'll intervene as Batman and Robin! The night of the performance the Joker and his Crime Circus are getting prepared at the Haunted House, Joker introduces a new member to the rest of the group telling them that he is the surprise guest of the night.
Once the performance starts , Joker steps forward stating that he has a surprise for the crowd but before he can finish The Dynamic Duo leap into the room through the window. Robin beats all of the acrobats, while Batman defeats the strong man. At this time the Joker escapes to the Haunted House with Batman and Robin following behind. They make it into the mansion only to mislead by several different traps, Batman is eventually trapped in a room alone with illusions of the Joker's face and it laughing. Batman finds out it's a recording and stops it. Gas then starts to come into the room, Batman mixes some vials from his utility belt into one another and throws the pellet at the wall making it explode. He finds the Joker about to push Robin down a trap door that goes all the way down to beneath the mansion. The two fight and the Joker knocks Batman down only to be sent down the trap door himself as he tries to lung forward at Batman who sent him sailing over his head with his feet.
Appearing in "Blackbeard's Crew and the Yacht Society"
- Blackbeard (Thatch) (Single appearance)
- Mr. Horn (Single appearance)
- Stanley (Single appearance)
- Elaine (Single appearance)
- Mr. Cowden (Single appearance)
- Henry (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Blackbeard's Crew and the Yacht Society"
A band of pirates hijacks a yacht of wealthy people and takes them hostage in their own pirate ship. Batman and Robin climb aboard and briefly fight, before being thrown overboard. While the pirates think they are dead, the Dynamic Duo sneak back onto the ship and battle again. Blackbeard is eventually defeated and revealed to be a gangster named Thatch in disguise. Satisfied with their work, Batman and Robin free the people, take Thatch in, and return home.
Appearing in "Public Enemy No. 1 Starts Jail Sentence"
- Jimmy "Red" McCoy (Only appearance; dies)
- Big Costello (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "Public Enemy No. 1 Starts Jail Sentence"
Jimmy McCoy is a well known gangster who has always led a life of crime. He has been recently been released from jail and he is looking to assemble his old gang once again. However, the new crime lord, Big Costello wants to stop McCoy from getting his gang together at all cost and thus, a gang war starts between them. Batman and Robin intervene and they manage to capture a large faction of Costello's gang, leading to the police to start looking for both criminals.
McCoy's gang decide to drop out and Jimmy is left alone to battle his enemy. McCoy goes to Costello's hideout with the intention of eliminating him, but since he was a supersticious person, he felt that bad luck was upon him and when he arrived at the place, he was gunned down by Costello and his crooks. Batman and Robin arrive just in time to stop them and McCoy, with a last effort fires a bullet that kills his rival and then he drops dead.
Appearing in "Touchdown for Justice"
- Stacy (Only appearance; dies)
- Tim Bannon (Single appearance)
- Stockton (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Touchdown for Justice"
Batman and Robin stop some criminals from hurting an important football player, but they are unable to capture the criminals.
Later, at the thugs' base of operations, the leader has come up with the real identity of Batman. To test his theory, the gangster calls Bruce Wayne and addresses him as Batman, giving him directions to a place where he needs to go. Bruce is baffled, but his sense of duty forces him to go to the place.
When Batman arrives at the place, he realizes that it was a trap, but with help from Robin, they both manage to get away from the place. The gangsters start following them to an old abandoned barn, which was near Wayne Manor. Following their leader's suspicions, the thugs guarded the entrance of the house in case Batman tried to get inside, but they are suprised when Bruce Wayne comes out of the house and tells them to go away. The thugs are confused as soon Batman appears again and he leads them away from Wayne Manor. Batman used an underground tunnel from the barn to Wayne Manor and with some help from a dummy resembling himself, he managed to fool the criminals, who desist on their plan of finding out Batman's identity and focus on their plan to win a football match bet.
After this, Batman learns that the gang had kidnapped a football player and they were looking to win a bet against the player's team. In order to foil their plans, Batman disguises himself as the kidnapped player and he tells Robin to keep an eye on the leader of the gang when he goes out of the stadium.
When the thug learns that the player who he had kidnapped is playing, the gang leader leaves the stadium for his hideout, not realizing that Robin followed him closely. The thug is confused when he realizes that the player is indeed captured, but before he could react, Robin enters the place, knocks the criminals unconscious and allows the kidnapped player to return to the stadium while he delivered the criminals to the police.
When the player arrives, he realizes that Batman has done a great job in his place and they soon switch places. Finally, Bruce and Dick then enjoy the rest of the match.
- This book was first published on January 15, 1941.
- This issue is notable because it marked several important events on the history of Batman:
- This issue marks the first time in history that Batman's place of operations is named as Gotham City.
- This issue marks also the first appearances of the Gotham Gazette and the first known Ha-Hacienda.
- This issue makes it clear for the first time that Batman doesn't kill with any weapon, nor does he uses guns.
- This is the first time a criminal deduces the secret identity of Batman as Bruce Wayne and it's also the first time Batman uses the well known trope of having both the hero and his secret identity in the same place at the same time.
- The Batplane was adapted to also work as a "Bat-boat", starting the trend of Bat-themed vehicles.
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol 1 and Batman Chronicles, Volume 2, and the story "The Case of the Joker's Crime Circus" is reprinted in the trade paperback The Greatest Joker Stories Ever Told.
- At one point in "Blackbeard's Crew and the Yacht Society", Bruce Wayne's shadow looks like it is smoking a pipe, even though Wayne is not smoking in that panel.
- This issue indicates that Batman usually carries makeup in the utility belt.
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