|"Batman - The Superman of Planet X!"|
|First Published:||February 1958|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #112|
|Next Issue:||Batman #114|
"The Menace of False Face!"Edit
False Face is a master of disguise, and uses his skills to impersonate several wealthy citizens of Gotham City to rob them. Batman and Robin investigate the case and attempt to match wits with the villain.
False Face begins his extraordinary caper of crime disguised as P.S. Smithington, an eccentric uranium millionaire. Aware of Smithington's habit of spending fortunes at exclusive jewelry shops on credit, False Face, in his clever disguise, visits Hepplewhite's Jewelry Store and chooses some of the shop's most rare and priceless items: The Queen Ann Necklace, the Black Pearl of Cairo, and a diamond encrusted platinum wristwatch. The owner of the store is aware that Smithington buys all items on credit, a bill which he settles at the end of each month, although his assistant, Mr. Parker, is astonished at the sight of a man walking out with the three most valuable items on sale...without paying.
Two hours later, the real P.S. Smithington arrives at the same store, explaining that his car had broken down and he had been unable to reach downtown Gotham City until later than his usual shopping spree. Within minutes, the shocked store owner has informed the police, and the Bat-Signal is lit in the sky.
At Wayne Manor, Dick Grayson spots the Bat-Signal from the study window and interrupt Bruce Wayne as he reads his newspaper, informing him that the GCPD want Batman and Robin at Police Headquarters. Upon hearing that the signal has been lit, Bruce hurries into his Batman costume and goes to the police station with Dick, as Robin. Police Commissioner Gordon calls the Caped Crusaders to his office, where he explains that another impersonation by the infamous False Face has been reported. The commissioner briefly recounts how the villain had posed as P.S. Smithington earlier, and Batman recalls how the versatile disguise expert had posed as an Indian prince wen last seen, making off with a fortune in crown jewels. Gordon noted his other disguises have included impersonating a famous historian to steal a rare book on the Aztec Empire, as well as posing as, at different times, a sculptor and an architect.
At that moment, their conversation is interrupted by an emergency police radio playing in the next room, reporting that a certain Wally Weskit was trapped in a stranded hotel elevator and that a rescue squad was to report to the location. Batman and Robin leave Commissioner Gordon's office abruptly, with Batman musing that it may be their chance to unmask False Face once and for all. Leaving the confused commissioner behind, Batman and Robin race away from the police station in the Batmobile. Batman remarks he has a hunch about False Face's next target, since in each previous situation, the villain had always managed to detain his victim while he played the part, and Wally Weskit, a famous singer and guitar player, was due to perform for charity at the Gotham Hampton Club. Batman thus suspects that False Face may attempt to take Weskit's part and steal the charity money. His hunch proves correct when the Dynamic Duo arrive at the Hampton Club, and find False Face disguised as Wally Weskit and accepting money for charity.
Crashing the concert, Batman observes that False Face will never escape through the crowd of Weskit fans and if he puts up a fight, Robin will easily be able to stop the fans from panicking while the Dark Knight himself subdues the criminal. In desperation, the cornered False Face orders his henchmen to roll a giant barrel containing the charity money through the club. He then leaps onto it, riding the barrel through the building and towards the exit while his thugs escape out another door. The Caped Crusaders give chase, and Batman vaults onto the barrel, knocking False Face to the floor. He then rides the rolling barrel out the exit and into the loading dock, where False Face's gang are waiting to steal the funds. However, Batman thwarts their attempts by twisting the barrel to one side and sending crashing into a wall, destroying it and sending the money flying in every direction. Meanwhile, False Face flees the club and vanishes into the night. The determined Batman and Robin follow him, but mistake a hotel doorman for the villain due to their similar costumes. As they grapple with the innocent doorman, the real False Face makes good his getaway.
Once he reaches the outskirts of Gotham City, False Face removes his Wally Weskit disguise, but keeps a black hood over his real face to hide it from even his own henchmen. The gang complain that they will no longer be able to operate successfully with Batman always on the case. Thus, False Face concocts an elaborate plan to destroy Batman and get the Darkkinght Detective out of his way once and for all before he interferes in any more of the villain's schemes.
The next day, Batman and Robin are discussing False Face's latest caper with Commissioner Gordon when an emergency phone call reaches him from Arthur Crandall, a famed explorer living in Gotham City. Gesturing for Batman to pick up the other extension, Gordon listens as Crandall explains that someone had locked him inside his own game trophy room. It was only through the use of a hidden emergency phone behind one of the wall panels that he was able to contact the police.
Gordon promises to dispatch several officers to free Crandall and investigate, and the explorer also adds that he is due at the Gotham Explorer's Club to pick up a solid gold tiger, which he has arranged to have donated to a British museum in London. Since the golden tiger is no doubt a target for False Face, Batman and Robin leave the GCPD Headquarters and rush to the Explorer's Club. Batman reminds Robin that the fact that a celebrated personage being delayed while scheduled to receive a valuable item is no doubt the crime pattern of False Face. Leaving Robin on the lookout outside, a restless Batman investigates the Explorer's Club, where he finds that the chairman of the club is presenting the golden Aztec tiger to a fake Crandall--for delivery to England. Batman easily sees through the disguise, and False Face looks up to see the Dark Knight watching him from a doorway.
Suddenly seizing the gold tiger, False Face darts away and flees up a set of stairs to escape Batman. When Batman attempts to pursue, False Face strikes the hero with a Ming vase, taunting him before escaping to the second floor. Batman realizes that his quarry is more confident and cunning than he expected, and dodges behind to avoid a hail of artifacts being hurled at him from above by False Face. Picking up a huge stone ceremonial idol, False Face hurls it over the stairs and Batman leaps forward to avoid it. Finally, after reaching the second floor, the Dark Knight spots the Master of Disguise grabbing a large sword from a medieval suit of armour on display. Leaping forward to catch False Face in a flying tackle, Batman expects to grab the villain before he can wield the sword, but instead, the suit of armour bends, triggering a secret switch rigged prematurely by False Face, and knocking Batman into a specimen tank 60 feet in depth. Unable to able to stop his fall, Batman crashes through the protective tarp at the top of the tank and plummets to the very bottom.
Gloating over his seeming victory, False Face descends into the tank down an emergency ladder to look over the fallen Caped Crusader. A short while later, False Face's gang open up the bottom hatch of the tank and find their boss carrying the unconscious Batman in his hands. The henchmen propose to eliminate Batman immediately, but False Face tells them that he favors instead taking the hero back to their hideout, unmasking him, then holding him as a hostage before revealing his secret identity to the world. With this in mind, the thugs lead their boss through the main sewer pipe behind the club, and into an abandoned quarry to their hideout. Minutes later, False Face and his henchmen gather around Batman, who is stretched out on a table. False Face lifts Batman's mask and pulls it back, revealing his real face: False Face!
Staring in disbelief at the two False Faces, the horrified gang realize that the one in Batman's costume is their real boss, and the False Face they had bought to their hideout was in fact a disguised Batman. Abruptly, the thugs turn on their supposed leader, even as Robin batters down the door to the lair and rushes in, having been directed there by a secret utility belt message sent to him by Batman. Together the Dynamic Duo work together and subdue the False Face gang.
Later, as False Face sits sullenly handcuffed in Commissioner Gordon's office, Batman explains how he outwitted False Face: When he fell into the specimen tank, he had grabbed a corner of the ripped ptotective tarp stretched over the top to halt his fall. He then swung onto the emergency ladder, climbed to the bottom, and pretended to be unconscious. When False Face descended into the tank to gloat over his victory, Batman sprang to his feet, knocked out the villain, then removed his own mask and costume. He then placed the Batman costume on False Face and took False Face's disguise, using his utility belt make-up kit to perfect his impersonation of the master impersonator. From there, he tricked the gang into leading him to their hideout in hopes of unmasking Batman, and thus was able to turn the tables on them and find all their stolen loot in their lair.
Batman then reveals the real False Face to Commissioner Gordon and Robin--a nervous, frightened criminal. In reality, the real False Face was white-haired and toothless.
"Batman Meets Fatman!"Edit
Batman and Robin meet Fatman, a circus clown who dresses in a mock Batman costume. Impressed by Fatman's antics, they offer him a ride in the Batmobile. Fatman aids Batman and Robin in stopping a group of criminals known as the Red Mask Gang.
"Batman - The Superman of Planet X!"Edit
The Batman of the planet Zur En Arrh teleports the real Batman to Zur-En-Arrh, where Bruce Wayne/Batman has powers equivalent to Superman's. Bruce Wayne/Batman assists the alien Batman in fighting off a horde of robot invaders. After the robots are destroyed, the alien Batman gives Bruce Wayne/Batman his Bat-Radia device as a keepsake, and returns him to Earth.
"The Menace of False Face!"Edit
- James Gordon
- False Face (First Appearance)
- Arthur Crandall (Only appearance)
- P.S. Smithington (Only appearance)
- Wally Weskit (Only appearance)(Behind the scenes)
- Wembley Hepplewhite (Only appearance)
"Batman Meets Fatman!"Edit
"Batman - The Superman of Planet X!"Edit
- Bat-Radia (First Appearance)