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Batman #19 - Story 1

August 11, 1943

"Batman Makes a Deadline"

Here's a cool cover as Batman and Robin work in what I guess is the Batcave lab and smoke from various beakers highlight the titles of the four stories in the anthology.

Our first story opens with a reporter named Slade who is on his way out of this earthly realm, but before he goes he has the story of the century that will rip through the gangster community. It's so big, he is grabbed by several gangsters and lead away to be killed.

Some of the drawn reactions of gangsters getting punched by Batman and Robin are pretty expressive.

And in a moment of coincidence, Bruce is walking down the street and sees the nabbing. He changes to Batman and follows in a "borrowed" news motorcycle while calling Robin to join him with the Batmoblie. He stops the killing, but manages to get knocked on the head in the process. Robin arrives with the Batmobile in the nick of time.

They get Slade to the hospital, but the doctor feels Slade will never regain consciousness, but he does manage to say a few random things in his unconscious state. Batman decides to finish Slade's last story. They follow the first thing Slade said about a toy shop.

There, they find gangster Big Ben and his men putting the pressure on the owner to sign a paper without him ever reading it. Batman and Robin arrives, but they are captured and tied to a column in the store with tennis netting. He then has grenades attached to the net, the pins being pulled when the steam from the engine from a toy train goes off. But Batman stops it from going off by sending a toy train to knock it over.

It turns out Slade's story was about Big Ben intimidating various store owners into signing over the benefits from their insurance plans for their stores. The two escape from their bonds and rush to the hospital to stop Ben from killing Slade. But Slade has come around and escaped from the hospital. He makes his way back to the newspaper office to file his story.

Big Ben and his men arrive at the newspaper office and try to kill Slade, but Batman and Robin arrive and send them scattering. Some head to the printing room to stop the presses, but Batman puts an end to it as Slade passes away. I like the ending as Bruce points out that while Slade may have died, you can't kill the spirit of honest men.

Stay tuned for story 2, Citizens!

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