Batman Sunday Newspaper Strip - Story 6
May 7 - June 3, 1944 (Captain Alfred)
So, the Windsor Star changed the layout of the Batman strip and instead of bunching up the comic in a half-page spread, they change it to an almost full page spread with an ad at the bottom. It allows for more appreciation of the art and an easier read.
But more importantly, we're getting an Alfred story! Yeah, he's taking to the seas and you know how much I love Batman on water. (eyeroll). But it's Alfred! Now what do the hijackers of a convoy have to do with Alfred's desire to sail the seas?
The action picks up in the second week and a lot happens in a short number of panels as we learn Alfred is piloting a ferry, the craft that the crooks use to make their escape. And it's a brilliant plan as they know the cops saw them get on the ferry, so they have a couple of trucks on board to transfer the loot. The problem is they don't know Bruce and Dick are on board, in disguise, to keep an eye on Alfred and Dick stumbles on their transfer. Love it. If this winds up being a short story, it still has a lot going for it.
The third week has Batman and Alfred getting involved as the gang take the bridge and force Alfred to turn the ferry in the direction they say. Since there is a dense fog, he uses his horn to warn other ships, but he toots out an SOS which gets Bruce's attention. He enters the bridge and throws one of the gang over his shoulder. I got a kick out of them commenting he's a tough old bat and then he reveals he's a tough Batman.
The fourth week has Batman getting captured and the gang forcing Alfred to turn the boat back to the original dock. I like though that Alfred turns it out to sea without them knowing because of the fog. Batman gets free and along with Robin, they head to attack the gang.
The story ends on the fifth week with Batman and Robin rounding up the gang and then having to take the wheel from a seasick Alfred. It's a short, simple story, but it works because Alfred is the focus of it. I loved it. In fact, it's my favorite of the Sunday stories to date.
And what's next, Citizens?