|"The Great Bat-Cape Hunt!"|
|First Published:||August 1956|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #100|
|Next Issue:||Batman #102|
"The Vanished Batman!"Edit
Gothamites are startled to see a Batman-less Robin taking care of crimes and emergencies on his own, and even more startled to see the Batmobile and Batplane and Bat-signal redesigned into a Robinmobile, Robinplane and Robin-signal, respectively. TV newsmen and newspaper writers begin asking the question, "Where is Batman?" Gotham gangchief Pack Purdy and his lieutenant John Vair think they know, because Vair has told Purdy that he pushed Batman into the sea. Actually, such was Vair's mission, but he failed in it and Batman, disguised as Vair, is now infiltrating Purdy's mob to get the goods on the "Big Job" he is hiring out-of-town mobsters to help with. Said job proves to be an underwater attempt to cut through the hull of the docked ship Natonic and steal five million dollars from it. Batman gets word to Robin in time for the police to net the would-be thieves, and joins Robin in nabbing Purdy and his closest aides. Then the Caped Crusader makes his public reappearance, with the operation a total success.
"The Six Strangest Sleuths!"Edit
Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson attend a benefit show for the Vaudeville Relief Fund, featuring some of vaudeville's biggest stars. But the magic show of Scortini is used, unintended by the magician, as a disruption during which crooks rob the box office. The thieves escape even though Batman and Robin appear, and the money is divided up among the minions of gangster Jay Jandron. To get the money back, the six vaudevillians—Scortini, quick-changeman Elmo, strongman Leo the Mighty, tightrope walker Carey, ventriloquist Victor Voice, and the India Rubberman, all go to work as Batman's and Robin's assistants. They use their talents in various helpful ways, for instance, when Leo grabs the bumper of a suspects car and lifts it off the ground to prevent him from taking off—and track down one of the crooks, Vern Shively, stringing a mike with a mike with the aid of rubberman and having the tighrope walker keep a watch outside his third story window. Shively is shadowed and, after he leads them to others in the gang, is nabbed by Leo and replaced by Forbes the quick-change man. Forbes is found out, but Batman deduces their foes' destination, a moored yacht which Leo begins hauling in, a handful at a time. The heroes and their vaudeville allies storm the boat, overwhelm Jandron and his gang, and nab him and his cronies in various inventive ways (such as when the rubberman jumps out of a connecting tube to grab Jandron). The money is recovered, and Batman gives the credit for the caper to his six strange sleuths.
"The Great Bat-Cape Hunt!"Edit
While Alfred is helping them tidy up the Bat-Cave, Bruce and Dick comment on a Batcape with a cowel that Alfred is holding, one sent to Bruce Wayne by a man who was convinced Wayne was Batman and has stitched in the cape's underside label with the message, "BRUCE WAYNE IS BATMAN." The sender died soon afterward, and Batman kept it as a trophy. The radio soon informs them that Hurricane Hannah has struck Gotham, and when the two heroes change into Batman and Robin to go help, Alfred hands Batman the cape with the identity label by mistake. As luck would have it, it blows off Batman's head during the hurricane (though his face is not seen) and he learns of the mixup from Alfred after donning a spare cape and cowl. They begin a search for the cape in desperation. As the storm abates, people return to the streets. One of them is France's greatest stuntman, Andre Prevot. Unable to crash the American stunt-scene, he inspired by the Bat-cape that blows his way. He dons the cape and cowl to get attention, rides a motorcycle onto the scene of a daredevil picture, and does such spectacular stunts that the producers hire him on the spot. The story makes the radio and Batman and Robin go too see Prevot, who confesses that he did see the label, but that he cannot read English. However, the cape has blown from his windowsill to the street below. It drapes itself across a No Parking sign, where it throws an eerie shadow of Batman across an alley and stops two startled holdup men from robbing a social worker's charity fund. It passes through another pair of hands, and then is dragged by a dog into the street where "down and outer" Floyd Baker finds it. A former pilot who lost his nerve after cracking up his plane, Baker wistfully dons the cape and cowl. A little girl mistakes him for Batman and tearfully asks him to get her kitten off a third story ledge. Fighting down his nervousness, Baker walks the ledge, grabs the kitten, and walks back to the grateful child's window. Inspired, Baker decides that he will never lose his nerve again, and resolves to get his pilot's job back. He meets Batman on the street, thanks him for the help that he inadvertently gave him, and hands over the cape to an anxious Batman—who discovers, as Baker walks off, that there is no writing on the label. At that point, Clark Kent, secretly Superman, walks out of a nearby alley. He confesses that he had come to Gotham to help fight the fires caused by Hurricane Hannah, had come across the cape, and had burned its label message off with his X-ray vision. Batman gratefully thanks Clark and reclaims his trophy cape, which has enriched the lives of three men, a little girl, and a kitten.