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Batman #24 - Story 2

June 9, 1944

"Convict Cargo"

For the second story in this anthology, we have Alfred opening the tale as he tries to retrieve a package a woman drops as he walks the streets of Gotham. He's beaten to it by another man, but the man runs off with the package. Alfred pursues him and is able to retrieve the package. The problem is, when he finds the woman, she insists the package isn't hers, even though Alfred clearly saw her dropping it.

Back at the Wayne home, Bruce opens the package to find a war bond message attached to a book on American history. The unusual name on the war bond note tips Bruce off to read every third word on the note which then leads him to see that a noted banker is targeted for arrest. The two pay the banker a visit.

You can hear the strains of the Batman 66 fight music kicking in in this panel.

There, they confront the man and he slips, noting rumors of a shortage in his accounts. He refuses to answer any more questions and in a scene right out of Batman 66, he trips a sliding bookcase that reveals a bunch of hoods as he exclaims, "Get em, boys!" Batman is immediately knocked out by the swinging case, but Robin manages to get his licks in before he is knocked out.

They come around, but the banker and his men have gotten away. Batman calls Gordon and finds the police were about to nab the banker. Batman works it out that the hoods were most likely getting him away for a price. According to Gordon, this has been happening lately. There's a leak in the D.A.'s office and Alfred most likely met her in the street.

The next day, in a scene out of the early days of the comic, Bruce pays Gordon a visit. He allows himself to be used as bait for the hoods as Gordon sets up the D.A.'s office to investigate Bruce. Soon, Bruce is contacted by the hoods and he agrees to pay the price to be spirited out of the country. The problem is, the hoods double cross their marks as they toss Bruce overboard.

Robin picks up Bruce, now dressed as Batman, in the Batplane, but the craft is attacked by the ship. It's hit and forced to land on the deck of the ship. There, they fool the crew into thinking a submarine is approaching by tossing a barrel overboard, giving them time to radio for help. The coast guard arrives and they round up the hoods.

Back at Gordon's office, Gordon gets the other details from Batman and then calls Bruce to check on him. Alfred manages to fool the police commissioner with his great mimic skills.

This was a really good story and in many respects, had the beats of a 66 Batman story. If it were done as such, perhaps the Batboat might replace the Batplane. Stay tuned as we cover this month's Alfred solo story in our next installment, Citizens!


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