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Batman 182
"Batman, Robot!"

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

Story: Bill Finger (?) Art: Sheldon Moldoff

Now it can be revealed -- the boy wonder's partner is an automaton -- a Batman Robot! But what has happened to the real caped crusader? Why has he been replaced by ... "Batman, Robot!"

While on patrol, the caped crusader overhears the Night Owl Gang talking about their job at the sport show, and how the receipts were in the safe, as well as when they were going to divide the loot. Since it's hidden in a secret place... the boss will be getting it this evening! With the boy wonder home with a cold... Batman has to handle the gang himself! Making his way inside, the caped crusader leaps into action, first by taking them by surprise with an ice sled's sail! Unmasking the gang, Batman sees that Number 1 -- is Eddie Chill... and the lieutenant -- Number 2 -- is Wedge Dixon! (Holy McGoohan, Batman!) Chill orders his gang to gun down the caped crusader! As one gang member fires off a shot, Batman rolls a giant golf ball to knock the gang off balance, but Dixon's shot cuts the wire holding up the prop swordfish -- causing it to fall down towards the caped crusader!

The fallen swordfish nails Batman's cape to the floor, and the sound of a police siren has the Night Owl Gang on the run! While the caped crusader struggles with his cape, he overhears Chill telling Wedge that they should separate and go into hiding... not dividing the loot until later! Later, Batman's tip to the police soon nabs a member of the Night Owl Gang... Wedge Dixon! Days pass, and at Wedge Dixon's pre-trial hearing, the caped crusader appears as a witness! Dixon is freed on bail until it's time for his trial, with Batman prepared to give testimony on that day! At his home, Dixon uses a short-wave radio to contact Chill... who recommends the elimination of the witness for the prosecution! When Dixon tells the gang they are to kill the caped crusader, the hoods are at a loss for words as to how to go about it!

The next day, outside of Gotham City... the dynamic duo have arrived at an abandoned mine, where an anonymous tip has placed Eddie Chill! Batman insists that he go in alone, with Robin to nab Chill should he attempt to escape! When the caped crusader enters the mine, Wedge Dixon is watching through a pair of binoculars, and orders his man to set off the dynamite! BA-ROOM! The boy wonder is knocked off his feet, and realizes that his partner has just stepped into a trap! (Holy Chicken Little, Batman! With the sky practically falling on him, Robin gets the hint!) When the smoke clears, the boy wonder heads for the blocked mine entrance, calling for Batman, while nearby, Dixon and his fellow gang member knows that the caped crusader must be dead with all those rocks on him!

Dixon radios his boss about the happy news, but Eddie Chill knows that Batman has been known to escape from death-traps before! He will stay hidden until there is no doubt that the caped crusader is dead! Chill also orders his gang not to pull any more jobs until then! Throughout the underworld, there is speculation about Batman's demise, and with two days having gone by, the hoods are eager to pull some "jobs" of their own! That evening, three petty crooks break into a rug manufacturing factory, but are startled by the sight of ... the dynamic duo! One thug tries his luck at punching out the caped crusader, but instead, he injures his fist on Batman's rock-solid jaw! The crooks turn to flee, with the caped crusader stalking them, so slowly that one crook comments that the death-trap must have injured him plenty... hence the slowness!

The boy wonder is as agile as ever, kicking a carpet onto the two startled thugs, then Batman peforms the "wrap-up" by trapping the trio inside the rolled-up carpet! Eddie Chill has heard the news about Batman's latest feat, but Wedge senses that something is amiss with the caped crusader! Dixon bails out one of the carpet-baggers, who tells him how Batman walked stiffly and spoke oddly -- stopping before each word, and his facial expression never changed! (Holy Adam West, Batman!) Petey's fist still hurts from punching that jaw of steel! Aware that a rival gang is going to be pulling a "job" this evening, Dixon disguises his voice and makes an anonymous phone call... A studio is filming "Casbah Romance" and is using real jewels to get publicity for the film... and the Gorman Gang will be trying their luck this evening!

At night, the Gorman Gang make their way through the deserted film set, but they soon run into the dynamic duo! Three of the four crooks open fire, with Robin leaping to safety, and Batman still standing... making them think that their shots must've missed! The boy wonder is on target... staggering two of the Gorman Gang off their feet! The gang leader shoves a movable camera at the caped crusader, but Batman is unaffected by the collision! Grasping a large brass jar, the caped crusader rolls it across the floor... knocking the Gorman Gang off their feet!

Wedge Dixon has been watching the fight from hiding, and sees that Petey was right about Batman's halted speech... his stiff walk... and not even wincing at the heavy camera-dolly hitting him! The following morning, Wedge Dixon's trial begins... the state's star witness is called... and Batman takes the stand! Before the caped crusader can give his testimony, Wedge's lawyer tells the judge that he questions the reliability of this witness... and with the court's permission, he'll prove his point! The lawyer sets up a fluoroscope machine, a device which can x-ray the human body! He wishes to fluroscope the witness! The next moment finds the fluoroscope revealing the complex mechanisms beneath Batman's frame! This shows that the witness is a robot... a robot pretending to be Batman... since the real caped crusader is dead!

Since the state's star witness cannot appear to testify, there is no case against Wedge Dixon! The judge agrees and has no choice but to dismiss the case for lack of evidence! After the courtroom has cleared, reporters begin to surround Robin and the Batman robot... As one of the reporters asks how the caped crusader died, the boy wonder agrees to tell them... Robin was able to move enough rocks to reach Batman, but it was too late! Knowing that he was dying, the caped crusader doesn't wish the world to know it yet -- not when Eddie Chill and Wedge Dixon are yet to be convicted! It was they who planned his death, and Batman wants Robin to use his robot to testify in his place -- so that the two will pay for their crimes! After bidding farewell to the boy wonder and telling him to carry on for him... Batman dies! Robin weeps as he tells the reporters how he left the body where it lay -- so that no one would know where he was buried! Another of the reporters would like to see where Batman is buried...

At the mine, the gathered reporters pay their respects to the late crimefighter, and make plans to campaign for a memorial to be erected on the site. The news reaches the citizens of Gotham... but elsewhere, Eddie Chill rejoices, for he can now come out of hiding, and rejoin the gang! Wedge greets him, and knows that they are free men since Batman can't testify against them! Dixon tells Chill that he's heard the cops are trying to find where the loot is hidden! He suggest that they retrieve it before the police find it! At night, Chill reveals the hiding place to the gang at Gotham Park, but the dynamic duo are on hand... Robin tells them that it was easy... thanks to Batman's belt-radio sending a directional signal during the trip! Chill breaks out in a sweat as he sees "Wedge" remove his coat and shirt... revealing the uniform of... The Batman! The real Wedge has been left -- tied up in the alley near his apartment!

As Batman discards his disguise, the Night Owl Gang jump onto the carousel... and begin to open fire on Batman and Robin! The Batman-Robot moves forward... the bullets bouncing off its metallic body! Gripping the rim of the carousel, the Batman-Robot gives it a mighty spin, and the Night Owl Gang begin to tumble from their perch! Chill has made it to his getaway car... but Batman knows that there's a rding stable in the area... Soon, the caped crusader is galloping through a short-cut across the grounds... which will get him right to Chill... and his bat-rope will do the rest!

Chill is lassoed and pulled from his car -- next stop -- State Prison! A special TV press conference is convened... with the caped crusader telling the national audience how he escaped the death-trap which was planned for him! It was because of a little mouse that Batman is still alive... As he walked deeper into the mine, he suddenly scared a small mouse -- and as he ran away...the caped crusader saw... that the mouse's prints and his... were the only ones there! This means -- no one else has entered the mine recently! BA-ROOM! Knowing that he was in a trap, Batman knew he'd never reach the entrance in time -- so he acted fast by heading for the mine shaft! He clung to the ladder below -- while above him, the ceiling came crashing down to seal the shaft! Fortunately for the caped crusader, the boulders were wedged above, or else he'd be rammed off the ladder!

Climbing down the ladder, and reaching the lower level, Batman came across an underground stream... Seeing that it was flowing to a rift, the caped crusader found daylight! Knowing that Robin probably thinks he's dead... and so must Wedge Dixon and Eddie Chill... he felt that he should stay "dead" so that Chill would figure the heat was off, and come out of hiding! As time passed, and Eddie Chill didn't come out of hiding... Robin figured that he wasn't convinced that Batman was dead! The caped crusader suggests that they use his robot. With its unhuman manner, Wedge is sure to guess it's a robot... and he'd expose it at the trial... convincing Chill that he's really dead! The plan worked, and when Wedge went to his apartment, Batman was waiting for him... punching him out, then disguising himself as Wedge -- so that when Chill arrived, he'd get him to uncover where the loot was! Since Chill and Dixon couldn't be tried again for the sports show robbery, the loot would be all the evidence required to convict them of the other robberies! The plan was a success -- much credit is due to the Batman-Robot, to which the youngsters watching the broadcast would agree!

It's never stated in the story, but Eddie Chill is obviously a relative to Joe Chill, the man who killed Bruce Wayne's parents.

The Night Owl Gang made a re-appearance in the JLA/JSA 100 Page Spectacular which brought back Sandy The Golden Boy, a.k.a. "The Creature In The Velvet Cage!"

A giant golf ball prop is the symbol for Epcot Center.

The Batman-Robot and Robin take the three crooks for a "magic carpet ride."

Another time that the caped crusader was called to testify was on behalf of Harvey "Apollo" Dent, against Boss Maroni.

A cloud of dust at the speed of light, and a hearty "Hi-Yo Silver!" Batman rides again!

In the Silver Age, Batman would use robots or Superman to impersonate him, in order to put people off the trail about his secret identity.

In the '60s, kids and adults would be able to see Batman on TV, in both animation and live-action programs.

This Review Is Dedicated To Bob Ingersoll

Steve Chung
"Batman, Review!"