Continuing the complete and chronological reprinting of every Batman comics story ever published! CHRONICLES VOL. 2 - collecting Batman stories from DETECTIVE COMICS #39-45, BATMAN #2-3, and NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR COMICS #2 - features the Dark Knight facing a host of villains including the Joker, Catwoman, Clayface and many more!
Synopsis: The Green Dragon is a Chinese underworld operation in Gotham City; members use hatchets to press their point during conflicts. The criminal enterprises they engaged in included murder, narcotics smuggling, and kidnapping. Batman finally chose to bring the Green Dragon down after his friend Wong is killed by one of its agents. During the investigation, Robin is captured, but before he can be tortured for information, Batman arrives and the Dynamic Duo put the Dragon to sleep.
Synopsis: Morris Bentley is a successful Hollywood figure, heading up the Argus Motion Picture Company. Among his many credits is Dread Castle, a feature film starring actress Julie Madison, who is romantically involved with Bruce Wayne. Wayne, as Batman, gets involved in the production when he has to save Madison and Bentley from Basil Karlo, the first Clayface, an actor driven insane when he learned his landmark film, The Terror, is going to be remade. Even though he is hired as a consultant, he fears that this means the end of his career, so instead he seeks to cause mayhem on the remake's set. Hiding behind a mask of The Terrors antagonist, Clayface, he causes damage and near death until stopped by Batman and Robin.
Synopsis: Mr. Graves teaches art at the exclusive Blake School for Boys. He also works in cahoots with Mr. Blake, the school's headmaster, to run a counterfeiting operation near the school. When Batman and Robin investigate the counterfeit money circulating in Gotham City, Mr. Blake is ready to talk. Mr. Graves kills him but is subsequently apprehended by the Dynamic Duo.
Synopsis: The Joker, mortally wounded following his battle with Batman last issue, is rushed to Vesalius Hospital for emergency treatment. Batman plans to kidnap The Joker from the Hospital, and to take him to a brain specialist, capable of turning the Joker into a valuable citizen. Meanwhile, the members of the now leaderless Crime Syndicate Inc. have other plans, and intend to hire The Joker to plan a heist for the highly valuable Pharaoh Gems.
The members of the Crime Syndicate sneak their way into Vesalius Hospital and hold the surgeons at gun-point, forcing them to complete a risky and highly dangerous procedure on the Joker. They then escape from the hospital, using Circus Charlie as a distraction, disguised as Batman to lure the Police away.
Unbeknownst to the Crime Syndicate, Cat-Woman witnessed the entire event and had her own plans for the Pharaoh Gems. Batman arrests Cat-Woman, and trades her freedom for any information she may have on the location of The Joker. Robin offers to trail Cat-Woman, ensuring they'll know of her whereabouts.
A week passes as the Joker regains his strength, within hours he has devised a plan to steal the gems and cunningly plants a poisoned needle inside E S Arthur's shoe. Before the heist begins, The Joker betrays the Crime Syndicate and sedates them all with a temporary sleeping potion. Just as the gas is due to take effect, Batman breaks into The Joker's headquarters and faces off against the Crime Syndicate.
Meanwhile, Cat-Woman charms her way into E.S. Arthur's home only to find him already dead from The Joker's poison. The Joker arrives and before he can dispose of Cat-Woman, Robin comes to her rescue. The Joker quickly overpowers the young sidekick and Cat-Woman bargains for his life, the Pharaoh Gems in exchange for his safety. With The Joker distracted, Batman takes this opportunity to get the drop on him, and the two once again enter heated combat.
Following The Joker's defeat, Cat-Woman escapes from Batman by throwing herself into the sea as Arthur's mansion slowly burns to the ground.
Synopsis: Adam Lamb, a trusted museum custodian suffers a bizarre head injury following a late-night visit to Cirus Craig's museum. Dazed from his fall, Adam Lamb looks upon two items as the museum's clock strikes twelve, the mounted frame of a bat and a murder mystery book; The Crime Master.
Over the course of the next few evenings, whenever the clock strikes twelve, Adam Lamb makes the terrifying transformation into The Wolf. Starting small at first, The Wolf begins to commit various crimes throughout Gotham.
After preventing one of Wolf's robberies, Batman makes note of the car driven by Wolf, tracking it down to be the same one owned by Adam Lamb. Upon making this discovery, Batman realizes the crimes Wolf is committing match those performed in the novel; The Crime Master.
Batman and Robin arrive at the museum just in time to prevent Wolf from murdering Craig. During the ensuing scuffle, Lamb once again falls down the stairs that caused his transformation and repents the crimes he has committed. Batman, Robin and Craig listen to Lamb's confession as he slowly expires.
Synopsis: The story begins with Clubfoot murdering Harley Storme as Batman arrives too late to prevent the crime. Clubfoot manages to over-power Batman and he flees the scene shortly before the police arrive.
The next day, Bruce Wayne accompanies Commissioner Gordon to the Storme estate to witness the reading of the will. In this will, Harley leaves all of his earthly good to charity, and to each of his five relatives he would leave a sealed envelope, each containing a small piece of gold with the inscription; "United we stand-divided we fall."
Over the course of the next few days, Clubfoot returns and begins murdering members of the Storme family. After rescuing Harley's lawyer from thugs, Batman and Robin insist on knowing what's inside the sealed envelope Harley left to the lawyer.
Batman asks Robin to keep an eye on Roger Storme, only to find that he'd already been murdered, noticing Clubfoot leaving the crime scene, Robin chases after him in pursuit. Meanwhile, Batman returns to Harley's lawyers home, only to find the real Clubfoot imprisoned in Ward's basement. When Ward returns home from his battle with Robin, Batman is there waiting, and following a short scuffle is brought to justice.
Synopsis: After seeing some African Pygmies running atop the Gotham Express, Batman jumps aboard to investigate. After defeating the legion of Pygmies, Batman encounters a Professor Drake. Professor Drake explains that the Pygmies were after a large crate being transported aboard the train. Inside the crate; the missing link, a living example of the missing link between man and ape.
After announcing his discovery to the world, Professor Drake is murdered by two circus owners, Hackett and Snead, who want the Missing Link for their show. Robin encounters the hired goons fleeing Professor Drake's home and leaps into action against the men, albeit too late to prevent them from escaping.
With Professor Drake dead, the Missing Link falls into possession of Hackett and Snead.
During opening night at the circus, the Missing Link, now named Goliath, recognizes the men who killed Professor Drake, and breaks free from his cage, empowered by his rage.
Batman and Robin arrive on the scene in an attempt to calm down the Goliath. Enraged, Goliath climbs the circus girders, and battles Batman and Robin high above the circus floor.
The Goliath loses his balance and plummets to his death, with their show now doomed and the guilt weighing on them, Hackett and Snead confess to Professor Drakes murder and are apprehended.
Synopsis: Dr. Hugo Vreekill has invented a device which melts steel. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, visiting the World's Fair, become concerned when a bridge near the Fair collapses. They piece together the "cause" and "effect" of this short mystery and soon apprehend Vreekill. Vreekill takes the easy way out and electrocutes himself, rather than face a long prison sentence.
Synopsis: Pierre Antal is a noted European painter who remains virtually unknown in the United States. The "socially eminent" American Mr. Wylie is vacationing on the Continent when he falls in love with Antal's work, He purchases a number of the paintings at relatively inexpensive prices, despite his shaky fiscal condition, Wylie then concocts a scheme to bring Antal to America, get his work noticed, and let the value of his Antal collection appreciate so that he could sell the works and restore his lost wealth. He takes the plan a step further by letting Antal paint a series of portraits of America's wealthiest citizens. After each painting is finished, Wylie would desecrate the image in a specific way-such has by slashing it with a butcher knife. Donning a skull mask, Wylie then murders the painting's subject in the same way. He commits three killings, in the process creating great notoriety for Antal. His fourth attempt, however, is thwarted by Robin. Then, in order to lure out the killer, Bruce Wayne agrees to sit for a portrait. Sure enough, Wylie makes another attempt, but is stopped by the Caped Crusader. Rather than be tried for his crimes, Wylie shots himself to death. Batman would later note that he considers this to be the Dynamic Duo's first major case.
Synopsis: Harliss Greer is a crooked politician allied with "Bugs" Norton, a noted racketeer. When Greer is named mayor of an unnamed city in the wake of the elected official's death, he makes radical changes throughout the city government. Honest police are replaced with Norton's thugs, and illegal activities such as gambling begin to thrive. Upon hearing of this change, Batman and Robin travel to the city and encourage the shocked populace. Busting up several of Norton's operations, Batman shows the citizens what one man can do. He raises the populace to fight back, ultimately bringing Greer and Norton to justice.
Synopsis: During one of his nightly patrols, the Batman comes across famous scientist Dr. Craig being attacked by a group of men. During the altercation Dr. Craig is scratched and the thugs escape in their get-away vehicle. The next day, Bruce Wayne recognizes the men from the night before and pursues them entering a puppet theatre, where, according to the doorman, the men operate the string puppets during the show. Batman has Robin stake out the dressing room and using one of his high-tech gadgets, listens on as the Puppet Master is briefed on the previous nights encounter.
That night, Batman rushes to Dr. Craig’s apartment in time to see him handing the plans to an atomic formula over to the Puppet Master’s thugs. After forcing the gang to flee, Batman takes the hypnotized Dr. Craig back to his lab where despite all efforts, the scientist remains in his catatonic state.
The following night, the Puppet Master plans on stealing the Voss Rifle from a moving train, with the help of a gang of mind-controlled individuals. Batman and Robin arrive via the Batplane in time to prevent the robbery, however during the resulting fight Batman is scratched with a needle containing the Puppet Master’s Thought Serum. Under the control of the Puppet Master, Batman breaks into Rob Martiers and steals a bag of jewels before heading to the Puppet Master’s home.
Unaware of Batman’s possessed state, Robin arrives at the Puppet Master’s home hoping to help Batman bring him down. When Batman hits Robin in his haste to get to the Puppet Master, Robin realizes what has occurred and incapacitates Batman long enough to carry him back to Wayne Manor.
After being cured of his altered state, Batman and Robin return to the Puppet Master’s home where they trick him into believing Batman is still under his control. Following a brief fight, the Puppet Master is knocked out and Batman and Robin place him under arrest.
Synopsis: During one of his nightly patrols, the Batman comes to the aid of a man who has been set upon by a gang of thugs. After a prolonged fight, the thugs escape in a car amid a hale of machinegun bullets, pinning Batman and his ally to the ground. Once they’ve recovered from their encounter, the man identifies himself as Detective McGonigle and attempts to arrest Batman. Batman escapes, and changes into his civilian guise as Bruce Wayne before going to meet a friend, Harvey Dodge. Bruce is introduced to another of Harvey’s friends, Larry Larrimore, and the three men have dinner. Later that evening Dodge’s body undergoes a bizarre transformation and Bruce quickly summons his doctor. The days roll on and more people succumb to this bizarre transformation, a gang of ugly men then begin destroying works or art or anything else that can be considered ‘beautiful’.
Several days later, Bruce Wayne sits in on a meeting between commissioner Gordon and McGonigle where by the commissioner assigns McGonigle to the case of the Ghastly Change. Elsewhere, Bruce Wayne discusses an expensive Boravian statue with Robin and the possibility that it’ll be attacked by the Ugly Hoarde that evening. At Pier 3, Batman and Robin arrive in time to stop the Ugly Hoarde from stealing the statue. As Batman and Robin attempt to hunt down the Hoarde, they hear a news report claiming that a Doctor Ekhart has developed an antidote for the Ghastly Change. Knowing that his life will now be at risk, Batman and Robin rush to Ekhart’s home to find the Ugly Hoarde already inside. Saving Ekhart’s life, Batman pursues the Hoarde to their secret headquarters where he’s rendered unconscious by one of the guards.
Batman awakes tied to a dungeon wall along with John and Mrs Tyler. The ugliest man in the world then reveals his secret identity to be that of Larry Larrimore. Larrimore then reveals that his real name is Carlson, and that for the past 15 years he has been developing the Ghastly Change serum as revenge on the world for a fraternity prank. Just as things seem to be at an end, Robin arrives and frees Batman from his restraints. McGonigle managed to track Robin to Carlson’s hideout and arrives in time to shoot Carlson in the back, he then attempts to arrest Batman and Robin but the duo evade him and return to Wayne Manor.
Synopsis: While on patrol, Batman discovers some thugs breaking and entering, after a frantic battle across the rooftops of Gotham, Batman incapacitates all but one of the gang whom he discovers to be a boy. Letting the boy go, Batman follows him to an abandoned warehouse where he discovers the building to be a crime school for children. Tommy, the boy Batman let go, reports to Pockets about Big Boy Daniels’ mob. Bruce Wayne informs Dick Grayson of the situation, and asks him to go undercover at the school. In order to gain the boys trust, Bruce Wayne sets up a free gymnasium in the area and Robin recruits the other child-thugs to be members.
Big Boy Daniels recruits several of the kids from the Crime School to help out in jobs over the next couple of nights, all of which are thwarted by Batman’s appearance. Big Boy believes Pockets ratted out his plans to Batman and so executes him brutally in front of the other children, Batman then arrives to bring Big Boy to justice. When Batman comes under attack from Big Boy’s goons, Robin and the other children join forces to bring them down.
Synopsis: The Cat begins a crime-spree in Gotham, robbing from the rich on a nightly basis. Commissioner Gordon puts McGonigle on the case following his success with the Ugly Hoarde the previous month. Batman informs Robin he’s going out after the Cat when he sees a man being stabbed by a gang of thugs. Momentarily dispatching them, the victim manages to mention the Diamond Syndicate before succumbing to his injuries. Bruce accompanies Commissioner Gordon when he goes to question Mr Darrel about the death of D. Clavert. Mr Blake and Mr Hoffer inform the commissioner of a shipment of rare jewels that they believe may be the target of this gang.
The following night at the jewellery show, The Cat makes her move and steals several of the precious gems. The Gang are waiting for her outside and kidnap her, speeding away in their car. The gang are pursued by Robin in his own racer as Batman attempts to escape the jewellery show without being noticed. Batman discovers that Darrel and Hoffer had planned for the Cat to steal the jewels and to cash in on the insurance money, Darrel didn’t however expect Hoffer to double-cross him. Batman and Robin arrive on the scene to prevent Hoffer from murdering Darrel and the Cat. Batman prepares to hand all three of them over to the police when the Cat kisses him and flees before he can recover from the shock. Batman then hands the stolen jewels over to McGonigle who pledges to take down Batman the next time he sees him.