"The People vs. the Batman": This story is reprinted from Batman #7.
The Best of DC #2 is an issue of the series The Best of DC (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 1979. It was published on August 9, 1979.
- 1 Synopsis for "The People vs. the Batman"
- 2 Appearing in "The People vs. the Batman"
- 3 Synopsis for "Alfred, Armchair Detective"
- 4 Appearing in "Alfred, Armchair Detective"
- 5 Synopsis for "The 1,000 Secrets of the Batcave"
- 6 Appearing in "The 1,000 Secrets of the Batcave"
- 7 Synopsis for "The First Batman"
- 8 Appearing in "The First Batman"
- 9 Synopsis for "Murder at Mystery Castle"
- 10 Appearing in "Murder at Mystery Castle"
- 11 Synopsis for "The Cry of Night is -- 'Kill!'"
- 12 Appearing in "The Cry of Night is -- 'Kill!'"
- 13 Synopsis for "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge"
- 14 Appearing in "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge"
- 15 See Also
- 16 Recommended Reading
- 17 Links and References
Synopsis for "The People vs. the Batman"
This story is reprinted from Batman #7.
Batman investigates a poultry racket job and he is confronted by the criminals involved. However, when the Gotham City Police Department arrive at the scene, they only notice Batman and assume he was causing trouble. With no oprion left but run, Batman decides to investigate in the morning as Bruce Wayne.
As Bruce goes to the place, he is victim of a setup to frame him for the murder of an old man and the police has no option but to arrest him. Dick visits Bruce in prison and he decides to help Bruce by capturing the criminal who was responsible for framing Bruce.
The thug, whose name is Weasel, is in danger as his boss and his gang think that he might squeal their crime to the police. When they try to eliminate him, Robin arrives in time to stop them and gives Weasel a chance to escape. However, some of the thugs are driving a car and run the vehicle against Weasel, leaving him in a coma.
Later, one of the gang members disguises himself as Batman and goes to the hospital room where Weasel is recovering in order to kill him and frame Batman for murder. His plan fails, as the Police keep a close eye on Weasel and the thug has to run away. Because of this, the police now thinks of Batman as a murderer.
When news about Batman's murder attempt reach Dick, he decides to help Bruce by getting him out of jail so he can clear his name. Robin digs a hole underneath Bruce's cell in prison and they leave a dummy behind. Donning his Batman costume, the dynamic duo try to capture the leader of the gang to get a confession that would clear Bruce's name. During the chase, Batman and Robin are captured, tied up and tossed in the water. By the time they manage to escape, the thugs have already destroyed any sort of evidence or confession that would help Bruce's case and the Police have discovered that Bruce Wayne has escaped. At that same moment, Weasel wakes up, learns that he doesn't have much time to live and he decides to reveal the truth to the police.
A trial in court takes place and Bruce Wayne is about to be convicted for murder when Batman arrives, carrying the criminal mastermind with him. However, his presence only worsens things since the police seem to think that Batman is a murderer and that he helped Bruce to escape. The District Attorney starts making a case against Batman until Commissioner Gordon arrives and stands by the side of the vigilante. After a convincing speech, the judge and jury realize how important Batman is for the city and just then, Weasel arrives at the court and tells the truth about the murder right before he dies.
When the case is solved, Commissioner Gordon makes Batman an honorary member of the GCPD and they start working together. Bruce Wayne appears later, once his name has been cleared and he is out of danger.
Appearing in "The People vs. the Batman"
- Freddie Hill
- Horatio Delmar
- Weasel (Only appearance; dies)
- Joker (Mentioned only)
- George Washington (Mentioned only)
- The Wright Brothers (Mentioned only)
- Abraham Lincoln (Mentioned only)
- Thomas Edison (Mentioned only)
Synopsis for "Alfred, Armchair Detective"
This story is reprinted from Batman #31.
After he reads a story about a detective that could solve crimes from his chair, Alfred tries to emulate the man, but he is soon captured by some criminals. Despite his dire situation, Alfred finds a way to capture the crooks unintentionally.
Appearing in "Alfred, Armchair Detective"
- Stubby Stubbs (Single appearance)
- Willie (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The 1,000 Secrets of the Batcave"
This story is reprinted from Batman #48.
Wolf Brando has escaped from jail and makes his way to Wayne Manor. He breaks inside and knocks Dick Grayson unconscious, but the blow causes him to stumble upon an old grandfather clock. This reveals a secret entrance behind the clock which leads to a large, downwards staircase. Brando descends through the stairs and he finds the ultimate secret: the Batcave.
When Bruce Wayne is informed that a dangerous criminal has broken into his house, he joins the Gotham City Police Department as Batman to capture the criminal. However, after a quick examination the police can't find anybody inside the house and Batman deduces that the criminal must have found the Batcave. Batman uses the secret entrance at the abandoned barn to get inside the Batcave, where he is confronted by Brando. The criminal has deduced Batman and Robin's secret identities and he demands to be allowed to escape in exchange for keeping their secrets. Dick manages to distract Brando long enough for Batman to untie him and once free, Dick puts on his Robin costume, probably for the last time.
In the meantime, Brando tries to escape using the Batmobile, but Batman stops him and Brando is forced to run into the Trophy Room, where Robin is waiting for him. The Dynamic Duo fight Brando among their trophies, but the criminal manages to get the upper hand using one of Penguin's Umbrellas and destroying the mechanical dinosaur and the Giant Penny. However, as he tries to escape, Brando disturbs some of the sleeping Bats of the cave and when he is attacked by them, he is pushed over a water current that drags his body underneath the cave all the way to a river, far away. The police soon find the body and Batman's secret is safe thanks to the Batcave.
Appearing in "The 1,000 Secrets of the Batcave"
- Wolf Brando (Only appearance; dies)
Synopsis for "The First Batman"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #235.
After seeing an old home movie of his father, Dr. Thomas Wayne, in a "Batman" costume for a masquerade party, and learning from Dr. Wayne's diary that he was marked for death by gangster Lew Moxon, Batman and Robin realize that Joe Chill was only a hired gun of Moxon's to Kill Bruce's parents. They resolve to go after the mastermind of Waynes' murder only to find he has no memory of Wayne or Chill, or so he claims.
Batman decides to wear his father's Bat-costume after his own costume is torn apprehending Moxon's gang and in doing so forces Moxon to reveal the truth. The shock of seeing what he thinks is the spirit of Thomas Wayne, causes Moxon not only to tell the truth, but also run away in fear and despair. As Moxon runs away from Batman, the hero tries to warn the thug about an incoming truck, but Moxon ends up killed by the vehicle. In the end, Bruce places his father's Bat-Costume in the trophy room of the Batcave, as a reminder of the late Thomas Wayne and his murderer, who met the same kind of justice.
Appearing in "The First Batman"
- Commissioner Gordon
- Wayne Family (Flashback only)
- Bats (Flashback only)
- Thomas Wayne's Batman Costume (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Murder at Mystery Castle"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #246.
Batman and Robin investigate the crossbow murder of a gun manufacturer in an ancient, imported castle. During their investigation, the killer prepares a series of traps for the Dynamic Duo, using ancient weapons. Batman and Robin manage to avoid all the traps and after a lenghty investigation, they find the identity of the murderer and deliver him to the authorities before returning to Gotham City.
Appearing in "Murder at Mystery Castle"
- Robert Cray (Single appearance)
- James Barham (Only appearance; dies)
- Vance Sonderson (Single appearance)
- Adam Barham (Single appearance)
- John Gorley (Single appearance)
- Sheriff Martin (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Cry of Night is -- 'Kill!'"
This story is reprinted from Detective Comics #387.
Batman and Robin swing across Gotham City. They arrive at a crime scene where the wealthy atomic chemist Lambert has been murdered with a poker in his own living room. Commissioner Gordon is accusing Lambert's hippy son Mel, whose fingerprints were found on the murder instrument. Mel is furious and rants about authority figures abusing their power. Batman determines that the fingerprints could have gotten there at any time, and they cannot prove that Mel is guilty. Batman and Robin leave to investigate while Gordon has his back turned. Mel announces that the scene is one big bummer and he is going to split.
Batman and Robin return to the Batcave, where they're welcomed by Alfred Pennyworth. Robin hates Mel, believing that punks like him should all be locked up without a key. Batman reminds him that their job is to protect everyone's rights, not just those of the people they like. The Batcomputer determines that Lambert was part of a chemical syndicate with three other men, Alfred Stryker, Paul Rogers, and Steven Crane.
They drive to visit Steven Crane in the Batmobile. Crane explains that Mel and his father had a heated argument several days ago in the lab. The elder Lambert insisted that his chemical research would benefit all mankind. Mel Lambert insisted that the research would really be used for military purposes, and lead only to advances in war. Robin believes this proves Mel guilty, but Batman tells him not to jump to conclusions. They leave the apartment and hear gunshots behind them, as Crane is murdered. They rush back in and the killer shoots at them as well. His silhouette resembles Mel Lambert, and he escapes but drops a piece of paper when Robin hits him with a batarang. The paper is an account of Crane's part in the research. Batman believes this casts doubt on Mel as a suspect, but Robin believes it confirms his suspicions. They rush to find Paul Rogers next.
Paul Rogers has heard about Lambert's murder, and gone to visit the laboratory of Alfred Stryker. Stryker lets Rogers inside, and Rogers is clubbed on the back of the head with a gun. The culprit is a masked man resembling Mel Lambert. Batman and Robin burst in, and they take down the masked man. It is not Mel Lambert, only a man dressed like him. Stryker picks up the gun and reveals that he hired this killer to do his dirty work. Stryker forgets to keep track of Batman in the shadows, and Batman karate chops the gun out of his hand. Batman explains that he knew one of them was the culprit because only someone involved in the chemical syndicate would want Crane's research data. Stryker was attempting to eliminate his partners so he could claim their research as his own for financial gain. Mel Lambert was simply a convenient scapegoat to frame for the murders.
That night, Mel Lambert and Robin are both troubled. Mel Lambert criticized Batman for being part of the system, but Batman was the only reason he wasn't thrown in jail. Robin realizes that he tried to jail an innocent man simply because he didn't like him personally. They both know they have some thinking to do.
Appearing in "The Cry of Night is -- 'Kill!'"
- Alfred Stryker (Single appearance)
- Mel Lambert (Single appearance)
- Mr. Lambert (Only appearance; dies)
- Steven Crane (Only appearance; dies)
- Paul Rogers (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge"
This story is reprinted from Batman #251.
The Joker has set himself free from the Mental Hospital for the Criminally Insane Batman had him incarcerated in, and he is out for blood. Before he was sent away, knowing that one member of his previous gang had ratted him out to the police, he had vowed to murder all five of them; And only the Batman is capable of stopping him. Despite Batman's best efforts, the Joker is able to finish off nearly all of his hit list. Batman is only alerted after the first murder, when a grinning corpse is found in the mud just outside of Gotham City, and he goes to each of the former members of the Joker's gang individually to try to protect them.
The second member agrees to go into protective custody with Batman, but drinks from his water bucket right afterwards and is killed by Joker Venom it had been laced with. The third member is treated favorably by the Joker, and even believes the two of them to be on good terms when the Joker gives him a cigar before leaving his apartment. As the Joker walks out of the building, the cigar blows up the man's entire household.
Most interestingly, the fourth member of the gang believes Batman is only trying to bring him in for a mugging he recently committed, even after Batman tells him the story. He asks if Batman will lead the way because he's frightened, and then the second his back is turned bashes Batman over the head with a sap and runs back to his hideout. When Batman regains his composure enough to pursue, he finds the man already strung up by the neck, hanged from his rafters, and the Joker lying in ambush. Although the Joker is able to subdue the already disoriented Batman, he declines to kill him, because it was "mere chance that caused his attack on Batman to succeed," and he had "always envisioned his winning as a result of cunning at the end of a bitter struggle."
When Batman regains consciousness, he is able to deduce the location of the Joker's hideout by the strange mixture of sand and oil on his face where the Joker had kicked him. The Joker is hiding out in the aquarium right next to the beach, where there was very recently an oil spill. Batman tracks the Joker down, hoping to save the life of the last man, now a senior citizen confined to a wheelchair. Naturally, knowing Batman would find him, the Joker has the man poised over a giant tank of water with a shark inside, and agrees that he will let him go only if Batman takes his place. Batman is forced to agree, and after he is handcuffed, the Joker pushes both of them in. Thinking fast, Batman is actually able to subdue the shark using only his handcuffs, and to break the glass of the tank by bashing it with the wheelchair, saving the man's life and escaping in barely enough time to pursue the Joker. Batman runs out into the early dawn, and chases the Joker to his getaway car, but worries that in his current condition, after the lump on his head, the lack of air, and the night of running around Gotham; he won't be able to catch up to him in time. But the Joker slips on the oil slime of the beach right before reaching his escape, and Batman is able to catch up with him, and beat him silly.
As Batman drags Joker off into the sunrise, the Dark Knight finds irony in the fact that pollution was the element that helped him capture his most dangerous rival.
Appearing in "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge"
- Philly Jack Barton (Appears only as a corpse)
- Packy White (Only appearance; dies)
- "Alby" (Only appearance; dies)
- Bigger Melvin (Only appearance; dies)
- Bing Hooley (Single appearance)
- A shark
- 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: 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)