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Batman #15 - Story 4

December 11, 1942

"The Loneliest Men in the World"

I wonder if this will now be an annual thing for the foreseeable future - a Christmas story. And it's interesting considering how the publishers could be inconsistent with covers related to stories or waiting two months before continuing a storyline.

We open our story on Christmas Eve in Gotham City and like last year's story, everyone is in merry spirits, including Bruce and Dick who spot a boy standing by a lamp post and looking lonely. Bruce gives him money to help he and his family have a Merry Christmas when Bruce learns the boy's mother is sick.

As they walk off, Bruce muses about all the unhappy people at Christmas. It gets Dick thinking how he'd like to help all the lonely people at this time. Together, they get into their costumes and Batman takes a little time to deck out the Batplane to look like the Bat version of Santa's sleigh.

Gordon's a very vain man, isn't he?

They plan to visit three men they deem lonely at Christmas, but first they stop at Gordon's office. He's not lonely, but he is working Christmas Eve. When they arrive, he's speaking with Dirk Dagner, a mobster who is being let go because there isn't enough evidence to pin a series of robberies on. They tell Gordon of their plans as Dirk leaves with plans of his own to make Batman's Christmas miserable.

The first stop for Batman is an exclusive nightclub and Ben, the doorman. For 25 years, Ben has been a loyal servant, but not once was he ever invited inside to enjoy the premises. Batman and Robin change that as they take him indoors, introduce him to the patrons, and get him a pay raise from a boss who apologizes for neglecting him. But Ben, being the good employee, feels weird leaving his post unattended.

And well he should. Dirk and his men enter and hold the place up. Robin catches them off guard when they open one of the presents he and Batman gave Ben. Ben even joins the fray by throwing a whole chicken at Dirk. The gangsters race off and escape.

Batman and Robin move on to their next person, radio humorist Link Chesney who is spending Christmas alone in his home. He is not in good spirits as he does. Even the arrival of Batman and Robin does nothing to cheer him up.

But then Dirk and his men arrive, planning to steal the extensive gag file cabinets Link has purchased over the years, the source of his humor. They quickly knock out the Duo and tie them to a radiator with ropes around their neck and attached to Link, perched on his tiptoes on a table. As soon as Link relaxes, he will strange the two. They leave saying they are heading to the lighthouse to complete Batman's humiliation.

Dirk and his men get to the lighthouse and knock out the lonely light keeper Tom. They plan to turn off the light and wreck a ship carrying war materials worth millions.

Meanwhile, Batman frees the three of them by lifting the chair Link is balanced on, allowing him to stand free. He then leaps on Batman's shoulders. Batman throws the chair into a bulb, shattering it, the shards being used to cut his ropes. Before leaving, Link gets a phone call with hundreds of his fans calling to wish him a Merry Christmas. It cheers him.

They quickly fly out to the lighthouse where they stop Dirk from causing the ship to crash. With Dirk and his men rounded up, Batman and Robin spend Christmas with Tom. The next morning, they drop Dirk and his men off at the police station wrapped in a bow.

At home Christmas morning, Bruce points out to Dick that Dirk was the loneliest man of all as he was so evil and greedy, he would never know true friendship. And to all a good night. And where do we go from here? Stay tuned, Citizens!

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