The dynamic duo, known to the world through the pages of comics as Batman and Robin, started the year 1942 with “The Strange Case of Professor Radium” written by Bill Finger in Batman #8. The story starts off introducing a Professor Ross who is collecting dead dogs from the pound. He injects the animals with his life’s work, a radium serum that he hoped would repair the dead tissues so that the dogs would come back to life. Much to his surprise, the serum worked and the dogs were revived. Also to his surprise, the institute director thought the whole thing was a hoax and accepted the professor’s resignation.
Desperate for proof, Professor Ross drank poison and left a note for his colleague, Johnston, on how to bring him back. Then like the dogs, the professor rose from the dead. All was good until he went out to his garden and picked a flower. The radium in his body caused it to wither and die in his hand. Professor Ross sought out help from Johnston, but accidentally touched the man, killing him on the spot.
The professor searches for a cure and finds one with Volitell. Unfortunately, it wears off after a day, leaving the professor desperate to find more. Batman and Robin follow the professor and end up knocking him into a river leaving them to wonder if he still lives.
The following month in Detective Comics #60, Batman and Robin are on the “Case of the Costume-Clad Killers” written by Jack Schiff. The police are left baffled by a string of robberies committed by men dressed as police officers and firemen.
Batman and Robin are alerted by an eerie symbol against a dark cloud in the sky with the first appearance of the bat-signal. Along with Commissioner Gordon, they deduce that the Joker is behind the crimes, using official uniforms. Batman sets a trap for the mirth-mad clown by leading him to a yacht where the Brody Diamond will be placed. Joker falls for the ploy and dressed as coast guard officers shows up to the yacht. Things don’t go quite as planned for the duo though when Robin is thrown overboard and Batman is taken captive.
The Boy Wonder is able to survive the fall into the water and follow the Clown Prince of Crime back to his hideout at Charlie’s Costumes For Hire. Once he saw that Robin was still alive, Batman helped him take out the gang and give the Joker one more costume to wear, a convicts’ uniform.
In August of 1942, another important member of Batman’s rogues’ gallery was introduced in, “The Crimes of Two-Face” by Bill Finger. The story opens by introducing the district attorney Harvey Kent (later to be known as Harvey Dent.) Kent calls Batman to the stand to testify against Boss Maroni who throws acid that hits the DA on one side of his face.
When his bandages come off, Kent’s fiancee is horror-stricken by his appearance. An angered Kent smashes the sculptures that she made of his once handsome face. Kent then takes Maroni’s two-headed silver dollar and slashes up one side. He flips the coin letting fate choose what future path that he will travel down. If the coin landed good side up then he will wait for the only doctor that could help fix his face, but if it lands scarred side up, then he will enter a life of crime. Crime won out.
Batman and Robin track their newest foe to a Superman film playing at the theater where they have to fight off his gang. Two-Face manages to escape but Batman follows him to his lair where Kent agrees to let chance choose his life for him. After another flip of the coin, with him either going with Batman or continuing his life of crime, he coin spins and lands in a crack on the floor standing straight up leaving both men wondering what they should do next.
1942 saw Batman and Robin deal with some strange and unusual cases; from the dead coming back to life and the origin of Two-Face, to Joker leading a gang of men dressed in costumes. What will the crime-fighting duo have to face next?