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|"Batman Walks the Last Mile!"|
|First Published:||November 1968|
|Previous Issue:||Batman #205|
|Next Issue:||Batman #207|
"Batman Walks the Last Mile!"Edit
A new criminal mastermind, the Planner, holds court in a junk yard, concealed in the cab of a crane, picking up his "clients" in their cars with an electromagnet on the crane's arm and giving them detailed instructions for crimes they can pull--for a fee. His latest customers, a trio of rock musicians-cum-thieves, are tracked down and captured by Batman and Robin. For revenge, the Planner, aka E. G. Never, crashes a party held in Batman's and Robin's honor and claims to be the brains behind the two heroes. Never challenges them to a duel: when a big crime comes up, let Batman and Robin see if they can solve it without him, and if they cannot, turn the case over to Never. Since the next case turns out to be a "foolproof" crime planned by Never, Batman and Robin fail and Never naturally succeeds. Batman allows that there will be another round. Never gives a costumed thief, the Cat-Crook, a plan and gives him a TV alignment tool to drop in the robbery site. Batman and Robin pick up the "clue" and nab A. N. Tenna, a TV repairman whose only crime is padding his bill. Never "deduces" that the Cat-Crook is the culprit, and leaves in his car, knowing that Batman and Robin will trail him to the junkyard where he intends to shoot them both in "self-defense." But the Cat-Crook has heard Never's voice, deduces that he is the Planner, and, elbowing free of his guard, escapes and cycles over to the junkyard, intending to kill his traitorous "partner." In the darkness, Never mistakes the Cat-Crook for Batman and shoots him. Batman and Robin capture Never, bring him to trial, and have him convicted of premeditated murder and other crimes. Never breaks down at the trial, shouting out that he is Batman. And when he walks to the electric chair some time later, he is allowed to do so--in a Batman costume.