Batman 26 – the Cavalier steals a whale, Alfred goes shopping, and the Batman of the Future

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Batman, Robin and Alfred take a ride on the Bat-snowmobile on the cover of Batman 26 (Dec/Jan 44/45).

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The Cavalier, whose identity was exposed in his last appearance, a few months earlier in Detective Comics, returns in a story by Cameron and Sprang.

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The Cavalier adopts a new identity in this story, altering his appearance when not in costume.

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He also garbs his men to all resemble the Cavalier, which works extremely well. At one point, Batman has the real Cavalier in his hands, but believes him to just be another gang member.

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His big crime in the story is stealing an actual whale. Not that there is any sort of black market for whales, it’s more a case of showing that he is capable of such a theft. But Batman and Robin do track him down and finally send him to prison.

It seems that unlike other Batman foes, the Cavalier gets a very long sentence, as he does not return again until the 1970s.

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Schiff and Robinson send Alfred grocery shopping in this story, although he forgets his wallet back at home, which both Bruce and Dick notice.

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So the reader is one step up on Alfred, who believes that he has been pickpocketed by a man who bumped into him at the store.  Following him, he prevents the man from being muggers.  The man turns out to be a French chef, so Alfred returns with not only dinner, but a cook as well.

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Greene and Sprang look into the distant future for this story, which introduces Brane Taylor, and charts how he becomes the Batman of the Future.  I first read this story in a reprint in Batman Family, and Sprang’s art made me just fall in love with it.

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Sprang shows us an idyllic future which gets threatened when Earth is invaded by Saturnians.

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The destruction they cause reveals a time capsule from 1939. Opening it, Brane Taylor discovers film footage of Batman, which inspires him to adopt the identity and lead the forces of Earth against the invaders.

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This Batman hides his identity from his girlfriend, and also has a kid sidekick who takes on the Robin identity.

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Unlike the Batman of the present, Brane reveals his true identity to his followers, to convince them that any of them could be capable of doing what he does.

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The final panel of the story reveals that he is the descendant of Bruce Wayne.

The character proved popular, and returned in a story in 1951.

 

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