Batman #108

Batman #108, June 1957

When, in a daring manoeuvre, Batman prevents a fatal car crash, the young couple involved are so impressed they name their new baby after him! And if you think his life at school would be hell — you can bet your sweet life the kid was just grateful he hadn’t been saved by Wonder Woman!

The kid is named

Thus christened Batman Jones, the young lad grows up to become quite obsessed by his hero.

Batman Jones

So much so, in fact, that one day he pedals to the scene of a crime dressed as a mini-Batman. Batman himself is none too impressed by this, it is after all far too dangerous for a boy!

Too young

The case involves the theft of art treasures, and by using his amazing Bat-brain, Batman Jones soon comes up trumps. The thief would surely hide his booty — and who knows the best hiding places other than a young boy? Batman disguises himself as a statue — don’t ask — and apprehends the crook. One up for Batman Jones, eh?

Pedal power

To try an dissuade the boy from his dangerous path, Batman invites him for a tour of the Bat Cave. Jones is impressed, but Batman warns him that the trophies therein were not easily won, and the life of a super-hero is no cake walk. Jones, however, soon proves his mettle as Batman’s attempts to outwit the lad fail spectacularly. He is sent home just as enthusiatic as ever, much to Batman’s dismay, and the Caped Crusader is reduced to asking the boy’s mum to stop him. Oh where did it all go wrong, eh Bruce?

Tour of the Bat Cave

Later, Jones attends a hobby show that he thinks may be suspicious. There, watched by Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, he finds a stamp collection fascinating. After the show has closed, Jones remains behind garbed in his Bat costume. The crooks appear and use the oversize power tools to attempt to drill into the bank next door. They capture Jones, but Batman and Robin arrive just in time.

A career ends

After caging the fiends, Batman and Robin visit Batman Jones at home, expecting him to be insufferable. Instead they find no trace of Bat-memorabilia. Jones is fed up with Batman now, he’s got a new hobby: stamp collecting!

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A great little tale of the Caped Crusader from the early Silver Age. The giant-size tools are a hint that the script was by Batman co-creator Bill Finger (he liked his oversize props did Bill), and the art is probably by Shelly Moldoff, who was Bob Kane’s primary ‘ghost’ for much of the 50s and 60s.

Here’s a lovely panel that I couldn’t fit in above:

Batman and kid

As Batman refuses any financial recompense for his good deeds, recipients of his services decide to give the cash to Batman Jones instead! Great work if you can get it, I say. I think I’ll go off now and change my name…

©2007 DC Comics