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Batman Issue 123

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"The Fugitive Batman!"
General Information
Series: Batman
Issue Number: 123
First Published: April 1959
Previous Issue: Batman #122
Next Issue: Batman #124


"The Secret of the Everglades!"Edit

A Seminole Indian tells a group of youngsters around a campfire about Old Joe Osceola's adventure with Batman and Robin. Joe, a trapper, was grabbed by two toughs who said that "the boss" wanted words with him, but Joe cried out, attracting the attention of a vacationing Batman and Robin. The two toughs, after losing a fight, took off in a swap-sled. Joe Oscelola confessed that he did not know what they wanted, and, when Batman and Robin escorted him into the neighboring village, complained that the young ones used to make over him the way they do now of Batman and Robin. The two heroes decided to restore Joe's pride in himself, somehow. Soon, Mike Briggs, a buyer of alligator hides, visited the camp, bought hides from Joe, and let drop the information that he knew Joe had been attacked. Since Batman and Robin had let no one know of the incident, only the thugs' employer could have had the knowledge. The two heroes followed, but were captured and tied to logs. But Old Joe managed to slip a knife to Batman, while showing himself to the hoods, who captured him and interrogated him about a wooden plank which he used to patch his canoe. Batman and Robin were able to free themselves and rescued Joe, who pitched in and battled alongside them. Later, Batman and Robin checked out the plank in Joe's canoe, which proved to have and inscription in Spanish from Ponce De Leon, the explorer who sought the Fountain of Youth. At the place where Joe found the plank, Batman and Robin dug up Briggs's true objective--ancient suits of Spanish armor, which could be sold for a high price. Joe opted to share the money with his tribe, and thus became a hero again to the youth of his village, as he is to the youngsters who hear the Seminole tell the tale again.

"The Joker's Practical Jokes!"Edit

After overhearing a construction worker tell a young apprentice to fetch a "left-handed monkeywrench"--a practical joke common among builders--the Joker hits upon using practical jokes as a theme for crimes. Through police headquarters, he sends Batman and Robin clues to his thievery attempts. "Anchor watch," which is a gag played upon new seamen, siginfies that the Joker will use an inflatable whale tied to a docked ship's anchor to draw the attention of passengers and crew so that he may loot the ship's safe. Batman and Robin try to nab the Joker, but he punctures the whale and releases a cloud of smoky gas used to inflate balloons, and makes his escape. His next practical joke crime revolves around a "cable stretcher," a nonexistent item electric linemen send green workers to fetch. The Joker creates a web of stretched wires across a road to trap a truck carrying a payroll to a new hydroelectric dam. Batman and Robin try to stop the Joker's escape once again, and once again they fail. Finally, the Joker notifies Batman that his next crime motif is "unobtanium," and imaginary fuel referred to by rocket scientists. The Joker's ploy is to set off a horde of toy rockets in a rocket parts factory, create havoc, and loot them of industrial diamonds. Batman appears, and the Joker flees up the side of a prop rocket outside, having equipped the nose capsule to fly. But Robin, in the Batplane, lassos the capsule with a cable and prevents the Joker's escape. Later, in prison, the Joker falls for a gag when he inquires to a guard about a "sheepskin" the other convicts have said he is to receive. The guard curtly tells the Joker that a sheepskin is prison slang for a pardon, and the Joker is far away form earning that kind of sheepskin. Everyone concerned cracks up--except the Joker.

"The Fugitive Batman!"Edit

Commissioner Gordon calls a press conference, with Robin present, and announces that Batman is wanted for a crime, the details of which he cannot reveal at present. But even Robin is joining in the hunt, and proves it by battling Batman--and losing--at a drive-in theater later on. Afterward, Robin uses Bat-Hound to pick up Batman's scent, since John Wilker, Ace's owner, has gone to Europe for a vacation and left the dog with the Wayne household. Batman manages to elude Bat-Hound and Robin by using a giant fish-net display to entangle them, but he is still on the run. Eventually, he falls in with Nifty Blake, suspected of being a member of the Red Mask Mob, and begs to be allowed to join the gang. To prove his sincerity, Batman removes his cowl. The features underneath are that of Frank Tyler, a detective writer whom the newspapers report to be wanted for murder. Satisfied, Blake takes Batman to meet the secret head of the Red Mask Mob, one Lucky Lane, the former "king of the underworld." Robin and Bat-Hound arrive, supposedly on Batman's trail. But Batman changes course and battles against the Red Mask Mob, with Robin and Bat-Hound helping him defeat them. Later, Frank Tyler comes out of hiding, and the entire murder charge is revealed as a hoax to smoke out the head of the Red Mask Mob, which succeeded.





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