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Detective Comics #79

July 23, 1943

"Destiny's Auction"

So on the day this issue was released, chapter two of the Batman 1943 serial was released in many theaters. There is something very cool in thinking about the lucky kid who went to the movie theater and saw the chapter and followed it up by picking up this issue at his nearby newsstand. These days, we wouldn't think much about it having Batman so much in the zeitgeist of our media from television to movies to comics and more, but in 1943, that must have been a big deal.

This is a very simple, but well put together story. Basically, three people, a gangster, an aspiring actress and a seasoned actor all visit a fortune teller and find that their fates are bound for greatness - or so they interpret the words as meaning. In the end, all three find themselves in trouble. The gangster winds up in jail. The actress finds herself locked out of her apartment and on the street when she can't pay the back rent she owns. The actor gets in a car accident and loses his memory.

Each of the three share one thing in common. They own a trunk that looks exactly like the others. And each trunk is important to each individual. The gangster has gems from a jewels heist where he killed a guard. The actress has a script from a famous dead playwright written just for her. The actor has his wigs and makeup, the tools of his trade.

When all three are in a position to retrieve their trunks, they find that all three are in possession of the sheriff and about to be auctioned. The three manage to purchase a trunk, but they purchase the wrong ones which leads Batman and Robin to pursue the three and correct the mistake.

Batman and Robin manage to capture the gangster when he tries to kill the actress. They also help her to stage the play via Bruce Wayne. In the end, Bruce and Dick visit the fortune teller and she cannot read their future because they are, as she puts it, "the chosen instruments of fate." Like I said, a simple story, but a good one nonetheless.

And what's next? We're off to World's Finest, Citizens!

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