Batman Issue #116
Published September 1964
“Two Way Deathtrap!”
Writer: Ed “France” Herron
Pencils: Bob Kane
Two “not-very-upright citizens” are playing cards in a cavern in the outskirts of the city. The one with the hat occasionally leans toward a wall as if he’s expecting something, arousing suspicion in his fellow player. Mitch tells Beany that he can hear the Batcave from the hole, even though it’s rather faint. Apparently, when Bruce decided to remodel the Batcave, he forgot to seal a few things up. Mitch tells his partner that he spent some time looking for the Batcave, and it’s no coincidence that they are in this cave, as he figured out which mountain Batman usually emerges from case after case. The one thing he can’t figure out is the actual entrance, even though he found the echo chamber in which they’re standing.
Mitch tells Beany about one interesting conversation he heard recently, and it’s about a recurring dream the Batman had. It’s more like a nightmare and in it, the masked manhunter dreams that he’s inside a room lined with concrete bricks. The water fills up the room rapidly, and if he tries to leap out, the barrage of bullets at the top will get to him first. Every time he tries to find a way out, he ends up drowning. Robin tries to calm Batman down, but there’s nothing anybody can do for now. Beany understands the story, and asks if this will be used in their advantage.
Several days later, Mitch goes to a gangster’s club looking for Big Joe. Apparently this club is all about gambling, as a bald man has bet actual dollars that Mitch has less than a dollar in change in his pocket, and he wins. Big Joe, a miniature man in a suit, emerges from his room and asks what the two bits are doing here. Mitch proposes that he wants to wager some cash that he can design a trap that can defeat Batman once and for all. After some preparation, the odds are determined 10 to 1, with Mitch and Beany contributing five grand, Big Joe handing in 50 grand as the purse. Beany starts feeling remorse, as the five grand came from his restaurant, but Mitch tries to reassure him it’s a foolproof plan.
The day of the Batman extermination plan soon arrives. Robin can’t go on patrol today, as he has to go to the Gotham High Basketball Game and Dance, and Batman tells the boy that he should go out and socialize. “Dance up a storm!,” he says. Tonight, the cowled crimefiighter will go patrol Jeweler’s Row, an oddly quiet section of the city. Mitch hears this in his echo chamber and the plan is now set into motion.
At Beany’s restaurant, the lights have suddenly gone out. Batman arrives to see what’s the matter and he is lured into the trap room. The walls are definitely lined with concrete, the water is filling up, and a machine gun is at the top shooting away. His nightmare has come true! Big Joe and his cohorts are watching this on screen, and he actually cheers on for Batman while the others jeer. He does have fifty Gs riding on this.
Inside, Batman figures out the trick to get out of this death trap. He leaps down into the water and collects the machine gun shells. He swims back up and jams the machine gun with the shells, disabling it. Then, he rips the gun out of its chamber and climbs out the hole. He succeeds in getting out, and poor Beany has lost his five grand and possibly the restaurant. Everybody decides to escape, now that the manhunter is free, but it’s too late as he charges in with a deft punch. He takes down the gambler’s den, and the cops arrive later to round up everybody.
As an epilogue, Bruce tells Dick that even though it was a a nightmare come to life, reality took over and he had to do or die in this situation. Never mind how the crooks found out about the dream. Ha ha ha.
“A Rendezvous with Robbery”
Writer: Ed “France” Herron
Pencils: Bob Kane
Last issue, we were introduced to Detective Junior Grade Patricia Powell. At the end of that thrilling adventure, she finally got her wish of actually meeting Bruce Wayne face to face at a charity ball at his home. Every other time, her face was always concealed, and now she will use this opportunity to make him fall for her. It’s a selfish story isn’t it?
Before it really happens, the gala charity affair is cut short with a crime in progress! A loudspeaker tells the waiters to collect valuables into a sack. If anybody tries to move, the whole manor will be blown up in a pile of ash. The ringleader, who is wearing a Trilby and a mask, tells everybody as soon as the hourglass runs out, the mines placed on the grounds will be rendered useless. Everybody waits, and as the Detectives Powell begin the investigation, Batman and Robin start their own.
First the duo go to the caterer’s, and they learn that the Wayne party was cancelled four days ago! Batman presses the chef and it turns out the call was obscured by the sound of a train whistle. He presses on and learns the exact time of the call, four o’clock, even though the bell rang three times.
While driving away from the caterer’s, Batman tells Robin that the call was made from a railroad crossing with a tower that did not run on Daylight’s Savings Time. He calls the Commissioner to search for the crossing, ASAP, as it will be a clue to finding the culprits. A few minutes later, there is a match, a town called Plainview. The duo drive there in a hurry.
Upon arrival, they search for a food supply store and ask the proprietor if anybody has recently ordered a large amount of food recently. Batman and Robin head for the address and find the place empty, except for Detectives Powell. How did they get here before the vigilantes did? Patricia noticed that the ringleader was dressed in expensive clothing, and asked around for a description from Gotham’s trendiest stores. She got a hit when a tailor told her that the one they’re looking for wears jackets imported from Hong Kong. Wow, if she could quite her lovey dovey ness, she’d deserve her own series!
They drive around for a while, and end up at an abandoned gas and oil processing plant. Jr. Det. Powell tells the two that this is the best place for anyone to lay low to avoid the heat. Her deductions are correct, as suddenly guns start blazing. Batman and Robin chase after the perps and easily capture them so the police can arrest them properly. Batman asks Patricia exactly how she knew they would be here, and she reveals her trick. Before entering the house, they planted a transmitter on to the gang’s car!
As an epilogue, Bruce Wayne heads for the police station to give his gratitude to the detectives. This will be the opportunity for Patricia to see him face to face, despite the fact that they’ve been working together on two cases already!