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Batman Issue 119

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"Rip Van Batman!"
Batman119
General Information
Series: Batman
Issue Number: 119
First Published: October 1958
Previous Issue: Batman #118
Next Issue: Batman #120


SynopsisEdit

"The Arch-Rivals of Gotham City!"Edit

Vicki Vale, and Batwoman are tied for first place in Gotham's annual Woman of the Year contest, with the winner getting a date with Batman. The judges give each a six-hour period in which to gather further achievements, with the winner to be thus decided. Batman goes to quell a prison break, hindered by Vicki Vale taking pictures in the yard (though she gets splendid action shots). Then Batman is tipped off by Robin that Batwoman is donning scuba gear to check out a lead on the Harbor Pirates; he dons similar gear and follows, helping rescue her, even though she takes in two of the gang on her own. The judges declare the contest still tied. Both women see a gangster from Moose Malloy's mob outside the building; both women independently decide to follow him; both get captured by the gang; and Batman, trying to save both of them, gets overpowered by Malloy and his men. The women join forces, mistakenly grabbing each other's equipment, but manage to use it to best advantage and break up Moose's assault. Batman, recovered, helps bring down the crooks. Later, the judges call it even, and both women share the same date with Batman.

"The Secret of Batman Island!"Edit

A.K. Barnaby, one of the richest "men in the world," has built a museum dedicated to his heroes, Batman and Robin, on the isle he calls Batman Island. Barnaby happens to be on the scene when Batman and Robin battle a gang of diamond thieves in Gotham City and films it with his hand-held camera for posterity. Two members of the gang, keeping watch, notice Barnaby's action and prepare to take action of their own. Batman and Robin bring in part of the gang, but the evidence of their theft—the diamonds—have disappeared and their conviction seems impossible without the evidence. The remaining gang members trail Barnaby to Batman Island, where he discovers them on a television monitor. Barnaby activates his own Bat-Signal, drawing Batman and Robin to the island. A battle between the dynamic duo and the thieves ensues, amidst the memorabilia of Batman's career collected by Barnaby. Batman fakes his death a second time around in False Face's tank-trap, even when one of the crooks is duped into riddling his empty cowl with bullets, and manages to save Robin and corral the gang minutes later. When the film is shown, it reveals the hoods in the robbery dropping the diamonds into an open tank-truck, and, as the boss of the gang explains when he bursts into the scene with drawn gun, it also proves that the truck company has been collaborating with the gang. Barnaby saves the day by switching off the projector, plunging the room into darkness, and drawing the boss's fire towards a Batman statue. The real Batman kayos the gang-boss, and, later, suggests that Barnaby remember his part in the caper by making a statue of himself. Smiling, Barnaby allows as how he might just do that.

"Rip Van Batman!"Edit

Batman and Robin split up to try and discover which of two places gangster Al Hackett may be hiding. Batman investigates Hackett's mountain lodge, which contains a greenhouse. The exotic plants of the green house exude an aroma which makes Batman reel out of the building, fall head-over-heels down the slope of a hill, and lie asleep at the edge of a pond. Batman appears to awake, and looking at his reflection in the pond finds he has grown a long white beard and become old, a modern Rip Van Winkle. Batman hikes into Gotham City, finding it a metropolis of the future, with a brand-new Batman and Robin team he views chasing and catching a pair of crooks. He recognizes the new Batman as Dick Grayson, now grown up. But, when he tries to talk to Batman II, Batman is passed off as a senile old man with a Batman-complex. The old Caped Crusader hobbles to Wayne Manor, now a deserted ruin with a Bat-Cave filled with debris, Commissioner Gordon long since retired and moved away. Batman wanders through Gotham Park, past his statue, feeling as useful as a fifth wheel. However, when hearing crooks' voices from the nearby planetarium, Batman investigates and finds the new Batman and Robin team tied up by criminals. He attempts to take on the thugs, but his muscles are weak from age and disuse. The hoods tie him up and leave him beside the new heroes, who thank him for trying. Batman, declaring the game not up yet, smashes the lens of his utility belt's microscope and uses it to saw through his ropes, fools some returning hoods into fleeing by projecting the image of a moon scorpion on the wall, and releases Batman II and Robin II, who are now reassured they have the original Batman back at last. The trio attack and capture the hoods, but, afterward, Batman faints away. He revives back in the present, with a young Robin shaking him awake; his reflection is still that of a young man. Robin relates how he captured Hackett and came there to find his mentor unconscious. Batman deduces that one of the plants in the greenhouse was a rare breed from the Amazon, whose fumes can give humans hallucinations. Relieved to find himself young and strong, Batman races Robin back to the Batmobile.

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