|"The Hammer of Thor!"|
|First Published:||October 1959|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #126|
|Next Issue:||Batman #128|
When the Joker tricks Batman and Robin into being locked up in an armored car so that he and his gang can loot a book fair, the heroes are liberated by a new super-hero the Eagle, who rips off the doors off the vehicle. He expresses his wish to become their third partner, but the Joker manages to make a clean getaway thru a specially-prepared exit. The Eagle leaps away, but Batman and Robin meet him later that night in the Bat-Cave when he unmasks himself and proves to be Alfred, their butler. Alfred explains that he was accidentally struck by a ray bombardment form a criminal scientist's machine in the Bat-Cave, refracted through a space-crystal prism that Superman brought back from outer space. It had the effect of giving him tremendous strength and leaping power, plus invulnerability. Alfred petitions to join their team, and Batman replies that he sees no other choice. But privately he confides his doubts in Alfred's crime-fighting ability to Dick, who shares his misgivings. The Joker makes a second appearance, stealing a puzzle solver's prize money, and the Eagle tries to aid Batman and Robin in capturing him. But Alfred manages to bungle by miscalculating his strength and leaping power, and instead ends up netting his employers while the Joker goes scott free again. On the next day, the Joker pulls a museum robbery, but the Eagle is finally successful in one of his endeavors--blocking the getaway car with a thrown statue. Unfortunately, as he closes with the Joker, the Eagles's strength and powers fade away and the harlequin is easily able to kayo him. However, Batman and Robin bear down on him in Roman chariots, dodge spears thrown by the Joker and his men, and apprehend the gang. Later, in the Bat-Cave, Alfred proudly states that he might have even surpassed Batman and Robin with a little practice, and Batman, wisely, concurs, while Robin, behind Alfred, slaps his forehead in dismay.
"The Second Life of Batman!"Edit
Professor Carter Nichols invited Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson to test another invention of his--a machine which can create mental visions of an alternate universe which might have resulted had one event in the user's past been changed. Bruce wonders what would have occurred if the killing of his parents, which inspired him to become Batman, had not taken place. He sees himself as a young playboy whose parents have died the previous year in a car crash. Though lazy, the other Bruce is still an accomplished athlete. He is invited by friends to a masquerade ball at Metropolis Airport, where everyone is required to attend as a flying creature. Aptly, Bruce wears a Superman suit. But the party is crashed by the Blue Bat, a criminal gangleader who wears the same uniform as the Batman of Earth-One universe. Superman appears and tries to take in the gang, but the Blue Bat activates a plane and sends it straight at the crowd, requiring Superman to break off his fight and stop the plane. Bruce, costumed as Superman, is stung into action by a friend's joke that he "act like" Superman; he leaps into action and brings down several of the Blue Bat's gang, though the costumed criminal himself escapes. A day later, the Blue Bat and his gang accost Bruce Wayne, knock him down, and warn him never to interfere in their rackets again. Irked by the treatment, Bruce uses his detective skills to track down the Blue Bat's lair, only to find it deserted. But there is a spare Blue Bat costume, and a diagram of the interior of a new dam being built outside town. Bruce, hitting upon a plan, dons the Blue Bat uniform, drives to the dam, and makes sure to pass by police so that they pursue him. He and the Blue Bat have a final confrontation, and he kayos the villain and prevents him from dynamiting the dam. As Bruce takes his leave, he overhears the police behind him praising the work of "that Bat-Man!" And once home, Bruce Wayne resolves to use the Blue Bat costume and the name the policeman gave him in the cause of justice, as Batman. Back in the real world, Bruce removes the machine from his head and tells Nichols that his destiny would have been the same, no matter what happened.
"The Hammer of Thor!"Edit
Batman and Robin are startled, to say the least, when they behold a red-bearded man, dressed like an ancient Norseman and wielding a hammer, claiming to be Thor himself, and using his mallet to smash through the metal doors of the National Bank of Gotham. The hammer, once thrown, comes back to his hand, and Thor's super-strength is proof even against Batman and Robin. He heists a sack of money from the bank and smashes down a lamppost to block the Batmobile, ensuring his escape. The next day, Commissioner Gordon introduces Henry Meke to Batman and Robin. Meke is proprietor of a small museum featuring replicas of mythological curios. He has lately noticed the hammer of Thor missing from his collection, and wonders if the real Thor has to come to reclaim it. Two nights later, Thor appears during a thunderstorm to wallop the daylights out of two safecrackers at an electronics factory. Batman and Robin try to capture Thor, but are outclassed by his power, and break off the attack when Thor accidentally endangers the two thieves. The thunderer once again escapes. A night later, Batman and Robin visit Meke, who finally remembers an incident: some nights past, a meteorite smashed through his window, hit the hammer of Thor, and disintegrated. The hammer began to glow, and he reached out to examine it. Meke breaks off his narrative as another storm brews outside, and the thunder seems to put him in a trance. Meke opens a floor panel, takes from it the hammer and costume of Thor, and, after touching the hammer, is transformed into the mighty Thor himself. A thunderbolt crashes nearby, and Thor answers it verbally, telling Odin he will now go to prepare him a temple after finding more wealth to finance it. Batman comments on the phenomenon. Angered at being interrupted in his conversation, Thor vows to wallop Batman and Robin. The heroes are out-powered again, but Batman cons Thor into throwing his hammer at an electrical fuse box behind him, causing a great electrical spark which short-circuits the hammer. Thor returns to being Henry Meke. Batman later explains to Meke that the meteorite had been subjected to cosmic forces in space that enabled it to transmit strange powers to the hammer, and then to Meke when he touched it. Since the incident occurred in a thunderstorm, Meke thought that he was Thor himself. Batman assures Meke that the reward for nabbing the two safecrackers will pay the damages he caused as the Asgardian avenger. The next day, crowds of people line up outside the museum to see the hammer that transformed a weak, unassuming mortal into the mighty Thor, and marvel at it.