World’s Finest 19 – The Joker’s anti-crime committee

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Yeah, I really wonder which side will win the tug-o-war on the cover of World’s Finest 19 (Fall 1945).

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The Batman and Robin story in this issue is by Joe Samachson, Bob Kane and Ray Burnley, and features the Joker, but still has little to commend it.

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After using the Batmobile to escape prison, the Joker decides to use crime fighting to commit crimes. He enlists two felons to publicly recant their criminal pasts and form an anti-crime committee.

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They gather together many of Gotham’s top citizens, but while the meeting is going on, the Joker breaks into the houses of those attending and robs them, including the house of Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.  Alfred gets a small role in this story, which also features a rare, exterior shot of the Wayne House.  It’s a very odd looking structure in this tale.

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This story never really takes off.  Even the scene where the Joker leaves the bound heroes to be killed by bats with poisoned claws sort of falls flat.

But this is an era when the Joker was overused anyway.  He had appeared the previous month in Detective Comics, and shows up the following month in Batman.

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