Batman 32 – the Joker’s college initiation robberies, how Batman trained Robin, Alfred falls over a turtle, and Batman meets the Three Musketeers

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Batman and Robin visit with the Three Musketeers in Batman 32 (Dec/Jan 45/46).

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But that’s not the opening story in the issue.  The Joker’s tale has that honour, by Cameron and Sprang.  The story has the Joker plan his latest spree on fraternity initiation pranks.

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Batman falls into the Joker’s hands, and he forces Robin to perform humiliating acts, which also helps his crimes.  Of course, Batman eventually gets free and takes the Joker down.

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Robin gets the focus in the second story in the issue, as Finger and Sprang delve into his early days in depth.

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The tale begins with a recap of his origin.  His parents’ deaths, and how he works with Batman to capture Boss Zucco.  We see that Bruce intended Dick to help him on only that case.  Dick pleads to be allowed to continue as Robin, and eventually convinces Bruce to allow him.  But we see that Dick then had to undergo much more, extensive, training.

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Batman winds up getting captured by hoods, and Robin goes into action solo, using the skills and techniques he has learned, to track down and free Batman, earning the right to continue in the role.

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Alfred gets a fun tale in this one, by Samachson and Robinson.  Alfred is walking a friend’s dog, when he hears a cry from a soup factory.

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Checking it out, Alfred finds slugged by thieves, and winds up falling over a turtle.

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Alfred shows a lot more competence in this tale than in most of his adventures.  He deduces that the thieves must be from a rival soup company, and draws the attention of the police, by faking the tracking skills of the dog.  For once, he has done everything right to capture the bad guys, but Bruce and Dick do not believe him, and think he just stumbled through the situation again.

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Carter Nichols is back for another time travelling adventure, by Cameron and Sprang.

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Nichols sends them back to the time of the Three Musketeers, and decide to stop Constance Bonacieux from being poisoned.  Cameron shows his familiarity with Dumas’ novel, which makes this story much more entertaining that it might be.

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With Sprang’s art to help it along, this is one of the best of the Carter Nichols tales.

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