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Batman #15 - Story 3

December 11, 1942

"The Two Futures"

Pre-Read Note: This is going to be an interesting one. The splash page text previewing the story tells us this will be a tale of two possible futures for America, based on how the then World War turns out. One has to wonder is this going to be complete fantasy or something more based in reality. Also, what role does Batman and Robin play in all this?

The story opens with the Duo paying a visit to Professor Rainer, a noted historian, at Gotham University. They pose a question to the professor that has concerned them as of late - what will be the fate of the United States democracy after the war? It's an interesting inquiry, and somewhat ironic I've come to it at this point in time in our present day. The professor agrees to answer based on how he and two other professors have analyzed the past and current events.

They tell of a Gotham City overrun by the Japanese where concentration camps have been set up. A young boy named Bobby tries to bring food to his captured mother. When he is caught, we see Batman and Robin are still fighting for right, even in occupied Gotham. Despite a good bashing of the guards, the two are captured.

That night, Bobby manages to help the two to escape their cell. They in turn free his mother and as many Americans as possible. They hijack a truck and have it driven into the mountains where it will be difficult to find them. Batman and Robin stay behind to ensure the truck's escape and they are captured after they both take a bullet.

The next day, in what must have been a grim image for kids reading the comic, the two are placed before a firing squad.

The scene cuts away as Batman in present time disputes the prediction. But the professor points out it's one possible future. He then tells them of the other.

The Batplane wings toward an enemy broadcasting station located just outside Gotham. Batman takes out those inside, including a Japanese spy with the call, "Remember Pearl Harbor!" He then learns from them that a combined German/Japanese fleet is making their way to Gotham City in a last ditch effort as the war is going bad for them. Robin alerts the army and navy as the Batplane heads out to sea.

In an interesting bit of aerial combat, the Batplane manages to take out enemy planes by either roping them or having Batman drop on them and take out the pilots. The plane appears to have no weapons on it like we saw in earlier issues.

The story ends with Batman and Robin learning that winning is a team effort and so they go and buy more war bonds to do their part.

Clearly, this was something to motivate the kids reading the comic to do their part in the war by buying or encouraging adults to buy war bonds. Of course, adults also read comics as well, so this story was as much for them as it was for the kids.

And what's next? It's Christmas again! Stay tuned, Citizens!


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