Batman 44 – the Joker’s giant games, and the secret of Silas Wayne


A great Joker cover on Batman 44 (Dec/Jan 47/48), although it has no direct connection to the inside story.


Jim Mooney illustrates the Joker story, which sees him construct a number of giant gambling games.


The Joker captures a couple of radium thieves, and forces Batman to play the games for the criminal’s lives.  Robin winds up in a ball on a giant pinball machine.


There’s a huge roulette wheel, and a big dice game as well.  The era of the giant props is beginning!


Finger and Mooney bring Carter Nichols back for one of his more usual appearances, sending Batman and Robin back in time.


The story also sees the first appearance of the portrait gallery of the Waynes. While this gallery of paintings would not be frequently seen, it would play a major role in certain stories over the years. The story has Bruce decide to travel back in time and check out his ancestor Silas Wayne, who he bears a great resemblance to.


Nichols sends the heroes back to the period just after the American Revolution, and they go into action against Loyalist “traitors.” They wind up joining forces with Benjamin Franklin, teaching him about fingerprints, to prove that Silas is not a traitor.


Unlike the other time travel stories so far, this one ends with Bruce and Dick finding proof that their time trip really happened.

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