Batman 209 – animals in the Batcave

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Frank Robbins, Irv Novick and Joe Giella share the story that works hard to justify the bizarre cover for Batman 209 (Feb. 69).

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The story begins as Batman and Robin take the elevator down to the Batcave, and find it a jungle, filled with wild animals.

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The story then jump backwards, allowing the reader to see how this all came about.  We meet Brainwash, and see how he planted a subliminal device under a podium, which prompted Commissioner Gordon to call Batman and Robin late that night, sending them to a non-existent break-in, where Brainwash could plant a similar device on the Batmobile.

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It take Batman far too long to figure out that they are hallucinating.  Did he really think that the Batcave had become a jungle?  Apparently so.  He forces himself to work through the hallucination, even though he almost runs down Alfred while doing so.

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Batman and Robin find the device on the car, and realize that ear plugs will stop the subliminals from working on them.  The ear plugs also come in useful when Brainwash tries to deal them in a bank vault, jamming the door and preventing it from closing.  Brainwash get unmasked as Mr. Esper, who next appears, in the mid 70s, in Teen Titans.

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