|"The Phantom Batman!"|
|First Published:||September 1957|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #109|
|Next Issue:||Batman #111|
After barely stopping the theft of a $50,000 black orchid at a flower show in May, Batman and Robin compare it to other odd recent crimes in police files, such as a March 15 holdup by balloon at the Gotham Gas Works or an April Fools' Day heist at a fur warehouse by men wearing strange masks. Batman begins to see the pattern: "March winds...April Fools Day...and a flower theft in May!" The crimes, he deduces, are linked to the months themselves, and he pegs the Joker as their perpetrator. Indeed, the Joker has already organized a Crime-Of-The-Month Club, in which he sells plans for "monthly" crimes to members of the club by auction. To his latest client, Blinky Dean, he sells a plot to rob the June wedding of the wealthy Van Dirks. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, guessing the target, are invited and able to stop Dean and a confederate, appearing, respectively, as bride and groom on a giant wedding cake, from a stickup job on the hosts, as Batman and Robin. During the fracas Dean drops his "Crime-Of-The-Month Club card and Batman recovers it. They realize the Joker will attempt to pull another June crime to make up for his loss, and, after a couple of false starts, successfully capture the Joker and his clients trying to rob a movie house showing the film, Jupiter's Bride. And Jupiter's bride, as Batman explains to Robin, is none other than June.
"The Secret of Batman's Butler!"Edit
While Batman and Robin are out on a mission, Alfred sits down and begins composing a farewell letter. He writes to his employers about how he began work for them, and how, shortly afterward, he was approached by a man named Noyes, who tried to get information about Bruce Wayne from him, even at the point of bribery. Alfred refused, and threatened to call the police. Some months later, Alfred heard the voice of Dick Grayson calling to him from a secret passageway behind the grandfather clock, and discovered his employers were really Batman and Robin. He tended a wounded Batman, who was glad to take him into his confidence. He mentioned Noyes, but Batman said to pay him no heed. Alfred goes on to write of how he helped Batman and Robin in various ways, many times protecting their secret identities from revelation. But, recently, he saw Noyes himself in the Bat-Cave. Thus, he writes, the secret has been disclosed somehow through Alfred's own blundering, and he must now say goodbye as a result. Finishing his letter, Alfred hits upon a plan to save Batman's secret, and dresses up as Batman when Noyes returns to the Bat-Cave. Alfred reveals to Noyes that he is actually the Caped Crusader, but Noyes removes a facial disguise, and is disclosed as Bruce Wayne. Bruce explains that he had first worn the "Noyes" disguise to test Alfred's loyalty, and the butler passed with flying colors. Recently he revived the Noyes disguise to help in his search for Dan Marly. Alfred replies that he is relieved that he can return to being a butler, and Batman counters that to he and Robin, Alfred is the greatest gentleman's gentleman in the world.
"The Phantom Batman!"Edit
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 Bat-Cave, 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 Bat-Cave. Alfred is required to fly a kite outdoors wired to the electrical device in the Bat-Cave. 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 bring Len Landers and his mob during a bank robbery. Afterwards, at the Bat-Cave, Batman allows that he was getting pretty hungry in his unsolid state.