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Batman 139


Bill Finger: Script
Sheldon Moldoff: Pencils
Charles Paris: Inks

There's a new crimefighter in Gotham City! The Dynamic Duo and Batwoman are in for a surprise when a teenager decides to join them in the fight against the underworld as...Bat-Girl!

The Cobra Gang has struck at a new scientific equipment exhibit, but so has the Dynamic Duo. Two of the gang have fallen to their fists, while another is thrown for a loss by the Batwoman. The fourth member of the Cobra Gang has taken the opportunity to turn on the electronic-ring upon the caped crimefighters. The ring of electricity will tighten around them until... Before this can happen, Bat-Girl makes her entrance via an open window. Swinging down from one of the curtains, she kicks the startled Cobra Gang member off-balance. After switching off the electronic-ring, Bat-Girl makes her exit.

While the Caped Crusader punches out the stunned snake, the Boy Wonder wonders who this Bat-Girl really is. Back at her lair, Batwoman is greeted by her niece, Betty, and learns that she has uncovered her aunt's secret identity. Days earlier, Betty was visiting her Aunt Kathy, and the heiress hoped that her nighttime activities wouldn't arouse her niece's suspicions. Days later, Betty is brushing her hair, and watching a news exclusive about the Batwoman in action. Crooks stealing from the safe at a school supplies manufacturer got more than they bargained for. The female crimefighter hurled eight stools at her pigeons.

Their fall causes several cartons containing gold stars to be overturned. The fleeing hoods were soon caught by Batwoman. Back in the present, Betty tells her Aunt Kathy that it was when she brushed her hair with this brush, there were some gold stars on it. Kathy must have used the brush on her own hair after she caught the crooks. Tonight, Betty made herself a costume, and followed her aunt. Kathy admires her cleverness, but tells her not to be Bat-Girl again. Reasoning that if her aunt can be Batwoman, then she can certainly be Bat-Girl, and they could be a team like Batman and Robin. Knowing how dangerous crime-fighting can be, Kathy decides to get some advice from the Caped Crusader. On the roof of police headquarters, Batwoman tells the Dynamic Duo about how her niece is a fast-learner, but also headstrong. Robin knows that an inexperienced teenager is liable to get hurt chasing criminals. Batman suggests that Batwoman pretend to be training her as Bat-Girl, but only until it's time for her to go home.

Soon, Betty is learning how to walk on the tightrope, and the days that follow finds the young teenager being assigned almost more work than she can handle. Realizing that her aunt is only stalling her, Betty decides to check over one of the clues left by a member of the Cobra Gang. The shoe's interior reveals some particles ripe for chemical analysis. Under a microscope, she recognizes it as cellulose acetate. It is used in the manufacturing of gunpowder, rayon, and other products. Betty figures that the Cobra Gang's hideout must be somewhere where cellulose was being used. Her Aunt Kathy might not think that she's ready, but Bat-Girl is going to find out the location of the Cobra Gang's hideout.

Later that night, Bat-Girl finds that an abandoned rayon plant is the secret headquarters of the Cobra Gang, and peers in a window at King Cobra addressing his gang. She knows that she should tell her Aunt Kathy, but she's not going to, and uses a self-inflating balloon from her crime compact to scare them. The balloon succeeds in startling the Cobra Gang, but the lit cigar from their boss's hand pops the balloon. They grab Bat-Girl and lock her up in an unused office. She'll be used as a hostage to make Batman release their jailed gang members.

After crying over what her predicament has wrought, Bat-Girl decides to try, and make up for her own mistake. After cutting up some carbon paper into the shape of bats, she places them into a ventilator, and an updraft sends them through an exhaust vent on the roof. A shoeshine boy spots the paper bats, recognizes them as a type of Bat-Signal, and calls the police. Later, the Dynamic Duo and Batwoman burst into the hideout of the Cobra Gang. As the Caped Crimefighters wade into the gang members, their leader is ready to use an ace.

He returns with a gun drawn on Bat-Girl. For a moment, it looks like the poor girl is about to faint. But as she collapses, her right hand knocks the gun from out of King Cobra's grip. Now there are four crimefighters to take on the Cobra Gang. The Boy Wonder compliments the teenager on her fighting style. A right hook from the Caped Crusader causes King Cobra to surrender. After the Cobra Gang have been turned over to the authorities, Bat-Girl admits to the others that she's learned her lesson, and vows never to act so foolishly again. Batwoman admits that her niece has shown what a good crimefighter she can be, and maybe they will go out as a team in the future. Bat-Girl can hardly wait for that day. Maybe she and the Boy Wonder can go out together on a case. As she smiles at him, Robin is at a loss for words, and his face matches his red tunic.

This story was reprinted in Batman: From The Thirties To The Seventies.

Good guys are nonsmokers, while bad guys smoke cigars.

An exhibit of new scientific equipment is enough to fill the space of an entire domed room.

The electronic-ring device resembles an ordinary camera on a tripod.

Thanks to the timely arrival of Bat-Girl, it's curtains for the Cobra Gang member, and not for the Dynamic Duo.

At the school supplies manufacturing factory, two hoods got a bad case of "stools".

Betty got a gold star for figuring out her aunt's dual identity.

In trying to be a carbon copy of Batwoman, Bat-Girl exhausted her resources, and her presence be known.

During the Silver Age, Nick Fury battled the hordes of Hydra, and Thor battled the cunning Cobra.

Steve Chung