Batman 43 – Blackbirds of Banditry, and villains from the past

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Batman 43 (Oct/Nov 47) cover features Blackbirds of Banditry, my favourite Penguin story from this era.

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Finger and Mooney craft this tale, which I first read in a big oversized Batman reprint in the 70s. The story has him pulling fictional bird themed crimes, nothing special about that, but it moves from great scene to great scene.

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It begins with him having four and twenty blackbirds emerge from a pie at an awards banquet, before robbing those present. He moves on to robbing a restaurant themed as a pirate ship, before robbing a millionaire with a farm atop his downtown skyscraper.

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The tale climaxes with an aerial theft, with the Penguin having his own blimp, fashioned to look like a Penguin. It’s a lot of fun.

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Carter Nichols returns in a story that does not see him send Batman through time, by Finger and Mooney.

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This story has villains from the past, Genghis Khan, Captain Kidd, Jesse James and John Dillinger, going on crime sprees in Gotham City.

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Carter Nichols calls on Commissioner Gordon, who brings along Batman and Robin as Nichols explains that criminals stole his new time ray. He shows off an earlier version, capable of transporting objects, but not people, from the past.

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Batman tracks the paths the criminals take when fleeing from their crimes, and find they converge on Nichols place.  Investigating, Batman and Robin find Nichols apparently in league with the felons.  But nothing is what it seems.

The real Nichols has been held captive all along, while an impersonator took his place.  They could not get the time ray to work, so modern day hoods dressed as historical bad guys in a big scam.  Although you sort of have to wonder why they even bothered.

 

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