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Star Spangled Comics 100
"The Killer-Dog Of Gotham City!"


Story: Unknown Art: Jim Mooney

A new dog is a kid's best friend... who can't wait to play ball with him... but this dog is no ordinary dog! Raised in the world of crime and trained to hate the authorities, the dog is an enemy of the law, a threat to everything which is decent -- which brings Robin to use his resources against... "The Killer Dog Of Gotham City!" On the splash page, we see a wanted poster of the Killer-Dog, as well as police officers prevented from catching fleeing criminals when confronted with the barking dog, and Robin attempting to collar the dog!

In answer to the Bat-Signal, Robin meets with Commissioner Gordon outside of Police Headquarters... He learns that Joey Flint has been trapped in a brownstone downtown... Both the police and the Dynamic Duo have been hunting the killer for a long time... Police cars surround the building and the Commissioner learns that it's been quiet for the past ten minutes. As they climb the stairs, Gordon yells for Flint to come out with his hands up! Robin hears a scratching noise on the floor above... When the party batters the door down, they see that Flint is long gone, but his dog, Duke, is still there. As Robin calls to the dog, Commissioner Gordon warns him that he's a killer and has been trained to hate police!

The Boy Wonder is confident that by treating him with help and kindness, Duke could be like any other dog. The Commissioner calls for Murphy, who's a crack-shot - to take care of the vicious dog... (Holy Hoy, Batman!) Robin begs them not to shoot the dog since he is sure that he can train Duke into a civilized state. Gordon knows that the dog has a bad record and believes that you can't teach a dog new tricks... Sensing the animosity in the air, Duke leaps through the air at Murphy, while Robin reaches for a window pole! He quickly hooks the window pole into Duke's collar, keeping the dog at bay... The Boy Wonder tells them that of course the dog is going to react like that since he knew Murphy was going to shoot him! (Holy Robocop, Batman!) The Commissioner remains convinced that the dog is a killer, but Robin convinces the reluctant lawman to let him take Duke. Outside, one of Flint's gang sees this, and heads off to warn them. In the Bat-Cave, Alfred watches apprehensively as Robin brings Duke some food, and wishes that the Caped Crusader would return soon... but Batman won't be back for a few weeks.

Duke stares at his food in silence, while Robin suggests to Alfred that they leave so that the dog can eat in peace. In another section of Gotham City, Flint's lieutenant learns that Duke is in the custody of the Boy Wonder, and knows that they are in a real jam. Since Flint doesn't trust anyone, only he and Duke know where the loot they've stolen is buried. Pete tells Fats to round up the rest of the gang and figure out how to get the dog back. The following morning, Robin and Alfred see that Duke has eaten his food, then accepts the milk offered to him.

Robin takes Duke on the streets of Gotham City for some exercise, but the killer-dog catches the Boy Wonder off-guard when he runs down the street... and the Boy Wonder sees that Duke is heading to help a crook being apprehended by a policeman. The runaway dog tackles the policeman from behind, while the burglar descends the ladder, but he is cornered when Robin pulls Duke off of the officer, and the gun is covering him. In the evening, Robin visits Commissioner Gordon at his office, and is told that if there is any more criminal acts from Duke, the dog will have to be destroyed! (Holy ASPCA, Batman!)

The following day, Robin sets out to show Duke who is the master... The dog is shown several dummies of the Boy Wonder, and is told to attack them, while Robin watches from a window. Duke attacks what he takes to be a mortal enemy and is shocked by the inflatable rubber dummy which bursts with a bang! The second time, Duke is more cautious in attacking another dummy, but this one is filled with ice water, and the dog is given a chilly bath.

Duke keeps away from the other dummies, while the real Robin continues to teach him about crooks... Placing a large plate of food for the dog, the Boy Wonder exits, then changes into clothing to resemble a crook... Duke sees him and regards him as a friend, but the dog is in for a surprise when the "criminal" takes his food away... Robin figures that Duke know what stealing is, and when he returns the food to the hungry dog, the Boy Wonder is dressed as a policeman. Days pass, and Robin tells Alfred that he will take Duke for a few weeks in the country, where the dog will become the type of dog he's always wanted...

The following day at Bellow's Crossroads, which is a farming town south of Gotham City... the townfolk see Robin with the killer-dog they've been reading about. The Boy Wonder hopes that Duke will enjoy country life, but at night, the dog chews through the rope to freedom... Now finding himself in a world he's never been to and confused by Robin's kind treatment, Duke trots off into the night... The next morning after Robin learns that Duke has gone... the townsfolk meet with him and blame the dog for murdering their live stock! The Boy Wonder is dejected that Duke is apparently still a savage beast... while the townsfolk prepare to hunt him down!

The farmers are cut off by a tall newcomer... who tells them that the killer-dog wasn't responsible for their dead livestock. Late at night, he heard sound coming from the chicken coop --- and when he came out with his rifle, he saw that it was a white wolf! (Holy Peter And, Batman!) Not having time to shoot it, he began to trail it through the brush... until after a mile, he saw the white wolf and the killer dog from Gotham... As he prepared to draw a bead on the wolf, the two animals lept at each other... with the killer dog battling the marauding wolf...

A quick but savage battle followed... with the killer-dog the victor... He had called out to the dog, but it didn't listen, as it trotted away... Robin is determined to find Duke, who may be injured, but after a day's search, the Boy Wonder returns alone. High on a deserted hill, the lonely dog howls at the moon... Elsewhere, a car speeds through the miles between Gotham City and Bellow's Corner. The gang of hoods are confident that it will be easy to get Duke in this rural setting. In his room, Robin sees the headlights and hopes that they've found the dog.

Opening the door, Robin is startled to see Pete and Flint's gang, who want Duke! When asked what they want with his dog, Pete laughs, and tells him that the dog is the only one who knows where the fifty grand buried in Lacey Park is. As the Boy Wonder recalls that the loot was never recovered, they hear a noise at the door, and Duke has returned! Pete sics the dog on Robin, and the dog freezes, as he strives to reconcile the voices from his past, and his friend in the present. One hood wants to knock off the Boy Wonder, but Pete wants to see this! The dog growls, and leaps to the attack...

To the horror of the gang, Duke leaps to the Boy Wonder's aid! Before the startled hoods can recover, Robin and Duke wade into them... The Boy Wonder has them covered with a gun, while Duke is ready should the crooks make a false move. After Pete and the Flint gang are turned over to the authorities, Robin and Duke head to Lacey Park, where the dog digs up the stolen money! The Flint Mob Loot is returned to Commissioner Gordon, who confesses that he didn't think that the lad could do it, but he's glad just the same!

This story is regarded as a Pre-Bat-Hound try-out.

Steve Chung
"The Killer-Review Of Gotham City!"