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Batman 182
"The Rainbow Batman"

COVER IMAGE NOT FOUND (80 Page Giant #24) July - August, 1966

Story: Bill Finger(?) Art: Sheldon Moldoff

When the caped crusader swings through Gotham City, the citizens know it's Batman! The costume is familiar to all... but now, after all this time, the crimefighter has changed his costume, again and again, from one color to another, and causing an entire city to wonder which will be the next to be chose by... The Rainbow Batman!

Dick Grayson is strolling along the street one morning... when a cry for help is heard throughout the busy thoroughfare. Learning that crooks are fleeing, the lad looks for a place to change to Robin, but as the thieves' getaway vehicle speeds down the street, a young girl is standing directly in the path of the danger! The youthful ward manages to pull her away from the threat, but cracks his elbow against a lamppost! A doctor looks over the arm and sees that it's not broken -- but Dick will be unable to use it for a week. Reporters arrive and get the story about the criminals who stole a portable TV set -- the type used for special broadcast events. (Holy American Idol, Batman!) Dick has seen the crooks' faces and can identify them! He heads for Stately Wayne Manor...

Bruce had been watching TV and learns of Dick's heroism, with the lad being modest about his deed. The millionaire playboy wonders why crooks would steal a portable TV, especially if they couldn't use it or sell it! Dick decides to peruse the Batcave's crime file, but there's no record of them. Bruce figures that the crooks must be planning big, a crime where TV crews will be at work! Changing to Batman and Robin, the boy wonder figures that the hoods will disguise themselves as TV cameramen in order to steal something valuable. the caped crusader decides to keep a vigil wherever there is a big televised event, and Robin is to identify the crooks if they show up. Batman has a plan, which has the boy wonder at a loss at his mentor's radical idea. The following day finds a ticker-tape parade in progress for the king of Zoronia, with the crowd and the television crew staring in amazement at Batman...

Riding in the batmobile, the caped crusader is now wearing a red costume. He tells Robin to take over the wheel, while he leaps over to the car carrying the cameramen, and inspects their equipment. As the official welcome occurs, the attention is on the now crimson crimefighter, and not the honored guest. Robin sees that the crooks are not in the crowd, and Batman knows that all the cameramen have the proper identification, so this is not the scene of a crime. As the dynamic duo depart, citizens wonder why Batman has changed his colors, and figure that there must be a reason. Later, the bat-signal shines in the sky, and citizens wonder if their hero will be wearing the red costume again. The batmobile heads for police headquarters, with the caped crusader wearing a light-blue costume now!

The police and fire department are dealing with an explosives truck, which is on fire, and if it blows, the whole block will go up! The fireman tells the dynamic duo that the flames are inside the motor, and Batman decides to handle the truck, while Robin uses the batmobile. Commissioner Gordon watches as the light-blue crusader begins to drive the truck away, with the batmobile following. The truck passes through an empty street, with Batman giving the signal to Robin, and as the vehicle comes alongside the flaming truck, the caped crusader leaps clear... and the truck goes into the nearby river, where the flames will be extinguished.

Reporters are on hand to ask Batman why he changed his costume, but the caped crusader declines to give his reasons. Even the reporters are unable to figure out the mystery. In the Bat-Cave, Robin tells Batman that the crooks weren't on the scene, and the caped crusader knows that the crooks would only use their equipment for a big score. The next televised event is at the airport, where Marion Marley, the famed movie star is due to arrive, but the crowd wonders what costume Batman will be wearing this time! Reporters snap pictures of the caped crusader, now wearing a gold-colored costume, and none pay heed to the actress who exits the plane. Marley believes that Batman wore the gold-colored costume to steal the show, and a chastened Batman bows his head in embarrassment.

As the batmobile speeds off, the reporters can't believe that Batman would be wearing the different colored costumes just for attention's sake, and know that there must be something more important. At a jewel and fashion show, the host asks the dynamic duo to leave because people will draw their attention to the caped crusader's orange costume, and not to the show! Outside, Robin notes that there was a lot of camera equipment on hand, but no crooks in attendence. At the launching of a ship, the crowd sees Batman wearing a green-colored costume. The S.S. Gigantic is christened, but the ship is about to slide down the ways! Using a cable, the emerald crusader swings down, and spots an axe which a workmen has left...

Batman sees the cable which is attached to the ship, and will pull the entire platform unless he acts quickly! The axe is applied, and the cable is cut in time! The officials thank the dynamic duo for the quick action, and wonder who would do such an evil deed. The boy wonder tells Batman that the crooks weren't there, but the caped crusader knows that they had to have been or else who else planted that hidden cable? (Holy Liefeld, Batman!) Batman theorizes that the crooks have tumbled onto the fact that the dynamic duo have been monitoring televised events, and have planned to get them out of the way! The next event is to be the sharpshooting contest in Gotham Stadium tomorrow!

When the contest begins, television cameras are there to capture the action. Robin is to identify the crooks, while Batman receives a surprised greeting from the crowd, who see him wearing a white target-costume, complete with bull's-eye insignia! (Holy Colin Farrell, Batman!) The contestants begin to shoot at the targets with their rifles, while the boy wonder scans the crowd. Suddenly, the caped crusader is struck by a bullet, which came from a high-rise roof! To their relief, Batman is unharmed, for he is wearing a steel vest beneath his costume! Heading from the stadium, the caped crusader tells Robin that he wore this particular costume so that the crooks would zero in on the insignia, which was protected by steel armor.

On the rooftop, the shooter is gone, but Batman is convinced that this means they are getting closer! Robin sees that Batman's colorful costumes make him an easy target! The caped crusader points out that the boy wonder knows why he must wear them, and Robin still wants to know what the crook's plans are. The mobsters have arranged their plan, and their goal for $1,000,000. Even they wonder why Batman is wearing the strange costumes, but they plan to take advantage of the distraction he is providing, when they pull their job at the money show tomorrow! The following day at the Fabulous "Money Of The World" exhibit, Commissioner Gordon checks the security, while the exhibitor eagerly awaits the crowds, and both wonder what costume Batman will be wearing next!

The exhibitor and Gordon see the dynamic duo arrive, with Batman wearing a rainbow costume! Later, the cameramen begin to arrive, with each an accredited member, and the crimefighters scanning the crowd. Robin soon spots one of the crooks, and the Rainbow Batman punches the hood before he can grab for something in his pocket! Seizing the gas-mask, Robin wonders what it could be for, but the caped crusader knows that this is the answer to the entire mystery! Swiftly, Batman tells the cameramen not to activate their cameras... because one of them is booby-trapped!

A quick search shows that one of the cameras had been rigged with tear gas so that the gas-masked crooks could steal the money, and a cameramen notices the difference between the gimmicked camera and their own equipment. Spotting the two other crooks, Batman and Robin soon grab them. With the crooks in custody, the reporters ask Batman why he was wearing the different colored costumes, but the caped crusader declines... He'll return to his regular costume, but not disclose his reasons why he did it. At The Bat-Cave, Alfred greets the dynamic duo, and wonders why Batman wore such colorful garb. Since Robin had to help in identifying the crooks, and because only he knew their faces... people might have noticed that he was unable to use his left arm, and connect Dick Grayson's injury with his! The colorful costumes were worn to distract people's attention from the boy wonder! The plan worked, and Robin's secret is safe! The caped crusader is relieved, now that he can go from being a peacock and become a Batman again!

80 Page Giants are 80 pages of fun, indeed!

Nice to see that the heroics don't end when the costumes aren't on.

Interesting that the bat-signal can be seen during the daytime.

Batman would find himself on television in the late '60s, with both live-action and cartoon shows.

The fact that the yellow oval functions as a lure for target-shooting was also used by Frank Miller in The Dark Knight Returns.

This Review Is Dedicated To Kevin Grady

Steve Chung
"The Review Batman"