Batman 18 – The Secret of Hunter’s Inn, and the return of the Crime Doctor


Easily the worst World War 2 Batman cover, on issue 18 (Aug/Sept 43).


But despite the cover, this issue contains my very favourite Tweedledee and Tweedledum story, The Secret of Hunter’s Inn, by Joe Samachson and Jerry Robinson.


This is the first appearance of the Tweed cousins in Batman, though they had appeared in Detective Comics already. The story is a really clever mystery.  Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson head to the highly regarded Hunter’s Inn lodge, but find it empty, and the food and service far below par.  They spot two identical twins, and suspect that these are Tweedledum and Tweedledee, though what they might be up to is uncertain.

Heading back, they find the Inn much busier, and with a different staff.


Batman realizes that the two Inns faced different directions, and eventually puts together the devious plot, with a switching road to lead unsuspecting guests to the fake Inn, in order to be robbed.  Alfred has a small role in this story, covering for Bruce and Dick while Batman and Robin are in action.

The Tweeds return the following year.


The Crime Doctor, introduced the previous month in Detective Comics, makes his return in this Finger, Kane and Robinson story.


Matthew Thorne escapes from prison, and goes back to work “diagnosing” and “operating” on criminal endeavours that have problems.  Batman and Robin have a hard time tracking him, until they figure out that his new crime clinic is in a vehicle.


Robin gets shot, and the Crime Doctor shows his ethics, tending to the boy until Batman can get him to a hospital.  But the Crime Doctor gets shot and killed by one of his own men, furious that Thorne did not save the man’s ailing wife.

Though this Earth-2 Crime Doctor is dead, there would be later versions of the character, both on Earth-1, and in the post-Crisis universe.


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