Batman 51 – the talking Penguin, and a day-dreamer

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Odd choice of story to put on the cover of Batman 51 (Feb/March 1949).

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Mind you, even the Penguin story would have made for a bizarre cover, as Schwartz and Paris have a talking penguin central to the tale.

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The Penguin introduces Pee-Wee, the talking penguin, and takes him onto the stage, performing a musical comedy routine with his new partner.  And it proves to a profitable hit.

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So profitable, that former gang members of the Penguin show up demanding a cut.  Rather than hand over his earned money, the Penguin decides to steal money to pay them off.  Not that smartest move.

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Batman catches the Penguin, and he goes on trial.  Batman calls Pee-Wee to the stand, and the Penguin protests when the animal testifies against him, insisting that Pee-Wee is unable to talk.  And that was exactly what Batman was hoping for, exposing Penguin’s fraud.  He had a receiver attached to Pee-Wee’s throat, and had been broadcasting his words.

Silly, but decent.

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Schwartz and Paris also do the art on the cover story for the issue, likely inspired by the recent Danny Kaye hit movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

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In this story Mr Wimble is a day-dreamer, just like Mitty.  He fantasizes himself a detective, working alongside Batman.  And, in fact, that is exactly what winds up taking place.  Batman gets the old man a job with a real detective agency at the end of the story.

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