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World's Finest Comics #17

January 26, 1945

"Crime Goes to College"

Freshman Darby Deems is welcomed to college, but he is not interested in the trivialities of what the college offers; he wants to get into his studies. The student with the oddly shaped head spends his every waking moment studying, never once taking a break, to the point where the landlord of his room threatens to to raise his rent as the electric bill is shooting up with him staying up late into the night studying.

The hard work pays off. He graduates two years ahead of schedule with studies that show how one can learn everything about a person through their dreams. But we quickly see that Deems plans to use his new found knowledge to commit crime! Time passes and Deems sets himself up as Dr. Dreemo and hosts a radio show where he interprets people's dreams. Of course, he lies to them knowing the real meanings behind them. For example, he knows one of his subjects murdered someone and he uses the knowledge to blackmail them. Another is hoarding a great deal of wealth.

Deems and his men are able to acquire the money the murderer got from his killing. They then go to get the hidden wealth of the miser. But his screams of protest alert Batman and Robin who burst in and attack Deems and his men. But they get away, thanks to Deems using tear gas on the Duo. The next evening, Bruce appears on Dreemo's show and tells his dream which Deems determines means that Wayne is Batman. (Kind of saw that one coming. Surprised Bruce didn't.)

But it turns out he did. He took a chance as he wanted a fear of Batman to surface for Deems. He then administers a gas while Deems sleeps that makes him dream of his fear of Batman. He talks in his sleep of how he will hide out at Midnight Mountain. As the two watch Deems dream, they are caught unawares by his men. Batman manages to escape, but he is shot in the process. They leave with Robin as a hostage to Midnight Mountain with Batman following in the Batmobile.

At the hideout, Bruce arrives, surprising Robin and confirming Deems suspicions, but then Batman swings in. IN the confusion of gunfire, Bruce pulls out a bust of himself and places it in a window as he puts on his costume. The swinging Batman was a dummy, but quickly the real Batman steps in and takes out the gang, despite his wound. Deems goes to prison where after learning the lesson of crime not paying, he becomes an educator trying to teach the other inmates the same lesson.

I really liked this story as it's better than some of the more recent ones and earns the title of "World's Finest". In addition, I am disappointed that Deems wouldn't return as I kind of like the whole idea of Dr. Dreemo being a villain for Batman with the theme of dreams for his crimes. And what are we moving on to next, Citizen? We're on to the daily newspaper strip!

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