Batman 112 – the Signalman debuts, Carter Nichols travels through time, and Batman questions his sanity

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A good story pays off the intriguing cover for Batman 112 (Dec. 57).

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Finger, Moldoff and Paris open the issue by introducing a new villain, the Signalman.

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Phil Cobb is a small time hood who moves to Gotham City, and decides to make a name for himself.  He chooses the identity of the Signalman, sending puzzling clues, with signals as a loose concept.  Certainly the costume is much more notable than most of Batman’s recent enemies.

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The story is fun and fast paced, with good locales, and some excellent giant props.  It was no surprise when the Signalman made a return just over a year away.

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Carter Nichols decides to go on a time trip himself in this Hamilton, Sprang and Paris tale, which alo introduces a new time ray.

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Nichols winds up heading back to ancient Rome.  When he doesn’t return as scheduled, Batman and Robin use the time ray to follow him.  The action moves quickly from Rome to Rhodes, for a big scene on the Colossus.

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Batman and Robin rescue Nichols, and they all return to the present.  Nichols swears off ever travelling through time again.

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The cover story is quite a puzzler, by Finger, Moldoff and Paris.  Batman wakes up in costume, in an insane asylum. but no one will admit that he is Batman.

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Heading to Wayne Manor, neither Alfred nor Dick Grayson recognize him, and there is no Batcave.  He unmasks, and then Bruce Wayne walks into the room.  What is going on?

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The resolution has quite a few twists.  Indeed, the whole thing was a trick, pulled off by Alfred and Robin.  But their purpose was to save Batman’s life.  He had been gassed by Professor Milo.  The gas would have proved deadly unless Batman was active and challenged, so they created the deception.

This was Milo’s second appearance, a couple of months after his debut in Detective Comics, although the man pictured looks nothing like the one from that book.

Professor Milo does not return until the mid-70s.

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