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Batman 129
"The Web of The Spinner"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND February, 1960

Story: Bill Finger Art: Sheldon Moldoff

(Originally Reviewed On 10/26/01)

The Spinner spins a web of crime, which catches The Dynamic Duo in its grip, and with Batwoman on the case, Batman and Robin are able to free themselves from "The Web of The Spinner!" On the splash page, Batman and Robin recoil from The Spinner's giant top, which the costumed crook has thrown in their path!

In the Bat-Cave, The Dynamic Duo continue their search for The Spinner, intent on checking out each place in Gotham City with deals in spinning objects! (Holy Top To Bottom, Batman!) At the Kool Fan Company, Batman and Robin come face-to-face with The Spinner, who is far from their biggest fan, and who tells his gang that they must not let The Dynamic Duo take the payroll rhino from them! Batman lands a roundhouse right on The Spinner, while Robin uses a cartwheel to topple two thugs, but The Spinner fires a gun which hurls spinning buzz-saws, but Batman and Robin use the large floor fan's steel blades to deflect the lethal buzz-saws.

Outside, The Spinner stands in his getaway truck, with a giant, colored glass impregnated fan! The blades begin to spin, which deflect beams of bright light, blinding The Dynamic Duo, so that by the time they regain their sight, The Spinner has made his getaway. The Boy Wonder wonders if they can get a clue to The Spinner's identity, but The Caped Crusader reminds him that they overheard the villain use the word, "rhino", which is Joliet prison slang for money! (Holy Romeo and Joliet, Batman!) At the home of Kathy Kane, the sometime partner of The Dynamic Duo prepares her own investigation of a man who claims to have mystic powers enabling him to recover lost valuables for folks, but to her, it seems like a scheme to her. (Holy John Edward, Batman! Will Kathy be caught in the ill wind of crime?) At the salon of Swami Ymar, Kathy Kane asks the mystic if he can find her lost emerald brooch, but as he gazes into his crystal ball, he is unable to find anything, which serves to confirm her suspicions since it is still in her jewelry box!

The elderly matron seated beside Kathy asks the swami if he can find a lost diamond ring of hers, and this time, he sees that the ring fell into the powder box on her bureau, which delights her! Kathy figures that the swami must have a henchman who steals things, then hides them so that he can find them for a fee. When the swami tells the matron that his fee is ten dollars, Kathy is stunned, and wonders if he truly has any mystic powers. The next day, The guards outside the Gotham Drill Company are stuck in place by The Spinner's sticky-rubber web-gun, enabling him to steal the payroll, and just as he emerges with the loot, The Dynamic Duo arrive, having been on patrol in the area...

The Caped Crusader leaps forward, sending The Spinner into the revolving door, but the costumed crook heads to his truck, lowering the ramp, and sending an enormous top whirling towards Batman and Robin, who manage to dodge this lethal projectile, which continues on its way down the street, with The Dynamic Duo in pursuit, using The Batmobile to knock it from behind, making it fall off a pier!

At the scene of the crime, Robin recovers one of The Spinner's gloves, which is taken to the Bat-Cave fr analysis! Stains of peanut oil and salt particles are found, which mean that The Spinner spent time in Joliet Prison, as well as being fond of salted peanuts! (Holy Schultz, Batman!) Batwoman arrives at the swami's salon and searches it while he's away. When the swami again receives guests, one of them asks if he knows where The Spinner's hideout is, and after looking in his crystal ball, he tells them that he sees a windmill outside of Gotham City, and shortly, Batman and Robin arrive at the windmill, just within 50 miles of their mansion, and ahead of the police, where The Boy Wonder sees Batwoman riding up to a window...

Once she arrives within the windmill, Batwoman is surprised by The Spinner, and when Batman and Robin enter, they see her tied to a blade of a giant fan, which The Spinner will turn to full speed, dooming her! The Caped Crusader feigns confusion, as he backs away and moves his hands, but the next moment, Batman hurls a pitchfork at the lever,which catches the gang off-guard, and The Spinner unmasked as "Peanuts" Gilson, who had spent time in Joliet Prison, and who always ate salted peanuts, but to The World's Greatest Detective, Gilson didn't seem smart enough to be The Spinner! (Holy Shellgame, Batman! This is one tough nut to crack!)

Once Batwoman is untied, she tells Batman how she found a bill of sale for this farm at the swami's, but Gilson maintains his innocence and denies knowing anything about a bill of sale. He tells them how the real Spinner left him in charge while he attended to other business, and The Caped Crusader's mind soon sees the explanation, as he orders everyone outside, and seconds later, the windmill explodes, due to the time-bomb left by The Spinner, who sough to have Gilson's remains identified as his own! (Holy Gone With The Wind, Batman!) The police arrive and tell Batman that the swami was right about The Spinner's hideout, but Batman knows the costumed crook is still on the loose. At the swami's salon, he is surprised by Batman, who tells him to open the valise, which no doubt contains The Spinner's costume and stolen loot.

Batwoman sees that the swami was indeed The Spinner, who admits to having a hireling who would sneak into homes, then hide valuables which he would "find" and in building his reputation, would reveal the hideout of The Spinner without suspicion. The swami thought that Batman would arrive with the police after the explosion, but he had been closer to the area, which ruined the swami's plan to have "Peanuts" Gilson's remains identified as The Spinner. The swami was careful to use Joliet Prison slang, leaving the glove to be found, Gilson to be used as his double, and he could retire on the reward for The Spinner's capture. The Caped Crusader points out to the swami that he couldn't have foreseen being caught in The Spinner's web, himself!

The Spinner is an example of a late '50s gimmick crook, complete with large props, which would be adopted in the '60s by Roscoe Dillon, aka The Top!

The Spinner's name would also mean that he would spin tales, as well as clues, leaving his pursuers at a loss.

Batwoman and The Spinner's Giant Top would be seen in Alan Brennart's Brave and Bold story, "Interlude on Earth-Two," with The Earth-One Batman meeting The Earth-Two counterparts of his teenaged partner and deceased Kathy Kane, who was murdered by The Bronze Tiger.

Steve Chung
"The Web of The Reviewer"