Batman #23 - Story 2

April 12, 1944

"Damsel in Distress"

For the second story in this anthology comic, we're focusing on Robin again and we're looking at an aspect we don't see too often in his life - romance.

The story opens with Batman and Robin foiling a robbery by Buggs Conklin's gang. The gang gets away though and the two return home to resume their identities of Bruce and Dick.

And Dick's identity includes school, which he must excel at in order to continue his crime fighting activities. But he is also a kid with a kid's drive and we see he has a crush on the smartest girl in school, Marjory. Once again, I have to question the age as he gets teased by the other boys for liking a girl, but he shrugs it off as they are immature.

As they walk home, Majory's father, a doctor, stops a moment to say hi. He looks worried as he talks and that's because one of Buggs' gang is in the back with a gun. He needs Doctor Davenport to take care of an injured Buggs. I love this though as it reminds me of a Spider-Man comic as Dick walks away after the encounter, unaware of the danger while worried about the impression he's made on the man.

The doctor removes the bullet in Buggs, but since he refuses to go to a hospital, they need the doctor to continue ministering to Buggs. He can't be held prisoner so they take his daughter.

Meanwhile, Dick shows up for his movie date and is told by the doctor that she is away for a few days. He also recognizes the doctor's assistant as Jitters, one of Buggs' men. The doctor makes an attempt to get a message out by giving Dick a prescription for a "cold" he has suddenly developed.

Dick reads the prescription, in Latin, warning of the danger Marjory is in. He follows the two as they go back to Buggs' house. Before calling Batman in, he goes in to make sure Marjory is safe.

Dick goes to a nearby store and purchases something, but we don't know what it is yet. He then calls Bruce and tells him his plan, hanging up before Bruce can talk him out of it. He gets inside and mixes it up with the gang before being grazed by a bullet from Buggs.

Batman arrives, but falls into a trap which knocks him out. Robin, who has let Marjory know that he is friends with Dick Grayson and that's why he's helping, reveals the item he bought in the store, a hacksaw blade, which he uses to cut his bonds. Once free, he and Batman mix it up with the gang.

Sadly, once all is settled, Marjory is so enamored of Robin, she only sees Dick as another kid. In fact, she demands Dick set up a meeting with her and Robin. The sad life of a crime-fighter and again, very like a Spider-Man issue. Loved this one.

And what's next? Alfred's solo story, Citizens!

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