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World's Finest Comics #19

July 27, 1945

"The League for Larceny"

God, I love the splash page. I could easily see this image being recreated for the Batman 66 show. One of these days, I'm going to produce a podcast, putting Batman 66 on trial and will use evidence such as this to point out how unfair the criticism of the show is. Let's see if the story itself could also be a 66 episode.

Totally indulgent placement of this splash page here which is gorgeous.

On a recent podcast I did with Jim Beard, he pointed out that writers should never use lines that can be used as ammo in an argument or review. Well, here's Batman pointing out the absurdity of the Joker as he manages to escape every few months from jail, allowing for a new adventure. Just how many years are on Joker's punishment at this point? And then think about the waste of taxpayers' time and money in court costs and serving as jury for each time the Joker is brought to justice.

The two track Joker down to the woods where he is able to take the two out because he's built up his muscles on the hard labor he was forced to endure. He steals the Batmobile and is able to get past the police barricades as they never think to look in the car. He reaches Gotham City where he knocks out a young Chief O'Hara. (Look at the panel!)


In the stolen cop's uniform, he surprises the gang of the Velvet Kid, a con who is trying to convince authorities he has gone straight, when in reality he hasn't. Joker talks about taking that con to a new level as the rich of Gotham are invited to a gathering for a Citizens' Brigade. Bruce and Dick attend. The meeting seems legit enough, but when the two return home, they find Alfred tied up and the place robbed by the Joker and his men. In fact, many who attended the meeting were robbed as well.

The next night, Batman and Robin attend the meeting and meet with the Velvet Kid who knocks them out and delivers them to Joker. He has them tied up and sets a bunch of hungry vampire bats on them. They manage to get free and escape, returning to the meeting and arresting the Velvet Kid. They then return to Joker's hideout where he is returning from another night of robbing those in attendance of the meeting. They have an extended Batfight over several pages before our story comes to an end with Alfred expressing his disappointment that his skills weren't being used by the committee.

Wow! This is a great story. It's definitely worthy of the title World's Finest, but it's also a perfect story to translate to Batman 66. The beats are all there. In fact, this could be a first season story as the Batfight doesn't occur until the end of the story.

And what's next, Citizens? We're back to the Sunday funny pages of the newspapers.


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