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Detective Comics #99

March 23, 1945

"The Temporary Murders"

It's so funny how a different perspective can change one's attitude towards a person or an idea. I never liked the Penguin. Indeed, the only reason he was palatable on Batman 66 was the performance of Burgess Meredith. But then I start reading his misadventures in the 40s and suddenly, I'm a fan. So it brought a smile to my face when I opened the file for this issue and see cover with Penguin getting knocked off his keister by the Dynamic Duo. And what a provocative title for a story. Let's hope it's not all just window dressings though as we dive into the story.

And then we get the start of the story as Penguin and his men are making a third delivery of an unknown package to the express office. We see he has a little penguin as a pet that follows him about. And we also see he has a hideout that is basically a giant freezer that looks like it's more for Mr. Freeze than it is for him.

We cut to a meeting of a financial concern of Bruce's as a delivery is made and when the crate is opened, a missing colleague lies in a deathlike state, frozen. It's suspended animation as the note attached offers the solution to saving him for only $50,000. Bruce convinces the others not to call the police in order to help their colleague. And two other such crates are delivered to wealthy types in Gotham.

Soon, the Duo are checking the section of Gotham that has blocks of refrigerator units (funny how Gotham has always been so nicely sectioned off, even in the 66 show). They are surprised to find Penguin just walking the streets. He gets away from the two by springing a net with fishing hooks attached on them. They get free and follow a powder trail they think he has unwittingly left, but it's another trap as they tumble down some icy stairs.

The two land in front of Penguin as he sits upon a throne before them. He then uses a heat ray from his umbrella gun to melt the hanging icicles which knock the two out. He then places them in a freezer and leaves them to die as he goes off to collect the ransom money. But Batman breaks out of the freezer and then frees the three people that the Penguin kidnapped and made masks of their faces and placed on dummies in ice to make it look like they were the real people.

Batman waits out the return of Penguin and his men and they quickly take them out in a final fight. It's a story that is perfect for a Batman 66 story, provided, of course, that it's before Mr. Freeze's first appearance where fans might wonder why not just use him. And what's next? We're on to the Sunday strip, Citizens!

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