Batman 36 – the Penguin opens a restaurant, Alfred solo stories end, and Batman joins the Knights of the Round Table

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Batman and Robin visit the Arthurian era in Batman 36 (Aug/Sept 46).

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But the lead story in the issue features the Penguin, by Schwartz, Kane and Burnley.

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The Penguin opens his own restaurant in this tale.  He has the customers write out and sign their orders, which is how he collects their signatures, using them for a forgery scam.

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It’s a pretty straightforward story, but the art is strong enough to carry it. The story was adapted for the Batman tv series.

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The Adventures of Alfred had gone from a regular feature to a sporadic one, and comes to an end with this tale by Robinson.

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It follows the standard pattern, as Alfred befriends the bad guy and tries to catch an innocent man.  The thief he is looking for is British, so Alfred hits up all the restaurants in Gotham that serve traditional English cuisine as he searches for the man.

Alfred remains a regular cast member, and is featured in a number of Batman tales, but will not get another solo story until Batman Family, in the mid 70s.

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Carter Nichols is back, as Batman heads to the time of King Arthur in this Finger, Kane and Burnley story.

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Nichols looks almost evil as he sends them back in time, and though hypnosis is credited, the panel makes it look like it’s a super-power he possesses.  In this story, it’s Nichols who calls on Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, asking for help. A “newly discovered list of the Knights of the Round Table” includes the name Sir Hardi le Noir. Nichols sends Bruce and Dick back to King Arthur’s time to find out who this mysterious knight was.

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There is some great art, and the story reflects the usual Arthurian tropes, with Morgan Le Fay and Mordred as the villains of the tale, framing Merlin as a traitor. The mysterious knight turns out to be Batman himself, but rather than take the glory, Bruce tells Nichols that they failed to learn anything about Sir Hardi Le Noir.

 

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